How do tips work in really fancy restaurants?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by StephenCampbell, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I was just thinking, in restaurants where an average meal costs $50, and they have multi-thousand dollar bottles of wine, do waiters and waitresses actually get 15%-20% tips on the costs of all those meals? If someone buys a $10,000 bottle of wine, do they get a $1500 tip? And what about in general, even among people not buying wine, where the average person spends $100 total throughout the evening. Servers would make hundreds an hour if they collected an average of 15% tip on everything. Is that what's happening? Or is there a different system for such places?
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    Definitely wouldn't include wine that expensive, but if I spend $100 on food, I better be getting great service, and for that, I would tip well. Although, if you're buying $10,000 worth of wine, you're probably not too concerned about the tip.
     
  3. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

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  4. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    But is there a general rule at such places that the tip percentage is lower? Or something, Anything, to prevent all the waiters from earning $200-$300 an hour? I mean, waitering doesn't require any education, hardly any training if you're intelligent, generally someone in such a job is not supposed to be making that much.
     
  5. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    #5
    I take it you have never worked as a waiter in a 5 star restaurant
     
  6. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I have not. The reason I was curious about this is because I'm on the verge of being hired for a part time position in a five star restaurant, which pays $37.50 an hour, and is a much more skilled job than waitering... so I would find it strange if they made five times as much as me.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #7
    In such restaurant, the waiter or waitress should already be making a healthy paycheck without any tips at all. You could tip only for the food since that is the only special thing. The same drinks can be had from every restaurant.

    Personally, I don't think the percentages too much. I tip what I feel is appropriate.
     
  8. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #8
    According who are waiters not supposed to make that much? Fine dining wait staff is very, very hard to get into, and if you work at a place that serves 10,000 dollar bottles of wine, its even harder. Being wait staff at a palce like that is a legitimate career.

    Yes, waiters at the the really top end places can make a lot of money. I got news for you, waiters at regular places can make pretty decent money too. its not easy work either. A dumbass is not going to make it at a high end establishment. These are intelligent people who know a LOT about the food, the wines, the menu, proper service, taking care of guests, anticipating needs, etc. There is more to fine dining then just taking an order and bringing food (at least, there should be. I won't go back to an expensive place if thats not true)

    I have never waited tables in my life, but I'll respect the people who do and not try to determine what I think the "right" amount for them to earn is.

    And yes, at those high end places, celebrities and sports stars really will tip hundreds or thousands of dollars sometimes if they've spent that much.

    When I eat out, I always tip 20% if I got really good service. When I've spent 200 dollars on a dinner for two (rare for me, only done that twice), I still tip 20% because the service I got was outstanding, the advice on wine was spot on, and everything was perfect. Bad service will get 10% or less.
     
  9. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #9
    If my meal costed £40-50, I'd tip £5.

    Though, I've never tipped more than £5. I sometimes find it hard to actually let that £5 go..

    Tipping in Scotland isn't as regular as it is in the US. I served two American girls once at a bar, and they left a £1 coin on the bar. I'd never been tipped before for serving drinks. Wasn't as if it was table service. Never got tipped again, apart from the regulars leaving a Christmas tip.

    I think maybe the minimum wage in the UK is far higher than the US, so waiters in the US generally rely upon tips to make a living? Maybe someone can explain that.
     
  10. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #10
    Yeah minimum wage is the killer over there.

    When I was younger and working in restaurants here in Australia my award wage (what we call minimum wage) was around the $30 an hour mark on Sundays, slightly lower on Saturdays and about $18 an hour on weekdays. Public holidays was about $40. I loved public holidays.

    Tipping was more of a "thanks very much" thing rather than a convention. If I did a good job (more than just getting orders right and keeping the drinks flowing - seriously, waiting tables is dead easy for the most part - basically bonding with the diners and making sure I treated them as they wanted to be treated whether it's the "invisible waiter" or the "funny waiter" or whatever) then I'd probably get tipped. Not a percentage, usually just the rounding amount to get the bill to a nice whole number. Most of the time the tips were pooled and divvied up at the end of the week.

    Whilst the tips in the fine dining restaurants were bigger, they were far less frequent than in the more family-friendly restaurants.
     
  11. kolax macrumors G3

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    #11
    Yeah, that's generally when I tip. If the waiter provided good, friendly and knowledgeable service, then I show my appreciation.

