Author Topic: Restaurant etiquette  (Read 42883 times)

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crella

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #105 on: November 19, 2011, 06:13:26 AM »
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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.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?

I ran a restaurant (a little place in a mall) briefly and one of the things that I was most shocked about, as it was my first time in the food business, was how far below minimum wage the pay in some places was. Newsletters from the Restaurant Association would carry reminders to pay 'at least $2.35 an hour' to servers, in a state where the minimum was at that time $7.65. Why don't restaurants have to pay their staff a living wage like other businesses do?



Yvaine

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #106 on: November 19, 2011, 06:21:05 AM »
Quote
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.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?


They do if they go to the bar. The theory behind tipping out the bartender is that it's for the work the bartender does for the drinks that are brought to the table instead, like if you have a mixed drink with your dinner. (Or even for the soft drinks etc., in places where the bartender does those too.)

Miriam

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #107 on: November 19, 2011, 01:03:52 PM »
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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.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?


They do if they go to the bar. The theory behind tipping out the bartender is that it's for the work the bartender does for the drinks that are brought to the table instead, like if you have a mixed drink with your dinner. (Or even for the soft drinks etc., in places where the bartender does those too.)

And also tip out the people who clean your table when you're finished. I usually have cleaned my own tables but many restraunts make you tip out anyway regardless if they're sitting in the back picking their nose or actually cleaning. Sigh. A lot of money gets lost going to the bartender, I guess that's why drinks are so overpriced at restraunts.
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dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #108 on: November 19, 2011, 01:42:08 PM »
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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.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?

The bartenders also make our drinks, in which we get tips for. One bartender will stand there and their sole job is make the servers drinks on a Friday/Saturday night. At my restaurant, we tip them 10%. We have bussers who clean our tables in addition to other things that help us (refill ice, bring us clean glasses, put candles out on the tables, etc). We tip them out 15%. Then we also have food runners who get the orders together for tables, make sure the timing is right for when the food is made (so it's not sitting in the window getting cold waiting for a well done steak), they garnish, and take it out to the tables. We tip them 10%. I tip out a total of 35%. If I make $75, I walk with $48. If I make $200, I walk with $130. It's a pretty big tip out, but the restaurant wouldn't run smooth without those people.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #109 on: November 19, 2011, 01:51:21 PM »
My top restaurant peeves from a diner's perspective

1) Clearing plates and offering dessert when one diner hasn't finished their main course (that's usually me). That is my absolute number one peeve.

Most people don't feel this way though (regarding removing plates), so it's hard to know whether or take the empty plates or not. Some people will sit with their empty plate in front of them, then ask why you haven't taken it away. It's hard to know. What if the people have pushed their plates to the end? The only time I've ever offered dessert before someone was done is when another person was already asking for the check (requirement to offer dessert).

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3) Putting MY dessert that I ordered in the middle of the table with extra forks. essentially offering on my behalf to share. Especially when everyone else specifically declined a dessert.

19 times out of 20, a single person will order a dessert for the whole table or after bringing the dessert, I'll be sent back for more spoons/forks. Or the person who ordered is trying to get the other person to share, so an extra utensil is brought just in case. There are numerous reasons a server might do this, most of the time it's not a bad decision.

Raintree

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #110 on: November 19, 2011, 05:55:52 PM »
My top restaurant peeves from a diner's perspective

1) Clearing plates and offering dessert when one diner hasn't finished their main course (that's usually me). That is my absolute number one peeve.

Most people don't feel this way though (regarding removing plates), so it's hard to know whether or take the empty plates or not. Some people will sit with their empty plate in front of them, then ask why you haven't taken it away. It's hard to know. What if the people have pushed their plates to the end? The only time I've ever offered dessert before someone was done is when another person was already asking for the check (requirement to offer dessert).

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3) Putting MY dessert that I ordered in the middle of the table with extra forks. essentially offering on my behalf to share. Especially when everyone else specifically declined a dessert.

19 times out of 20, a single person will order a dessert for the whole table or after bringing the dessert, I'll be sent back for more spoons/forks. Or the person who ordered is trying to get the other person to share, so an extra utensil is brought just in case. There are numerous reasons a server might do this, most of the time it's not a bad decision.

Probably better to ask the person ordering, "Shall I bring extra forks?"  But I was once out with two other people, and both other people said, "Nothing for me, thanks" when offered dessert. I ordered a dessert, and it was put in the middle of the table with extra forks. That puts me in the awkward position of feeling like I have to offer everyone a bite before moving it to its rightful place in front of me.

As for the removal of plates, I guess everyone has a different preference but I was taught to never remove plates until everyone is finished with that course, so that the remaining diners don't feel rushed. And also that it's rude as the person dining (or at least violates some kind of etiquette code) to push your plate away when you're done.

I can accept plates being removed before everyone's done, even though I don't like it much, but it really really bugs me when the server offers other people dessert while I'm still eating main course. Different scenario if everyone's just casually grabbing a bite on their lunch break, and one person needs to get back to work, another just joined in, etc, ie everyone's on a different schedule. But when you're all out to specifically get dinner together, if the server does this I am tempted to write to management and mention that their staff needs more training.

