Tip envy

Several people above suggested tipping out kitchen staff.

Here is what the law says on that matter:

Tip Pooling: The requirement that an employee must retain all tips does not preclude a valid tip pooling or sharing arrangement among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, such as waiters, waitresses, bellhops, counter personnel (who serve customers), busboys/girls and service bartenders. Tipped employees may not be required to share their tips with employees who have not customarily and regularly participated in tip pooling arrangements, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors. Only those tips that are in excess of tips used for the tip credit may be taken for a pool. Tipped employees cannot be required to contribute a greater percentage of their tips than is customary and reasonable.

Gregster, you’re right. However, your quoted requirement ONLY applies to tipped employees (those whom are paid LESS than minimum wage). IF all employees are paid MORE than minimum wage, it DOES NOT APPLY.

They cannot be required to, but I have seen instances of the busboy not working quite as quickly for the non-tippers. So, while the owners may not REQUIRE it, the busser can certainly work slower on your tables for not tipping.

Thankfully my drivers let common sense, decency and kindness rule their lives rather than government laws.

My drivers appreciate what my cooks do for them. They occasionally show their appreciation by giving the guys $5-$10.It’s the gesture that means more than the money.

I NEVER hear anything like, “Are you going to pay for my car repairs ?” or “I’m using my vehicle and taking on huge, exorbitant costs that you can’t even begin to understand or comprehend.” from my drivers. It’s disgusting and that kind of attitude makes me ill.

“The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.”-John Quincy Adams

That’s what I like about our system. We have to pay a minimum wage set by the government with all the other entitlements - sick leave, holiday leave etc for fulltime staff or 25% loading on the hourly rate in lieu for the casual staff. If they get tips then great … BUT … we tell them what to do how to do it and if they get slack, are slow etc we call the shots on getting them moving or getting them out of here.
We are not allowed to pay under the minimum but of course there are some who flaunt this and rip off workers, but the majority are like ourselves and pay the rate or above to attract the better workers.
If any one b1tches about having to do a particular job we just say “choose to do it or choose to leave”. Our workers are extremely well looked after but some still try to short change you but these soon cahnge their ways or change their job.
The thing I hate about tipping relates to a couple of drivers who we have had. They would come back from a delivery and then look at the orders in the oven or on the make bench and then tell the other driver/s to take the next delivery knowing that the following one was a good tipper. Tipping fosters a greed mentality. We banned drivers from touching orders on the make line or the cutting line and told the offending ones that they would lose their jobs if we found them doing it again.
One of my drivers doesn’t care about his tips and rarely takes them out of his bag. At the end of the night I put them away for him but more often than not he just says to put them in the general store tip tin.
Horse for courses I guess, but coming from a counrty where tipping is not the norm, and mostly you only tip for great service, then I sometimes shudder at the importance you guys place on tipping.
Guess that is why your costs are lower than ours as you can pay a really small rate as long as tips make it up to the minimum.


Please note that managers are excluded from tip pools as they are commonly seen as agents for the company.

Thankfully my drivers let common sense, decency and kindness rule their lives rather than government laws.

You might be putting yourself or your business at risk. Everyone is nice until the hammer falls. Just like the employees that don’t want to take breaks… most will jump on that bandwagon if given the chance.

I wouldn’t recommend changing operations on any legal advice from anyone on this board, including me, but I would definitely recommend hearing it and checking it out further if possible.

I couldn’t have said it better. Someone like that wouldn’t last a month in my shop, my crew is very close and treat each other well. I’m not sure why this topic was even started though, aside from it just being what the TC lives for. Nobody ever said that they require tip sharing, from employees that were tip waged or not.


You sing out, brother. the US culture has really, really gone wacko over the whole tipping thing. For various reasons, what used to be a true gratuity scenario has become an expectation or even an entitlement. Yeah, I get that people count on tip income in various lines of work. It really is an up and down world for them, and some personalities cannot resolve it and succeed. It gores me in the gut when someone making an agreed wage (at or above the stipulated government minimum wages, etc) whines about getting ‘stiffed’ or people being ungrateful or being ‘deadbeats’. That smacks loudly and ingraciously of entitlement mindset.

Don’t like the realities and variation of a tipped prefession? Then go get training in a field that doesn’t involve gratuities and interacting with customers as a means of ensuring income. There are always alternatives. I have worked tipped jobs, and learned to live with the realities. Now I own a business, and have learned to live with THOSE realities. When one is an adult living in an adult world, one learns to put aside the ways of infants and “man up” a bit.

Responsible, effective managers work and spend their own $$$ and time finding ways to attract more and better customers to their restaurants. The ones who are successful, will find loyal and appreciative customers to add to the client base. There will always and everywhere be customers who see delivery and/or table service as a feature of the business, and never tip or show monetary appreciation for exceptional treatment. Some even have the mindset that it’s not their job to pay staff when the boos won’t. Grow up . . . those people will always be in the customer list. We all think we are great at “hiding” our disdain or digust, but we all eventually svck at it. Customers, small children and animals all know when someone doens’t like them. 1) accept them and do your job, 2) find a way to win them over and make a personal connection to develop a personal loyalty to you, or 3 find a new job you can be satisfied with. No one owes us anything in business . . . which is why it is always tricky to succeed at it. [/sermon-rant]

Good Post TD. Agreed.

See, RobT? I can’t not pot either. :frowning:

Instead of allowing the kitchen staff into the tip jar, which can and will open a can of worms, we used to have bonuses for the kitchen guys only. If we were 20% over our sales goal for the day, we would give them an extra $20 for the shift. Servers and drivers make more money when sales are up, but it has always been my kitchen staff who held it together when business exploded and I needed them most.

I really like Shane’s mindset and bonusing. Tips are nearly always more when business surges . . . and the kitchen always carries the load (either well or poorly) of the added volume. Bonusing along with an appreciation from the staff makes a nice return for the “kitchen warriors”.