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  1. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Vu View Post
    You're a better person for paying attention to those things, which reminds me. Where is your liquor store again?
    I don't have one, maybe you're thinking of jerry? Unless you're just talking about the one I patronize, which is Modern Liquor on about NW 30th/Penn.

  2. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Curious, were menu prices more inflated there? One of the arguments of restaurant operators here is that the labor cost would increase menu prices by 30-50%. I don't think tips should go away, but I shouldn't be directly paying the salary of someone's worker. If you require your employee to wear your uniform, represent your brand, and sell/upsell your items - you should be paying their wage. If they go above and beyond, by all means leave a few extra bucks.
    No, in fact I thought for the most part they were a bit cheaper. They also have a menu concept which gives you a 2-3 course meal with a few choices for a set price anywhere from 10-25 euros., sometimes including wine. Also wine is a lot less expensive there. There are also lots of tapas bars there where you get a free appetizer when buying a drink.

  3. #53

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Sort of off topic, but I would hate to be a waiter in a largest foreign destination city. My sister worked in NYC for a while and tipping from foreign visitors could be terrible, since they didn't know US customs.

  4. #54

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    Sort of off topic, but I would hate to be a waiter in a largest foreign destination city. My sister worked in NYC for a while and tipping from foreign visitors could be terrible, since they didn't know US customs.
    Or maybe they're from cultures where tips are not expected

  5. #55

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    Sort of off topic, but I would hate to be a waiter in a largest foreign destination city. My sister worked in NYC for a while and tipping from foreign visitors could be terrible, since they didn't know US customs.
    Lol, oh they know they just don’t do it. It’s also strange when I go to Europe and since I’m American, servers half expect a tip. It is getting common in France to tip. Like in a cafe environment when you stop in for a mid afternoon beer and a tarte flambee to leave some a euro. Or a all night 8 course to leave a €20. More of a guest ire than an obligation.

  6. #56

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by skwillz View Post
    Or maybe they're from cultures where tips are not expected
    That's what I meant. It wasn't an attack on the tourists btw. If anything, high tourist.destinations are the perfect places to impliment "no tipping please" policies and pay wait staff better. Although when I waited tables I averaged about $20 an hour. So wouldn't have wanted a pay cut.

  7. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    ^^^^^^^^^
    I hate to get into the tipping discussion again, but that’s the whole thing that people outside the service industry don’t understand when advocating for tipping to go away. Most restaurants would not be able to pay servers even, say, $15/hr without significantly raising prices. And it would still be a giant pay cut for most decent servers. It would be a little over $30K/yr. I know servers who make over $70K/yr. You think we have a shortage of good servers now...wait until you give the best ones a $40K haircut and double or triple menu prices everywhere.

  8. #58

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Back to the matter at hand, service in general.

    I have to agree, generally, service everywhere has declined. Servers are downright inattentive most of the time, management seems to not care one way or another. Worse, I don't think most management teams even know how to provide or train their staff to provide good service.

    Most of the time I have to struggle just to get a tea glass refilled. The idea of returning to a table a second or third time to check on customers seems totally lost.

  9. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    ^^^^^^^^^
    I hate to get into the tipping discussion again, but that’s the whole thing that people outside the service industry don’t understand when advocating for tipping to go away. Most restaurants would not be able to pay servers even, say, $15/hr without significantly raising prices. And it would still be a giant pay cut for most decent servers. It would be a little over $30K/yr. I know servers who make over $70K/yr. You think we have a shortage of good servers now...wait until you give the best ones a $40K haircut and double or triple menu prices everywhere.
    If you take the total of your bill and add a tip, then the menu prices are already essentially raised by 20%. So, would raising prices by 20-25% cover this? Would patrons be willing to simply pay this increase and not worry about tipping?

    Personally, I prefer a lower menu price with the option to tip based on the quality of the service.

    I guess there are may be a handful of servers in this market that make $70k a year, but that would be extremely rare (that's $33.65/hr with consistently 40 hours a week).

  10. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Well, for one thing raising the menu prices 25% would actually mean the customer would actually increase the tab by a bit over 27%, as sales tax would now be included in the gratuity portion. I think there would be a point where increasing prices would cause some customers to not dine out as much or at all, which would ultimately be borne by the server in the form of fewer hours.

