Employee Tips and Benefits

Buzzi

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Mar 7, 2005
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I've recently taken over an exisitng coffee shop and am trying to set the employee guide to tips and benefits.

We are NOT a full service restaurant- however, aside from coffee, we do have a short order grill and bakery items.

Currently the high school gal that is opening is bringing home- approx. $20 for a 2 hour opening shift- (this on top of 7.50/hr) The girls that come in afterwards for the rest of day- never leave with $20.

My feeling is tips should be held til the end of the day and split amongst all- and here's why-
Granted the opening gal is there early- 6am- and that's not the most popular shift. However, that person simply turns on machines and starts pouring the coffee and serving the muffins that were mixed and pre-baked the night before.

This person does none of the food prep or cleaning- essentially- all the hustling that makes her job a piece of cake. I'm hearing a lot of resentment on the later shifts about this.

How do you all manage tips?

Additionally- I've checked with several restaurants in town regarding their food policies- many have all you can drink reg. coffee/fountain drinks- the rest has ranged from:
50% off prep food only- during shift 20% on non prep food/items
to-
50% off all the time (on and off work)
to-
Free Food Allowance on shift- no free/discounted off hours

What are you all doing?


I've got two new employees starting this week- and I'd love to put this puppy to bed right away!!
Thanks for your help!
 

drrule

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Aug 13, 2004
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I think you need to be prepared to replace your morning help if you take her tips away from her.

We alternate shifts in order to get some morning hours to everyone.

I always looked at tips like this. The person that does the best job with the most people will get the most tips.

Breaking the tips up can reward the mediocre, and punish the excellent.
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
drrule said:
I think you need to be prepared to replace your morning help if you take her tips away from her.

We alternate shifts in order to get some morning hours to everyone.

I always looked at tips like this. The person that does the best job with the most people will get the most tips.

Breaking the tips up can reward the mediocre, and punish the excellent.

You couldn't have put it any better!

Tips are earned, and almost always not just given. People who tip are expecting great service, to be treated great, and they want to leave happier then when they arrived.

Watch your person in the morning and see how she interacts with the customer. Pay attention is she calls certain customers by name or if she perks up and is more playful with others. See if she takes her time when she makes a drink, or how she is making it. I have noticed a lot of people who just slap a drink together and put it on the counter don't seem to generate tips as fast as those who give you a show. It really is about the presentation. People like to see it done right.

I guarantee you if the people at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts just threw the dough into the machine and out popped a doughnuts their sales wouldn’t be as high as they are. People love the show!
 

celement

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Apr 17, 2005
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Modesto, CA
Tips

When there is one person alone in our drive through they keep their tips, when there are two they split them evenly, and when there are three (most I have) the funds go into one jar and are divided 3 ways at the end of the shift...no one gripes...
 
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Buzzi

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You bring up a good point- to watch her- I will tell you- she does pour a good drink- however- I've also noticed she sells more brew in the am than specialty. She also sells a boat load of muffins which are prepped the night before. I've watched customers come in and greet her before she even looks up and have actually watched her not respond.

How does she get great tips- she's darling! And it's the men putting dollars in the jar! In my book she's not producing above and beyond. The bulk of our specialty drinks are done after she leaves.

My day gal is just as you describe- primo- she can mix it- blend it and carry a fabulous conversation all the while. I've never seen anyone bust the way she does. And- what we call the 2nd shift group- is hopping- early morning is just steady. The problem is this crowd is not the working crowd- and trust me- I've watched them give exact change many times- and they're there every day! So go figure. Maybe I should make the tip jar bigger???

And yes- I agree- I have to be ready to lose her- however, my guess is- even if we split her tips- there's no where else in town that's open that early where she can make over $12/hour before she runs off to school and soccer.

It would behoove me to do readings after her shift just to show her the potential and set the expectation. (Maybe it's not her- maybe it's me thinking she's not producing what she's getting!?!?!)
(Whew- Nothing like typing for a little therapy!! :) ) Thanks- I needed that!

