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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:37 AM   #26
2020mike
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Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
Are you sure it is the bartender who is screwing you and not an opportunistic individual duping him/her by pretending to be with your party?

Surely there are unscrupulous bartenders out there, but how does it help them to add other people's drinks to your tab (this sounds zero-sum)? Adding non-existant ones would at least make some sense.

My experience has always been the opposite, however. Have a large party at a bar with a big tab? Bartenders often drop a few drinks for being such a good customer. This is particularly true if you're a regular.
It could of been a combination, but I have caught a bar tender adding his buddies drinks to my tab. I would say adding drinks to my tab to raise the total cost would be done so his tip increased. But as I mentioned I no longer do tabs for this reason.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:48 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by SiPi View Post
Completely agree... Annoying you have to tip for everything in the US, especially when quite often those serving are rude and offer such poor service.
Gee, the service in the US is not so great, but its not nearly as bad as it is in France.

If you want some really awful service, go to France. ( Excluding higher end places of course ).

----------

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Originally Posted by 2020mike View Post
It could of been a combination, but I have caught a bar tender adding his buddies drinks to my tab. I would say adding drinks to my tab to raise the total cost would be done so his tip increased. But as I mentioned I no longer do tabs for this reason.
I try to avoid tabs for this reason at all, only at places were I don't know the bar tender of course.

Lots of places will just open a tab, and you put your credit card in a shot glass that they'll keep, and you can read the receipt before they run your card.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:49 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by 2020mike View Post
It could of been a combination, but I have caught a bar tender adding his buddies drinks to my tab. I would say adding drinks to my tab to raise the total cost would be done so his tip increased. But as I mentioned I no longer do tabs for this reason.
Well adding his/her friend's drinks wouldn't necessarily add to the tips assuming the friend's were going to tip too. Anyway, that's quite unscrupulous, although that behavior is certainly not limited to tipped workers.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:49 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by G51989 View Post
Gee, the service in the US is not so great, but its not nearly as bad as it is in France.

If you want some really awful service, go to France. ( Excluding higher end places of course ).
Yes i feel your pain on this one.

I recently went skiing in the Alps and service both on and off the slopes was terrible.

Very angry and slow service!
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:50 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Caris View Post
Can someone clear this up? It's something I've never understood and I've meant to ask for years, am I picking it up wrong? How does it work?
We do this in australia sometimes too.

It's called a bar tab. Depends on the relationship you have with the bar, if you don't have one you'll need to give credit card as collateral before starting.


edit:
If you want crappy service, come to Australia. We don't have a tips culture (people get paid properly instead), and as a result, staff don't give a crap about service. If we did have a tips culture here, i sure as hell wouldn't be leaving any with the current standard here.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:50 AM   #31
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Usually when bartenders take off drinks off the tab that amount goes directly back to them as a tip from me. Figured I was going to pay the amount for the drink anyway....
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:57 AM   #32
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Yes i feel your pain on this one.

I recently went skiing in the Alps and service both on and off the slopes was terrible.

Very angry and slow service!
Oh yes, I've been going to the same city 3 times a year for the past 5 years ( My lovely lady grew up in Toulon, very nice city. ), 3 weeks at a time. The service is awful, or very good. You never know. Slow and angry or very good. And when I leave a tip, I have often had servers running out the door to give it to me. Which was awkward until my French got better. ( Can't hide the North Eastern American accent. )

And yes, I have been skiing in the Alps, and had the same problem!

The nice thing about the tipping system in the US is that if your service really is that terrible, its easier to show your displeasure.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 10:07 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
Well adding his/her friend's drinks wouldn't necessarily add to the tips assuming the friend's were going to tip too. Anyway, that's quite unscrupulous, although that behavior is certainly not limited to tipped workers.
It would add to their tip from me or others because people would see a higher dollar amount thus increasing percentage tipped. Honestly a bar tender is going to get a better tip from me if I DON'T have a tab because I tip a dollar a beer and for a long night it adds up for him/her. That's just me though.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 10:45 AM   #34
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I'm not sure if this was mentioned but to start a tab in many places requires a credit card.

If you are at the bar usually the bar tender will take it at the beginning so A. He has a name for the tab and B. You can't run off without paying and then you just keep adding to your tab all night long and cash out at the end.

Not every place does this but pretty much any place I've been to does.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 10:57 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by 2020mike View Post
It would add to their tip from me or others because people would see a higher dollar amount thus increasing percentage tipped.
It would indeed increase the tip you give, but it wouldn't make the bartender's total tips any larger. 20% on $20 plus 20% on $40 is the same as 20% on $10 plus 20% on $50.

