Tips consolidated at chain restaurants?

After movies or shows my friends and I typically go to one of those homogenious chain restaraunts like Coco’s, Lyon’s or Carrow’s. Talking for hours and picking at the mediocre food, drinking their mediocre coffee and filtching one anothers mediocre cobbler. We have always justified the time we spent there by over-tipping (usually 40-50%) to make up for the customers the waiter/waitress might have otherwise had in their booth.

Today my mom mentioned that we were wasting out time. She claims that the people who bus the table after us just collect the tips and they are consolidated at the end of the night by the manager, divided equally over the whole of the wait staff, and at the end of the week it just shows up mingled in with the rest of their paycheck!

Now, I did some waiting in a chain restaraunt (I won’t say where, but it rymes with “Rye-day’s”) and that was not the case there, and had it been I wouldn’t have stuck around. The set-wage was scandalous and with taxes factored in I got more off tips than salary at month’s end.

So, who’s got the skinny? Do chain places really do this, and if so, which ones should we avoid?

a place i worked at once in my 6th form college years was
something that rhymes with “tac” and “ronald” they used to collect the tips (which were seldom) and split them up and put them on the pay check at the end of the month.Somebody tipped £3 once between 150 staff glory be we had a ball on out share of that heh .But alot of places in paris the waiters live off tips.

I worked at Chili’s and each server kept their own tips. I’ve only known one person who worked at a place that consolidated tips.

I think it’s very uncommon. After all, the really good waiters (translation: The really cute female servers :slight_smile: ) make the most tips. If they don’t get to keep it all then they’ll go somewhere else. So the restaraunt loses their best wait staff.

A good place to ask your question might be at this message board. It is devoted to people in the service industry, and i’m sure there would be people there who would be happy to enlighten you.

I doubt it. I have only ever known of one restaurant where the servers pooled their tips. It was a local place with a very very low turnover of wait-staff. It was also a very desirable place to work–impossible to get a job there unless you knew someone very well. The reason it was so desirable was the reason the pooled tips worked: The servers cooperated with each other in every way possible. If a new server come on staff and was a lousy waiter or didn’t get along with the others, he/she would be out of a job. So, the servers policed each other and helped each other, and shared their tips. This kind of a situation is extremely rare, and only worked because the staff was so close-knit. I doubt that would be the situation in a chain restaurant.

My husband worked his way through college at a place that rhymed with Blendly’s and a place that rhymed with Pee-Pee’s. He worked his ass off and made good money. Damned if he would share that with the waste-cases he worked with. He would have found another job immediately.

I’ve represented a number of food servers (waiters and waitresses) and restaurants. Tip pooling is very rare, but it does happen. The MacDonald’s policy referred to above is meaningless, as tipping at MacDonalds is rarer than starting on a new cow. People in food service professionally make their real money off of tips. In turn they will tip the busboys and cooks as appropriate. However cooks and particularly chefs, make their money off wages. People who engage in fine dining regularly tip 20%. I’d say if the service is commensurate, but regular diners don’t go places with lousy service. Top notch servers at top notch restaurants make a lot of money in tips, but you won’t find a lot of them.

Some places do tip pooling, others don’t, and it doesn’t necessarily have to do with whether or not they’re a chain. You can always ask the managment, I suppose. The only places I’ve worked with tip pooling generally tend to be those restaurants that don’t get a lot of business (fewer table turnovers=less tip-earning opportunity=disgruntled servers).

i work mostly at bars but have served a little food as well.
most of the better servers in restaraunts wouldn’t hear of pooling tips. it’s a way for lousy unattentive servers to steal some of your treasures. as for bars that’s another story. all bars with more than one tender pool tips and all the tenders look after all the customers. there are no sections so its the only way to be fair. and if someone is consistently being a dog-breeder we get them booted off the bar by letting managers know about inventory shrinkage…