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Tips in Western Canada - all about them


jamiemaw
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Very tough to devise a formula that works all the time due to all of the variables.

Example: Guest buys a $500 bottle of wine. Guest will likely not tip 20% or even 10% on that bottle. 10% would mean a $50 grat for no more work or service than a less expensive bottle, and most would reason that the tip % should change in this instance. The server's tip out percentages don't change, however. Server must tip out a percentage of sales at the end of the night, therefore must tip out $5 as 1%, which adds up when you have all the different areas to tip out. It can be likely that a server may end up tipping out $25 to $30 on that sale, when only getting tipped less than that to start with.

Every restaurant does things differently anyways, with the kitchen usually getting tipped on food sales only, bar getting tipped on liquor sales only, and door and manager getting tipped a small percentage on the entire Net sales figure.

I do believe that every single person involved should get a cut, as the idea is to have everyone acting as a team. Managers get the salary because they work longer hours, and are ultimately taking responsibility for the work and the results of every other member of the team. That being said, managers are largely underpaid compared to other industries considering the prerequisite experience one (should) have to get the job. How many other industries do you know of that you work for 10 years to get a $40K/Year job?

Ian McTavish

General Manager / Capones Restaurant & Live Jazz Club

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  • 2 weeks later...
Let the fireworks begin 

Wow! :blink:

Where are the fireworks?

I think you scared them all away.

I know you are out there- and there is something to talk about?

The one thing about this new shared waiter system is it creates terrible service! When you have people who know about food and proper service sharing tips with idiots -the good do not get what they deserve and the ugly get easy money. What motivated good servers in the past -to sell and serve their buts off no longer there- selling for the house- increase sales, increase tips.

It is like some socialist sharing system- my opinion these arrangements never work- garbage in- garbage out!

You work and sell! - You get the money-as simple as that.

As for divvying out that is a little more complicated.

Who gets it?

1) bussers ( who needs food runners) bring out your own food!

2) bar

3) host- hostess

4) house

5) Kitchen ?

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I have no problem with a 15% grat on groups of eight or more. It's alot of work for restaurant staff. I always tip between 15 and 20%. I believe the tips a server gets will usually be divided up to this average formula: 2% to bartender, 2-2.5% to kitchen (chefs, sous, cooks, dishwasher) and 1-2% to the host/hostess and or manager. So on average your server will walk with either 10 or 15% tip depending on what you leave.

You are right-That has been the standard a long time in a lot of places

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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nothing much positive comes from these threads. just people fighting back and forth. let the fireworks begin as another wrote.

Another very positive :wacko:

If you do not talk- nothing positive comes either

Communication is key in our business!

If we ever want to become a more professional business we must tackle this issue- we are going to be taxed on our tips- this is inevitable- computers are tracking everything- it is very easy to audit these days and they (tax) are coming to a restaurant near you. So if we do not solve the issues in our own house then when they come it will affect everyone in the business.

All you cooks out there also will have to declare your tips.

I believe the gov will make it the responsibility of the owners to collect the data- it seems to be our job to be the book keeper to the gov- GST-PST-Source-EI.

steve

Edited by stovetop (log)
Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Oh My :wacko:

There is a big difference to what I was wanting to discus- it had nothing to do to with what the customer should tip but what we do with it after- not what percentage the customer pays but I was talking about something completely different. The two topics are like apples and oranges- my whole angle is what we do with the tips and how we divvy them out to different people within the restaurant and the whole taxation issue. I read what I said in the header and do not understand how it could be confused- I felt I was very clear, again people are not reading what it is you are really saying.

thanks steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Barista's in west coast US generally will earn $50-80 in tips per shift, or about $10 per hour.

Barista's in west coast Canada generally will earn $5-10 in tips per shift, or about $1 per hour.

Whats the matter with Canadians?

It is extremely hard to keep good people in this service industry based on the wage we are able to pay. No wonder its so hard to find a good cup of coffee and good service to go with it.

Alistair Durie

Elysian Coffee

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Barista's in west coast US generally will earn $50-80 in tips per shift, or about $10 per hour.

Barista's in west coast Canada generally will earn $5-10 in tips per shift, or about $1 per hour.

Whats the matter with Canadians?

It is extremely hard to keep good people in this service industry based on the wage we are able to pay.  No wonder its so hard to find a good cup of coffee and good service to go with it.

Well, obviously you should be charging $9 for that $0.75 cost latte. Then you can pay your staff what they are worth. Forget the shady concept of tipping. Just charge people what your product and service are worth.

-- Matt.

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  • 5 months later...

So I'm in a CFD the other day, and start to talking with one of the managers. And apparently a major portion of the managers earnings is "tips". These tips are substracted out of the "tip pool", that back in my day was used for the dishwashers, bussers, and cooks. These tips are subtracted by the managers for the managers.

