Author Topic: Restaurant etiquette  (Read 47270 times)

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dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #75 on: September 18, 2011, 12:13:33 AM »
Even as a server, I barely make a living wage working full time with occasional overtime. I'm in California and I make $8 an hour, but my paycheck is tiny because the government takes taxes from our tips from it. I know I make more than someone in another state in terms of base pay, but even with that extra amount, it still doesn't make up for the cost of living (more than double than some places, a 1 bedroom apartment starts at 1k here, some areas have Studios that start at $1,500, like Irvine). According to CNBC, Hawaii and California tie as the states with the highest cost of living. 18-20% is more standard now, sadly many people, even with excellent service, only tip 8-10%. Why? Because they don't care.

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #76 on: September 18, 2011, 12:22:00 AM »
8 to 10% is too low if the service is good, but as a Chicagoan, I don't think I should have to pay more than the typical 15% (for average, competent service, of course I'd give extra for great service).  Cost of living is higher, which means my restaurant bill was higher. If I pay $15 for that meal instead of $10, the server is getting a correspondingly higher tip already.  Not to mention, I have my OWN higher cost of living and low salary to deal with.  I wouldn't skimp on a tip, but mathematically speaking, the "higher cost of living" argument just doesn't make sense to me.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #77 on: September 18, 2011, 12:33:58 AM »
Not all restaurants charge more because of the area. If I'm remembering correctly, prices for food are about the same in Texas and Florida as they are in California (lived in those states for a year). I say 15% is standard for so-so service, it goes up from there.

heathert

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #78 on: September 18, 2011, 07:15:23 PM »
I understand that servers need to turn over their tables but is it possible to let them know that you may linger slightly longer than normal but you will compensate them for it so they won't hover or keep asking you "Is there anything else?" Sometimes I just like to read the paper for a bit or something. I don't mind leaving extra money during this time but frankly I get very annoyed with the fast casual places trying to shove you out the door.

Mopsy428

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #79 on: September 19, 2011, 12:52:44 AM »
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.

And keep in mind that unless the restaurant is busy all the time, the server might not make that much money through the week for the hours (s)he worked. While a server may make $30 per hour on a busy Friday or Saturday night, they may not be making even close to that on the other days of the week.

Mopsy428

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #80 on: September 19, 2011, 01:59:49 AM »
Rough night at the restaurant, so I thought I'd add a few:

-If your table has candles on it, do not play with them and dump wax all over the table.

-Please do not pick off food or try to pick off food from your server's tray as she's carrying it. It's unsanitary; you could cause a mess, and it might not even be your food. Sit down, and someone will bring you your food.

-Do not put personal belongings in the middle of the floor.

-When your server asks if you have any allergies, please tell her the foods you are allergic to, no matter how ridiculous you think it is. This applies even when you think you are ordering something that does not contain an allergen. Allergies are not just limited to fish and nuts. Do not tell your server that you have no allergies, and then blame the restaurant or server when your mouth starts to itch after eating the tuna salad because you neglected to mention to your server that you are allergic to apples.

-If you break something, tell your server! Do not try to hide the broken wares. It's dangerous. Someone could really hurt himself.

-GUM: Do not put it underneath your plate or other dishes. Most people don't like touching other people's chewed gum. Servers and the kitchen staff aren't exceptions. It's disgusting. Either use a tissue or paper napkin. If you have nothing on your person to dispose of it, and the restaurant has linen napkins, either dispose of it in the bathroom (in the trash) or ask your server for a paper napkin.

-The table is not your trash can. Do not dump the contents of your wallet or purse on to the table for your server to throw out.

-Do not snap your fingers.

-Do not go into "employee only" areas.

-Do not barge into the kitchen to scream at the kitchen staff/chef.

-In restaurants attached to hotels/inns: just because you are staying at the hotel/inn, doesn't mean that you have priority over others who are eating there. If there is a wait for a table, you will have to wait like everyone else unless you have a reservation at the restaurant.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 02:01:24 AM by Mopsy428 »

a

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #81 on: September 19, 2011, 07:31:45 AM »
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.

And keep in mind that unless the restaurant is busy all the time, the server might not make that much money through the week for the hours (s)he worked. While a server may make $30 per hour on a busy Friday or Saturday night, they may not be making even close to that on the other days of the week.