    Regarding people making $70K/year, there definitely are some, and a handful who make even more. But there are many, MANY people who earn in the $40K-$50K range (or at that proportional, if adjusted for not working a 40 hour work week. And I simply don't think a ton of restaurants could survive with those types of hourly rates, I think hours would be more difficult to come by as cutting staff would be WAY more aggressive, which would lead to customer dissatisfaction with under-staffing, and of course people earning below their potential would be less motivated as servers or would abandon the industry. I really do believe (and this is from the perspective of someone who HAS worked for tips, not the perspective of management) that it would make things worse from the standpoint of PROFESSIONAL servers (as opposed to clock punchers).

  11. #61

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    If you take the total of your bill and add a tip, then the menu prices are already essentially raised by 20%. So, would raising prices by 20-25% cover this? Would patrons be willing to simply pay this increase and not worry about tipping?

    Personally, I prefer a lower menu price with the option to tip based on the quality of the service.

    I guess there are may be a handful of servers in this market that make $70k a year, but that would be extremely rare (that's $33.65/hr with consistently 40 hours a week).
    I think a 10% increase would be barely noticeable to most people and would enable most restaurants to pay a decently hourly wage. I mean, if you figure that the average (which I think this is low but) bill is $30, and a waiter averages a couple of turns an hour during thier shift, then that would give them another $6 an hour to pay thier servers. People could still tip if they choose so, but at least you wouldn't have people making $2.35 and hour and having thier livelihood dependent on the whim of a customer and the performance of the kitchen and bar.

    Plus, it might fix service issues. If I was a local place that advertised $9 minimum wages plus tips, I bet I could steal all the best service staff in town.

  12. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I think there is a huge disconnect with how much the best servers in town make. It ain’t $9. In fact, that’s probably about how much the worst servers at Waffle House probably make, on average.

  13. #63

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I think the huge disconnect might be the 'with tips'. Truth be told I haven't been to one in years, but I don't really imagine Waffle House's guaranteed base salary for servers is $9/hr.

  14. #64

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    I think there is a huge disconnect with how much the best servers in town make. It ain’t $9. In fact, that’s probably about how much the worst servers at Waffle House probably make, on average.
    I agree it's more. But it would be a nice base, especially if they get tips on top of it.

    I do know carhops at Sonic who get a lot less sometimes though.

  15. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by stile99 View Post
    I think the huge disconnect might be the 'with tips'. Truth be told I haven't been to one in years, but I don't really imagine Waffle House's guaranteed base salary for servers is $9/hr.
    No, what I am saying is that with tips, Iím sure most Waffle House servers average over $9.00/hr. The national average income for servers receiving tips is around $12.00/hr.

    If you increased menu prices and bumped servers to $9.00/hr base, customers would be aware of it and many would use that as an excuse to not tip at all (more than those who already stiff servers). Iím 100% convinced doing it halfway like that would DEFINITELY be a pay cut for servers. Also, as mentioned before, restaurants would cut staff way more aggressively and customers would see unintended consequences related to understaffing.

    The only way I could see it working is if servers were paid a complete living wage from the restaurant and more or less eliminated tipping altogether, but this would dramatically cut hours, cut the available labor pool (students need not apply) and I think most restaurants would probably need to at least double the ticket prices (labor per hour would be at least quadrupled, but probably more like quintupled or more).

    The current system works very well for servers who approach it like a profession.

    By the way, the current system does not preclude restaurants from playing servers and bartenders a better wage than the server minimum, and many higher end places do just that. Especially for their veteran servers and bartenders.

  16. #66

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    How many tax dollars are not being collected because of the tipping culture? I'm assuming majority of servers don't accurately report tips.

  17. #67

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    No, what I am saying is that with tips, I’m sure most Waffle House servers average over $9.00/hr.
    My bad, I had misunderstood your post to be replying to Jerry's suggestion of $9 base pay, with tips on top of that.

