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#52 Nov 28 2012 at 7:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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#53 Nov 28 2012 at 7:52 AM Rating: Good
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Nilatai wrote:
Is there some kind of loophole in the law which allows people to pay waiting staff less than minimum wage? I figured it was pretty self explanatory what "minimum" means.

Yes, there is an allowance for a lowered minimum wage for tipped employees. I've never really researched it, but believe it's a state by state thing. In MN as a server I made regular minimum wage - at the time it was about six bucks an hour. I moved to Maine and was only paid $2.95/hr. The state has to insure that wage + tip is at least minimum wage. Both places I had to claim 10% of my sales as earned income (tips). Though we were,of course, supposed to claim what we actually made in tips.

Here's a chart.
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#54 Nov 28 2012 at 7:57 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Is there some kind of loophole in the law which allows people to pay waiting staff less than minimum wage? I figured it was pretty self explanatory what "minimum" means.

Yes, there is an allowance for a lowered minimum wage for tipped employees. I've never really researched it, but believe it's a state by state thing. In MN as a server I made regular minimum wage - at the time it was about six bucks an hour. I moved to Maine and was only paid $2.95/hr. The state has to insure that wage + tip is at least minimum wage. Both places I had to claim 10% of my sales as earned income (tips). Though we were,of course, supposed to claim what we actually made in tips.

Here's a chart.

That's the most fucking retarded thing I've ever heard. Isn't the idea of a tip supposed to be to bolster your earnings, not to make them up to standard?
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#55 Nov 28 2012 at 9:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
Elinda wrote:

Here's a chart.

That's the most fucking retarded thing I've ever heard. Isn't the idea of a tip supposed to be to bolster your earnings, not to make them up to standard?


Well we've figured that out here on the west coast; Lord knows when the rest of the country will catch up. Smiley: oyvey

Also pegged minimum wage to inflation, and now we avoid all the political drama around voting to raise it every 5 years. Smiley: cool


Edited, Nov 28th 2012 7:42am by someproteinguy
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#56 Nov 28 2012 at 10:14 AM Rating: Good
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The loophole is the fact that they can accept tips.

Fast food places are required to pay full minimum wage and as such as not permitted to accept tips, nor are they ever expected. Any restaurant where you are served directly, however, can get away with paying $2.13 an hour to wait staff on the assumption that tips will bump them well over minimum wage. Some states also have a law that if tips turned in average to below the minimum wage amount for the hours when averaged, the employer is obligated to make up the difference. Busboys and dishwashers may or may not be considered part of the wait staff, and as such may or may not get tips.

Depending on the restaurant, the cooks can opt in on the tops and accept the lower wage, and then get part of the tips. A cook at Waffle House is unlikely to do that because people who eat there are cheap, and a cook at a high end restaurant is probably getting paid well over minimum wage anyway.

TL;DR: The amount you tip is sometimes split between the whole team that cooked your food, not just that particular waitress.
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#57 Nov 28 2012 at 10:23 AM Rating: Decent
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Nilatai wrote:
That's the most fucking retarded thing I've ever heard. Isn't the idea of a tip supposed to be to bolster your earnings, not to make them up to standard?

No, the idea of a tip is to incentivize employees to provide good service; if they got paid a flat rate, they'd slack off. Just like a lot of salesmen make a very low base rate, and most of their income comes from commission. Otherwise why bother making cold calls and driving around visiting potential customers?

The bolstering is supposed to come from providing great service (i.e. a 20% tip rather than standard 15%).

I'm not saying it's the best way - you could just as easily pay a normal wage, and simply fire the employee if their service was poor. But this system also seems to work fine.
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#58 Nov 28 2012 at 10:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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trickybeck wrote:
No, the idea of a tip is to incentivize employees to provide good service; if they got paid a flat rate, they'd slack off. Just like a lot of salesmen make a very low base rate, and most of their income comes from commission. Otherwise why bother making cold calls and driving around visiting potential customers?