Mopsy, I'm wondering if the situation is different in the UK, which is what I referred to - it sounds like you meant the US? This is UK guidance on tips:

'Cash tips paid directly to you by the customer
If you get cash tips direct from the customer without involving the employer, you'll have to pay tax on them - but not National Insurance contributions. You are responsible for telling HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about these tips and you'll have to show them on your Self Assessment tax return (if you fill one in). You'll need to keep a record of the tips you get so you can do this.'

I know for a fact that not all waiters/waitresses do inform the Inland Revenue about their tips.

Re their income: even if they have less busy Mondays e.g., they will still be paid at least minimum wages in the UK. So I'd say a tip is an extra bonus, not a necessity, and based on that I was very surprised to read that someone in the UK paid 20% tip as standard.


dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #82 on: September 19, 2011, 10:00:40 PM »
Rough night at the restaurant, so I thought I'd add a few:

-If your table has candles on it, do not play with them and dump wax all over the table.

-Please do not pick off food or try to pick off food from your server's tray as she's carrying it. It's unsanitary; you could cause a mess, and it might not even be your food. Sit down, and someone will bring you your food.

-Do not put personal belongings in the middle of the floor.

-When your server asks if you have any allergies, please tell her the foods you are allergic to, no matter how ridiculous you think it is. This applies even when you think you are ordering something that does not contain an allergen. Allergies are not just limited to fish and nuts. Do not tell your server that you have no allergies, and then blame the restaurant or server when your mouth starts to itch after eating the tuna salad because you neglected to mention to your server that you are allergic to apples.

-If you break something, tell your server! Do not try to hide the broken wares. It's dangerous. Someone could really hurt himself.

-GUM: Do not put it underneath your plate or other dishes. Most people don't like touching other people's chewed gum. Servers and the kitchen staff aren't exceptions. It's disgusting. Either use a tissue or paper napkin. If you have nothing on your person to dispose of it, and the restaurant has linen napkins, either dispose of it in the bathroom (in the trash) or ask your server for a paper napkin.

-The table is not your trash can. Do not dump the contents of your wallet or purse on to the table for your server to throw out.

-Do not snap your fingers.

-Do not go into "employee only" areas.

-Do not barge into the kitchen to scream at the kitchen staff/chef.

-In restaurants attached to hotels/inns: just because you are staying at the hotel/inn, doesn't mean that you have priority over others who are eating there. If there is a wait for a table, you will have to wait like everyone else unless you have a reservation at the restaurant.

Word!

My company solved the wax dilemma by switching to electric candles. It's safer for kids who have parents who don't watch them too.


Would like to add:

-If a restaurant gives you a pager and you decide you don't want to wait for a table, return the pager. They are very expensive (about $30 EACH) and when people take them or toss them, it makes it harder for the hostesses on a busy night to do their jobs because they run out. It's a mess when you're telling people to return for a pager, then they don't come back and yell at you for skipping them on the list. Yelling out the party's name in a completely full restaurant on a Friday night is pointless, no one can hear you.

-If you pay half in cash and half with a credit card, make sure you tip on the full amount. This happens about 9 times out of 10: If the bill is $100, a group might give me $70 in cash and ask to put the rest on the card. Then they only tip on the $30.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #83 on: September 19, 2011, 10:08:55 PM »
I know this thread is old, but I’m amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means we’d spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) I’d pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip it’d be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but I’m being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate – probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe I’m not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess I’m just happy I live in a country where people don’t have to depend on other people’s goodwill to pay their bills/that I don’t ever have to tip if I don’t want to and nobody can say anything about it.
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.

And keep in mind that unless the restaurant is busy all the time, the server might not make that much money through the week for the hours (s)he worked. While a server may make $30 per hour on a busy Friday or Saturday night, they may not be making even close to that on the other days of the week.

Yeah, my tip out is 35%: Bussers, Food Runners, and Bartenders. That's a large chunk.

And you're 100% right (as you know, you're a server  :P), the money is not guaranteed. Some sections are crappier than others, sometimes you get campers who stay your entire shift, taking up that table, and only tip a small amount (a month ago, a party of 2 stayed in one of my booths for 6 hours, had a $200 bill, tipped me $0), you never know how many people at each table you'll have (Today, I had a lot of 1-2 tops, while everyone else had 4-8 on average, the tip difference is huge), you might go 2 hours without a single table, you might have to do 1-2 hours of side work, which cuts the hourly wage quite a bit, etc. Then after that, you tip out. Business has been slow for the last 3 months too, so I'm getting less hours. Money isn't consistent and it's hard to live like that. Even after saying all that... I do love my job. I'm a mover, so it's perfect for me. I just wish people weren't so rude and cheap. Sometimes it's not even cheap though... if someone has $50 to spend on beer, I fail to see how they can't afford to tip.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 10:11:14 PM by dks64 »

Miriam

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #84 on: September 21, 2011, 11:43:30 AM »
When I worked in a restraunt it amazed me how crazy people could be.