  18. #68

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Funny someone mentioned sonic and tipping. I worked at one when I was 16. The boys had to work the back and the pretty girls got to car hop. The not so pretty girls took orders from the soundboard and made drinks. It used to make me sick that I worked over the hot grill, made the food, packaged and bagged the food to order. The not so pretty girls organized and placed the drinks. And the pretty girls simply roller skated the food & drinks to the cars and took juicy tips from dirty old men on their way home from work. The car hops sometimes made $100 a day while earning the same $4.25/hr as the rest of us.

  19. #69

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I like it when a bunch of people who have never run a business tell business’ how it should be

  20. #70

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradh View Post
    How many tax dollars are not being collected because of the tipping culture? I'm assuming majority of servers don't accurately report tips.
    I'd insist that's an accurate assessment. With credit card tips it's easier to track. Whether or not they report it is another thing.

  21. #71

    Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Most servers claim their credit card tips at a minimum, and that generally makes up a >70% share of your tips. Whether or not the claim the cash depends on a variety of factors - but remember - if you don't claim it, you can't use it to do something like purchase a home.

    Your average server in this city probably clears around $12/hour with all their compensation - and since they probably don't claim it all their taxes are a little lower.

    Your average server at a place with a $30/person check average clears probably closer to $20/hr and for every $20 you increase the per person check average you probably increase the average hourly by $5.

    The thing about serving that is a huge draw is that is extremely flexible - in an environment where an employer is paying $2.13/hr to its employee, the employer can fudge a little more on how the restaurant is staffed - but if you have to start paying these servers $15/hr then perhaps you don't let Jeff pick that shift up from Rachel because you can't afford to let Rachel off in favor of the weaker Jeff. At least right now - if Jeff screws up, while the business takes a certain hit, it doesn't take the same immediate hit that they would be taking if they were paying Jeff $15/hr.

    If we leave the tip-based model in favor of a wage based model that's fine I guess - I just hope that the country is ready to kiss 45-minute sit down dinners good bye. You'll only rarely get out of a full service restaurant in under an hour - and the average dinner will probably run about 20 minutes longer.

  22. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    I know this thread has been about the restaurant industry - but the title seems to invite a broader scope - I personally see more laxed or outright terrible service within the retail market, as opposed to when going out to eat. Trying to find someone to ask where something is or if they have more in the back at Walmart is near impossible. You used to could walk into a place like a Radio Shack and find extremely knowable staff to pick their brain. I find most retail employees simply don't give a sh*t and maybe that's because there is no incentive like a tip. Or, is it because of the extremely low wages? Or, is it just a reflection of our current society?

  23. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uptowner View Post
    Funny someone mentioned sonic and tipping. I worked at one when I was 16. The boys had to work the back and the pretty girls got to car hop. The not so pretty girls took orders from the soundboard and made drinks. It used to make me sick that I worked over the hot grill, made the food, packaged and bagged the food to order. The not so pretty girls organized and placed the drinks. And the pretty girls simply roller skated the food & drinks to the cars and took juicy tips from dirty old men on their way home from work. The car hops sometimes made $100 a day while earning the same $4.25/hr as the rest of us.
    Yeah, this really should be made up for in different levels of compensation by role, which is how it works in most businesses. In the case of restaurants, line cooks and even hostesses (who are usually the least experienced employees) are paid an hourly rate higher than a server’s. Of course the server (and especially bartenders depending on the place) are still usually the best-compensated employees other than managers. In some cases their pay might even exceed their manager’s.

    All of that said, there are many places where the culture dictates that the people benefitting from gratuities tip out some of the supporting team members, especially when it was a big shift and the rest of the team went above and beyond. It’s not legal to require this, but you’ll often see it done voluntarily, especially when a group is really tight.

  24. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    I like it when a bunch of people who have never run a business tell business’ how it should be
    For the record I’ve run several, including 16 years of running one where tipping is a big part of the compensation model for some.

    Also for the record the starting base of my tipped employees is over minimum wage - with some veteran staff earning well over $10 as a base - but if we eliminated tipping - even with a significant hourly bump, which we couldn’t afford without major price increases - I wouldn’t be able to keep my good staff. Most of them are used to averaging $20-30/hr. By the way, I think service is way better because of it, too.

  25. Default Re: Is service nearing a crisis level in OKC?

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