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Bartender Question

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posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


The servers incentives are:

- upsell sides, salads, and beverages. All three push receipts.
- take an approach of "surprise and delight" with customer service. If you only yiled 15% tips, you are doing something wrong. The old standard was 15%. Now it is 20%. In my shop, those who yield below 20% could see a reduction in hours, as we put service at a high standard.
- Servers still keep food sales. He said it is a high end restaraunt, not chili's. The food sales should be significant. That is the purpose of the establishment: to sell high end food. If a server runs 1500 in receipts, you would likely expect that 900 will be food sales, and the balance beverage.


While I run a 4 star establishment, there are 5 star places in the company. Those servers are making 2-3k take home every two weeks.




posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Yes and people will tip on the total bill which is why a server would upsell. Parties of 6 or more have an automatic gratuitity of 18% but even so, with good service I don't see why anyone wouldn't tip.

The average dinner bill, without alchohol, should run about 100-150 per person at this establishment so add in alcohol and it hopefully goes to 250-300 per person depending on how well the server upsells. A great beginning drink, a bottle of wine for dinner, and an aperitif and that is easily possible.

This is my dilemna, considering my bar is basically doubling the guest check amount I am struggling with how much I should be paid for that service.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by windword
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.


while most of what you say is not wrong, it is based on a lot of assumptions. For example, what if the market is smaller, and there just isn't the breadth of experience? Wine is not something that comes overnight to people, and often isn't easily learned.

My place is like that. We literally had to train servers how to properly polish a glass and fork.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by Hopechest
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Yes and people will tip on the total bill which is why a server would upsell. Parties of 6 or more have an automatic gratuitity of 18% but even so, with good service I don't see why anyone wouldn't tip.

The average dinner bill, without alchohol, should run about 100-150 per person at this establishment so add in alcohol and it hopefully goes to 250-300 per person depending on how well the server upsells. A great beginning drink, a bottle of wine for dinner, and an aperitif and that is easily possible.

This is my dilemna, considering my bar is basically doubling the guest check amount I am struggling with how much I should be paid for that service.


If you are acting in the role of sommalier, AND you are not bonused on wine sales, then what I am recommending would seem very fair. Your servers should easily bring home about 1200-1800/paycheck, still.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


10 percent is pretty high, and greedy in my opinion. The establishment is not allowed to garner more than 15 percent of a servers tips.




The FLSA states that tip pooling is allowed as long as no employees tips are reduced by more than 15%.


There are others that servers are required to tip out, as well. Taking 10 percent off the top, that's not 10 percent of tips, but 10 percent of sales, where a customer often leaves an average of 12 percent of the bill, leaves the server with a 2 percent tip, on average.

What incentive is there for them to upsell the bar?



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


I am not saying 10% of their tips. I am saying 10% of beverage sales.

We don't tip pool. We told our staff to figure it out themselves, and gave typical guidelines (aforementioned by me). If you don't want to play with the team the team tends to run you off.

If the person we are talking to writing site policy? Or just charged with the leadership? Therein lies your difference. If they don't represent the establishment, then there is no required tip pooling going on. It is a common sense tip out program.

5-10% of 600 in beverage sales is still a decent amount to add in to a nights work. If an employee doesn't see the value in that, then they need to move on to a non sales position.
edit on 12-5-2013 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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I have a valid question. If, as you claim to be hired as the new lead bartender. One would assume you've held such a position at a high end establishment before. Shouldn't you already know the protocol on bar/staff tipping?

The other thing I want to add...your attitude will need some slight adjustments in order to get along with your staff. Going in with the, I know more than you mind set...well..it's not the best one for your staff wanting to be generous in tipping you.. jmoho...


In the way past, I was wait staff at a high end place. Some nights I would pull in 4 to 5 hundred dollars in tips. If my bartender was on her/his toes, they did get a large above and beyond bonus from me, because they were so in tune with my needs during hectic times.

Des






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



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


Servers only need to tip out their bussers and the bartender. Looking at the overall picture of a dinner for two that a server handles we will probably see a check of 400.00.

Considering almost half of that should be bar related items and their tip would be...oh say....60.00.....how much of that should I be entitled to.

Now keep in mind, if I pour a crappy drink or take too long making it.....if the martini does not have ice crystals floating on top......their tip goes down.

