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  #51  
Old Today, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
If someone's tipping decisions are based entirely on the waitstaff's performance, then you have a point. However, many people, me included when I'm in the US or other tipping countries, base their tipping decision on their overall restaurant experience. It's probably not your server's fault if the meal you order is slow to come out. It might be because the guy manning the dishwasher was out back sneaking a smoke when he should have been cleaning the knives. If there's going to be a reward system, which is what tipping is meant to be, then the entire delivery chain needs to benefit from that system and not just the person interacting with the customer.
That makes little sense to me. Tipping is usually understood to be for "service", the specific element of the experience that is controlled to a dominant extent (notwithstanding things out of their control) by customer-facing staff. If you're concerned with the "overall restaurant experience", well the business as a whole - including management, accountants, cleaning staff - is responsible for that. If you want to tip for that, it sounds like you're essentially in favor of abolishing tipping as we currently understand it; that all staff should all be paid a normal wage like any other business, and that if you add a "tip" you want that to go the business. Perhaps with a profit-sharing arrangement among all employees.
  #52  
Old Today, 09:37 AM
doreen is online now
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Originally Posted by Doug K. View Post
I've never seen anyone make that claim. What I see is people claiming (or at least implying) that restaurants only pay $2.13 per hour period and if they don't get enough tips they make less than minimum wage.
Nobody ever quite claims that servers must make at least minimum wage for each hour- but it's not uncommon for people to use a single customer or hour or shift to argue that servers sometimes lose money or make less than minimum. For example, " if a customer only tips 5%, I'm losing money because I have to tip out 10%" or " I only got $30 in tips for an 8 hour shift on Tuesday, so was paid less than minimum wage for that shift" and ignoring the other customers/hours/shifts where the tips were 20% . And those people never address the question I always have - if it's actually costing you 5% out of your pocket for the whole pay period or you're making less than minimum wage over a pay period, why are you still a server rather than getting a higher-paying job at Target?

Last edited by doreen; Today at 09:38 AM.
  #53  
Old Today, 11:33 AM
Translucent Daydream is offline
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Originally Posted by doreen View Post
Nobody ever quite claims that servers must make at least minimum wage for each hour- but it's not uncommon for people to use a single customer or hour or shift to argue that servers sometimes lose money or make less than minimum. For example, " if a customer only tips 5%, I'm losing money because I have to tip out 10%" or " I only got $30 in tips for an 8 hour shift on Tuesday, so was paid less than minimum wage for that shift" and ignoring the other customers/hours/shifts where the tips were 20% . And those people never address the question I always have - if it's actually costing you 5% out of your pocket for the whole pay period or you're making less than minimum wage over a pay period, why are you still a server rather than getting a higher-paying job at Target?
Oh boy. Man let me tell you what it is like to be poor. You will always take the waiting job (usually in addition to that sweet Target job) because you get to walk away from that 10 hour shift with 60 bucks in your hand. That 60 bucks gets you food and gas in your car so you can get back and forth to work or get the last part of your rent paid. If you rely on Target alone, you have to wait for two weeks to get that 80 bucks you made that shift.

I usually walked away with 60-80 bucks a night when I was waiting tables, and that is what I lived on. Sometimes I worked 10-14 hours a day, but I worked what we called seven-sevens, or 7 days week for 7 weeks straight. You never never took a day off if you could help it.
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  #54  
Old Today, 12:27 PM
doreen is online now
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Originally Posted by Translucent Daydream View Post
Oh boy. Man let me tell you what it is like to be poor. You will always take the waiting job (usually in addition to that sweet Target job) because you get to walk away from that 10 hour shift with 60 bucks in your hand. That 60 bucks gets you food and gas in your car so you can get back and forth to work or get the last part of your rent paid. If you rely on Target alone, you have to wait for two weeks to get that 80 bucks you made that shift.

I usually walked away with 60-80 bucks a night when I was waiting tables, and that is what I lived on. Sometimes I worked 10-14 hours a day, but I worked what we called seven-sevens, or 7 days week for 7 weeks straight. You never never took a day off if you could help it.
I understand that just fine- but if you are walking away with 60 bucks for a 10 hour shift you're earning $6 an hour in tips plus the $2.13 in direct wages which brings you over minimum. $80 for a 14 hour shift also brings you over Federal minimum wage. That's not the question that isn't addressed - which is an explanation of why you would keep the job if you made less than minimum for the entire pay-period or if you walked away from a week or two of shifts with not only no cash, but actually had to put cash out every night (you got 10% in tips each shift but had to tip out 14%). And the answer is of course, that while an individual customer may tip you less than you have to tip-out ( you tip out 14% and they leave a 10% tip) or tips for an individual shift may not bring you up to minimum wage (you got only $30 in tips for a 10 hour shift on Tuesday night) other customers and shifts over the course of the pay period make up for it. And it's therefore misleading to talk about the customer who tips only 10% and say "servers are paying part of your bill if you tip less than X%" without mentioning those who tip 20% but I see people do it all the time.

