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Rethinking tipping culture


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#61 The J

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:14 AM

2) It seems to be basically the case that you have to tip 15% or 20% irrespective of how horrible the service. I personally have a problem with that, and I am confident that most tourists would also have a problem with that. When I quered this on eGullet I was told that the "correct" thing to do is to tip normally but complain to the manager. Culturally, that's a million miles from where I come from, and it makes the tip situation very difficult to understand for outsiders. If I'm not rewarding good service, and if I have no apparent control over an acceptable tip level anyway, then why not just include it in the price and we can all get on with it? On one trip to NY, some British friends tipped 10% (out of ignorance, it was their first meal out in the US) and then had the exits to the restaurant blocked by the waiter so they couldn't leave. If that's the level we're at, let's get over the pretence that it's a tip and start including it on the bill.


Frankly, I disagree with the whole notion that a tip shouldn't be reflective of service. I typically tip around 20%, but excellent service can get you more and crappy service will get you less.

I will say that if I left someone what they considered to be a bad tip and the waiter blocked the exit to the restaurant I would flip out. The manager would have about 2 minutes to refund the meal (including the tip) and make that waiter apologize in front of the dining room, or I would be calling the police. That's completely unacceptable.

#62 radtek

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:09 PM

Okay kids. Diplomacy aside.

I hate tipping bad service (incompetence) but having worked and relied on tips myself it is hard not to leave something (10%) even in the worst of situations. The going rate here for wait-staff is still $2.13/hr so to make any decent cash a server or bartender has to hustle. To me it's a skilled profession that many don't take seriously while employed in the industry. I made good money with my best effort even though I couldn't hold a candle to the naturals who raked in the cash. And at one joint I had to tip out up to 52% of my tips to the cooks and bartender. Anyway...

Skills earned as a waiter and bartender flung into the weeds- such as keeping calm, situationally aware and steady in a combat-like chaos prepared me for my current profession. So I don't feel bad about my sliding scale of tippage. Shining in a bad situation might get a better tip than being bubbly and cute when it is slow.

#63 jrshaul

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:23 AM

I may have posed my point poorly. Here's the short-and-dull version.

1. Restaranteurs benefit from the tipping system - it allows them to reduce overhead on slow days, incentivise employees, and shift the burden of compensation to those who will pay the most. It's a very good system.

2. In return for the increased risk, employees can profit very heavily. Those at the top are compensated very well.
3. For the customer who actually tips, there's a significantly higher final price combined with service dependent on how nice you dress.
4. Waiters can get screwed severely by a kitchen screw-up, or will profit off a restaurant's success. This hurts waiters at poor restaurants, but can be very rewarding for those at the top (As above.)
5: It's more profitable for the restauranteur to pad the price of big-ticket items than to add a flat fee across the menu for service. As such, you'd be paying a percentage of your tab anyway.

Sales jobs are often much the same way. Paying your employees entirely on comissions is easy, but it can mean that smaller customers can get awfully screwed, and the risk requires higher average compensation.

It's a matter of choice, EdwardJ. We are not living in Medieval times when one was destined by birth to work in a particular trade.


Yes...and no.

A friend currently lives in the middle of nowhere. She's dyslexic, so she figured she'd try being a waitress for a while. Live the american dream and all that.

Problem is, she's making ~$600/month during the slow season. You can live in the middle of northern Wisconsin on $600 a month, but god forbid you leave. $600/month in Madison, WI buys you a walk-in closet.

Incidentally, god forbid you have to go to the hospital for food poisoning and rack up an enormous bill. (The restaurant in question - not her employer - won't pay; I suspect we can't prove it was food poisoning, even though two other people ended up in the hospital that evening from the same place.)

She's been trying to leave for months. I doubt she ever will. Adam Smith's "perfect market" is about as realistic as carnivores embracing Tofurkey.


Cooking and being a waiter are two completely different skill sets. Of course there is going to be income inequality.


Your "of course" confuses me. Why of course? How is the dollar value of a particular skill set determined?


By market forces. In this case, market forces have zero correlation with anything other than the restaurant industry's convenience. I once recall the head dessert chef at WD-50 having bargained his way up to a little over $60,000 a year. I know artists from Wisconsin who do better than that selling jewelry at art fairs.

Whoa, hold on there! America never had an apprenticeship system, but more importantly there is no standard or benchmark for cooks in the U.S. "The industry" evolved around immigrants who couln't get hired into well paying jobs and instead opened up a restaurant, laundry, or other small business--and still does to this very day. But I digress, How can you have an apprenticeship and not have a standardized qualification?


