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Old 08-19-2005, 06:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by The Z
I have a problem with 'required' tipping. How is that different from a surcharge? I agree that food service personnel should receive a liveable wage. I think it's completely inappropriate to pay someone less than minimum wage with the belief/expectation that it will be supplemented by tips.

Additionally, I believe that tipping should be a reward for exceptional service that should go directly to the individual for whom it was intended. A lot of places require that all tips be placed into a common pool that is divided evenly at the end of the shift.
Read my posts again. They should help you understand the business aspect of it, and give you a better understanding of how the industry works.

You live in Vegas, ask the employees there what they would like. I guarantee that they will say that if they cannot get an hourly rate which is equivalent to what they make now, there is no way in h.ell that they'll want to do that. If working for tips was such a bad thing, then why do so many people do it? They all know that they'll make significantly more money waiting or cocktailing than ringing up items at Walmart.
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:50 PM   #22
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I have not traveled a lot, but from my understanding the USA is way in the minority for countries where tipping is expected. I don't buy the reason that the economy stinks as a reason restaurants can't charge more. the economy was not always this bad and even though it has tanked recently look at what people are spending their money on. Plasma, flat screen, and HDTV's that cost thousands. SUV's that cost way more than equivalent cars and suck down way more gas even though gas prices continue to break records. You would think that people would travel less because of that, but travel by car is UP. People are dropping money on things like Ipods left and right. There is two or three hundred dollars. What about video game machines and the games that go with them. Yes the economy is bad and the dollar is down, but that is not stopping people from spending money on recreational things. I have a hard time believing that people would not pay a few bucks more to go out to dinner. Maybe the middle class would not be able to afford to go to the nicer places as often. Maybe they would have to go to more local mom and pop places that do not charge quite as much. I am sure there would be a shift in the types of restaurants that people go to, at least initially, but if so many other countries are able to have restaurants where the wait staff gets paid a regular salary then we should be able to do it too. I am sure some of those countries have a worse economy than we do or at least at some point they did. Just my 2 cents.

Ironchef you know a lot more about this stuff than I do. That is for sure, so i am not trying to say that I am right and you are wrong. I just don't see why everyone else can pull this off and we can't. More likely I think it is that we don't want to try. It is the same (from where I sit at least) as trying to get the US to use the Metric system. We could do it, but people don't like change.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:16 PM   #23
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I wouldnt go to a restaurant that has a required tip. I pay depending on the service. I'm with GB, give a decent wage so people dont have to depend on tips. ( taken out of context, but I think that was the jist of that repsonse)
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:21 PM   #24
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It looks like our basic choice is to decide if we want to go to places that charge the service charges or high gratuities or not. Some of them are worth it, but some that charge are not worth it so I suppose we just make our own choice. My son paid much of his way thru school waiting tables, but he was stiffed a time or two out of quite large sums. That hurt him. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to some of the high end places and none like some of those mentioned.
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I have not traveled a lot, but from my understanding the USA is way in the minority for countries where tipping is expected. I don't buy the reason that the economy stinks as a reason restaurants can't charge more. the economy was not always this bad and even though it has tanked recently look at what people are spending their money on. Plasma, flat screen, and HDTV's that cost thousands. SUV's that cost way more than equivalent cars and suck down way more gas even though gas prices continue to break records. You would think that people would travel less because of that, but travel by car is UP. People are dropping money on things like Ipods left and right. There is two or three hundred dollars. What about video game machines and the games that go with them. Yes the economy is bad and the dollar is down, but that is not stopping people from spending money on recreational things. I have a hard time believing that people would not pay a few bucks more to go out to dinner. Maybe the middle class would not be able to afford to go to the nicer places as often. Maybe they would have to go to more local mom and pop places that do not charge quite as much. I am sure there would be a shift in the types of restaurants that people go to, at least initially, but if so many other countries are able to have restaurants where the wait staff gets paid a regular salary then we should be able to do it too. I am sure some of those countries have a worse economy than we do or at least at some point they did. Just my 2 cents.

