The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Friday, January 18, 2008

No taxes on tips?

Damn, I almost would have caucused for Ron Paul just based on this...

I never really minded paying my fair share, but I wouldn't mind my check actually coming to me with money on it instead of this.


Guess we'll see if this goes anywhere. I know some people have commented on here and other sites such as bitter waitress that we servers are somehow flush with riches due to us not declaring our tips.

Let me put it this way, most restaurants automatically claim charge and debit card tips as taxable. True, we might not always claim all of our cash tips, but saving a hundred bucks or so a year in gyping the government is hardly putting me or any other restaurant worker ahead of the next average worker.

Really we get the screws put to us because our substantially small wage rarely covers the taxes we do claim, giving us no idea where we sit at April 15th.

Some years I have received hundreds back, most others I've owed, the $1200 bill I received by the state was a nice surprise for this full time student.

It was also nice to be denied a Pell Grant because I made to much, I guess if I wouldn't have squandered all my tax free earnings on food, rent and heat my tuition would have been easier to pay this last year.

In related news our pay went up to a whopping $4.30 an hour, causing mass panic amongst restaurants used to exploiting cheap labor. There were all kinds of editorials about how prices would soar, wall would crumble and the doors would close.

Small businesses wouldn't be effected by the minimum wage and frankly all those restaurants owned by large chains can afford fifty more cents as a slight penance for their sins against both the working man as well as the palete of Americans in general.

Passing through Minneapolis this summer I couldn't help but notince restaurants about ever block or so, and yet their servers get paid in excess of the federal minimum wage.

A friend of mine lives in Oregon and they pay even more than that, yet somehow the restaurant business isn't on their knees.

I'd love to see the day comes when tips are really treated like management claims, as a gift, and the day when we get an actual paycheck instead of a bill.

But I'd believe it when I see it.


At 6:55 AM , Blogger Kay said...

at least your making over 4 dollars, i only get paid 2.33. The company i work for starts you at 2.13 for every passing eval you get a 5 cent raise, but the most you can make is 2.48 an hour.

At 9:31 AM , Anonymous Jeremy Pope said...

Enjoyed this post - have you thought about what would happen if there were no income taxes at all? The fairtax (HR 25) would eliminate all income taxes, payroll taxes, SS and Medicare taxes, and leave you with your entire paycheck. Huckabee's pushing it harder than any other candidate right now, though we hope to see other candidates picking it up.


At 12:40 PM , Anonymous Lisa said...

I work in Canada and make min. wage ($8/hr) plus tips and restaurants are still thriving and not charging huge amounts. The gov't here depends on us to claim our own tips. The restaurant doesn't tax them

At 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link to track the status of his bill.

At 9:42 PM , Anonymous Chris said...

I think the whole wage thing in the US (and other countries) is really intriguing. I have been out of the industry for nearly a year, and I was earning AUS$20 (USD$17.50, CAD$18, GBP$9) an hour, plus a bonus for working weekends.

Now, the thing that you have to remember is that Australia is not a tipping culture, so if the minimum wage was to rise, while some restaurants, bars and clubs would go under, I believe that there would be an increase in the quality of staff.

That's my two cents

At 12:08 AM , Blogger Ridonkulus said...

after hearing that tips left on credit cards are charged a merchant fee that comes out of the server's pocket (true or false?), i try my best to leave cash tips. your post is even a greater push to leave cash tips.

At 12:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Paul, because even White Supremecists need representation!

Don't kid yourselves, there is no way to remove the income tax without replacing it.

OR has no sales tax.

When you're ready to really discuss restaurant finances, please feel free to ask.

I am not a fan of most restaurants payment plans; I think they could do it much better, and in the process give more to the front and back of the house. But it's not NEARLY as clear cut as is commonly represented.

At 3:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to claim most of my tips, sometimes 10% of my total sales, but I also have the IRS taking an extra 20 bucks out of each check, just as an added little security. I've not had to pay, at least not as of yet.

