KITCHEN--STRIKE!!!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by dside510, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. dside510

    dside510

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    First post hopefully I'm in the correct thread. Sorry if not.

       I work in a very nice restaurant in the Bay Area. Ive worked in this Kitchen for full time a little under a year. Myself and some other chefs had discussion about how we felt it was unfair that the cook are not getting tipped out. Mind you ive worked in a few kitchens before. Im well aware Tipping out cooks are not super common in most restaurants these days. Im Here asking for help if any fellow chefs have experience with going about the formalities of creating a new system from within on what i feel is a needed balance in the world of restaurants.. COOKS SHOULD BE TIPPED AS WELL. 

       This is not a discussion on who works harder FRONT of the house VS BACK of the house. Very few have more perspective then myself. ive worked part time server simultaneously ever since i was a cook. Just to balance the low wages for what i truly love to do.

    Its my honest opinion both are very hard positions. But at the end of the day MONEY TALKS. and the ability to provide for my family from x-amount of tips serving definitely helps combat any BS dealt with irate customers. Now if i could only follow thru with my idea to cooked a small percentage of front of the house tips as a cook. to help combat all those days of ticket rush, cuts and burns, and just overall BS dealt with in a kitchen.

       Small things to consider when developing a idea of how to go about this.

    1. I have a majority of the line cooks on board. I mean when you open with " hey want more money" of course the answer is Yes.

    2. Even though they say " Yes, im with you" how far are they willing to go for the cause???.. im talking hold outs or strikes.

    3. Head chef...  my thought on asking him..  He probably could care less being he's the only one making good money.. im pretty sure any thought of disrupting hes kitchen is a No Go. so im not sure if i should even ask him to join the team.

    4. Lastly i do have a few friends in the front of the house. consisting of one floor manager and food-runner who is also responsible for dividing the tips amongst the front of house workers.      

    p.s the runner told me on a nightly basis those servers are making minimum $20 dollars an hour not including they're paid wages.

    Thats more then our Sous Chef.. and im embarrassed to say how much more then me..

    thanks for reading my first post.. im new to this site but enjoy every bit of it... hopefully you can give me insight on this discussion.
     
  2. grande

    grande

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    Unfortunately, higher courts across the country are deciding that tips are a servers property and thaylt they cannot be forced to tip out anyone who is not "normally tipped staff." Some controversy on whether this includes the expo or not.
    Your reasoning is fair, kitchen staff (cooks and chefs) make too little money. But, once you've been on the management side of the fence, you realize that restaurants run on tiny, fragile margins that can dissappear with cost overruns. Which would seem to indicate kitchen tips as a good way to keep wagesdown. But you cannot just demand someone else's money! The kitchen tip policy is decided at a management level and is more complicated than you think(taxes, payroll) not just cash in pocket.
    My advice to you? "Covet not thy neighbors a$$" etc. If you walk out, you will lose your job. Even if the chef begged you to stay, he would fire you as soon as he found a replacement. The servers will not give their money under duress. The tip policy will only change.on a gm/owner level. talk to them but don't expect much. If you are not happy with the money you make line cooking, go into catering.
    Its not your money! You're stirring a stockpot with a teaspoon.
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Bay area, huh?

    I though your previous Govenor, aka "the Govenator" made it a law that any money on the table belonged exclusively to the server, and any attempt to make the server part with said money would result in holy (deleted).

    You have every right to be ticked off, but things are not going to change any time soon.  If you don't like this current state of affairs, take off your apron and put on a white shirt and black pants, or get out of the hospitality industry.

    I'm not trying to sound like a smarazz, that's just the way things are, hope you can respect that.  
     
  4. beastmasterflex

    beastmasterflex

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    I worked in a restaurant where he paid everyone a base hourly and then the entire restaurant shared the tip pool. It was always done that way though from the beginning. It was a good place to work and a very strong team, but we had a hard time getting good experienced servers, and a lot of servers once they were competent moved on to better paying work. Sometimes you have to accept that if doing what you love is more important than making money you give up the right to whine about the money your making.
     