It's rather curious that you say that. I had some university classes at a tech school that trains both chefs and electricians. The latter had a more formal process of apprenticeship, but both made it pretty clear that you'd be starting on the bottom and learning on the job.

There's no formal standard for chefs because the quality of their work is apparent to the untrained. I don't actually know that much about structural grounding, but I don't care if a chef's a three-eyed Venusian if he never botches an order during the Friday night rush.

I would have to guess that the price of meals is higher if there's no tipping and the restaurateur has to pay the wait staff more per hour. The question is; is the combined total larger of smaller than a meal + tip situation.

Yesterday we had lunch at a nice local restaurant. The fixed price lunch (2 courses plus cheese & dessert) was 14.50€ ($19.00) This was for the meal and included service


Is this in France? If so, the price is much lower. If you index cost of living by things that are a little bit higher (rent, though this may no longer be the case) and things that are a lot higher (automobiles, where this is DEFINITELY the case), France's cost of living is definitely higher. It certainly isn't less.

I can't make a direct comparison, but $16 in Wisconsin will buy you a bowl of soup ($3.50), a BBQ sandwich ($9), and pie ($4.50.) No cheese plate. Soda $2. I don't know what the difference is, but $16 is definitely a deal.


Sure -- how exactly do you expect this to change? It would be GREAT to have the kind of apprenticeship programs they have in Europe. But do you seriously think ANYTHING is going to change here? Not when for-profit "universities" can fleece the unknowing out of so much money. (I have co-workers with high five-figure debt. .)


Congratulations! You've just isolated why quite a lot of formal economics is bollocks when applied to anything other than commodities. The actual valuation of a culinary arts program is much lower than the perceived valuation, and the vast oversupply is pushing wages down. It's like the housing bubble, if people were still buying houses.



But I know my history -- organized labor has largely been a force of good. Kids now go to school, not to work. We have weekends, and a 40-hour week. Overtime is an accepted part of the US employment experience.


They also ate Detroit, and increased the magnitude of the Great Depression (the old one.) In theory, a unions gives a supply-side monopoly to labor suppliers ("people") to balance out a demand-side monopoly of labor consumers ("employers.") In reality, they can warp the market just as badly as any other monopoly, and senority within the union often results in preferential treatment.

Your union seems to have created a situation that is stable and profitable for all parties involved, and I applaud them for it. But you've also got the UAW scalping new hires so that older employees don't lose benefits from the bankrupt companies they work for. The word "Union" has a lot of baggage.

Edited by jrshaul, 12 January 2013 - 01:25 AM.


#64 annabelle

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

jrshaul, I am unfamiliar with the laws in the state of Wisconsin, but it would stand to reason that if your friend is only making $600 she is eligable for your state's version of Medicare to cover her health insurance and likely for some kind of food stamps and all other programs structured for those who can't make ends meet. Likewise, she is eligable for free student aid/grants to help her learn to cope with and defeat her dyslexia and help her find a job or a career path that will be more rewarding financially and not as taxing on the body as she gets older. The upside to restaurant work for young people is that it is transportable in that there are restaurants everywhere.

All that said, I concur that Culinary Academies are a waste of money as are design schools and any other technical-type school. It's best to go for it and get a four year degree that generally ends up costing just a bit more but carries much more prestige and will give one a springboard to further education if one should desire to go further with one's studies. Four year colleges and universities offer hospitality programs that are well regarded.

None of this is going to change the structure of tipping, however. If one is attentive, has a good memory, is intelliigent and well-groomed, polite and accomodating, well the world is your oyster as a server. Conversely, the work in a kitchen is much more labor intensive and often unsatifsfying financially not to mention the toll it takes on one's body.

#65 Edward J

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

Unions?

Like I said before, ther are two ways to make an employer pay a higher salary:

-Put agun to his head and say "Strike, or pay up"
- Develop an ascending range of qualifications and a payscale to accompany it.

Most trades adopt choice #2. It takes a lot more effort, but the benefits are greater.
Ask the plumbers, electricians, HVAC guys, etc.


But the US has no standard for cooks or servers, nothing to base salaries on, nothing to design a culinary school curriculum on.
With choice #1 you always are at the mercy at the cost of living going up.

#66 jrshaul

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

I feel that the best solution is to pay waiters more, increment the prices 12%, and put up a big sign saying "Waiters are paid enough you don't need to tip them (though you still can if you like.)" If the waiters mistreat anyone, they get the boot.

