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#102 Nov 30 2012 at 9:34 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
If a customer is willing to pay $20 for a given meal and service, whether that is broken up as $16 for the meal and $4 for the tip, or $20 for the meal is irrelevant from the customers perspective. That's how much he's willing to pay. The employer must pay the wait staff less money if they are getting that $4 tip since it comes out of the pool of money he could otherwise charge the customer directly.
Many dining out regulars don't give the same value modifiers to food as they do service.

Someone may be willing to spend twenty dollars on a meal but they also may be willing to spend up to another ten dollars for good service. But mostly, I think they like feeling as if they have some control over the face-to-face interactions they have with a server by tipping big or tipping small.

A tip isn't salary. It may be not be fair or just, but people like to be able to tip other people for good service, or even for good looks. I tend to indulge the server that appears to be working really hard. Why would we want our government to bud into our tip-giving choices?

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#103 Nov 30 2012 at 9:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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#104 Nov 30 2012 at 1:56 PM Rating: Default
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I will break your response in smaller posts...because I'm actually going to try to have a weekend... Just passed CISCO!

Gbaji wrote:
I put that in bold because it's a very key point to this whole thing, but you seem to be utterly missing it. Please tell me you understand that if paying the wait staff a full salary (with no tipping involved) would require charging $20 for the meal, then to give them the same salary *and* the tip, would require charging $24 for the same meal. Everything else being the same, fewer people will come into the restaurant if that were the case. I'm not sure how much more clear I can be about this.
.....

Which is absolutely no different than relying on the customer to be willing to pay a higher price (with no tip) for the meal and paying the waitstaff a higher wage (but no tip money).


Another fallacy. The amount of money you can afford to pay your employees is based on the amount of money that you earn. Although the price of goods play a key factor in that amount of money, it all comes down to the amount of sales. You can vary your prices, but if you're not making enough sales to make up for those differences, then you are losing money.

That's how businesses are able to get away with good deals, such as "buy one get one half off", etc. The sales prices are already marked up for profit, so if you are able to drastically increase the amount of sales with a discounted price, then you can make out with more profit. A major assumption is that people will spend MORE buying discounted stuff than what they would pay at retail price.

Gbaji wrote:
The customer decides if the meal was worth the price. If it was, they'll come back. If it wasn't, they wont. It's really that simple. The methodology of tips adds a bit of variation to this in that the customer can choose to pay a bit less for his meal this time if the service or product was sub-par, but in the broad scope of the issue, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference. No one's going to come back to a place that they felt was so bad they weren't willing to pay a tip. So the fact that I could get that meal for $16 plus no tip, instead of paying the full $20 isn't likely to affect my decision to come back one bit.


Reference my previous post. Tips are extra, i.e. not obligatory. If you're at a place where tipping is customary, then you'll have money to spend for a tip. You're not going into a restaurant with EXACTLY $20 to your name. The amount of money I'm willing to spend on food is 100% based on the food and the food alone. If I decide to tip someone, it is from a completely different equation. I'm not going to pass up a good steak so I can tip you. If I have to go to a atm and come back to tip you, I would. However, your tip is not calculated on how much I will spend to eat.

Gbaji wrote:
And if the customer decides that the work was worth it, he'll pay that much more. If it wasn't, then it still wouldn't be even if you paid the waitstaff $10 as salary and required no tips from the customers for the service. The tip cost would be included in the meal or whatever up front in that case. Either way, the customer will decide if the total cost was worth what he got.


What? Under your assumption, the waiter could just do $2.50 worth a work and be ok. Well, $2.50 worth of work will not give you a tip big enough to earn those desired wages. Not only that, you would be fired. You have to put in $10 worth a work to get that kind of tip and that tip is NOT guaranteed. You are now working precariously on the kindness of the customers, yet employed by the employer. As the employer, even if you get shut down, you are still being paid salary.

Not only that, determining if the food was worth it has nothing to do with the waiter, but the chef and we're not tipping the chef. Obviously the chef probably gets paid more, but the point is that the factors that drive us to pay for specific food have little to do with the actual work that we acknowledge from the waiters.


