Bartender Question

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posted on May, 12 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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I recently got hired as the main bartender in a new restaurant, fairly high scale, and they are leaving the tip-out procedure up to me to decide.

I need to figure out how much the servers need to tip me out at the end of the night basically.

I have a few options I've seen before such as a percentage of their total sales, a higher percentage of their bar sales or simply leaving it up to them.

Usually the standards are in place wherever I work so I don't need to worry about it but now that it's up to me I want to make sure I'm being fair but also not cutting myself out of money.

I imagine liquor sales at this establishment will be very high as its a lot of high level wine and martinin drinks.

Anyone with more experience than I who could offer some input here would be fabulous!

Thanks!




posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:01 AM
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I would consult with any other owners you know in the area that you can trust to discuss such matters. Find a nice average of the surrounding area and work from there. Or, go ask a few bartenders. Good luck with your new venture!



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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I'm leaning towards 5 or 10% of bar sales.

If they have 500 dollars in liquor sales I figure that would be a fair rate since I am producing the product. Yes they sell it and present it but I do the creation of it.

However, since the majority of our sales will probably be wine, all I do is pull the bottle for them so that rate may be a bit high.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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I need a white russian right now make it a double.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:18 AM
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It can be anywhere from ten to twenty percent of the take or the same percentage of the individual customers bar spend. So if your getting around fifteen percent you are doing ok. Mines a Vodka Martini shaken not stirred.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by Hopechest
I'm leaning towards 5 or 10% of bar sales.

If they have 500 dollars in liquor sales I figure that would be a fair rate since I am producing the product. Yes they sell it and present it but I do the creation of it.

However, since the majority of our sales will probably be wine, all I do is pull the bottle for them so that rate may be a bit high.



5 or 10 percent of bar sales!? That's outrageous!

Nope! 2 percent of bar sales and a per wine bottle fee, maybe $2.

Will you have your own customers too, bar stools or tables?

edit on 12-5-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 


In the position of lead bartender, you set the tone and mood for the staff Their rate of reciprocation will be equal to your rate of service to them. Though you may make, pour the drinks. They are the ones who hustle about taking and delivering the orders. It's also their personality, that many times will establish how generous a patron will be in tipping.

Make nice with the staff at your new job, let them know you appreciate them right from the start. Don't come off as being the tip nazi from the get-go. If you establish a good working relationship with them, helping them to get those orders out in a timely fashion...they will show you they appreciate you in tipping. Nothing the staff hates more than the new kid on the block demanding X amount of dollars from them at the end of each shift.


Des


edit on 12-5-2013 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:39 AM
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Lol

I'll never understand tips.

Sounds crazy... 10% of something... on top of the wage.

What a funny ol' world..



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 


10% to the bartender, 5% to the barbacks. Based on beverage sales, not total sales.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by Hopechest
I'm leaning towards 5 or 10% of bar sales.

If they have 500 dollars in liquor sales I figure that would be a fair rate since I am producing the product. Yes they sell it and present it but I do the creation of it.

However, since the majority of our sales will probably be wine, all I do is pull the bottle for them so that rate may be a bit high.



RE: your wine program...is it a wine by the glass, a wine by the bottle, or both?

My view on your above statement is this: keep it at a 10% of beverage sales. What should then happen is that the servers begin pushing higher cost sales. If there is a wine by the glass program, i would encourage you to have a multi tiered pricing structure to allow for higher end glass sales. Pricing is a cinch (a glass pays for the bottle), and you could set up 2 or 3 tiers of product pricing. If you want to be devious, popular wines (like the cab and pinot noir) can be only sold in the higher tier in the by the glass program to ensure greater upsells.

At the end of the day the goal is to drive revenue, right? Design the system to help reach that goal. Servers aren't stupid. They can do math. And the ones who want to make money will see the strategy in upselling.


ETA: does your place have a Sommalier? If so, get them involved in the upselling strategy. I am sure they bonus based on wine sales, so they have skin in the game too.
edit on 12-5-2013 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by windword

Originally posted by Hopechest
I'm leaning towards 5 or 10% of bar sales.

If they have 500 dollars in liquor sales I figure that would be a fair rate since I am producing the product. Yes they sell it and present it but I do the creation of it.

However, since the majority of our sales will probably be wine, all I do is pull the bottle for them so that rate may be a bit high.



5 or 10 percent of bar sales!? That's outrageous!

Nope! 2 percent of bar sales and a per wine bottle fee, maybe $2.

Will you have your own customers too, bar stools or tables?

edit on 12-5-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)


Bar stools but not tables.

They are allowed to eat at the bar but I highly doubt that will happen as its a reservation only establishment and very expensive so people do not come in to sit at the bar.

I do like your per bottle fee however since it doesn't require a lot of work from myself however my wine knowledge far exceeds any of the servers so I'm sure I will be helping them sell good wines and they will ask a lot of questions of me.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Can you clarify that please? Do you mean that the server should tip out 10 percent of their beverage sales to the bartender and then an additional 5 percent to the bar back, or that the servers should tip 10 percent to the bar and the bar tips the bar back from that?

