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Thread: explain gratuities?

  1. #11
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    This is my formula:

    For table service: I start with the presumption that I will tip 20%. If there is a discount involved (sometimes there is a coupon, or the server just being kind doesn't charge for a salad or a dessert, anything that reduces the cost to me) I will add that discounted amount BACK IN to the total cost to determine the tip. The server should be tipped on the entire cost of the check.

    Servers are taxed on a presumed 10% tip. So, not tipping a server is a VERY effective way of making your displeasure known, as they have essentially lost money. If I am not going to tip, as Catrancher says, I'll almost always speak with the manager. However, sometimes the situation is so ridiculous (as with Keith's) that I won't bother. I don't go out to have to be hassled in any form.

    If it is a counter service (by that I mean, I order, am given my food at the counter and walk away to find my own place to sit, ect) I do not tip. There is nothing to tip for.

    At a bar, I tip 20% of the total bill (pre tax) for drinks.

    If it's a buffet, I'll ususally start at 15% but often (as with Cape May) the servers there work harder than a full service server, so I'll tip the 20%. We recently dined at Boma, and the server was desultory at best. He recieved 12%. He was shocked to the core to see us pull out money. I know he thought we were on DDP, and so felt he didn't have to work for the tip. Mistake on his part.

    So, then if the service is not good, we reduce from 20% to 18 to 15 to 12 to nothing as the case may be.

    I know that servers don't get paid a fair wage by hour, that they depend on their tips. However, they chose that profession, and the pay scheme that accompanies it, so I'm not going to be held hostage to their choice. If they want T(o) I(nsure) P(roper) S(ervice) from me that are "fair" then I will expect fair service.

    If I know the server, like our sweet boy Drake at Uno's I'll always add extra. He works very hard for us, and is very, very good to us. Regulars should make it clear that it's worth a restaurants while to have regular patrons. We tip accordingly.

    Now, all that to say to a visitor.

    Tips are expected in a full service restaurant and at buffets. The amount is based on the total cost of the bill, pre tax. The customary starting point for full table service is 20% up or down accordingly. Buffets are a judgment call but 15% up or down is just fine. Bartenders are customarily tipped 20% of the bar bill.

    Hope that helps and isn't too confusing.

    (Tink. The QUEEN of hating the tipping system in the US).






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  2. #12
    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    Really great post Tink thanks!

    I wonder why bar tenders are tipped so highly? 20% seems a heck of a lot for pouring a drink
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  3. #13
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    Not sure, but they seem to be quite service oriented too. The newest "thing" lately seems to be introducing themselves and shaking your hand, asking your name. A little odd, I thought (we don't go out to get cozy with the barkeep, ya' know? LOL) but can't complain about friendliness, eh?

    I'm sure that you could leave less without problem. Servers do share their tips with bartenders for the most part anymore. The bartenders pour/make the drinks for the servers, so if they don't do it promptly, the server pays in the end. Not so sure I like that idea, but I don't make those complicated rules.

    I do NOT like the fact that bartenders usually share all tips with one another. I tip a person, not a team. One bartender can be wonderful, whereas another can be downright rude (had that happen more than once) so it puts me off knowing that the "good one" is having to share with the "not so good one" who won't learn a thing because s/he is still getting her/his portion of the tips. One of the many reasons I just simply want everyone PAID a fair wage and call it good.

    The industry shrieks and says it will drive the cost of food/dining out up too high. That's stupid. We are paying tips now. Raise the wage. Increase the cost of the meals and call it a done. Sheesh. Not rocket science.

    However, the servers are one of the groups most opposed! They believe they make more at tips than they do with a fair minimum wage. Those in higher end restaurants most likely do bring home hundreds per night.






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  4. #14
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    the thing i dont like is where they add the tip to the bill automatically. ive seen it on menu's not sure where tho whether it be there or here
    Mick

    Sunridge Woods Villa Oct 2000 & 2002
    Esprit/Calabay Parc Oct 2004
    Sunset Ridge Oct 2008



  5. #15
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    There are some places that do add it to the bill, so check the bill VERY carefully, as they also keep that sneaky "tip" line on there. If you aren't thorough in checking your reciept you can easily double tip. Not a good business practice in my opinion.

