A World Without Tips

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A world without tips

I am still incredibly grateful for my recent guest post on tipping.  It inspired my response that discussed the economics of tipping.  It also raised a few other interesting points that I am now learning are common misconceptions about restaurants.  For people who have never worked in a restaurant, these misconceptions can easily be mistaken as facts.  Upon further consideration they may not be wise to pursue.  One interesting idea that she raised in the post was raising the wages paid to server by restaurants to replace tipping.  While on the surface it seems quite logical, it would have a disastrous impact on the industry.

Restaurants are operated on incredibly thin profit margins.  As discussed in a previous post, large corporate restaurant chains are extremely susceptible to anything that affects their stock prices. With a huge spike in the cost of labor, restaurant stock prices would crumble.  Independent restaurant owners struggling to stay afloat would shutter.  Consumers would lose choices.  A vast majority of restaurants would survive this initial wave, but be forced into the next step.

The remaining restaurants would set a wage for servers considerably lower than what the servers make now.  Professional servers with years of experience would have to settle for the new rate or venture into a new career field.  Between servers quitting and terminations, restaurants would reduce the size of their server staff by about a third.  Servers who worked four table sections before would now be required to work six tables for less money.  This would reduce the damage to the restaurant’s bottom line, but also drastically reduce the quality of service that was provided to guests.

Read the full post at Tips For Improving Your Tips

The Economics of Tipping

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A reminder for all of us.

I still occasionally get the guest who will say, “I can buy this wine for half this price at the store.”  Which is true, but it doesn’t come with a staff to serve it and a crew of chefs ready to cook you an incredible meal from a fully stocked kitchen.  I wonder if the same people have ever priced grapes at the grocery store.  If they want to get really serious about cutting out the mark up, that would be an even cheaper place to start.  Better yet, if they buy seeded grapes they could plant the seeds and never have to pay for a bottle of wine again.

Most of you understand the absurdity of this logic.  Those who do not understand have already stopped reading to go buy grapes.  At each step along the process of making the bottle of wine the cost of goods and service, along with a healthy profit margin, are passed along to the next stage.  From grape to cellar, farmers, vintners, bottlers, distributors, and restaurants all add to the price of the bottle in advance.  There is one exception to this rule.  The person who opens the bottle and pours it actually makes that wine less expensive.  At the most basic level, the person who serves the wine pays for part of the bottle for you.

Read the full post at Tips For Improving Your Tips

The Great Debate (Introduction)

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Available at tiptable.com

There are a number of topics about serving and restaurants that are open for debate.  The opinions are generally split between those who have been in the industry and those who have not.  It is very similar to the political process as it currently stands.  Most people have chosen either the Server Party or the Guest Party.  This moderates in the middle are enough to give either side a majority opinion.  The two parties are as opinionated and uncompromising as the political ones.  There seems to be one issue that even the moderates are split on.  Whether it is acceptable to leave less than 15% when the service is poor.

I discussed this issue with a couple of friends from high school.  It took all sorts of different turns.  If everyone gets 15-20%, isn’t that punishing servers who deserve 20%?  Can even an educated guest know all the factors that contribute to slow service?  I knew my vested interest in the topic precluded me from being truly objective.  This is why I asked one of them to write a post outlining her position.  I know from first hand experience that she is a good tipper and a very nice person.  Please refrain from death threats since she did do me a favor in writing this.  With that in mind, here is what she submitted:

Read the full post at Foodie Knowledge

Restaurant Etiquette: Pop Quiz

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Restaurants truly want you to feel comfortable in their establishments.  It is the hospitality industry.  We want you to feel like guests in our home when you eat at our restaurants.  At the same time certain societal norms need to be upheld.  Just as you wouldn’t put your muddy shoes on a host’s coffee table, certain rules of etiquette apply at restaurant.  Due to the fact that these are all too frequently ignored, it might be time for a pop quiz as a friendly reminder of proper restaurant manners.

Feel free to jot down your responses, a link to the answers will be provided at the bottom.

Read the full post at Restaurant Laughs

Restaurant Etiquette: Quiz Answers

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If you missed the quiz portion, go back and check it out.  If you are coming from the quiz, welcome.  Please pass your tests to the left to grade.  We are working on the honor system here folks.  No cheating.

Read the full post at Restaurant Laughs

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