I am a major part of the guests wonderful experience, hopefully. I'm not just throwing diet sodas up in the window you know.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by Destinyone
I have a valid question. If, as you claim to be hired as the new lead bartender. One would assume you've help such a position at a high end establishment before. Shouldn't you already know the protocol on bar/staff tipping?

The other thing I want to add...your attitude will need some slight adjustments in order to get along with your staff. Going in with the, I know more than you mind set...well..it's not the best one. jmoho...

Des


Yes I've held the position before but the problem is that is was awhile ago and I really don't remember how they did it.

All I remember is that there was a procedure in place, I didn't open that one, and the managers would collect the tips from the servers and put them in an envelope for me which I collected at the end of the night. I don't think I ever knew what the tip-out procedure there was.

I never asked.

And just to address your other point, yes I am the lead bartender with fine dining experience and these other people do not have it. I am the one they will look to as a leader and its my job to help ensure that the restaurant runs as smooth as possible.
edit on 12-5-2013 by Hopechest because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


10 percent of their tips would be a fairer tipping system. 10 percent of sales is often more than 50 percent of their tip!

Bar tab tips are notoriously lower than 20 percent.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 





Servers only need to tip out their bussers and the bartender. Looking at the overall picture of a dinner for two that a server handles we will probably see a check of 400.00.


Considering the prices, a dinner for two at $400, one would think that this restaurant would hire qualified and experienced servers.


EDIT:



Servers only need to tip out their bussers and the bartender. Looking at the overall picture of a dinner for two that a server handles we will probably see a check of 400.00. Considering almost half of that should be bar related items and their tip would be...oh say....60.00.....how much of that should I be entitled to.


Your asking them for 30 percent of their tip! That's too high, in my opinion.
edit on 12-5-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by windword
reply to post by Hopechest
 





Servers only need to tip out their bussers and the bartender. Looking at the overall picture of a dinner for two that a server handles we will probably see a check of 400.00.


Considering the prices, a dinner for two at $400, one would think that this restaurant would hire qualified and experienced servers.


EDIT:



Servers only need to tip out their bussers and the bartender. Looking at the overall picture of a dinner for two that a server handles we will probably see a check of 400.00. Considering almost half of that should be bar related items and their tip would be...oh say....60.00.....how much of that should I be entitled to.


Your asking them for 30 percent of their tip! That's too high, in my opinion.
edit on 12-5-2013 by windword because: (no reason given)


That's why I made this thread.

How about 5% of their bar sales?
edit on 12-5-2013 by Hopechest because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 





while most of what you say is not wrong, it is based on a lot of assumptions. For example, what if the market is smaller, and there just isn't the breadth of experience? Wine is not something that comes overnight to people, and often isn't easily learned.

My place is like that. We literally had to train servers how to properly polish a glass and fork.


I worked as a server for 35 years, in many top notched, professional establishments. My last server position was at a high scale, waterfront restaurant in a high traffic tourist area. After 8 years, I was still the new girl! Lol.

Our required tip out was 2 percent of bar sales to the bar, with a $2 per bottle wine fee and 8 percent of food sales to the busser. Large parties, where a tip was pre-negotiated by management at 18 percent, 2 percent of that went back to "the house".

Restaurants with high turnover, that hire servers that don't know how to polish a fork, and don't understand the wines on the menu, typically don't respect their employees, and are forced to hire those who don't know any better and/or have no experience.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by windword
 



You are not understanding something. Not sure what....

....i am sitting down to eat with my wife. The server comes up, takes my order, then makes a recommended wine pairing. This is the point where they will sell that $110 bottle of Alpha Omega to go with your $90 bone in ribeye. When I get my check, I look at the cost. I then calc the 15-20% tip based on total cost. That is what I tip.

The server now will have the food and beverage costs separted and a 10% "tip out" from the beverage costs will be given to the bartender. They will likely also give a 5% of the food costs to the server assistent/busser.

Bar tabs tip higher than any other tabs. Not sure where you work at....but people who drink always always always tip more. In my place, the servers fight over who will cocktail and who will work the restaurant. Cocktails make a fortune. Of course, they also sell shots of Louis and Glenlevit at $100 a shot (on the half ounce, 175 for a 1 oz shot). The cocktails make money that exceeds my salary, to be honest.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 03:21 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


No need to take jabs at me here. The shop i run opened on New Years Eve. We are in a market that has no other restaurant above 2 stars. Never has been one. we are on the front edge of a huge surge of busness in the area (partially supported by our rather large operations that are rather resort like). Our employee base is about 25,000 people. None of them have ever worked in a place with any real standards of service.