Sorry but cold calls and random sales visits are far removed from anything I'd consider good service.
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#59 Nov 28 2012 at 12:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
trickybeck wrote:
No, the idea of a tip is to incentivize employees to provide good service; if they got paid a flat rate, they'd slack off. Just like a lot of salesmen make a very low base rate, and most of their income comes from commission. Otherwise why bother making cold calls and driving around visiting potential customers?


Sorry but cold calls and random sales visits are far removed from anything I'd consider good service.
Visiting potential customers and random sales visits are completely different things.

And agreed, cold calls aren't about service, they're about production. For a sales person, the incentive to provide good service is about repeat customers.
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#60 Nov 28 2012 at 12:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Visiting potential customers and random sales visits are completely different things.


Well it certainly makes sense from a business point of view. If I had sales people I'd want the perusing potential customers as well. As a customer though, if I didn't invite you, I don't want to hear from you. I'll visit your website, and your booth at a conference or whatever if I want information.

Though I should probably add the sales people I see tend to know squat about the products they're selling (which I imagine is a problem and hindrance in any technical field). I'll get far more useful information reading a couple of papers that use their product, or talking to a technician that uses their piece of equipment then I ever will from a sales rep who's never worked in a lab.
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#61 Nov 28 2012 at 12:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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I set up a tip jar on my desk. It's always amusing to see people look at it for a moment before approaching.
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#62 Nov 28 2012 at 2:25 PM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
And agreed, cold calls aren't about service, they're about production. For a sales person, the incentive to provide good service is about repeat customers.

I didn't mean to equate sales with service. Just used it as another example of field with incentivized performance. In both waiting and sales, employers obviously feel their employees wouldn't try hard enough without tips/commission. Whether it's true or not, that's how those industries work.

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#63 Nov 28 2012 at 3:56 PM Rating: Default
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trickybeck wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
That's the most fucking retarded thing I've ever heard. Isn't the idea of a tip supposed to be to bolster your earnings, not to make them up to standard?

No, the idea of a tip is to incentivize employees to provide good service; if they got paid a flat rate, they'd slack off. Just like a lot of salesmen make a very low base rate, and most of their income comes from commission. Otherwise why bother making cold calls and driving around visiting potential customers?

The bolstering is supposed to come from providing great service (i.e. a 20% tip rather than standard 15%).

I'm not saying it's the best way - you could just as easily pay a normal wage, and simply fire the employee if their service was poor. But this system also seems to work fine.


That's completely false. We are a tipping culture. We don't ask employees how much money they make or have made that day before we tip. We simply tip based off their service. If a person making above minimum wage has the probability of getting tips, they will NOT slack off. Even if they did, they would be treated like in every other job in the world, they would be fired.
#64 Nov 28 2012 at 4:47 PM Rating: Good
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You have failed to make any semblance of sense. I also don't think you really understood my post, but I can't be certain because your writing is inscrutable.


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#65 Nov 28 2012 at 5:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think I'm out of the loop. It seems there are 3 options being discussed:

1) Minimum wage (or flat rate if you will)
2) Minimum wage + tips (a few states)
3) Lower-than-minimum wage + tips (many states)

We keep comparing 2 of them, and I'm not sure any of us are talking about the same two... Smiley: rolleyes

Edited, Nov 28th 2012 3:27pm by someproteinguy
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#66 Nov 28 2012 at 5:54 PM Rating: Default
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trickybeck wrote:

You have failed to make any semblance of sense. I also don't think you really understood my post, but I can't be certain because your writing is inscrutable.




