Author Topic: Open Bars and Tip Jars  (Read 7827 times)

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Surianne

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2012, 03:08:19 PM »
But how do you know if it is one or not?  There isn't always another party guest getting something at the time.

Not that it really matters much.  I really don't go to functions where this would be an issue that often.

I'm not sure what you mean - is it that you don't want to drink if you have to pay for it so you want to know upfront?  Whether it's open bar or cash bar I don't alter my drinking habits so I just have the cash ready on the first trip just in case.  You could also just watch the first few people who go up to see what they do.

I'm not Dotty but that applies to me too -- if the drinks are free, I'll have one, if I have to pay, I'd like to know in advance so I can think about whether it's worth it, without having to do the "Oh, it's a cash bar?  Uhhhh...thanks anyway, don't worry about pouring the Guinness..." dance.  Unfortunately there's not usually anything to let you know unless you see the guests in front of you, so I don't have any advice...curious to see if someone else does!

DottyG

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2012, 03:09:56 PM »
I'm saying that it's not always easy to tell if it's a cash bar or not.  And there isn't always someone to watch go before me to see.  No it wouldn't, necessarily, change whether I want something to drink or not.  I just don't want to offer money and have the bartender look at me like I'm crazy for not knowing that money's not needed.

WillyNilly

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2012, 03:14:32 PM »
But how do you know if it is one or not?  There isn't always another party guest getting something at the time.

Not that it really matters much.  I really don't go to functions where this would be an issue that often.

I'm not sure what you mean - is it that you don't want to drink if you have to pay for it so you want to know upfront?  Whether it's open bar or cash bar I don't alter my drinking habits so I just have the cash ready on the first trip just in case.  You could also just watch the first few people who go up to see what they do.

I'm not Dotty but that applies to me too -- if the drinks are free, I'll have one, if I have to pay, I'd like to know in advance so I can think about whether it's worth it, without having to do the "Oh, it's a cash bar?  Uhhhh...thanks anyway, don't worry about pouring the Guinness..." dance.  Unfortunately there's not usually anything to let you know unless you see the guests in front of you, so I don't have any advice...curious to see if someone else does!

Honestly its ok to ask.  The bartender really doesn't mind and won't judge you (and if they do its because they are a nasty person and would have been nasty no matter what).  Looking for a cash register is sometimes a good clue - some places (catering/banquet halls, rolling bars, etc) literally never charge so they simply aren't even equipped with a register.  At a place with a register, watch other customers.  If there is a register and no other customers, try ordering a glass of water while asking (it makes it a bit less awkward), something like "hi, can I get a glass of water with lemon please?  Thanks... hey can I ask, next time I come back for a bit of something with flavor, is this a cash bar or is it hosted/open/whatever the regional term is in your area?"

(and yeah, chalk me up as one who changes my drinking habits depending on whether is open bar or cash bar!)

Bibliophile

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2012, 03:27:03 PM »
I'm saying that it's not always easy to tell if it's a cash bar or not.  And there isn't always someone to watch go before me to see.  No it wouldn't, necessarily, change whether I want something to drink or not.  I just don't want to offer money and have the bartender look at me like I'm crazy for not knowing that money's not needed.

Don't worry so much about what a bartender thinks of you - they get asked that question all the time, I'm sure, and don't make any judgements about it  ;D

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Surianne

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2012, 03:29:23 PM »
I'm not Dotty but that applies to me too -- if the drinks are free, I'll have one, if I have to pay, I'd like to know in advance so I can think about whether it's worth it, without having to do the "Oh, it's a cash bar?  Uhhhh...thanks anyway, don't worry about pouring the Guinness..." dance.  Unfortunately there's not usually anything to let you know unless you see the guests in front of you, so I don't have any advice...curious to see if someone else does!

Honestly its ok to ask.  The bartender really doesn't mind and won't judge you (and if they do its because they are a nasty person and would have been nasty no matter what).  Looking for a cash register is sometimes a good clue - some places (catering/banquet halls, rolling bars, etc) literally never charge so they simply aren't even equipped with a register.  At a place with a register, watch other customers.  If there is a register and no other customers, try ordering a glass of water while asking (it makes it a bit less awkward), something like "hi, can I get a glass of water with lemon please?  Thanks... hey can I ask, next time I come back for a bit of something with flavor, is this a cash bar or is it hosted/open/whatever the regional term is in your area?"

(and yeah, chalk me up as one who changes my drinking habits depending on whether is open bar or cash bar!)

Thanks WillyNilly -- very useful advice.  The water one I really like...gives you a chance to suss out the situation first, and I always drink a glass of water with my alcohol anyway (prone to migraines = hydrating is required). 

jpcher

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2012, 07:59:47 PM »
I'm saying that it's not always easy to tell if it's a cash bar or not.  And there isn't always someone to watch go before me to see.  No it wouldn't, necessarily, change whether I want something to drink or not. I just don't want to offer money and have the bartender look at me like I'm crazy for not knowing that money's not needed.

I would just keep my money in my pocket until the bartender says "that will be $3.75" Have the money readily available, but don't offer until the bartender asks it.

kareng57

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2012, 09:55:31 PM »
I'm saying that it's not always easy to tell if it's a cash bar or not.  And there isn't always someone to watch go before me to see.  No it wouldn't, necessarily, change whether I want something to drink or not. I just don't want to offer money and have the bartender look at me like I'm crazy for not knowing that money's not needed.

I would just keep my money in my pocket until the bartender says "that will be $3.75" Have the money readily available, but don't offer until the bartender asks it.


