Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > DiningBuzz
Reload this Page >

A new tipping concept: tipping on amount of time waiter spends on you

A new tipping concept: tipping on amount of time waiter spends on you

Closed Thread

Old Feb 18, 16, 2:33 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: CMH, HNL
Programs: UA, HA
Posts: 583
Originally Posted by milepig View Post
I'd rather reverse it and tip by the amount of time the server doesn't NEED to spend with me interrupting my meal. In a good restaurant, the service should been seamless and unnoticed since everything is working as planned.

The person who takes my order should stop by once to see how we're going. I know I'm splitting hairs, but the server isn't usually the person who takes the orders anyway.
Yes. Personal pet peeve in restos: wait staff interrupting table conversation to ask if all is well. If you want to up your game (any wait staff out there reading along), do this. Make a close pass, look to see if things appear copacetic, and be visible so as to field a "Waiter!" request if the table wants to speak up.
TheTakeOffRush is offline  
Old Feb 20, 16, 11:45 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,508
Literally any abled body human can be a waiter. It takes no special skills or education to bring a plate of food from the kitchen to the table. Nor is it a dangerous job that demands hazard pay or anything like that. Why these people need to make $20 or $30 or $50 in an hour is one of life's greatest mysteries.
KoKoBuddy is offline  
Old Feb 20, 16, 3:59 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,613
Philatravelgirl, your post highlights the fact that the real problem with tipping isn't the customers, it's the restaurant owner/manager committing wage theft. if you end up with less than 15% (or whatever will get you to minimum wage), the owner must make up the difference. "end up with" means after any tipping out.

and if you're forced to declare the pre-tipping out totals on your taxes, it means the owner is stealing from the IRS too.
crabbing is offline  
Old Feb 21, 16, 2:05 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: UA 1MM/*A Gold, WN A+ CP, Mar LT Tit, IHG Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 5,086
Originally Posted by TheTakeOffRush View Post
Yes. Personal pet peeve in restos: wait staff interrupting table conversation to ask if all is well. If you want to up your game (any wait staff out there reading along), do this. Make a close pass, look to see if things appear copacetic, and be visible so as to field a "Waiter!" request if the table wants to speak up.
One of the very basics of table service work is to anticipate the customer's needs. That means paying attention to things like drink glasses being close to empty, plates all empty with silverware laid across them, etc. Wait staff who don't understand this are professionally naive. Those who can't develop the skill are professionally incompetent. Alas, some are probably instructed by their management to ask "How is everything?" some minimum number of times per table, out of a misguided notion that number of spoken interruptions equals quality of service.
darthbimmer is offline  
Old Feb 21, 16, 3:12 pm
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California USA
Programs: AA EXP, AA Million Miler, AA Lifetime Gold, Top 1% of KIVA lenders
Posts: 377
In today's Wall Street Journal

Good Riddance to Tipping

http://www.wsj.com/articles/course-work-1455914458
Brahmin is offline  
Old Feb 21, 16, 3:16 pm
  #21  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: GE, Marriott Gold
Posts: 12,163
Originally Posted by Brahmin View Post
For this task, no one should be making 50K, 80K or 100K.
In some parts of the country, $50K isn't all that much. And we're not talking particularly nice apartments, houses or even shared living situations.

Originally Posted by Brahmin View Post
If the server does not want to improve his education and other skills
What if someone likes working in the industry? Why should we presume that everyone should be working in a so called "skilled" position? I don't know about anyone else, but IMO working full time at any job should be getting one paid enough to at least not need government assistance if not have an "okay" (not extravagant by any means) quality of life.
tmiw is online now  
Old Feb 22, 16, 11:31 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,508
Originally Posted by tmiw View Post


