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Arbol in PW

Nice article in this week's Philadelphia Weekly.

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Re: Arbol in PW

The tipping debate reminded me of this scene

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Re: Arbol in PW

Actuaaly it's beyond appalling, there is only one way that that would make it acceptable, and its a stretch at best, that would be if they shared there profits with there employees, that's assuming that they'll turn a profit, it is a restauarnt and they are by no means a profitable investmant. Pay for your own ****, its no one else's responsilibity but your own.

Re: Arbol in PW

In the owners defense of their policy they admitted to using the tip money to pay the servers more than minimum wage. They should post this so people know that they are tipping the owners and not the server. I was going to try this place but now I won't because of this policy. Seeing the comments in City Paper blog they need to reconsider this policy IMHO.

Re: Arbol in PW

Reconsider and refund the money

Re: Arbol in PW

Isn't this much ado about nothing? Do they have "servers?" - I've only been there twice and was helped by the owners both times. If you really want to give someone a tip, what prevents you from handing it to them directly?

Re: Arbol in PW

Every time I've been there, it has just been Beth and Oscar...the owners. So, what's the big deal.

Re: Arbol in PW

that whole "tipping for the greater good" and "to build an outdoor area" rubs me the wrong way...perhaps they should look into the Peace Corps with that mindset, NOT owning a cafe....

Re: Arbol in PW

sorry, but isn't it up to the employees to decide if the terms of their employment are unfair?

Re: Arbol in PW

To clarify the misunderstanding:

The girl who made the complaint was in training. She worked for a total of 3 days, over a one month period, 3 hour shifts, for a total of 9 hours. She was paid $8 an hour for this training period.

The two employees we have working with us now make more money by us paying them a salary than they would making all the tips for an entire day. At the end of the night we double check that the ratio is more than fair. So as our business grows, so too does their salary grow.

Also, it has always been our intention that we will not have waitstaff, and anyone interviewed for hire is made aware of this. When the garden opens, customers will pay in advance for their food and our staff will assist in clearing the tables.

Thank you for your support and this is the end of the discussion.

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Re: Arbol in PW

wait...it's the end of the discussion because you say so? lol. nice.

Re: Arbol in PW

As long as their salary grows as your business grows, I am fine with that arrangement.

However, you need to explain this. The CityPaper comment was not defensible. The way you explain it here makes much more sense.

Re: Arbol in PW

Yeah, that's some weird way of regulating income and compensation.

It sounds like it could be fair - at the end of the day - to the employees if they end up with the same or more money in their pockets. (And in fact, it could be even more than fair, especially for staff to have a guaranteed income, rather than the variable income from tips, at the startup of an establishment)

But in terms of customers tipping the establishment, that's really the opposite of protocol. Owners at many establishments are not tipped, since they earn the profits. I think this is less well known than it used to be, but that's the traditional way tipping was done.

Reversing that aspect seems a little underhanded--a way to have higher income without listing higher prices.

I say raise prices 15% and post a 'no tipping' sign. Then everything is above board.

Re: Arbol in PW

We have only been there once...within the first 2 weeks of them opening. First, there was maybe one other person in the place. We order at the counter and got our food handed to us over the counter. Was in no way tip worthy service, more like fast food service and you don't tip there. Second, we were not impressed with the food (lomito meat extremly tough), I believe from the paper write ups and message board the food has gotten better but we still have not gone back. The self promotion and advertising on the board was another reason, besides the food, not to return. This place is werid even for Nor Libs standards, and this tipping thing is just the icing on the cake.
-JB

Re: Arbol in PW

JB,

What's wrong with promoting itself on the message board?

Businesses SHOULD be promoting themselves here.

Re: Arbol in PW

jordan, 50%? come visit me at my bar! i love you

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Re: Arbol in PW

Hey Brian.

Does this also mean that if an establishment pools their tips they need to put a sign up for that too? Everyone is acting so righteous about their freaking two bucks. Usually, if a server isn't hading me a receipt at my table and taking my order there, I'll only tip if there’s a tip jar. Do you tip at Rustica if they walk a slice over to you sitting down? Almost all servers get $3 an hour throughout the city b/c they live on tips. It’s server minimum wage. Figure out what you are talking about before you start driving a huge bus over real people who are trying to keep that spot afloat. Get over yourselves, and find something else to bark about.

Re: Arbol in PW

I got a good look at their new garden space last night. It looks terrific. I can't wait to eat outside, and if you think that they reno they're doing to that space isn't a benefit for the neighborhood, then you are smoking crack.