There's only one bike shop in Madison that doesn't pay their workers on commission. It's also the only one I buy at.

#67 annabelle

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

I worked on commission for over 15 years. It separates the sheep from the goats in no time. Commissioned sales is a meritocracy and is one of the natural homes of type A personalities (I speak from experience as a luxury and domestic car salesman). The house/store will pay you minimum wages for 90 days to try you out and to train you, but if you aren't selling anything by then you're out on your ear. It's fantastic experience and one I truly enjoyed.

Unions seem to be home to a lot of slackers. Not all of them of course, but look at the Post Office, for instance. I had a woman tell me that working at the Post Office was a fantastic place to practice her alcoholism, since there wasn't a lot of work to do, too many workers to do it and no accountability. All with a pension attached!

#68 gfweb

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

The topic is shifting again, but ....without addressing whether unions shield slackers....the less motivated and able do need to work and feed their families too. A meritocracy only works for those with some merit. Govt jobs like the USPS are safe havens for many...which isn't to say that all or even many postmen are slackers and drunks. (I contend that this is still on topic since drinking...which occurs in restaurants... is being discussed)

#69 mkayahara

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

the less motivated and able do need to work and feed their families too.

I think the standard "meritocratic" response to that is that the "less motivated" will become more motivated once they stop being able to feed their families.
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#70 gfweb

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:05 PM


the less motivated and able do need to work and feed their families too.

I think the standard "meritocratic" response to that is that the "less motivated" will become more motivated once they stop being able to feed their families.

That would be the response; and up to a point, it is true.

#71 jrshaul

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:06 PM

The problem with the usps argument is that they're both better snd cheaper than the other options. They also must serve areas so remote no once could turn a profit. Around here, the his party selects for maulmen whi work like dogs.

As for comission sales, the quality of service is often crap. I avoid them by default, as any post-sale service is unpaid labor and therefore non-existent.

Edited by jrshaul, 12 January 2013 - 11:07 PM.


#72 Lisa Shock

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

I'd like to address the misconception that the US has no skills standards for cooks. Membership and rank in the ACF is directly tied to skills. There are written examinations, practical examinations, apprenticeships, university-level course requirements in sanitation and management, etc. all required. For fun, there are highly regulated competitions and mentoring programs. Now, ACF members represent a a small percentage of all the cooks in the US, but please, do not deny our existence!

#73 Edward J

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

Ahhh, now we're getting to the heart of the matter!

ACF focuses on Chefs not cooks. Cooks don't exist, they are called "culinarians" and the criteria for this is very, very, very basic. Many Culinary schools do not adopt ACF standards.

The whole thing is this:

-Cooks are judged by what they put on a plate.
-Chefs are judged by how well you manage the resources given to you (Labour, inventory, equipment, time)

To become a good chef you have to be a competent cook--not excellent, but competent.
Look after the pennies and the dollars look after themselves. Focus the training on cooks, and the Chefs will emerge by themselves.

Q: Where does this cooking background come from?

Last time I looked at the ACF website , the criteria for "Culinarians" was a cooking test that featured making chicken stock and a few vegetable cuts. That would be first year stuff for most European apprenticeships. What concerned me more was the criteria for Sous-Chef status. One criteria was that the applicant must be in a supervisory position--fair enough, I get that, and I agree. Then, on the practical, one criteria is to temp steaks properly. Whoa buddy! You're supervising employees and you have to prove you know how to grill a steak med. rare?????? How can you effectively supervise a grill cook if you yourself can't tell the difference between med-rare and med. well?i

That was a few years ago, and I hope (really hope) things have changed.
Have they?

#74 Lisa Shock

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

Ahhh, now we're getting to the heart of the matter!

ACF focuses on Chefs not cooks. Cooks don't exist, they are called "culinarians" and the criteria for this is very, very, very basic. Many Culinary schools do not adopt ACF standards.

The whole thing is this:

-Cooks are judged by what they put on a plate.
-Chefs are judged by how well you manage the resources given to you (Labour, inventory, equipment, time)

To become a good chef you have to be a competent cook--not excellent, but competent.
Look after the pennies and the dollars look after themselves. Focus the training on cooks, and the Chefs will emerge by themselves.

Q: Where does this cooking background come from?

