Skip to main content

Tips For The IRS

Our friends at the IRS are cracking down on the people who do not need to be cracked down upon... The Service Industry.  Starting in January 2014, the large party automatic gratuity will go away and be replaced as a "service charge," so restaurants will have to report this income and it will be taxed.  What does this mean for many servers?  Most places will probably do away with the large party gratuity and leave it up to the customers to determine the tip for a party of 8 or more people.

Great!  Just what a server wants to hear.  That their tip is being handled by the restaurant they work for and the customers we serve.  Right now, I happen to work at both a hotel restaurant, and a "free-standing" restaurant.  At the hotel, they've moved our tips onto a paycheck so all of our tips are taxed.  At first, it sucked.  But I realized later that it's better for things like trying to get a loan, or to show income by having my tips on my paycheck.  But the other restaurant doesn't do that.  That's what most servers want, because it's up to us to report our tips to the IRS.  Most credit card tips are taxed, leaving the cash tips up to the server to declare.

Not declaring your tips is a mistake.  As a server, I'm not supposed to say that, but it's true.  Like one of my old managers used to say, "You have to declare all of your tips.  It's not the '80s for Christ's sake!"  Which still makes no sense to me considering I wasn't old enough to wait tables in the '80s.  Unless you count setting and clearing the dinner table growing up.  But I was never tipped for that.

The real debate going on across the country is one about wages.  As far as I know, California has the best wages for the service industry.  Minimum wage is $8.00 an hour.  Texas still pays their servers $2.12 an hour, and they've been doing that since the early '90s!  Most customers don't feel like it's their place to have to make up for lousy wages with a hefty tip so us servers can afford to live.  I get where those customers are coming from, but also, it's been a tipping society for centuries.  In the Old West, you would order a bottle of Sarsaparilla from the bartender and throw a giant gold coin on the bar with a (BAM!) and that would be the payment and the tip.  So nothing has changed.

People just want to eliminate tipping all together.  Forcing restaurant owners to offer some sort of salary to it's employees.  That's not a good idea.  Most restaurant owners I know would make that salary very low, and the amount of people working in the service industry would decrease.  It wouldn't be a desirable job anymore.  Not only that but also the prices on menus would significantly go up because that's how the owners would have to pay the salaries.  Causing a huge ripple effect, making going out to eat a luxury for only the upper class.  And they don't need anymore luxuries.

Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.

"Bitter.  Party of 1?  Your table is ready."

The Bitter Bistro




FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER CLICK HERE
"LIKE" ME ON FACEBOOK CLICK HERE

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Letter to Yelpers

Dear Yelpers:

You think you're smart.  Nope.  You think you're cool.  Wrong again.  You think this is the popularity that you have been yearning to have since high school.  (BUZZ!)  Incorrect.

It's time for you to take the energy that you put into your Yelping, and focus your attention on yourself.  Your "opinion" is not important.  The fact that your meal was ruined by the color of your server's apron, or the shape of the plates, or that they didn't give you anything for free on your birthday just means that you were not a planned pregnancy, and you should be grateful that you made it to full term.

Ouch!  That hurts, doesn't it?  Well, do you think that destroying someone's business is okay?  That demeaning your server or bartender makes you look like you know what you're talking about?  If your opinion REALLY mattered, (it doesn't,) then you should crawl out from your hiding space where you Yelp on your laptop, and talk to someone face-…

Cover My Shift!!!

The anxiety of trying to get your shift covered at a serving job ranks up there with wondering if the pee stick is going to turn positive or negative after a long night of having shots with your coworkers, and you ended up hooking up with one of them.  Eventually, the pregnancy scare turns out to be negative, you get your shift covered, and everything is right with the world.

But trying to get your shift covered is never easy.  Especially when you feel like you go out of your way to cover other people's shifts when they ask, but when the time comes for you to ask them, it becomes an entire ordeal.

"Hey Steve, would you be able to cover my shift next Wednesday night?  My parents are going to be in town," I asked last Saturday night.

"I might be able to, but I won't know until Tuesday.  Can I get back to you then?" Steve replied.

"That's cutting it close," I said.  "Would you be able to tell me by Monday?"

"I can't cause I h…

Don't Forget Your Teeth

An older lady was dining with her husband, granddaughter, and her granddaughter's boyfriend one night, when the old lady turns to me and says,

"What do you have that's soft to eat?  I forgot my teeth."

Who the hell forgets their teeth?  Let me get this straight, when you looked at yourself in the mirror before you left, you didn't notice something was missing when you smiled?


"I know how you feel," I said, "sometimes I forget my phone.  I feel lost without it."  She just looked at me as if she didn't know what I meant by that because she still uses a rotary phone.  (Look it up.)

I explained that we have soups that she could have, but she was concerned about her choices for salad.  She and her family were using a Groupon, so they had to select from the items on the prefixed menu.

"Is the salad soft?" she asked.

"I could have the kitchen chop it fine for you.  That would make it easier to eat." I replied.  I was also g…