0.2*20+0.2*40 = 0.2*10+0.2*50

This is a minor point though.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:05 AM   #36
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I also think some people do this as they will give less of a tip when paying a tab compared to tipping for each drink.
From my experience I don't really think there's any correlation there. Some people are cheap and some people tip well, but I never saw a pattern where people with tabs tipped less. It really depends on the person.


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Originally Posted by SiPi View Post
You always have to tip for every drink in the US as well

Becomes a joke after a while
It's not a joke. It's their salary. IRS has a separate category for "tipped employees" who have a much lower hourly minimum wage of $2.13/hr. Most servers and bartenders never see a pay check. The little amount of their paycheck goes to taxes, and the only money they take home is their cash tips. Not tipping is basically saying you expect this server or bartender to serve you for free.

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Originally Posted by SiPi View Post
Completely agree... Annoying you have to tip for everything in the US, especially when quite often those serving are rude and offer such poor service.
You don't have to tip "for everything" here, just tipped employees who rely on their tips as their main source of income.

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Originally Posted by Dagless View Post
Food needs to be prepared. Tipping for cocktails, yeah I can see that being an optional thing (I've seen some lazily made cocktails in my time). But tipping someone to open a fridge door, open the bottle and hand it to you is just daft.
So you expect them to serve you for free then? And do you think that bottle just magically appears cold in the cooler ready for the bartender to open whenever you want another beer?

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Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
Do bartenders get paid $3.25/hr like other servers?
Depends on the establishment but the federal minimum for all tipped workers is $2.13/hr. Last restaurant I worked in the servers got the Massachusetts minimum ($2.63) and the bartenders got $5.00 per hour. Our bartenders got paid the extra above the tipped minimum because of all of the extra responsibilities they had over the servers. A bi-weekly paycheck for approx 75 hours for me was about $60. Nearly all of my income came from tips.

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Originally Posted by roadbloc View Post
Yeah, the automatic tab surprised me at first but it was more the whole tipping system that annoyed me most. They literally expected me to give a tip and were very surprised (taken aback to be more exact) when I didn't.

I don't tip anybody.
When the IRS defines restaurant workers as a separate class of "tipped employees" and they get paid $2.13 an hour instead of the regular minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, you ARE expected to tip. Yes, it's a stupid and broken system, but it is what it is. Don't like it? Don't go to a bar and buy your booze at a liquor store, or don't expect to get good service. Nobody likes serving people for free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stridemat View Post
From what I read in this thread, its doesn't seem to be a custom. It seems that it is more expected from those doing the serving. That, in my opinion, is not right and defeats the purpose of a tip.

If it is expected then why not include in the rates?
Most places don't include the rates because it IS a custom and it's customary to tip 15-20% on a bill or $0.50-$1 per drink when ordering them individually at a bar. It also seems like the tip percentage is increasing with the younger generations. Most older people tip 15-18% and occasionally up to 20% but I found younger people rarely left below 18%, most times it was around 20% and sometimes upwards of 25%.

But the moral of the story is take care of your bartender/server and they will take care of you. Most good bartenders are "people" persons and they will remember the faces that tip well and don't tip well. If you tip them well, they'll remember and take care of you the next time you're at their bar. And if you don't tip, don't get upset or be surprised when you get ignored or get bad service. All I know is that if I had two repeat customers waiting at my bar, one a good tipper and one a cheapskate, the guy who tips well is getting served first every time.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:08 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by SiPi View Post
Would love to stay out of the US... However too many of your home grown companies need my services.
Looks like you'll have to take a packed lunch.

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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
It's not a joke. It's their salary. IRS has a separate category for "tipped employees" who have a much lower hourly minimum wage of $2.13/hr. Most servers and bartenders never see a pay check. The little amount of their paycheck goes to taxes, and the only money they take home is their cash tips. Not tipping is basically saying you expect this server or bartender to serve you for free.
And no-ones thought about changing this? That's quite a huge flaw there.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:11 AM   #38
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Well this certainly cleared my question up! The whole tipping thing also explains why I see the customers handing over a note and just walking away without asking for change.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:11 AM   #39
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So you expect them to serve you for free then? And do you think that bottle just magically appears cold in the cooler ready for the bartender to open whenever you want another beer?
Is the bartender using an unseen skill or ability to keep those drinks cool, is the bartender a spirit or golem?

I used to work in a pub. Stocking a fridge was the simplest job there was. It didn't require anything other than putting one small thing in another place until the fridge was full.