    Sometimes you will have automatic gratiuity for parties over a certain size (size depends upon where you are dining). Again, be sure you check the reciept carefully.

    For automatic gratuity, there should be a notice, but often it's in VERY TINY print buried somewhere on the menu.






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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink, post: 205290
    There are some places that do add it to the bill, so check the bill VERY carefully, as they also keep that sneaky "tip" line on there. If you aren't thorough in checking your reciept you can easily double tip. Not a good business practice in my opinion.

    Sometimes you will have automatic gratiuity for parties over a certain size (size depends upon where you are dining). Again, be sure you check the reciept carefully.

    For automatic gratuity, there should be a notice, but often it's in VERY TINY print buried somewhere on the menu.
    so its sounds like it was over there that i saw it....thats very very cheeky indeed, and as you say not good practice at all
    Mick

    Sunridge Woods Villa Oct 2000 & 2002
    Esprit/Calabay Parc Oct 2004
    Sunset Ridge Oct 2008



  7. #17
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    I've had a discussion or two with managers over the practice. They usually say something pappy like, 'Oh, we can't contrl that. The register automatically prints it that way.'

    My response? "Then train your staff to strike it out when the grautity is automatically added." They never do have much to say after that.

    Said with a smile of course, and that sickening sweet way we have of talking when making an upopular point.






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  8. #18
    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukwdwnut, post: 205287
    the thing i dont like is where they add the tip to the bill automatically. ive seen it on menu's not sure where tho whether it be there or here
    Yep, nothing I hate more than automatically added gratuity, extremely annoying. The whole "you can ask for it to be removed" thing doesn't wash with me, I don't go out to be guilted into giving extra money and then have to argue with someone if I want to change the amount.

    Sadly it's becoming more and more common towncars, Disney with the tables in wonderland card and so on.

    We went to a local place here in the UK a few weeks ago and they said oo we have a new menu. Nearly twice as expensive as it had been mind you for the same exact dish but I got to the end and in the small print was "18.5% gratuity automatically added" (I know its only 18.5 but its the UK, thats a lot over here! ) so we left and I explained to the manager why. He said something like "mostly people wont notice or care" :/ then went on to offer to let me decide for myself but too late in my book. By that time the servers will be thinking oh what a $"$ and I don't want to have to explain myself or stress when I'm going out for a meal.

    It's really just greed. The owners just don't want to pay proper wages so they'd rather pay their employees less, charge the customer more, and then guilt the customer into tipping more and more as well. Remembering here the Orlando towncar company who enforced 20% gratuities, only for international travellers mind you, US folks presumably wouldnt put up with it, and then told me that good service should still be rewarded by a further gratuity. Out of their tiny minds seriously
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  9. #19
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    lol of course it can be controlled just take it out of the equation full stop.

    i wonder what would happen if you got bad service, and deducted a percentage you thought was fair from the bill
    Mick

    Sunridge Woods Villa Oct 2000 & 2002
    Esprit/Calabay Parc Oct 2004
    Sunset Ridge Oct 2008



  10. #20
    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    Has anyone else noticed how often the "suggested gratuity" is actually an after tax %?

    We went to charleys, and you know how I love that place, but the last server wrote in "20% gratuity would be $xx.xx". I sighed, but we're English and in many servers books that means unaccustomed to tipping so I have to give them the benefit and think ok fair enough. So then I worked out 25% of the pretax amount because she WAS a good server and hang on, its almost the same as the 20% so either she's calculated it wrongly or I have :/ So did it another few times, still didnt work out. Finally discovered that yep, her 20% suggestion was an after tax amount

    I mean it's just scummy isnt it? Like I really care about the few dollars extra but I DO care about people just trying to scam me like I'm a freakin idiot
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