Ironchef you know a lot more about this stuff than I do. That is for sure, so i am not trying to say that I am right and you are wrong. I just don't see why everyone else can pull this off and we can't. More likely I think it is that we don't want to try. It is the same (from where I sit at least) as trying to get the US to use the Metric system. We could do it, but people don't like change.
There's a difference though when people complain about prices regarding food and beverage vs. something like electronics or material items. Maybe it's because people know that if they complain enough about a steak or fish, the restaurant will more than likely comp it or give them a free dessert or appetizer. People look at the purchase of a meal vs. the purchase of a material item in two completely different views and mindsets. You said it yourself, the same people will who dispute a $2.00 charge for extra cheese will drop $3,000 on a HD Widescreen TV. Why? I have no idea. That's just how people are. I've seen the types of guests that the restaurants I've worked in have gotten over the past few years and I've seen the decline in the quality of those types of guests as well. Why they'll buy a 4.8L V-8 and that takes only 92 octane fuel resulting in $80 worth of gas every week, yet they won't spend the extra money in a restaurant is beyond me. However, I have heard many people and guests claim that the reason why they "can't or don't eat out often" is because it's too pricey. Why do people do the things they do? Who knows. But the economy does play a big part. If it didn't, than it wouldn't be a problem at all for restaurants to charge even more than some of them already do. People wouldn't complain that restaurants are not already overpriced because it wouldn't be an issue. But competition plays a big part as well. Unless every similar type restaurant all raised their prices collectively, that will never happen. Will the restaurant be willing to risk that initial and possibly permanent drop in both business and revenue? Will they be willing to risk possible employee defection? Do they have enough saved away where that absorb that initial drop in business?
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:23 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
You said it yourself, the same people will who dispute a $2.00 charge for extra cheese will drop $3,000 on a HD Widescreen TV.
I don't recall saying that. What I was trying to say was that even though the economy is bad right now that is not stopping people from spending on luxury items which would include going out to eat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
Unless every similar type restaurant all raised their prices collectively, that will never happen
I completely agree with this for the most part. Almost no one (if anyone) is going to take that first step, especially alone. It would be a death sentence to that restaurant. If tipping was abolished by law (something that never would happen, nor do I think it should come to that) then everyone would be on the same playing field and it could work.

My point is that other countries with worse economies have made a non tipping system work. It is a shame it won't happen here.
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:31 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I don't recall saying that.
Not literally, but figuratively. I was taking your point and giving an example that we often get in the restaurants from people who have the disposable income to spend.
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:41 PM   #28
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Employees' relying directly on their customers' goodwill for a living wage is clearly not the norm. Most of the business world pays a living wage to their employees and passes the cost along to their customers. If employees don't perform, they're fired.

There's no reason why that couldn't work in the restaurant industry. Let's say you go to dinner and the check is $100. You leave a 20% tip because it's expected and the service was acceptable. Dinner costs you $120.

The next day you go to another restaurant and the check is $120. The restaurant advises their customers up front that tipping is not allowed and that they assume the responsibility for paying their employees a fair wage. Either way, dinner costs you $120. You lose direct control over the reward system.

If the waiter underperforms, you complain. If enough people complain about the waiter, he gets fired. How's that for incentive to do a good job? Just like in the business world. The restaurant has extra revenue to pay their employees fairly.

Of course, no one wants to be the first one on the block to take that step because their prices would be perceived to be higher.
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:03 AM   #29
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Being a waiter is harder than you would think. I always assume that people that don't leave me a good tip have NEVER worked in a restaurant before. It is a tough job and we run our butts off trying to make customers happy. And sometimes they are never happy, no matter what you do. You have to be a mind reader to be a server, which is impossible but we do the best we can.

If the food isn't cooked to the exact way they like it with the sauce on the side, the steak cooked between rare and medium-rare, and their salad with no tomatoes but they want substitute them for a new car, or the lights are too bright, or there is a car alarm going off outside, it is the waitstaff who have to deal with all of these issues and it is the customers who blame the waitstaff for everything that is wrong in their lives! The customers don't always realize it is not our fault and because of this they stiff us on the tip.

Not only this but you have a bunch of tables who all are saying these things to you at once. Running around as fast as you can, trying to remember everything. You are going to the bar to get more alchoholic drinks, taking orders, giving refills, making desserts, bussing tables, running food, making espresso drinks, checking on your tables one minute after they get their food, and taking care of all those little requests your customers have before they have the chance to ask you for them. And for some strange reason, every single one of your tables decide they are all going to show up at the exact same time. So your the work of doing all these things for just one table has now turned into doing them for ten tables.

Personally, I think you all need to go out and get a job waiting tables. You'll get paid $2.13/hour and you think your tips will make you a "decent" wage but sometimes you end up getting a handful of tables in an 8 hour day and go home with enough for the gas you spent getting there and back and enough to pay the babysitter (take last thursday, I had 5 tables in 6 hours. After tipping out the kitchen, the hostess, and the bartender, I spent about $10 in gas for there and back and had to pay our babysitter for playing all day with our son, it wasn't even worth going to work)

It's a horrible job, but it pays the bills and I keep telling myself someday I will have a better job, but until that day comes "Would you like to look at our dessert menu?"
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:36 AM   #30
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Corazon90:

I realize waiters and waitresses work hard for their money. I know it without having ever worked as a waiter because I can see it for myself. That's why I suggested your employer take responsibility for paying you for a job well done rather than leaving it up to a constantly changing rotation of strangers.

I know what the waitperson is responsible for and what is the kitchen's responsibility and don't penalize the waitperson for the chef's screw-up. I do notice how the waitperson handles my complaint and take that into account.

Some folks are just cheapos and will use any excuse to stiff a service employee. If I can't afford to leave a tip, I wouldn't go out to dinner.
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