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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:21 PM

So people in the service industry

In Florida are sort of happy that them bad tipper Canuck snow birds might stop their travels to Florida.

You know what is so gobsmacking amazing in this story? No, not that most tipping guides recommend 15% in tips and not 20% except for a few circumstances. Nope that s not the gobsmacking part. The incredible part is that people blame the tippers and not the fact that they get paid like shit and depend on those tips to make ends meet.

Now, and I have had these conversations with California service workers, who for the record get far better base pay, and introduce the idea of well, demanding better pay and benefits...are you a commie or something? The mere idea that a state wide, or nation wide strike to demand better pay is seen as somehow un american is what s gobsmacking shocking. It s truly a may I have another Sir moment. .

Oh and if worst case Canadian snow birds do travel to other states or countries, Floridian policy makers will blame everybody, but themselves, and those service workers will miss those poor tippers too.

But speak of better pay and benefits...

I gotta say, while gobsmacking, it is hardly surprising any more.

36 replies, 2198 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply So people in the service industry (Original post)
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #1
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #2
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #4
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #5
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #6
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #7
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #8
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #10
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #16
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #17
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply !
zappaman Feb 2013 #18
riverbendviewgal Feb 2013 #20
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #21
riverbendviewgal Feb 2013 #22
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #33
riverbendviewgal Feb 2013 #3
WilliamPitt Feb 2013 #9
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #11
riverbendviewgal Feb 2013 #35
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2013 #12
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #13
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2013 #14
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #15
GoneOffShore Feb 2013 #19
yewberry Feb 2013 #23
Cleita Feb 2013 #24
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #25
JimDandy Feb 2013 #26
Cleita Feb 2013 #27
JimDandy Feb 2013 #28
Cleita Feb 2013 #29
JimDandy Feb 2013 #30
madinmaryland Feb 2013 #31
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #32
madinmaryland Feb 2013 #34
riverbendviewgal Feb 2013 #36

Response to nadinbrzezinski (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:24 PM

1. No, they won't miss them at all.... n/t

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:27 PM

2. A state that depends on tourism

You kid me.

Somebody in the state government likely did not run the numbers.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:34 PM

4. I live in FL, Palm Beach County to be exact.

Like me, a 1000 years ago, all 3 of my children worked in the service industry while in college. During the 'season', which is the only time Canadians come to FL in any number, our restaurants are jammed packed. The year round residents eat out less frequently due to the long waits. Few restaurants accept reservations during the season, and those that do can only rarely keep them in a timely fashion.

Hotels may suffer, those who own rental properties may suffer...but the wait staff will not miss them at all.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:43 PM

5. I am talking at the macro level

I remember reading an analysis in the state of Jalisco on the effect of snow birds, American and Canadian, on the overall economy. Somehow I doubt Florida is different.

It may, as that study showed, affect overall employment.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:03 PM

6. "So people in the service industry"

is not the macroeconomic level....

The credit crisis and recession of 2008 barely touched Canadian banks, and Canadians snowbirds were just as plentiful as previous years. Not so US snowbirds. Restaurants had to cut back on staff and/or shifts because US snow birds stayed home. I am not saying the Canadians wouldn't be missed by some segments of the population, I'm simply saying the wait staff won't miss the extra work and the paltry tips. They would much prefer to be able to give better service to their more generous patrons.

If you want to discuss this on a macroeconomic level, let's talk about the results of rising menu prices due to wage increases. I'm not against raising wages, but it is not a one-sided story. At what point do the higher wages, higher prices and lower tips converge? And to what effect on the wait staff? The very high end restaurants will see little loss of business as their patrons have more money than brains,
their wait staff will probably be okay as well. It will be the medium line restaurants who see a shrinking patronage...just exactly who benefits from that?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:06 PM

7. Actually the data shows that higher pay leads to an overall stimulative

Effect on the macro economy. Krugman has pointed this out repeatedly.

