Article: “Tipping in America” (Apr.2006)

excerpt:
"Lynn highlights the effect that high turnover rates have on the profession. "Because there is a high turnover, the practice becomes less efficient," she says. "The service can suffer when an employer says, 'I don't want to invest money in training servers who are not going to be around in a few months.' In this country, we have a generally more poorly trained workforce because of that turnover."

Currently, servers in this country are young, transient and a dime a dozen. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor reported a server workforce of 2.25 million. Around one-quarter of all food- and beverage-related workers are 16 to 19 years old — about six times the proportion of all workers. The job of a server was rated as one of the top five private sector occupations with the highest number of job vacancies, indicating an extremely high turnover.

"Literally how sunny it is outside has the same impact on a tip as good service does," says Lynn. "The relationship between tips and service is weak enough that you have to really question the incentive for servers to give good service."

source: "Tipping in America" by Talia Berman (Alternet, Apr.17,2006)

WaiterBell Angle: This article provides some very interesting details about the restaurant workforce and tipping. The high employee turnover can make it difficult to ensure consistent quality service, and make managers hesistant to invest in training. 

The WaiterBell system is designed to enhance any waitstaff level by providing a service safety net. Whether on its own, or combined with training, the WaiterBell system will increase customer satisfaction and help prevent service gaps.

Also, as in previous articles, this story explains how in general, tipping is not a reliable measure of quality of restaurant service. This indicates that managers and owners need to be pro-active and smart about investing in customer service, since traditional feedback methods are increasingly less reliable.

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