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Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:51 AM

 

An Education on Tipping. Tip in cash when you can.

I do my best to tip in cash. I'll write zero in the tip line on the check and leave cash on the table or in the hands of the server.

By my tipping in cash this allows the server to get the full amount of my tip right away.

If I put a tip on a card then the server must wait at least a day for that to clear. If not the end of a pay period for reconciliation.

In many cases, the swipe fee (that small percentage for processing the card) is deducted from their tip. They get screwed left and right. I'd bet most people have no idea this happens.

Yes, many restaurants will deduct the swipe fee from a server's tips and you never know it or even think about it. I know I didn't until I got educated.

Tip in cash when you can. I can assure you the wonderful servers you see on a regular basis appreciate it and will provide you with great service for the courtesy.

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Arrow 45 replies Author Time Post
Reply An Education on Tipping. Tip in cash when you can. (Original post)
dballance Aug 2014 OP
daleanime Aug 2014 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Aug 2014 #2
merrily Aug 2014 #3
littlewolf Aug 2014 #4
tblue37 Aug 2014 #5
ReRe Aug 2014 #6
littlemissmartypants Aug 2014 #7
Divernan Aug 2014 #8
kelliekat44 Aug 2014 #9
eridani Aug 2014 #10
ProdigalJunkMail Aug 2014 #11
TexasProgresive Aug 2014 #13
egduj Aug 2014 #38
itsrobert Aug 2014 #15
itsrobert Aug 2014 #12
Emelina Aug 2014 #14
santroy79 Aug 2014 #16
sendero Aug 2014 #17
dballance Aug 2014 #18
raccoon Aug 2014 #22
Phentex Aug 2014 #25
Zorra Aug 2014 #19
NuclearDem Aug 2014 #20
IdaBriggs Aug 2014 #21
Lurks Often Aug 2014 #28
IdaBriggs Aug 2014 #36
dballance Aug 2014 #31
IdaBriggs Aug 2014 #35
dballance Aug 2014 #39
IdaBriggs Aug 2014 #40
Orsino Aug 2014 #23
Lurks Often Aug 2014 #24
liberal N proud Aug 2014 #26
NightWatcher Aug 2014 #44
Iggo Aug 2014 #27
tabasco Aug 2014 #29
dballance Aug 2014 #30
maced666 Aug 2014 #32
dballance Aug 2014 #34
Nye Bevan Aug 2014 #41
Ruby the Liberal Aug 2014 #33
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2014 #37
Go Vols Aug 2014 #42
taught_me_patience Aug 2014 #43
George II Aug 2014 #45

Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:06 AM

1. K&R....

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:10 AM

2. Yup, we do that too. n/t

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:15 AM

3. Absolutely. A friend who had worked his way through grad school as a

bartender always tipped in cash, even when he paid by card. I would always ask why and he would always just shrug. Guess he didn't want to be bothered explaining. But, I figured he knew what he was doing, so I did the same.

Same money for the customer, more money for the worker, less money for credit card companies. Win, win. And win.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:27 AM

4. I never knew folks got shafted like that however

I always tip in cash.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:33 AM

5. I have also heard that employers often skim some or even most

of that credit card tip so that the server sees very little of it.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 03:55 AM

6. K&R

Absolutely. They didn't used to do that, but as everyone knows, this isn't the good old days anymore. Tip in cash, and do your best to place the tip in their hand.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 04:10 AM

7. That is exactly what I do.

I watched my Granny do it as a girl. She would fold the money into a tight square and as slick as a magician she would grab that servers hand, give it a squeeze with some kind words and a smile you could never forget while deftly passing the cash as fast as the sweetest hummingbird.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 04:21 AM

8. Am reposting this to FB - thanks for this!

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 04:42 AM

9. I always tip in cash unless I don't have enough cash on me. nt

 