I will leave it at that.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:08 PM

8. Krugman will tell you

that "overall" does not mean every, nor does it mean immediate.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:10 PM

10. And he will cite other economists.

Lower pay is a RW Chicago school talking point. Like trickle down, by now, should be considered bunk.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:23 PM

16. We are talking a particular

industry in a particular job. You will have to do a better job of bolstering your criticism of wait staff in FL than this. You are talking in generalities, just like a right winger. Wait staff wages have nothing to do with tickle down. My mother was a waitress in the 1940s long before some ass came up with the trickle down theory. They have always been low wage jobs.

Allow me to repeat, I am not against raising wages in the service industry, I just believe there is more to it than your talking points or the right's talking points. I have been calling for a doubling of the minimum wage for years now...

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:24 PM

17. You missed this by light seconds.

Have a good day.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:25 PM

18. !

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:30 PM

20. You are right how the credit crisis and recession of 2008 barely touched Cdn Banks

that is because our Liberal Prime Minister Martin would not heed the Progressive Conservatives urgent pleas to go the route of the American banks and deregulation. WE WERE SAVED!!!!!

As for Canadian snow birds not tipping well....A lot of seniors don't...cause they don't have much but that is not an excuse acceptable for me...if you have the money to travel you have the money to tip fairly.

I don't think a lot of Canadians are aware of the very low wages that the service industry makes in America. They are horribly low. they are like slave labor.
read my reply further down on this thread. Number 3 - I show the minimum wages of Ontario and UK. Both countries provide one payer Health care for every of their citizens...that is such a big difference. high minimum wage and health benefits.

I do remember reading somewhere of the rising salaries of CEOs as compared to workers...in America it is 420 to one...hmmm that was not the case 43 years ago...and that is when I worked a Florida server job at 50 cents and hour....last march 2012.on my last visit to Florida ..servers were not even making 2$ an hour.

What I noticed when there last March was that grocery prices in Florida were more than in Ontario but restaurant prices were less than in Ontario. There must be a lot of competition for restaurant business in Florida, with all those deals offered..

Just a Canadian viewpoint.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:14 PM

21. Hey there riverbendviewgal...

I did read your excellent post earlier.

2009 was a grim year for wait staff here in FL. The season is when many of them make enough money to set aside a bit for the barren summer months, when so many Floridians flee the state for cooler climes.

My disagreement with the OP was not about the need to raise wages, but about the one-sided view of the issue and the criticism of those who resent the lack of reasonable tips from our neighbors to the north. There is a point of diminishing returns for everything...I would like to be sure we don't cross that point in our zeal to raise wages. I rather suspect that is why Obama called for a $9.00 minimum wage, tied to inflation. I would love to see it much higher, but right now I think that may be all the system can bear. Particularly as I can just imagine what would happen if Obama, or any other president for that matter, called for capping CEO compensation...or stock dividends.

The average is 420 times, but one that killed me was Ken Lewis, who was CEO of Bank of America when it over-extended itself and needed government assistance. He was earning 1,800 times what the average teller earned at B of A. For leading the bank into disaster.

I have a real problem with people who only see one side of every coin. Another side of the wait staff issue is that not all of their wages are reported and thus taxable. So if they're paid the minimum wage, whatever it may be, all of that will be taxable and their tips will go down, because (a) prices will go up and (b) everyone in the US will behave like Canadians.

There is quite a bit of competition in the restaurant business here. I've seen good restaurants go out of business, but that is usually due to be being under capitalized in the beginning. Like I said earlier, the summer months are pretty grim for all but a few restaurants here. Good food, good service and good ambience usually win out.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:23 PM

22. How about the restaurantst put out a notice on their menues

that the reason that the prices are so low is because the wages are kept low and the employees have no benefits so that the patrons may want to help out the servers of their delicious food..


Summer months are patronized by the "peanut gallery" those folks who come to florida during summer time when their kids are out of school.. this is not new...I heard of this when I lived in the Keys from August to March - 68/69..

You go with the flow.

The owners are reaping the profits during the good times. Then when the slow times come....you adjust your salary too..

