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Rethinking tipping culture


mkayahara
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Lets think through what a server might make at a diner.  8 hours x $2.13 = $17.04 in salary

 

lets say he/she served 30 customers ( a low number, I think for 8 hours)  who had an average check of $20 (also low) and they all tipped 15% that's $90 tips plus salary for 107 for 8 hours or $13.38/hour. And I bet I've way-underestimated things. Might be half again or twice as much.

That's a broad assumption that very likely doesn't bear out in reality.

You're forgetting that in many places, tips are pooled and divided amongst all FOH workers. So that includes busboys (who don't receive tips), or if it's your stereotypical diner or Olive Garden, it might also include things like the cashier and other FOH staff. So your effective $13.38 per hour is even less when you take those factors into account. And that's assuming that management is above-board, not like slimeballs who steal or skim off tips.

You're also not considering things like lack of health insurance and the amount of sexual harassment restaurant workers regularly endure. Those ARE factors that must be included because they impact a server's performance and job morale, and further determine an employer's bottom line.

I linked to the report above. Did you even bother to read it? Most likely not, but why should I be surprised?

Yes, $2.13/hour + tips using your napkin math means that American restaurant workers are living in the lap of luxury. Okay.

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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You clearly are not aware of what you are saying.

 

Minimum wage in NYC is $8.00/hour.

 

Save the rhetoric and get your facts straight.

 

And lets keep the conversation civil, OK pal?

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16 USD is the minium wages for a waitress over 20 years of age in Sweden, yes we have high taxes  which will removed on your salary.  How ever  you get healthcare and pension  on this  salary.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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CatPoet, your society is structured entirely differently than is our in the US.  What works in Sweden wouldn't work over here.

 

I stand by what I have said whenever this topic crops up:  The waitstaff themselves are not driving a reform to our tipping couture.  If that were the case, it would have been changed decades ago.

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As I've said here before, in my very small remote town, my lunch servers average $15/hr and peak around $80.  My night averages $20-25/hr and peaks around $125.  I do a base pay of $4/hr and there is no tip out and no pooling.  I get the best in town.  Previously when I worked at Keystone Ski Resort, I had guys getting much, much more than that - but it was seasonal.  Again, we had the best in town.  My point is that the cream rises just like in any industry.  You can make not only a subsistence living waiting tables, but a helluva living if you hustle and have a head on your shoulders.  As a restaurant owner I fully support a higher minimum or better yet scrapping the tip culture and having the cost shifted into menu prices, but I've seen time and time again that customers don't want that.  I also feel like it has to be an all or none proposal - that the system change completely.

 

The mention to sexual harassment is one we're spending a lot of time with right now with our staff - and the subtle racism that plays out in tips.  That's another discussion but also relevant because we're talking about pay related to work environment.

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I stand by what I have said whenever this topic crops up:  The waitstaff themselves are not driving a reform to our tipping couture.  If that were the case, it would have been changed decades ago.

 

And that is absolutely the God's truth.  It's easy for folks to view this from afar and whine and moan about the "rich and greedy" restaurant owners (is there really even such a thing?), and the "rich and greedy" lobbyists, and the poor "exploited" waitstaff that "has no choice."  But the truth is that most servers like the current system just fine.  If they didn't, there'd be a big revolt, and that would be that.

 

I myself waited tables eons ago, as have all three of my children.  One son hated being "exploited" in the restaurant industry so badly that he decided to make a career of it, and got his degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. 

 

But for this example, I'm going to tell you about my daughter. 

 

She has an advanced degree in Spanish and is, by profession now, a Spanish teacher.  She worked waiting tables at various times throughout her highschool and college years, in addition to other odd jobs such as coaching and refereeing volleyball and basketball and even flag football and tutoring Spanish.  She met and married a man who was working for Dell at the time, but who had always wanted to go to law school.  She had graduated from university by then and had a really good job teaching Spanish at what is one of the most prestigious high schools in the nation.  It's a boarding school, so there are pupils there from all over the world and, as one of the "boarding faculty," she lived in a nice apartment on campus.  All in all, the timing was good, so her husband quit Dell and headed off to law school.  She was teaching during the day, and waiting tables at night, in order to help pay the bills. 

