reply to post by unicorn1
Yes, it's true. I have worked as a server in restaurants in the past, and you (or usually the restaurant manager) have to keep a record of your
sales and pay income tax on the estimated tips, even if you don't get any. And yes, it does leave a deficit. This was instituted during the Reagan
administration, which wouldn't raise taxes on the rich and so got more revenues from low-wage workers like us.
Also, Grady Philpott is right. Often large parties take all of a waiter's time and attention for an hour or more, and then don't tip. The waiter
essentially works for free for those two hours.
Because I have been a server and know what it's like, I tend to tip well, unless the service is really awful, and that's rare.
Often service is slow because the restaurant is very busy and they don't put enough waiters on the floor to get to everyone in a timely fashion or to
check back frequently on the tables. This is to save money on waiter's salaries. Of course, on busy nights the servers get stiffed a lot, but what
does the management care?
Another thing a waiter is penalized for is if the kitchen doesn't cook the food right, or if they are very slow in getting out the order. Customers
don't care what the reason is, if the food doesn't come out right or if the service is too slow the wait staff pay.
For these reasons, I usually put down a good tip, even if I see my waiter running around desperately trying to serve everybody and falling behind.
Former servers are usually good tippers.
Finally, I see the mandatory service charge for large parties as fair. It's a service CHARGE, not a voluntary matter. Almost all other businesses
charge for service. In fact, such a service charge could well be added to all checks. Customers could elect to pay a tip in addition if they really
liked the service.
If the customers in question were really served poorly, then I think they should have the right to dispute the service charge, though. Again, many
other businesses would agree to waive it if the customer had a legitimate grievance.
[edit on 24-11-2009 by Sestias]