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Rolyan
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I'm fencing in my land; so far there are
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Restaurants are a strange world. A young man I know worked in a restaurant near me as a waiter. All tips had to be put in a jar and were shared out at the end of the evening, amongst the waiters and management. One night the owners son took the tip money and spent it. The young man asked for his tip money the next day. So they sacked him.

At least we can pick and choose who we work for and for how long.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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Pooling tips is not unusual. Stealing them certainly is.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
eatonmagic
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This is why I chose a LONG time ago to add more value for my restaurants. Paying a "magician" is a lot different from pay an "in-house promotions" person.

A lot of guys will not want to put the work into doing it but there ARE effective ways to help out with the bottom line besides doing just "tricks". The problem is that most magician's egos have them saying, "Well....I'm a magician and I ONLY perform." And usually the result is what is written above. I'm not saying that there is a "magic bean" and when you're in you can single-handedly save the establishment but there are ways to help position yourself as a strong asset rather than an expense.

A couple extra things I did for my clients are:

• Encouraged all my fans to come out and see me on my professional Facebook fan page.
• Worked out several deals so that when guests would use a secret word or promo code, they would get something in return. Usually a discounted item or BOGO drink. (These were only available on the nights I would perform)
• Sent out press releases to local magazines, newspapers and even did live afternoon spots on local networks. I should point out that all my television appearances were in a restaurant setting or in the studios we would make a set including table, wall and window props and I would have a menu of the restaurant I was performing at.
• Incorporated my one-of-a-kind tracking system (http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?forum=44&topic=537476)
• Made sure instead of taking a tip, I encouraged a photo and for them to post on Facebook along with tagging me and the restaurant. This ensured the management saw I was pro-active at promoting the magic and food instead of just showing up for a paycheck.
• Made sure to set myself up as a vendor and schedule Net 30 payouts and NOT linger around waiting for my cash and annoy the manager when they had more important things to focus on.

There are MANY other strategies you can incorporate and I do not have time to go through all of them now but yes, there ARE ways to increase your value and ensure you stick around.

BTW, the tracking system allows you to obtain a physical report so you can show management should another GM come on board and question your position.
Rolyan
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I'm fencing in my land; so far there are
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Quote:
On Aug 17, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Pooling tips is not unusual. Stealing them certainly is.

Stealing them and then sacking the person who earned them even more so!!!

There's a bit of a backlash to tipping in the UK. We've moved from a non tipping nation to a nation that tipped begrudgingly to a nation that now tips. But lately I've seen quite a few diners ask if the waiter gets the tip directly and if told no, they wont tip. I think the idea is that they see the 'jar on the bar' as a bit of a rip off, especially when they learn that the management take 50% of it before sharing it with those who earned it.

One great talking point many years ago was in a lecture by Doc Eason who described his card on ceiling, where he wrapped a borrowed $10 or $20 bill around the deck, which was then pinned with the tack to the ceiling with the signed card. The money was left there as a tip. We had to explain that it wouldn't work in the UK!
cheesewrestler
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Chicago
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Quote:
On Aug 17, 2014, Rolyan wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 17, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Pooling tips is not unusual. Stealing them certainly is.

Stealing them and then sacking the person who earned them even more so!!!

There's a bit of a backlash to tipping in the UK. We've moved from a non tipping nation to a nation that tipped begrudgingly to a nation that now tips. But lately I've seen quite a few diners ask if the waiter gets the tip directly and if told no, they wont tip. I think the idea is that they see the 'jar on the bar' as a bit of a rip off, especially when they learn that the management take 50% of it before sharing it with those who earned it.

One great talking point many years ago was in a lecture by Doc Eason who described his card on ceiling, where he wrapped a borrowed $10 or $20 bill around the deck, which was then pinned with the tack to the ceiling with the signed card. The money was left there as a tip. We had to explain that it wouldn't work in the UK!



Tipping is a big deal in the USA only because the laws are written so "tipped employees" are exempt from federal and state minimum wage laws - that is, they can legally be paid less (quite a lot less) than the mandated minimum wage.

In countries that don't use that system it's crazy to tip the way we do in the US (15-20% of the bill, and up).

(I realize many posters will already know that, just posting for those who don't.)
Rolyan
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I certainly didn't know that and I suspect most in the UK don't.. Many still won't tip and those that do, usually only go to 10% max, often less. We've tipped taxi drivers for a long time, but the usual place is in restaurants. We almost never tip bar staff, the exction being if you know them (regular customer etc).