I shake my head with sadness that some Americans can't understand why it is good to have a good minimum wage and health care for all. In Canada we don't have the masses of people coming to our land as tourists. We have a good life

Health care is not for profit. Everyone pays higher taxes than Americans.. the elite in America are brainwashing the working people...read Joe Bageant..and his Deer Hunting With Jesus. To understand how the elite brainwash people.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:19 PM

33. ^^^____^^^^ this

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:34 PM

3. Great you started this....Here is some info for everyone to get an idea

In Ontario we tip 15- 20 percent on our servers who make a decent wage and also get health care through our OHIP.


Getting Paid

$10.25/Hr is the regular minimum wage. $ 9.60/Hr is the minimum wage if you’re a student under 18 years and you work less than 28 hours a week when school is in session or you work during a school holiday. $8.90/Hr is the minimum wage for liquor servers.
Ontario.ca/minimumwage

Now in UK where my son lives. I love it there because the taxes are included in the price in everything listed....unlike in Canada and the USA. a pound is about $1.55 Cdn..(today the Cdn dollar is worth .002 more than the US dollar.) They all get health care too...one payer.

Tipping
Context
Tipping is not expected in the UK in the way it is in the United States or Canada. All staff in the UK, must by law, be paid at least minimum wage (£6.08/hour as of 2012, unless aged under 21), whether or not they receive tips. Therefore, unlike in much of North America, the need and culture for tipping is much less.

Equally, British people have a reputation in the USA for not tipping, and indeed many object vociferously to the practice, arguing that the cost should be included in the price of the food. Others however feel it appropriate to tip in various scenarios.

Taxis
It is not necessary to tip at all in taxis, but it is customary to round up to the nearest pound on metered taxi journeys, more as a convenience to both passenger and driver than as a tip.

On an airport journey in a booked minicab you might wish to tip two or three pounds if the driver helps with your bags. If taking a metered London taxi from Heathrow the metered charge will be so high compared to minicabs, that this really is not necessary.

Takeaway food
If your food is delivered to your hotel or apartment, tipping is not required, but the delivery driver would obviously appreciate a pound, or some/all of the change as appropriate, as a tip. Some customers tip, some do not.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186216-s606/United-Kingdom:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:11 PM

11. None is arguing that people should not be tipped.

But the base pay is ridiculously low.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:14 PM

35. OMG you described what it was like for me to be a server

And also my sons and late husband were servers,,you are right if you walked in a server's shoes you KNOW what it is like. I am sending your article to all my friends to let them know what is like. I will send it to my older son who will remember those days. He worked in Canada where we have an decent min wage and health care. My younger son and husband have passed on.

I worked in Florida in 1968 for 50 cents an hour and no benefits. I also worked in Canada as a server for the min wage.
Now a days people pay their bill with a credit card and put the tips on them so the govt knows what tips the server makes, but it does not take into account what the servervgives to the bus boy or manager.

I Always tip at least 20 percent.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:12 PM

12. To be honest, there's enough ire to go around--As a licensed hairstylist who

no longer practices, I have ire against poor tippers, poor wages, and waitstaff members (who make more in tips than a hairstylist who spends a lot more one on one time with his/her client). Knowing how hard it is to make ends meet, I always tip 20 percent for a good dinner and 40 percent to a hairstylist who does a bang-up job.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:16 PM

13. We tip well, but that was not the point

So let me repeat it...in numbers now.

A server should make...at least the state minimum wage (which is still low). In Florida they make three plus tips.

Organizing should the in the cards.

In my opinion they should, all employees should, make a living wage. In California that translates to $21.00 hour...tips should be incidental.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:18 PM

14. I'll repeat as well--a server can find it within themselves to be angry at current wages and at poor

tippers.

In other words, I agree with you, but that shouldn't stop us from smacking poor tippers upside the head.

I will never forget Oprah telling her audience it was okay to cut corners by tipping only 10 percent in these "tough times."

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:20 PM

15. And socially acceptable guides say 15%

And yes Oprah was out of line.

I am just having a longer view of this...though reality is...Americans strike? Though that is starting to change.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:31 PM

19. Oprah is generally "out of line" - Her stance on tipping,

Her support of "Doctor" Phil, Mehmet Oz, Deepak Chopra and other woo merchants.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:23 PM

23. The two issues are not mututally exclusive.

It's true that the system is ridiculous. It's also true that waitstaff are right to blame low tippers for their lousy behavior.

