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ohmiss
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Username: ohmiss

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2007

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Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 - 02:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm just curious because I started working at a restaurant where I am now tipping out between 31-33% of what I make. I'm wondering what type of restaurant you work in and what your tip out breakdown is.

Myself...
Casual Dining
Lake Forest, IL
5.5% = 4.5% of total sales (including tax) to "Bus" plus 1% of total sales (including tax) to "Bar"

My last job in the same city, similar restaurant was

4% = 3% of total sales (less tax) to "Bus (60/40) Bar" plus 1% of total sales (less tax) to "Food Runner"

I didn't have a problem with 4%, but this 5.5% thing (on top of tax even) is killing me.

Just curious as to how others are faring out there.
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teleburst
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Username: teleburst

Post Number: 1548
Registered: 06-2003

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Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Currently, I tip out 20% of tips to server assistant, 5% of tips to bar, and 2% to the dish lady who stacks our plates so that we can drop them and go without scraping and stacking them (she doesn't work Sun. or Mon. though). So, on most days, we tip out 27% of our tips. Most, if not all of us, also give a few extra bucks to the SA as "grease". So it's right about 30%.

When I worked at PF Chang's, the tipout was more like 42- 45% of our tips, but that has been changed since I left. They don't have as many server assistants and food runners anymore. But they also have smaller sections.

My previous restaurant before that (a fine dining restaurant) was about 20 - 25% of tips (only one SA for the whole restaurant and no food runners).

I prefer tipping out a percentage of tips rather than sales (as we did at Chang's) because it's fairer. If you get stiffed, you don't get penalized by still having to tip out fully on the sales of that table. Everyone shares the pain equally, plus you don't have to back out things like gift card sales and the like.

How are you doing in terms of actual take home between the old and the new restaurant? If the new restaurant allows you to take home more money than you were previously making, then I would worry less about it. If you are actually losing money, then you might want to reevaluate whether you want to stay there. If you decide to leave, you should definitely tell them in an exit interview why you are leaving. That mightmake them reevaluate the tipout for future employees.
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tricky
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Username: tricky

Post Number: 231
Registered: 05-2005

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Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 - 01:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

At the best job I ever had, we tipped out 20% of what we made on nights when we didn't have a food runner. When we did have a food runner, it became 30% ish.

Bar - 10% of our total tips.
SA - 10% of our total tips.
Food runner - discretionary with a minimum of $5, but in general amounted to just about the same 10% that the Bar and SA got.

Food running was a very lucrative shift as one person made the same in tip-out as 3 bartenders or 3 SAs. It was rotated through the waitstaff, and generally assigned as "reward" for whomever had earned it the preceeding week.
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ohmiss
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Username: ohmiss

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2007


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Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 01:16 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Interesting...sounds like it's pretty typical. It's funny because although I work for the same owners, the management is different and the new one requires the higher tipout. I made more at the old restaurant because I was the head server there, AND I took home a higher percentage of what I made.

The new restaurant has a highter check average, but since I tip out roughly $20 more per night and get less tables (low end of the totem pole), I'm making about $50/night less than I used to. It's frustrating.

I don't really want to quit working for this family, but I realized today that unless I have $1300 in sales and make 20% on everything, I can no longer break $200, which is what I am used to. The most I've been able to take home on a weekend is $128 and it's a huge difference for me.

I get worse service from the busboys and runners, but I'm paying so much more for them. I don't know what to do.
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vitalryan
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Username: vitalryan

Post Number: 267
Registered: 03-2006

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Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 02:20 am:   Edit Post Print Post

lol... 5.5% - I used to tip out 7.5% of sales....
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nuvola09
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Username: nuvola09

Post Number: 722
Registered: 11-2004

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Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 02:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Why wouldn't you go back to the old place, especially since you're still working for the same people? If you were head trainer at the old place, don't you have a good reputation with them? So...why exactly are you so low on the totem pole? This doesn't seem to add up. You must have other options within the company, rather than quitting and creating a whole new set of problems.
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mirandab_83
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Username: mirandab_83

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Registered: 10-2007

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Posted on Friday, November 16, 2007 - 06:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I tip out 1% of all of my sales to the QSS and the host. We don't have a busser. We tip out 1% of our drink sales the to bartender.
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ohmiss
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Registered: 11-2007


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Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2007 - 01:27 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Nuvol, good question. They closed the other restaurant, as they got a great offer from a buyer who had lost their lease, and they really had lost passion for the old one. I saw the owners about five times in the last two years there...

