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Thread: Service Charge at Restaurants

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    15% service charge or not

    click above for another thread on this topic
    I agree with SanNic's comment in this post. Restaurants are making plenty profit from the food, service charge is a rip off. I would prefer that I tip the server if he/she does the job well, than pay the business which may not share with the servers. Thanks everyone for your comments.

  2. #12
    Senior Member arubabob's Avatar
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    I dont have a problem with the service charge per se. I tip 15% even if the service is bad. What I do have a problem with is not knowing for sure how much of this charge actually goes to the wait staff. In most restaurants in the states wait staff makes a couple dollars an hour plus tips, while the service employees and cooks etc are covered under minimum wage protection. I dont know how the system works in Aruba, so I am uncomfortable with it. I wish Andrea could get the owner of Cooks restaurant to give us a little education on the system so we can be more familiar with the situation.

  3. #13
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    i will ask him to reply to this thread.
    he is very busy though with work other than COOKS
    Cooks has not been opened for a month or 2 .
    When opened, Cooks did not include the service charge.
    Quote Originally Posted by arubabob View Post
    I dont have a problem with the service charge per se. I tip 15% even if the service is bad. What I do have a problem with is not knowing for sure how much of this charge actually goes to the wait staff. In most restaurants in the states wait staff makes a couple dollars an hour plus tips, while the service employees and cooks etc are covered under minimum wage protection. I dont know how the system works in Aruba, so I am uncomfortable with it. I wish Andrea could get the owner of Cooks restaurant to give us a little education on the system so we can be more familiar with the situation.

  4. #14
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    When I first went to Aruba which was around 22 years ago, I remember reading, hearing about the 15% service charge. I'm actually surprise that after 20 years that the service charge is still 15%. Me and my 2 brothers along with my mother went to a fancy steak restaurant. The bill came out to $180 including the 15% service charge. I picked up the tab and I remember one of my brothers wanting me to leave a little more since he read about the tip being distributed among everybody including the owner. I refused to leave more and in those days we typically did not tip more than 15% in the US.

    It doesn't seem fair that the owner gets a cut of the 15% tip. However, we are not aware what salary, benefits the waiter is receiving. In the US I believe they typically get minimum wage plus tips.

    Who knows maybe in aruba the salary is a lot higher for a waiter so the owner feels he should get a cut of the tip?

    Personally, I never tip less than 20% in the US because I know they work very hard for their money. I usually tip 25% for exceptional service which these days is rare. However, if they give very lousy service or are rude, I would not hesitate to give them the 15% or 10% for that matter.

  5. #15
    Senior Member arubabob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ace2063 View Post
    When I first went to Aruba which was around 22 years ago, I remember reading, hearing about the 15% service charge. I'm actually surprise that after 20 years that the service charge is still 15%. Me and my 2 brothers along with my mother went to a fancy steak restaurant. The bill came out to $180 including the 15% service charge. I picked up the tab and I remember one of my brothers wanting me to leave a little more since he read about the tip being distributed among everybody including the owner. I refused to leave more and in those days we typically did not tip more than 15% in the US.

    It doesn't seem fair that the owner gets a cut of the 15% tip. However, we are not aware what salary, benefits the waiter is receiving. In the US I believe they typically get minimum wage plus tips.

    Who knows maybe in aruba the salary is a lot higher for a waiter so the owner feels he should get a cut of the tip?

    Personally, I never tip less than 20% in the US because I know they work very hard for their money. I usually tip 25% for exceptional service which these days is rare. However, if they give very lousy service or are rude, I would not hesitate to give them the 15% or 10% for that matter.
    Wait staff in most states in the U S are not protected by minimum wage laws. Federal minimum wage laws exclude wait staff from coverage. My state does not have a state minimum wage law so wait staff has no recourse. I know some states do have their own mimimum wage laws, but I dont know if they cover wait staff or not. They are paid as little as $1.90 per hour. They are supposed to make it up with tips. The federal government allows and condones this practice. The idea is that they end up making more than minimum wage when you count the tips.

  6. #16
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    Is there a list anywhere of establishments that do not include a mandatory gratuity? I prefer to tip waitstaff directly.

  7. #17
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    rachel you'd probably have to check their websites and menus.

    madame jannette does not charge a service charge
    Quote Originally Posted by rachelg8 View Post
    Is there a list anywhere of establishments that do not include a mandatory gratuity? I prefer to tip waitstaff directly.

  8. #18
    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    was just at a restaurant here in the states and was surprised when the waitress told me she had to pay a percentage of her tips to the dishboy, bartender,busboy and one or two others (do not remember who they are exactly)......I asked her if the bartender had to put his tips in for the waitresses and she said no......only the wait staff.....I was surprised because I thought all the regular staff was paid minimun wage and so would not have to depend on tips like the wait staff that only gets a "waiter wage" and so does depend on tips....She said the restaurant pays a certain restaurant/waiter type wage and so can make them give a percentage of their tips to the rest of the staff......
    Long story short....Aruba is not the only place that does this sort of thing, it just looks worse because it is published on the menu or on the check.........I think it is worse that we do not know that waiters have to share their tips with others.........I wonder now if they are even the only ones that charge a "breakage fee" for plates/glasses that get broken ?????
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  9. #19
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danadog56 View Post
    was just at a restaurant here in the states and was surprised when the waitress told me she had to pay a percentage of her tips to the dishboy, bartender,busboy and one or two others (do not remember who they are exactly)......I asked her if the bartender had to put his tips in for the waitresses and she said no......only the wait staff.....I was surprised because I thought all the regular staff was paid minimum wage and so would not have to depend on tips like the wait staff that only gets a "waiter wage" and so does depend on tips....She said the restaurant pays a certain restaurant/waiter type wage and so can make them give a percentage of their tips to the rest of the staff......
    This has been a long standing practice in many restaurants. When I worked in restaurants through high school and college, first as a bus person, then a waitress, bus people received 10 - 15% of the waitress/waiter's gratuities, bartenders received 10%. I could never fault it. The waiter/waitress were receiving the tip off the entire total of the bill for dinner which included the drinks the bartender mixed for us. Bus people were the ones who set and cleared tables AND did the HEAVY lifting of carrying everything into the kitchen. I ALWAYS earned much, much more than the minimum wage.

    None of the restaurants which I worked in were obligated to share their tips with kitchen staff. My niece right now is working as a kitchen expediter in a large International chain restaurant and receives a cut from the waiters/waitresses since she is "considered" part of the "service" staff.

    All tipped employees receive a "minimum wage for tipped employees" which IS less than customary "minimum wage". Laws vary by state as to specific amounts.

    Bringing the subject back to Aruba, I personally look at the "mandatory" 15% service charge in Aruba as a CULTURAL issue. Their island, their culture, so I will abide by their wishes. I won't be allowed into the Vatican Museum or Sistine Chapel wearing a pair of shorts because that is their "culture", Aruba's "culture" is for the most part, adding a 15% service charge on restaurant bills.

  10. #20
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    usually a portion of the tips go to the bartenders because they are making drinks not only for the bar they are tending but for the wait staff ordering drinks for the tables. when I bartended, I never took the tips from the wait staff because I made enough tips from the bar itself but that is a normal practice. and it helps because if a bartender is busy with their own bar, they will make the wait staff wait for drinks until they take care of their own customers. so it does make sense to share with the bartender. not all bartenders took the cut though, at least not where I worked. but that is a common practice here in the states. not to give to the owner but to the bus boys, etc.

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