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Thought Provoking Question of the Week

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Postby portisfan24 » Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:12 pm

I usually just make it a nice round number. For instance, 33 dollars rounds up nicely to 40. I went out on a date a couple weeks ago and with the debit thing there you had to ask the woman to add the tip. I found that very unprofessional, as tipping should be somewhat anonymous and secret. So I tipped less. Plus it was a buffet, so basically all the girl did was clear our dishes and get us drinks.
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Postby Manja » Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:23 pm

(or waiter for you politically-correct-people out there)


It's server... :-b

[sarcasm]You could always use the tipping system from 3rd Rock From the Sun.... And start off with say.. $10, and increase and decrease as you see fit depending on their performance[/sarcasm]
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Postby Football Newbie » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:03 pm

This is coming form a waiter here-

I think you should tip based on the bill, because usually (USUALLY) the bigger the billt he more people, the more food, the more work. But if someone is doing a great job, tip them more, starting out at 20% and working from there is a good method.

I work at a steak n shake, sort of a half restaurant half fast food, you sit and eat but the food gets out in 10 minutes or less and people usually only stay about a half hour. I expect a dollar a person if i did OK, more if i was great, less if i sucked.

Also, i think tipping should be required unless someone did an awful job. My wage is 2.13 an hour. And most of that is taxed away so that i get no check. THink about that next time you consider not tipping.
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Postby moochman » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:21 pm

Gotta agree with Newbie. The ritzier the place the longer patrons will be seated meaning that the server will see less clients. This equals less tips so the tips should be more.
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Postby Warpigs » Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:46 am

moochman wrote:Gotta agree with Newbie. The ritzier the place the longer patrons will be seated meaning that the server will see less clients. This equals less tips so the tips should be more.


However, isn't part of the reason we pay more for the fancy places to help cover the help? I'd imagine that waiters/servers at "higher class" restaurants get paid much better than the ones at Denny's -- so already outside of tips, they're compensated for the pitfalls of working in that environment -- including having less customers in a work day.

Plus, I don't know how much I buy the time-aspect anyway. Looking, for example, at TGIFridays/Applebees vs. Denny's/Perkins -- there is a definite difference in price. However, I don't sit any longer at Fridays/Applebees than I do at the other places. Honestly, it's a bit subjective from person to person.

The bottom line is that there's a discrepancy that doesn't make sense to me. I'm not saying i don't pay any tips. I follow the whole percentage of the bill thing like everyone else. My only question is why we do this (versus paying each server based on their service).
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Postby Mookie4ever » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:19 am

Warpigs wrote:
moochman wrote:Gotta agree with Newbie. The ritzier the place the longer patrons will be seated meaning that the server will see less clients. This equals less tips so the tips should be more.


However, isn't part of the reason we pay more for the fancy places to help cover the help? I'd imagine that waiters/servers at "higher class" restaurants get paid much better than the ones at Denny's -- so already outside of tips, they're compensated for the pitfalls of working in that environment -- including having less customers in a work day.

Plus, I don't know how much I buy the time-aspect anyway. Looking, for example, at TGIFridays/Applebees vs. Denny's/Perkins -- there is a definite difference in price. However, I don't sit any longer at Fridays/Applebees than I do at the other places. Honestly, it's a bit subjective from person to person.

The bottom line is that there's a discrepancy that doesn't make sense to me. I'm not saying i don't pay any tips. I follow the whole percentage of the bill thing like everyone else. My only question is why we do this (versus paying each server based on their service).


Having worked my way through university as a server I think that I can field this one.

Let me throw the question back at you: why do you pay more for anything at the higher priced restaurant?

The chef, hostess/maitre d'i, bartender and servers all get paid more at the fancier restaurant. They are expected to do more and have greater knowledge. The waiter at the fancier restaurant is supposed to have a greater knowledge of the menu (ingredients and method of preparation), be able to assist you in making your selections, suggest wines, make the salads for you (I had to learn to make Ceasar salads at the table when I worked at a high class restaurant - it's not easy, it cost $30/person and I earned the 15% of that) and make your dining experience more pleasurable.

The waiter at Denny's is not necessarily supposed to make your dining experience more pleasurable - he is supposed to get you out of there as quickly as possible. The servers and the Denny's make their money on quantity not quality - ie. turnover and not high cost.
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Postby kevinoc81 » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:05 am

Mookie4ever wrote:The chef, hostess/maitre d'i, bartender and servers all get paid more at the fancier restaurant.


This is exactly what Warpigs said I think. These people already get a higher base pay for working at an expensive place so why do they deserve higher tips also?

