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The Great Debates Server Tipping

Reader Feedback:

Servers always deserve 15% of your entire bill No Matter What...

I feel the general public abuse there privilege in tipping and can make inexcusable reasons for not helping the server make their living. Already I can hear the chatter "They chose that line of Work" "Tell them to get a real Job"

If the server was negligent, then do the next customer and owner a favor and inform the manager that they need to address the problem.

Sometimes the restaurant can interfere with your dining experience and the server pays the price. Today, I know that the labor is getting more challenging daily. And since the restaurant has 60% transient staff problems do occur more frequently than liked by most restaurateurs.

The server pays taxes and is monitored by the SALES Generated not the actual tip and the government wants 15% or more claimed and taxed.

The non tippers really do hurt the profession more than I think they are aware. The best tip is to talk about it with someone responsible.

Jerry Horan
General Manager
The Spotted Hog Restaurant
Peddlers Village


**Next Post

Punishing a server for poor service by reducing or withholding the tip is a lose-lose solution. What kind of satisfaction can you get by saving 15% and sulking out of a restaurant thinking "Well, that sure showed them!" I can't think of a more childish solution. What about the support staff that may depend on a percentage of those tips as well - other servers, bus people, host/hostesses, bartenders, even kitchen staff. Why should one server's poor performance punish anyone other than the server and perhaps the server's manager?

If I'm having a problem with service (and as I said, having worked in the restaurant profession I tend to be very understanding), I speak first with the person directly concerned: the server. You'd be surprised how often this has an effect, especially with the "poor attitude" types. Everyone has bad days, and though professionals shouldn't let this interfere with their work, it inevitably can. I never yell, I never raise my voice, and I certainly never speak in a condescending or threatening tone. I figure this is the only polite initial way to try to resolve the problem, and it often works.

However, in the rare cases of poor service where this type of conversation has not worked (it has a few times, in fact, aggravated the situation), I get up from the table and seek out a manager (I don't like doing this at the table as it seems impolite for your guests and for the other clients seated around you). This usually works, provided the restaurant has responsible management.

In the rare cases where even a word with management doesn't help the situation, I pay the bill and take the tip (15%) directly to the manager and reiterate my complaint. I specifically explain that the tip is a gesture of my goodwill and that I hope it will be disbursed to those staff who deserve it. And I usually don't return to the restaurant.

I might add that I usually tip 20-25% when service is good to excellent, sometimes more when it has been above and beyond the call of duty.

Also, some customers might be surprised what kind of good service they would receive if they only treated their server as another human being! You know, small things like saying "hello", "thank you", "please", etc. and maybe even some direct eye contact. The number of restaurant customers I've seen treat restaurant staff (especially bus staff) like sub-human creatures is amazing.

So when you experience poor service, speak up like an adult and try to rectify the situation with some semblance of dignity and respect. Don't opt for the petty way out of not tipping - it won't correct the problem for the next customer or the other deserving employees of the establishment.

Blair R. Van Horn
Paris, FRANCE


**Next Post

Being in the restaurant industry for the past 8 years in just about every capacity, everywhere from being a busser, to a hostess, to a manager. I totally have an understanding for the wait staff. Whenever I do dine out and come across a waitress or waiter having a "bad night", what comes to mind at first is, "oh, how I remember being in that position" and it being an extremely challenging one at that. I also remember, that whatever kind of day/night I was having, I had to leave whatever problems I was having at home. Because, if I didn't I would end up taking them out either on a customer, coworker or whomever. I would end up being my own worst enemy.

Customers pick up on that, and if you are not giving your attention 100% and faking a good attitude, (but not to the point where it's obvious) I remember my tips were reflected as a result. I feel that when you are a waitress/waiter, you also need to be an actor as well.

Attitude I feel is a big part of it! If the waitress has a good positive attitude, but is not the greatest server or forgets part of my order, and is apologetic and prompt in fixing her mistake, then I will overlook that and still give her a good tip. I usually tip very well, especially when the server has a good attitude and the service is good. However, if the waitress has a lousy attitude, but is a good server, I will tip her, but not as well as the waitress with the good attitude. Maybe, just maybe when the waitress looks at her tip and realizes I didn't give her 20% (as an example) she hopefully will change her attitude and just smile! Maybe this is wrong or maybe it's a right approach, but what this all boils down to is why should I reward negative behavior? That's negative reinforcement. Reward someone for a bad attitude, I don't think so.

Tracey A. Robalik - tlovesc4ever@juno.com


**Next Post

Getting good service at any restaurant today is as gleeful as walking out of the hairdresser with the hair you ASKED for. We all know how hard that is....but when you find the right one you stick with them, don't you? When you find the good waiter ask for this particular waitress or waiter by name. Go sit at the bar and wait to sit in their section if you have to. The management will notice how valuable this employee is to her restaurant, and the other waitpeople will notice how much more money this person is making and changes will happen. Find the good one and tip accordingly. And by all means if you have a very bad experience, say something to the management, they will usually try to make it right.

AD


**Next Post

I have owned a restaurant for over twenty years and I ALWAYS tip well. I start at 20% when I sit down...average or mediocre service keeps the 20%. The better the service the better the tip. When I wait and wait when it is not that busy and I see my service on the phone or goofing off the tip goes down. The worse service I ever had was in an Italian joint in Key West. Totally incompetent waiter...long wait for everything...wrong orders delivered and surly service. AND THEN...this incompetent buffoon delivered the check with a separate piece of paper with his 20% tip figured out and written down, so I wouldn't have to do the math. Yes, he was stiffed!!

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