Friday, June 27, 2008

Don't forget to tip your bartender

While Chris Rock had me rolling in the aisles of Ovens Auditorium on Thursday, some party scouts went to check out the Bobcats draft party at Whisky River.


The Bobcats people had given out "hot passes" -- mostly to season ticketholders -- that allowed partygoers to drink for free.

Nice, right?

Not if you're a bartender.

Turns out my friends overheard many of the WR staff complaining about the scrawny amount of tips they were getting.

I've fallen into that trap myself -- showing up somewhere with an open bar and not stopping at an ATM on the way there.

It's a good reminder for us all. Just because we're drinking for free doesn't mean the bartenders are working for free.

And as one female bartender lamented to a girlfriend in the bathroom, "You'd get served faster if you tipped!"

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tell the bartenders employers to pay more then they wouldn't need tips. The term tipping has gone way to far. It's a simple gesture to say thank for going over and beyond. Most dont do that.

Anonymous said...

I was actually there and heard some complaints while I was standing around, and saw some eyes rolled.

Therefore, I made sure NOT to tip.

Anonymous said...

Get real first responder. Bartenders and waitresses make their living from tips. What is the problem with taking care of those that perform a service? Instead of buying another bag of pork rinds, why don't you leave 50 cents for your server.

Anonymous said...

That's the risk you take going into a field where the vast majority of your income is based on how people are feeling. If you want stability, go to school and get a real job.

Anonymous said...

A tip should never, EVER be expected. It is a reward for good service--period. That's why I like to go to all-inclusives for vacation: no tipping allowed and I still get great service!

Anonymous said...

The Bobcats should have had the bartenders covered. But we all know the Bobcats organization runs on cheap. Who would expect more from there fans?

Anonymous said...

I'm in school and would venture to say much further in school than you. I bartend downtown on the weekends because it is the only job I can have while attending school full time. So don't rush to judgement on the "go to school and get a real job" comment.

Anonymous said...

"Get a real job?" Another idiot heard from. Charlotte wants clubs, bars, nightlife, etc and whose going to serve you? If you want to party "tip free", hang out at MacDonalds

Anonymous said...

Nobody is saying a tip is expected. When the service is good, reward the person with a tip. It's not hard.

Anonymous said...

If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out.

Anonymous said...

Bartenders should finish school get a real job if they want to work for something other than tips.

Anonymous said...

Bartending is a job for those with no self-respect. Whoring yourself out for tips is your own fault. Get a real job, and help someone who's not drunk.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the publisher of this blog tip all of the bartenders? After all, her mantra is "paid to party". She is really the one who needs to rethink her decisions. Why not, "paid to help the less fortunate"?

Anonymous said...

That girl in the bathroom sounds like every female bartender I have ever coma across - a bey-otch who EXPECTS a tip just for existing.

More than half the people at a bar drink beer which is usually priced at $4 per bottle and served warm by a bartender who wants a $1 (or more) tip for popping the top after they had you wait forever to get it. That's a 25% EXPECTED tip for providing as little service as is possible.....they don't need to be complaining. Improve your service and stop acting like you own the place.

You don't - you serve drinks.

Eric said...

Bartenders make like $3 an hour. tips are their income. If you dont want to tip dont go out and have someone serve you. Thats just the way it is now a days.

Anonymous said...

I could care less about bars and clubs downtown. I can think of a million things I'd rather do than go hang out with the kind of people that go downtown. You probably aren't further along in me in school since I've got degrees from schools that aren't in Charlotte. I don't get tips when I do my job, and I always have a smile on my face, and don't make people wait 20 minutes while I complete complicated tasks like pouring liquid into a glass.

On a side note, I'm speaking more to the career of bartender, not college job of bartender

Anonymous said...

Servers make "like $3 an hour". Bartenders make more, and get tip-out from servers.

And if you took your pork-rind 50 cents and left it as a tip you would get a nasty look just as if you left nothing. Which is too bad because I don't like spending a dollar for someone opening a beer.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling I am currently futher along than you considering I hold degrees from schools that aren't in Charlotte as well, and the fact that I am almost finished with my doctorate. Everyone commenting negatively on this blog has obviously never been a bartender. While I am not taking up for every bartender in the world, it is a profession that is exactly like any other. There are good ones and there are bad ones. Bartenders have no control over what drinks are priced just as sales people have no control over what they are selling is priced. If you don't want to go downtown, that is certainly fine, then don't comment on the situation. I certainly have no problem serving drinks and actually enjoy meeting people, but until you have been back there being screamed at by a number of drunk patrons constantly you don't understand. I also highly doubt you have the degrees you speak of or the structure of that sentence would have been much better.

Anonymous said...

wow the majority of you have no idea what you are talking about.
The service industry makes the U.S. cash flow go around, where we might not buy large ticket items ie. homes cars tvs... we put all the cash into our economy.. Most of us have college degrees!!!!!!!!
service does not mean disgrace..
Just so you know that bar you love ...
is owned by a past bartender
s.

Anonymous said...

Having worked myself for tips in the past and recognizing that it is an essential part of the worker's income, I still say the system is out of whack. You get the people that say it's "a simple gesture to reward going above and beyond" but in reality, the laws are written so that it is supplemental income and employers don't pay a cent more- so there IS an expectation. So to the OP, a 25% or more tip might be for above and beyond, but 15%-20% is reasonable and customary for "regular" service. The problem is not everone agrees with that and people cop attitudes for having to pay for a service that they feel should already be paid for. I feel sorry for anyone still working for tips because expectations in laws, from employers, and from the workers do not match up with expectations of the tipping party. Open bars should have a minimum tip charged to the bill. I think the laws should be changed so workers make a reasonable wage and then tipping can be optional again for the "above and beyond."