    There's various jobs in the UK that are minimum wage. Most retail jobs are minimum wage too, and that too requires giving each customer satisfactory service, but we don't tip them.

    The minimum wage for 21+ in the UK is £6.08 (~$9.50). For 18-21, it's £4.98 (~$7.78).

    How does that weigh up against US waiters?
     
  12. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #12
    Dunno about US but I've heard in the low single figures (like $3 or $4 an hour). In Canada I was on $6.50 and that was considered "good"! Here I'd consider it slave labour. I earned more than that babysitting when I was 12, that was at least a $10 an hour job.
     
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #13
    Depending on the state, most waiters don't make minimum wage (they are exempt). This is because it is understood that the majority of a waiter's/waitress's earnings will come from tips.
     
  14. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Quebec, Canada
    #14
    Wait, that's really fancy ? Everytime I go out with my GF, with no alcool, it always costs us over 100$ and there's nothing fancy about the places we go to (I know this nice little Belgian pub...). And yes, I tip 15%.
     
  15. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    Denmark
    #15
    Here in Denmark, tipping is unusual and tends not to happen as it is mostly included in the bill which is already high, however if the service is really outstanding tipping still happens.
     
  16. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #16
    In Canada, at least in Quebec, the minimum wage for a tipped job is now 8.35$. However, Tip is now taxed and is calculated as 10% of bills issued by the waiter (all waiters have to put their names on the bill and the restaurant needs to calculate that in their deductions).

    So not tipping a waiter here in Quebec is actually stealing money from his pocket as he'll be paying tax on 10% of your bill regardless of the tip you actually left him. Which is a nice incentive to give you good service when you think about it.
     
  17. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    So the Canadian government is just as crooked as the US. Interesting.
     
  18. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #18
    I made more money tending bar and waiting table than I do in my "career."

    I made far more than $37.50 an hr. Thursday through Sunday..

    Tipping here in Germany is not verboten is just not as common, nor are you thought poorly of if you don't.
     
  19. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    #19
    True but what i have noticed that people generally round up like 37.60€ people tend to give like like 40€ and ask to be given from 38-39€. Doesn't the waiter get that 1€ or 2 as a tip?
     
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #20
    Oddly, I could easily spend $100 on a meal for a few people at a chain restaurant. Hell, I think the last time I picked up a check for 5 people at Red Robin the bill was up there. Those bastards. I tip 15-25% depending upon my mood.
    I was in cahoots with a Brit for a very very long time. We had gone out and I hadn't noticed when he paid what he did. It was a few outings later that I realized he was not tipping. That explained quite a bit when we returned to the same establishment; we were in the US. A dollar per drink at a bar is normal but if I'm running a tab and I'm tasked with walking to the bar and waiting for my drink there, I tip according to my standards set above.

    In fancy restaurants, I've always tipped the same; 15-25%. Normally it is about 20% and that is just 20% of the bottom line bill. I'd never be caught buying a $10,000 bottle of wine when I don't think I could tell the difference between that and two buck chuck from trader joes. I'm neither worldly or fancy.
     
  21. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #21
    Yes of course, but thats 1 or 2 euro on a 40 euro dinner..

    in the states I'd probably leave $8 or $10 on a $40 dinner
     
  22. mwhities macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #22
    I always tip 10 to 15% of the full bill anywhere I go. 10% for the not so good service (If it really sucks, I tip less.. I'll never stiff anyone... the waiter might have been having a bad day).

    If it's great service, I'll tip the 15% of the total. I pay for dinning out with CC and the tip to the credit card but, I will give an extra "cash tip" to show how much I appreciate the great service. So they essentially get two tips if I'm really happy with the service.
     
  23. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #23
    I was in Alberta.

    And that situation in Quebec is f*@ked.
     
  24. wpotere Guest

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #24

    This is because restaurants pay a solid salary to their staff and it is career for them. Your tip is already in the cost of the food so anything you give is above and beyond. In fact, some Germans will take a tip that is too much as an insult. It could mean that you think they are poor and need the money. In fact, they are usually doing very well.

    As for here in the USA, I find it funny that the mentality of a waiter or waitress is that they are not educated (in most cases this is probably true, no degree needed for Applebees). You will not work in a high end restaurant without a decent education or formal training. Anything with a michelin star or higher will be an educated staff from the back to the front.
     
  25. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #25
    That isn't a secret anymore, just that no one outside of Canada cares about our politics ;)
     

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