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January 18, 2006

Comments

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse

Here's a thought, why not make restaurant meals more expensive to pay waitstaff a real wage, this way they're not subject to the whim of tippers?

Paul, just this guy, you know?

Having never worked for tips, I appreciate the informative post! I'm pleased to have confirmed that 15% is standard. I generally tip in the 15-20% range. Ergo, non-jerk.

Chris

They would also fundamentally understand incentives. If the same jerk-off comes in time and time again without a tip their service will suffer. Likewise - watch when the big tippers walk in the door and watch the servers scratch and claw to get their first.

After spending years in restaurants and seeing the motivated consistently make more than the grumblers its hard not to udnerstand that incentives work.

Chris

@St Jimbob - Waiters and waitress would be the first to tell you know way. They would make far less on a flat wage than they do undertips. (at least the average -> good ones)
Serving is an entry level job - the only one that pays you for your worth than how easy it is to replace you. And the only one that you can actually earn a living at.

Tony

Here's a thought, why not make restaurant meals more expensive to pay waitstaff a real wage, this way they're not subject to the whim of tippers?

We are subject to the whim of servers. I have seen excellent servers who deserve 20%, satisfactory servers who deserve 15%, and truly dismal servers who don't deserve anything. Many of these dismal servers pass around stories of "bad tippers" so that if you short a slug, you won't be able to get decent service ever again in that restaurant. They have no clue that if their attitude got better, the tips would get better. And for me it's all about attitude. If a server is inexperienced, but has a decent attitude, that translates into a decent tip.

Dave

I have to agree with Tony. The waiter is the restaurant's public face. If its kitchen is screwing everything up, it's up to the waiter to figure out how to communicate that to the party in as gracious a way as possible. Most people will be understanding if told in a polite way that events beyond the waiter's control have lead to a less than sublime experience.

Don't like that you have to supplicate your customers? Then don't be a waiter. But don't expect diners to intuit why a waiter is taking so long. Absent any other information, I think a diner is entirely within his rights to stiff a derelict waiter.

Portia

I just have to tell you that I went out last night, had a wonderful server (I mean, she was great), and I remembered your post and probably tipped her wayyy too much. So, it's all your fault. :)

Dee

My neice works for a pizza restaurant and hosted an $800.00 three-hour birthday party by herself. Tip: $40.00. 5%! Shame on the restaurant for not including an automatic tip.

Peter

I must say, however, that I did enjoy a large party at my restaurant where the party of 10, I believe, tipped over and above the automatic gratuity...much to the surprise of the server. She came up and said, "Don't these people know that the tip was automatically put in the check?!"

Bless as you have been blessed, I say...

Portia

I hope that was the party I was at!

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