To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

Post by 0to60 »

Just simple math based on the price of the food. Yes many restaurants do fail, but it's certainly not because they paid their staff too much. If they don't have enough business to stay open they've already gotten rid of any wait staff they had. I had a bakery there and we didn't hire any staff. We had one girl come in on the weekends, but the ol' lady was such a bitch to her that she quit.
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

Post by OrangeDragon »

I think running a restaurant and a bakery are quite different... and i think your "basic math" blanket statement is full of some glaring holes, primarily being that it's a blanket statement. I mean yes, ideally the business does make a profit, but for many who aren't corporate chains it's a relatively small one.

Remember to include spoilage, overhead, slow days where you are still paying the same in electric/etc that you have to have a "cushion" to absorb, initial investments, future maintenance, backup money for potential legal suits, insurance to minimize those... a lot of complex expenses in opening and running a business that make the math far from simple. to try and simplify it is just trying to justify a mindset, not to understand the operation and find the right answer.
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

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Well, it was a donut shop. We did serve food. Not nearly as expensive as the food in those places that have full time waiters. You raise a lot of points, many which didn't apply to our family business. Spoilage is tax deductable. We didn't have insurance. Staff is part of the overhead. Corporate chains have very high prices. If you're hiring a lot of staff to cover the slow periods, that's just poor management. We paid our girl 10$ an hour to work during the busy time. 6am to 12pm we'd make about 800$ selling cheap donuts. Paying her less would have just been greedy. All our appliances were electric, about 400$ a month Supplies 800$, lease 2500$. Gross Income about 8000$ a month. Trying to save a few bucks by not paying your staff is immoral. If you can't keep them busy you shouldn't hire so many. We also didn't take out taxes, cash in hand. So she worked 12 hours a week and got 120$.
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

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In the American democracy to be servile is incompatible with citizenship. Every tip given in the United States is a blow at our experiment in democracy. The custom announces to the world…that we do not believe practically that “all men are created equal.” Unless a waiter can be a gentleman, democracy is a failure. If any form of service is menial, democracy is a failure. Those Americans who dislike self-respect in servants are undesirable citizens; they belong in an aristocracy.

http://www.foodwoolf.com/2010/08/histor ... pping.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

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0to60 wrote:Well, it was a donut shop. We did serve food. Not nearly as expensive as the food in those places that have full time waiters. You raise a lot of points, many which didn't apply to our family business. Spoilage is tax deductable. We didn't have insurance. Staff is part of the overhead. Corporate chains have very high prices. If you're hiring a lot of staff to cover the slow periods, that's just poor management. We paid our girl 10$ an hour to work during the busy time. 6am to 12pm we'd make about 800$ selling cheap donuts. Paying her less would have just been greedy. All our appliances were electric, about 400$ a month Supplies 800$, lease 2500$. Gross Income about 8000$ a month. Trying to save a few bucks by not paying your staff is immoral. If you can't keep them busy you shouldn't hire so many. We also didn't take out taxes, cash in hand. So she worked 12 hours a week and got 120$.
To give you a comparison... for your morality equation... I know several servers in small restaurants in St. Louis that pull in 150-200 a night on 6 hour shifts... all in tips. And no, they're not strippers. They're just really good servers as reasonably priced places. Last I checked on the owner they were still making payments on the loan for their initial investment and living on about $2000 a month (pre-tax) after that . Doing the simple math on that, with tips alone, it means a server working 3 nights a week was earning about the same as the owners who shouldered all of the risk. One working the 3 "hot" nights as well as some midweek shifts was likely earning more.

Which part of that is the owner being immoral and greedy? They provided a work environment that gave each employee the opportunity to earn to their willingness to please the customers, and on their end they made sure the rest of the experience was quality enough to not impair the servers and to draw in an ample amount of customers. Fair trade in my book.
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

Post by 0to60 »

We may have different ideas about what a reasonable priced place is. If the waiters there are getting 200$ in tips, it's way over budget for blue collar workers that make much less than that. If they still have a job. Your friend is probably paying extra on his loan to finish it more quickly or paid way to much. Poor people eat in restaurants too. Especially the ones living in their cars and don't have a pot to piss in, or a kitchen to cook in. With my donut shop there was no risk, because I chose the right location. I also had money to start with, I didn't have to borrow for the whole thing. I've also heard stories from waiters saying they make extravagant amounts of money in tips, but I still feel it's wrong to charge 10$ for a sandwich and then expect me to pay your employees as well. Tipping started as rich people showing off their money,you know that . Right?
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

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This was an organic cafe sort of place, where a meal for two (appetizer+2 mains with sides+2 non alcohol drinks) runs around $35. On a weekend evening peak they're 20 or so 4 top tables will be full (of groups of 4 or more most times since they also have some 2 top tables) and the two 6 tops will sometimes also be full, with 4 servers working them all.
just using the 4 tops:
20% tip on that meal for two would be $7, or $14 for a table of 4. Figure average table time of 2 hours, that means 5 tables/server = around $35/hour in tips at the base when it's busy. 6 hours at that = $210 per night simply. The reality though (again, no simple math) is that it's no 6 hours of that... it's like 3-4 of peak and 2-3 of non peak and prep. So at the peak 3.5 hours (averaged) we end up with $122 at the average 20%. A little more comes in from offpeak, but we'll ignore it. Now... if a server does really well and gets a few 25% tips in there as well, they're still hitting at/close to the $200 mark for the night, but merit based even an average server is getting just over $20 an hour for their time... and on one is being unfairly charged for their meals. With tip, a high quality organic meal for 2 with appetizer and soft drinks at around $20 person in a nice setting cooked by someone else. Not an unfair price at all. If people felt it was, the place wouldn't be so busy.

