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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a big step but not sure if its the right one.  Worked for the Landrys corporation 16 years ago.  The idea isn't bad if it's done right.  I spend time in Europe and just got back from spending a month in Australia where its how its done.  If the service is good you leave your change and a buck or two.  On the other hand a server in Australia usually makes 20+ dollars an hour.  Not sure the average rate in the UK or euro countries but its not 12.00 an hour like Landrys is paying. But Europe is different where service is a trained profession and you have career waiters. But it is a fact that you do get much better service when a waiter is working for tips.  Its human nature,  why work harder than you have to if you still get paid the same amount?  Part of me laughs and says welcome to the line cooks world.  Once the taxes are taken out for the week, time to plan your budget and figure out how to pay the bills.  Maybe that bitterness of the chefs against servers will be gone when you know they are making what you make and they actually have to deal with the customers!!!!  I have worked FOH and BOH, when I was in my early 20's and really needed to make some real cash I would cook 3 days and wait tables/ bartend 3 days a week.  I could make more cash in three days waiting tables than 2 weeks cooking.  That's just the way it is.  I can seriously see all of the servers quitting and working at another restaurant when the realize how much money they will make when they get paid hourly and have to pay taxes for all of their income.  As for the corporation I worked for them for a year.  It's all about money, always is, its corporate, their has to be some really smart lawyers and accounts that decided to take this step, its a big one.  Prices go up on the menu accordingly,  I can see them just adding that little extra and take it to the bank.  We'll see who follows the leader.  In the end it puts customers in the US are now in an awkward situation.  Yes the servers are getting paid more an hour but its really not much money and in general will be making 1/2 of what they made before working at any decent restaurant.  So now you are paying at 20% + more for the food.  And then feel bad knowing most waiters/ waitresses are working their way through school to move on to bigger and better things and now they are taking home 350-375 dollars a week average like line cooks, so in the end I'll still leave the same tip. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In the last 8 months I have spent time in places where tipping is not expected like France, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Australia. Like any restaurant there are good waiters and bad waiters. I have had great service and meals in tip less countries But from my experiences the service it's not nearly like countries where tipping is the majority of the servers income which is mostly only the US.

Also, from my experience servers are only there for one thing, MONEY. For most in the US, it is an in between job while they are in school or unemployed waiting for "their real job" to begin. Some like the life style, fast money, and minimal responsibility and stay for awhile or forever. Where most chefs its a career starting as a line cook on the fryer knowing if you work hard you can work your way to an Executive chef one day. Usually along they way you get the disease of wanting to be the best you can be and caring about every plate of food that leaves your kitchen. In the end its your reputation and name printed on the menu. Why else would you work 80 hours a week in a high pressure environment for shit money and keep repeating the process. Cheers /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
More and more places in the US are going tip-less and raising their prices to that end.

Perhaps the end result will be that those places that do this will find that those servers who feel they are getting the shaft will move on leaving only those who embrace the idea to stay.
Why would you embrace the idea to make less than 1/2 the money you made before?? That's why this is an interesting topic. Any good hard working fine dining server that's used to making 100-300 dollars a night will freak out when the are going to get paid 12-15 dollars an hour and pay taxes on it. 8 hour shift at 12 dollars an hour= 96 dollars, take 20-25% off that you are making 75 bucks a shift which in any good restaurant is a horrible night. If your a restaurant owner maybe it makes more sense or more profit??? But I grew up in Florida working where there is a tip exclusion for FOH, I think my last waiting /bartend was making 2.55 an hour. That was 15 years ago, maybe up to 4.00 now. After taxes for a two week paycheck I was lucky to make 10-30 dollars because all my money was tips. As an employer I figure that would be easier than to have a huge payroll, but not experienced in that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi hookedcook.

I think the most intelligent thing to do is to explain the "birds and the bees" of the U.S. Hospitality industry to you.

Firstly, you country is split into"right to work" States and non Right to work States. Wash State, for example is Not a right to work, minimum wages are over$10./hr, and this is what most servers earn. In right to work states, a "tipping wage"is in place which is much lower than the min. wage, and can be as low as $2.50/hr. I, along with many other people, have difficulty understanding this, and a whole lot of contempt for the State govt s and the lobbyists who made this happen.