Last time I looked at the ACF website , the criteria for "Culinarians" was a cooking test that featured making chicken stock and a few vegetable cuts. That would be first year stuff for most European apprenticeships. What concerned me more was the criteria for Sous-Chef status. One criteria was that the applicant must be in a supervisory position--fair enough, I get that, and I agree. Then, on the practical, one criteria is to temp steaks properly. Whoa buddy! You're supervising employees and you have to prove you know how to grill a steak med. rare?????? How can you effectively supervise a grill cook if you yourself can't tell the difference between med-rare and med. well?i

That was a few years ago, and I hope (really hope) things have changed.
Have they?


http://www.acfchefs..../CC/default.htm

That's a link for the current requirements for certification at the lowest level for a regular, hot-side, cook. (There are certifications for Pastry, Personal Chefs, Administrators and Educators which I am not discussing in this thread. I myself am a lowly CPC, so, I know a bit more about Pastry certification than I do about the hot-side. However, my past employer hosted practical exams, so I have seen all sorts of practicals in progress.) Note that the very first requirement is two years work experience, or, one year plus a degree from an accredited culinary school, or and associates degree from an accredited culinary school that requires an externship. -That is where the cooking background comes in.

On top of the cooking background, there are required classes -three 30-hour classes with final exams. Then, come the written exam and the 2½ hour practical exam. The practical varies from test to test, but generally involves knife cuts, and making two complete plates of food (protein, starch, veg) along with some other requirements, which vary, like say, boning a whole chicken intact.

The upper levels of certification build on the lower levels and are more difficult. The practical exams go from a few hours long to a few days, to over a week. At every level, the practical exam is an important part of certification. It would not be possible to complete the practical without having extensive (not just knowing how to cook the menu of the last couple places you worked at) real-world cooking experience.



#75 The J

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

What concerned me more was the criteria for Sous-Chef status. One criteria was that the applicant must be in a supervisory position--fair enough, I get that, and I agree. Then, on the practical, one criteria is to temp steaks properly. Whoa buddy! You're supervising employees and you have to prove you know how to grill a steak med. rare?????? How can you effectively supervise a grill cook if you yourself can't tell the difference between med-rare and med. well?


Isn't that the point then? If you can't tell the difference, then you can't supervise a grill cook, and therefore you can't be sous-chef.

#76 Edward J

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

What concerned me more was the criteria for Sous-Chef status. One criteria was that the applicant must be in a supervisory position--fair enough, I get that, and I agree. Then, on the practical, one criteria is to temp steaks properly. Whoa buddy! You're supervising employees and you have to prove you know how to grill a steak med. rare?????? How can you effectively supervise a grill cook if you yourself can't tell the difference between med-rare and med. well?


Isn't that the point then? If you can't tell the difference, then you can't supervise a grill cook, and therefore you can't be sous-chef.

Uh-huh......AFTER you've (falsely) instructed subordinates to cook "Rare" as medium and "medium" as well done..........


Thanks for the link Lisa

From what I read, I understand that to apply for the testing, a "Culinarian" must have at least 2 years working experience, and in the last 10 years.
Alternatively-but not required- a candidate with 1 year culinary arts education only needs 1 year working experience, and if an Associate's degree in culinary arts, no job experience is needed.

This has really improved since I last looked at the site a few years ago, this is really good news.

#77 Lisa Shock

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

The main issue is that many employers don't know about ACF certification, don't understand it, and/or don't care. If more employers took it seriously, I think there would be more overall respect for the back of the house. -And a lot fewer people faking it back there, too.

#78 pastrygirl

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

Okay kids. Diplomacy aside.

I hate tipping bad service (incompetence) but having worked and relied on tips myself it is hard not to leave something (10%) even in the worst of situations. The going rate here for wait-staff is still $2.13/hr so to make any decent cash a server or bartender has to hustle. To me it's a skilled profession that many don't take seriously while employed in the industry. I made good money with my best effort even though I couldn't hold a candle to the naturals who raked in the cash. And at one joint I had to tip out up to 52% of my tips to the cooks and bartender. Anyway...



Would/should/do you tip differently when visiting Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada or California? These states do not allow tip credit and have minimum wages higher than federally mandated, so there is less hustle required to make a living. I love living in high-paying, dope-smoking, gay-marrying WA, but I do think that since our minimum wage is so much higher, we in particular should be able to re-think tipping, make it closer to 10% than 20% if we continue the tradition at all.
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In that gig where you tipped out 52%, did you still manage to make a living? And was it cash flow alone or other factors that led you to leave?