I can't be any more laconic than that, so why don't you specify exactly what confuses you? Assuming that you're not a total idiot, I will go with the assumption that you're just upset that your entire meaning was debunked so easily and quickly. Don't feel bad, it happens to the best of us.... and people like you.
#67 Nov 28 2012 at 7:58 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
I think I'm out of the loop. It seems there are 3 options being discussed:

1) Minimum wage (or flat rate if you will)
2) Minimum wage + tips (a few states)
3) Lower-than-minimum wage + tips (many states)

We keep comparing 2 of them, and I'm not sure any of us are talking about the same two... Smiley: rolleyes


Well, technically, there are just two. The difference is that many (most?) states have a different minimum wage for jobs which receive over a set amount of money in tips. The thinking is pretty logical. The total amount someone is willing to pay for a given service (let's say a meal at a restaurant) is somewhat set and includes the tip. So if you're willing to pay $30 a plate at a given restaurant, if the wait staff didn't take tips, the restaurant owner could charge that much directly on the menu. If he charges that much and the customers have to pay tips, he'll lose business (whole supply/demand curve thing). For many restaurants (mostly lower end ones), paying their employees the full minimum wage *and* expecting tips would push the cost of the meals higher than the quality of the meals (ie: what people are willing to pay for their grand slam breakfast for example).

Obviously, the easiest solution is to just do away with tips. Then you can charge a straight price on the menu, and pay your employees a straight pay scale. But people tend to like the option of tipping. It gives them some ability to provide feedback for the quality of their service. Also, and I know some people disagree with this, but most wait staff tend to make far far more money with a lower minimum wage plus tips than if they were just paid a straight hourly wage. Obviously, this depends on where you work, but even at a mid level restaurant (say $20/plate total cost), a waiter serving say 4 tables an hour, averaging 3 customers per table, over a 3 hour work period, can easily pull in an extra $12/hour in tips alone. The potential for incredibly good pay is available, where it isn't in most jobs in that nominal pay/skill range. Also, pay tends to scale based on how busy things are. So a guy working the grill at a fast food place during a busy rush time doesn't make a cent more than if he's working a slow day but is busting his ****. The same person working at a restaurant where tipping is expected will make significantly more money.


There's good and bad to tip based jobs IMO.
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#68 Nov 28 2012 at 8:32 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
I think I'm out of the loop. It seems there are 3 options being discussed:

1) Minimum wage (or flat rate if you will)
2) Minimum wage + tips (a few states)
3) Lower-than-minimum wage + tips (many states)

We keep comparing 2 of them, and I'm not sure any of us are talking about the same two... Smiley: rolleyes


Well, technically, there are just two. The difference is that many (most?) states have a different minimum wage for jobs which receive over a set amount of money in tips. The thinking is pretty logical. The total amount someone is willing to pay for a given service (let's say a meal at a restaurant) is somewhat set and includes the tip. So if you're willing to pay $30 a plate at a given restaurant, if the wait staff didn't take tips, the restaurant owner could charge that much directly on the menu. If he charges that much and the customers have to pay tips, he'll lose business (whole supply/demand curve thing). For many restaurants (mostly lower end ones), paying their employees the full minimum wage *and* expecting tips would push the cost of the meals higher than the quality of the meals (ie: what people are willing to pay for their grand slam breakfast for example).

Obviously, the easiest solution is to just do away with tips. Then you can charge a straight price on the menu, and pay your employees a straight pay scale. But people tend to like the option of tipping. It gives them some ability to provide feedback for the quality of their service. Also, and I know some people disagree with this, but most wait staff tend to make far far more money with a lower minimum wage plus tips than if they were just paid a straight hourly wage. Obviously, this depends on where you work, but even at a mid level restaurant (say $20/plate total cost), a waiter serving say 4 tables an hour, averaging 3 customers per table, over a 3 hour work period, can easily pull in an extra $12/hour in tips alone. The potential for incredibly good pay is available, where it isn't in most jobs in that nominal pay/skill range. Also, pay tends to scale based on how busy things are. So a guy working the grill at a fast food place during a busy rush time doesn't make a cent more than if he's working a slow day but is busting his ****. The same person working at a restaurant where tipping is expected will make significantly more money.