The second thing you have to acknowledge is that in the U.S. , a tip is expected to be a percentage of the entire bill. Now, as hard as a server works, they can never be responsible for the entire dining experience. In several states it is illegal to make the server share tips.

So, you can drive a car with a hole in the oil pan for a while, and tell everyone they're full of crap that you need to change your oil regularly, look at me, I can drive it without oil and it runs! But sooner or later, the engine will sieze up and the head will warp and crack.

What Im trying to tell you is that the hospilality industry is one of the largest, and that tourisim and hospitality is one of the major drivers in any State--or country for that matter, economy. Yet, it seems no State or even fed govt gives a turd about how the hospilality industry is run, or if is sustainable. No other country that Im aware of, expects diners to tip their servers 20% of the dining bill, and every non-US diner has serious issues with paying a 20% tip.

Hope this gives you some insight....
I was born and raised in the states and have a good idea how it works here. Just been mostly out the last 10 years. Believe me I'm all for an equal hourly rate for FOH and BOH. I can just see the servers and bartenders freaking out and throwing a national strike because they actually have to work hard to get paid minimal compensation like cooks/chefs. Kind of like the taxi drivers (biggest con artists worldwide) strike freaking out about uber. You mean I can have no education and I can charge someone 100 dollars an hour to drive a old car from point a to point be and then expect a tip??? I know the driver doesn't get most of it but its the same deal. Good for uber, taxi drivers suck balls, maybe if enough corporate restaurants get on board it could actually happen over time with no tips but people don't like change. Look at obomacare, the idea is good but there is always resistance and kinks to work out. The day I see a server at a fine dining restaurant make the same money for the night as a line cook I'll buy the whole restaurant a round of drinks!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not quite the same..... You'd freak out if you knew what a taxi license costs, and what insurance on the vehicle costs, let alone fuel and minimal maintenence.

But back to restaurants. I'm sure by now you've talked to hundreds if not thousands of Europeans, Aussies, Asians, etc. They all get really p. o.d when the get "conned" into paying 20% tips. I mean violently upset. First question they always ask is "why can't these Americans pay their employees a decent salary?".

But for close to one half of your States govt's to extend their middle finger to minimum wage regulations and get suckered by lobbyists with their "tipping wages", how long do you think this can go on? 20% is the norm now, can you forsee a time when this will crawl up to 25%? Will fine dining survive, or will take ot food quality improve dramatically?
Understandably, not to get off topic again, butt???. Why is a taxi license expensive in the states?? A license for what?? What qualifications?? When I just came back for me to fish for a week where I grew up. A freshwater license/ a saltwater license/ a lobster stamp/ and a snook stamp. Out of state license= over 100 dollars to go fishing. You even need a license if you want to fish from the beach. It's the same made up shit that doesn't exhist in most of the world. It's an old antiquated system of paying lots of middleman run by the big man. I know in the islands medallions are limited and you buy them like a car or house. Once you buy it you own it and can sell it when you want to. How come uber drivers don't have to have expensive licenses?? I know they have to have a certain amount of insurance but everybody in the states does. Taxi's over many years have just decided to make up their own prices. Kind of like tow trucks. 250-300 dollars to tow your car 5 miles. It's made up b.s. pricing because they can. I know this has nothing to do with cooking but how can you justify paying a cab driver 30 dollars for a 10 minute 5 mile ride. Like I tell the cab drivers who's meters don't seem to work all of a sudden, must be nice making 200 dollars an hour to drive a car around town. As for your 2nd comment, most don't mind because the price is cheaper here so the tip pretty much equals the price you pay. In Australia a burger is 15-20 dollars and a beer is 5. As the American decent salary?? Not sure they really care? It's just strange for foreigners how a government can pay someone 2.15 an hour and take more in taxes than they got paid after 2 weeks. Don't shoot the messenger, just observations. Not really sure of a solution and don't really care. The post was started because I can picture every server I ever worked with having a nervous breakdown when they get paid 12 taxed dollars an hour and it made me laugh! It's all good, back to the Caribbean next week where not to much is important.
 
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