They took three of the servers, our chef, and a busser to the other restaurant. So, it's overstaffed and has a whole different management system.

The owners love me and told the manager at this restaurant, (imaging this in a deep Greek accent) "Stephanie will be your best server." I have TREMENDOUS guilt even considering leaving, but it's just so hard to make money there right now. I really don't know what to do.

Tonight I had a table come in at the last minute, ring up a $350 bill and then leave me 10%. Our head server went up to the table and said, "Did you have a problem with your service tonight?" They said, "No, it was great! Everything was amazing." I tipped out $18 to bus and bar and walked with $15 on that table. I feel like a beaten dog tonight.
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nuvola09
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Username: nuvola09

Post Number: 726
Registered: 11-2004

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Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2007 - 05:52 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I knew there had to be more to the story. It's too bad you're in that situation. It may not seem like it, but a $50/night pay cut isn't as bad as it could be, I suppose. Are you willing to stick it out for a month or two to see where it goes?

I hate to even suggest this, because it may be incorrect, but I've been seeing everyone making less money in the service industry. The economy is going down because of this housing disaster. Many people are losing their houses because of adjustable rate mortgages. No one seems to be spending money if they don't need to, and going out to eat is a recreation.
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goldenfoxx
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Username: goldenfoxx

Post Number: 177
Registered: 10-2004

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Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 - 01:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Agreed nuvola09...I work in Vegas and you can really tell on the PPA of guests. A year ago we had about a $90 PPA...this year, sometimes its hard to break $70.

Glad i didnt get into an ARM... or worse yet...some intrest rate only mortgage....shiver...
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toadrick
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Registered: 03-2007

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Posted on Friday, March 07, 2008 - 01:08 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I work at Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Newport Beach, CA. We tip out on our take home tips, never our sales. Breaks down like this.
10% Bar
15-20% Busser
15% BackWaiter/Runner

So a total of about 40-45%
So if someone was to tip me $1,000,000 I would only walk with $550,000.
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winks
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Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 03:11 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I work at a well known high end restaurant in Austin, Texas.
Our tip out changes dramatically from one night to the next because we pool all tips and the bartenders are tipped as servers. If there is more than one bartender the tip out is ridiculous. If a server is cut for whatever reason the bartenders make more money. Management uses this as a way to "pay" the bar staff without having to actually pay the bar staff. Runners and bussers share 25% and the bar inclusion in the tip pool ranges from 8% to 18%. (The low percentages are on days when it's slow enough to get the bartender to go home). Pretty sure that's not "customary and reasonable" as per FLSA requirements. Most places in the area tip out 30% max.
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nvksmt
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Registered: 08-2007

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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 03:40 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I feel I must be lucky here. I've worked at places with high(ish) tip outs. 1% to bus, 1% to expo, 10% of alcohol sales to bar, etc. Now, where I work, there is no required tip out. The only person who should be tipped is the bar.

Now, I work in a sports bar now so it is different. But, the atmosphere fits me SO much better. I love having the reduced number of families, granted there still are some. I love, having more drinkers. I love it being far more casual than "casual dining".

I tip the bar, of course. But usually it is more like this:
I go to the bar, when I get off my shift. I drink 3-5 drinks. I get charged for 1-2 drinks. I tip them $10-$20. I leave with a buzz, and I tip out far less than most servers do. And don't get me wrong, I still do well. And I always leave with a buzz. If I do have to close, and not get to drink after work, I will tip out in the traditional fashion, but only to one person.

Tip out GREATLY varies depending on the establishment. I could go into greater detail on how my place works, but it's not really relevant to this thread.
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paid_up
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Username: paid_up

Post Number: 249
Registered: 01-2007

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Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 05:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

You might as well pay the cook and dishwasher too.
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bistroy
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Username: bistroy

Post Number: 358
Registered: 01-2006

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Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2008 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Where I work, servers tip out 5% of sales. Most of that gets divided up between the backwaiters, sa's and the polisher. The bar splits about 1% of that.
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