We have absolutely decided to rotate the mornings during the summer- I can tell you she's already turned her nose up at that. :) I think her exact words were- "Oh- then I would have to clean?" Imagine that?

You can teach people how to pour a great cup- personality is a bit of a challenge. IN all fairness- I need to sit her down, set the expectation- give the training and see what she does with it.

Celement- how do you handle it if you overlap at different times- but hold 'til the end??

Gosh- this employee business is perhaps the hardest part of any business!!

I appreciate all your input- thanks a bunch!
 

celement

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Apr 17, 2005
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Modesto, CA
workers and baristas

We have one that matches your description - only diff is she's our afternoon person and we have a dickens of a time getting her to clean anything but the espresso machines at the days end.

When there is 1 person - they get the tips. When there is two they divide evenly. When there is 3 (max at our drive through) the tips are put into one jar and divided 3 ways when the 3rd is ready to leave. Then its back to an even split on the two until we're back to one.
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
Well don't you know that things magically clean themselves! Just like your socks magically folded themselves when you were a kid!

There are a lot of people that don't want to cleanup at the end of the day. So one good solution is have them do it all day long. Trust me after a few days of cleaning every hour on the hour they pay more attention to cleaning once at the end of the shift. I know, I been there and done that! So I learned to do a better job cleaning at night!
 
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Buzzi

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LOL- well you'd think they do!?!?

Our kitchen is small and the only way we can manage is to clean as you go along. I *hate* having to remind people to clean- it just puts me in a bad mood- fortunately for them, my bad mood is half quiet- half two-three word sentences followed by please (I always try to be polite)- But they've got that act down- and they do step it up- but not what I'd call fun. The one thing I refuse to do is to do it for them.

I finally sat myself down and came up with a 30 day review of all the standards we want to achieve- and each person will have to go through re-training. They've had 5 years of do whatever works- several owners later- it hasn't worked.

I am exceptionally fortunate to have one employee who is really on top of it- and willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. She actually enjoys what she does! I will have her help with re-training. I know it will be an adjustment- but as they say- this too shall pass. THe good news is that we can train new employees the way we'd like them to shoot for and hopefully be.
 

NordstromCoffee

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Jan 22, 2005
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I would suggest having a ranking system and having their shifts decided by that. This way your best get the best shifts (of course this is with your approval). As for individuals not doing their share I would suggest making shift check lists where they know their responsibilites and have to sign off for them. These have worked for me. I would also make sure your morning girl is not giving away products for tips. Send in a spy.
 
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Buzzi

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Great idea- we supposedly had a check list from the previous owner- but I think it went into the "rotary" file! I'll have to dig that up.

I also started a "training-list" for new hires and will have her go through it as well.

Meanwhile- here's a dirty thought- How do you manage "Bathroom" duty?

THanks!!
 
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Buzzi

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STOP IT!!! What ever happened to "This is the job- and here's your list?"
 

Papabean

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May 30, 2005
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Merritt Island, Florida
I agree with Buzzi!!!

Buzzi said:
STOP IT!!! What ever happened to "This is the job- and here's your list?"

:twisted: It really makes me mad when people start to think they have to do the "kinder..gentler" approach with people who work for them! Come on now, people work for you because they want a job to pay for their bills etc...
You control the tasks that MUST be performed to receive a pay check or look for a job else where, it's that simple.

Now having said all that, the working environment is everything. If the foundation is set right from the start and employee's know what is expected, you as a "boss" can be nice and curtious with out coming off like a mean person. Just my two cents, not to mention I'm twenty year Navy vet and I'm tired of people trying to get something for nothing. 8)
My crew always thought of me as the crew comedian, however, they also knew if we were late for "Takeoff" or failed the mission, there would be hell to pay from me.

Hope I don't sound like a jerk, just a little emotional about the subject, tips are blessings given for a service given at that moment from that person, not for later in the day or earlier when they were'nt even there.

Cheers, Chris 8)
 
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