#105 Nov 30 2012 at 4:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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This thread has taught me that there are some clueless diners that post here.

And in TN, servers still make $2.13 an hour, even though the national minimum wage has gone up. But no server in their right mind even factors their hourly rate into how much they're making. The paycheck they get is usually just considered an extra shift's worth of money (depending on how many hours they got).
#106 Nov 30 2012 at 6:08 PM Rating: Good
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wow, it is nuts how little your servers make. We didn't used to have a servers wage but when the gov upped min wage to 10/hr they decided to keep it at 8/hr for servers in alcohol serving establishments.

I generally tip 15% as a rule with more if service was exceptional. I remember when 10% was standard (not so long ago) and now people are trying to say 20% is standard but I think that is totally bogus. Given how expensive meals are already that's just too much to give on a regular basis - but (to sort of balance it out I guess) I also tip on most take out, and I almost always tip baristas
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#107 Nov 30 2012 at 7:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Gbaji wrote:
Honestly? People continue to be waiters/waitresses because it's arguably the best paying job someone with little to no job skills or experience can get. There's a reason why waitstaff is overwhelmingly made up of college age kids. It's the kind of job you get while looking/waiting for that "real job" to come along.


That's what I said.

Gbaji wrote:
Yup. In a McDonalds where there are limited amounts of money customers are willing to pay for a Big Mac.


First of all, the set prices at your nearest McDonalds isn't the highest price that customers are willing to pay for a Big Mac. I've gone to McDonalds and Burger Kings where #1 meals were above $10. Second of all, how does that conceptually contradict my point? The actual amount is irrelevant. The focus is on raises based on percentages.

Your claim is that employers will increase their employee's wages at any chance they can get (i.e. 100k a year). However, you already agreed that employers, employees and customers all want the most while doing/paying the least. So, which one is it? The real truth is that the employers will only increase wages just enough to keep their employees working. They aren't going to dive deeply into their profit just because they can.

Gbaji wrote:
I'm asking you to stretch your mind a bit and imagine if there wasn't any limit. The company could make as much money as they wanted to, while still paying as much as their employees wanted as well. It's not intended to be a real world example, but to illustrate the point that it's cost constraints that affect labor costs. I know it's popular to blame greed for these sorts of things, but here's the secret: Everyone is Greedy. That's what I was trying to get across earlier.


Read above

Gbaji wrote:
They do so because they can make more money by doing that business overseas than domestically. There are a host of factors that might come into that. Simply blaming it on "greed" is silly. Greed is a constant. Businesses were just as greedy in a year when less offshoreing happened than in a year when more did. What changed was the conditions that impacted their business decisions. Sitting around crying about it and decrying "corporate greed" is completely counterproductive. The correct answer is to find ways so that businesses can make more money while hiring folks in the US than otherwise.


CREAM..... that's it. There's nothing else to it. There exist people who care about things other than money. I would argue that I fit somewhere in that category, but to pretend that it isn't all about money at the end of the day is asinine.

Gbaji wrote:
Sigh. As I said earlier, this applies to everyone in the market though. If you could earn twice your current salary by changing jobs to another employer, with everything else staying the same, would you? Of course you would. Because you are greedy. If you could buy something from store A for half the price as the same thing from store B, would you? Of course you would. Because you are greedy. To insist that employers must make less money than they could while you insist on making as much money for yourself as possible, and buying things for as little as you possibly can, is completely hypocritical. You're blaming them for doing the same things you do yourself.


Not at all. I said that CREAM is ALWAYS in effect. You're the one denying that isn't happening, that the employers would want to maximize their employee's wages. My point is very simple. No one should be paid UNDER the national minimum wage; however, agreements are made because at the end of the day, it's about how much money is earned. People would work for $0.50 an hour if they ended up making 200k a year with a normal work schedule.

Gbaji wrote:
And it's doubly silly because all of these things interact in the market. As long as you want to buy things for as little as possible, you help drive the need for producers of those goods to find the cheapest way to do so possible. As I said earlier, the correct answer isn't to "blame greed", but to find ways to make greed work. Make it attractive to businesses to do business in the US, and they will. And btw, this is a bit off topic because I can tell you that the idea that businesses do this for labor reasons alone is a fallacy. There are a host of reasons for businesses to move their operations. Cost is a factor, but labor costs are rarely the biggest ones. It's usually regulations and/or taxes (or other costs/benefits) on the businesses that drive this, not labor costs.


