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Letters to the editor: Servers depend on income from tips

Leave tip only if it is warranted | Jan. 4, letter

Servers depend on tip income

The letter writer's ridiculous opinion on tipping hit a raw nerve. I worked in the food service industry for over 30 years and people with attitudes like his are the reason I got out.

Did it ever occur to him that serving is a very difficult job and is both physically and mentally grueling? I would like to see how long he would last as a server!

One can tell just by the tone of his letter that he is one of the many here who need a little information on how the food service industry works. First off, the acceptable area one should tip is 18 to 25 percent, depending on the type and amount of service required (casual vs. full service fine dining, wine service). If you can't afford to tip properly, take another letter writer's advice and stay home!

The majority of servers are paid $3.77 an hour by their employer. This comes out to $30.16 for an eight-hour shift — big bucks! Most of you would not get out of bed for that wage. In those eight hours, they spend around an hour or more doing prep and "side work" and are not on the floor generating tips.

Technically, by law, the server is to receive minimum wage during hours not worked generating tips, but they do not, and the Labor Department allows restaurant owners to get away with it.

I'd also like to mention a couple of pet peeves of mine to those who drink only water when eating out. My experience has been those drinking free beverages usually require more service than those who do not. It does not add any amount to the bill.

Also, plate sharing. When a couple shares a $6.99 dinner and has two waters, it is not acceptable to tip out on the cost of the bill, about $1.50 to $2. Keep in mind the server had done extra work (served a cost-free beverage, served two people) under these types of circumstances and tip accordingly.

Also, 99 percent of servers are required to tip out fellow employees a certain percentage of their total sales — I repeat, total sales — not on their total tips generated to supplement their wages, which are less than minimum as well. This can include bus person, bartender, expediter and sometimes kitchen crew and host.

It is another way the owner cuts his labor costs at the expense of the server. These tip-outs can add up and severely affect their take-home money if people do not tip properly.

For example, when people tip little or none, this actually costs the server money. Let's say the dinner cost $30. The customer feels service is not up to his standards and tips nothing. Server at the end of shift pays a percentage of sales (his $30 minus 5 percent = $1.50 cost to server).

So, to the people who eat out, please keep this information in mind when the bill comes. It's a tough profession.

Gail Mitchell, Spring Hill

Changing sign rules unfair favoritism | Dec. 28, editorial

Count me in for 'fair' favoritism

Let's have no more of that in this newspaper. From now on, nothing but fair favoritism!

Arnold Peabody, Clearwater

Year's first baby story a headache

Congratulations to Erin Sullivan and the Pasco Times for the fine feature article on the mother who delivered the first baby in Pasco County this year.

Let's see now, the mother is 20 years old, having her second child while her first will be a year old in two weeks. The father (nobody said husband) is in the Pasco County jail and has not seen the mother since his arrest in October on a charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. Oh yes, then her family was too drunk in the early morning of Jan. 1 to take her to the hospital, so she had to call her grandmother.

I'm sure glad your newspaper and Erin Sullivan chose to write this uplifting article for section front page for all of us to read. It sure made me feel good, or maybe that was the aura before the migraine.

Robert Jacobson, New Port Richey

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The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

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Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668, or by fax to (727) 869-6233 or go to www.tampabay.com/letters/.

Fill out the form to supply us with your personal information, the subject line, and type your letter in the space provided. You can also cut and paste a letter that you have prepared elsewhere in your computer. When you are done, hit the button that says "Submit My Letter."

. share your views

The Pasco Times welcomes letters from readers for publication.

Because of space limitations, letters should be of reasonable length (250-300 words maximum as a rule). Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

All letters must be signed and must contain the writer's address and telephone number. Addresses and telephone numbers will not be printed.

Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668, or by fax to (727) 869-6233 or go to www.tampabay.com/letters/.

Fill out the form to supply us with your personal information, the subject line, and type your letter in the space provided. You can also cut and paste a letter that you have prepared elsewhere in your computer. When you are done, hit the button that says "Submit My Letter."

Letters to the editor: Servers depend on income from tips 01/06/09 [Last modified: Sunday, January 11, 2009 9:42pm]

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