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Thread: 15% service charge or not

  1. #21
    Member Zippy's Avatar
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    I agree also folks.....

    In the US.....
    Waiters and/or Waitresses are paid a base wage.... and make the "major" part of their income from "tips". A normal tip is around 15% give or take slightly. This is where GOOD SERVICE, GOOD FOOD, etc come in to play. I can honestly say that in my travels, when a "mandatory" surcharge is added to the bill (call it what you like) services all-the-way-around seem to suffer in general.

    OK.... there will be the cheap-skates that low-ball a gratuity. On the other hand..... every great waiter I've ever had seems to do quite well for themselves. Great service - Great Gratuity....... Don't do your job..... well.... find another, or get better at what you are doing!!

    I often over-tip.... why? Because I like good service, good food, good humor, and a kind personality.
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  2. #22
    ash
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy View Post
    In the US.....
    Waiters and/or Waitresses are paid a base wage.... and make the "major" part of their income from "tips".
    My daughter in college gets $2.13/hour plus tips, which is set by law. So she works very hard to get good tips because her "paycheck" is pretty slim!

    So just to compare apples to apples, my question is - how much money per hour do wait staff in Aruba make?

    And if the 15% gratuity is split up, is that determined by individual managers? Usually I will add a cash tip if no gratuity is added so my wait staff can boom boom without sharing!

  3. #23
    Member Zippy's Avatar
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    Just did the math.....interesting

    I just worked up some numbers on the 15% (gratuity/Tax/Surcharge/Tip etc....)

    If a waiter/waitress served 25 customers/parties at an average bill of $100.00 per bill in one night..... which I think is VERY reasonable....

    The 15% take on that is $375.00 for the night!!!!!
    Working 5 days per week is $1875.00 per week and does not include any "base" pay if there is any. That's $97,500.00 a year!!!!!!!
    THAT.... my friends is a decent paycheck, and I'm basing that on an average!!
    Last edited by Zippy; 02-02-2009 at 11:26 AM.
    Yachting Summer 2011 .... Mainship Sedan Bridge "Knot Geezers"
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  4. #24
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanNic44 View Post
    Amy,

    Wait a minute... you're saying that in South Beach, FL they "add" 15% to the bill then "offer" to "allow" you to take remove some or all of it?

    Do I have that correct?

    That brings new meaning (emphasis) to the term CLIP JOINT.

    I think I'll just cook at home. Anybody want some pork chops soaked in soy, garlic, and burned on the grill? Let me know. No 15% service charge but you have to listen to me for 2 hours and it may be more fun/less painful, to just pay the 15% and go home sane.

    Wow. What planet did I drop in on here?

    44
    44,
    As usual we are coming down in November and this year staying 3 weeks instead of 2. We always agree to dine out only 2or 3 nights because it is so expensive and then to be clipped for 15% and made to feel guilty for more is outrageous....
    Normally here in the states I am generous at 20% unless the service is poor and then I have no problems leaving less to no tip at all. I feel it is important to do your job well and if you do not care about the customer I have no guilt about not leaving a tip.
    That being said....I don't leave a tip if they add the charge and will not as you say it is not my problem or responsibility to pay the server's salary.
    Now, on another note...my husband makes the best spaghetti sauce in the world and if you have us over for chops we will respond in kind and have you and the Mrs. over for pasta !!!!
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  5. #25
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy View Post
    I just worked up some numbers on the 15% (gratuity/Tax/Surcharge/Tip etc....)

    If a waiter/waitress served 25 customers/parties at an average bill of $100.00 per bill in one night..... which I think is VERY reasonable....

    The 15% take on that is $375.00 for the night!!!!!
    Working 5 days per week is $1875.00 per week and does not include any "base" pay if there is any. That's $97,500.00 a year!!!!!!!
    THAT.... my friends is a decent paycheck, and I'm basing that on an average!!
    This is why I asked what is customary elsewhere.

    12.5 couples X $100 meal = $1250
    15% tip = $187.50

    $187.50 x 5 nights a week= $937.50 a week x 50 weeks= $46875 that is without deductions for taxes, unemployment etc.

    Anyone who has "done it" knows that the pay is good in the "right" restaurant, but it IS backbreaking work. Take out taxes etc. and it is far from a easy job.

  6. #26
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash View Post
    My daughter in college gets $2.13/hour plus tips, which is set by law. So she works very hard to get good tips because her "paycheck" is pretty slim!

    So just to compare apples to apples, my question is - how much money per hour do wait staff in Aruba make?

    And if the 15% gratuity is split up, is that determined by individual managers? Usually I will add a cash tip if no gratuity is added so my wait staff can boom boom without sharing!
    Ash, I understand that your daughter is in college and works hard for her money. However, she will eventually get a job that will pay much better than she is making......although I have a girlfriend that worked her way through college and grad-school working at a bowling alley/bar as a waitress and made so much money she didn't want to give up that job to work in her profession because she made more as a waitress...
    Sorry I digress.....anyway, the wait jobs in Aruba I am sure are not temp jobs while they go to college.These folks depend on tourists for a majority of their income, but I don't feel that the management forcing 15% is good for the servers. All it does is make re-turn vacationers choose other restaurants that don't put a mandatory gratuity on the bill.
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  7. #27
    Member Zippy's Avatar
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    I would agree ArubaLisa..... it's not an EASY job.
    BUT for those that make their living that way, they must understand the consequences of their service. It does not seem to be part of this math formula.........

    I think patrons have difficluties with paying a "mandatory" service charge...... when service may be questionable at best. It hurts both parties in this situation.

    The customer feels that they have already paid a gratuity.....
    The server knows they may not get anything extra or anything at all..........
    Who wins? No one in the end.

    I think this all started when travel to Aruba increased dramaticly over the past few years. In an effort to increase wages and keep people, they imposed the 15%. Now that things are getting a little tight with travelers, and volume is down..... the 15% is now being questioned. It's economics at it's best & worst.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danadog56 View Post
    These folks depend on tourists for a majority of their income, but I don't feel that the management forcing 15% is good for the servers.
    All goes back to the Aruban situation.

    Is it 15% to the server vs. 15% to be split among the server, the dishwasher, the cook, the bartender, the bus person and a little bit extra held out by the owner for so called "breakage"?

    I think what I am trying to say is that unless someone can definitively say that the 15% is going entirely to the server and they are making $100,000 a year as a waiter/waitress how can we answer the question as originally proposed?

    IF the 15% went entirely to the server I think a compromise might be that if 15% were added automatically, the customer have the option of REDUCING the gratuity for poor service.

    This would protect the server against the attitude of tourists who will not tip at all. Speaking from experience, there are those who will inevitably try to save the $15 tip (15% on average $100 bill) and "stiff" the server with the attitude, "I will never see this person again". So basically they don't give a . Been there, done that, did not like it and I am sure the Arubans would not like it either. They deserve better.

    Again, clarifying the above with the fact that it would have to be shown that the full 15% went to the server and it was not the status quo we suffer now with the vague 15% tip/service charge which goes to ????????

  9. #29
    Member Zippy's Avatar
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    Very well said........ArubaLisa
    Yachting Summer 2011 .... Mainship Sedan Bridge "Knot Geezers"
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  10. #30
    ash
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    Danadog - yes, the game plan is for her to get a job based on her degree after graduation - or like your girlfriend, she may stay in that college town and continue waitressing! Fortunately, her education will allow her opportunities and choices that the Aruba general population doesn't enjoy. And that is a social issue beyond service charge manipulations...and service type jobs as only options for many. Get it.

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