TIPPING IS PLAIN STUPID!
So why do we allow this scam, in the form/system of "tipping," to go on by our participation in this practice?
Easy! Mainly because of the massive social pressure on us to do so.
Also, there is the vanity aspect--we ourselves, love to tip-- "put on the dog," as they say --by impressing ourselves and others in our demonstarted generosity and ability to reward, handsomely, those "underlings" --yes, perceived underlings, if you care to be honest with yourself about it--even though said underlings may easily be pocketing higher wages than you yourself and for less effort.
And, their employers are laughing at all of us while they are quite content with their lower operating costs, as they, and the IRS, manipulate the whole scene to their personal advantage.
All costs of going out for meals, etc.--both goods and services--were included in the cost as listed--just like most other things. No tips, surcharges, gratuities, no BS!, whatever... WHAT A CONCEPT!!!
I work at a fancy-schmancy Italian restaurant. I've been there for about 14 years now. The schedule suits me, the hours are ok (I am a night person), and I have my time during the day to get my errands done, sporting activities, etc. For younger people, those with not many bills, debt, etc. a server position at a busy establishement can be nice easy money. The problem is that the older you get and the more responsiblities you have, bills you accumulate it gets harder and harder in a 'tipping' industry.
Im not sure how restaurants across the united states are ran, but our we are paid 2.83/hr plus tips. Sure there are those of you out there that will just say 'i dont tip, thats how i am.' Granted there are plenty of anti and pro-tipping stories I've read on here that I agree/disagree with about the policies and standards of tipping, people that have never been in the service industry just dont understand.
Now I have seniority perks, and typically get to serve larger business parties and such, where at the restaurant i work at, gratuity is automatically included, at 18%. Not once have people every complained about this. The same applies for 'larger groups' of 8 or more people in the regular dining room areas. Typically people are informed of this policy upon making reservations, and have no issues with this as well.
You might be saying '18%!! Thats way too much.' But just like I said above, we only make 2.83 an hour. If we WERE making minimum wage, sure 10-15% would be nothing to 'frown' upon. Given into consideration how many people get automatically paid out of our gratuity, it just keeps dwindling down and down.
There are customers that are appreciative and understanding, and realize that it might be a busy night, and there are customers that expect everything instantly. It is not my fault that your drink may take 4 minutes to get to your table after I take your order if the bartender has, say 8 cappucinos, to make in front of my chit. Yet we are the one scorned against. When your steak comes out under/overcooked, once again, there are customers that do realize that I did not cook your meal and upon speaking to a manager are understanding and let the issue be resolved. But there are also customers that take this out on us too. Things throughout the evening that may put a damper on your dining, a screaming child, a group of loud obnoxious people, all can put a bad feeling into peoples heads, which can, and sometimes is taken out on my (our) tip. Some people just cannot be pleased.
Just to get an idea what a night might be like working at a nice fancy restaurant might be like, and what all comes out of the money you decide to leave us:
You come in with 9 other people and have a nice wine dinner. After appetizers, cocktails, salads, dinner, dessert, and wine your check comes to 600.00
say 250.00 of it was wine that you have throughout dinner. You decide that you want to leave me 10%, or better yet not tip me on the wine for your check.
So your total bill is 600.00 + 36.00 tax = 636.00
You tip on the food only (350.00 x 10%) = 35.00
You say thanks you had a wonderful evening/everything was amazing/etc and leave. Meanwhile my nite is crushed. You might have been my only table of the night, which i spent 4 hours paying close attention to, to get 35.00. But wait, I dont get 35.00...
The bartender gets 1% of the total sales ($6.36) The busser gets 1.75% of the sales ($11.13) and the wine steward gets 5% of the wine sales ($12.50).
So after tipping everyone out, I made $4.74. Good thing you didnt prebook your party because then I wouldve had to pay 10% in wine sales to the steward for the wine you didnt tip on.
I realize this is all just a big rant/example. But no matter what you try to say or do, restaurant owners are NOT going to change their ways and eliminate tipping. Why do they want to pay us, when you are? I'd love to see a paycheck. I really would. I NEVER DO. Every year I have to pay like $1200.00 in federal taxes because my 2.83/hr doesnt cover everything. Does my employer care #@$& no.
Does my employer find ways to nickel and dime us (servers) by raising money to tip them?
Yes. (e.g. 10% wine sales when sometimes they do NONE of the work)
Does my employer limit the amount they pay us on pre-booked fancy parties based on if they catch wind that the party holder might have been so pleased with us, they left a 'little extra' ?
Does my employer show no appreciation for any of their employees and wonder why their turover rate is so big?
Sure you might say, well find a new job. Well, its all part of take the bad with the good mentality, most of the time there is more good than bad, but there are plenty of times that it just brings you down and it is just not fun. I enjoy serving people food. I enjoy getting a rapport with customers, making their evenings nice.
Like it or not, I just dont see tipping EVER leaving the states. And until restaurant owners decide they dont need to drive 2 mercedes' and want to pay their front-of-the-house-staff. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
We (servers) are trying to earn a living too, there is no need for hostlity towards us. You might not like the policy of the ideals of tipping, but you not leaving something as a gratuity on check in 99.9% of the places across america is just like your boss at your office job saying 'you know what Joe, I just dont feel like paying you for the last 3 hours of the work day today."
How would you feel?
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