What's the deal with tips?
Tips only really apply to restaurants and gastropubs (what is a gastro pub?) If you're working in a sports bar or working mans club you can expect almost nothing at all – tipping is a reward for great service, and most customers don't consider pulling a pint to be that spectacular…
You will quickly realise that it is possible to live off your 'free money' and keep all your wages in the bank. If you can do this, you're doing well and will find that you can then travel abroad more often.
A simple guage on the kind of tips you may receive, is to quickly evaluate the menu and the clientele. If your pub charges 25quid for a steak and 13pound for a bottle of house wine then you're in the right place to earn up to 75pound a week in extra cash depending on season of course and how many other staff members you pool with.
You won't normally get to choose if you pool your tips or not, so deal with it. You may think it unfair that the head chef (who earns some 3x what you do) gets the same tips you do. Or that the Polish pot washer gets anything when it's you that provides the service to the customer. Simple answer to that is that when you can cook for 100 tables a night, or wash every piece of crockery and cutlery 4 times in 4 hours, that's the time to make yourself known to the manager and give it a go yourself. Until then, smile a lot and work those tables!
"Tipping - It isn't just for cows"
Cash tips will usually be calculated every night and divided up between those who worked that particular shift. Cash tips are untaxed and therefore rock!
Credit card 'Gratuities' - as they are often called, can take up to a fortnight to process and will be deposited into your bank account along with your standard wages, on which you will sadly be charged tax.
Don't worry if you find yourself working the bar of a restaurant and receive few tips directly – that's where the benefits of pooling your tips become apparent. Everyone working the shift gets to share the rewards. You will earn more on days when you are busier – unlike your wage for which you get paid the same whether you are standing around idle or working your fingers to the bone.
One more thing on tipping
In the UK some customers tip, some don't. There is no real standard. What I can tell you is that people will only leave one after a meal, and the figure can be anything from a couple of pound up to your entire weeks earnings - Depending on the number of customers of course.
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