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(The Consumerist)   If you wonder why that automatic 18% tip is missing from your restaurant bill you can now thank the IRS   (consumerist.com ) divider line
    More: Ironic, IRS, restaurants  
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16869 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Sep 2013 at 7:53 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-06 03:19:27 AM  
Could, we please have 2 tipping threads in 1 day? If we get lucky we might get a trifecta.
 
2013-09-06 07:25:22 AM  
Earlier this week, NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote that, which he dubbed "irrational, outdated, ineffective, confusing, prone to abuse and sometimes discriminatory."

It's also high time to do away with paid restaurant critics. I mean it's not like there are millions of replacements out there who do it for free *cough*Yelp*cough*.
 
2013-09-06 07:31:59 AM  
It's time they scrapped the whole below minimum base wage for restaurants bullshiat and mandate the minimum wage.
 
2013-09-06 07:37:39 AM  

Bslim: It's time they scrapped the whole below minimum base wage for restaurants bullshiat and mandate the minimum wage.


But that will raise restaurant prices and hurt small business owners!
</sarcasm>
 
2013-09-06 07:46:02 AM  

angrymacface: Earlier this week, NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote that, which he dubbed "irrational, outdated, ineffective, confusing, prone to abuse and sometimes discriminatory."

It's also high time to do away with paid restaurant critics. I mean it's not like there are millions of replacements out there who do it for free *cough*Yelp*cough*.


The trouble with Yelp is about three quarters of the reviews are by staff shills or pissy ex-staff, and lean bias on way or the other.  So I kinda like the old school third party review without having to wade through all the bullshiat.
 
2013-09-06 07:48:03 AM  

sno man: angrymacface: Earlier this week, NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote that, which he dubbed "irrational, outdated, ineffective, confusing, prone to abuse and sometimes discriminatory."

It's also high time to do away with paid restaurant critics. I mean it's not like there are millions of replacements out there who do it for free *cough*Yelp*cough*.

The trouble with Yelp is about three quarters of the reviews are by staff shills or pissy ex-staff, and lean bias on way or the other.  So I kinda like the old school third party review without having to wade through all the bullshiat.


That's unfortunate, as it gives fairly good advice here in France.
 
2013-09-06 07:56:10 AM  

sno man: The trouble with Yelp is about three quarters of the reviews are by staff shills or pissy ex-staff, and lean bias on way or the other. So I kinda like the old school third party review without having to wade through all the bullshiat.


Yelp also has a history of extorting money from business owners.
 
2013-09-06 07:56:37 AM  

sno man: angrymacface: Earlier this week, NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote that, which he dubbed "irrational, outdated, ineffective, confusing, prone to abuse and sometimes discriminatory."

It's also high time to do away with paid restaurant critics. I mean it's not like there are millions of replacements out there who do it for free *cough*Yelp*cough*.

The trouble with Yelp is about three quarters of the reviews are by staff shills or pissy ex-staff, and lean bias on way or the other.  So I kinda like the old school third party review without having to wade through all the bullshiat.


The thing about professional reviewers is that they're generally known to the restaurant industry. So that means, they usually get special treatment. So their review is not indicative of a normal experience in that restaurant.

Yelpers, on the other hand, aren't well known. Except for those who make a point to talk about how they're such a big deal on Yelp. And those people probably get crappy service as a result (or they should, at least).

I really don't know what point I'm trying to make here.
 
2013-09-06 07:57:12 AM  
Like every consumerist story, this one is terribly researched.

A good chunk of waiters tips these days come on credit cards, and are typically already subject to withholdings.
 
2013-09-06 08:01:26 AM  

LineNoise: Like every consumerist story, this one is terribly researched.

A good chunk of waiters tips these days come on credit cards, and are typically already subject to withholdings.


I thought they got money withheld up to minimium wage equivalent, then after that it was up tot hem to claim they made more than that?

Were you a waiter?
 
2013-09-06 08:05:00 AM  
If the IRS ever got serious about forcing gratuity earners to report 100% of their tips, you could eliminate the deficit AND win the war on drugs.
 
2013-09-06 08:05:35 AM  

TenJed_77: That's unfortunate, as it gives fairly good advice here in France.