Last edited by doreen; Today at 12:30 PM.
  #55  
Old Today, 01:43 PM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
That makes little sense to me. Tipping is usually understood to be for "service", the specific element of the experience that is controlled to a dominant extent (notwithstanding things out of their control) by customer-facing staff. If you're concerned with the "overall restaurant experience", well the business as a whole - including management, accountants, cleaning staff - is responsible for that. If you want to tip for that, it sounds like you're essentially in favor of abolishing tipping as we currently understand it; that all staff should all be paid a normal wage like any other business, and that if you add a "tip" you want that to go the business. Perhaps with a profit-sharing arrangement among all employees.
Many decisions are made with imperfect knowledge, and also on an emotional basis. If your order is slow, you're probably being told that the kitchen is busy rather than that your order was mishandled. You're probably not getting better service from the attractive charismatic waitperson than from the average looking, slightly dull waitperson. But if you raise or lower the amount you tip based one the level of service you've received, unless you have some sort of expertise in restaurant service, you're tipping based on perception. That perception is going to be based on your overall restaurant experience, and not some impartial evaluation of the waitstaff. I think it would be stupid to evaluate the waitstaff based on the cleanliness of the restroom. I've also been around people who complained about a restaurant because they felt the restaurant was unhygienic, based on the condition of the restrooms. In a country with a tipping culture, do you think a typical diner will tip generously in a restaurant they believe to be unhygienic, even if they've objectively received good service?
  #56  
Old Today, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post

1. Costs/prices in the food industry don't increase at the same rate as the standard of living increases. ...

2. You seem to be treating the custom changing as being a cause, rather than an effect. From what I've been told when this comes up, the custom changed because people thought 15% was no longer enough for these people to live off of. Any time you bring up tipping less, that is the argument people use.

I also note that this doesn't have to be factually true. It only has to seem true to those who tip. They merely have to perceive that 15% isn't enough. That said, I would guess that perception comes from them actually working those jobs or knowing people who did.

Tipping percentage increases seem to be the type of thing that would be started by the waitstaff.
1. Right, they've increased somewhat faster.
https://www.bls.gov/charts/consumer-...line-chart.htm

Set the things to compare as 'all items' and 'food away from home'. 'Food away from home' has gone up cumulatively around 20% points more than 'all items' in the last 20 yrs, if you expand the table and calculate from the monthly numbers.

2. I'm not saying what causes what besides pointing out lack of logic in the post I answered which said not raising the federal minimum wage explained it, 'does that answer your [the OP] question?' that poster wrote. In a word, no. For the reasons I pointed out, to reiterate:
-tips increase mainly with restaurant bills at a give tip % so a stationary nominal minimum wage just becomes less relevant as restaurant bills increase.
-the federal minimum wage applies to relatively little of the US by population, and specifically not places like NY area. And I believe if you scientifically polled you'd probably find subjective impression of customary tip % having increased is more true of places like NY (somebody else in the thread said yes also for Chicago) than hinterland type places.

And you are saying something different than the post I answered,
"the custom changed because people thought 15% was no longer enough"
Well obviously at some level people are paying more than 15% because they think 15% isn't enough (though importantly including that they'll be negatively viewed by people whose opinions they care about who think it's not enough). That's not exactly a profound analysis IMHO.

Also, how hard it is 'to live on 15%' depends again what the restaurant bill is. Consider it cross sectionally now rather than other time. There are always some restaurants in a given area a lot more expensive than others. That doesn't make it proportionally more expensive for the tip paid employees at the expensive places to live in the area.

Social conventions don't have to make sense. I think if one keeps that foremost in mind they are probably more likely to come up with a sensible answer to OP's question. Which again typical of social conventions is not likely to be a single simple answer unless a tautological one like 'people decided to pay more'.

Last edited by Corry El; Today at 04:18 PM.
  #57  
Old Today, 04:45 PM
Roderick Femm's Avatar
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I can't speak to the other issues, I tip fairly generously, when appropriate, because I can afford to.

On the other hand, when I go to a restaurant to order food to take away, and I pay up front (the norm, in my experience) I tip 10% or slightly more, for a couple of reasons: the kitchen staff work just as hard for my order as for any other order; the front person works slightly harder (bringing my order out to me in the waiting area) than they would for an eat-in customer; and most important, these people know in advance that I have done so, which may give me a slight edge towards quality of food and service. It may do nothing, but I was going to do it anyway.
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