Simply false. This isn't restricted to the U.S. When I was in Korea, people would hire illegal immigrants to do the crappiest of jobs or ridiculous hours for the least amount of pay. It was a win/win situation The immigrants were making more money there than they would in their home country and the employers saved a lot of money because they didn't have to follow the national guidelines with employees.

Sounds familiar? You can live in la-la land if you want, but that's the reality of it all.. It's all about money.
#108 Dec 03 2012 at 8:45 AM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
I generally tip 15% as a rule with more if service was exceptional.
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#109 Dec 03 2012 at 12:26 PM Rating: Good
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Olorinus wrote:
I generally tip 15% as a rule with more if service was exceptional. I remember when 10% was standard (not so long ago) and now people are trying to say 20% is standard but I think that is totally bogus.

I agree. I almost always tip 15% - well, more like 16-17% because I round up. Another "rule" that seems to be going by the wayside: the tip is supposed to be calculated before tax is added on.

If I made a lot of money, I'd gladly give 20% standard. Currently, I'm probably only about 1 tax bracket up from a server, so extra generosity would be kinda misplaced.


(Also, just found out that Illinois tipped employees get $4.95/hr flat rate, which is a significantly better than average: http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm#.ULzuVmelGWg )


Edited, Dec 3rd 2012 12:26pm by trickybeck
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#110 Dec 03 2012 at 1:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, I remember 10% then 12% and then 15%. Now I get people trying to make 18% or 20% the standard but I'm drawing the line at 15%. If you want a higher tip, provide the additional service to validate it. I don't think carrying food to tables has changed a lot since the 10% days.
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#111 Dec 03 2012 at 1:48 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Yeah, I remember 10% then 12% and then 15%. Now I get people trying to make 18% or 20% the standard but I'm drawing the line at 15%. If you want a higher tip, provide the additional service to validate it mints served from boobs. I don't think carrying food to tables has changed a lot since the 10% days.
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#112 Dec 03 2012 at 1:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I don't think carrying food to tables has changed a lot since the 10% days.


Sure it has; portion sizes have doubled. Naturally the tip amount should double too, that's a lot of extra food to carry! Smiley: rolleyes
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#113 Dec 03 2012 at 1:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'd go over 12% for that.

Edit: Mints from boobs. God, SPG, way to ***** up my joke...

Edited, Dec 3rd 2012 2:00pm by Jophiel
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#114 Dec 03 2012 at 2:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm glad I haven't read this thread, but I'll just throw in a bit of food for thought (HAR HAR). The way I see it, is that tip bottom line % is more based on the type of establishment you're visiting. If you're at Denny's or iHop, the average tip % at a place like that is probably 11-12%, obviously depending on many factors. A midscale place, like a Chili's or Applebees or a pub type place, I'd say servers probably expect and perform at the 15% range. The places I've worked more recently in my career (after almost 8 years of experience in my field), where you usually eat no less than 3 courses and your server constantly makes sure your wine glass is at its sweet spot of fullness, 18% should be the baseline. Of course this is all dependent on the individual experience but I've worked from everywhere from an all-you-can-eat spaghetti joint to the third best restaurant in the city, and this is what my experience tells me. Of course, I'm such a gem in my field that I scoff at 20% or less, but I can tell you no one's ever tipped me more than they wanted to out of obligation to the standards, but tipped me more because my level of service is often higher than they've experienced.

Regardless, if you go out to eat you need to budget your tip in there and not set your server up to fail just because you don't want to pay. If restaurants actually had to pay their employees a living wage you'd be paying stupid, stupid money to go out to eat, as well as the effect it would have on staffing overall would be detrimental to your overall enjoyment.
#115 Dec 03 2012 at 2:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I'd go over 12% for that.

Edit: Mints from boobs. God, SPG, way to ***** up my joke...