I wonder if that's to do with a more general respect for food and it's preperation, although I've been hearing that that's eroding fast there...
I'm glad Yelp is still what it was supposed to be somewhere.  I'll keep that in mind, there may be a French vacation in the next year or two...
 
2013-09-06 08:06:10 AM  
First laugh of the day.

consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-09-06 08:06:48 AM  
I tip with penis and drugs, unless the serving wench is fat, then I tip with a cheery scowl and some Jelly Beans tossed on the floor as a diversion while I make my exit.
 
2013-09-06 08:08:31 AM  
If you can't control your crotchfruit, don't bring them on the plane.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-06 08:09:08 AM  
Restaurant management, meanwhile, must now deal with an added headache of sorting out service charge money from tip money and knowing which to withhold taxes from.

Management has to ask their payroll provider to hack up some new code. No big deal. It's arguably beneficial for the restaurant because the more money goes through the accounting software, the less room the IRS has to estimate tips and required withholding.
 
2013-09-06 08:10:26 AM  
I'm all for them eliminating the mandatory gratuity for small parties, but not large ones.
 
2013-09-06 08:10:31 AM  

TenJed_77: sno man: angrymacface: Earlier this week, NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote that, which he dubbed "irrational, outdated, ineffective, confusing, prone to abuse and sometimes discriminatory."

It's also high time to do away with paid restaurant critics. I mean it's not like there are millions of replacements out there who do it for free *cough*Yelp*cough*.

The trouble with Yelp is about three quarters of the reviews are by staff shills or pissy ex-staff, and lean bias on way or the other.  So I kinda like the old school third party review without having to wade through all the bullshiat.

That's unfortunate, as it gives fairly good advice here in France.


Le *yelp*. Le *pant*. Le*wheeze*.
 
2013-09-06 08:11:01 AM  
Um...thanks?
 
2013-09-06 08:11:16 AM  

angrymacface: Yelpers, on the other hand, aren't well known. Except for those who make a point to talk about how they're such a big deal on Yelp. And those people probably get crappy service as a result (or they should, at least).


Yelpers are also completely anonymous so it's impossible to tell if they are shills.  I have never gone to Yelp and never will.  The chance for abuse is unreal.  Why couldn't an owner of a barely mediocre place make 100 accounts and post varying feedback that averages to 3.5-4 stars and nobody would be the wiser.  I'd rather listen to someone that I know isn't being paid by the owner of the establishment or pissy  ex employees.
 
2013-09-06 08:11:43 AM  

sno man: TenJed_77: That's unfortunate, as it gives fairly good advice here in France.

I wonder if that's to do with a more general respect for food and it's preperation, although I've been hearing that that's eroding fast there...
I'm glad Yelp is still what it was supposed to be somewhere.  I'll keep that in mind, there may be a French vacation in the next year or two...


I can't speak for the whole of France, obviously, but my mum lives in the Deux Sevres region and does not rate the food. Having visited several times I'm inclined to agree. I realise it's traditional and 'hilarious' to laugh at british food, but I'm a good cook, spend money on decent locally produced ingredients, and when we eat out out we put a lot of research into where... and we eat excpetionally well
 
2013-09-06 08:14:11 AM  

angrymacface: Earlier this week, NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote that, which he dubbed "irrational, outdated, ineffective, confusing, prone to abuse and sometimes discriminatory."

It's also high time to do away with paid restaurant critics. I mean it's not like there are millions of replacements out there who do it for free *cough*Yelp*cough*.


Easily half of Yelp reviews are worthless. Lots of people who rate restaurants based on just an appetizer they ate at the bar, complaints because the restaurant wouldn't honor some insane substitution request, and people just looking to brag about where they've eaten.
 
2013-09-06 08:14:15 AM  

Bslim: It's time they scrapped the whole below minimum base wage for restaurants bullshiat and mandate the minimum wage.


can we raise the wage of the kitchen staff to greater than that of the servers while we're at it?
 
2013-09-06 08:14:16 AM  
So why do so many people complain that tips should be 20% and up now instead of like 15%?
 
2013-09-06 08:17:58 AM  

Bslim: It's time they scrapped the whole below minimum base wage for restaurants bullshiat and mandate the minimum wage.


