What Can I Do About A Server Who Never Tips Out?

Dear IYCATT-ers,
So I’ve been working at the same restaurant for almost 8 years and became a bartender there about a year ago. It’s always been customary that the servers tip the bar 10% of their bar sales and most everyone does. But we have one server who has been there for a couple of years who refuses to tip! She started out as a host and togo, but started serving for a few months now.  She doesn’t even tip her busser! She says by law she doesn’t have to tip! True, she doesn’t. She busses all of her own tables so she feels she doesn’t have to tip her busser, which is fine. However, she upsells more alcohol and flavored teas than anyone in the whole restaurant, which is great, but she does not tip out her bar! Ever! To top it off she’s one of those servers who, no matter how busy the bartenders are, will come stand right there asking for her drinks! This has been brought to her attention several times and her response is always the same…”we’re all here to make money and by law I don’t have to tip anyone!”

Has anyone else ever have to deal with someone like this? Any thoughts and/or suggestions on how to deal with it?

Submitted Anonymously

Tips in the Middle East

Submitted By Maggie

I started working at an authentic middle eastern restaurant about a month ago. The owner said that because many of the customers are students who recently came to the US they aren’t accustomed to tipping, so for all foreign tables we charge a “surcharge” of 18%, which servers receive half of, if the table doesn’t tip at all. However, if it’s an American table or a family from another country, we do not charge a surcharge, since they will most likely tip. If we forget, or choose not to charge a customer, and they still do not tip, we get nothing. If after all our tips are added up we did not make at least $50 for our shift (which is typically 6-8 hours), he pays us the difference. We also make $4 hourly wage, and don’t have any tip out’s or taxes being taken out.

I have worked in a lot of bars and restaurants, and have never encountered this, but all of my previous jobs were at American places. Is this common in a middle eastern restaurant? I feel like because we don’t charge a surcharge to all customers, or to just large parties, this is profiling, and I feel bad when people leave me a good tip after I basically charged them gratuity based on their race. On the other hand, I know if I don’t charge a surcharge, I will make significantly less money every day. I also don’t like that sometimes, the surcharge (which I only receive half of) is more than a small tip a customer will leave, which would have made it a better tip if they hadn’t left me anything. In this case the restaurant just keeps the surcharge.

What are your thoughts on these tip policies?

Pregnant and Serving

Submitted by Renee

I’m am 9 months pregnant…due date January 18th. I work at a local seafood chain as a server. I was wondering how other pregos who continued to wait tables felt with the staff and managers. I don’t feel like I should get special treatment, but when I sit down for a moment to rest during a slow shift I’m made to feel guilty and lazy. Same with eating or snacking on shift…. I’m just so hungry all the time. I get razzed for breaking the rules you could say. I love my job, but my coworker’s attitudes have also begun to reflect resentment because of “sympathy tips” that they assume I’m receiving. They’ve gone to the extent of skipping me in rotation to putting me in a less than desirable section. I’m a veteran server and I have worked for this store since they have opened. Did any of you other working moms feel this way? How did you handle it?

Can My Restaurant Do This?

Submitted by Shana

Looking for advice… My restaurant is a corporate chain that is “cutting costs” for the winter. They used to have a fountain person, responsible for takeout and desserts, that made over $9 an hour, and a dishwasher who made around the same wage. They also cut our greeter. This is all on weekdays. We, as servers, make 2.63 an hour. We greet and seat the door, wait on our tables, make the desserts, bus and clean the tables, and are required to rack our dishes and put them away when they are done washing. All this is in addition to the sidework and silverware rolling we are already required to do. When hired, I never agreed to this nor was it ever mentioned. I feel that this is not legal and taking advantage of us. It’s pretty much slave work if you ask me. I Need advice! This doesn’t seem right.

Should We Tip Out The Owner?

Question From Corbin:

I had a question for you guys and all the followers of the page. We have essentially two bartenders, or a lead bartender, and a bar back every night at the club I work at. The owner is always present, usually in the office, unless we are busy enough to the point where we may run out of glasses, need help cleaning, etc. and the owner will come and help back us up. Should we tip him out? He works, and he works hard, and I am usually a firm believer that if you have to ask if you should tip the answer is yes. But this is a grey area for me at this point. I could use a little advice.

I Strongly Resent Having Tipped At All For My Take Out Order

Can you help a fellow customer with some advice?
(leave your comments in the comments section below)

I’d like your opinion. Last night I picked up dinner from a local steak restaurant, part of a small local chain. This restaurant has “to go” parking and a dedicated door. I placed my order by phone and arrived, knocked on the door and had to wait a couple of minutes in the heat for the server to show up. This was dinner for four, two adults and two kids, total order $76 and I tipped $14 for a total of $90.

The meal was bagged and ready, with several Styrofoam cups on top of the bag. I didn’t check the order as the bag was packed tightly.

It’s a 15 minute drive home. I arrive and, as I start to unpack the bag, my phone rings and it’s the restaurant/server telling me that she forgot to give me the smoothies I ordered for the kids. No apology was offered. Because the kids would be disappointed not to get their smoothies, I grabbed my purse and went back to the restaurant, 15 minutes back to the restaurant.

I arrive and, once again, had to get out of my car to get the drinks. Once again, no apology was given of any kind. I know I gave her an annoyed look and she asked if there was anything else I needed. I just grumbled in response.

How do I know what else she missed and what else we might need?

By the time I got home, dinner had been delayed almost an hour and was barely warm or even cool, including the smoothies, which were melting. Cool steak and shrimp and warm salad really don’t cut it.

I wish there was some way to tip for take out AFTER you find out you actually received the correct order. Because I strongly resent having tipped her at all. Personally, I think in addition to the much needed apology, she should have done *something* – used some of the $14 in tips I gave her to have refunded the cost of drinks – given me a coupon. Something. But I didn’t even get an apology.

What are your thoughts?

~ Submitted By Kathleen ~