 

Fast forward to a few years ago; hubby graduated from law school and passed the bar and found a job in Houston, a place where neither of them had ever lived.  The timing was not right for my daughter to get a job teaching Spanish in the local school system, so she walked into one of the best "celeb-chef-restaurants" in the city, and that night came home with nearly $300 in her pocket.  There's only one other job I can think of where you can walk in to work on day one and that night have $300 cash, and it's not something that she would like having to do, let alone something of which her family and husband would approve.

 

"But, but, but..." I can just hear some of you saying.  "Sure...but not everybody is working at a fancy celebrity chef's restaurant hauling home that kind of cash."

 

And you're right about that, of course. Many, perhaps even most, servers are toiling away for much less, sometimes not even making $300 in a week, let alone the first night on the job.

 

They're working in diners and small corner cafes and burger joints and short-order dives.  In fact, they're working in the exact same sorts of places where my three kids and I got our starts in the food service industry.

 

You call that "exploitation."  In our family, we called that "an entry level job."  And we were glad to get it.

 

And that's where my daughter worked for years and years and years, in order to get enough experience and knowledge that she could one day walk into a fancy, upscale, high-end, celebrity-chef-driven restaurant and be hired immediately on the spot and that very night be serving "big reds" to fancy, upscale, high-end diners who leave fancy, upscale, high-end big fat tips.

 

Every single poll I've ever seen wherein restaurant servers are asked if they want to change the system, the overwhelming majority say "no."  As for the "job lock" of all of these poor, exploited servers, it seems to me that there are restaurants on practically every corner of every town in the nation.  It's easy enough to take advantage of the many, many choices open to servers.  The most obvious option is to switch and work BOH.  Or if they don't like the restaurant/management/system, etc. where they're currently working, they can quit and go work at another restaurant. 

 

Or, they can do what countless servers (and my kids and I) have done - work hours that suit your schedule and go to school and learn to do something else.

 

Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying that I, personally, am or am not in favor of the current system. 

 

But I am saying that it definitely has its advantages and benefits and its enthusiastic supporters and if the majority of servers decided to end it, end it would.

Edited by Jaymes (log)
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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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But the truth is that most servers like the current system just fine.

But then, why do we hear so many complaints here about customers that tip badly?

I'd say bad tippers are part of the system, you can't have your cake and eat it too....

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But then, why do we hear so many complaints here about customers that tip badly?

I'd say bad tippers are part of the system, you can't have your cake and eat it too....

For the same reason we hear about getting a bad mortgage rate, a bad deal on a car, a bad contract...we all shoot for the ideal 20% tipper but you get the 10% tippers too.  I don't think I've yet to work in a perfect industry.

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 But the truth is that most servers like the current system just fine.  If they didn't, there'd be a big revolt, and that would be that.

 

 

 

Oh dear, I was afraid of that.

 

It's not servers who make the hospitality industry go round and round.

 

It's the customers.

 

No customers, no industry.  Same as every other industry.

 

And the customers don't like forking out 20% in tips or even higher, nor do they like the fact that someone lobbied to get servers paid a "tipping wage".

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  • 1 month later...

Link.

 

Here's a link to an update on a local restaurant that had a no-tipping/higher-wages concept but had to revert back to the traditional model due to customer demand.

 

In order for the no-tip concept to be viable, they had to price their menu about 18% above the norm for the area.  Customers didn't go for this, didn't like that they didn't have a say on tipping.  At some point, the restaurant would have priced themselves out of the market. The owner and a hospitality expert mentioned in the article both suggested that this no-tip model is way ahead of it's time.

 

 

 

 

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Link.

 

Here's a link to an update on a local restaurant that had a no-tipping/higher-wages concept but had to revert back to the traditional model due to customer demand.

 

In order for the no-tip concept to be viable, they had to price their menu about 18% above the norm for the area.  Customers didn't go for this, didn't like that they didn't have a say on tipping.  At some point, the restaurant would have priced themselves out of the market. The owner and a hospitality expert mentioned in the article both suggested that this no-tip model is way ahead of it's time.

 

Sad, isn't it.

 

It fits the concept here of the mostest for the leastest $$$, everything else be damned. 

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  • 1 year later...

Host's note: this post and its responses were moved from the Blacklisting Cultural Bad Tippers topic.

