Read the below (snagged via Madeline Ashby on twitter), then re-read my notes about the Tipless Restaurant. I got a lot of angry ‘tipping creates a direct incentive for better service nyar nyar’ emails/twitters when I last posted about this.
This shit still don’t make sense, man:
“Many restaurants allot payout via a points system, in which tips are pooled, then distributed at the end of the night. Think that the extra amount you’re penciling in goes into the pocket of helpful waitress Lauren or bartender Steve? Well, not quite.
*And here, we are talking about New York City; practices vary across this nation of ours.
Here’s An Example
Head down the math road with me for just a mo’.
Let’s take a medium-sized Manhattan establishment, a restaurant with a decent-sized bar. Say there are 2 bartenders, 6 servers, 2 bussers and 2 runners. And let’s say, in this establishment, that the servers and bartenders get 10 points and everyone else gets 5. (There should probably be more staff and the runners might make more than the bussers, but I needed an example with nice round numbers, ‘kay?)
That’s 8 ten-pointers (2 bartenders, 6 servers) and 4 five-pointers (2 bussers, 2 runners), making for 100 points in total (8×10 + 4×5). Let’s say the restaurant took in $3,000 in tips last night. Under this system, each ‘point’ is worth $30 ($3000 total intake/100 total points). Thus, the bartenders and servers get $300 each. The other folks, $150. Not too bad.
Now let’s say your server was terrible. Totally distant and indifferent, mixed up orders, left you alone for long periods of time, spilled something on your date and didn’t apologize, screwed up the check. First of all: you might want to mention something to the manager, rather than just take it out in a tip. But it’s an understandable impulse to tip less. Let’s say your dinner was $100. You’d usually tip $20; tonight, you tip $5. That’ll show him!”