Restaurants requesting large tips

Eric

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I've noticed this happening more and more lately, in fact when they check you out with the kiosk it's already preloaded with these huge amounts and they're almost bullying you for it saying out loud "how much would you like to tip today?", watching as I make the choice. I know they're all struggling right now but it's asking a lot of customers as well. Yesterday I went to a restaurant I used to go to and the price for the same meal I used to get was doubled, I get that with the cost of supplies now but then they also asked for a large tip on top of it for food I was taking to go.
 

Joe

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I've never understood the thinking of 'tipping' on food to go.

What service did they provide that another establishment that only does 'to go' & doesn't ask for tips?

At times it feels like a push to go elsewhere for to go orders, and only go there for in room dining.

Yeah, I don't tip on To-Go orders that I pick up myself.
 

BigMcGuire

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It's getting worse and worse. I feel horrible for the waiting staff because (although I've never been one) I'm told it doesn't pay well and income is highly dependent on tips. So I always feel obligated to tip heavily. Which, in turn, results in me going out a lot less frequently. Costs have skyrocketed and despite me going in and picking up, tips are heavily suggested/asked for.

Quite a few of the big chain restaurants here where I live will often lock their doors and only do drive through pickups because of staff shortages. Seen it happen to several El Pollo Locos near us.

Agreed, the tip portion is getting obnoxious. It's getting to the point where going to the grocery store and doing it myself is easily 2x cheaper.
 

Joe

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I don't have a problem tipping for great service. There's a Mexican restaurant that a friend and I go to almost every Sunday morning for breakfast. The food is excellent and the service is excellent so I'm always giving an above normal tip there.

If the service is crappy, the tip will be crappy. There are too many service workers that expect to be tipped well when they do a shitty job. I don't roll like that.

I haven't noticed any meals doubling in price. That must be a California thing. "What sane person moves to California?" ;-)
 

JayMysteri0

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I haven't noticed any meals doubling in price. That must be a California thing. "What sane person moves to California?" ;-)
No, it's east coast as well.

My favorite pizza place which is a NY transplant in the south, has a sign in their doorway explaining the increase in prices of items.

I've seen it a few other local eateries as well. Some places it's double or 1.5X the original prices. Even Chipotle's for a time had signs explaining the increase in prices as well, when people noticed the increase of costs in burritos.
 

Joe

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No, it's east coast as well.

My favorite pizza place which is a NY transplant in the south, has a sign in their doorway explaining the increase in prices of items.

I've seen it a few other local eateries as well. Some places it's double or 1.5X the original prices. Even Chipotle's for a time had signs explaining the increase in prices as well, when people noticed the increase of costs in burritos.

The only places I’ve seen with signs of a price increase have been BBQ joints.
 

JayMysteri0

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The only places I’ve seen with signs of a price increase have been BBQ joints.
I'm pretty sure it ain't just "BBQ joints" in CA.

What the Kwasi Moses’s meme lacked in visual flair, it made up for in impact. Last week the California-based chef shared on his Instagram a straightforward list of ingredients and supplies, comparing what they cost a year ago against today: The price of fryer oil had more than doubled since 2020. The cost of takeout boxes had increased by nearly four times. And a case of chicken wings had spiked 388 percent.

The post struck a nerve. Soon, the food corner of Instagram was inundated with chefs and restaurateurs reposting this simple image on their feeds and in their stories to commiserate about inflation. Restaurants once again found themselves at the tip of the spear of another economic shock. After feeling the squeeze from the pandemic the last 19 months, restaurants are now being hit with rising costs for ingredients and supplies across the board, as the global supply chain falters.

“It’s everything: beef, lamb, soap, plastic, wine, plate ware and glasses. It’s wild,” says Joe Flamm, who opened his Chicago restaurant Rose Mary earlier this year. “Also, everything is hard to get—distributors are not taking accounts and canceling accounts because they don’t have the drivers.”

The inflation is being felt around the country. “The price increase for meat is substantial and is having a tremendous impact on our business,” says Erin Smith, the chef and co-founder of Feges BBQ in Houston. “Brisket costs have gone up 45 percent since 2020! Brisket makes up 75 percent of our sales because in Texas beef is king.”

Several chefs, including Burt Bakman of Slab in Los Angeles and Claudette Zepeda of Vaga north of San Diego, told Robb Report that even a little thing like gloves have become a hot commodity. At Vaga, the kitchen staff are acutely aware of the shortage. “Everyone steals a box when they come in, just in case we can’t get them fast,” Zepeda says.
 

thekev

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I'm pretty sure it ain't just "BBQ joints" in CA.

