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TIPPING rant - tell me tell me tell me you'll miss miss miss me
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Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:58 am
TIPPING rant

Josh waits tables at a restaurant...let's call it Pink Crustacean. Yesterday he had a table of mid-20 year old girls ate dinner and sang loudly like they were practicing to be American Idol rejects. They stayed at their table for 2.5 hours. 15% of $40 would be $6. They tipped him $2. That is a 5% tip for 2.5 hours of his time where he could not have another table and be making some more money off it. He makes something around $3 an hour, so he needs to pull in tips to pay for his rent, phone bill, utility bills, and student loans. He gets a lot of "verbal tips"; "Oh, honey, you've been great!" and customers have praised his service to his manager, but very few of these people seem to tip well (well meaning 15% or a bit more).

I know, I know. Why doesn't he work at a better restaurant, or not in food service at all? He's working on getting away from food service altogether to pursue something he loves, but in order to do that he needs to have a nest egg just in case he doesn't find a new job straight away. I just don't understand why people go out to eat if they are not going to tip their waiter or waitress. They want a dedicated person to answer questions about the menu and their dietary concerns, fetch them drinks and refills, bring their appetizer/salad out before the meal, bring out their food, and bus and clean their tables, yet they want to pay them .80 cents per hour?

I honestly think that 10% should automatically be added to the bill at any sit down restaurant with wait service. If you have the money to go out, I truly believe that you are obligated to pay at least that. I am one of those people who usually tips 20%. I can only remember tipping less than 15% once. It was after Radiohead at Madison Square Gardens when we had the worst waiter in the history of waiters at that diner I can't remember the name of. Karyn was with me and, between the two of us, we left big fat tips on every table we ever sat at together. This guy was yakking with regulars, neglecting to bring us menus for 20 minutes so we took one from a stand just to figure out what we wanted, brought us out our food luke warm (we thought we saw it sitting on the counter for about 15 minutes prior to getting it), and then he ran out after us holding up the $3 tip we left on $20 (estimated, I can't actually remember what the bill was but it was something like 5% we left). Karyn tore into him about how irresponsible he was and told him what his tip would have been, had he actually treated us with respect. That experience just made me tip incredible waiters that much better. Basically, I think this post is trying to say that people suck, but the government should add some kind of a law where 10% minimum should be in place. If people want to tip over that, they can (and should).

Current Mood: hungry
Current Music: the clacking of keys + the growl of my tummy

27CommentReplyShare

so_gracefully
so_gracefully
Warrior of the Worriers
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)

er, how does he make $3 an hour? that's illegal (federal minimum wage is $5.15). are you talking about salary minus taxes?


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madflowr
madflowr
she speaks in song lyrics
Sat, Mar. 4th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)

yep, it's sad but true. josh gets these measly little paychecks because literally he makes something like $3.15 an hour or something. i can get the real number when i see him tonight. yeah, the way we treat our service industry is weak.


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checkersumthing
checkersumthing
checkersumthing
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)

That's really terrible. I could see maybe $2 per person, but $2 total? That's ridiculous. If I'm with a gang of loud people in a restaurant, and we stay way longer than we should, which is usually the case when it's someone's birthday, I definitely leave a slightly bigger than usual tip.

I think it would be great if tips were automatically added to the bill, like that I wouldn't even have to really think about it. If the service was fine, it's stays as is, if it was great, they get more. If the service was really crappy, it would force people to deal with at the time and say something, rather than waiting 'till the end to just leave a small tip.

I think it would be great, because here in Qc workers get taxed on their tips, whether they get them or not. At least this way they would be guaranteed to make as much as they are taxed on.


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matchgirl
matchgirl
flannel fox
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)

I think the real issue with waitering/waitressing is that it isn't mandatory to pay them full minimum wage because the government/the industry assumes that they will get tips. That is the whole reason that I tip well in the first place, because I know that waiters don't make much and they work hard.

It shouldn't be left up to the customer to pay wages to the waiter, it should be the employer's responsibility. After all, Pink Crustacean is a huge corporation with the funds to pay its workers a decent wage.

