Squeezing Blood From a Stone

Tip Talk. Many, many non-industry folks are severely misguided in their assumption that bartenders/waiters earn a decent salary. That notion is flatly false. Unlike many of our European counterparts, gratuities (a.k.a,tips) are what we depend on to earn a living here. The whole reason the system is set up as it is (here in the U.S.) is to allow a certain degree of “compensation flexibility” for service. As we’ve all experienced, that service can run the gammut from abysmal to extraordinary. The ensuing “tip” should be reflective of that service level. As a result, gratuity-dependent servers are highly encouraged to always put on their game face, lest they shoot themselves in the proverbial foot.

Net net? Give shitty service – make shitty money. Give stupendous service – make stupendous money. Well, at least it should work that way in theory. In reality, it actually does work that way most of the time. However, like inexplicable streaks at an Atlantic City craps table, there are going to be times in your bartending career where numerous, unpredictable forces of nature conspire to fuck with your income. A string of douchebags will occupy your bar for seemingly endless hours, either refusing to tip at all, insulting you with coins, or repeatedly committing an appalling financial offense like dropping two dollars on a round of 4 Mojitos and 2 Old Fashions.

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