Yes. I agree.  Then tipping, if offered, would be for truly extraordinary service, not for normal service. I hate feeling like if I don't tip, I am actually making it so someone can't have a living wage.  What really sucks about it, is it isn't always the wait-staff that cause the problems. It could be the kitchen, the management (who doesn't have enough people on the floor), the host/hostess (who may have put too many diners on one waiter/waitress, or even that party whiny customers at the next table who  require constant supervision.
 
2013-09-06 08:19:16 AM  

Fuggin Bizzy: If you can't control your crotchfruit, don't bring them on the plane.


It is perfectly legal to do the speed limit in the left lane.  Why should I move over so you can break the law?
 
2013-09-06 08:20:11 AM  

TNel: Yelpers are also completely anonymous so it's impossible to tell if they are shills.


Unless, of course, you're someone who goes "Hey garçon! I'm a pretty big deal on Yelp, so you'd better give me the best service. OR ELSE!"
 
2013-09-06 08:21:45 AM  

AdamK: Bslim: It's time they scrapped the whole below minimum base wage for restaurants bullshiat and mandate the minimum wage.

can we raise the wage of the kitchen staff to greater than that of the servers while we're at it?


Depends on the Kitchen Staff member. Some are worth more than a good server, some less.
 
2013-09-06 08:22:01 AM  
Currently, when the restaurant adds $45 to your group's $250 bill, that amount is still considered a tip. The servers get all of that money and are responsible for paying tax on it themselves.

But very often its not. It's often now pooled and then shared amongst all staff including Mgt and the cooks and bus staff. Also many times wait staff is forced to bus their own tables and are still paid their waiting wage which is less than minimum wage, and then on top of that pool their tips.

I hate to go all Mr Pink because I realize that many of these people rely on tips, but its time to just farking do away with them. Raise the god damn wage rate and just pay a flat service fee.
 
2013-09-06 08:22:14 AM  
Just came to add to the chorus:

Yelp sucks, and if you trust the reviews you're dumb, and bound for disappointment.
 
2013-09-06 08:22:39 AM  
Was the 18% thing just because certain people weren't tipping at all?
 
2013-09-06 08:22:47 AM  

sno man: TenJed_77: That's unfortunate, as it gives fairly good advice here in France.

I wonder if that's to do with a more general respect for food and it's preperation, although I've been hearing that that's eroding fast there...
I'm glad Yelp is still what it was supposed to be somewhere.  I'll keep that in mind, there may be a French vacation in the next year or two...


Send me a mail eip. Could point you out a couple of places. I have friend that runs a French style tapas bar.
 
2013-09-06 08:23:34 AM  

Lady J: I realise it's traditional and 'hilarious' to laugh at british food,


I've been to the UK a couple times.  Hell, I just got back from Scotland this past Monday.  I have to say that the "British Food is Gross" thing is kind of inaccurate.  I've always had great food, outside of the whole "Let's put baked beans on our fried eggs" thing you people do for breakfast.
 
2013-09-06 08:25:13 AM  
Yelp is always kind of fun to decipher.  For the most part the worst reviewers end up outing themselves.
-The pretentious college design major talking about the outdated color palette in the local bar.
- The alcoholic who complains about the criminally weak drinks.
- The owner's relative who "can't understand how anyone didn't rate this glorious place five stars."
- The self styled food critic.  "I'm kind of a big deal on the internet."
 
2013-09-06 08:25:29 AM  

Tricky Chicken: Fuggin Bizzy: If you can't control your crotchfruit, don't bring them on the plane.

It is perfectly legal to do the speed limit in the left lane.  Why should I move over so you can break the law?


Yes, but if we enter the Syrian conflict how do we get out without looking like we are cutting out?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-06 08:25:44 AM  
Easily half of Yelp reviews are worthless. Lots of people who rate restaurants based on just an appetizer they ate at the bar, complaints because the restaurant wouldn't honor some insane substitution request, and people just looking to brag about where they've eaten.

