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Old 09-28-2010, 06:59 AM   #1
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As a professional Bartender/Server I'm always fascinated to learn others views on tipping. I have my own formulated theories on the subject such as "Training Your Servers"(tm). The basic premise is that servers will provide better service to those who tip above 20%. So when you find a bar or restaurant that you want to frequent you leave a 50% or more tip 3 times in a row. After this word has gotten around to all the servers that you are an excellent tipper. They will be tripping over themselves to keep your drink full and make your every wish come true. After the 3 times you can back off to 20-25% tips for good service. Just throw out the occasional superb tip for amazing service to keep them guessing.

So what are your opinion Homebrew Talk? What do you think of added gratuity on parties of 6-8 or more? What are your standards to earn that 15-18% tip and what makes you tip above and beyond?

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Old 09-28-2010, 10:56 AM   #2
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The basic premise is that servers will provide better service to those who tip above 20%. So when you find a bar or restaurant that you want to frequent you leave a 50% or more tip 3 times in a row. After this word has gotten around to all the servers that you are an excellent tipper. They will be tripping over themselves to keep your drink full and make your every wish come true. After the 3 times you can back off to 20-25% tips for good service. Just throw out the occasional superb tip for amazing service to keep them guessing.
So your premise is that in a service industry I am supposed to bribe people to give me good service? My answer to that is theres another place to eat right up the street. Any Management that allows the Waitstaff to act like that doesn't need my money.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:38 PM   #3
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20 - 25% for good service? What happened to 15% for great service and on down from there?

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Old 09-28-2010, 01:38 PM   #4
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how-much-tip-haircut

this one kind of evolved into more than haircuts -
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:52 PM   #5
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I was never a server or bartender but I did used to be a restaurant manager. IMHO, there's too much turnover in the restaurant business to play a long game when it comes to tipping. If I get good service, I give a good tip and leave it at that. Bartending is stable enough in my experience that tipping well goes a long way.

My view on automatic gratuity is that if you did a good job and you roll the dice, I'll reward you. If you did a good job and you automatically applied the tip, I'll give you a little extra. If you did a bad job, you get the party minimum regardless of if you add it in or not.

My view on what to tip is I look at what the server has control over. Drink refills and salads/bread/chips/etc are usually entirely on the server. If there's a hold up from the kitchen on one of those things, that's fine but let us know. Food taking a long time is not usually the fault of the server. There have been a few times when I've seen our whole order back there ready to carry out and the server is too busy doing side work or goofing off to look up and notice, but far more often the kitchen is just slow. Speaking of side work, what really grinds my gears is when I'm eating later in the evening and a server is putting their side work at a higher importance than actually serving their one or two remaining customers. Side work is just that: side work.

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Old 09-28-2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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I always tell my wife that if the waitress does any better, she won't just get the tip, she'll get the whole thing!

Yeah. She doesn't laugh either.

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Old 09-28-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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I always tell my wife that if the waitress does any better, she won't just get the tip, she'll get the whole thing!

Yeah. She doesn't laugh either.
Now that is funny.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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50% tip,, I would recommend that if I was a server too That's ridiculous. If the service is good-great I leave 20%, if it's horrible, I've left 0 before. I'd say less then 5 times during my time on this planet, but it is an option. You get tipped on your performance, that's the pay scale you agreed to when you took the job, don't like it, don't work for tips. Now if I'm at a very busy bar...maybe once or twice a year now a days, I'll tip big (50-100% of the 2 drink order) the first time. This isn't because the bar tender did a great job, it's to ensure I get served next time wihtout waiting forever.

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Old 09-28-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
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I'll agree with PDAWG that I don't want my wait staff expecting me to bribe them for good service and would expect them to work their ass off on their own in hopes that I will give a good tip. While that may screw them over with some cheap people, it ensures that the right people will tip accordingly.

That said, I only go out to eat rarely, and almost always the same restaurant and same server (I go to "wing nite" special every Thursday). To make it easy, we just each throw in $20 for the meal + tip. Sometimes that comes out to 12% if we have an extra beer, some times it's 40% (because the server doesn't always remember to put a round of beers on the bill). We always put the same amount on the table, so when we drink light, the server makes a ton of money, but if we drink heavy, we made up for that tip by giving extra last week when we didn't drink heavy.

This has worked great at 2 bars we've frequented with regularity and our server knows what beer we want, and generally what our order is (almost always the same order of wings + fries for the table). As soon as she sees one of us pop in, she's got 4 beers ready and asks if we want the usual order. Well worth the 40% we spend some days, and we don't have to worry about waiting for change and trying to divvy up the change evenly.

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Old 09-28-2010, 02:11 PM   #10
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"Training Your Servers"(tm) works really well if you frequent a place. I don't go out too much anymore, so the recognition isn't there. It's not a bride. It's everybody knows you aren't chintzy.

I am pretty laid back & easy to please. Basically just be nice to me. If stuff gets a bit f'ed up, I still don't care. Sometimes you go out with uptight people who dwell on little stuff. I would much rather sit back, relax, and enjoy a good time.

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