It looks better than ever.

Jordan - 50% for someone bringing you a plate of food? That's ridiculous. No wonder service is so routinely bad...do people really expect 50%?

So, when you go to a nice restaurant, and the bill is $100, you leave $50? Maybe you should save your money so that you aren't renting a dumpy apartment in Fishtown forever.

Re: Arbol in PW

3rd&Brown

First off, I don't always leave a 50% tip. I generally leave about 25%. However, if the service is exceptional, I'll drop a 50% tip. The bartenders at my local watering hole are always well compensated. If I'm being ignored, I will leave around 10% to 15%. I try not to "punish" servers if they're busy, and I know everyone has an "off" day where you don't give it 100%. However, there are bad servers out there.

Second, waitering is a lot more then just "bringing someone a plate of food." It's about greeting the table on time, explaining the menu, getting their order correct, making sure their order is okay, keeping up with their drinks, promptly bringing out the correct condiments, etc. Now multiply that by 5 or 6 tables at a time. Food service is a tough industry.

Third, thank you for your rude regarding about my finances and apartment. I budget my money well enough so that I can both afford to go out and tip accordingly. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out. I had to work my way through law school in the food service industry. I know how difficult it is to be a server, and that most are working their way through school. Their entire income is contingent upon your own generosity. Treating people well is important.

It sounds like you never had to work for anything.

Re: Arbol in PW

Brian says:

“But Mike, please continue to contend that this policy is OK for us because you decided that the level of effort extended by the waitress did not cross your threshold of tip worthiness. Thanks for setting me straight on that and letting me know that it is acceptable to misdirect my money. Good luck defending that position”.

Mike says:

I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around, why it is that we are arguing about
this. I suppose in the end I am just a big jerk, and well I am okay with that, for these two reasons:

- I suppose I do set my “threshold for tip worthiness” higher than say someone like you. Simply bringing my food to me doesn’t warrant 15% or more. In the grand scheme of things and specifically in this particular situation the money left on the table goes to the “greater good”. The waitstaff at Azure can attest to the fact that Kymbo and I compensate well so we can eliminate the possibility that I am a non-tipping meanie.

- I have no problem defending my position and here is why: This is a compensation issue, correct? We tip to compensate for the service provided and at the end of the day the server goes home with their paltry $2.86 an hour (big picture here) and whatever they were tipped. Perhaps, it is the Machiavellian in me, but I strongly feel that the ends justify the means in this situation, for getting $8 an hour they have more earning potential than by the traditional means of tipping. Unless of course they wait on a bunch of guys like Jordan all day tipping out 50%.

Re: Arbol in PW

Excellent, people are bringing out their wallets and the thread's devolving into an "you have no idea how much money I make, so back off before I buy and sell you" d!ckwaving contest. Classic NL thread!

Someone mention a gun, I want LC chiming in here.

Re: Arbol in PW

I can feel the internet muscles flexing!

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Re: Arbol in PW

I bet ya my Dad can beat up your Dad. Dam what has this whole issue become.

Re: Arbol in PW

Oh yeah?

Well I bet my Vespa is faster then your Vespa!

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Re: Arbol in PW

i don't know jordan. but i think i'm in love.

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Re: Arbol in PW

Ah i doubt that abour your Vespa, I replaced the reeds, had it honed and bored 1 size larger and put a aftermarket expansion chamber. Toyota Prius have a hard time keeping up with me, so there.

Re: Arbol in PW

Seriously Cheese, I never knew you were sarcasm impaired. I know you love taking pot shots at me and all, but come on, but a little sense into it.

For those similarly sarcasm impaired, the point was to emphasize the ridiculousness of the 3rd&Brown financial "big league" post. Jordan, for what it's worth, I am on your side entirely on this - if that was not already clear.

Re: Arbol in PW

I NEVR TIP UNLESS THE GURLZ R HOTT

Re: Arbol in PW

3rd&Brown

I said nothing of the sort. When I said "If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out" I meant that as a general proposition. It was not directed towards you specifically. Perhaps it would have been better worded as, "When I cannot afford to tip adequately, I do not go out" or "When a person cannot afford to tip adequately, they should not go out." In any case, I stand by both propositions.

