Friday, July 18, 2008

Living the Hard Rock Life

I see the Hard Rock Cafe - that living embodiment of all that was laid-back, groovy, right-on, cool, rock 'n' roll and socially progressive about the sixties - pays its waiting staff well below the minimum wage, only making this legal by including tips in the package.  Rock on, guys.

9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I think the Indie's article has had some impact. A couple of days ago, I overheard a two redoubtable old ladies quoting it while asking the waitress about the establishment's policy over whether tips are used as a top-up on salary or go to the staff as, gulp, a tip. If everyone who visits an eaterie first asks to see the manager to establish this point, there's some chance that the more weasel places might change their policy and stop ripping off their staff. And their customers - when you tip in these places or are taken for an obligatory service charge, a shareholder of megacorp pops up and says "I'll have all that - we account tips here as profit, matey". Greedy. And very cheeky.

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  3. we always leave cash and usually after the card transaction has been completed and put away but I think the whole culture of tipping should be done away with and these guys get a proper decent salary they can rely on.
    I rarely eat out because I can't afford to and often because the food is no better than I can prepare myself (and I don't mind doing it) so I'm left with the problem of whether to tip the buggers because I know they're hard up or not tip because they're plain useless.

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  4. Ah, this is a European problem because customers don't usually tip, right, or if they do it's only a "pourboire" amount? Here, most people know to tip 15 to 20% of the total bill, or more if the service is particularly good.

    My daughter is waitressing this summer at a place pretty similar to Hard Rock (TGIF or Friday's, as it's known) and she only makes a salary of $1.75 an hour. However, she makes about $100 a shift in tips. And the waitresses share out a portion of their tips to the other staff -- hostesses, bus boys, etc. People like cooks make loads more per hour in salary, so it's not an issue for them. And bartenders make about $200 a night in tips, but also have to really know mixology and deal with tons of drunks.

    Alix is never bored when she's working because there's always a lot of drama at Friday's -- people trying to run without paying, drunks getting belligerent and starting fights, legal-age drinkers trying to give their drinks to teens, and so forth. It's one of the last restaurants around here where people are still allowed to smoke, so you can imagine the crowds it gets.

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  5. sounds like a nice place to eat, susan. :o/
    I don't know about a European problem - I think it's just us.

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  6. It's horrible, Ian. But the joint is packed every night.

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  7. There are very few restaurants in the U.S. which pay their waiters minimum wage. most pay about $2 and hour and expect the rest to come from tips. Most of my friends who do work as waiters usually get about $80 to $120 in tips for a five to eight hour shift at similar restaurants (and often even more than that).

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