Does the bar pour the sodas too, or is soda and icetea the responsibility of the server, including refills?

Even at 10 percent, do you think it fair that the server should walk with 5 percent in their pocket, eve less if they have to tip a busser, usually from the overall sales and usually a higher percentage that the bar receives?

What incentive does a server have to upsell bar drinks if it cost them money every time they make a sale and have no guarantee of being tipped themselves?


edit on 12-5-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:50 AM
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So wrong.

If the people are at the bar, then those tips should be yours but if the people are a table and a waitress is taking care of them, then those tips should be theirs.

Period.

Greedy would we live in.
edit on 12-5-2013 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by windword
 


Yes we pour the sodas also and the bartenders tip out the barbacks, the servers do not.

The servers only deliver coffee and water service on their end any other beverage is bar produced.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 


Why do you assume your wine knowledge is far superior to any of the staff. They have been working there long before you. You just started, you don't even know your staff yet.....


Des



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by Destinyone
reply to post by Hopechest
 


Why do you assume your wine knowledge is far superior to any of the staff. They have been working there long before you. You just started, you don't even know your staff yet.....


Des


The restaurant is not open yet and I've been sitting through training with them.

Trust me, I know quite a bit more than they do.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 





I do like your per bottle fee however since it doesn't require a lot of work from myself however my wine knowledge far exceeds any of the servers so I'm sure I will be helping them sell good wines and they will ask a lot of questions of me.


You said that this was a "fairly high scale" restaurant. Am I to believe that they hire servers that don't know their wine, or don't train them about the wine that the restaurant offers?

How awkward! The server recommends a a nice appetizer, a lovely grilled sea bass and filet mignon, but has to excuse themselves from the table to seek your help when a customer asks for a wine recommendation?

Also, having bar stools is better than bar tables. They are more "turn and burn" more social and if there's long wait often order appetizers at the bar. Bar stool also give you chance to get to know and smooze your customers, leaving you with the opportunity to get a tip even when the bar bill and appetizers are transferred to the server, obligating them to tip you on that, too.


edit on 12-5-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by Hopechest
 





I do like your per bottle fee however since it doesn't require a lot of work from myself however my wine knowledge far exceeds any of the servers so I'm sure I will be helping them sell good wines and they will ask a lot of questions of me.


You said that this was a "fairly high scale" restaurant. Am I to believe that they hire servers that don't know their wine, or don't train them about the wine that the restaurant offers? filet mignon

How awkward! The server recommends a a nice appetizer, a lovely grilled sea bass and filet mignon, but has to excuse themselves from the table to seek your help when a customer asks for a wine recommendation?

Also, having bar stools is better than bar tables. They are more "turn and burn" more social and if there's long wait often order appetizers at the bar. Bar stool also give you chance to get to know and smooze your customers, leaving you with the opportunity to get a tip even when the bar bill and appetizers are transferred to the server, obligating them to tip you on that, too.


They are being trained on the wine as we speak.....I'm watching their training right now as a matter of fact. However, I've worked in establishments with high wine menus so have more experience at it. They will be fine but the first few weeks they will still be learning. You never will know everything there is to know about wine. lol

They will be able to offer wines with certain dishes after training but when a guest asks them a question they may not know they will come to me. We have over 300 wines on our menu, some very expensive, so a guest may want more information before they drop 500 bucks for a bottle....that's where I would come in.

I may have to go discuss the wine with the guest before they purchase.....its one of the reasons I was hired for this job. Because of bar knowledge not just to sling drinks.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Can you clarify that please? Do you mean that the server should tip out 10 percent of their beverage sales to the bartender and then an additional 5 percent to the bar back, or that the servers should tip 10 percent to the bar and the bar tips the bar back from that?

Does the bar pour the sodas too, or is soda and icetea the responsibility of the server, including refills?

Even at 10 percent, do you think it fair that the server should walk with 5 percent in their pocket, eve less if they have to tip a busser, usually from the overall sales and usually a higher percentage that the bar receives?

What incentive does a server have to upsell bar drinks if it cost them money every time they make a sale and have no guarantee of being tipped themselves?


edit on 12-5-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)


Yes, to clarify.....the server is 10% of beverage sales to the bartender. The bartender is 5% of all their tips to the barback.


"Beverage" in the hospitality industry (and as stated in the 10th edition uniform code) refers to alcoholic beverages, not soda and tea (unless you put booze in it, which makes it a mixer). All other items are food (coffee, tea, milk, water, etc).



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 


In that case, shouldn't the restaurant that hired be paying you for that knowledge? Your knowledge shouldn't be a burden from the server's pocket.

They have no guarantee of receiving a tip at all, especially if they're as inexperienced as you say, but you are guaranteed a portion of their sales, from their pocket! Keep it affordable and reasonable, otherwise, they won't go to you and your bar sales will drop, if it costs them too much money.





 
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