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yet another thread on tipping in the diner


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#81 Lonestar648

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:46 AM

When we were out eating a mid-day late lunch, slow time, I asked our server if they were willing to tell me how the establishment handled tipping, explaining I was involved in a discussion.  He was extremely nice and cooperated (extra special tip for him).  He said that they were guaranteed a minimum of $10.00 per hour (pay plus tips) when the traffic fell off during very slow days. If you fell below $10 per hour during normal traffic times, he said the person was warned, then terminated.  When he worked nights, because the meal was formal, unlike lunch, he gave a percent of his tips to the helper who ran food, filled water, and cleared tables if he had big groups.  Whenever he worked, the policy was to give the cooks 10% of the tips received.   He liked the Holiday season, because he could also get extra hours due to their party room always filled.  Holiday time was his big money maker so his wife always put into savings about 50% for the slow months.  This was a large nationwide chain Italian restaurant, 

 

This lead me to wondering, do the Amtrak servers share a portion of their tips with the cook(s), DC Steward? or do they keep 100% for themselves.  Are the cooks compensated hourly to be on similar level as the Servers?  So how does an SCA who is switched to Coach due to a shortage, get compensated?  Are the DC staff strictly DC or do they also work other positions on OBS?  If so, how is the tipping variance handled as far as the pay?  Lots of opportunities for inequity it seems, though seniority probably evens this out.



#82 OBS

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 12:45 PM

When we were out eating a mid-day late lunch, slow time, I asked our server if they were willing to tell me how the establishment handled tipping, explaining I was involved in a discussion.  He was extremely nice and cooperated (extra special tip for him).  He said that they were guaranteed a minimum of $10.00 per hour (pay plus tips) when the traffic fell off during very slow days. If you fell below $10 per hour during normal traffic times, he said the person was warned, then terminated.  When he worked nights, because the meal was formal, unlike lunch, he gave a percent of his tips to the helper who ran food, filled water, and cleared tables if he had big groups.  Whenever he worked, the policy was to give the cooks 10% of the tips received.   He liked the Holiday season, because he could also get extra hours due to their party room always filled.  Holiday time was his big money maker so his wife always put into savings about 50% for the slow months.  This was a large nationwide chain Italian restaurant, 

 

This lead me to wondering, do the Amtrak servers share a portion of their tips with the cook(s), DC Steward? or do they keep 100% for themselves.  Are the cooks compensated hourly to be on similar level as the Servers?  So how does an SCA who is switched to Coach due to a shortage, get compensated?  Are the DC staff strictly DC or do they also work other positions on OBS?  If so, how is the tipping variance handled as far as the pay?  Lots of opportunities for inequity it seems, though seniority probably evens this out.

To answer some of your questions, Sca, Ca, and DC servers are all at same rate of pay. Chefs are at slightly higher level, maybe $1 p/hr more. Most dining car attendants share with the chef, especially if they work together regularly. A few share with the Steward, although in some cases, the Steward will wait on a few tables of their own for the extra income and then usually not on receiving end of more from other servers.  When there is more than one waiter in DC, if one tips chef regularly and other doesn't, it is "amazing" how much smoother the kitchen runs for one waiter vs the other...LOL



#83 Cho Cho Charlie

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:22 PM

I hear you Cirdan, but the dining car meals aren't free, they are priced into the sleeper accommodation price. But even if you consider them to be "free", you should still tip as if they weren't.  Say you take your girl out for a couple glasses of wine. $8 each and you both have two and are ready to roll out but the waitress comps a couple glasses so that you can try this great Chilean white. You should tip like you paid for 6 glasses, not 4. So your math with regards to the tip isn't 20% of $32 for $6.50 tip, it is 20% of $48 for a $9.60 tip even though the bill is for $32 and tax. You don't pay for the comp'ed glasses but you do tip for them. I guarantee that you will get a lot more comp'ed glasses of wine if you follow this rule, and you will feel better about the waitress and she remembers the thought.

Same thing if a waiter comps your wife's entre for her Birthday, you tip as if the entre was still in the bill since the server comp'ed it and did all the work associated with bringing it to the table.


Actually, I tip more generously if the server "comps" me something. If the server "comps" me two $8 glasses of wine, I would probably add $6 or $8 to the tip. They way I look at it, I am still getting a great bargain.

BTW, somewhat related to this, is that when I use a coupon (hay, I am almost a senior citizen, and we're required to use coupons when dinning out :D ), I always tip on the pre-coupon total. That's because the coupon is issued by the owner, not the server.


Edited by jebr, 12 December 2017 - 03:24 PM.
corrected underline tags

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