#79 The J

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:13 PM


What concerned me more was the criteria for Sous-Chef status. One criteria was that the applicant must be in a supervisory position--fair enough, I get that, and I agree. Then, on the practical, one criteria is to temp steaks properly. Whoa buddy! You're supervising employees and you have to prove you know how to grill a steak med. rare?????? How can you effectively supervise a grill cook if you yourself can't tell the difference between med-rare and med. well?


Isn't that the point then? If you can't tell the difference, then you can't supervise a grill cook, and therefore you can't be sous-chef.

Uh-huh......AFTER you've (falsely) instructed subordinates to cook "Rare" as medium and "medium" as well done..........


Huh? This doesn't even make sense.

The test is basically saying that to be a sous-chef, you have to be able to do A, B and C. You seem to agree with the premise that a sous-chef needs to be able to temp a steak correctly. But you seem to think that the test should then automatically assume that the person knows how to and therefore shouldn't test it. Or you assume that because the test does test for it that the person doesn't know how.

A test is supposed to ensure that a person knows the material that is required for the subject being tested. If a sous-chef is supposed to know how to temp a steak, then the sous-chef certification exam should test temping a steak.

#80 Edward J

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 04:59 PM

O.K. this is getting a bit off topic here however I really want to respond.

The big deal is that a Sous chef has to be in a supervisory position before applying for the test. That means s/he is training and/or supervising subordinates. Agree?

Of course the Sous should know how to temp a steak!!!!!!!!! That much is assumed, just as basic knife skills and butchery are assumed. This (steak temping) should be tested when the applicant was tested as a cook, just like basic knife skills and butchery should be tested for a cook's designation. The Sous position is above a cook's position.

Should an applicant be tested for steak temping and fail-- well then, the question is, what kind of damage did the Sous do to his subordinates before he got caught?

Hey this is N. America here. Ask 10 cooks to make an ommelette, and you'll get 10 different results, from frittatas to doing it on the flat top to egg-cake rolled up like a carpet. In Europe, the procedure is standard anywhere you go: Scrambled eggs in a delicate shell folded over.

See, the European apprenticeship system is based on the "4 t's"

Trained Trainers training the Trainees.

A Chef can't take on an apprentice unless s/he has completed their own apprenticeship. Don't pass the apprenticeship, you don't get the possibility to train subordinates and subsequently don't have the opportunity to instruct "short cuts", or not have the knowledge that the cook you are supervising is doing things the wrong way. (Deep frying raw meat, for example) .

Now, one might argue that qualifications don't mean much, and this may be true.

However, qualifications also mean that the qualified person has no excuse to plead ignorance, they know better, they demonstrated this in their testing.

Take driver's licenses for example. Just because I passed my exam 30 years ago does not guarantee that I won't cruise through a stop sign, or run my high-beams at night in city streets. But I can't plead ignorance if I get caught (and fined). I know better.


It also means that I drive with some level of comfort, knowing that almost every vehicle on the road has the same qualifications, or higher, as I do.

Now compare that with taking your chances driving a car in, uhh.. well, let's just say "another country", the kind where drivers routinely substitute the use of their horn for a brake pedal or signal light, the kind where a driver's license means you just bribed someone and have no idea what a 4-way stop is all about. More than likely they don't know better.

#81 annabelle

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

If the whole idea of tipping is not To Insure Proper Service, but rather to provide a living wage (which is itself relative), then it sounds like those who dislike tipping think we should end the practice and pay servers a straight minumum wage. This will drive up costs for the owner, most likely resulting in one or more server losing his job and the remaining servers making less money and/or possibly working fewer hours.

#82 PSmith

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:42 PM

Here in the UK restaurant staff have to be paid the full minimum wage net of any tips. The employers is not allowed to use the tips to make up the wage.

We now have creeping in a service charge of 10-15% which the owners are probably using to make up the money they would claw back from tips. It is supposed to be optional, but us non-confrontational Brits will rarely ask for it to be removed unless the food or service has been particularly bad.

I would guess however, that may diners think the service charge is a tip replacement, but generally it goes to the company.

Personally I would prefer the price of the food to be gross, so it is easier to judge value for money, then if I have a good experience, I can leave a tip.

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#83 radtek

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:17 AM

Hah. Even the American practice of tipping is culturally seeping its way across the globe. I wonder if this practice exists in Asia.

It has struck me that all this talk of certification would be beneficial for career servers also. They are where the rubber meets the road when it comes down to tipping. As the US has transitioned to a service economy over the last couple decades it only makes sense to have required certifications to engage in service.