What if someone likes working in the industry? Why should we presume that everyone should be working in a so called "skilled" position? I don't know about anyone else, but IMO working full time at any job should be getting one paid enough to at least not need government assistance if not have an "okay" (not extravagant by any means) quality of life.
You get paid based on the value your provide. And someone bringing a plate of food from the kitchen to a table 50 feet away does not provide much value.
KoKoBuddy is offline  
Old Feb 22, 16, 11:48 am
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: GE, Marriott Gold
Posts: 12,163
Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
You get paid based on the value your provide. And someone bringing a plate of food from the kitchen to a table 50 feet away does not provide much value.
A server's purpose is to make the restaurant experience enjoyable. That could mean different things depending on the kind of restaurant.
tmiw is online now  
Old Feb 22, 16, 10:08 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: CMH, HNL
Programs: UA, HA
Posts: 583
Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
A server's purpose is to make the restaurant experience enjoyable. That could mean different things depending on the kind of restaurant.
Yeah, I tend to lean in this direction, too, tmiw. I think the "Waiter = Order & Food Dump Truck" notion is a bit harsh and simplistic. Although maybe it fits certain people's experience. It's a service position, and as such timing, observation, an attention to (and memory of) detail, and respect for the customer make that server stand out.

KoKoBuddy, I hope you get slid some really good service soon! A little serendipity doesn't hurt.
TheTakeOffRush is offline  
Old Feb 23, 16, 8:12 am
  #25  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2,832
Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
Literally any abled body human can be a waiter. It takes no special skills or education to bring a plate of food from the kitchen to the table. Nor is it a dangerous job that demands hazard pay or anything like that. Why these people need to make $20 or $30 or $50 in an hour is one of life's greatest mysteries.
Yup,indeed.
Bring me a menu,take my order,answer any questions I have in a polite manner,don't tell me your life story or what you think I ought to eat and then leave me alone.
I'm old enough to fill my own wine glass and if I want something I'll discreetly attract your attention.
It's amazing how many of these wait staff expecting large tips don't understand these basic rules.
Clint Bint is offline  
Old Feb 23, 16, 10:01 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards. Tha... that's about it.
Posts: 3,825
Ah, tipping, the old stand-by when one really wants to start a hot argument online!

It doesn't bother me to put down a tip at a restaurant. I tip average - not generous, but not cheapskate - and adjust based on service. Bad service = bad tip, good service = good tip, and that includes whether my party causes the server a lot of trouble with confusing orders, unusual requests, or leaving a mess.

However, I am in favor of getting rid of the tipping system entirely in the US and paying waitstaff a fair wage, with none of the splitting, pooling, tipping out practices, and no more lower-than-minimum wages.

Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
Literally any abled body human can be a waiter. It takes no special skills or education to bring a plate of food from the kitchen to the table. Nor is it a dangerous job that demands hazard pay or anything like that. Why these people need to make $20 or $30 or $50 in an hour is one of life's greatest mysteries.
Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
You get paid based on the value your provide. And someone bringing a plate of food from the kitchen to a table 50 feet away does not provide much value.
You've obviously never waited tables, or you'd know that your statements are a gross oversimplification based on a rather narrow viewpoint.

There are a lot of different kinds of restaurants, from buffets where the customer mostly serves themselves to five-star butt-kissing ego-fests. Each presents its own challenges and unique requirements to the waitstaff, from complex menus to high customer volume to insensitive jackholes who treat people in service professions like dirt.

You assert that it takes no special skill or education to be a restaurant server, but based on my observation, that's only true at certain low-end craptroughs; at a decent restaurant from Applebees to Tavern on the Green, it takes skill to not only answer customers' questions on menu and restaurant policy, and to get orders straight - particularly when dealing with a party, where the server's attention might be divided, rather than an individual - but to get the orders submitted to the kitchen correctly, to assemble the orders correctly and bring them in a timely manner so there is no bumping of courses, and of course to bus the table and keep drinks and other items filled. And that's before the jackholes arrive and start treating the waitstaff like dirt, making outrageous demands, or causing disruptions.

The amount of skill needed to be a restaurant server varies wildly depending on the restaurant and the neighborhood. Making blank statements disparaging all servers as completely unskilled and unworthy of a living wage is simplistic and foolish, as well as insulting.