I was whistled, snapped, and coughed at like a simple dog. I was probably rude but I never responded to any of these gestures and when yelled at later, I just let them know that I am a person and they are welcome to address me as such. Man the many times I could have been fired for sticking up for myself.

Oh and, for the love of everything you hold dear, if you want a flippin' booth..ASK. Don't tell me after I seat you, because most of the time booths fill up fast and you may have to wait.

Also assault isn't cool. Don't throw your salad at me because you want it for free. Don't throw your pager at me because you waited ten minutes though you SWEAR you've waited for an hour (our timers actually time! what a crazy concept, I know how long you've really waited..). Don't throw a menu at me because there's a random spot of food on the panel. Don't throw your money at me, because if it falls in between certain places, tough luck everything is nailed to the floor can't and I can't retrieve it. You think I rolled my eyes at you (though I've been up since 4am it's now 2pm my replacement hasn't come so if my eyes flutter, sorry) don't throw your coffee at me. That one really hurts and my managers will not let me go home or to a nearby doctor until my shift is finished.

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Black Delphinium

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #85 on: September 21, 2011, 11:59:40 AM »
Your managers wouldn't let you leave to be treated for burns?! I'd love to know who you worked for so I could avoid eating there.
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dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #86 on: September 21, 2011, 01:15:11 PM »
When I worked in a restraunt it amazed me how crazy people could be.

I was whistled, snapped, and coughed at like a simple dog. I was probably rude but I never responded to any of these gestures and when yelled at later, I just let them know that I am a person and they are welcome to address me as such. Man the many times I could have been fired for sticking up for myself.

Oh and, for the love of everything you hold dear, if you want a flippin' booth..ASK. Don't tell me after I seat you, because most of the time booths fill up fast and you may have to wait.

Also assault isn't cool. Don't throw your salad at me because you want it for free. Don't throw your pager at me because you waited ten minutes though you SWEAR you've waited for an hour (our timers actually time! what a crazy concept, I know how long you've really waited..). Don't throw a menu at me because there's a random spot of food on the panel. Don't throw your money at me, because if it falls in between certain places, tough luck everything is nailed to the floor can't and I can't retrieve it. You think I rolled my eyes at you (though I've been up since 4am it's now 2pm my replacement hasn't come so if my eyes flutter, sorry) don't throw your coffee at me. That one really hurts and my managers will not let me go home or to a nearby doctor until my shift is finished.

Good for you! I've never told anyone off, but I've been tempted to. I'm anti-confrontational though. I've never had anyone throw anything at me, but if I did, I would literally have a guy follow them out to their car, get their license info, and press changes for assault.

I agree about the booth thing, ask at the hostess desk. We write down wait times, so we know exactly if the person is lying.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #87 on: September 21, 2011, 01:26:54 PM »
- There's a reason a hostess tells you "It will be about 20-25 minutes." It's an estimate, there's no way to be sure when customers will leave. Don't freak out, stay calm. I can't even count the number of times people have freaked out for waiting 5 extra minutes beyond the estimated quote time.  ::) It's not like we can go up to people and say "Alright, others are waiting for this booth, you need to get out."

- If you don't make reservations on a Friday/Saturday night for a large party, don't give the hostess or manager a hard time if they quote you 2-3 hours, there's nothing they can do. Those who called in advance get the tables first. I've had so many people try to "talk the manager into giving them a table," but physically, there are no tables available, I'm not sure why people can't comprehend that.

Miriam

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #88 on: September 23, 2011, 01:24:47 PM »
Your managers wouldn't let you leave to be treated for burns?! I'd love to know who you worked for so I could avoid eating there.

Nope. They would if they thought the person was intoxicated, but the corporate is so effed up that if a customer attacks me somehow I was in the wrong and the "customer is always right" stupid crap.

It was a southern french bakery, bistro chain mostly in Texas.
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Twik

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #89 on: September 23, 2011, 01:33:12 PM »
Well, your burns would be the same whether the customer was drunk or cold sober when they scalded you. One would think they'd want to avoid having their staff lost because of injuries that had not been promptly attended to, but some places do fail at the "long-term thinking" level.
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