Meanwhile in that time, using the same model as above, the business has generated $1600. Organic food is pricier than regular food in general, so lets say cost of goods sold per meal and half app is $5, so around $700 in meal raw costs for the peak. Building rent for that time (3.5 peak hours), assuming around $6000 a month for a decent location and 5 hours of opening time per day 6 days a week (so around $50/hour) is $175. Wages for the 4 servers for their shift, $51. Wages for the cooks (estimating 3 at $12/hr) $216. So just in rent and basic wages we're at over $1100 in costs for the day... not counting a few minimum wage busboys and dishwashers, utilities, licensing fees, and the payments on the aforementioned loan to set the place up. A real restaurant is much more complicated than a donut shop with a few kitchen items and a counter girl who serves them.
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

Post by OrangeDragon »

(Disclaimer: This model is obviously based on a few assumptions as well, like the costs of goods/etc... I think they're fair averages/estimates but someone with more intimate knowledge of the food industry is free to correct me on them and i'll make adjustments as needed. Also, leaving out the 2 and 6 tops is a rough balance equation to a zero sum. 2 tops are less efficient, and so make less money for all involved. 6 tops are more efficient and do the opposite.)

(Further disclaimer... I am currently a little drunk, so feel free to double check my math. I used a calculator and think it's sound... but could easily be off somewhere.)
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

Post by Sir_Quality_U_Feel »

Yank here- Back home for my entire life, we tipped for a lot of different things, always a waiter/waitress. My family tipped from 20%-30%, even if the service was mediocre, you pretty much have to leave something. Thinking about it now, it is somewhat deeply engrained in American "culture".

I have stopped tipping a lot since I have lived in Cambodia for going on a few short years. There are about 2 or 3 restaurants in town where I always leave a tip because the service of the entire staff is always excellent. Usually around %20, big holiday like Khmer NY or Pchum Ben, I tip more money and at a lot more places. Sir_Q has a heart indeed, folks.

I go to a Khmer barber shop that charges 6000 riel for a haircut and a straight blade shave. Cute girls that do the shave/ masssage/nails ( khmer dudes in there getting nails done up all the time, not my thing I spose). I tip him $2 or $3 everytime, same guy. He does a better job than the places back home for $20 I was used to, so why not. I can tell he appreciates it.

I don't think I ever tipped for drinking in Cambodia, minus at the Garage, because the two long time employees are great there.

Report End.
I'll give ya 500 Riel for it...
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Re: To tip or not to tip... or should it be banned?

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OrangeDragon wrote:This was an organic cafe sort of place, where a meal for two (appetizer+2 mains with sides+2 non alcohol drinks) runs around $35. On a weekend evening peak they're 20 or so 4 top tables will be full (of groups of 4 or more most times since they also have some 2 top tables) and the two 6 tops will sometimes also be full, with 4 servers working them all.
just using the 4 tops:
20% tip on that meal for two would be $7, or $14 for a table of 4. Figure average table time of 2 hours, that means 5 tables/server = around $35/hour in tips at the base when it's busy. 6 hours at that = $210 per night simply. The reality though (again, no simple math) is that it's no 6 hours of that... it's like 3-4 of peak and 2-3 of non peak and prep. So at the peak 3.5 hours (averaged) we end up with $122 at the average 20%. A little more comes in from offpeak, but we'll ignore it. Now... if a server does really well and gets a few 25% tips in there as well, they're still hitting at/close to the $200 mark for the night, but merit based even an average server is getting just over $20 an hour for their time... and on one is being unfairly charged for their meals. With tip, a high quality organic meal for 2 with appetizer and soft drinks at around $20 person in a nice setting cooked by someone else. Not an unfair price at all. If people felt it was, the place wouldn't be so busy.

Meanwhile in that time, using the same model as above, the business has generated $1600. Organic food is pricier than regular food in general, so lets say cost of goods sold per meal and half app is $5, so around $700 in meal raw costs for the peak. Building rent for that time (3.5 peak hours), assuming around $6000 a month for a decent location and 5 hours of opening time per day 6 days a week (so around $50/hour) is $175. Wages for the 4 servers for their shift, $51. Wages for the cooks (estimating 3 at $12/hr) $216. So just in rent and basic wages we're at over $1100 in costs for the day... not counting a few minimum wage busboys and dishwashers, utilities, licensing fees, and the payments on the aforementioned loan to set the place up. A real restaurant is much more complicated than a donut shop with a few kitchen items and a counter girl who serves them.

Too rich for my blood. If you can't afford to tip you won't be going to a place like that. In PP my wife would give a dollar to everyone on the hotel staff. Being a Khmerican, I think she was just showing off. I tip the girl that pumps my gas, though. As a kid I don't remember us ever having the dosh to eat in a restaurant. So no tipping culture there.
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