.............way old thread. but recent events repeat history.

a "tipping wage" - first understand that the wild-eyed "OMG they get paid nothing" is completely removed from the truth. in the case a waitperson does not report enough tips to equal the minimum hourly wage the employer must pay them addtional over and above the $3.xx "tip wage" in some states, employers are required to pay the full minimum wage (heading for $15+/hr) and the waitperson gets 100% of their tips _in addition_ to the state/local minimum $8-15/hr (current) wage paid by the employer.

if you wonder why so few waitpersons are chiming in about starving to death on less than no wages..... it's because so many of them make a lot of money based on tips - forget about _any_ hourly wage amount paid by their employer. the $3.xx minimum/hour tip wage is a way long dismissed after thought. one honest bartender cited making $1500 in tips _per night_ Fri-Sat-Sun. do the math: Fri+Sat+Sun=$4500 times 50 weeks/year (gotta do some vacation....) that's $225,000/yr plus hourly wage plus tips for Monday thru Thursday. this is why we don't see a lot of whine from waitstaff.....

a waitperson whining to the management about a customer not tipping to the waitperson's expectations - well, the waitperson needs a different occupation. he/she may seem to be popular - but his/her attitude is bleeding through to all the clientelle. in my world, at the conclusion of his/her whining, he/she would have his/her walking papers in hand. a business does not need a front line representative with that kind of approach.

in Germany, located in Europe, unless they've moved it of late.... the menus state at the bottom: words to the effect "Prices include a 15% service fee." if one is prepared to walk out of an eatery that includes / specifies a service fee, do not go to Europe - you will become very very hungry. a lot of European wait staff just adore Americans. because Americans don't know about the 'included' fees so they add 15-50000% on top of the 'tip already included' price.

I suspect legal requirements differ. I have been to places for example in Italy....there's not a question remaining about being 'not local' after listening to my Italian...where I've been charged for the tablecloth, the utensils, the glassware - oh, and the food.....

it is customary in Germany to 'round-up' the bill. but a percentage of 'rounding up' is not applied or expected from locals. note also the overwhelming quantity of tabs are paid in cash. none of that credit card writing in to the penny stuff.

This is completely untrue. 100% untrue in my vast experience. I reported the bulk, not all of my tips. My "pay" was 2.13$ an hour and would be if I had to go back to the grind. I had a LOT of days where I was in the red-- as in, after working a slow lunch and tipping out the bartender and busboy and getting shitty tips, I owed the 'house' money (which was generally forgiven) AND I had to pay to get my car out of an expensive parking garage-- the only option for me to drive to work. Sorry, not walking six miles in Northern Nj where the weather is precarious at best.

But hey, you know on single bartender who makes a lot of money. Bartenders tend to do well and also do not have the 2.13$ hourly wage that servers do, at least not in most states. Also? Before you suggest a person tries a different job, perhaps you should consider the physical, mental and hustle abilities needed in a waiter position. Walk a mile in ones shoes, and THEN talk.

I know all about any included fees as an American. I have a BA in Hotel & Restaurant Management. I've spent a decade of my life dedicated to serving people, not as a way to live, because the income is dependent on so many factors, but because I genuinely loved it. But to think a server is being paid decently and even to suggest they might even have access to a solid health care plan is ignorant. Walk a mile in any pair of my shoes that waited on a minimum of 20,000 tables and then let's talk.

And because of my experience, that's why my husband felt it was important to educate his employee and continues to do so.

Edited by Smithy
Added host's note. (log)
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Also? If you haven't lived off of tips alone, well, you don't really have a leg to stand on. I don't work now, simply because my circumstances don't need me to, but I do have a skill that, god forbid, I needed to work and support my family (highly unlikely, but whatever) I could and I could do extremely well. Not a lot of educated people have that to fall back on.,

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your "pay" was not $2.13 per hour.
your employer paid you $2.13 per hour, and your "pay" was: $2.13/hr plus your tips.
if the $2.13 per hour plus your tipped amount did not amount to the legal local/state/federal minimum wage at the time and place of your employment - after you shared your tip pool with other employees - your employer was required to pay more than ther $2.13/hr, specifically to meet minimum non-tipped hourly wage.  if you are ignorant of the law, that is not the law's fault.
it is legally not possible for you to "owe the house" anything.

 

"I could and I could do extremely well."

so,,,, you made more than minimum wage?  extremely more than minimum wage?

Edited by AlaMoi (log)
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Sorry to say this, AlaMoi, as I have liked many of your posts and agreed with your food philosophy on many points, but you are talking out of your hat when you are telling folks what the law is for food service employees, even though you're technically correct.