There's good and bad to tip based jobs IMO.


I'm just not buying it. What I see are employers realizing that their employees are making extra money in tips, so they decided to pay them less. World wide, employers are always looking for ways to get more by paying less. Hence the whole shipping jobs overseas, sweatshops and illegal workers.
#69 Nov 28 2012 at 9:23 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
I set up a tip jar on my desk. It's always amusing to see people look at it for a moment before approaching.

Next time I'm in the city, I wanna come by and pitch some pennies. Smiley: laugh
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#70 Nov 29 2012 at 6:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Also, and I know some people disagree with this, but most wait staff tend to make far far more money with a lower minimum wage plus tips than if they were just paid a straight hourly wage.
And waitstaff in states where they get paid regular minimum wage make even more money. Smiley: schooled



If we removed tips and simply paid wait staff higher wages you* would see service levels decrease, because the simple fact is, serving all of you* is mind numbing and degrading and if there isn't an increased incentive, you're* likely to get told to **** off at dinner. People are retarded with their expectations when it comes to food when compared to how much money they're actually spending and quite frankly, far too many of you* aren't worth the effort to please.


*You is used generically
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#71 Nov 29 2012 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
serving all of you* is mind numbing and degrading and if there isn't an increased incentive, you're* likely to get told to @#%^ off at dinner. People are retarded with their expectations when it comes to food when compared to how much money they're actually spending and quite frankly, far too many of you* aren't worth the effort to please.


Which is precisely why I tend to tip a few more bucks than the next guy. I know it doesn't mean anything the first time you wait on me, since you won't realize the tip til after I'm gone, but it makes repeat dining experiences far more enjoyable.
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#72 Nov 29 2012 at 8:17 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Also, and I know some people disagree with this, but most wait staff tend to make far far more money with a lower minimum wage plus tips than if they were just paid a straight hourly wage.
As much as a Brigadier General.
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#73 Nov 29 2012 at 8:19 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Also, and I know some people disagree with this, but most wait staff tend to make far far more money with a lower minimum wage plus tips than if they were just paid a straight hourly wage.
As much as a Brigadier General.

I never tip BG's more than 10%.
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#74 Nov 29 2012 at 8:55 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
If we removed tips and simply paid wait staff higher wages you* would see service levels decrease

I'd be more than happy to see the inefficiencies of the tipping culture disappear.
#75 Nov 29 2012 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
If we removed tips and simply paid wait staff higher wages you* would see service levels decrease

I'd be more than happy to see the inefficiencies of the tipping culture disappear.
It would get rid of inconsistencies and even tax evasion, but I'm not sure about inefficiencies.

I suspect most servers make substantially better than minimum wage. I would also be comfortable hypothesizing that a good portion of tipped income isn't taxed.

If tipping was done away with servers really would become low-wage hourly earners. I think that would become readily apparent in the service we get and the prices we pay restaurants.

We could out-law sit down dining.




Edited, Nov 29th 2012 4:14pm by Elinda
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#76 Nov 29 2012 at 1:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
If he charges that much and the customers have to pay tips, he'll lose business (whole supply/demand curve thing). For many restaurants (mostly lower end ones), paying their employees the full minimum wage *and* expecting tips would push the cost of the meals higher than the quality of the meals (ie: what people are willing to pay for their grand slam breakfast for example).


Somehow I'm okay with that.

Really if you can't afford to pay your employees minimum wage you probably have bigger problems than payroll expenses. Certainly hasn't seemed to stunt the number of restaurants around these parts (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California are all in the top half there). Not that I mind other states doing it their own way of course, but I just don't see it being hugely detrimental to business or anything.

But we pay people to pump our gas for us too, so take it with a grain of salt. Smiley: rolleyes

Elinda wrote:
We could out-law sit down dining.


Usher in the gold age of the golden arches! Smiley: nod
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