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:12 AM

10. Thanks for the info. We rarely carry much cash, but could easily arrange to do so--

--when dining out.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:24 AM

11. i haven't been a server in about 20 years and that is a dramatic change

we always received all of our tips every night unless we were in a hurry to leave and couldn't 'do our checks' and never even thought about swipe fees and such. the only reason some servers didn't like credit card tips was that you couldn't hide/not declare them...


sP

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Response to ProdigalJunkMail (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:44 AM

13. A DUer opening a restaurant was shocked when the credit machine tech asked him

"Do you want the swipe fee deducted from the tip?" Our DUer was irate to learn this was a regular practice and refused.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 08:02 AM

38. This is such a huge violation of federal regs,

That I question why a low level tech would risk tens of thousands of dollars in fines for the company he works for, just so the restaurant he has no association with can make a couple of extra illegal dollars a day.

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Response to ProdigalJunkMail (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:45 AM

15. Yup, I also tip more when paying by credit card

And sometimes I might be short on cash or don't have the right denominations of cash to leave a proper tip. If the tip is $7 and I have a $5 bill and a $100 bill. I hate asking for change for the $100. It would be much easier just to leave the $5. So tipping on the credit card is best for the server. In that situation, I would probably tip $8 on the credit card.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:38 AM

12. I like to tip with my credit card

Because I rarely carry cash and it also helps the server tracks their tips. I wait until the end of my pay period for my wages also. Plus sometimes in the restaurant it is standard for tip to be split with all the servers for the table (beverage service, waiter, buser, etc). Putting it on the card ensures everyone gets their fair share hopefully. Also, one time when I left cash, somebody at nearby table scooped up the tip while I was leaving.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:45 AM

14. Always tip in cash for one other reason...

Many minimum wage workers also get some sort of assistance for their families. If they officially go above a certain earnings they might lose it.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:49 AM

16. first I always tip & mostly good depending on the server preformance

 

but I think its pretty stupid that a customer is being asked to pay the wages of their employes. They should be making a decent wage and the tip shouldn't be expected but something extra for doing a good job. Just another way business somehow spun their obligation onto someone else.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:52 AM

17. This is going to sound goofy..

.... but I don't do that for a simple reason. Too many times when I have done that whoever is processing my bill looks at me like I am a deadbeat. Unless you pay at the table, it might not be obvious that you left a cash tip.

I try to make up for it by tipping generously, especially for good service.

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Response to sendero (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:31 PM

18. Well, yep. That does sound goofy. You can overcome that though.

 

I share your concern that the person processing my card might think I stiffed the server for their tip. Some times I actually do that - only when the server is a snarly shit and it is deserved. I have a pretty high bar for not tipping. As in I tip in almost any case unless the server symbolically pisses on my food. I understand that many servers are overworked, have too many tables and don't get the credit they deserve for their dedication.

I'm not a dumbass and I consider how many tables and people my server must have at any one time. It is not an easy job. One would have to really be a shit to not get a tip from me considering I know how little servers make and how tips make up a great portion of their income.

I write a note on the bill to explain it if I don't tip. Yep, that takes some effort and is not as easy as just leaving the table with no tip. I apologize if that seems condescending. I don't mean it to be. I just try to give feedback.

On the other hand. I find it rather simple to tell the person processing my card that I found the server to be quite a nice person and I left them their tip in cash. Most of those people are servers or started out as servers so they understand.

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Response to sendero (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:51 PM

22. I write on the line for the tip, "Left at table." nt

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Response to raccoon (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 01:59 PM

25. or I write cash in the spot

I think it's the same thing.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:36 PM

19. Duh. Thank you, I feel silly for not having realized this before your OP.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:37 PM

20. I actually didn't know about how that worked until my sister worked as a server.

 

Yes, cash is preferred.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 12:37 PM

21. If the server doesn't pay taxes on the $$$ (which becomes "underground economy money")

 

doesn't this impact their reported wages when they go for their Social Security when they want to retire? And (heaven forbid) wouldn't it also impact the amount of money they would be eligible to collect if they ever needed to utilize Social Security Disability funds?