Mookie4ever wrote:They are expected to do more and have greater knowledge. The waiter at the fancier restaurant is supposed to have a greater knowledge of the menu (ingredients and method of preparation), be able to assist you in making your selections, suggest wines, make the salads for you (I had to learn to make Ceasar salads at the table when I worked at a high class restaurant - it's not easy, it cost $30/person and I earned the 15% of that) and make your dining experience more pleasurable.


What if they don't do more and don't have greater knowledge? What if you ask them a question about the menu and they have to go ask their boss? What if they assist in my selection and I think it tastes like garbage? What if they suggest a wine and I think it was the worst choice? What if they don't make my salad?

Mookie4ever wrote:The waiter at Denny's is not necessarily supposed to make your dining experience more pleasurable - he is supposed to get you out of there as quickly as possible. The servers and the Denny's make their money on quantity not quality - ie. turnover and not high cost.


I think every server should try to make my dining experience as pleasurable as possible. If I sense that you are trying to rush me out of a place you can be sure you will get a very bad tip.

I am not cheap and I usually follow the 15% rule at least, but Warpigs has a very valid point here. A server should always get a better tip if they are nice, quick, answer questions if you have them, etc. Just because the prices at a steak house are 100-200% higher than the prices at Hooters or Denny's does not automatically mean that the servers at the steak houses are 100-200% better.
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Postby moochman » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:29 am

kevinoc81 wrote:These people already get a higher base pay for working at an expensive place so why do they deserve higher tips also?

What if they don't do more and don't have greater knowledge? What if you ask them a question about the menu and they have to go ask their boss? What if they assist in my selection and I think it tastes like garbage? What if they suggest a wine and I think it was the worst choice? What if they don't make my salad?

I think every server should try to make my dining experience as pleasurable as possible.

I am not cheap and I usually follow the 15% rule


This is one reason why they should be tipped more, expectations. Do you have a problem with the food or drinks at Hooters? No, wings and a pitcher are pretty hard to screw up. And even the guy wiping his nose on his sleave will be able to help you with the Hooters' menu. Their job is easier by the narrowed expectations.

The server at a high-end restaurant will help you with your selection and correct any problems that you might have with your dining experience. This would include returning any dish that you found undesirable.

And if you follow the 15% rule, you are unknowingly being cheap, the rule was increased to 20% a long time ago.
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Postby kashikis » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:47 am

If you take a combination of WP and Mookie's arguments I think you will find a happy medium. Which is what most people here agree on, start with a percentage in you're head and go up or down from there.

*** These are just generalizations here don't bite my head off

If you go by straight percentage then you may be shafting the small-place server. But their jobs are usually less involved. Let's say for #'s sake they do 75% of the work a big-place server does. Then they're tip should "generally" be less. If they exceed you're expectations then raise the bar for them, or lower it if they simply ignore you. A blend of the two is the best system, the percentage is just a starting point.

My one main fault with WP arguement is the size of you're party. If you have 2 people go out and have a good meal and a good server you leave them $5 and everyone is happy. OK, but bring out the 2 kids and Grandma, which makes 5 people now, a $5 tip is rather poor in my opinion for good service for all those people. By using the percentage method it would adjust the base line accordingly.



Oh and Cheesehead I used to deliver pizza and it actually is harder than it may seem. Some days you just drive around and listen to music, but every job has times like that, but it can get hectic very fast. Also if there is a problem we always catch the brunt of it. And if no one tipped us then, as happened to me many times, we actually loose money by gas and maintenance on our cars. Most places give you 50-75 cents per delivery but if you take 2 deliveries and rack up 20 miles on you're car you didn't even pay for the gas you used. You can argue delivery charges but we don't even get all of that. Remember you're bill is for the pizza not for the convenience of driving it to you're house because you don't want to go pick it up. Sorry to rant but just a pet peeve of mine.

So don't be a cheapskate, just drop him a buck or two and send him on his way. ;-D
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Postby brownslover » Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:02 pm

You guys have some pretty good arguments. But I always stick with at least 20%, usually alot more. Unless the server is REALLY crappy, which only happens maybe 1 out of 20 times I go out to eat. But even then, I can't bring myself to tip that much lower. A lot of my friends are servers and bartenders and I don't think I could deal with getting a $60 paycheck every week and have to rely on other people to give me money. I also tip more because I have some cheap friends that hardly tip, that I feel like I need to make up for.

Also, I don't think the servers at higher scale restaurants get it that much easier. IMO and through experience, the people who can afford the higher prices are usually the hardest to please. And for the most part are probably too stingy with their money to tip well anyways. So I think the percentage of a higher bill makes up for the cheaper people.

I guess any time you work in some sort of sales/customer service job, sometimes you start to hate the human race. If we didn't have a tipping system, the servers would probably throw the food at you.
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