#84 Edward J

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

If the whole idea of tipping is not To Insure Proper Service, but rather to provide a living wage (which is itself relative), then it sounds like those who dislike tipping think we should end the practice and pay servers a straight minumum wage. This will drive up costs for the owner, most likely resulting in one or more server losing his job and the remaining servers making less money and/or possibly working fewer hours.


Annabelle, no one is talking minimum wage. Heck even the cooks are making a bit more than that. A decent wage, yes, but not as low as minimum.

This is why I'm talking about certification and/or qualifications, it's one of the factors that's based on how many of the other trades pay their people. Other factors include working experience, related skills (computer, book keeping, etc.) and "people skills". No one wants an employee who can't get along with the others. But qualifications is one of the big factors.

What qualifications does a server need in a place that sells $10-$15 entrees with no alcohol?

What qualifications does a server need for fine dining with an extensive wine list?

What qualifications does a server need for a breakfast place?

#85 pastrygirl

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

I made good money with my best effort even though I couldn't hold a candle to the naturals who raked in the cash.


......most likely resulting in one or more server losing his job and the remaining servers making less money and/or possibly working fewer hours.


And civilization as we know it will continue to exist even if servers rake in slightly less cash. I'm sure all those unemployed servers will have no problem finding work, with their highly valuable skill sets and all.

But seriously, Australia and Europe still seem to function, and the restaurant industry is alive and well in states that pay servers above the federal minimum wage. What are the people who resist change so afraid of?

Edited by pastrygirl, 15 January 2013 - 10:28 AM.


#86 annabelle

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Who is resisiting change? I submit it is the servers who don't want to work for minimum wages.

You said yourself, pastrygirl, that you enjoy your high-paying city/state. We aren't a homogenous country, we are a vast land of 300M+ souls with 48 contiguous states with thousands of counties and tens of thousands of cities, towns and villages. Blanket policy making and harrumphing about it isn't going to change anything. Frankly, I would prefer to leave policy decisions to those people in those cities, states, and towns and their citizens to do as they see fit.

#87 pastrygirl

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

Are you using 'minimum wages' to mean a set hourly wage? We all agree that it would be nice if everyone managed to make a living at whatever job they choose, whatever the cost of living in a certain area is. We can't seem to agree on what a server should make on an hourly basis. And yes, I agree that servers prefer working for tips, because of the possibility of "raking in cash" in large amounts.

The lack of homogeneity is indeed a problem, because the culture of tipping in this country does not respond to it. The expectation that a diner should tip 15-20% does not change from state to state even though base wages do. It doesn't change from city to rural or in any other way. Diners are trapped.

#88 sigma

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

Who is resisiting change? I submit it is the servers who don't want to work for minimum wages.

You said yourself, pastrygirl, that you enjoy your high-paying city/state. We aren't a homogenous country, we are a vast land of 300M+ souls with 48 contiguous states with thousands of counties and tens of thousands of cities, towns and villages. Blanket policy making and harrumphing about it isn't going to change anything. Frankly, I would prefer to leave policy decisions to those people in those cities, states, and towns and their citizens to do as they see fit.


Standing ovation.

#89 annabelle

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

Servers who live and work in destination cities and resort spots are going to make more money than do servers who work at a steakhouse or pancake house in flyover country. Minimum wages (set by the by the federal government) aren't meant to be a living wage, they are specifically for unskilled entry level jobs. The raising of minimum wages forces the job market to contract resulting in the loss of jobs.

I don't see the lack of homogeneity as a problem. People have different ideals and beliefs and ways of living in different parts of the country. This isn't a bad thing. It is an American thing. The very people who whine and bitch about the homogeneity of fast food and dining experiences are now complaining that the custom of tipping differs in different parts of our great land.

It is what it is and that's all that it is.

(Thanks, Sigma.)

Edited by annabelle, 15 January 2013 - 04:05 PM.


#90 pastrygirl

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

I don't see the lack of homogeneity as a problem. People have different ideals and beliefs and ways of living in different parts of the country. This isn't a bad thing. It is an American thing. The very people who whine and bitch about the homogeneity of fast food and dining experiences are now complaining that the custom of tipping differs in different parts of our great land.


As far as I can tell, the custom of tipping does not differ in different parts of the country, the custom of tipping 15-20% is the same across America. How would you say it differs? The custom, the expectation/obligation of the diner, not the money taken in by the server.