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Do you tip your bartender?

 
 
Lordyaswas
 
  4  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 09:14 am
I can sort of see how giving a tip may enhance the standard of service, as there are certain people who are good at sucking up, and nowhere does sucking up better than the US, so I can see how the system would work well over there.
I just find it sort of demeaning, expecting someone to do their job and then wait to see if they actually get paid for doing so, because that is what it amounts to in the end, doesn't it?
The anticipated tip might not materialise...for whatever reason...the couple had a row, the tipper just forgot, the tipper was a cheapskate, the tipper didn't like the way you joked with their partner, the partner may have let it slip that he/she found you attractive .....there are hundreds of silly reasons, but in the end, the waiter/waitress gets nothing for their efforts.
Lets say that the waiter has to do something else just at the moment when the bill is paid, so a colleague or boss ends up taking the payment....what then?
Let's say a waiter is hardworking but new. Don't tell me that they get all the great customers straight away, or there is no jealousy among staff about who nearly always get certain customers, be they generous or scrooge like.
How demeaning that someone should go through these hoops in the hope, not the certainty, that they will get sufficient recompense.

And as for Finn making a gentle sideswipe regarding the British and a pattern off pennypinching. The irony.
It sounds like he would be quite happy frequenting a business where the boss is the biggest scrooge in the world, getting away with paying his hardworking staff a dollar an hour, and deflecting the expectation of giving his staff a decent living wage over to his customers.

Here, he says, is your bill for your food, the profit from which will go straight into my pocket. I also expect you to give generously to my staff so I can get away with paying them a pittance.

I shall try not paying my Dentist more than a pittance next time I use his services, just because I didn't think he grovelled enough.
Maybe the plumber will get the same treatment when he gets called out to fix my burst pipe, because he happened to keep yawning.

How demeaning for all concerned, and how wonderful for the employer.

Ask yourself a question before getting on any potential high horse to defend this "servant via the back door" system.

Do YOU have to rely on other people's goodwill to survive?, even though you have a proper and prosperous employer who gives you everything barring the small matter of a decent salary?

I mean REALLY rely....you have to jump when they say, not answer back, put up with crap that you shouldn't have to put up with, in the hope, repeat, in the hope.....that that person, a complete stranger, will deign go dip their hand in their wallet and give you the equivalent of a groat, so you can eat that day?

I find that gross. Sorry.

A communial box where the staff get a share out at the end of the night, as a small bonus for a good night, maybe. But firstly, there should be a decent living wage to be in place, surely.
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 11:03 am
Being in a band I have a symbiotic relationship with the 8-10 bartenders I deal with every month.

I never order from the cocktail waitress and I always leave a $5 bill for the first drink.There are a couple of reasons for this.
First off , I want the bartender to recommend the band to patrons and the club owner.

And secondly I don't want to wait for a drink on my short time off stage. I want him/her to remember "Bass player-Meyer's Rum and Coke-Old-fashioned glass-no highball-slice of lime".

I never go on a band tab if I can help it and there are certain bartenders that will conveniently forget to charge for one....especially if I remind the crowd to tip the staff.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 11:04 am
@Lordyaswas,
Quote:
Let's say a waiter is hardworking but new. Don't tell me that they get all the great customers straight away, or there is no jealousy among staff about who nearly always get certain customers, be they generous or scrooge like.


Actually my husband used to manage restaurants - the way they would work with waitstaff is the more experienced and better the waitperson - the better section you would get. Also if there are regulars, they would usually ask to be seated in a particular waitperson's section. The waitstaff get rewarded as they improve by moving them to the better sections.

It is a complicated type system - and always a controversy which is better. In general it seems to work well. And asking waitstaff they seem to prefer the tipping situation.

The whole on the owners being scrooges is not true though - with the restaurant business being highly competitive, a restaurant must price their menu competitively or else they will lose business. So they are not being greedy by not paying a higher wage - what would happen instead if the wages were to be increased, is you would see prices on the menu increase to compensate for the higher costs.

To the customers it would be net-net - higher prices but no tip.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 11:19 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
And asking waitstaff they seem to prefer the tipping situation.
There seems to be a big difference between people here in Europe and those in the USA doing the same kind of job - here, the want to have regular, tariffed wages instead of uncertain changing tips.