<-- I am asking, because I have been making assumptions about "reported income" and if I am wrong, I would like to know. Short term thinking -- "money NOW!" -- may mean the difference between a reasonable retirement, versus chilling levels of poverty.

Sigh.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #21)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:06 PM

28. Probably, but a rather large chunk of servers

 

are people working during college and in their late teens, early twenties. They don't think that far ahead and don't expect to be a server for more then a couple years anyhow.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 05:06 AM

36. I have family who started thinking that way, but found

 

Some of the advantages in the flexible scheduling/enjoyment from working with the public (takes all kinds - lol!), plus comfort zone issues (it gets hard to change professions for a variety of reasons after a certain point) have kept them in the profession for decades.

Not the original life plan, but honestly, they seem happy, and it seems to be working out.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #21)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:33 PM

31. You are NOT seriously dinging servers for not reporting all their tips. Do you understand IRS regs?

 

Do you not realize that in many states the minimum wage for people who receive tips is still $2.35. Despite that fact, the IRS mandates that taxes are withdrawn from those people's earnings based on the sales of their customers as if they were making the full minimum wage or getting tipped even when they do not.

I seriously doubt that low-wage servers are as much a detriment to our economy and tax base as the large corporations that hide profits offshore to avoid taxes.

Get real, and go for the actual law-breakers.

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Response to dballance (Reply #31)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 05:01 AM

35. Dude, I am addressing the implications of NOT reporting on Social Security.

 

The "myth" is that servers are usually college students or just in it temporarily, but my real life experience is that a large percentage of servers are grown ADULTS with YEARS (not just a few months) of experience.

There is no question that sub-minimum wage is INSANE and HORRIBLE; that is not the subject of your post. Your topic was how to get more tip money into their hands (which I support).

My question, which you have completely ignored, is whether NON-REPORTING INCOME is going to screw with retirement and disability benefits. And yes, I understand that low income wage earners might not have the "luxury" of thinking ahead in such a fashion, but I am asking the question, so either answer it, or admit you don't care about the long term effects of avoiding reporting income which for the Very Poor Person will be returned as a tax refund anyway.

Disclaimer: Not a tax accountant. Not a Social Security expert. Questioning some of my assumptions, including putting the tip on my credit card to make sure my server gets the FULL benefit of accounting for it.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #35)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 09:03 AM

39. If you are so worried about Social Security then let's take the cap off.

 

We should take the cap off of paying into Social Security. That would mean those people who make over $117,000 would continue to pay into Social Security on their wages over $117,000. I think those people can well afford it much more than the servers who are living below the poverty line.

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Response to dballance (Reply #39)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 12:54 PM

40. What we have here is a failure to communicate. You don't even understand what I am talking about.

 

If you go HERE: https://secure.ssa.gov/acu/ACU_KBA/main.jsp?URL=/apps8z/ARPI/main.jsp?locale=en&LVL=4

you can pull up an estimate of what you can expect to get from Social Security when you retire.

Social Security is AN ENTITLEMENT because PEOPLE PAY INTO IT. In theory, the more you pay in, the more you get out (with a cap, I think).

This means that people who work "under the table" in addition to NOT paying taxes, ARE NOT paying into Social Security, which means the benefits they will receive at retirement or if they end up on disability will be REDUCED.

So, to recap:

Pay your server in cash / under the table: they get an IMMEDIATE cash benefit. Most will *NOT* claim the additional income on their taxes, and contribute a portion of it to Social Security.

Pay your server with a credit card, and the employer will take out taxes and a portion for Social Security. The taxes, if the server is low income, will be refunded through things like the "Earned Income Tax Credit" and such. The income reported to Social Security will *increase* the amount they are eligible to receive if (heaven forbid) they end up on Social Security Disability, the amount their minor children will receive if (heaven forbid) they die, and the amount they and/or their spouse will receive upon retirement.

I am not talking about "social security is going to run out of money - everybody panic!" I am talking about taking care of tomorrow, even if you are dead broke today.