I agree - this is a fairly simple solution.  I'd bring cash along with me no matter what, because there might not be an ATM nearby.  Having said that, I do remember an episode of Rich Bride, Poor Bride (a reality Canadian TV show) where the HC wanted to install a portable one in the reception hall....

hobish

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2012, 05:54:28 PM »
I think that if the host is paying the gratuity in the contract and the boss is stealing the money by not passing it on, that is a problem between labor and management.  I don't think guests or the hosts are obligated to double tip and the host has every right to insist that tip jars be put away so that guests don't feel compelled to cover an obligation the host has already taken care of.

I never said it is an obligation. I said it is what i would do and why.

I am learning that tipping cuture in the New York/Philly/South Jersey area is not the same as everywhere else, just like cash bars or jack-and-jills are not universal. We tip everyone. And still, if someone was going to frown on me or assume some nefarious reason for what is in essence trying to do a good thing, well, oh well, their loss.


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gellchom

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2012, 12:04:19 PM »
Maybe it's regional, then.  Because in my community, hosts and hosts alone tip the staff.  I NEVER see a tip jar at a hosted event, and if I did, would think it looked terrible.  Hosts would indeed be insulted by guests tipping the staff, as if they considered the hosts too cheap to do so.  So someone who went around tipping the bartenders, waiters, and musicians at a hosted event here would probably be seen as a flashy big-shot wannabe trying to get the staff to treat them like a celebrity.

And I agree that it is rude to try to buy yourself better service than the hosts have provided and that other guests are getting.  It is sort of like asking if you can pay extra to have lobster instead of the chicken that the hosts ordered.

Shoo

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2012, 12:25:19 PM »
Maybe it's regional, then.  Because in my community, hosts and hosts alone tip the staff.  I NEVER see a tip jar at a hosted event, and if I did, would think it looked terrible.  Hosts would indeed be insulted by guests tipping the staff, as if they considered the hosts too cheap to do so.  So someone who went around tipping the bartenders, waiters, and musicians at a hosted event here would probably be seen as a flashy big-shot wannabe trying to get the staff to treat them like a celebrity.

And I agree that it is rude to try to buy yourself better service than the hosts have provided and that other guests are getting.  It is sort of like asking if you can pay extra to have lobster instead of the chicken that the hosts ordered.

Well stated.

Deetee

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2012, 10:05:58 PM »
And I agree that it is rude to try to buy yourself better service than the hosts have provided and that other guests are getting.  It is sort of like asking if you can pay extra to have lobster instead of the chicken that the hosts ordered.

If I tip at a hosted event it's not because I want better service. It's because I'm aware that there is a reasonable chance the "tip" or "service charge" the host pays won't make it back to the people on the floor. Not all the time, but sometimes and that doesn't seem right.

kareng57

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2012, 10:12:23 PM »
And I agree that it is rude to try to buy yourself better service than the hosts have provided and that other guests are getting.  It is sort of like asking if you can pay extra to have lobster instead of the chicken that the hosts ordered.

If I tip at a hosted event it's not because I want better service. It's because I'm aware that there is a reasonable chance the "tip" or "service charge" the host pays won't make it back to the people on the floor. Not all the time, but sometimes and that doesn't seem right.


But the hosts and other guests don't know what your motivation is.  It very likely does look like someone who is expecting superior service.  I too would find it insulting if I found that a guest of mine was tipping at an event that I was hosting.

Deetee

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2012, 10:36:44 PM »
And I agree that it is rude to try to buy yourself better service than the hosts have provided and that other guests are getting.  It is sort of like asking if you can pay extra to have lobster instead of the chicken that the hosts ordered.

If I tip at a hosted event it's not because I want better service. It's because I'm aware that there is a reasonable chance the "tip" or "service charge" the host pays won't make it back to the people on the floor. Not all the time, but sometimes and that doesn't seem right.


But the hosts and other guests don't know what your motivation is.  It very likely does look like someone who is expecting superior service.  I too would find it insulting if I found that a guest of mine was tipping at an event that I was hosting.

And that's fine. I would rather take the small chance of the host a) noticing and b) being insulted than the much more significant chance of the waitstaff not getting tipped for a good job.

If the host takes it personally and strikes me from a guest list that is fine by me (better that fine really). We were going to clash at some point anyhow.

Not saying you should tip at these events. Just that the hosts shouldn't feel insulted. I bet it turns out that 3/4 of the tippers were waitstaff at some point and are tipping based on that experience and not on any expectation of service etc...

hannahmollysmom

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2012, 12:36:56 AM »
I have no problem with them. Especially after working in catering i know that most of the time that added gratuity is rarely seen by the staff. If someone was going to stop being my friend and go out of their way to not spend time with me just because i was so crass as to leave a tip in a tip jar at a function - well, good riddance. I would hope they would be honest enough to let me know right away and up front, at the very least, so that i might remove my rude self from their event.

I have worked catered events too, and the bartenders/wait staff do not see the gratuity the venue has tacked on. They are paid a flat hourly rate.

Sharnita

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Re: Open Bars and Tip Jars
« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2012, 06:05:49 AM »
I have no problem with them. Especially after working in catering i know that most of the time that added gratuity is rarely seen by the staff. If someone was going to stop being my friend and go out of their way to not spend time with me just because i was so crass as to leave a tip in a tip jar at a function - well, good riddance. I would hope they would be honest enough to let me know right away and up front, at the very least, so that i might remove my rude self from their event.

I have worked catered events too, and the bartenders/wait staff do not see the gratuity the venue has tacked on. They are paid a flat hourly rate.

Do they know that when they take the job or are they promised tips that never materialize?