While I understand your position, paying people fairly and adequately is an important part of my value system. My grandfather, who is extremely wealthy, made it a point to tip generously and to treat people performing a service for you with respect. Like me, he grew up having to put himself through school by waiting tables. Part of the reason he became wealthy, in my opinion, is because he worked hard but treated everyone with respect and generosity.

When I go out, I budget both money for the cost of the food / drinks, and enough to leave a nice tip. If I can't do that, I stay in. It's easy to have savings and tip generously provided that you budget for it.

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Re: Arbol in PW

Agreed on the 1st point/paragraph. That's not how I read it. Apologies.

Re: Arbol in PW

if only Beth were around to chime in....that would COMPLETE this thread!!!!

Re: Arbol in PW

Cheese, I never got the invite to compare tax forms with LC although I did decline his board wide invite to meet on the corner of 4th and I think it was poplar last year. If you recall, you and I were supposed to get together and discuss my POV on how our armed forces were currently protecting domestic freedoms. I am still up for the drink sans the hot button convo.

Re: Arbol in PW

i'm down. just not at standard tap...i'm over that place. let's do it over some wine at ferdinand!

Re: Arbol in PW

pop pop -
Just post a time and a place and a handful of people will probably show up. Based on attempts at bowling get-togethers, the response will be hit or miss, but I'd say it's almost definitely that at least one other person you don't already know will show up.

I dig Druids Keep, but it's about the farthest bar in the neighborhood from my house, so I never seem to make it out there.

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Re: Arbol in PW

again, jordan. i love you. everything you say makes me melt

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Re: Arbol in PW

LETS DO IT AT FINNIGANS

Re: Arbol in PW

Even eGullet is talking about it!

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=114685

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Re: Arbol in PW

Check it out. The Consumerist picked up this story.

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Re: Arbol in PW

While I think this snowball is silly, and having heard everything out I'm agnostic on all this, lesson learned: on the internet "this conversation is over" is never to be uttered.

Re: Arbol in PW

Why don't they just place a big bucket on the counter and place a sign which says "For Renovations" and let their servers keep their tips.

Re: Arbol in PW

There are two problems with this arrangement. First, Federal law forbids it at all. An employee does not have to make less than minimum to be considered a tipped employee. They are a tipped employee if and only if they receive at least $30 a month in tips. That is, customers leave at least $30 worth of tips a month intending them to be tips for their waiter. Federal law forbids any arrangement in which the management takes any or all of the tips, even if the waiter makes more than minimum wage. State law probably forbids the same, but it doesn't really matter, since Federal does. As for letting employees decide what's fair and what's not, that system does not work well and encourages abuse and unfair treatment, as has obviously happened here.

Second, and maybe more importantly, this system completely takes advantage of consumers. They intended those tips to go directly into their waiter's pockets, not into the building. They assume the management is smart enough to price their food at a reasonably profitable level. Perhaps they are mistaken.

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Re: Arbol in PW

I was under the impression that unless it was "expressly" stated in the Constitution the 10th Amendment would allow State Laws to supercede Federal laws. So in my mind it does matter what PA state law has to say about this.

This thread really does need to go away and die.

Re: Arbol in PW

Mike -
The 10th amendment leaves to the state that which the federal government has no power over. It's a truism, and implied by the constitution before the bill of rights.

However, the federal government does have the power to make labor laws. State law never trumps federal law. However, the federal law the state goes against may be unconstitutional. If the federal law is constitutional (read: the federal gov't has the power to make a given law in the first place), a state cannot override it.

Re: Arbol in PW

Nicely done. And now I know...

Re: Arbol in PW

Mike,

The "Commerce Clause" of the Constitution ("the Congress shall have power . . . To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;") gives the federal government almost unlimited authority to pass laws.

Not completely unlimited, but its powers are immense because of it.

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Re: Arbol in PW

yawn...
you folks need to get out more.
take a walk.
ride a bike.
jeez louise

Re: Arbol in PW

jordan. u kill me

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Re: Arbol in PW

Starbucks just lost a lawsuit in which the employees' tips were going to management.

Re: Arbol in PW

The Starbucks case wasn't even as bad as this though. They were pooling all tips made per shift and then distributing based on hours worked. The problem was including lower-level managers in the pool. Tip pooling is completely legal. They just fudged things a bit. Completely taking tips for management is plain illegal, no matter what.

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Re: Arbol in PW

I've worked in places that pool tips and never were they shared with management or owners.

Re: Arbol in PW

will someone please just delete this thread. this is getting old and boring and stupid, yet, I cant stop myself from looking at it.

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