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Former server aims to clear up misconception about tips


  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 11:28 am

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Re: “Rocky View Publishing reporter has some tips for servers about tips,” Jan. 30

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Matt Duran’s article, “Tips for servers about tips.”

While I agree with Matt that there are bad servers out there, it is like any other group, a few bad behaved causing the rest to be blanketed with a label that does not fit.

The misconception I would like to clear up for everyone out there, as a former server, is that the money tipped to a server is not all his/hers to take home.

The servers are required to “pay the house” first, regardless of what they are tipped.

Most time this amounts to roughly five per cent but can be higher.

What that means for servers is if you as a server have a $100 tab, you owe the house $5 regardless of what you were tipped. That money is then distributed among the other members of the team including managers, hostesses, dishwashers, expediters and cooks. That amount may or may not include the separate tip out you pay to the bartender, which can be 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

I do understand the frustration of servers and have felt it myself. When you are treated poorly, only to be slighted a second time by a poor or no tip, it can be a frustrating realization that you were not only treated poorly, but now you are paying out of your own pocket for a house tip for that table.

I think that this is just a lack of knowledge for most people, thinking that they left a tip and it goes to the server. Unless you work in the industry it is not something that you necessarily know. Servers were paid $0.35 less an hour than the minimum wage of $9.40 at the time that I left the industry, so they are reliant upon tips.

That being said, I believe that everyone could benefit from a little compassion towards others. If people treated each other as equals and with respect, the subject of money would not be such an important factor. The server could take pride in knowing he/she was respected for their work and that he/she did the best job that they could for those patrons regardless of the amount tipped. People need to let go of their sense of entitlement on both sides of this equation.

The patron deserves to be treated with respect and should reciprocate it to the restaurant staff accordingly.

Michele Hoover,



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