---
I wish we used the tab system more in the UK. It just seems quicker, less hassle.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:33 AM   #40
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Minimum wage for tipped employees vary by state.

http://www.paywizard.org/main/minimu...tipped-workers
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:43 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Dagless View Post
Is the bartender using an unseen skill or ability to keep those drinks cool, is the bartender a spirit or golem?

I used to work in a pub. Stocking a fridge was the simplest job there was. It didn't require anything other than putting one small thing in another place until the fridge was full.
Nobody said it wasn't simple. It is. Just like cutting fruit, stocking ice, etc. But just because something is simple doesn't mean the worker, who is working there to earn money, should have to do it for free.

And with the system we have here (however stupid it is, and I'm the first one to agree it's ridiculously stupid), if you're not getting tips, you're not going home with any money in your pocket.

I wish we had a normal system like Europe where the servers and bartenders were actually paid a normal living wage and tips functioned as a bonus for great service, not the server's salary, but it is what it is.

The most screwed up part about it is that most restaurants now claim a percentage of your sales as tips to the IRS regardless if you make those tips or not, so if you have a night where a few tables stiff you, you're getting taxed on money you didn't make and, after tipping out food runners, bussers, barbacks, etc., you are actually paying out of your pocket to wait on those people.

Only in America could we have such a stupid system.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:48 AM   #42
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I think dioxide covered it all very well above, but I'll add in my two cents (and you'll owe me 1/4 of a cent for a tip).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiPi View Post
You always have to tip for every drink in the US as well

Becomes a joke after a while
Untrue, unless you are paying for each drink individually. Otherwise, you just pay the tip as a percentage of your bill at the end. There is no customary tip for drinks. I often do a dollar per drink, but sometimes just leave the change.

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Originally Posted by SiPi View Post
Completely agree... Annoying you have to tip for everything in the US, especially when quite often those serving are rude and offer such poor service.
And quite often, they are pleasant and accommodating and offer spectacular service. The only factor joining all of your experiences is you...hmmmm.

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Originally Posted by SiPi View Post
Wow... This is a typical type of negative attitude i receive from staff and servers in the US.

Its no wonder you're paid such a low wage.

If you smile and do your job properly i would consider leaving a tip.
95% of the time, my service here is just fine, and pleasant. I get the rare unhappy server. My servers in the UK, on the other hand, were some of the slowest, most inattentive, and boring people I have ever dealt with. I worked in an area with several restaurants for several weeks and could rarely finish my meal within my lunch break because they were so slow, and getting the bill took ages because I could never find the server. Just terrible. Unfortunately, there were no fast food or convenience stores in that area or I would have gone to those instead.

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Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
Do bartenders get paid $3.25/hr like other servers?
Where I live, servers are paid $2.13/hr. I don't know how much more bartenders make, but it's still far below minimum wage.

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Originally Posted by roadbloc View Post
Yeah, the automatic tab surprised me at first but it was more the whole tipping system that annoyed me most. They literally expected me to give a tip and were very surprised (taken aback to be more exact) when I didn't.

I don't tip anybody.
You don't tip anybody where you're from, or even when you're in the US?

So, then I assume you avoid restaurants and other services in the US? Otherwise, you are basically saying that you expect to be served for free, and that you don't care if you stiff your server and they lose money on you.

And yes, if you don't tip at all, you likely are costing your server money. They often have to tip out (pay a percentage of their sales) to the busboys, bartenders, and others. It's a crappy system, but that's the way it is here. By not tipping, you are literally expecting your server to pay for serving you.

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Originally Posted by stridemat View Post
From what I read in this thread, its doesn't seem to be a custom. It seems that it is more expected from those doing the serving. That, in my opinion, is not right and defeats the purpose of a tip.
It is expected, because it's considered part of the cost for service. The servers are paid a fraction of minimum wage. And yes, I know they chose this job and should just expect whatever happens, but they also expect tips as part of their salary.

Quote:
If it is expected then why not include in the rates?
Oh my...you might be the first person to ever think about this?

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Originally Posted by stridemat View Post
Nowhere in this thread have I said I would not tip if I went to America, I am just trying to gain an understanding as to why it is classed as a 'tip'.
I guess it's just what it's called. You could call it a sproobleyglob if you want, but it's still a "fee" paid for service.

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Originally Posted by G51989 View Post
Gee, the service in the US is not so great, but its not nearly as bad as it is in France.

