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Established Contributor
KingAdrock
Posts: 655
Registered: ‎07-17-2007

Re: What is your tipping policy?

I must say I tend to have fairly atypical tipping tendencies. For a date or a business meeting, I actually tend to tip in advance. I wait until the other person leaves the table (to go to the restroom or whatever) and I tip my server some money, explaining this is a meeting/date so please keep our drinks refreshed etc but otherwise keep interruptions to a minimum. I've never ever had bad results from that.

Also, I never tip with plastic if I can avoid it. I always leave cash. I'm certain that servers *cough cough* AlWAYS report their tips to the IRS, but this at least saves them a trip to the ATM for cash. :smileywink:

The amount I leave is about 20% for good service, 15% for fair to average and 10% for not-bad-but-not-that-great-either.

But if the service is bad, as in really BAD, I have tipped nothing. I believe tipping after receiving bad service encourages bad service. Of course credit only goes where credit is due, I'd never stiff the server because my food took forever to be cooked, or my drink from the bar was made wrong. That's the cook and the bartender's fault, not the server. I don't expect flawless service either, everyone makes mistakes. Good service isn't about never making a mistake, it's how you handle the mistakes when the do happen.

I have left the two-cent tip. Only once in my whole life, and it was for horrendous and outright surly service. Another waitress saw how badly we were being ignored and started helping our table, even though we weren't in her section. At the end of the meal I tipped her instead. She was a bit embarrassed, but sheepishly took the money and my thanks.
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Established Member
Cheapskate
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎08-25-2008

Re: What is your tipping policy?

Interesting thread so far.

For starters, I've long thought it's wrong that servers get $2/hr. There is simply no reason for it to be $2. We have minimum wage laws, people should get paid the minimum wage. Maybe it's because I'm foreigner, where servers get min wage + tips. Maybe it's that it irks me that I'm supposed to pay for their salary AND their tip....I'm sorry but it's not my job to pay their salary. That's the manager's job. I want my tip to be above and beyond their wages. Not a stop gap that allows the restaurant to weasel out of their part of the deal.

And to think that in addition to paying workers $2, that some places actually expect their servers to give a certain percent back to the house? Ridiculous.

I hear people say, oh but your food would be more expensive if they paid staff more. Hasn't been my experience. Restaurant food is the same price in the USA and in Canada (where servers get the full min wage). Oddly enough fast food is cheaper in the US even though both countries pay the same min wage to workers. But even if it is true, why stop at restaurants? Why not allow gas stations, fast food restaurants, and movie theatres to pay their staff less? Easy. It's not right. A min wage law should apply to everybody.

If places are going to pay $2, why not just pay servers no wage at all and let the customers know that they live solely on tips?
Aug 2007 Immigrated to USA
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Frequent Contributor
rubaty
Posts: 380
Registered: ‎11-18-2007

Re: What is your tipping policy?

I always pay with a CC and give the server 20% unless the service was bad and then I still give 10%.
 
We all have bad days but I won't hold it against them!

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Senior Contributor
imducky
Posts: 3,432
Registered: ‎08-27-2007

Re: What is your tipping policy?

something i forgot to mention. if i go to a place and they mandate a tip due to the size of my family, then that's what they get not a cent more.
 
the way i see it, if they feel they are automaticly entitled to decide for me then they get exactly that!
Established Contributor
KingAdrock
Posts: 655
Registered: ‎07-17-2007

Re: What is your tipping policy?


Cheapskate wrote:
For starters, I've long thought it's wrong that servers get $2/hr. There is simply no reason for it to be $2. We have minimum wage laws, people should get paid the minimum wage. Maybe it's because I'm foreigner, where servers get min wage + tips. Maybe it's that it irks me that I'm supposed to pay for their salary AND their tip....I'm sorry but it's not my job to pay their salary. That's the manager's job. I want my tip to be above and beyond their wages. Not a stop gap that allows the restaurant to weasel out of their part of the deal.

And to think that in addition to paying workers $2, that some places actually expect their servers to give a certain percent back to the house? Ridiculous.


It's odd, while legally you can pay tipped personnel less than minimum wage, In my experience not very many restaurants actually do this. Mainly because it's a friggen hassle. People who are tipped at their job can be paid less than the regular hourly minimum, as long as (tips + wages) > or = minimum wage. If tips are low and (tips + wages) < minimum, the management must pay the difference. So all tips must be carefully tracked and recorded to comply with the labor laws. That's lots of work. And what happens if a waitress just pockets that $10 tip instead of reporting it? The management pays the difference. So what should the manager do to prevent this, look over every employee's shoulder? Install surveillance cameras? Too much work. Too much hassle. Most restaurants I know of simply pay regular minimum per hour for this reason.

Servers can be required to tip out other employees; (especially employees involved in preparing the food) and this makes sense when you think about it. If you leave a big tip because your food was delicious and cooked to perfection, why should the server get all of the tip? The server didn't cook the food, the cook did. The cook should get a cut as well.

However the business/management taking a cut of the tips is illegal. (at least here in California, I hope this is the same elsewhere but YMMV)
Until they officially renounce financial reviews, I won't touch Amex with a thirty nine and a half foot pole.
Valued Contributor
ivyalmighty
Posts: 1,451
Registered: ‎03-19-2008

Re: What is your tipping policy?

How much servers get paid depends on the state laws... When I was in PA, I made $2.13/hr plus tips.. that worked out to about $7/hr when I included my tips, on a good steady night. But there were many days/nights when I made $2.13/hr and that was IT.
 