But, because Pink C. doesn't care, people should. I always give 20%, 10-15% if it's not so great service. Some people are horrible about tipping, always, no matter how good the service is. Just another reason that the restaurant should pay workers more..because customers are so fickle.


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cassettecounty
cassettecounty
blah blah blah
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)

Total word on your post.

Pink Crustacean...ha!


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littlecollision
stephanie
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 07:06 pm (UTC)

I honestly think that 10% should automatically be added to the bill at any sit down restaurant with wait service. If you have the money to go out, I truly believe that you are obligated to pay at least that.

100% OTM. I alwaysalwaysalways tip 20% as well, 10-15% if the service is shoddy. It's scary to think that someone might not make federal minimum wage if they're having a bad/"off" day, which I always try to take into account if my server seems spaced out/distracted/otherwise not proactively terrible. Being a waitress would probably make me hate humanity even more than I already do. Which is more than a lot.

That said, the best customer service I ever got was from a girl at the drive-thru of a Wendy's in rural Colorado at like 1 a.m. So I tipped her, even though that isn't really common practice cos fast food employees aren't the same lowly wage level as waiters, but if you have the patience to remain genuinely friendly and refer very earnestly to a crazy-ass goth girl and her longhaired boyfriend as "ma'am" and "sir" when you are working at the drive-thru of a Wendy's in rural Colorado at like 1 a.m., you deserve mad kudos.

People who don't tip are the devil.

PS: MKE B&S tix are sold out! Crazy!


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michaelpop
michaelpop
Canadian Tuxedo Optional
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)

If you have the money to go out, I truly believe that you are obligated to pay at least that.

I agree with this 100%. It's just the cost of the experience. I pretty much always tip in the 15-20% range, 'cos that's just how I roll.

But let's say that you make a 10% tip mandatory, then why doesn't the restaurant just build that into the menu and pay their servers better? Same difference, if you ask me.


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shadesofautumn
shadesofautumn
shades
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)

But let's say that you make a 10% tip mandatory, then why doesn't the restaurant just build that into the menu and pay their servers better? Same difference, if you ask me.

OTM.


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dronepop
dronepop
dronepop
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)

I don't understand historically how this came to be. Why don't restaurants just pay people the way other places pay? Meaning at least minimum wage, and hopefully better than that, based on experience and merit? Food markup is way better than record shop markups! They should be able to afford it, right?

I'm heading to London and I hear the system is a bit different there. I'll probably keep tipping even where it's not appropriate--it's a thankless job otherwise.


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dronepop
dronepop
dronepop
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)

I'm going to London for the first time next week. Hopefully I'll figure it all out, and find some good food in the process!


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madflowr
madflowr
she speaks in song lyrics
Sat, Mar. 4th, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)

yeah, exactly! people who go the extra mile deserve a super tip.

i love that photo of george clooney! mwahahha. :)


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marmix
marmix
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)

I waited tables in grad school and HATED it, for all of the reasons you mentioned above - and then some. I totally respect bartenders, too - but people always seem to give them $1/per drink each time they get a drink at a bar - pretty standard, right? - and then totally forget about their servers! The discrepancy used to make my toes curl.


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ezurbub
ezurbub
ezurbub
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)

I agree with Matchgirl. The real problem is that the gov doesn't consider waiting tables to be a "real" job and therefore doesn't subject it to the minimum wage rule. I'm all for getting rid of tipping in general, personally...it's works just fine just about everywhere else in the world, you know?

Having said that, I always tip well (in excess of 15%) individually and in groups (at least I try to make sure the group tips well.)


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ezurbub
ezurbub
ezurbub
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)

I should add that the main reason I tip more than average is because I feel guilty if I don't since "black people don't tip." Oy!


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memorybabe
memorybabe
memorybabe
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:29 pm (UTC)

I always tip 15-20% and frequently over-tip. It's a difficult job and I know so many people who work in food services so I'm a total sympathizer. I tried working at a coffee shop and quit after three weeks; I couldn't stand it!


