or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Pay schema for tip sharing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pay schema for tip sharing

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I just opened a new brewpub, and I am GM as well as EC.  I am trying to come up with a fair and equitable way to share tips with dining room and bar.  All of our beverages come across the bar including soft drinks, so the bartenders do a lot of work to support the servers.  Bussers are also running food for bar and servers.  So everyone needs a piece of the pie.

 

Right now I have everone at minimum wage, servers at minimum for tipped employees.  Then I share 4% of beverage sales with the bartenders, and 2% of gross sales with the bussers.  This money comes from the servers tips.

 

It seems to be working, but I guess I am just asking if anyone has experience with this kind of tip sharing, and can offer advice.

 

We are just opened and I have made it clear to everyone that the tip sharing is not nailed down yet, so I still have the opportunity to make changes if needed.

 

Thanks for your feedback!

post #2 of 11

IMHO, tip sharing/pooling is asking for problems and, in some states, it is illegal for management to be involved in any scheme for that.

 

In my experience, a business model based on paying minimum wage may be legal, but it is a train wreck waiting to happen. Raise your prices or charge a service fee, but pay your BOH what they are worth!

 

If it is minimum wage plus a % of sales or some other form of gross profit sharing, that is a different story.

 

If the tip sharing is voluntary, that is also a different story. In fact, in California, tips BELONG to the server and only each server may decide what to do with the tips and, in any case, cannot be touched by management.

 

That also holds for tip pooling, which, IMHO, is a death knell!

 

I know that is not what you wanted to here, but that is my opinion.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #3 of 11

I feel that support staff needs to be tipped out by the servers, ie: dishwasher.  However I just had the discussion today that if all tips were pooled and then divided up just causes the slackers to take advantage of those who bust it out. 

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by April Fregd View Post

I feel that support staff needs to be tipped out by the servers, ie: dishwasher.  However I just had the discussion today that if all tips were pooled and then divided up just causes the slackers to take advantage of those who bust it out. 

That's one of many potential problems.

 

I will reiterate: If your business plan relies on tip sharing to pay your employees, your business pan needs to be re-examined!

 

If you have to rely on the largess of your customers to provide the income to pay your staff, something is drastically wrong, IMHO.

 

Sell your product for what it is worth to generate enough income to pay your expenses, and payroll IS one of your expenses, just the same as food, beverages, rent, utilities, insurance, etc.

 

BTW, make very certain that you review and understand the wage orders for your location.
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #5 of 11

Coming from 10 years on FoH and management experience, it all depends on your check amounts. Most places I have worked it was .5-1% for busers, and the same for bartenders regardless of the amount of drinks coming in. This would be on the server to decide, though I can tell you the servers that tip out a higher amount will get better service from the busers/bartenders. This is natural, but it does not mean that you should put up with bad service from the support staff, however you need to stay out of it unless there is bad service from them... Our average check was pretty, high so it worked out well over all. IMHO, it is foolish to expect your wait staff to tip-out 3-6% of there sales to these other folks. So here is the other side of it. the cooks make the food that helps them get better tips and higher check averages... so why not make them tip the cooks? The dishwashers make sure there are silverware to set the tables with and dishes to cook the food on and plates to put the food on. If your average server collects 15% in tips you are asking for them to tip-out over 1/3.

 

Also IMHO, If you are having the busers are running food you're doing it wrong. If your bartenders are refilling diet cokes you're doing it wrong. You should be promoting the better servers to be foodrunners and having them also get 1-2% of the sales. You should keep your hands out of it all together. It should be a recommended tip-out% and up to the server, but they should not bitch either if they are not taken care of as well as others as long as it is not irresponsible. If your bartenders are not making enough money without the money coming in from the servers then you're doing it wrong. You need to work it out to get more people eating and drinking in the bar. The bartenders need to be better at closing the checks before they leave the bar for the dinning room. 

 

Don't get me wrong it is still the same thing overall... but it is how it is perceived by the staff. If the servers feel the busers are making more than the servers... you're hosed. If the foodrunners are making more then it is a step up from being a server. The foodrunners will work harder than you can image and your servers will idolize them. 

 

1-2% of the sales of a restaurant is pretty damn good. The real reason you are forcing the servers to tip so much is so you do not have to pay the staff... so again, you're doing it wrong. It is not their responsibility to pay your people with money they earn by busting there asses, it's yours.  

post #6 of 11

I think letting the servers decide tip outs works very well. The only time I've seen it break down is if a bar staff and a server got into a tiff, then service could suffer. But that's what management is for.

 

 

Quote:
Also IMHO, If you are having the busers are running food you're doing it wrong. If your bartenders are refilling diet cokes you're doing it wrong. You should be promoting the better servers to be foodrunners and having them also get 1-2% of the sales.

I was taught that every one runs food. If you've got nothing to do, you're either running food, clearing plates, or refilling drinks.

post #7 of 11

Full hands in and full hands out is the rule, except for busers unless there was nothing to do in the diningroom. You really don't want the busers handling everyone's food as a rule. Customers don't really like it :)

 

I the foodrunner it was my job to police the servers to make sure that the food was getting out as well as running food. All it usually took was a sideways glance out on the floor to ensure everyone was pullin their weight. It was also the servers job to bus the tables down to the glasses to makes sure the customers were continued service and to ensure that the busers could ensure proper table turn times. Everyone makes more money when this happens. It left the EC to expo and call orders and ensure on food quality. FoH manager was able to really concentrate on ensuring customers were having a great time.

post #8 of 11

There was a clas action law suit down here re. this. They also had the managers in on the action. It went to court. The court ruled that since the managers had no  DIRECT DEALINGS  with patron then they were not entitled to share.(same thing applied to service bar) Court awarded service employees ( wait staff ) of record for 5 years retroactive tips returned. Owners had to pay it back.  Management should tell staff what is expected in terms of tip %  and sharing but not administer it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Sorry if I wasn't clear on some points:

 

No shared tips goes to management in any way.  Also, BOH does not participate.  I pay my FOH manager a good hourly wage when she is managing, on slow nights she clocks in as Lead Server and takes tables, her lead server hourly is more than double the minimum tipped rate.  BOH I have a Cook I/II/III/Sous setup so there is incentive pay wise and opportunity for growth.  Dishwasher makes $8.25/hr.

 

Food runners run food and bussers bus tables, you're right I don't want bussers clearing dishes and then delivering food.  Both share in the tip out.

 

Beverage refills don't come over the bar, they come from the wait station.

 

The tip out is not mandatory, but it is expected.  When the servers close out and declare their cash tips, the POS prints them a tip out report to show the recommended tip outs.  They then share their tips, managers don't handle the money.  They have the option of adjusting the tips based on performance from the bar and bus.  So far no complaints from anyone.

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback.

post #10 of 11

Sounds like a pretty solid system over all for the tip outs... not sure on the rest of the stuff... I think the DW might be getting hosed a bit, but if you are able to get them to bust ass for $8.25 in that shity of a job, right on. I understand that they get some of the tip out, but I am pretty sure you get where I am coming from. To be honest, the dishwasher is close to if not the most important job in the place and the hardest IMHO.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

You're right on the DW.  She actually followed me here from the last place, and she is a great worker.  She has some challenges we work around, but she is happy for the job.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Pay schema for tip sharing