 

Have you read the stories about successful lawsuits against Walmart for forcing employees to work overtime without pay? The many successful ones against Mexican restaurants, especially with their indigenous personnel that were forced to work hours without pay? Recently I read about folks who were cutting up poultry who sued (I'm not looking it up for you). They want to be paid for time it takes to don protective gear to protect themselves from the sharp cutting instruments. These are the very tippy tip of the iceberg. Service people do what they are told or get fired, especially today. 

 

That said, way back in the 70's I worked at Bad Bob's nightclub in Memphis, TN when I was 15. I had a borrowed birth certificate, got a TB test from the health department, and I was good to go. This establishment paid their waitresses absolutely not one thin dime, NADA. You were allowed to work there for the tips, and they could be very good. The place had live music and alcohol. We were forced to tip out the bartenders who I am sure also got their own tips and I have no idea what wage. 

 

Please don't think it is so easy to enforce the law when you are just a powerless prole trying to survive, and that is what many service folks are. They can't afford legal consultation until the offense is so egregious it amounts to a class action suit that is done on percentage for the lawyers.

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I don't disagree with anything you said.  there are crooks, and then there are more than that crooks.

being "technically correct" but not correct because crooks don't follow the rules and exploited people accept that.... dunno what to say about that.  find another job and blow the whistle on the crook? 

eateries have an abysmal record of crookedness, fraud, skimming, cooking the books, etc.  the people I dealt with had million dollar homes, hundred thousand dollar cars, vacation villas in the Bahamas, and their restaurants went bankrupt every two-three years.  I think they were cheating a bit.....

 

the interesting question is,,,, does it make a difference?  if the $2.13/hr employer contribution makes any kind of serious difference in waitstaffs' gross pay, it'd be time to look for a better joint.

 

the only mathematically possible way for a wait person to "owe" money to the house is if they are required to share fixed dollar amounts to the tip pool.  "the law" allows employers rather a lot aka rather a huge amount - of discretion in how tips are handled - but that would be unusual.

 

what I do disagree with is current manic crowd screaming about you should tip your waitperson more because they only earn $2.13 per hour.  this is not correct, it is not even close to being correct or accurate.

 

my wife worked the counter at Dunkin'Donuts way back when donuts were $1.99/dozen.  her tip share was 2-4x her hourly wages - so this is not some "new age" situation - as is quite amply demonstrated by the lack of wait persons screaming about how they can't live on $2.13/hour.

 

and, in some states - now morphing to the county, city, town, street .... level - waitstaff are paid minimum wage by their employer PLUS they earn their tips/share of tips.

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I don't disagree with anything you said.  there are crooks, and then there are more than that crooks.

being "technically correct" but not correct because crooks don't follow the rules and exploited people accept that.... dunno what to say about that.  find another job and blow the whistle on the crook? 

eateries have an abysmal record of crookedness, fraud, skimming, cooking the books, etc.  the people I dealt with had million dollar homes, hundred thousand dollar cars, vacation villas in the Bahamas, and their restaurants went bankrupt every two-three years.  I think they were cheating a bit.....

 

the interesting question is,,,, does it make a difference?  if the $2.13/hr employer contribution makes any kind of serious difference in waitstaffs' gross pay, it'd be time to look for a better joint.

 

the only mathematically possible way for a wait person to "owe" money to the house is if they are required to share fixed dollar amounts to the tip pool.  "the law" allows employers rather a lot aka rather a huge amount - of discretion in how tips are handled - but that would be unusual.

 

what I do disagree with is current manic crowd screaming about you should tip your waitperson more because they only earn $2.13 per hour.  this is not correct, it is not even close to being correct or accurate.

 

my wife worked the counter at Dunkin'Donuts way back when donuts were $1.99/dozen.  her tip share was 2-4x her hourly wages - so this is not some "new age" situation - as is quite amply demonstrated by the lack of wait persons screaming about how they can't live on $2.13/hour.

 

and, in some states - now morphing to the county, city, town, street .... level - waitstaff are paid minimum wage by their employer PLUS they earn their tips/share of tips.

Have you ever worked as a waiter? Your wife working at the counter of a D&D hardly counts-- I don't tip when I go there and I tend to tip everyone from cable installers to baggage handlers to whomever provides me with take out food at a restaurant

Who is "screaming" about making $2.13 an hour? I had days where I would average $50 an hour and days where I had to take cash out of my own pocket-- because customers (mainly foreigners) tipped me so poorly that between tipping out the busboy and the bar, with such shitty tips I had to open my own wallet. When people do not tip appropriately, it costs the server money to wait on them.