When traveling I skipped meals most days rather than wasting time figuring out which reviews were legitimate or waiting for graphics and PDF menus to load on my phone. My trip was a great way to lose weight (about 3 pounds per week, which they say is unhealthy but I haven't dropped dead ye
 
2013-09-06 08:26:00 AM  

liam76: LineNoise: Like every consumerist story, this one is terribly researched.

A good chunk of waiters tips these days come on credit cards, and are typically already subject to withholdings.

I thought they got money withheld up to minimium wage equivalent, then after that it was up tot hem to claim they made more than that?

Were you a waiter?


No, managed a restaurant years back though, when credit cards first became commonplace in mom and pop joints. Uncle Sam isn't an idiot. They know you are a waiter, they know what kind of business where you work does, and based off that can look at a chart and have a good guess as to what your income is.

Lets say you make 30k a year as a waiter, 20k of which is from tips. If you were to not report that 20k until the end of the year, you would potentially have a big enough tax bill where they would want you to start doing quarterlies.

The way it worked where I was, was that 20% was withheld from any credit card tip. Same with any money that came out of a tip pool. Essentially the rule is that the people you work for are supposed to be informing the government of any income you make through them. That includes tips they are aware of. Obviously enforcement is going to vary from business to business and individual to individual, but it has been the case with pretty much everyone I have worked with as a waiter.

Think of it this way. If i leave a $20 tip on my credit card, and the establishment processes it and then gives me 20 bucks, how do they demonstrate to the taxman that the $20 was not income for the owner, and thus subject to his taxes?

Now there are ways to fudge a bunch of this, and cash heavy businesses like pizzerias and the like are notorious for doing so (and the IRS loves to single them out every few years, and has pretty nifty models to figure out how profitable you are based off stuff like how much flour you bought that year), but the fact remains, if you leave a tip on a credit card, Uncle Sam knows damn well that the wait staff were the ones who got that. In fact based off the type of business and the area, they can pretty accurately figure out what your overall tips were in cash as well once they know what your credit card tips were.
 
2013-09-06 08:27:23 AM  
Customers get screwed because waiters want to hide their income from the IRS. I wish I had that option.
 
2013-09-06 08:27:45 AM  
So not only are we supposed to tip 20-25%, I'm supposed to feel bad that it makes tax evasion more difficult for the server?

Whiny bastards.
 
2013-09-06 08:28:09 AM  
So the example is a server doing all that work at that higher rate to make $5.25 an hour?

Jesus christ, do you guys just hate one another?
 
2013-09-06 08:29:48 AM  
I've never understood why people read restaurant reviews on Yelp or any other site for that matter. If you want to know how the food is at a place, go have a meal there. Is this really such a difficult thing? Everyone has different taste in food, one only has to read any discussion thread concerning food here on Fark to realize that.
 
2013-09-06 08:30:13 AM  

DaisyandSpot: Tricky Chicken: Fuggin Bizzy: If you can't control your crotchfruit, don't bring them on the plane.

It is perfectly legal to do the speed limit in the left lane.  Why should I move over so you can break the law?

Yes, but if we enter the Syrian conflict how do we get out without looking like we are cutting out?


If you do the speed limit, you won't get a speed camera ticket.
 
2013-09-06 08:30:41 AM  
18%??? For fetching some food and drinks and asking "everything ok, can I get you folks anything else"? I had a girlfriend that was raking in $1200 a night in tips while working at The Keg....in cash.
 
2013-09-06 08:30:49 AM  

IdBeCrazyIf: Currently, when the restaurant adds $45 to your group's $250 bill, that amount is still considered a tip. The servers get all of that money and are responsible for paying tax on it themselves.

But very often its not. It's often now pooled and then shared amongst all staff including Mgt and the cooks and bus staff. Also many times wait staff is forced to bus their own tables and are still paid their waiting wage which is less than minimum wage, and then on top of that pool their tips.

I hate to go all Mr Pink because I realize that many of these people rely on tips, but its time to just farking do away with them. Raise the god damn wage rate and just pay a flat service fee.


There are benefits to tipping to the wait staff that are overlooked. First and foremost, a GOOD waiter is going to make more when tipping is the norm. You can argue that if he was really that good, people would still be kicking him a little extra, but that isn't going to be true.