And by the way, to me, someone bringing my plate to the table from a kitchen 50 feet away DOES provide me with a valuable service, one for which I am willing to pay through the cost of the meal and the tip.
WillCAD is offline  
Old Feb 23, 16, 12:41 pm
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California USA
Programs: AA EXP, AA Million Miler, AA Lifetime Gold, Top 1% of KIVA lenders
Posts: 377
Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
You assert that it takes no special skill or education to be a restaurant server, but based on my observation, that's only true at certain low-end craptroughs; at a decent restaurant from Applebees to Tavern on the Green, it takes skill to not only answer customers' questions on menu and restaurant policy, and to get orders straight - particularly when dealing with a party, where the server's attention might be divided, rather than an individual - but to get the orders submitted to the kitchen correctly, to assemble the orders correctly and bring them in a timely manner so there is no bumping of courses, and of course to bus the table and keep drinks and other items filled. And that's before the jackholes arrive and start treating the waitstaff like dirt, making outrageous demands, or causing disruptions.
Is this not a basic job requirement to be a server and get hired?
Brahmin is offline  
Old Feb 25, 16, 7:01 am
  #28  
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards (SE), Virgin America Elevate, Hyatt Gold Passport (Platinum), VIA Preference
Posts: 1,565
*revs up his baby-splitter*

Ok, there are a lot of issues here. On the one hand, for example, when I'm on Amtrak I usually tip very well. I try to tip well on VIA's long-haul trains as well...but that's because I know the complexities of rail service and the fact that while the staff are well-paid, the training they go through is somewhat unique and they're week-on/week-off in some cases.

In restaurants it's a mixed bag, but frankly that description of "tipping out" reminded me of the distribution of soup in Ivan Denisovich. That is not a good sign, and while I'm somewhat sympathetic to the issue there's something a bit wrong about "please take into account our arcane, dubious practices of sharing your tip when considering what to give the server". That being said, there are times I've wanted to give a $20 to the cook (there was one bar where I tipped the cook regularly...but that was a truly unusual case where he was an old family friend and my mother had started the practice shortly before she passed on) or to specifically shaft whomever I knew screwed something up (sometimes it's the server, sometimes it's the kitchen or the bar...and honestly, regardless of what the staff tells you sometimes you can figure out who it is who's messing up) without "dinging" the others.

Honestly, I play a lot on a case-by-case basis...usually at a sit-down (in the US) I look at 15-20% excluding tax and most alcohol and do some rounding from there, but that has actually begun to decline over time. In Canada it's 10-15%, same understanding, per my understanding of Canadian tipping practices.

That being said, it varies on the basis of how my service is and there are plenty of cases where I end up skewing low (one tip wound up being very low this week, but that was an artifact of the fact that the restaurant didn't handle a massive party well (in particular, about half of the group had a train to catch and several of them didn't get to have dessert because it took 90 minutes to get the prix fixe appetizers out...they only barely got their entrees)...I covered a friend's tab alongside mine; he had a service charge for the group and I didn't, so I compensated my tip down to get the "overall tip" in line with what I felt was fair). Of course, this came down to the fact that in theory everyone was supposed to have the service charge included (this wasn't happening...computer issues on the restaurant's side), and on that basis there was something like $600-700 in service charge/tip to spread over the roughly five waitstaff. The issue didn't rise to the point of me committing the insult of arguing about the service charge, but did it come close at one point!

Anyhow...suffice it to say that my practices vary, but I might be inclined to consider this concept but use a higher baseline (perhaps $15-20/hr). It actually isn't a bad idea...I've long felt that if the staff is truly swamped with tables (this level varies by restaurant) the tip should skew a bit lower on the grounds that in addition to usually getting lousier service, in theory the staff should also be getting tips from more people to offset it.
GrayAnderson is offline  
Old Feb 25, 16, 7:32 am
  #29  
havnfn
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: FL-MCO
Programs: Delta-DM; Hilton-Diamond; Hyatt-Diamond
Posts: 452
Originally Posted by KoKoBuddy View Post
Literally any abled body human can be a waiter. It takes no special skills or education to bring a plate of food from the kitchen to the table. Nor is it a dangerous job that demands hazard pay or anything like that. Why these people need to make $20 or $30 or $50 in an hour is one of life's greatest mysteries.
The thing that gets me, a waiter could work a lunch shift and make less than half what they'd make by working a dinner shift. Has always bugged me to tip $20-30 for the same service at dinner vs, say, $8-10 at a nice lunch for two.

Same service...only difference is the cost of the food.
ScrodmanFL is offline  
Old Feb 25, 16, 7:40 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Programs: Laurent-Perrier Lifetime Executive Unobtainium; Hampton Inn Coffee Club Presidential Circle
Posts: 396
Saying derogatory things about waiters speaks volumes about the poster, not the waiters.
lhrhappy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread