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Restaurants without tipping in the U.S.


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Actually, it's included at all restaurants in France, from the cheap bistros to the grand tables. So is tax. So basically, one knows the damage upfront and easily (food + wine, end of story), whereas when I go back to the U.S., I'm no longer used to the add-ons, and a meal that originally seems to look like it will cost one amount is nearly 30% more after tax and tip, which is disconcerting.

I haven't been to France in a while, so maybe this has now been standardized, but in the 1990s when I was spending time there most every year we encountered both "service compris" and "service non compris." In both cases, service would be part of the bill, but in the latter case it was added to the total, rather than assumed as part of the printed menu prices. So in the s.n.c. places (which seemed to be especially common in the border regions) one still had to do some arithmetic to project the final bill. All the finer restaurants, however, were s.c.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Here's my question: Do restaurants in Japan offer any kind of profit sharing or performance bonuses to their servers at all?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've had one tip rejected in the US, ever. It was not at a restaurant, though. It was at a furniture place. A guy helped us load a piece of furniture into our car and I tried to give him a couple of dollars. He said they had a no-tipping policy and that his hourly wage was correspondingly higher than the norm in order to reflect that.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Here's my question: Do restaurants in Japan offer any kind of profit sharing or performance bonuses to their servers at all?

Performance bonuses, generally no. But full-time workers in Japan are often entitled to bi-annual bonuses. Where I work (not a restaurant), one's bonus has nothing to do with performance, but it is based on length of time worked, current salary (which is usually based on length of time worked, not performance) and the rate of inflation.

Sometimes part-time workers will get smaller bonuses, but they're usually token amounts.

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The s.c. system (as used widely in France and in a few US restaurants) is essentially a profit-sharing mechanism: when the restaurant's gross is higher, the servers get more, and vice-versa. It sounds like in Japan there's nothing like that -- that it's a purely seniority-based system of compensation. Is that correct?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Does anyone know an example of a restaurant in the U.S. that does not allow tips?

Golf & country clubs often do not accept tips, even in their restaurants. Although I'm not sure if this actually qualifies for what we customarily refer to as "restaurants" (being typically members-only). Are service staff at clubs that don't allow tipping paid higher wages than restaurants that have tips? How do servers make up the difference?

Not necessarily. My sister worked at a Golf and Country Club. The members were told that they were not to tip as the wait staff was paid well and tipping was not required. The wait staff got minimum wage. Eventually she quit and let a few members know the what the wages were. Apparently there were a bunch of complaints to the management once the truth was out there.

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Years ago, a friend of mine and I were changing trains in Munich. We had a little bit of a layover so rather than eat in the station we found a restaurant across the street. When we asked for the bill the waiter said, in English, the tip is not included. This took us aback; I'd never had a waiter ask for a tip before.

So I pointed to the bottom of the menu where it said service was included. He said it didn't mean that. So I read it to him (in German) and explained (in German) that I knew exactly what it meant. He kept insisting in English that the tip wasn't included.

Needless to say we didn't tip or even include a little "Trinkgeld". But I wonder how many tourists he managed to strong-arm extra money from.

---Guy

Edited by pennbrew (log)
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Does anyone know an example of a restaurant in the U.S. that does not allow tips?

Golf & country clubs often do not accept tips, even in their restaurants. Although I'm not sure if this actually qualifies for what we customarily refer to as "restaurants" (being typically members-only). Are service staff at clubs that don't allow tipping paid higher wages than restaurants that have tips? How do servers make up the difference?

Not necessarily. My sister worked at a Golf and Country Club. The members were told that they were not to tip as the wait staff was paid well and tipping was not required. The wait staff got minimum wage. Eventually she quit and let a few members know the what the wages were. Apparently there were a bunch of complaints to the management once the truth was out there.

Was she paid minimum wage at the standard rate, or the rate for "tipped employees" ? It makes a huge difference; the minimum wage for "tipped employees" here in Florida is somehing like $3.00 an hour.

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I haven't been to France in a while, so maybe this has now been standardized, but in the 1990s when I was spending time there most every year we encountered both "service compris" and "service non compris."

Interesting. I've been living here since 1998, have traveled throughout the country, often, and have never seen "service non compris." I wonder if there was some law that changed everything. In 1993, the first time I was in France, the price of baguettes everywhere was standardized; a couple of years later, it was released from that law and now a baguette can cost anywhere from 80 cents to 1.20 €. The restaurant service-inclusion could also date to the same era.

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Does anyone know an example of a restaurant in the U.S. that does not allow tips?

Golf & country clubs often do not accept tips, even in their restaurants. Although I'm not sure if this actually qualifies for what we customarily refer to as "restaurants" (being typically members-only). Are service staff at clubs that don't allow tipping paid higher wages than restaurants that have tips? How do servers make up the difference?

Not necessarily. My sister worked at a Golf and Country Club. The members were told that they were not to tip as the wait staff was paid well and tipping was not required. The wait staff got minimum wage. Eventually she quit and let a few members know the what the wages were. Apparently there were a bunch of complaints to the management once the truth was out there.

Was she paid minimum wage at the standard rate, or the rate for "tipped employees" ? It makes a huge difference; the minimum wage for "tipped employees" here in Florida is somehing like $3.00 an hour.

She was paid minimum wage for regular employees. It is higher than minimum wage for tipped employees but far lower than anyone can live on and far lower than anyone would reasonably expect to make with a low hourly wage plus tips.

The members were told they were not to tip but when they found out how pitiful the wages were they were upset with the management of the club.

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Does anyone know an example of a restaurant in the U.S. that does not allow tips?

Golf & country clubs often do not accept tips, even in their restaurants. Although I'm not sure if this actually qualifies for what we customarily refer to as "restaurants" (being typically members-only). Are service staff at clubs that don't allow tipping paid higher wages than restaurants that have tips? How do servers make up the difference?

Not necessarily. My sister worked at a Golf and Country Club. The members were told that they were not to tip as the wait staff was paid well and tipping was not required. The wait staff got minimum wage. Eventually she quit and let a few members know the what the wages were. Apparently there were a bunch of complaints to the management once the truth was out there.

Was she paid minimum wage at the standard rate, or the rate for "tipped employees" ? It makes a huge difference; the minimum wage for "tipped employees" here in Florida is somehing like $3.00 an hour.

She was paid minimum wage for regular employees. It is higher than minimum wage for tipped employees but far lower than anyone can live on and far lower than anyone would reasonably expect to make with a low hourly wage plus tips.

The members were told they were not to tip but when they found out how pitiful the wages were they were upset with the management of the club.

Well, then, all I can say is good on the members!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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It sounds like in Japan there's nothing like that -- that it's a purely seniority-based system of compensation. Is that correct?

Generally, yes. But for large companies like Honda, for example, I think yearly profits are also factored in when determining bonuses, but still not performance. But except perhaps with sales reps, performance is rarely taken into account (we don't even have performance reviews, and when I mentioned the idea of instituting them, everyone balked).

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I worked at a restaurant that had this policy. When I first started there the management told me about the tip sharing system, he said everyone made the same wage and everyone made a fair wage. I was a server there, the gratuity was something around 20% so quite high. The average cheque was $500. We each had an average of 7-9 tables over a 6 hour shift. All the tips went to the house and they were "distributed" on pay day. I think I ended up making an extra $100 on top of my small salary every two weeks. Where the rest of the money went I can only guess. I wasnt mad that the money wans't going into my pocket at all. What did make me mad was knowing that the whole "equal distribution" model this place claimed to have was all a sham.

Once a table commented that the money there must be really good because of the gratuity, I explained to them that we actually don't make much of it, and they left me a $50 tip.

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  • 1 month later...
Such a system would not work in the US or Canada, because in my experience, most people at least in the customer service industry don't really care about the quality of work they produce unless they're making a lot of money for it.

oooo soooo true, japanes profesionalism cannot be compared to anything else, it's just head and shoulder above everything else, and certainly american profesionalism.

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