I waited tables and tended bar for many years, and when I got a shitty tip, the first thing that came to mind was never, "Damn this inequitable system." It was "Stay the fuck home, cheap jerks."

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:26 PM

24. A service charge of 8 percent should be added to every meal ticket. This is what the server

has to pay taxes on whether he gets the tip or not. If the customer thinks service was astounding, they could add another 7 to 12 percent gratuity if they desire but in the case of cheap Canadian snowbirds, we know it isn't going to happen. (I have had my fair share of dealing with Canadian snowbirds in resorts in the past. They think because they are getting less money on the dollar exchange they shouldn't have to pay extra for anything.) But my point is that having done pretty much everything in the restaurant business now and then over the years, my experience is that tipping does not involve good service. It's the individual's choice to tip and some are good tippers. Others won't tip, ever. The cheapest tippers and non-tippers are also usually the most demanding and rudest of customers as well. Since the IRS has now codified the 8% on each meal ticket tip rule, it's time to make sure that the server gets their full wage that they pay taxes on.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:35 PM

25. I like this idea

As part of the solution.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:22 PM

26. No. Raise the price of all meals 8% and pay the wait staff fair pay.

Same thing, but my way makes it so restaurants can't hide the true price of their meals from us consumers. I'm sick of it and the whole culture that allows it (from the wait staff putting up with the horrible hourly pay, to state legislatures codifying the practice into state law as an exception to the minimum wage.) My protest involves not going to sit-down restaurants because of this practice. I do frequent other service industries that pay at least minimum wage to their workers, but which allow me the privilege to pay a gratuity based on how the service ACTUALLY was (hair salons, hotels, etc.).

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:28 PM

27. You can add the 8%, but you do it on the menu, so the consumer won't really

have anything to complain about. The problem will be to make the restaurant owner actually give the 8% to the server as a wage. There will have to be a way to monitor it. Adding the gratuity simplifies the bookkeeping end of it so that IRS auditors can see that the server is actually getting the actual gratuity.

Also, you are in the minority if you actually tip for the service. Hardly anyone does that. Some are good tippers. Others are not, not matter what kind of service you get. I have worked over my lifetime in the business and I can take that to the bank.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:36 PM

28. If I am in the minority, all the better reason to add the 8% to the price on the menu

and raise the wait staffs' wages to the minimum. I worked as a waitress and was paid minimum wage at both places I worked. My tips were EARNED.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:40 PM

29. I doubt it.

If you worked as a waitress anywhere you would know that the tips you "earned" were not the ones you worked hardest for. Many servers today are getting less than minimum wage because of this law. I have worked as a waitress, a bartender, and a payroll bookkeeper for restaurants and I did it on and off from the time I was eighteen years old until I retired. I know how things work, from the serving to the sharing tips and to figuring out the wages and deducting the taxes.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #29)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:57 PM

30. The point is

I earned them ALL by providing good service. That's what a gratuity pays for. Yes, some took way more patience, smiling, foot work and practiced phrasing, but all were earned. Minimum wage is the minimum due to a service employee for performing their job to a basic standard.

Work to change the law, frequent only those restaurants you know pay minimum wage to their employees, don't work as a bookkeeper for one's that don't (doing YOUR part, right?) and stop state legislatures from implementing exceptions to the minimum wage law.

Have a good day.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:15 PM

31. I find the whole tipping thing repulsive. I would much prefer to pay more for my dinner,

and have the waitstaff be either paid a full living wage or worst case as a commission type job.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:18 PM

32. That was the point, in part

We tip, and tip well...but I would rather have tips become a thing of the past, like Scandinavia, fr example.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:28 PM

34. Yes. I just have to make my point, too! Glad we agree.

Pay them a living wage and give them profit sharing.

Wait, wait.

Shouldn't that happen in all businesses?? Silly me.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:18 PM

36. i agree

They do that in UK

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