There are reasons for things that go well beyond what you seem to understand. To imply that our communities lack of experience relates to mistreatment of employees amounts to an ad hominem, and decreases the worth of your position greatly.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 06:23 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 




No need to take jabs at me here. The shop i run opened on New Years Eve. We are in a market that has no other restaurant above 2 stars. Never has been one. we are on the front edge of a huge surge of busness in the area (partially supported by our rather large operations that are rather resort like).


And yet you have a clientele that regularly spends their cash on $100 shots?


Our employee base is about 25,000 people. None of them have ever worked in a place with any real standards of service.


That's probably because your corporation has a policy of hiring young college students, who look pretty in their uniforms or are handsome enough to attract the young business women, over more seasoned yet older employees who know their stuff.



You are not understanding something. Not sure what.... ....i am sitting down to eat with my wife. The server comes up, takes my order, then makes a recommended wine pairing. This is the point where they will sell that $110 bottle of Alpha Omega to go with your $90 bone in ribeye. When I get my check, I look at the cost. I then calc the 15-20% tip based on total cost. That is what I tip. The server now will have the food and beverage costs separted and a 10% "tip out" from the beverage costs will be given to the bartender. They will likely also give a 5% of the food costs to the server assistent/busser.


Here's what I understand. The server sells a bottle of wine for $110, orders it, hunts down an ice bucket and ice, polishes the glasses, picks up the bottle of wine from the bar, opens the bottle at the table, with flair, offers a taste then pours, again with flair, lady's first, until everyone has an equal amount of wine. He or she may also bring water.

The customer tips $20. A little over 50% of her tip goes to the bartender. 10 percent of sales equals 50% of a 20% tip, providing the customer tips 20%. If not, the server pays up the anyway.

Seems that the bartender is the one making money hand over fist here, being guaranteed 10 percent of all bar sales of the house in any particular shift, as in 50 percent of all the servers' tips who worked that shift. It should also be noted that he bartender already makes a higher hourly wage.

In my experience that's outrageously high, and I've never worked at a house that required that kind of tip out.



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



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by windword
 



in a restaurant, the bartenders business depends on his food driven customers. Since he isn't getting a cut of the food sales, the tips come out to a fairly even level. Of course, if there is more than one bartender, then you can assign a bartender to a server, or you can split tips between the two bartenders (5% each).

I have never worked a system where a per bottle tip out was done. Not saying it isn't a valid idea. I am just giving input based on how we do things, in other locations as well. On a $110 bottle of wine, $2 seems a little low to me, unless you are moving TONS of wine.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 
It has been a while, but I've worked as both a server and as a bartender in a few upscale restaurants. During my time it was customary for servers to tip 5% to the bartender unless a party ordered an extraordinary amount of drinks in which case the server would split the tip for that particular party- after the busser's 10% cut. Things may have changed a bit since then but I don't know for certain.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by windword
 



I should also point out that your questioning what I am saying is morose. I am in West Texas. Full of 20 somethings earning 35 an hour on a drilling rig, working 60 hour weeks. Yeah, they have flash cash.

My corporation has no policies outside of the generic handbook, which I helped write. We are treated as independant entrepreneurs at each location, with each of us as officers of the corporation we operate (and each location being its own LLC).

Now, no more about these kinds of details. Quit making presumptions. I am happy to talk with you. But this isn't a contest. You won't prove me wrong, as there is nothing to prove.



posted on May, 12 2013 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


There is no right or wrong. We are discussing whats fair. What you think is fair is not necessarily "right," even if you have 500 bartenders that say that it is!

10% of sales is way high for a server to tip a bartender in industry standards, and if that's your policy, you're taking advantage of your servers. Prices may rise but the amount of work and tipping percentages stays the same.

I have never before heard of a group being paid higher wages due to lack of availability of revenue! Defending your bartender's high tipping percentage because they don't have access to the food side of restaurant in a lame excuse. Why don't you defend you bussers with such enthusiasm? They don't have access to bar revenue. (Don't answer that, it's rhetorical)

I would bet that 75% of your service staff is under 30, who don't know any better. In this economy, I highly doubt that if you put out the call, you would find no experienced, seasoned servers among the throngs of unemployed college students.

The restaurant industry is a blatant age discriminator. That's why your servers have to be taught how to polish a fork.



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




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