Having a couple of different pay rates helps, because they have money to take the taxes from when it's not all at server pay, and I still have money left over.

At 3:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Servers in Oregon get paid minimum wage. Which in Oregon is 7.95. Every single year though the restaraunt association tries to say they're all going to die if they have to pay people minimum wage and tries to get laws passed so they don't have to pay it.
And in Oregon although we don't have sales tax our state income tax is insane. It's usually the highest amount toget taken from my check.

At 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you understand what the raise in Mimm wage really is. It's a tax increase to everyone involved. It has'nt raised your standard of living because your paying more for everything these days. You raise wages and more taxes ars collected on the higher wage. The employer taking a bashing here has to match all those taxes you pay ,and more unemployment taxes are paid to the state WAKE UP it's not a raise it's a tax increase for everyone. Right now your Bob Crachett of a boss is facing food cost increase's near 17% on just about everything they buy due to the Fuel and Corn shame . Now that I got that out I agree the Tip and Tax thing is BS. By the way did you know that The IRS wants the employer to make sure you claim 100% of your tips? This is interesting because the more you claim the more the employer has to pay as well. As an employer what would you do? Claim more and pay more or just have them claim what the POS says and hope they don't get an audit.

Thom D

At 4:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you think you're insane... check this ridiculousness out!

so, ive been waiting tables for, i dont know, ever, while working my way through school. never have i seen this before ~ our restaurant, which naturally shall remain nameless, actually collects all of our tips (all cash at the end of the night) and then writes us a check each week!

as if that wasnt bad enough, the check's are supposed to be there "monday or tuesday" but usually dont arrive until at least after 5 tuesday night.

i know, i do work in Ca, so at least i'm making minimum wage plus tips, but still, thats just covering my taxes

At 4:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

$2.13/hr in Texas + our restaurant deducts 3% of our sales to cover credit card finances + we tip out 4% of sales to cover hostess/bartender/bus boy/food runner tipouts (that's 7% of sales!! ) + we get paid bi-monthly (always late of course) for hourly and credit card tips -- only take home the cash... better than flipping burgers I guess, but geez.........

At 9:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person who have never been a waiter in there life never understand how the whole thing works but to tell you the truth no one listen anymore big restaurants try there best to cater to high end clients like congressman and celebs to make sure $2.13 never increases and now trying to find ways to get money from you for working for them.
Why don't let us print all this written here and just place it on every table in every restaurant how will it look for the restaurant that they charge credit card charges or the waiter have to pay the busser and bartender and some times managers try to get some out of your tips.
A restaurant owner who clams to be a diners friend is out there just to get money from everyone.

At 1:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am particularly annoyed by restaurants and servers who automatically roll a 20% "gratuity" into your check, don't tell you about it and then still leave the impression and space for you to tip. I've been slapped with a 40% "tip" scam like this on a few occasions when I haven't paid enough attention. it really aggravates me.

At 10:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: C. Lambeth--

Wait, you're "aggravated" because you can't be bothered to read your bill, or the print at the bottom of the menus that notify you of the gratuity policies on large parties? I don't understand how you can be angry at your server for following the restaurant's policies. It's not like he is arbitrarily charging you. Perhaps you're distressed that the waiter has accredited you a modicum of intelligence and assumed you could read, or had dined out before.

At 3:44 AM , Anonymous Fredrick D. said...

$2.13 in Tennessee, 3% alcohol sales tip out to bartenders, 3% food sales tip out to food-runners, average $7-$10 parking. Even when I use the restroom there is somebody giving me soap asking for a handout. Looking at upwards of a 20% "tax" before Uncle Sam gets a hold of it.

You are only subject to gratuities if you have a large party, 5-6 minimum, or you either drink a ton of water or alcohol and run me to death.

At 3:39 AM , Anonymous payroll providers guelph said...

Paying higher wages and empowering people may increase consumption, demand and prices as an effect, but you never know when putting some inputs in the hands of some intelligent and creative psyches will result in fruitful gains.



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