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Old 08-20-2005, 07:16 PM   #61
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If tipping were abolished none of us would be able to afford to go out to eat - that's the bottom, bottom line. The food industry doesn't work on the profit margin that a retail store operates on. They have to lure you in by keeping prices as low as possible while still being able to provide tasty meals you paying less and staying at home. The upscale, more expensive restaurants do more labor-intensive things, therefore the price increase (most times). They have access to things we don't have access to.

I don't mind tipping but if my service is really, really, really bad it does reflect. If the meal is bad that's not the waitresses fault - it's what she does to rectify it that needs to be considered.
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Old 08-20-2005, 07:24 PM   #62
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BC, I wanted to lighten things up a bit. In part I feel that way, because everyone has their hand out -- down to the restroom "attendant." When the day comes that I have to pay someone to hand me a paper towel, I will dine at home (& pay the delivery charge + tip to the pizza guy).

Don't dine out much any more, but when I did I was a good tipper; and 20% (not required) has been the "norm"? in my neck of the woods for years. It's silly to tip 20% of the bill to the server, if for example, you order a bottle of champage & caviar. How much effort does that take. Okay, he'll uncork it for me

When I paid the bill (& paid by credit card), I gave the tip to the server in cash. (Didn't feel one should have to pay taxes on tips, & told them so. I simply drew a line through the tip portion of the credit card slip.) If the service is bad, I tip accordingly but, keep in mind everything is not the fault of the server. Years ago when we could smoke in restaurants, it was annoying to have the ashtray emptied every 20 seconds.

The required or obligatory or included tip should be (imo) done away with altogether. I think it's a demeaning job & servers should be paid handsomely. Doesn't hurt to go back and thank the chef when you've enjoyed the meal either.
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Old 08-20-2005, 07:39 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
GB, you do have a point, but consider this: Do you always obey the speed limit? Do you always come to a complete stop at an intersection? Neither do I. One cannot chastise another for disobeying the law when one disobeys the law themself. One deals with money and one deals with driving, but it's the same basic concept. Laws get broken in this country all the time. America has one of, if not the highest amount of criminal activity in any country that goes either unreported, unsolved, unpunished, or not punished severly enough. That's just how our country works. (I read the site rules...this doesn't fall under politics now does it? )
LOL nope you are safe re: politics :)

Yes you are right. I do break some laws from time to time, but I think there is a very big difference between going 75 in a 65 zone and stealing which is exactly what we are talking about with people not reporting their tips. Not only are they stealing from the government, but it then falls upon the rest of the population to pick up the slack.

Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to say I am holier than thou (that doesn't count as religious discussion I hope ). As a matter of fact I could pretty much guarantee you that if I were a waiter I would not declare all of my tips. I would try to get away with as much as I could. What I am saying though is if their boss came to them tomorrow and said we are doing away with tipping and instead raising your salary then I do not think a valid argument would be that they are upset because before they were able to make more money when they did not declare everything they were supposed to.

Along the same lines, to use your example, if I were pulled over for speeding and I got a ticket I would not have any right to be mad at the officer for giving me the ticket.

OK to get back on topic here, I am just playing devils advocate here. Well not completely, but to a degree. I do believe that if we wanted to and were committed to doing it that we could do away with tipping and run restaurants like so many other countries do. I do not think it will ever happen, at least not in my lifetime, but I do think that it would work. Yes the restaurant workers would be VERY upset about the change for a while, but over time that would fade as more people start in the industry who never worked under the tipping system. I see change all the time in every job I have ever had and rarely has it been for the better. Often times the changes take money right out of my pocket, but you go on and realize that change is going to happen and you make do the best you can.

The restaurant industry does not exist for the people who it gives jobs to. It exists for patrons to come and eat. Yes doing away with tipping would be more for the patrons than the staff, but it is a service industry. I hope that does not sound cold as that is not how I am intending it. I have the highest respect for the people in that industry and I think they should be treated fairly. I understand that you are saying that most waitstaff would rather the tipping system and I am not disagreeing with that, but at the same time I have seen SO MUCH complaining (not the word I wanted to use) from waitstaff about getting stiffed or not getting the tip they deserve. There is a website that I will not post here as it is not always PG (but feel free to PM me if you would like the link) which is for waitstaff to complain about these things. There is even a section where they talk about the revenge they have gotten on their customers. If tipping were abolished then I would not have to worry that someone thought I gave them a bad tip once and so they did something to my food.

For the record, I consider myself a decent tipper. If I get service that is not bad then I give at least 20%. It takes a lot for me to give less than that. The waiter or waitress would need to be outright rude for completely incompetent for me to give less and even then it is probably not a lot less.

OK I think I have used up all the letters on my keyboard. I need to put some more quarters in the machine so I can type so more
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:13 PM   #64
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I think it's a demeaning job & servers should be paid handsomely
I do not think at all that being a server is a demeaning job whatsoever. And whatever you do, please don't share that opinion with the waitstaff at a restaurant that you DO eat at .