People here earn their salary according to their qualifications from the employer and not from customers.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 11:55 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Yes I see - that is why it works well (or for the most part) in the US. Fits the cultural overall.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 12:33 pm
@Ceili,
I wouldn't say they do t want tips across the pond. In Europe there exists a salaried compensation for service ( for the most part). Not so much in the US. Please expect this tip compensation as part of salary. When " Mum" comes to visit I always spot her with the tips and tell her not not be a British tipper.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 12:43 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Now where is here exactly? In the U.S. Good service is compensated with tips. A waiter usually earns only a few dollars and hour...his living usually comes from tips.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 01:02 pm
@Germlat,
Here is where I live - and since I don't know you, Germany should be good enough. (Though the location could easily be found out via my profile et. al.)

"Waiters" (officially named 'restaurant service specialists') get in the first year as an apprentice 562€ ($752), 2nd year it is 641€ ($882), 3rd year then 722€ ($993). After the examination, they start with 1,382€ ($1,900). (All data average gross salary per month, differs slightly in the various tariff zones.)

The salary of unskilled employees can differ a lot from the above data.

Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 01:32 pm
@panzade,
panzade wrote:

Being in a band I have a symbiotic relationship with the 8-10 bartenders I deal with every month.

I never order from the cocktail waitress and I always leave a $5 bill for the first drink.There are a couple of reasons for this.
First off , I want the bartender to recommend the band to patrons and the club owner.

And secondly I don't want to wait for a drink on my short time off stage. I want him/her to remember "Bass player-Meyer's Rum and Coke-Old-fashioned glass-no highball-slice of lime".

I never go on a band tab if I can help it and there are certain bartenders that will conveniently forget to charge for one....especially if I remind the crowd to tip the staff.


I know how you feel about that.

I used to be the head instructor at the largest bartending school in the world...in Manhattan. We graduated a couple hundred bartenders every couple of months...and got most of them jobs.

End result: I used to know well over a hundred bartenders in the Big Apple...and they knew me by name...and knew my drink: Johnny Black on the rocks with a small splash...and a lemon twist.

Very heady stuff!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 01:48 pm
Meantime, I don't know how it goes in other european countries, but in Italy there is a service charge on the bill, or was the times I was there. I seem to remember 15% but I might be wrong. If service was somehow extra wonderful, people would put a few more lire (now euro) down, but it was, if they did, an extra and - I think not usual - nice touch.

My experience was that italian waiters were generally really good - didn't bother you, but had an eye out if you needed something.

All of which reminds me of the movie, Bread and Chocolate - sort of a take on how not to be a great waiter/server. One of my all time favorite films.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 01:52 pm
@ossobuco,
Indeed. The service is always included in the bill - and 15% seems to be correct today in most countries.

(Similar: we always pay the price for any goods as shown in the window = no charges, taxes can be added = all is already included.)
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 02:07 pm
@Lordyaswas,
Lordyaswas wrote:

I can sort of see how giving a tip may enhance the standard of service, as there are certain people who are good at sucking up, and nowhere does sucking up better than the US, so I can see how the system would work well over there.
I just find it sort of demeaning, expecting someone to do their job and then wait to see if they actually get paid for doing so, because that is what it amounts to in the end, doesn't it?
...the couple had a row, the tipper just forgot, the tipper was a cheapskate, the tipper didn't like the way you joked with their partner, the partner may have let it slip that he/she found you attractive .....there are hundreds of silly reasons,
.... just because I didn't think he grovelled enough.
Maybe the plumber will get the same treatment when he gets called out to fix my burst pipe, because he happened to keep yawning.

How demeaning for all concerned, and how wonderful for the employer.

Ask yourself a question before getting on any potential high horse to defend this "servant via the back door" system.

Do YOU have to rely on other people's goodwill to survive?, even though you have a proper and prosperous employer who gives you everything barring the small matter of a decent salary?

I mean REALLY rely....you have to jump when they say, not answer back, put up with crap that you shouldn't have to put up with, in the hope, repeat, in the hope.....that that person, a complete stranger, will deign go dip their hand in their wallet and give you the equivalent of a groat, so you can eat that day?

