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Tipping and service industry discussion


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#1 Holden West

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 10:54 PM

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)

18. Know before approaching a table who has ordered what. Do not ask, “Who’s having the shrimp?”

That one bugs me to no end. If a server "auctions" off plates it means they don't care enough to take literally two seconds (thanks to the computer) to learn what plate goes to what person.

I'm hoping next week's installment includes the dreaded "do you need change?"
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#2 Holden West

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:03 PM

Yesterday I had a $20 bill in my wallet that was itching to flee so Mrs. West and I decided to let it go at Spinnakers in exchange for a plate of fries and a couple of drinks. The fries were tasty and so was my Blue Bridge IPA which was worth the long-ish wait. Our server didn't make any mistakes but...how can I put this. Seemed weary. Disinterested. Accordingly, she received a 10% tip.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:18 PM

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)

That one bugs me to no end. If a server "auctions" off plates it means they don't care enough to take literally two seconds (thanks to the computer) to learn what plate goes to what person.

I'm hoping next week's installment includes the dreaded "do you need change?"


These are my two:

32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them.

34. Do not have a personal conversation with another server within earshot of customers.


I'm a guy, and I'm not into the touching (from a waitress)... It reminds me of guys that always want to hug girls, to get some type of a thrill, it sucks.

I hope, "I'm going off shift now, do you mind settling up?" is on tomorrow's next 50. That just says to me "I want to make sure I get any tip coming, want to make sure you don't not tip (if I transfer the bill to my replacement) since I'm leaving", or "I don't trust my replacement to get my tip to me next time I see her, she'll probably steal it under the guise of 'forgetting'" or "I need all the loose change I can get my hands on to go out with later tonight".

I hate the "settle-up" thing more for the sake of the pub/restaurant owner. You are probably 80% LESS likely to have another drink if you have already paid once, esp. by credit/debit.

#4 gumgum

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 07:34 AM

Two things that really bug me that aren't on the list:

1. When the server sits in the booth with you. This happens from time to time when I'm with a group of ther guys and the server is female. It's like she's saying: "Hey, I'm like one of the guys. I can relate with you guys. AND I'm sexy and cute. I'm a prime candidate for a big tip." It's very awkward.

2. When your server looks at your empty plate and says: "Whoa! You were hungry!" Maybe I was. But pointing out how quickly I shoveled my food is my wife's
job, not a complete stranger's. Or maybe I didn't finish my meal fast; you were just not noticing the passage of time.

#5 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 08:21 AM

2. When your server looks at your empty plate and says: "Whoa! You were hungry!" Maybe I was. But pointing out how quickly I shoveled my food is my wife's
job, not a complete stranger's. Or maybe I didn't finish my meal fast; you were just not noticing the passage of time.


I remember having that happen to me once at the old Moxie's: it was something to the effect of "do you breath when you eat, HAHA?" in front of a table of about 8 or so friends.

I laughed it off with the rest of the group (while I quietly Hulked out inside), got up, walked over to the manager and insisted that he either fire the waiter on the spot, in front of my table for his insensitivity or comp the entire table. While I don't know the fate of the waiter (other than someone else took over the table), I do know for certain is that we all ate and drank on the house that night.

#6 Mike K.

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:00 AM

But you still tipped her?

Know it all.
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#7 Guest_Marcat_*

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:27 AM

Ye Gads! 10%? for dis-interested service...10% is usually what I tip period, unless its exceptional service. And the last few times I've been at Spinnakers I haven't even left a tip a combination of the service/food has been so horrendous.

#8 Bernard

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:08 AM

You should be tipping 15% for regular decent service and 20% for outstanding service. The staff really need this money to make ends meet.

10% is typical for many people, but really should be an indication of sub standard service

#9 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:05 AM

You should be tipping 15% for regular decent service and 20% for outstanding service. The staff really need this money to make ends meet.

10% is typical for many people, but really should be an indication of sub standard service


I generally tip 30% at places where I am a regular, 15-20% elsewhere. It never hurts to overtip at a place where you can be rememebered.