We can argue whether the current system is right or wrong, or what can be changed, but the bottom line is the system is what it is. If you dislike it so much, you are free to dine at home or at fast food establishments. If there weren't servers out there, busting their asses for tips because of the non existent $2.13 an hour pay, you wouldn't be able to dine out and enjoy being waited on. If you view it as such an issue, please, by all means, do not dine out.

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And, you can talk all you want about 'the law' but, if an employer hires you under the table that's all just hypothetical nonsense. When I lived in Santa Fe, most of the local employers paid under the table. In 1994, they considered $5 an hour to be excellent pay for a manager or head cook, $1.60 was what waitstaff got. If you got hurt on the job, well, good luck to you because everyone would deny that you ever worked there, so there was no worker's comp. -Forget about the employer making up the difference between the below minimum wage for servers and the tipped wage if you got less than $5/hour it just plain wasn't going to happen. I worked at a place with a lunch counter. Just lunch. We often saw customers (mostly senior citizens) who would come in and eat, and then tip a dime. -And make you wait in anticipation as they fished it out of their purse and then demand that you thank them for it. Yes, one thin, no-longer-silver dime, on a 3-4 dollar lunch. I saw servers wait on multiple tables and make less than 60¢ an hour in tips. Some only stayed because they were so poor that they appreciated the opportunity to sneak and eat uneaten food from customer's plates.

 

I tried several times reporting employers who paid under the table, but, this was during the Anaya years and life in NM was very much like living in a banana republic. Heck, once, I was unemployed and the unemployment office sent me on an interview for a job listing they had, and I had to file a huge set of reports as I refused the job because it was under the table. I got in trouble for refusing the job, the employer was never investigated. This restaurant still exists and is a well known tourist destination. I am willing to bet good money that a many if not all of their staff is paid under the table and not covered by unemployment insurance or worker's comp insurance.

 

Another thing no one is mentioning is deductions. Employers always deduct money for shift meals (whether or not anyone serves them), uniforms, cleaning of uniforms, breakage, lost silverware, etc. from paychecks. I saw servers get next to nothing for a week's pay once the deductions were added up. People forget that every time a customer breaks a glass, money is deducted from the server or busser's check. Every time silverware is missing, the bussers have to pay up. Every broken plate is charged (at full retail price) to a busser or server.

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those situations happen in many places/cases, but be assured it is not "the  rule"

 

there are few people I know who would go work someplace for hours, then _pay_ out of their own pocket for the privilege.

 

I have long term exposure to the back rooms of the restaurant industry; on the east coast I have never seen any establishment that required table waitstaff to pay more than their tips to the bussers, bartender, etc.

 

paying people under the table is commonplace everywhere in every industry.

and there is a limit and it only works for so long - businesses reporting/with holding next to nothing in employee contributions bubble to the surface pretty quick in states looking for revenue.  and yes, this is why some eateries are in a constant state of going out of business / bankruptcy.  crooked owners/operators fleece the business and/or their employees and have to go bankrupt before they get caught.

 

and I have never seen in any industry people willing to be paid under the table and then being required to pay their employer / co-workers out of their own pocket for the privilege of working there.  you got some real slime balls around there - but it would seem the job pays so well in the busy periods that hosed employees are willing to go along with this....  which is why the "woe is me at $2.13/hr" is so silly - it's not true, it's not even close to real life - and the replies here demonstrate that.  (ex)waitstaff, etc., explaining how terrible the job is followed by "and I could do extreme well" and "days where I would average $50 an hour"

 

don't tip at counter service?  seriously? I have no problem with "tipping" - I do take exception to the "we need $15 minimum wage because you can't live on $2.13" - a $500,000/hr minimum wage - according to your experience - would not help because everyone is getting paid under the table and then so thoroughly enjoy being hosed by their employer they keep the job.

 

and I don't have any objection to patronizing a place that includes a service charge.  I understand the thought behind the "I will not pay for poor service" line, but quite frankly I suspect those kind of people are actually real SOBs to deal with.  since you've waited tables, you know the kind - there is virtually nothing anyone in the restaurant can do that will make them happy.