I find that gross. Sorry.

A communial box where the staff get a share out at the end of the night, as a small bonus for a good night, maybe. But firstly, there should be a decent living wage to be in place, surely.



These are all good points, however, if you've grown up in this system, it doesn't seem demeaning, or like groveling at all. Thinking about how it works in a non-tipping country, my first thought is as a waitperson I would get no opportunity to get that really great customer, where we clicked, or he thought I gave outstanding service, or was just feeling really generous, and left a great tip, way over expected. I can honestly say that in all my years of eating in restaurants, either alone, with one other person, or in a group, small or large, that I could count on one hand where the waiter was stiffed, or treated unfairly with a tip. With todays 20% "rule", even if a waiter was marginal, they are going to get left a 15% tip, that seems kind of cheap today, and a way to let them know you weren't happy.

The best waiters and waitress I've had didn't grovel, in fact the ones by whom I was treated the best didn't suck up either. They were just proud of their work and wanted to make sure everyone had a good experience. They would be knowledgeable about not only what was going on in the restaurant, and willing to recommend, or steer you away from particular dishes. I've been on vacations and had waitstaff give suggestions for attractions to see, places to go, etc.

Does anyone really rely on other people's goodwill to survive? Sure. Sales people have to court corporate accounts and kiss the ass of the decision maker, even when that person is a total nutjob, incompetant, or just plain mean. Fund raisers have to put up with all kinds of garbage from rich potential benefactors. School masters/mistresses have to put up with horrible parents, who dangle a gift in front of them and the board.

Sure there are cheapskates. They are the same people who order the cheapest thing on the menu anyway, and ask for everything free, and complain. They're the same people who stand in line at the market and complain to anyone who can hear how they need to put on more cashiers, the same ones who annoy their friends by not pitching in enough to cover their part of the bill. These people exist, and everyone thinks they are annoying, not just waiters.
Most of the time, as with everything else, people are pretty decent and fair and do what's right.
Honestly? I don't think someone tips less because they are having a fight with their spouse, but they will tip more if they are having a really good time, and think the waiter was part of that. Waiters/waitress know not to be flirty when there is a mixed couple, and they should not go too much further if it's a table of the same gender, and it's your cup of tea to flirt with that group. Honest friendly behavior gets a tip, flirting and being overly personal does not.

There's a popular cafe near my house I often sit in front of at a red light (in my car). It's a long red light so sometimes I have a lot of time to observe. It's interesting as an outsider to watch the interactions of outside patrons and the waitstaff. There's been a number of times when I've watched conversations between the diners and waiter/waitress, that obviously had nothing to do with the food. I've wondered at those time "I wonder what they're talking about? They look so engaged with each other/look like they're having fun/etc." No one looks like they are sucking up or groveling, they look like they're enjoying a mutually beneficial experience.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 03:07 pm
@chai2,
You described it perfectly (at least in my opinion). It is almost a mutual respect among patron and waitstaff. A really good server is engaging but not over the top. Friendly, but not overly so - actually I find that makes the dining experience more pleasant not just for the patron, but the server. How much more engaging it must be at work if you have nice people to wait on - you can have pleasant chit-chat both ways.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 03:22 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I've a huge foodie. I feel privileged to have been able to experience the culinary delights of two of the ten best restaurants in the world. Upon receiving the check , there was a space for tip..meaning compensation for good service.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 03:39 pm
@Germlat,
And? I've ben in some really expensive and wellknown restaurants in France as well - there like her in Germany, you'll have a space for tips on the bill. Or you can give some, if you pay with "real money".

When the service is included this doesn't mean at all that tips are forbidden.