I don't like the "less than minimum" wages that servers get paid, but I also know the myth that "service workers only do it during college" is exactly that - a myth. It infuriates me that some employers would pass on a portion of the credit card charge to their employees, but I also know "profit margins" for restaurants can be razor thin, with everything from bad weather to changing tastes to increased costs affecting the income of everyone involved in one. Sometimes "spreading the pain" to keep everyone employed may seem like a good idea; it is not my field, so I will do my best not to be too judge-y about it, and I will continue to "tip well" for good service.

But unless you can counter my concerns about the benefits of REPORTABLE INCOME, I will continue to put my tip on the credit card because I bloody well *respect* the people who take care of me, and I think they deserve some long term security.

Your mileage may differ, and as I said, I am NOT a tax expert; these are my thoughts about why I do what I do, which is obviously directly contrary to your advice.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 01:56 PM

23. I try to remember to carry cash in the right denominations.

When I don't, i ask a cashier to break a larger bill. Tipping on a card is a last resort.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 01:57 PM

24. I always do that, but for a different reason

 

Yes they get the money immediately, but it also gives them the option to.....adjust their income tax returns

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:02 PM

26. You know where people are terrible at tipping?

Hotel stays.

Always leave a little cash in the room when you leave with a note saying thank you.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #26)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 01:36 PM

44. We have to tip the Housekeepers now too?

When I stay longer than a day I refuse cleaning. There's no need to make my bed and empty the trash for me everyday. Hotels prices have gone through the roof and I'm not going to tip for there being a clean room when I check in. It is what I am paying for in the first place. If I need something special or extra, I'll tip but that's it.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:03 PM

27. Always.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 02:08 PM

29. Cash?

 

What's that?

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Response to tabasco (Reply #29)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:25 PM

30. LOL, I know what you mean.

 

There are, however, those green things we used to call currency. On occasion, when I was young many, many years ago, my father would hand me one of those green things with Andrew Jackson's picture on it. I could use it for a whole evening of fun.

Not so much now.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:35 PM

32. It's also a window for that money to go untaxed.

 

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Response to maced666 (Reply #32)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:45 PM

34. It's also a window for people living below the poverty line to keep their wages. Your argument fails

 

I'm not sure what your rather brief title is intended to mean.

I happily pay taxes in support of all the good things like public education, roads, bridges and libraries.

If it is a bad thing for a person making $2.35/hr as a tipped person to keep some dollars in hand and avoid taxes on those dollars to meet the needs of their family then it must be a horrible crime for corporations that make billions of dollars in profit to hide those profits offshore in order to avoid US taxes. Let's look at this in context.

You tell me which one of these cases is morally superior.

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Response to maced666 (Reply #32)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 12:58 PM

41. I see that as a feature, not a bug.

Hedge fund managers have lobbyists in DC to reduce their tax. Hard-working waitstaff have people willing to tip in cash.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Aug 7, 2014, 05:38 PM

33. Things may have changed, but back when I was in college

and working in restaurants, they set your tax withholding on the hourly rate PLUS 8% of your bill. If your reported tips came to 10%, they used the actual number, but if they were less than 8, they used 8.

Worked out in the end pretty much, but many of the places I worked were cash only (bars) so it was just what it was.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 07:15 AM

37. k&r

 

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 01:07 PM

42. I only use a credit card

when buying online.
The restaurant I frequent the most only accepts cash or checks,no plastic. They do get tipped well.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Fri Aug 8, 2014, 01:14 PM

43. Lol... nobody likes to pay taxes - the real reason waiters prefer cash

 

As a business owner, I prefer patrons tip in cash. When they tip with a credit card, I have to eat the 2.7% fee out of my own pocket. We divvy up credit card tips by hours worked for the day, so it is a little more fair to those who do not have the best shifts (afternoon).

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Sat Aug 9, 2014, 02:44 PM

45. I've been tipping with cash ever since I was driving a cab...

...in NYC back in the 1970s. Most places split up the cash tips at the end of the shift and the workers get paid that day.

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