#10 Caramia

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:43 AM

Ditto Bob. 10% would be for ****ty service.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#11 Holden West

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:50 AM

^Really? 10%? Caramia, you must then define what you mean by ****ty, unless you mean flirty or nudity.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#12 Caramia

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:59 AM

That was the forum's anti swear word filter saving me from abusive language. My real word began with an "sh"
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#13 Holden West

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:07 PM

^I figured that, and assumed it meant rude and/or incompetent service. Unless the server was victim of circumstances beyond their control (including poor training) that doesn't deserve 10%.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#14 Caramia

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:15 PM

8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment.


This is a pet peeve of mine. Generally I dine with people who I have things to talk about with. Guaranteed we will be in the most intense moment of conversation when the waiter approaches to ask how everything is. And when receiving our monosyllabic replies, the waiter then tries to "cheer us up" prolonging our annoyance, when the only thing bugging us was our sincere desire that he go away.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#15 Caramia

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:22 PM

Well rude service would likely get no tip.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#16 Guest_Marcat_*

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:58 PM

You should be tipping 15% for regular decent service and 20% for outstanding service. The staff really need this money to make ends meet.

10% is typical for many people, but really should be an indication of sub standard service


To be quite frank, this is the attitude in resturants that causes me NOT to tip. A server should not walk into work and start serving and EXPECT 4/5th of anything other than their hourly wage. It is a SERVER's job to wow me with service, to make me want to reward them for their efforts. A Project Manager on a big job site, gets a set salary and when he WOWS his boss with a job well done he gets a bonus, thus I apply the same rule when eating out. I very rarely leave anything at a coffee shop because quite often the people are uninterested and seem like they have better things to do. As for restaurants, (and this is MY opinion, not what SHOULD or SHOULDN'T be done) If I am met by a competent host, met with drink orders swiftly, likewise service and good food, I will tip quite handsomely BUT I find that very rarely happens in Victoria anymore, all the Servers EXPECT tips because thats what people SHOULD do. If you are serving me, don't expect anything other than you earning you're keep.

And yes, I'm sure I'm about to be attacked for my viewpoint because these people make a low wage, often no more than $10 an hour, well think of it this way a laborer on a construction site doesn't make much more than that starting out, but for some reason they find a way to live and work their way up the food chain. As a society the idea that you SHOULD get this and that is complete horsecrap!

#17 piltdownman

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 01:47 PM

Tipping is built into the entire economic structure of a restaurants. People are expected to tip to make up for low wages. Those low wages are factored into the cost of your food. You must also remember that in many restaurants, servers are required to "tip out" everyone from cookers, to hostesses, to even management in some places. Most of the time this is based on percentage of sales. So this means that in some places if you tip nothing your server is out 5%-9%. I no longer work in food services, but still think its a good system for two reasons:

1) By lowering set wage costs it allows restaurants to minimize risk by having extra staff on, thus better service for the customer.

2) Servers still try to provide good service to get a higher tip, thus better service for the customer.

I personally tip 15-20%. 10% if I think the service is bad, 30% if its my local or someone has gone that extra mile. On a side note, known bad tippers and complainers always get bad service. Its because servers, honestly, don't want to spend their time on customers which will give them very little benefit and grief.

#18 G-Man

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:41 PM

As a former server for many years, tips are the only way to stay above water.

As Sparky says you have to tip out your busser, the kitchen and host based on a percentage of your sales not on your total tips. On a $100 bill you have to give out 5 - 7 dollars no matter whether you get a penny.

There is no ladder in serving unless you move to a different restaurant because they have higher sales per server.

Construction workers may start at minimum wage (what 90% of servers get) but if they do it for a few years they will get more whereas the server does not.

While I will tip 10% for bad service, I generally will tip 15% without thinking and good service gets 20 - 30%.

While people may disagree, I have had many careers in my life and serving is the only one that still gives me nightmares. It is a VERY hard job and there are a lot of thankless jerks out there that feel that it is ok to tear a strip off you because you are "serving" them.

That said there is a bad culture at Spinnakers that has been in place for many years.

#19 Number Six

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:41 PM

10-15% for good service, 0% for poor service. If you're crap at your job, or simply disinterested, you should seriously consider something else. When diners spend their hard-earned cash on a night out they deserve good service. They might not get it but they sure as hell should not be expected to subsidize that person's wages.

#20 Holden West

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:55 AM

Part II is out, and yes, my favourite is number 88:

88. Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change.


"Do you need change?" = "Can I keep this for my tip?"
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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