Does anybody have any information here, is it just me, or does this sound illegal, or is it just plain immoral?

Is this a common pratice at any real restaurants?

Authenticity is all that matters.

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So I'm in a CFD the other day, and start to talking with one of the managers. And apparently a major portion of the managers earnings is "tips". These tips are substracted out of the "tip pool", that back in my day was used for the dishwashers, bussers, and cooks. These tips are subtracted by the managers for the managers.

Does anybody have any information here, is it just me, or does this sound illegal, or is it just plain immoral?

Is this a common pratice at any real restaurants?

I work in a "real" restaurant, and it's common practice for managers to skim off the tip pool. They, however, are not in charge of divvying it up. There is a 'cash person' in the executive office who handles the day-to-day cash flow, and she is the one who breaks down the tip pool.

In an effort by cheap-skate owners to keep their labour low, we rely on tips to shore up our meagre wages. I am certainly no manager (ask anyone), but many of them are over worked and underpaid, too. Why shouldn't they get their cut? I can't imagine why it would be illegal, but as for immoral? I don't think so. Unless they're lazy! :raz:

When I worked at Milestone's, tip outs were based directly on hours worked. It made for simple math, and was easy to keep honest. Here, as well, the managers got a cut based on how many shifts they worked.

-- Matt.

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What is immoral is when the OWNERS take a share. It happens.

Before I went away for Thanksgiving, I dropped an email to all of the staff that if the breakage problem was not sorted out asap, I was raising tip pool to cover it.

It was out of fucking control !!!!!

They had a littel team meeting after work on Saturday night and seemed to have sorted it out.

It would appear that they told the one major ( MAJOR !! ) contributor to stop walking so fast, focus on what they have in their hands, make sure their eyes and feet were going in the same direction and to stop talking while carrying trays of stemware.

Picture this :

Walking towards dishpit, carrying on a conversation, maintains eye contact the whole time even though moving swiftly in a different direction. CRASH !!

Happens everytime.

Gone from broken bucket of glassware a day to three pieces in a week.

Problem solved.

Tip pool left where it was.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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:biggrin:

This was more a case that when the waiter gets an especially good tip, the owner would skim it. It is a tip sharing place. Said owner owns several properties and is famous (and famous for being an asshole) :rolleyes:

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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So I'm in a CFD the other day, and start to talking with one of the managers. And apparently a major portion of the managers earnings is "tips". These tips are substracted out of the "tip pool", that back in my day was used for the dishwashers, bussers, and cooks. These tips are subtracted by the managers for the managers.

Does anybody have any information here, is it just me, or does this sound illegal, or is it just plain immoral?

Is this a common pratice at any real restaurants?

A FoH manager in a casual dining restaurant makes a pathetic salary, if they didn't recieve a cut of the tips there'd be absolutely no incentive to be a manager... I had friends in these kinds of restaurants who would refuse promotions every couple months, they just wanted to keep on serving/bartending because they make alot more money.... Just like in the kitchen, with the hours I was pulling I was making alot more on my pathetic wage than some of the managers were on salary (over half of my hours were overtime hours...).

And no, managers don't get to decide what the tip pool is or where it goes in a corporate restaurant.... It's all strictly regulated by head office - they decide how much the tip pool is, and they decide who gets a portion of it... It stays the same for every restaurant in the chain. (ex. Server tips out 7% of their total sales, 3 percent to the kitchen, 1 percent to the bar, 1 percent to the managers, 1 percent to the hostesses, 1 percent to the house - covers breakage, spillage, staff parties, etc...)

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:biggrin:

This was more a case that when the waiter gets an especially good tip, the owner would skim it. It is a tip sharing place. Said owner owns several properties and is famous (and famous for being an asshole) :rolleyes:

I know the place.

Of course :wink:

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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I wonder how widespread that one % to the house is?

Neil's example aside, I would think that things like breakage and spillage should be factored into the margins without dipping into the tip pool, just as food spoilage/burnage, ripped banqette cushions etc would be. Tips are for the staff, not intended to be shoved in with general revenue- or am I way off base?

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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I wonder how widespread that one % to the house is?

Neil's example aside, I would think that things like breakage and spillage should be factored into the margins without dipping into the tip pool, just as food spoilage/burnage, ripped banqette cushions etc would be. Tips are for the staff, not intended to be shoved in with general revenue- or am I way off base?

It is fairly common.

Think about it though.

A $2,000,000 restaurant has $300,000 floating around in tax free income.

The temptation is huge to see that the manager gets a taste of the tax free money, as there is so much of it. That is $25,000 a month.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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The last restaurant I worked at (a "real" restaurant, at that), the tip out to management was 4%. Not kidding. While I agree that management isn't making fat coin at most restaurants, they sure as hell were where I was working- I saw the bills firsthand.