If you consider a server's job demeaning, then you must also consider the following occupations demeaning as well: gas station attendant, bartender, flight attendant, concierge, door attendant, those guys at Jiffylube that check you in, etc. They're ALL customer service positions. Some servers do get paid handsomely. They're called tips.

Now, if it's the "tip" aspect that you're refering to that makes a job demeaning, then what is your solution for restaurants to pay their waitstaff more so that they can equate to what they're making now, without tips? Where will the money come from? How will it be budgeted? Will all servers be paid a flat rate or will their pay be determined by their work performance? Do you have a business/marketing proposal that will enable your idea to work considering all of the intangibles? You admit that you don't dine out very much anymore so how will you be supporting the restaurants to enable them to pay their staff? I'm not trying to attack you Mish, but since you have suggestion and opinion of how the business should work, I would really like to know what your action plan would be, or how you would intend for this change to take place in a viable way, because I honestly don't see how it would realistically, and not hypothetically work.

Quote:
Along the same lines, to use your example, if I were pulled over for speeding and I got a ticket I would not have any right to be mad at the officer for giving me the ticket.
Which in effect, could be comparable to the automatic gratuity which is added. If one does not want a speeding ticket, one does not speed. If one does not want a automatic gratuity added to their check, one does not dine at that restaurant.

Quote:
OK to get back on topic here, I am just playing devils advocate here. Well not completely, but to a degree. I do believe that if we wanted to and were committed to doing it that we could do away with tipping and run restaurants like so many other countries do. I do not think it will ever happen, at least not in my lifetime, but I do think that it would work. Yes the restaurant workers would be VERY upset about the change for a while, but over time that would fade as more people start in the industry who never worked under the tipping system. I see change all the time in every job I have ever had and rarely has it been for the better. Often times the changes take money right out of my pocket, but you go on and realize that change is going to happen and you make do the best you can.

The restaurant industry does not exist for the people who it gives jobs to. It exists for patrons to come and eat. Yes doing away with tipping would be more for the patrons than the staff, but it is a service industry. I hope that does not sound cold as that is not how I am intending it. I have the highest respect for the people in that industry and I think they should be treated fairly. I understand that you are saying that most waitstaff would rather the tipping system and I am not disagreeing with that, but at the same time I have seen SO MUCH complaining (not the word I wanted to use) from waitstaff about getting stiffed or not getting the tip they deserve. There is a website that I will not post here as it is not always PG (but feel free to PM me if you would like the link) which is for waitstaff to complain about these things. There is even a section where they talk about the revenge they have gotten on their customers. If tipping were abolished then I would not have to worry that someone thought I gave them a bad tip once and so they did something to my food.

For the record, I consider myself a decent tipper. If I get service that is not bad then I give at least 20%. It takes a lot for me to give less than that. The waiter or waitress would need to be outright rude for completely incompetent for me to give less and even then it is probably not a lot less.
All valid points, but by doing this, you will also take away the service aspects or standards that make certain places to eat at so special, and so much more enjoyable. You know, those restaurants the people always want to go to because the service and food is just so much better than everyone else. Those restaurants that make you feel like a VIP whether it's your birthday, you're celebrating an anniversary, or just because you felt like eating there on Tuesday night.

Unless a strict and rigid system was implemented to reward those servers who give exceptional service, you will promote an apathetic attitude among most staffs. I've seen this in Union-based hotels wherever I've worked. Standardizing a pay which is determined through customer service only rewards those employees that fall into the mediocre or average median. It does not promote initiative or the want to rise above and beyond because there is no obvious reward for it. There is no urgency or want to make the extra effort to exceed guest expectation, because there is no incentive, other than a thank you and a pat on the back. In a perfect world, that may be enough but this world is far from perfect.

Any restaurant and their staff can meet a guest's expectation. It takes a special restaurant to exceed that expectation on a nightly basis, with not only a selected few of the waitstaff, but the entire FOH staff from the hosthelp to the busser. That's what makes certain restaurants stand out, and why they are always in the back of people's minds as "the" place to go. I don't see a need to change that. I don't see a need to further promote mediocrity in a society that is so quick to reward it, or to not recognize that it is a serious problem.
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:50 PM   #65
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ironchef, I certainly meant no offense. This topic seems to have taken on a life of its own & gone in all directions. I apologize. Demeaning is probably inappropriate. What I mean is it's hard work for very little pay, that's all. Some might consider the work I did as "glamorous." Far from it.(Not gonna go there here.) Point is work is work, & everyone should be compensated for their efforts - adequately (Please don't jump on adequately, I think you get my gist.) I thought my Chippendale "joke" might bring some levity here. Guess not.

My boss (who worked in the entertainment industry as well), was audited by the IRS. The auditor had the nerve to say "You people in the motion Pic industry are grossly over paid." My boss stood up & said "THIS AUDIT IS OVER." So No I don't work in the food industry, but I feel everyone has a right to earn a decent salary & not have to rely on tips to feed their family.