 

I wrote software that did the books - the early POS implementations - and part of that was keeping track of tips.  over a medium term it was perfectly obviously who was not reporting the cash tips, tip amounts broken down by service, by hour, by day, even 'by dish.'  either they were the worst waitperson ever or they were exempting the tip pool from some portion of their efforts.  and given the turn-over rate - in a job averaging seriously better than minimum wage - it's apparently not difficult to come up with another job and another place.

 

"it's a hard job" - seriously?  and mine / his / hers / theirs isn't?

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No, I don't tip someone who hands me a drink and a donut. Maybe, if they give me actual coin change, then I will. But I don't tip at McDonalds, so why would I tip at D&D? I do tip at Starbucks.

All the restaurant I have worked in are in the North East, within a 30 mile radius, some closer, to NYC. I

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counter service to me is sitting on a stool at a counter as opposed to tables/booths/etc.

 

once upon a time, Dunkin Donuts had only counter service, plus out - no booths, no tables.

Well, to be honest, I wasn't alive then, or if I was, I was too young to recall such a situation.

Yet again, do you tip at MCdonalds or Chick fil a , or Wendy's? Of course not. Such places don't even permit tip 'jars'. Just as weddings without a cash bar (where the host pays) doesn't permit tip jars.

Once upon a time I ate a grilled cheese sandwich in a Woolworths at the counter and yes, I'm sure my parents tipped. Just as I tip when I sit at a a counter in a diner or at the bar in a restaurant. There's a very big difference between those situations and a Dunkin Donuts.

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Danny Meyer is eliminating tipping at all his establishments. ALL of them.

 

http://ny.eater.com/2015/10/14/9517747/danny-meyer-no-tipping-restaurants

 

It is reported that he is also taking out the tip line completely from all the itemized bills. This would be in contrast to folks like Keller (e.g. at Per Se) who leave the tip line in even though "service is included" in the cost of his meals.

 

Good for Meyer. Glad he is not, so far anyway, going the Achatz/Kokonas system of pre-paid (all-fees-included, yes) unrefundable tickets let alone the "pre-paid season tickets" for Next that they have.  I hate that ticketing system.

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counter service to me is sitting on a stool at a counter as opposed to tables/booths/etc.

 

once upon a time, Dunkin Donuts had only counter service, plus out - no booths, no tables.

Mmmm.... Counter service to me is queing up in a line, giving your order to the counterperson, paying for the food/beverage before you receive it, taking it back to your table, and clearing off your own table when you leave.

 

Thing is, most places like I described in our city--other than the fast food chains--Will ask for tips, but only if you pay by c.card.  The p.o.s device is programmed to ask for tips before you can pay-before you get your food, and will ask you if you want to pay the tip by percentage of the bill or by $ amount.  What most servers don't know is that the p.o.s company will take a percentage of the tip for themselves--they (p.o.s. co.) take a percentage of every transaction.

 

There's been a lively re-interest and debate in the past week or so on this topic, but we only seem to get either the server's point of view or the customers.  I would like to offer the cook's point of view:

 

I've worked in many high end places, the majority of which never wanted to speak of tip sharing.  A lot of the customers demand high end service, which includes modifying dishes or creating dishes for themselves.  For this, the customers  tip the server heavily, but it's the kitchen that does all the scrambling.  One memorable experience was with Mr & Mrs. "X" a wealthy businessman who wanted a chateaubriand for himself an his wife on their wedding anniversary.  "X" was smart and called a few days ahead with his request, as he knew it wasn't on the menu.  I got a day's notice to get in whole tenderloin,  took the time to trim and tie it, made a custom bernaise, etc. etc. Needless to say this or many of the meal's components were not on the menu.  "X" was happy and tipped heavily, I asked the server what he thought a fair cut was for the kitchen.  To cut to the chase, the server replied (among many, many other things) that what the customer put on the table was for the server only, no one had a right to that money, not even the owner.  After work, the crew decided to find the stickiest dessert sauce in the fridge, "Decorated" the server's windshield in the parking lot, and then we all plastered the sauce with 100's and 1000's from an old monopoly game.

 

Special requests happen very frequently, and while the server does ensure that requests are carried out, it's the kitchen that does the scrambling and is not compensated.  To those who argue that it is the cook's job to fulfill such requests, I say, that it is the cook's job to cook what ever is on the menu.  Extra is extra.

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