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i_lack
i wish i had a jew
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)

i almost always tip around fifty percent. your friend and i do the same thing, but i may get paid a little more than him. they even take thirty percent out of our tips each night.


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espelina
E
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)

Wow. I completely agree with you on this. I've never waited tables before but I did work in a restaurant and I know how hard it is for those who do. Recently, I was told that I overtip by a co-worker who makes way more than me. :-( People are jerks.


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drzachary
drzachary
zacharias d smytkowski
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)

I would like to see more of a paradigm shift where table service is more respected in all ways, not just monetarily. In more culinarily advanced cultures, there are schools and such for that shit.


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cloudshapes
cloudshapes
the sand and the sea
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)

AMEN to this sentiment.


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jonasjames
jonasjames
james
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)

ok, josh works a ta shitty shitty place. not surprising that people who go to the chiptole of lobsters don't tip well.

in nicer restaraunts they do not put up with bad wiaters, hence better tips. i was in some fancy place in new ytork a few years ago and asked for some drink. turns out they did not have it. not that i ever knew, cause the awesoem waiter simpluy went to a corner store and bought it. dude got a rad tip.

but if you are a dick, i will stiff you. i had a guy try to double charge me on a bottle of wine cause he thought i was drunk. when i asked him about the charge, dumbshit smiled like he had been caught. i gave him $3 on a tab over $100. fuckhead actually had the nerve to come out of hte place and give me the $3 back sayign he didn't want my money.


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cloudshapes
cloudshapes
the sand and the sea
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)

i waited tables before for a few years, and i took a great deal of pride in my work. it was frustrating and one of the most exhausting jobs i've ever done. i worked HARD for my tips & sometimes it paid off, sometimes not. people are so fickle and vary greatly on their tipping standards. me, i'm pretty poor. but no matter what, i always over tip when i go out to eat. 20% or more. if i happen to have some extra money and the service was good, i'll go way above and beyond because i know how great that makes a person feel when it happens. one time my ex & i received a thank you post card in the mail from a waitress at the olive garden because we left her a $20 dollar bill on something like a $18 dollar tab. it made me feel so good that we made her day.

it doesn't matter to me how good or bad or cheap the restaurant is, waiters deserve the same respect in both tips and attitude. i agree wholeheartedly with what you've written here.


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dreamallday
dreamallday
.
Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)

I had a friend who would never tip, I hated going out with them because I felt like I had to leave an extra big tip just to not feel like a jerk.

There's this bar that has all you can eat pizza and all you can drink beer between 4 and 7pm once a week. and it's really awesome pizza and great service. the first time I went everyone tipped about 120% because to do otherwise would be like stealing and all the different servers actually came over and thanked us. I hate to think of the jerks who get that awesome deal, let someone serve them for three hours and probably leave a dollar.


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madflowr
madflowr
she speaks in song lyrics
Sat, Mar. 4th, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)

yet another reason why i love you kristina.

i want to see you in 2006. ALL YOU CAN EAT PIZZA sounds like a GREAT way for us to hang out. as long as we can drink wine from the bottle too, i'm sold! :)


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dreamallday
dreamallday
.
Sat, Mar. 4th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)

ted leo and the mountain goats are confirmed for pitchfork's thing already, I will totally come to chicago


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madflowr
madflowr
she speaks in song lyrics
Sat, Mar. 4th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)

yeah, that's true. but...i know some people who will tip .50 on a mix drink sometimes and say "oh, i'll get them next time," only there is never a next time...they just keep saying that over and over. ahh, alcoholics! :) i prefer making my own drinks just because it's SO much cheaper and i prefer hanging out at home to being at a smoky bar if there is no band playing!


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skirtigo
skirtigo
skirtigo
Sat, Mar. 4th, 2006 03:01 am (UTC)

i agree with you - tipping should automatically be added to bills. better yet, it should be added to the cost of the food in the first place, wait people should be paid normal salaries, and tipping should be done away with altogether.


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(Anonymous)
Wed, Mar. 8th, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)

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