Phillip Proto 
Member since Mar 12, 2013


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Re: “Cuts Both Ways

Sean, thanks for the reply. I understand your point. My point though was basically echoing the spirit of the article. Respect and consideration goes both ways. If you're trying to save money by splitting a dish that's fine. But don't make your server have to take less money when that server is essentially doing the same amount of work to serve you; it just so happens that your bill is smaller. Basically what I'm saying is sometimes a guest needs to ignore the percentage guidelines and take into account the effort and work that goes into serving them, which hasn't diminished simply because the bill is smaller. Hence why I tip a larger percentage at diners and places like Waffle House. In the end, and again as a bartender this doesn't necessarily happen to me, the reason a lot of servers don't like when people split dishes is because that server just assumes they're going to work just as hard but make less money doing it. Like is said, I generally love what I do (I wouldn't have stuck with it for over 12 years if I didn't), but just like everyone else my job can be aggravating at times. I think any working individual, no matter what the job, can relate to that. It's just that those of us in the service industry don't often have a forum where we can make our voices heard. It's a bit of a faux pas for us to voice our complaints in this way.

And I have to disagree a little with your statement that we "should feel lucky that we have some power over how much money we'll make in a night." You're right on some level, but wrong on another. Most places pay their servers a little over $2/hour, so tips are absolutely essential for survival. More upscale establishments may pay more. I'll never forget hearing a customer at my first job 12 years ago say that she wasn't tipping because we got paid $10/hour. HA! Don't we wish! We have no control over how busy we get, the customers we serve, whether those customers are trying to save a buck by not tipping accordingly, or if customers just don't understand restaurant etiquette. I've always said over the years that in some ways the kitchen workers have it better in that sense. For the most part they're guaranteed a certain amount of money each night, or at least each hour, no matter how busy the restaurant is or what the customer base is like, and they don't have to fake a smile when they're having a bad day. And before any kitchen workers rail me for that statement, I have worked in a kitchen and I understand how hard that job is. Believe me I do. But as front of the house employees we really don't have quite as much control over our income as you might think. The only things we can control is our attitude, our service, and how hard we work; again, just like most any other job. Beyond that we rely on the customers to recognize that and tip accordingly.

In closing, I hope I'm not angering any restaurant patrons with my comments, but we (meaning restaurant workers) don't often get a chance to let you guys know the realities and just how difficult our job can be. I'm just trying to be honest with everyone who has never worked in the "industry."

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phillip Proto on 03/19/2013 at 4:51 PM

Re: “Cuts Both Ways

BTW, I always tip 30% at Waffle House. Lol, so many nights I've gotten off work and all I want is to sit at that counter and destroy a plate of eggs and hash browns (scattered, covered, and chunked) with a side of sausage, grits, and a chocolate chip waffle.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phillip Proto on 03/19/2013 at 3:25 AM

Re: “Cuts Both Ways

Also, "justme," the reality of the situation is that most people don't tip the same at Waffle House as they do at Ruth's Chris. Regardless of the amount of the bill. It's just the nature of the game. It's reality. Servers at Ruth's Chris, and comparable restaurants, have been in the business for several years and have proven themselves, for the most part, to be some of the best in the industry. That's why those of us who work in such establishments can make A LOT of money. But we also work our tails off for that money. The service industry is not only brutally competitive, but it takes a physical toll. Nothing like a steaming hot shower at 2 a.m. after 16 hours on your feet!

Posted by Phillip Proto on 03/19/2013 at 3:17 AM

Re: “Cuts Both Ways

"justme" allow me to put it a different way. My point was that if two people split one meal then I should still be tipped as if I were serving two entrees. Basically, you two may be eating only one meal, but I'm still having to move the same number of plates in order to serve you; we're splitting the entree into two dishes. It's the same idea as tipping appropriately on a discount/coupon. And servers often have to tip out other workers such as dishwashers, bussers, etc.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Phillip Proto on 03/19/2013 at 3:01 AM

Re: “Cuts Both Ways

Splitting a meal is really more of a pet peeve for those of us in the industry, particularly for us "lifers" who have been in the business for a decade or more. As a bartender it generally doesn't bother me because most of my clientele are regulars and they're ordering drinks and tip me well. But it makes for a smaller bill and less money in our pockets. Sorry, but that's the reality. It's a business, a job, and we're there to make money. Trust me, as irritated as you folks may get with us sometimes, I guarantee you it doesn't compare to how irritated we get with customers on a regular basis, Lol! But generally we love what we do and we put up with it. Also, be sure to tip accordingly, especially with split meals and coupons. Just because your bill is smaller doesn't mean any less effort and work went into serving you.

38 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Phillip Proto on 03/12/2013 at 11:01 PM

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