QUIZ: The Ultimate Guide to Tipping

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

To tip or not to tip?  That is the question.

The answer wasn’t a difficult one for one wealthy patron of Rouge in Rittenhouse Square.  Earlier this week, the anonymous eater left the wait staff a $7,000 tip on a $258 bill.  Sadly, not all of us can afford to be so generous. In fact, some proprietors feel that tipping is a broken business model altogether.  This was said by David Jones the proprietor of the Smoke and Water, a 155-seat restaurant located on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia. According to one report, Jones (an admitted neophyte in the hospitality industry) has increased menu prices by about 18 per cent to replace tipping and intends to pay his staff a living wage, which is a business model that is accepted around the world in places such as Japan, New Zealand, Australia and parts of Europe.

Not sure what or who to tip? Don’t worry, I’ve got all the answers for you. Just take this simple quiz.

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Here’s a Fix for Our Fiscal Woes: Hire Staples Management

Convention Center photo | Jeff Fusco. Staples photo | Shutterstock.com

Convention Center photo | Jeff Fusco. Staples photo | Shutterstock.com

I’m tired of hearing the Mayor and City Council complain about our city’s fiscal problems. I’m tired of listening to our state representatives, congressmen, and gubernatorial candidates complain, too. We all know there’s a simple fix to the problem. Just ask Staples.

The office supply store chain (which is also a client of mine) is now testing a pilot program so that customers can buy stamps and other postal supplies at their convenience instead of being forced to go to the post office during the day. This sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? Not for everyone apparently. The American Postal Workers Union has staged national demonstrations in protest because Staples is training and supervising their own employees and not postal workers. By providing a less expensive, more convenient service for its customers, Staples is threatening the union.

We need more of this.

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15 Reasons Las Vegas Sucks

shutterstock_las-vegas-940x540

Here’s a sad fact: Las Vegas had more visitors in March than in any other month in its history. Sure, it’s the go-to place for conferences, events and conventions, which is why I have to go there about a dozen times a year. And each time I go I’m reminded of why I hate the place. I’m an experienced visitor to Las Vegas and you should know: Las Vegas sucks. And here are 15 reasons why.

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My Lousy Driving Is Costing You Money

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When I drive I sometimes go over the speed limit. When I park in the city I sometimes overstay my time. On occasion I’ve been guilty of texting while driving.  I’m rarely caught. I hardly ever pay fines. Do you blame me? That’s understandable. But don’t just blame me. Blame the city. Blame your township. Blame Harrisburg. They’re not doing enough to catch guys like me when I do the wrong thing behind the wheel. All it takes is a little technology, a few changes in the law and a different approach:

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Six Unfortunate but Real Reasons Women Are Paid Less Than Men

Photo | Shutterstock

Photo | Shutterstock

To all women: Yes, you are paid less than men.

There is no doubt. I see this with my clients. I see this at other companies I visit — both large and small. You are being discriminated against. You are being treated unfairly. You are still not considered equals in many workplaces — not everywhere, but in many, many companies. Why is this still the case, even in 2014? From my observations of the business world, I can list these six common reasons cited:

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Five Tips for Actually Meeting the Pope

Vatican Pope Family Meeting

Does it surprise you that Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett were blown off by the pope? Doesn’t surprise me at all.

There’s a pecking order to life. You blow off the financial services guy who calls during dinner. A beautiful girl gets hit on by an average looking guy and opts for the quarterback instead. Even I, a lowly small business owner, am often asked to meet for coffee or lunch with people that want to “network” or “learn more” or “share ideas” and most of the time I just have to say no. We all have to choose how we spend our time. The pope could be meeting and hearing the pleas of mayors and governors from the cities, towns, provinces and protectorates of hundreds of countries every minute of the day. But he chooses not to.

Clearly, the pope visiting Philadelphia is something that could be handled at a lower level without taking up the Pontiff’s time. The decision didn’t require a private meeting between the man on earth closest to God and two dudes from Pennsylvania. A little groveling from them at a public session sufficed.

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How to Thank Philadelphia Principals for Their Pay Cut? Let Them Do Their Jobs.

Philadelphia School District Building

This week, and by an overwhelming 83% margin, the union representing Philadelphia’s high school principals agreed to enormous pay cuts, a 10-month work year, and to contribute more toward their health insurance. We are grateful. We thank you.

“There’s not a cavalry coming,” union president Robert McGrogan said. “With a new fiscal year on our doorstep, we needed to do something to help right the district. We’ve ratified a contract, but we’re hardly celebrating.”

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12 Things You Need to Stop Whining About Now

Photo | Shutterstock.com

Photo | Shutterstock.com

Got complaints?  Hate your life?  Please stop whining.  I don’t want to hear it.  And I especially don’t want to hear…

I don’t feel good. Really?  Your tummy hurts?  You have a headache?  A bug?  In 1918 a flu pandemic killed 100 million people. Today you go to the Acme and get a flu shot for $15.  In 1952, 38,000 people contracted polio in America alone. Polio? Gone. So, please.  Go to work. You’re not sick.  You’re just hung-over.

More things Gene Marks would like you to just shut up about after the jump »

Fixing Academia: 5 Ways To Save St. Joe’s (and Every University Like It)

Nov 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Saint Joseph's Hawks mascot. The Hawk, during the second half against the LSU Tigers at ESPN Wide World of Sports. LSU Tigers defeated the Saint Joseph's Hawks 82-65. Photo | Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Saint Joseph’s Hawks mascot. The Hawk, during the second half against the LSU Tigers at ESPN Wide World of Sports. LSU Tigers defeated the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 82-65. Photo | Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

St. Joseph’s University is facing financial problems. Revenue is not as high as projected. Expenses continue to rise. So they’re implementing budgetary cutbacks. Last year the university ran a $4.4 million deficit. Wow, what a huge surprise, right?

I don’t mean to pick on St. Joe’s. It is an excellent college. I have a St. Joe’s grad working for me and I often meet the school’s alumni in the business world and find them to be smart and successful.  Also, I live near the campus (my kids often play soccer on their turf field) and I think their outreach to the community is great. I want them to succeed. But the university is facing a problem that many other excellent colleges in the area and around the country are facing: the problem of potential extinction.

People just can’t afford to pay $50-60K a year for a college education, even if it’s at a good school like St. Joe’s. The payback just isn’t there. The numbers don’t make sense. St. Joe’s has to make some hard and unpopular adjustments if they want to survive. Adjustments that won’t compromise their standards or reputation. And I’ve got a few tough ones to recommend.

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