For the business itself it gives them some flexibility with their staffing and ensures that the place you go to isn't short on waiters. Since it doesn't cost them much extra to have added staff, they can keep a few extra hands around for what might have been a slow tuesday, but they suddenly get hit with a big rush.

Likewise if a place is caught short staffed, there is added incentive for the people who are there to bust their ass and maintain good service. If they knew they were already going to get a flat tip, there isn't as great of an incentive for them to do so.
 
2013-09-06 08:32:43 AM  
These men were detained and questioned, in spite of doing nothing illegal. Therefore their second amendment rights were violated.
 
2013-09-06 08:33:29 AM  

LineNoise: liam76: LineNoise: Like every consumerist story, this one is terribly researched.

A good chunk of waiters tips these days come on credit cards, and are typically already subject to withholdings.

I thought they got money withheld up to minimium wage equivalent, then after that it was up tot hem to claim they made more than that?

Were you a waiter?

No, managed a restaurant years back though, when credit cards first became commonplace in mom and pop joints. Uncle Sam isn't an idiot. They know you are a waiter, they know what kind of business where you work does, and based off that can look at a chart and have a good guess as to what your income is.

Lets say you make 30k a year as a waiter, 20k of which is from tips. If you were to not report that 20k until the end of the year, you would potentially have a big enough tax bill where they would want you to start doing quarterlies.

The way it worked where I was, was that 20% was withheld from any credit card tip. Same with any money that came out of a tip pool. Essentially the rule is that the people you work for are supposed to be informing the government of any income you make through them. That includes tips they are aware of. Obviously enforcement is going to vary from business to business and individual to individual, but it has been the case with pretty much everyone I have worked with as a waiter.

Think of it this way. If i leave a $20 tip on my credit card, and the establishment processes it and then gives me 20 bucks, how do they demonstrate to the taxman that the $20 was not income for the owner, and thus subject to his taxes?

Now there are ways to fudge a bunch of this, and cash heavy businesses like pizzerias and the like are notorious for doing so (and the IRS loves to single them out every few years, and has pretty nifty models to figure out how profitable you are based off stuff like how much flour you bought that year), but the fact remains, if you leave a tip on a credit card, Uncle Sam knows damn well that the wait staff were the ones who got that. In fact based off the type of business and the area, they can pretty accurately figure out what your overall tips were in cash as well once they know what your credit card tips were.


French government does something similar, by using pizza boxes. Friend of mine used to run a take out only pizza place. Dude spent half his time buying.g boxes from people going out of business.
 
2013-09-06 08:33:44 AM  

ReapTheChaos: I've never understood why people read restaurant reviews on Yelp or any other site for that matter. If you want to know how the food is at a place, go have a meal there. Is this really such a difficult thing? Everyone has different taste in food, one only has to read any discussion thread concerning food here on Fark to realize that.


I read them, but take them with a grain of salt, especially when people biatch about service. You want a great time killer? Go look up the place you love the most on yelp, and find someone who slammed them in a review. Then read the other reviews of what that person wrote.

When I go out to dinner, I have literally thousands of places to choose from. Restauraunt critics and review sites help me find places that might be worth a look which I may not have otherwise heard of.

If you live in podunkville though and your choices are just what you see in your local strip mall, yea, I agree with you.
 
2013-09-06 08:34:00 AM  

ReapTheChaos: I've never understood why people read restaurant reviews on Yelp or any other site for that matter. If you want to know how the food is at a place, go have a meal there. Is this really such a difficult thing? Everyone has different taste in food, one only has to read any discussion thread concerning food here on Fark to realize that.


Well, I can only eat so many meals, and I'd like to increase my chances of having a decent one.  I don't relish the thought of wading through every crappy diner just to find one that can make a good sammich.  You should really rely on your friends opinions since you probably know their tastes.  But since I don't have friends, I go to critics.
 
2013-09-06 08:34:47 AM  
Yay tipping thread

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-06 08:35:06 AM  

Tricky Chicken: Fuggin Bizzy: If you can't control your crotchfruit, don't bring them on the plane.

It is perfectly legal to do the speed limit in the left lane.  Why should I move over so you can break the law?


Show me one terrorist that's been caught by those ball-cuppers at the TSA, and I'll shut up.  But you can't - it's all security theater.
 
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