The percentages they're posting suggest a spike rather than normal inflation. I doubt most restaurants could sustain at the price increases that are posted there. Even now I doubt they're at 2019 business levels. I suspect many of them are having to pay the bills with fewer customer orders, which could drive price increases.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I wouldn't say forcing it, but I don't like when I go to pick up something like pizza, use a card to pay, and it's automatically part of the process to ask for a tip.
 

ronntaylor

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Former Cafe manager. I don't tip for pickup orders. It's ridiculous if it's a basic order. If it's a larger order for multiple people, I would tip. But I can't remember the last time that was the case for me. Maybe 8/9 years ago as a store manager when we ordered lunch or dinner for the entire store. But that's different as we had a corporate account and the order was placed well in advance and usually already had a processing fee for larger orders and we tipped cash to the workers from our petty cash account.

My fav pizza joint is actually doing well during the Pandemic. They're just down the block from a large hospital. So they constantly got pick-up orders during the worst days. And still are doing well with less restrictions now with the vaccination process going smoothly. And when people tried to take care of 1st Responders, there were tons of donated meals for the hospital staff. At one point they had to ask for donations to be planned as so many would walk in and ask to pay for hospital orders (same with PPE+ with donations being dropped off with no prior communication, requiring the hospital to often deny the "donation" since the donor wasn't vetted).

Certain menu items have been out of stock for weeks. I suspect that the pricing for those ingredients have gone up tremendously or they can't fulfill the order because of backlogs. So they have streamlined their menu and probably order in bulk which may actually mean lower unit costs. They're not passing that along to customers.

I think as with any tragedy, there will those that try to take advantage. I can't remember where, but I read online reports from community news sources how some restaurants were claiming to be gathering donations for 1st responders to have meals prepared and delivered on a regular basis. Turns out they were pocketing the donated $$$ and overcharging in the process. Businesses that aren't experiencing higher costs will claim to be dealing with inflated costs and I think most will believe them without asking for proof.

I don't feel too bad for many restaurant owners as I know that many of them are a victim of their own shenanigans and won't hesitate to use anything to their advantage, including guilt-tripping high tips which they may cheat their workers out of (partially or in full).
 

Joe

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I guess since Texas hasn't really been closed I haven't noticed HUGE price increases like double the price of a meal. Also, I don't eat out often.
 

JayMysteri0

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The percentages they're posting suggest a spike rather than normal inflation. I doubt most restaurants could sustain at the price increases that are posted there. Even now I doubt they're at 2019 business levels. I suspect many of them are having to pay the bills with fewer customer orders, which could drive price increases.
I don't think restaurants & their customers are caring or even wondering if something is a spike or economic impalement. The issue is that the pandemic has caused various issues that have impacted restaurants, causing them to raise prices to remain viable. Price raising at a time when many restaurants barely stayed open or have reopened, hoping to retain their previous customer base is a nail they don't need in their coffin. So to address the complaints about rising prices some ( at least the pizza place I got to weekly & chat with the owners ) restaurants have decided to post signs explaining the price increases. Hopefully that will placate the more understanding customers, and reduce the amount of complaints of a surprise price increase.
 

Eric

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I guess since Texas hasn't really been closed I haven't noticed HUGE price increases like double the price of a meal. Also, I don't eat out often.
Texas is no exception when it comes to the cost of ingredients, which are skyrocketing everywhere. Same goes for restaurants and staffing.

 

thekev

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I don't think restaurants & their customers are caring or even wondering if something is a spike or economic impalement. The issue is that the pandemic has caused various issues that have impacted restaurants, causing them to raise prices to remain viable. Price raising at a time when many restaurants barely stayed open or have reopened, hoping to retain their previous customer base is a nail they don't need in their coffin. So to address the complaints about rising prices some ( at least the pizza place I got to weekly & chat with the owners ) restaurants have decided to post signs explaining the price increases. Hopefully that will placate the more understanding customers, and reduce the amount of complaints of a surprise price increase.

Yeah I get that. My co-workers often go out to lunch daily, even with the price increases. There are tons of restaurants nearby, but none of them seem that busy. Prices have definitely increased by a few dollars at many of them though.

Texas is no exception when it comes to the cost of ingredients, which are skyrocketing everywhere. Same goes for restaurants and staffing.


So in spite of claimed shortages, they're likely to be picky on who they hire. With pandemic induced business troubles, weak waitstaff, line cooks, etc. are going to be a bigger burden. I can't imagine most of these places are running high margins even after the price increases.
 

fischersd

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Yep, the breakfast place I go to has added a 30% option on the tip screen. (20% is pretty much the norm here now for dine-in). Take out or delivery, you tip less.
Almost all bars and restaurants here the tips are shared between the wait staff and back-of-house staff - the restaurant doesn't get a cut.
(the restaurants just change the prices on the menu when their costs go up) - which has been made cost-free now due to Covid - everywhere is doing QR codes for the menus.
 
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