  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Waitstaff (last time I checked anyways) pull down a whopping 2-3 bucks per hour plus tips minus whatever tip outs are customary for that particular house.
    So let's say you worked 40 hours (as if lol) so your check will be in the range of 80-120 minus the usual deductions.
    Been a while for me but last time I had to feed myself and two kids there was also a deduction based on a % of total check sales......
    Correct me if I'm wrong about that.
    So go ahead and stick that hand out but don't be surprised if it comes back missing a few fingers.

    mimi
     
  6. cheftomlangdon

    cheftomlangdon

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    Some places I work do half tips for kitchen staff,
     
  7. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Yes and no.  As far as I know, the US is divided into "right to work States" and not.  In the "Right to work" States, any server working in a place that gets tips is entitled to a "tipping wage" which can be as low as $2.17 /hr .  Wonder who lobbied for that prime piece of legislation?...

    Here in Vancouver, B.C. the minimum wage is $10.25/hr and no tipping wages for servers other than for liquor servers, who earn , I think, a buck an hour less.  Over the border, in Wash. State, I think the minimum wage is something like $9.00/hr and no "tipping wages".

    I've said it before, many times, and I'll say it again.  This industry is in a big mess, and nothing is being done to address any issues, by anyone.
     
  8. grande

    grande

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    Right to work, i think, has more to do with not having to be in unions. A lot of states do have a tipping wage, but it, like the minimum wage, varies state to state, as long as it doesnt go below the federal minimum. And now, seattle has voted in a minimum of $15, that phases in at a different rate over 5 years snd has a tip credit for 11 years. So, yeah... big mess
     
  9. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    Strikes aren't a good tactic to force owners to tip share with cooks, because you would basically be coercing them to break federal labor laws, which could be interpreted as extortion. You can't coerce someone into doing something illegal.

    The Fair Labor Standards Act regulates how tips have to be treated in a restaurant. The owners do not have the option of circumventing it. The FLSA states that tips are the property of the server in a restaurant. An owner may set up a tip pool, or have required tip outs, but servers can only be required to tip out persons directly involved in the service of the customer. The FLSA specifically states that this cannot include managers, cooks, or any non-service staff members, unless the cook's position is a commonly tipped one, like a sushi chef or someone working a display cooking station somewhere that tips for them are common.

    There are restaurants around that have tip pools that include cooks, but they are violating federal law. They can, and have, been sued by service staff and had to pay back wages that were illegally split, plus taxes, plus interest, plus a 15% or more penalty to the department of labor.

    Individual states cannot make laws that undercut the federal laws, but many of them have labor laws more strict than the federal laws. With labor law, the federal government recognizes whichever law most benefits the employee.

    Pay discrepancy exists between service staff and kitchen staff not because of unfair policy. It exists as a simple result of "supply and demand". Servers make more money because it takes a higher wage to keep a good server at a restaurant. Cooks wages go up when the talent pool is too shallow or the competitions wages are higher.

    I don't find it an ethical undertaking to argue for more money based on what someone else in a different job gets paid. Skill and work required are different for every position. Basing your own value off what someone else makes is a path to a miserable life of discontent in my opinion. Everyone thinks their job is harder, more important, more valuable, etc. You'll drive yourself crazy constantly comparing yourself to other people whose job is not comparable.
     
    flipflopgirl and dside510 like this.
  10. Iceman

    Iceman

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    Good luck getting wait-staff to share their tips with you. I hope you the best, and I'd love to be wrong, but I'm thinking not a snowball's chance in Hawaii.
     
  11. planethoff

    planethoff

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    It is the fact that they have to deal with the general public and provide salesmanship and customer service is why they make so much more.  You have a bad night on the line and get into a cussing fit, you might get reprimanded depending on how much you go off.  Do that in the front of the house and you don't have a job.  Look at almost any industry,  The worker gets a pittance and the salesman gets the lion's share.  Charisma pays over labor every time.  Sad but true.
     
  12. dside510

    dside510

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    Thanks everyone for your insight.. Good post i can tell many are really well informed. I knew when i first posted this thread it was a slim chance. But hey thought it wouldnt hurt. maybe i would get lucky and hear of another similar situation i could benefit from.

    Bradon O'dell broke it down very well. amongst others. Like i said i understand both sides of the spectrum. i stil currently work my line cook position at one restaurant. and a server position at another.. both are hard. but there still is a lack of balance between both pay.

    But hey guess its just the world we leave in. Thanks again for your comments fellas.
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    No one is forcing you to stay there. Your salary is probably double a server and GUARANTEED  every week, a server is not. If place is slow you still get paid he or she makes nothing. Legally you have no rights. In fact management may fireyou as an example to the others. Be extremely careful and thank God you have a job.