When I lived in CA, it was $7.50/hr plus tips! Then the state min wage went up & it was $8.50/hr plus tips! I could actually have probably survived if I were a single Mom, on that $$. We did have to tip out the bartenders & bussers, no less than 10% of our tips. I always gave them exactly 10%, cuz the bussers always sucked, and the bartenders make crazy money.
 
I used to tip servers as **bleep**-for-tat... as in, if you don't SUCK, then I won't. THe least I've ever left was $2 though, and that was on like a $15 bill. SO it still wasn't horrible.
 
 
But I changed tactics a few years ago... now, if my service is bottom of the barrel, I over-tip, like $20.. but I write on the CC receipt (that their manager will get at the end of the night) that the server needs to be kinder & faster & nicer to their customers, even if they're having a bad day.. and I hope this monster tip will remind them to be nice even when they're having a bad day.
 
Really good servers, I tip normally but I always fill out a comment card & let mgmt know how fab their service to me was.
Contributor
Optimistic08
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎04-20-2008

Re: What is your tipping policy?


KingAdrock wrote:


It's odd, while legally you can pay tipped personnel less than minimum wage, In my experience not very many restaurants actually do this. Mainly because it's a friggen hassle. People who are tipped at their job can be paid less than the regular hourly minimum, as long as (tips + wages) > or = minimum wage. If tips are low and (tips + wages) minimum, the management must pay the difference. So all tips must be carefully tracked and recorded to comply with the labor laws. That's lots of work. And what happens if a waitress just pockets that $10 tip instead of reporting it? The management pays the difference. So what should the manager do to prevent this, look over every employee's shoulder? Install surveillance cameras? Too much work. Too much hassle. Most restaurants I know of simply pay regular minimum per hour for this reason.

Servers can be required to tip out other employees; (especially employees involved in preparing the food) and this makes sense when you think about it. If you leave a big tip because your food was delicious and cooked to perfection, why should the server get all of the tip? The server didn't cook the food, the cook did. The cook should get a cut as well.

However the business/management taking a cut of the tips is illegal. (at least here in California, I hope this is the same elsewhere but YMMV)




The majority of state laws allow restaurants to include tips as part of the hourly wage, as long as their tips bump them to minimum wage or above for the number of ours worked that period. California is one of a small list of states with laws requiring full minimum wage for tipped employees regardless of tips. So if you are running into ANY restaurants in CA paying less than minimum wage to servers, they are breaking state law.

As far as tracking tips, it's not that complicated. Yes it's common knowledge that many servers don't claim every penny. But the IRS mandates that restaurants check the amount claimed against the restaurants sales. The total claimed tip has to amount to at least 8% of gross receipts. If it doesn't, they tack on enough extra to bring it up to that point. It's not usual to have to do that at restaurants where cash tips make up the majority of table tips. It's less common in restaurants where the tips are mostly by CC which is more easily tracked and automatically tacked on to that server's claimed tip total. At all of the restaurants I worked, my CC tips amounted to much more than the required 8%, so all of my paychecks were $0.00.

Much of what is allowed tip wise is mandated by state laws. For instance, in Missouri requiring servers to split tips with management is illegal. I'm not sure if that's the case everywhere. Here it is the norm to tip out a percentage to bartenders and bussers, but not kitchen staff who make a higher hourly wage to begin with. Tipping bussers makes sense since they are performing a service for you that is helping you with your service. Tipping bartenders for service bar is no different since they would have been presumably tipped by the customer had they ordered at the bar. Some places also require you tip out to the hostess, but all of the places I worked didn't since they felt it influenced how the hostesses/hosts sat tables. I worked in about a dozen restaurants and none of them dictated how much we had to tip out so I based it on my total sales and how much I utilized them. Higher bar sales, I tipped out more. Fantastic bussers were worth their weight in gold, so I tried to be generous. The only restaurant I ever worked for that even talked about potentially tip sharing with the kitchen staff was Olive Garden and that idea quickly disappeared when they realized no other restaurants did that around here. Many places have expediters/food runners and we did also tip out to them.

I did work for one restaurant (small and independently owned) that did not track tips versus gross receipts, and for some reason, didn't even automatically claim the CC tips. Unfortunately for them and some of the servers, the IRS did. First the restaurant was audited and hit with huge fines, then they started auditing the servers. One girl in particular was hit hard. She had NEVER claimed a penny of tips in the several years she had worked there! This was a fine dining restaurant and averaged at least $50 per customer in sales. That was in the late 80's...and she's probably still paying it off lol.
Super Contributor
marty56
Posts: 5,679
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: What is your tipping policy?

It depends on what the waitress does after I pat her on the bottom.
 
Seriously I tend to tip well 15% - 20 % since I worked a lot of jobs a a dishwasher back in college and my first date was with a waitress.
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New Visitor
67Cuda
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-19-2008

Re: What is your tipping policy?

 I tip 7 bucks on each 15 spent.
Senior Contributor
Noah_Bodie
Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎03-11-2007

Re: What is your tipping policy?

15% if the service is good. 20% if they go outta their way or if my little monsters are being particularly hostile.

 

Times when service was bad are generally few and far between. However, when it is, DW and I have a habit of commenting to management about it.

 

I NEVER tip at the tip jars sitting on the counter of Starbucks, et al. Seems like EVERY place has a tip jar these days.


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