If you want some really awful service, go to France. ( Excluding higher end places of course ).
I haven't been to France in ten years, so I have forgotten anything about the service there. But, I get frustrated with the service at most places outside of the US. I understand that life is slower and enjoyed more, or whatever, but I don't want to wait 30 minutes after I'm done eating to get my bill. Or have to wait forever for my server to come back so I can order another drink or get some ketchup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagless View Post
And no-ones thought about changing this? That's quite a huge flaw there.
Of course people have thought about changing it. But getting restaurant owners to agree to paying their servers more? Are you kidding me? Would never happen here. I'm sure the cost of doing that would far outweigh the cost of Obamacare, and you probably saw how big of a stink that raised with restaurant owners. As long as they can pay them practically nothing, and have them rely on tips for actual wages, this will never change. Trust me, if it was monetarily beneficial to the owners, they would have done it a long time ago. And, for the most part, the current system is beneficial for servers as well.

Obviously, there are bad servers, and the current system allows the customer to decide how to deal with that. But stiffing the good servers is just a douchey move.


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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
Only in America could we have such a stupid system.
Agreed.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:05 PM   #43
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How can the servers be paid less than the minimum wage? What's the point in a minimum wage if its not the minimum?

As for tabs here in the UK, most pubs and bars will run a tab. Just have to ask. If your having food then the tab, including drinks, it's automatic.

When I'm in the states I tend to not bother going out drink much. Booze is one of the those things the US never seemed to get quite right (along with chocolate and cheese). The US took many European foods and traditions, made them their own, but I never understood why american beer was so bad!

(Fantastic US wine though).
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:27 PM   #44
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It's really just to avoid having to tip after every drink and ending up giving the bartender a pretty asinine percentage to open the cap on a bottle; I'm someone who will never be a dick and leave a tip of less than a dollar, so if I'm buying a 2 or 3 dollar beer say at a college bar or whatever, I sure as hell don't want to be giving an extra whole dollar on every 2 dollar beer and end up giving the bartender a 50% tip to pop a cap off for the entire night.

Running a tab makes it much easier to give a proper tip percentage at the end.

My first job was a service job, so I say this as someone on that side of the fence--all the people that went into service and bitch about bad customers, you have every right to bitch about them. But at the same time you chose to go into a serving job that pays **** and you certainly can't have been naive enough to think that there aren't total dicks out there who will stiff you and leave you with no tip. You knew there were people like that out there when you signed up for a $2/hour job so deal with it.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:41 PM   #45
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How can the servers be paid less than the minimum wage? What's the point in a minimum wage if its not the minimum?
Because the US is the land of Exceptions to the Rule, and I'm sure your system of laws and rules in the UK are completely loophole free.


It amazes me sometimes how selfish consumers can be. I'd give a break to foreign visitors who don't come from tip cultures when I worked as a waitress/bartender. I'm not sure why some of you go out of your way to blame the wait staff/tenders for the tipping system, it's not their fault, but will generally help you as a consumer get (and rate) better service. While some of you complain that what a tender/wait staff "is easy" and they shouldn't be tipped for that, it's not nearly as easy as you think it is. Dealing with drunks, *******s, grab asses, and the like made my nights a living hell. Most guys wouldn't tip if I didn't act interested in their flirting, or degrade myself like some kind of prostitute while pouring their drinks. I deserved every tip I made because babysitting *******s isn't easy.



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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
It's really just to avoid having to tip after every drink and ending up giving the bartender a pretty asinine percentage to open the cap on a bottle; I'm someone who will never be a dick and leave a tip of less than a dollar, so if I'm buying a 2 or 3 dollar beer say at a college bar or whatever, I sure as hell don't want to be giving an extra whole dollar on every 2 dollar beer and end up giving the bartender a 50% tip to pop a cap off for the entire night.

Running a tab makes it much easier to give a proper tip percentage at the end.

My first job was a service job, so I say this as someone on that side of the fence--all the people that went into service and bitch about bad customers, you have every right to bitch about them. But at the same time you chose to go into a serving job that pays **** and you certainly can't have been naive enough to think that there aren't total dicks out there who will stiff you and leave you with no tip. You knew there were people like that out there when you signed up for a $2/hour job so deal with it.
Yes, and if all these naive people stopped working in food service, who's going to serve you at a restaurant or bar? I love this mindset of "don't bitch about your job, you picked it", it's such a cop-out. I know it makes you a big man to say stuff like that, but until restaurant/bar owners start paying what people are worth, we're stuck with a tip culture, and people have to work these jobs or you're going to be stuck with McDonald's and the like as your only social eating option.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:44 PM   #46
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If you don't like it, please stay out of the US. You either abide by the customs of the country you visit, or stay home.