P.S. No I don't have the solutions. Wish I did. I also hope everyone will have a pension & hospitalization/insurance. But, hey - it's not a perfect world.

You're a bright guy, & think you know no harm was meant here & that we value your opinion.

GB, I come to a full stop!
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:03 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mish
ironchef, I certainly meant no offense. This topic seems to have taken on a life of its own & gone in all directions. I apologize. Demeaning is probably inappropriate. What I mean is it's hard work for very little pay, that's all. Some might consider the work I did as "glamorous." (Not gonna go there here.) Point is work is work, & everyone should be compensated for their efforts - adequately (Please don't jump on adequately, I think you get my gist.) I thought my Chippendale "joke" might bring some levity here. Guess not.

My boss (who worked in the entertainment industry as well), was audited by the IRS. The auditor had the nerve to say "You people in the motion Pic industry are grossly over paid." My boss stood up & said "THIS AUDIT IS OVER." So No I don't work in the food industry, but I feel everyone has a right to earn a decent salary & not have to rely on tips to feed their family.

You're a bright guy, & think you know no harm was meant here & that we value your opinion.

GB, I come to a full stop!
LOL, belive me Mish, I did not take any offense to your post whatsoever. I respect you, GB, and the others who have posted enabling this discussion to progress. What I am trying to do is to encourage thought, and better understanding of the food and beverage industry, because it is so often times misunderstood and misportrayed.

I really do hope that people will come away from this thread having a better understanding of how things work "from the other side", and that it's not just a simple matter of either wanting to, or not wanting to tip. The whole industry is not only based on guest service, but guest experience, which is one of the prime factors that differenciates restaurants and other hospitality-type establishments from other forms of retail, sales, and businesses.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:10 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by htc
I wonder why it is that this particular industry (wait staff) people expect tip, but other service industries (i.e. gas stations, grocery store checker) don't get tips. A lot of times, they make min. wage as well. I wonder if it's because we (the customer) spend more time with the waitstaff than other service people...Anyone know the history of tipping and how it became the norm??
Tips is from the acronym To Insure Proper Service. It was originally intended to be given BEFORE a service was performed, so that the definition of the acronym could hold true. How it evolved into what it is today, I have no idea.

As far as I know, there is no set and recorded point on the timeline of history which can accurately depict when tips were officially invented. Most likely however, it is as old as the concept of paying a for service itself, beit in currency, food, or domesticated animals. You know, I'm giving you this chicken, in addition to whatever I'm paying you, to insure that you plow my fields correctly.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:28 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
For Mish and BlueCat, this is nothing personal against either of you but in all honesty, you really should really read all of threads before you respond so that you can see the entire picture. Being that including myself, probably less than 10% of the regulars who post on here have any type of restaurant experience, the views are pointedly one sided because of the lack of exposure garnered. That's not a knock against anybody, just the truth. But please read the entire thread. Hopefully it should shed some light on the matter.
I have gone back as directed and read all 7 pages of this and my opinion remains the same.

BC
Editing to say that I do tip and I think I tip generously, because it's the way of the world. I wouldn't want the wait staff to suffer because I have a different opinion of the way the business should be run.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:35 PM   #69
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Tipping is not a guarantee against mediocre service!

Paying employees a living wage for good performance does not guarantee mediocrity!

Most of the world lives on wages and salaries that do not involve tipping and there are excellent performances daily everywhere in the world in every field of endeavor. If you are a poor performer, you get fired rather than getting a poor tip.

If the waitstaff at that NY restaurant doesn't approve of the new policy, they can quit and work at another restaurant where tipping still exists.

I am not oppposed to the current financial arrangement for waitstaff. I have been trying to 'argue' that the proposed method of a 20% surcharge could also work.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:48 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
For Mish and BlueCat, this is nothing personal against either of you but in all honesty, you really should really read all of threads before you respond so that you can see the entire picture. Being that including myself, probably less than 10% of the regulars who post on here have any type of restaurant experience, the views are pointedly one sided because of the lack of exposure garnered. That's not a knock against anybody, just the truth. But please read the entire thread. Hopefully it should shed some light on the matter.
Point well taken. However, I tried to post my response to htc's original question. Because sometimes, we (including myself) tend to veer off topic. Htc, I agree.

20% required tip, what do you think?
This place better have exceptional service! When I go out to eat, I honestly don't care about restaurant politics. I just want to enjoy a good meal with friends and family. I just wonder at what point will the tipping % stop raising? Usually it's 6+ with reservations are required 18%, now it's 20% here. I imagine other resturants will follow suit. Only thing bothers me is sometimes even with required tip, you dont get great service.


There have been times I would have liked to clear up some misconceptions about people working in my industry when I read certain biased or ignorant opinions here, but I silently do a slow burn & refrain. Or, simply stop reading the posts. Maybe some day (or not), I can put some of it to rest, in a detached manner.
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