But as "a good foodie" you certainly are aware hat the food isn't cooked by the service personal.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 03:43 pm
@chai2,
Waiters/waitresses usually are tipped over here. The question was about barstaff, not waiters/waitresses.
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 03:48 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Certainly I'm aware the food is not cooked by the service personnel. If a tip is suggested I give it..not criticizing you but that is simply my take on things. If there is room for it there is a reason for this. Also as far as forums go I'm only interested in exchange of ideas and I've never felt a remote inclination to read anyone's stats or profile.
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 03:52 pm
Great responses, amd I now inderstand a bit more about the nuances in the way that the American tipping system works.
Initially, I was responding to the slight from Finn about being pennypinching, but the more I thought about it, and still think about it, I still prefer the way we do it here, and I'm not even talking Walter's service charge built in here, as that is arrogant to me for the restaurant/cafe owners to charge for their service, as this is the industry in which the owners chose to work and invest...places where it is absolutely necessary to take the orders for food, cook it and then take it to their table. That is what their industry does.

To make this a separate charge seems silly to me. You don't see supermarkets adding 5% service charge for the task of putting goods on the shelves do you?

Nope, I would much prefer that only small bonus tips were made for a thank you, and that the waiting staff, whether they had an hourglass figure, were small and dumpy, good looking, plain Jane, slick with the talk or just quietly efficient....that they all got the same salary for the same work....guaranteed, and not at the whim of strangers.

If the boss then recognised a certain member of staff because of their natural talent etc, by giving them a pay rise, then all well and good.
And if a member of staff wasn't performing, then it should be up to the manager to deal with the problem, not leave it up to strangers to face the terribly embarrassing situation where he really doesn't want to leave a tip at all because of terrible service, but then again doesn't want to be seen as a cheapskate.

The price of meals may rise because of the fair salary structure, although it would probably be the case that quite a bit of it would be absorbed by reducing the profits that the miserly owner used to stuff straight in his pocket.
Owners mayseem the life and soul of the party when diners are present and he is "on show", but it is in the nature of nearly all small businessmen to squeeze as much personal profit from any enterprise, and the tipping system suits them down to the ground.

Personally, it would take the shine off the evening if I suspected that in the background, this young man/woman was greatly reliant on me to help them pay their bills. I would then, being a great cynic, begin to suspect that all the bonhommie was an act, and I don't even want to start going down that route when I'm supposed to be out enjoying myself.

If I am ever a waiter/waitress in the USA in my next life, then I pray to the Karma god that I come back as a really hard working, beautiful, personable young lady with a terrific figure, because I strongly suspect that they do a lot better than an equally hardworking plain Jane or spotty lad in your present system.

At least our lot start out from an equal base, however they look. And at least we all know, both staff and customers, that the relationship struck up over the meal will probably be genuine, as there is no hidden agenda lurking behind the smiles.

That said, I always tip 10% or thereabouts if the service isn't automatically included. Never in a pub though. Don't ask me why, it just never (or very very rarely) happens.

Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 04:06 pm
@Lordyaswas,
I think of it as a breakdown of the charge in a way..maybe? The tipping is sometimes left up to the customer because experience can be subjective. This is more than not an incentive for the staff to attempt to please the customer. When I was I college I attempted waitressing and found it horribly unpleasant and degrading..but then I probably don't possess the social skills they do. I was very bad at it and received the least tips although I worked very hard. Needless to say I didn't work in that industry for long.
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 04:23 pm
@Germlat,
Germlat wrote:

I think of it as a breakdown of the charge in a way..maybe? The tipping is sometimes left up to the customer because experience can be subjective. This is more than not an incentive for the staff to attempt to please the customer. When I was I college I attempted waitressing and found it horribly unpleasant and degrading..but then I probably don't possess the social skills they do. I was very bad at it and received the least tips although I worked very hard.


See, this is roughly the point I'm making. For instance, shop staff don't run round after the customers in the supermarket with ready smiles and a desire to make their shopping experience really enjoyable, do they?

You can imagine the look from the cashier on the till when you don't leave a 20% tip in their staff bucket on the nearby shelf.
"Well, you had most of the goods I required for my weekly shop, but you were lacking in chocolate cookies so I will tip you not, in the full knowledge that you will be going hungry tonight because Walmart only pay you $1 an hour".

What would happen with teachers? Little Johnny gives her an envelope from his mum, so she can fill her car up with fuel for the weekend?
Meanwhile little Sarah's mum witholds her tip because the school dared to teach evolution?

Why is it only a few professions that require their staff to basically act like performing poodles in order to get a decent weeks wage?
 

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