AND... the management that was working when I was there sure as hell didn't earn it - support they did not!

"Never eat more than you can lift" -Miss Piggy

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I am stuck. As a former "industry" person, I feel obliged to be a tipper. You know for those starving students and the single moms who can't make enough on the wage to feed her kids. But please. This is rarely the case...Too many people are becoming career waiters at nothing restaurants, offering no additional value for their experience. A Bartender in a night club can pull in $800 tax free in a single night, and it isn't becuase of his fantastic wine knowledge or that special experience he/she gives someone.

Then I start to hear management threatening to dip into the tip pool to cover breakage costs....I am speechless. Where should it stop, perhaps a portion of the tips should go towards the lease???? Am I the only person who thinks this is ludicrous.

Using tips to cover any cost should be purely illegal. Customers are simply not aware, what is going on with that money.

Management at these restuarants make crappy money, becuase the restaurant pays them shit, because they can subsidize the cost of paying a manager a proper wage with tips earned by the service staff. This to me, is total bull shit. To hear it is happening at "CFD" restaurants, makes my mouth drop. To hear it happens everywhere is outrageous. Why am I only finding out about this now? If it is so moral, then why doesn't the average customer know about it? My tips, going into the revenue stream, but left untaxed, my mind is spinning.

The 22yr old that was the manager I talked to made over %50 of her wage from tips. This is ridiculous on far too many levels. These restaurants are taking advantage of the young staff, it is that simple.

I am this close to becoming a non-tipper. How will I survive in this food world if I don't tip? I'll be black listed. But how do I make my protest visible, without looking like a cheap prick. My thoughts are just sooooo mixed..I feel sad about this state of affairs.

Authenticity is all that matters.

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Then I start to hear management threatening to dip into the tip pool to cover breakage costs....I am speechless. Where should it stop, perhaps a portion of the tips should go towards the lease???? Am I the only person who thinks this is ludicrous.

Using tips to cover any cost should be purely illegal. Customers are simply not aware, what is going on with that money.

Hey, I resemble that remark !!!!

If you recall, it was up for discussion and I did go on to say that the staff discussed it and talked to the offending person. The problem was solved immediatly ( nothing like peer pressure ! )

All it took was a few keystrokes to solve a problem that had been going on for months. I had threatened to fire this person if it did not improve and even that did not solve the problem.

The threat of dipping onto the waiter's money brought peer pressure down like a ton of bricks.

I was paying an EXTRA $600.00 a month in breakage due to sloppy habits and lack of attention and care.

You can be speechless all you wish but this problem is solved for now.

Sometimes the methods I use on my 5 year old seem to work on my staff....go figure.

Edited by nwyles (log)

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Using tips to cover any cost should be purely illegal. Customers are simply not aware, what is going on with that money.

So, when a server clumsily bumps into another and breaks some glassware, they can pay it out of their pocket... When a customer walks out of the restaurant without paying, the server pays out of their pocket. When a server sends the wrong food to a table, or the wrong drink, they can pay it out of their pocket. When a server drops a bottle of wine, they can pay for it out of their pocket...

Those are the kinds of costs that were getting covered by the "house" tip, rather than making servers pay for their own mistakes. Let's just say no one complained...

And the less mistakes that were made, the better a staff party we got. (let's just say the staff parties at that restaurant were some of the best parties I've EVER been at - one we booked out another restaurant, hired a DJ to spin tracks, all food and alcohol was paid for, as was cab fare home - another party we got the full VIP treatment for the entire staff at a popular club downtown, again with free drinks and cab fare home)

And one last thing - tip money is NOT tax free. Our restaurant got audited on a regular basis, as did many of the servers and bartenders.

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It is fairly common.

Think about it though.

A $2,000,000 restaurant has $300,000 floating around in tax free income.

The temptation is huge to see that the manager gets a taste of the tax free money, as there is so much of it. That is $25,000 a month.

This tax free money will not be tax free for long, with computer technology and the fact that so many tips are on credit cards which accounts for a lot of the sales in a restaurant. The paper trail is clear for restaurants to be audited and the waiters made to pay tax on those tips. They are out there!

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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...Using tips to cover any cost should be purely illegal. Customers are simply not aware, what is going on with that money....

I am not sure but in Canada to not declare income is illegal. As of yet I have not seen CRA do as the IRS does in the US and look at the restaurant totals and deem income to servers etc. I heard a rumour that places in Toronto had talked about this but not sure where it went (and I agree the electonic environment will allow CRA to clamp down sooner rather than later). I also think it is probably within the owners right to log total amounts and withhold and remit amouts to CRA to make sure taxes are paid (how else will they be - and they SHOULD be paid). It really bugs me when people gloat about tax free tips.....

officially left egullet....

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