I am also uncomfortable with this when it's someone ELSE in the group that hasn't finished eating, not just when it's me.

Another thing I find off-putting is when they whip your plate away just as you're chewing your last mouthful and still holding the fork (yep, this happened) and asked if you want anything else. Sheesh, I know you want to turn over that table but it doesn't make for an enjoyable meal.

SiotehCat

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #111 on: November 19, 2011, 05:58:33 PM »
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

MrsJWine

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #112 on: November 19, 2011, 06:02:42 PM »
Cutlery together at 4:00 is only helpful if it's a place where most diners will know to do that. At the places I've worked, if I attempted to take away plates based on the positioning of the cutlery, I'd have lost a lot of tips. My personal rule was to always ask until I was familiar with that particular diner's preferences.


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violinp

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #113 on: November 19, 2011, 06:13:55 PM »
To the man who came in right as we were leaving last night:

It is not lawful to smoke in a restaurant in OurState and has not been for a couple years now. Asking loudly whether you had been put in the smoking section, at this late date, is...odd. However, that poor waiter was trying to do his job and tell you the answer to your question, as were your friends. Getting upset and calling the situation cow dung is not exactly the best way to go about this. I felt really sorry for your friends and SO, who were pretty well red - faced on account of your behavior.
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Daffodil

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #114 on: November 20, 2011, 01:03:59 PM »
Here is one that drives me insane - families who let their children run wild in restaurants.

The restaurant is *not* a funhouse. Your child(ren) need to remain in their seats and if they get up and start running around, you (the parent) are supposed to get them. It is not the servers job to gather your children and bring them back to their seat, they have better things to do than play babysitter.

Once when I went out to eat, a family did this. Their daughter was climbing over empty tables and around ours. She almost got hot food spilled all over her - and it wouldn't have been the servers fault. Where were the parents ? Sitting at their table, not caring.

Dindrane

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #115 on: November 21, 2011, 11:58:48 PM »
<snip>
I ran a restaurant (a little place in a mall) briefly and one of the things that I was most shocked about, as it was my first time in the food business, was how far below minimum wage the pay in some places was. Newsletters from the Restaurant Association would carry reminders to pay 'at least $2.35 an hour' to servers, in a state where the minimum was at that time $7.65. Why don't restaurants have to pay their staff a living wage like other businesses do?

Restaurants do have to pay their servers at least minimum wage in every state I know about.  The reason restaurants can pay a lower hourly rate is that all servers are supposed to be making up the difference with tips.  If for some reason they don't, the restaurant has to pay them a higher wage so that nobody is working for less than minimum wage.

So the big difference between states is really what that minimum "before tips" wage is allowed to be.  In some states, it's several dollars below minimum wage.  In other states, it's the same as minimum wage.  It's part of the reason why discussions about tipping can be difficult to have when you're talking about multiple regions/states.  Where I live, servers make almost $9/hour before tips, so anyone working a busy night at a popular restaurant could probably do pretty well, even if they have to tip out.  That's much less likely to be true in a state where servers start at $2.65/hour, but if the stories I've heard from people who waited tables in such a state are true, it's still possible.


jazzbeat

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #116 on: November 22, 2011, 10:12:25 AM »
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

That would be a breach of etiquette in a finer restaurant.  A waiter should never remove plates until everyone is done eating.

SiotehCat

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #117 on: November 22, 2011, 04:20:09 PM »
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

That would be a breach of etiquette in a finer restaurant.  A waiter should never remove plates until everyone is done eating.

Do you really think I'm going to be doing any fine dining with her? No way!

When she did this the first time, we were at IHOP and I just wanted the booth to suck me in. It was awful. I also know that he received a very small tip from her.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #118 on: December 05, 2011, 12:58:51 PM »
I can accept plates being removed before everyone's done, even though I don't like it much, but it really really bugs me when the server offers other people dessert while I'm still eating main course. Different scenario if everyone's just casually grabbing a bite on their lunch break, and one person needs to get back to work, another just joined in, etc, ie everyone's on a different schedule. But when you're all out to specifically get dinner together, if the server does this I am tempted to write to management and mention that their staff needs more training.

I am also uncomfortable with this when it's someone ELSE in the group that hasn't finished eating, not just when it's me.

Another thing I find off-putting is when they whip your plate away just as you're chewing your last mouthful and still holding the fork (yep, this happened) and asked if you want anything else. Sheesh, I know you want to turn over that table but it doesn't make for an enjoyable meal.

I agree with you there. Huge no-no. Sadly, sometimes restaurants are pushing to clear plates aggressively.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #119 on: December 05, 2011, 01:03:32 PM »
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

Yeah, I see this too. There really isn't a "right" way, as it's completely a preference thing for people. What she did was very, very rude though. Sometimes the server doesn't have time to take the plates back into the dish room. They might have hot food that needs to go out first or run martinis to the table before the ice on top melts. Or they may be cashing a table out who's in a hurry. That's why from a server POV, I like to take plates as people are done with them, to clear room and get them as soon as I can. I've had it where 4-5 tables will all finish at once. That's a lot of rushing to grab plates before the people wonder where I went or what's taking so long to clear them.