If you would just post more frequently you wouldn't have this problem. Smiley: tongue
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#116 Dec 03 2012 at 2:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Guenny wrote:
The places I've worked more recently in my career (after almost 8 years of experience in my field), where you usually eat no less than 3 courses and your server constantly makes sure your wine glass is at its sweet spot of fullness, 18% should be the baseline

Am I required to tuck that in at the hip or am I allowed to be bold and slip it into the front?
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#117 Dec 03 2012 at 3:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Guenny wrote:
I'm glad I haven't read this thread, but I'll just throw in a bit of food for thought (HAR HAR). The way I see it, is that tip bottom line % is more based on the type of establishment you're visiting. If you're at Denny's or iHop, the average tip % at a place like that is probably 11-12%, obviously depending on many factors. A midscale place, like a Chili's or Applebees or a pub type place, I'd say servers probably expect and perform at the 15% range. The places I've worked more recently in my career (after almost 8 years of experience in my field), where you usually eat no less than 3 courses and your server constantly makes sure your wine glass is at its sweet spot of fullness, 18% should be the baseline.

I actually go the opposite way on this.

At a classy restaurant, the higher price of the food (and alcohol!) are inherently causing that 15% to be an appopriate amount for that experienced server. Yeah, 3 courses takes more work, but it's also adding to the bill that the tip is based on.

Whereas at Denny's, even if I just get an $8 grand slam, the server still has to make ~4 trips to the table, so tipping $1.20 is pretty shitty. Also, bumping up to 20% on an $8 bill is trivial. Also, a Denny's server is probably poor, so they get some guilt-tip from me.
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#118 Dec 03 2012 at 4:16 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
Yeah, I remember 10% then 12% and then 15%. Now I get people trying to make 18% or 20% the standard but I'm drawing the line at 15%. If you want a higher tip, provide the additional service to validate it. I don't think carrying food to tables has changed a lot since the 10% days.


You might have to go to Thailand and/or South Korea for that.
#119 Dec 03 2012 at 4:58 PM Rating: Good
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Guenny wrote:

Regardless, if you go out to eat you need to budget your tip in there and not set your server up to fail just because you don't want to pay. If restaurants actually had to pay their employees a living wage you'd be paying stupid, stupid money to go out to eat, as well as the effect it would have on staffing overall would be detrimental to your overall enjoyment.


I do agree about budgeting for a tip, for sure, and I do always tip, but given that eating a *simple* breakfast costs like 15 bucks here (minimum, before tip) and servers make $8-$10 hr (minimum), I think 15% standard is very reasonable. Obviously, exceptional service can get more from me, but for the general, not particularly fast, not particularly helpful, not particularly friendly server... 15%


Edited, Dec 3rd 2012 2:58pm by Olorinus
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#120 Dec 03 2012 at 5:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
not particularly fast, not particularly helpful, not particularly friendly server... 15%


This is an obviously reocurring theme in the discussion, but it makes me wonder, for most of you, what kind of service puts the staff over the top, so to speak? For me, it can be as simple as a server refilling my glass at half full and apologizing for the wait if our appetizers take more than 5 minutes. The quality of the food has very little impact on my opinion of the server directly (unless the order is flat out wrong), so as long as I get the impression that the server genuinely cares, I consider that above average.


Edited, Dec 3rd 2012 6:30pm by BrownDuck
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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#121 Dec 03 2012 at 6:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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BrownDuck wrote:
it can be as simple as a server refilling my glass at half full

That's usually enough for me to give an extra tip. I'll usually drink at least a full four glasses of water with my meal, and I typically have to wait around with an empty glass half the time.
#122 Dec 03 2012 at 6:34 PM Rating: Decent
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trickybeck wrote:
Guenny wrote:
I'm glad I haven't read this thread, but I'll just throw in a bit of food for thought (HAR HAR). The way I see it, is that tip bottom line % is more based on the type of establishment you're visiting. If you're at Denny's or iHop, the average tip % at a place like that is probably 11-12%, obviously depending on many factors. A midscale place, like a Chili's or Applebees or a pub type place, I'd say servers probably expect and perform at the 15% range. The places I've worked more recently in my career (after almost 8 years of experience in my field), where you usually eat no less than 3 courses and your server constantly makes sure your wine glass is at its sweet spot of fullness, 18% should be the baseline.

