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View Poll Results: Would you like automatic tipping?
Yes 18 11.11%
No 144 88.89%
Voters: 162. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-11-2009, 11:11 AM   #121
DementedReality
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I don't have a problem with mandatory tips for large partys. I think we've all been somewhere where the bill comes around, everyone pitches in some money and at the end when it gets back to you, you realize despite you leaving a substantial amount for a tip on your part, there's only a 10$ tip on a 300$ bill.
slightly off topic, but i like to write my initials on the money (notes) that I leave. therefore, when the inevitble happens and the bill is short, you can prove you put in your fair share. i do this for hockey pools and poker as well.

oh, also never be the one "coordinating" the payment.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:40 AM   #122
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I just coordinate by splitting the cheque based on what people had. I'm always leary of the advanced payer. You know the guy who bolts to the waitress and pays "his" portion before the bill is even tabulated.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:36 PM   #123
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I am a bartender at a restaurant in Yaletown, and we do auto gratuity for large parties, which is appropriate because 90% of the time they take up all your your time. Adding an auto gratuity to the bills for all parties would do more harm than good IMO. It would put the customer in a pretty uncomfortable situation, as not all customers are keen to express their qualms regarding the service. And, as I am sure that it has been said before, tipping is not customary in all cultures and might even put the server in an uncomfortable spot explaining this.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:13 PM   #124
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What do you tip at a buffet, where the server only brings you a drink? 10%?
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:24 PM   #125
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What do you tip at a buffet, where the server only brings you a drink? 10%?
if the drink stays filled and the service is good and they're asking me if there's anything else i need, then i stick with the standard 15%.

service can still suck at a buffet.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:34 PM   #126
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What do you tip at a buffet, where the server only brings you a drink? 10%?
I tip nothing as i've always had to hound the server for a drink.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:02 PM   #127
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I have an alternative for the OP to consider.

Based on what you said, I understand that you believe:
  • Your service is excellent, and will not degrade if you have a fixed tip
  • You tend to have approximately 14% in tips in the course of the evening
  • You feel having a guaranteed tip will benefit your wait staff and your ability to attract & retain quality wait staff
Why don't you give your wait staff a guaranteed 14% tip and then just keep the variable tip given by the customer for the restaurant? The benefits that I can see to this are:
  • You achieve the key benefits that you were looking for
  • Customers don't see a fixed tip and can still tip however much they feel is appropriate, which was the obvious downfall of your original plan
  • Financially, it will be a wash if you assumptions are correct
  • Wait staff may learn how to become good sales staff to increase sales (would you like fries with that?) Assuming this is done tactfully, this benefits the server & the restaurant
  • Management will be more focused on good service to increase revenue to the restaurant. This increases good management behaviour such as having management check up on how things are going with your customers
Anyway, this is just a thought that came to me. I figured I would through it out as a possible way to achieve what you wanted without the customer backlash.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:14 PM   #128
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Why don't you give your wait staff a guaranteed 14% tip and then just keep the variable tip given by the customer for the restaurant?
We feel it would hugely negatively impact morale if servers knew that portions of their tips were going to the restaurant. This is particularly true because it's the servers who collect payment and have seen how much is being tipped over the course of a night. It would be incredibly demoralizing, we think, for servers to collect a large tip from a table, knowing that they aren't going to be seeing all of it.

Also, we found that a major customer concern surrounding automatic tips is that people want to know their tips are going to their server personally and not benefiting the restaurant.

The goal with this was always to make our servers as happy as possible. Taking money out of their pocket and putting it into the business would be hugely counter-productive.

We have decided to take other steps to keep our staff happy and wealthy.

Also, if anyone is interested in learning more about our restaurant and our homemade Single-Malt Scotch Ice Cream, feel free to PM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:20 PM   #129
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Also, if anyone is interested in learning more about our restaurant and our homemade Single-Malt Scotch Ice Cream, feel free to PM.
Oh, I know what place you are talking about. It is a good place. I agree that you are unique to Calgary, but that is just the sad state of the Calgary food scene. You should have more direct competitors for a city this size.
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