Music Venue Stirs Controversy By Letting Customers Add Tips for Live Music

Left: A receipt from Chris' Jazz Cafe / Right: Longtime Philly saxophonist Victor North, who cautiously calls the tipping policy "a worthy experiment."

Left: A receipt from Chris’ Jazz Cafe / Right: Longtime Philly saxophonist Victor North, who cautiously calls the tipping policy “a worthy experiment.”

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about tipping, first with prolific restaurateur Danny Meyer — he of Shake Shack fame — declaring that he was abolishing tipping at his New York City restaurants, and then with a compelling New York Times op-ed that connects tipping to race and flat out declares that “tipping is wrong.” Normally, tipping controversies erupt around the food industry, but now we’ve learned of one brewing in Philadelphia’s music scene, thanks to Center City music venue Chris’ Jazz Cafe. Read more »

Abolish Tipping? The Practice Should Actually Be Expanded

You fly to Chicago. Your hotel has a courtesy shuttle that picks you (and a few other people) up at the airport. The driver has a “tips” bucket in the front of the van. Do you tip him? How much do you tip him?

You arrive at the hotel. A valet greets your shuttle, helps you down with your bags and points you to the reception desk. Do you tip him? How much do you tip him?

Before going to your room, you go to the Starbucks in the lobby. You buy a $4 coffee. Typical of most Starbucks in hotel lobbies you are given a receipt to sign which has a line for a tip. Do you tip the barista who poured your coffee? How much do you tip her?

Later that day you leave your hotel and another valet hails you a taxi from the line of taxis waiting around the corner. He opens your door, tells the driver your destination, and wishes you a good day. Do you tip him? How much do you tip him?

You check out of the hotel the next day. Before leaving your room do you leave a tip for the housekeeper? How much do you leave?

Everyone tips the wait staff. But do you tip the coat check person? Do you tip the cab driver? Your hairdresser? The pizza delivery guy? The furniture delivery guys? The babysitter? At Christmas do you give “gifts” to your postman, your newspaper delivery person, the doorman, your trash guys, your manicurist?  Why should you? Aren’t they getting paid already for their job? Why tip them and not tip other service providers, like the flight attendant or even the SEPTA bus driver? What makes the SEPTA driver different than the taxi driver – aren’t they accomplishing the same thing?

Read more »

QUIZ: The Ultimate Guide to Tipping

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.

Read more »

UPenn Jerks Tip 40 Cents at McGlinchey’s (After Brandishing Two $100 Bills)

40 cent tip at mcglincheys

Jo-Ann Rogan was bartending at Philadelphia dive bar McGlinchey’s on Thursday night, as she has many times over the course of her 21 years there. And on this particular Thursday night, Rogan had an all-too-familiar encounter with one of the most dreadful things that a Philadelphia bartender has to contend with: cheap Ivy League brats.

Read more »

Meanwhile, Over On The Philly Post: Misinformation Is Like Information…

If the (very) active argument surrounding servers’ tips, City Council bill No. 110341 and Victor’s Q&A about same with Marc Vetri isn’t enough to satisfy your legislative bloodlust, then man do we have some good news for you…

Once the bill passed the Council and made its way to Mayor Nutter’s desk, Victor decided to put in a call to Councilman Kenney (who’d sponsored the bill, which disallows restaurants from taking out of servers’ tips a percentage of the fees that credit card companies charge the restaurant), just to wrap up a couple of loose ends from an earlier interview and see whether the Councilman was now willing to talk about some of the restaurateurs he’d spoken to while putting the bill together. The response he got was…surprising.

Now that the bill has passed through Council…I decided to give Kenney a call to see if he was ready to name names and call out these evildoers [who, allegedly, were charging servers the entire credit card fee, not just a small percentage]. Sarah Sachdev, Kenney’s director of legislative affairs, said, “To tell you the truth, I think that the councilman got a little bit of misinformation there. We did try to ascertain this and learned that it wasn’t the case.”


You can check out the whole story over on the Philly Post, and see Victor’s Q&A about the bill with Marc Vetri right here.

Councilman Kenney’s WMD Moment [Philly Post]

Marc Vetri is Pissed: A Q&A [Foobooz]

« Older Posts