Have you ever wondered about the need to tip? For you, it may simply be the proper thing to do. For many, a tip shows the appreciation of one’s service. But there’s more to it than a simple kind gesture.
There’s plenty of professions that deserve tips. But being involved with five restaurants, I can honestly explain how the restaurant business works for servers and bartenders. Why this profession more than a hair stylist or valet? Well, Zagat surveyed Americans on dining, and It turns out the average American dines out 4 1/2 times per week. So you will likely tip servers more often than any other type of professional. And why should you tip your server?
Unlike other professions, the restaurant business does not have to abide by the federal minimum wage in all states. In fact, in some states servers may only make $2.13 an hour before tips. The majority of these servers also receive no benefits. So when you see a career server, it’s mostly because they genuinely love what they do!
Servers also do more than serving food. Their shift can begin hours before the restaurant opens. At the Beaumont, it’s many hours before the opening of the restaurant and the pavilion. This is the time when the whole team comes together. They may have to do a full setup for 250 guests and then set the patio after it just rained all day and blue skies are heading our way just in time for dinner. After the restaurant closes, they have to clean, restock, roll silverware, do a grounds cleanup and reset for the next day’s events.
Where does your tip actually go? In some restaurants, they POOL all the tips together then divide the money to all the employees at the end of the night. If a customer pays with a card, then some restaurants require the server to pay up to 5 percent for using the device. None of our restaurants exercise this, and the ethics behind this practice is less favorable, but it does happen.
There is also another form known as THE PAYOUT which servers are sometimes required to tip out at the end of the shift. This means that servers give a percentage of their tips to other employees like bartenders and back servers. Imagine serving for a five-hour shift and not receiving any tips.
So I pose the question…How do you tip? The tipping standard for restaurants is 15 to 20 percent. If the service was impeccable, feel free to tip above 20 percent. Many people tip after tax, which is fine if that’s what you prefer. The correct way to calculate your tip is using the pre-tax total. If you have a discount being given or using a gift card, you should be tipping on the whole amount before the discount and not the amount that your check has been reduced.
Whatever is your method, just always keep in mind that even the best servers have their bad days and your generous tip could make their day a little better.