I actually go the opposite way on this.

At a classy restaurant, the higher price of the food (and alcohol!) are inherently causing that 15% to be an appopriate amount for that experienced server. Yeah, 3 courses takes more work, but it's also adding to the bill that the tip is based on.

Whereas at Denny's, even if I just get an $8 grand slam, the server still has to make ~4 trips to the table, so tipping $1.20 is pretty shitty. Also, bumping up to 20% on an $8 bill is trivial. Also, a Denny's server is probably poor, so they get some guilt-tip from me.

Actually, I'd think the quality difference of a Denny's vs. a five-star would inherently affect the quality of the server and the increase in tip. Foul-mouth Flo in her hairnet probably won't be worth more than 15% whereas Jacques with his silk tie is more likely to provide a 20% service.
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#123 Dec 03 2012 at 6:42 PM Rating: Good
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Debalic wrote:
trickybeck wrote:
Guenny wrote:
I'm glad I haven't read this thread, but I'll just throw in a bit of food for thought (HAR HAR). The way I see it, is that tip bottom line % is more based on the type of establishment you're visiting. If you're at Denny's or iHop, the average tip % at a place like that is probably 11-12%, obviously depending on many factors. A midscale place, like a Chili's or Applebees or a pub type place, I'd say servers probably expect and perform at the 15% range. The places I've worked more recently in my career (after almost 8 years of experience in my field), where you usually eat no less than 3 courses and your server constantly makes sure your wine glass is at its sweet spot of fullness, 18% should be the baseline.

I actually go the opposite way on this.

At a classy restaurant, the higher price of the food (and alcohol!) are inherently causing that 15% to be an appopriate amount for that experienced server. Yeah, 3 courses takes more work, but it's also adding to the bill that the tip is based on.

Whereas at Denny's, even if I just get an $8 grand slam, the server still has to make ~4 trips to the table, so tipping $1.20 is pretty shitty. Also, bumping up to 20% on an $8 bill is trivial. Also, a Denny's server is probably poor, so they get some guilt-tip from me.

Actually, I'd think the quality difference of a Denny's vs. a five-star would inherently affect the quality of the server and the increase in tip. Foul-mouth Flo in her hairnet probably won't be worth more than 15% whereas Jacques with his silk tie is more likely to provide a 20% service.


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#124 Dec 03 2012 at 6:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't know, it depends on the person. I've had friendly, professional servers at Shoneys who I felt inclined to be generous towards, and stuck up servers at quality restaurants who have made rude comments about the fact that I ordered a club sandwich. I don't judge based on where I am so much as how I'm treated.

I once left a guy a $20 bill as a tip on a $20 meal because I was messing with him so much and he was a good sport about it.

Edited, Dec 3rd 2012 6:48pm by Belkira
#125 Dec 03 2012 at 7:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Debalic wrote:
Actually, I'd think the quality difference of a Denny's vs. a five-star would inherently affect the quality of the server and the increase in tip. Foul-mouth Flo in her hairnet probably won't be worth more than 15% whereas Jacques with his silk tie is more likely to provide a 20% service.

Except that the bill at Jacques' restaurant is $100, so he gets $15. The Denny's bill is $20 and Flo gets $3. The 15% factors it all in already. The price of the meal at the nice restaurant is already including higher payroll cost for better servers. Jacques' silk tie gets him 5x more money and I don't have to change my percentage.
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#126 Dec 03 2012 at 8:12 PM Rating: Good
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We used to hit up a brand new restaurant outside of Myrtle Beach when we were stuck there working. One day a new guy in our group found what he thought was hair in his pulled pork sandwich. The waitress took it back to the kitchen, came back about 5 minutes later apologized and said it wasn't hair, but a rope from the roast. The management decided to comp our entire meal because of it, and give the guy a free dessert. This was... 6 or 7 guys eating a lunch, each plate somewhere between 7 and 10 dollars.

We felt really bad, because we didn't really want a free lunch like that. So we left the entire bill as a tip for the waitress.

Edited, Dec 3rd 2012 9:13pm by TirithRR
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