I was talking to an Australian recently and both of us struggled with the American tipping. But we didn't know the exemption to minimum wages law. Interesting.
Sackninja
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From my trips to America I have pretty much deceided that the whole tipping system is rubbish. Pretty much every restaurant we went to had around twice as many waiters as needed. But why not have way too many because you are hardly paying them anyway. The people who go to the restaurant are.
Dannydoyle
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Wow one whole trip and you have it all figured out.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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Quote:
On Aug 18, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Wow one whole trip and you have it all figured out.


In fairness, he did say trips. << plural, with an "S".

But still, it was an uninformed opinion. However, we can't fault him (or any non-US resident) for misinterpreting our habits and customs. Americans fail miserably too, when it comes to understanding the quirks and idiosyncrasies of other countries. That's why they have books like these...

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=198168

Tipping in general is a phenomenon with no clear definition, in spite of many so called attempts to clarify what is "appropriate". Even with all that, it remains in many cases a subject of opinion. What is enough? What is too much? Too little? Do the giver and receiver both agree on the amount?

I tip, and I tip well... at least when I can afford to. I rarely tip less than protocol. Why? I have spent much time in businesses where people survived mainly because of their tips. I have forged many friendships with these people and understand what they deal with. I have also relied on tips myself.

Pooling tips?? I have NEVER agreed with that. It encourages slacker behavior. Some workers would read that as, "You don't have to be good, you just have to be there". It is sometimes a crap shoot as to who gets the good tables, but in the long run, that evens itself out. In spite of the fact that a lot of tips are based on the amount of the sale, those who give the best service and work the hardest are usually the ones who make the most money. I've seen that too many times to not believe otherwise.

Management taking a share of the tips??? I would never stay in such a place. I consider that robbing from the people who help keep you in business.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
george1953
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Here in Spain tipping is expected in restaurants but ONLY if you got good service, and most places have a "bote" tin where it all goes, and is shared between staff, most times after the management have taken theirs..
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
Rolyan
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I'm fencing in my land; so far there are
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Pooling tips is really common in some parts of the UK. Management often take a share of it. I tend not to tip if it's going in a jar. Also, a lot of restaurants allow you to add the tip to the credit card. I've spoken to a few waiters in those restaurants and the tips go into the business, not given to the waiters. So I don't tip in those circumstances either. In fact, at the last meal, the waitress brought the card machine and advised us NOT to tip as the business keeps all card tips.

No wonder we don't like tipping in the UK.

Apologies, didn't want to hijack the thread, it's just interesting to see how different countries do it.
0pus
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More often than not, I charge meals on my credit card. But I always tip in cash.

As a patron, I have no problem with pooling of tips. But if I knew that management was taking a share, I wouldn't tip at all.
Michael Baker
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Because of the pay structure for wait staff here in the US (less than minimum wage), they are taxed a percentage of their sales, unless the tip is there in black and white. In that case they are liable for the entire amount of the tip, as far as their tax returns go. It is not uncommon for waiters to tell that tale about credit cards, about them not getting the tip, management takes a chunk, etc. If the likely tip is 15%, and it comes in cash, they are only obligated to pay tax on 10% of the sale. Cash is easy to hide... illegal yes, but when you are trying to make ends meet at that income level, every dollar helps.

That restaurant that I mentioned earlier, there were definite signs that the place was doing some funky stuff. Paychecks would often bounce even though we packed the place almost every night. The waiters were making $150.-$300. a night in tips. Tuesdays were one of the busiest nights because that's when the bookies would be collecting. Sports betting in Alabama is a HUGE industry.

When the paychecks were no good, I know several waiters that tore up their time cards and worked off the clock. The time card was just a paper trail to the IRS and the checks were usually a wash against taxes. Eliminating them made up for their lack of being worth anything, and put some serious invisible cash into the waiters' pockets. A lot of them were college students or just starting young families. They even had an arrangement worked with the bartenders... if they got credit card sales (a lot of our business was cash, because of the clientele we catered to), they would sell them to the bar.

If I knew a place was requiring waiters to pool tips, I might leave something openly or on a card, but I'd be very apt to slip the waiter some quiet cash, as long as the service was worth it.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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