When I was in the service industry, I had many unpleasant dealings with British tourists. Almost all of them were unpleasant. However, all of the nice ones were visiting MR folks.
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Because that's how it works here. One more time- don't like it? Don't visit. Pretty simple. And yes, it IS customary and expected. I think I know my own country- thanks.

Servers and bartenders here do not even make minimum wage. So you not tipping is considered extremely rude.



Then stay out of restaurants and bars.
Who would want to tip attitude such as this? Rudeness often begets rudeness.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 01:45 PM   #47
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And no-ones thought about changing this? That's quite a huge flaw there.
Most people who never worked in a restaurant don't even know how the system works, so they clearly aren't going to go about trying to change the system.

The restaurant owners clearly don't care, they like it the way it is because it makes THEM more money, and most restaurant owners couldn't care less about their employees, which brings me to my next point.

The restaurant employees themselves are almost always at-will employment, not union or anything, so if they tried to stand up to their restaurant's ownership and demanded real wages, they would just be fired and replaced.

It's a ridiculous system and a system that leaves the servers and other FOH employees powerless to change anything really. The majority of the people in these jobs are either students who will be moving on to different jobs when they are done school or older people who aren't qualified to do any type of job that requires a degree. Neither of these groups are people who have the means to push any real reform in this area.

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Originally Posted by domrevans View Post
How can the servers be paid less than the minimum wage? What's the point in a minimum wage if its not the minimum?
They are classified by the IRS as "tipped employees" and they have a separate minimum wage. Federally it's $2.13/hr but it varies by state.

Quote:
but I never understood why american beer was so bad!

(Fantastic US wine though).
You need to try some real American craft beers then and not the generic garbage adjunct lagers like Bud and Coors. The micro/craft brewing culture has exploded like crazy in the US over the past 10-20 years and we now have thousands of great microbreweries producing great beer.

Try some beers from Sam Adams, Magic Hat (#9 is like the greatest beer ever), Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Harpoon, Stone, Long Trail, Abita, Shipyard, Flying Dog, Brooklyn, etc. There's just some I could think of quickly off the top of my head but theres tons more.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 02:24 PM   #48
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They are classified by the IRS as "tipped employees" and they have a separate minimum wage. Federally it's $2.13/hr but it varies by state.
Ah thanks, i often wondered why that was.

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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post

Try some beers from Sam Adams, Magic Hat (#9 is like the greatest beer ever), Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Harpoon, Stone, Long Trail, Abita, Shipyard, Flying Dog, Brooklyn, etc. There's just some I could think of quickly off the top of my head but theres tons more.
Point taken Yeah, i actually tried a couple of those and they were nice. What you call 'ale' is what in Europe is referred to as 'Lager'. Real Ale, which is what I drink, is quite different. But to be fair you have a point, quality has improved. Now you need to move on to Cheese and Chocolate, i would have thought you would have nailed that by now
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 02:33 PM   #49
samiwas
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Quote:
Originally Posted by domrevans View Post
...but I never understood why american beer was so bad!
What beer were you trying? Coors? Miller? Budweiser? If you drink any of the beers from the major breweries, you will likely be very disappointed. Of course, I'm not a fan of most of the various British, German, Belgian, and certainly not the Australian beers, so it's all a matter of taste. For instance, if I never drink another Australian VB (quite possibly the worst thing I've ever had to drink), then my life will be complete. And I can't remember the beer I had more than ten years ago somewhere in England, but as I recall, it tasted like cough syrup. I couldn't even drink it, and it was one of the "popular" beers there.

As zioxide said above, you would really need to branch out to the more independent brewers in the US. There is every make, style, shade, and taste of beer possible. Everything from water to mud, fruit to nuts, and smooth to extremely hoppy (I *HATE* hoppy beers). If you can't find something you like, then it probably doesn't exist.

For what it's worth, my absolute favorite beer right now is from a major brewer, Dos XX Ambar.

EDIT: I see you replied while I was typing my response.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 03:44 PM   #50
zioxide
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Quote:
Originally Posted by domrevans View Post
Ah thanks, i often wondered why that was.



Point taken Yeah, i actually tried a couple of those and they were nice. What you call 'ale' is what in Europe is referred to as 'Lager'. Real Ale, which is what I drink, is quite different. But to be fair you have a point, quality has improved. Now you need to move on to Cheese and Chocolate, i would have thought you would have nailed that by now
Cabot Sharp Cheddar from Vermont... enough said.

We need a beer thread on here though haha
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