Anonymous said...

Oh Please bartenders are certainly hurting after getting $3 an hour plus the tips and getting tipped out from servers, they are making plenty.

There are certainly who are worse off.

barry the barfly said...

Actually employers do pay "a cent more" if the employees income doesn't make at least minimum wage. So they're guaranteed the same pay as any other worker in the state. The incentive for working such a job is the POTENTIAL for making more through tips.

Tips are not required. Period. They are expected, whether that is agreeable to you or not is up to you. I strongly dislike feeling compelled to leave a tip for a bottle of beer, but I do anyway. Which is why I only go to certain estalishments with bartenders I like. That group does not include any bar inside the 277 loop.

Anonymous said...

Its very simple...you dont tip decent dont expect me to pass up on the guy or girl who has been tipping me good for You.You would do the same thing.

Stephen said...

My response to the "if you can't afford to tip, don't go out" argument is this: If you can't deal with the fact that not everyone tips, don't work in the service industry.

Anonymous said...

No, employers do not pay a cent more. You will be very hard pressed to find anyone waiting table or bartending that makes much over $3.10/hour. I know friends that wait tables and have to work one lunch a week, 11 - 4 and make $10 in tips for the day. So they made $3.10/hour plus $10 in tips for a five hour day, $5.10/hour. What is minimum wage? Tipping is part of their wage. Tip or go to McDonalds. I would certainly suggest not frequenting a place if you don't tip. You service will get worse each time you go and you never really know what they are doing to your food. Plus, in most places your servers are the ones that clean your table, clean up the mess your kids leave, clean the floors all for $3.10 an hour. The only reason they do it is for the tips. And you folks that go sit at your table and have salad and water or tea and drink 25 glasses of tea or eat a buffet where the wait staff keeps bringing you drinks and clearing your table, 20% might not cut it.

Anonymous said...

If you can't deal with the fact that tipping is part of going out and being waited on, don't go out!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, these idiots that don't tip show me how many have never had to work in the service industry.

Tipping is part of the industry. If you don't like it, buy groceries and stay at home. It is an implied rule.

Of course, the same jerkoffs that don't tip are the same ones who stand at the service stand and whistle or snap their fingers. They usually don't realize that they look like asses to everyone else ;)

Marie said...

I am not going to be as agressive as others in responding to the blog, but when I go out to a restaurant or bar, I always leave a tip. I do expect good service-and will only not give a tip when the service is BAD. So when walking into an establishment my thoughts are always in tipping, unless you work hard to not get tipped.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of servers have piss poor attitudes and do an all-around terrible job. Do they deserve a tip? I don't want to come across as totally insensitive, but if you're working to make a ton of money, why not get a job where your pay is steady, and not dependent on how others judge your work. In response to the "tip or go to McDonalds statement", why not take a job at McDonalds. You are doing an job of equal difficulty, and they will probably pay you more than minimum wage. Or you could always lay bricks. Most bartenders have some sort of complex where they think they are king of the bar, and the people they are waiting on are indebted to them. And the fact that some people didn't work in the service industry isn't a mark against them, just like working in the industry is some sort of badge of valor. Some people just found better ways to make money.

Anonymous said...

The dis-service industry in Charlotte is awful IMO. It seems the more attractive bartender, the worse her attitude/service is. As many pointed out, many bartenders think their patrons are obligated to leave 20-30% tips. News flash.. TIP means "To insure promptness" If bartender/server is not and/or has a poor attitude, a tip is unlikely period. Don't like it, get out of the service industry. Simple enough.

Anonymous said...

Huh. You guys who don't tip bartenders must consume only drink per visit in a bar.

Everyone knows if you don't want to wait for a drink - you pay for your first drink, tip heavily, and then start your tab. With your first tip, you are ensuring that the bartender gives you prompt service. Granted, you still tip when you tab out, as you are happy to not have had to wait for your mojito.

I agree with the other people on here - if you don't go out - you have no point of reference so shut up. This discussion is about BARTENDERS - not servers, not the dry cleaners, not the guy who vacuums your car at the car wash.

Seriously. Let's try to remain focused here.

Anonymous said...

I've never worked in the service industry, but I respect everyone who does. If you take care of the bartender...she/he will take care of you. This is just like valeting your car. Tip upfront for a good spot and then again at the end. I will give a bartender upfront money to start...$20. This seals the deal for good service. They know who I am and what I want to drink. Many times I don't even ask, its just poured. If you are at a free event and don't tip, then it shows what kind of person you are. Don't hate on their job either. I bet the bartenders make more money than some of the people telling them to get a real job. I know some make $500 a night and work only 3 nights a week. You do the math and I'm sure their income is more than yours.

Bryce said...

I always try to tip my bartender! I have a habit, bad or not, of over-tipping. (Which I think will get you great service the next time you are in) Actually, the reason I am commenting is that your blog inspired me...since I found it through a Google search today! So, thank you!

http://1man1millionposts.blogspot.com/2008/10/dont-forget-to-tip-bartender-5.html

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up, though about 6 months too late. I'm a bartender. I ignore people who I know don't tip. To those of you who don't, do you know we live off of our tips? As in, we get paid less than minimum wage, the employers expecting that tips will make up for the deficit. Furthermore, we work hard. When there are 20 different people screaming at us for this or that, it gets crazy. By the end of the night, I'm sweating, and frazzled, and my makeup is a mess. Our feet hurt from standing for hours on end. We're irritated at being asked for our numbers. Anyway, I digress. Tip your bartender if you want service. That's that.