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mlkrgr's Profile

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Best bang-for-the-buck extra virgin olive oil in the Watertown/Cambridge area

Even better, I've found a 16.9 ounce half liter bottle at trader joes for $3.99. That has beaten anything at the other grocery stores and has matched the sales for sizes in that vicinity. I only use this size since it lasts me a few months.

Jul 10, 2009
mlkrgr in Greater Boston Area

Dinner with a Tightwad

Also, I don't believe in letting the manager know when I have bad service. There's so many other restaurants around that have it right that I just don't need to take the time. Also, they should be investing money in the proper training/ reward programs for servers. Just pay the bill and tip what you want and go. I have my list of restaurants that I have been to once and will never be back.

Jun 29, 2009
mlkrgr in Features

Dinner with a Tightwad

Well, gotta say. Sometimes I have a fun time with my restaurant experience and some time I do appreciate the breakdown of what dollar amount corresponds to a particular percentage.

Now, I do say that I believe in fairness. So, I'd give a tip to a pizza parlor with counter service, even though its not customary because many of these independent pizza parlors pay their people like $5 an hour, which is tad bit better than a waiter's salary. My brother has been there, but I haven't. And then I know some waited buffet places that pay their waiters like $12 plus tips. So its like, that's more than a grocery store clerk would get, that's more than most pizza parlors give, etc, etc. So, I do have to say its not as appropriate to give, say 15% to a buffet drink waiter on the entire check that only serves drinks and also give 15% to a regular waiter than actually brings over your food. So I have to compensate for that. Also, I have to put take out service in the realm of pizza parlors I have to compensate that 15% on a take out person and 15% on a waiter is not fair.

Sure, I always wish I can tip higher, but I do my part. I think unfortunately though the world is getting to be more reliant on technology so jobs that are easily replaceable, including being a waiter, will just go down in the real amount of pay. I have to say all these advances like self checkout, scan and bag as you shop our store and just pay at checkout, and envelopeless ATMs are all contributing to a decrease in the amount of staff needed. Only benefit of this trend is the rich to fatten their profit margins.

Jun 29, 2009
mlkrgr in Features

Bad Dinner, No Tip

Here is what I think: In the short run, waiters eat the fluctuation on tips. But in the long run, servers have to make their own decisions whether it is worth working for the restaurant or not. I have a friend that is a bartender and makes $12 an hour and an average of $6 in tips. So that is $18 an hour he makes on average. For that kind of job, he is not going to give it up anytime soon. He gets paid more than what other retail workers to begin with. So he will not seek out other jobs.

But on the other hand, I have another friend who makes $3 an hour as a waitress at a different restaurant. She gets $5 an hour in tips after all tip outs. Since min wage is $8 an hour for non tipped workers, should the recession worsen and she is now down to $4 in tips, she is better off to find a retail job, like at walmart for $8.90 a job, even at what she is making now.

You see here, in the long run, restaurants benefit from the abundance of tips generated from customers or is hurt by the lack of tips that customers may give. This is because if tips lack, and there is a better paying job out there even at the grocery store than what you would otherwise make as a waiter/waitress, you are going to work at the grocery store; and then, the restaurant has to go through the expense of hiring/training another waiter, and if this happens enough, then the restaurant needs to increase their wage since the wage + tips customers give don't make it worthwhile for the server to stay.

And another thought is, I here these restaurants that pay wages of $11/$12 an hour and then you get tips on top of that, its like why should I tip the worker that gets paid that much and not tip the grocery bagger who makes only $8 an hour. Or many counter pizza places do $6/hour (including one that my brother used to work at for a few weeks; who moved onto a better paying gig) or so under the table vs the min wage is $8 an hour. So I think that they deserve a tip ahead of some waiters/waitresses.

And what about buffet places? There's waiters there that deliver just drinks. I think its a bit much to tip the same here vs other conventional sit down places since they are not working as hard and I know one of the buffet places I go to occasionally pays their people well for what they do.

So I'm not trying to be cheap here. I'm just trying to be fair, and its hard to be fair with the workers you deal with. I may take a little from what I should be giving at the buffet place if I wasn't trying to be fair and then give it to the counter pizza place even though I have it there and not have it delivered

So the moral of the story here is workers must know if they are being cheated and do what they need to do for themselves. Its just like I remember that sign that was looking for help when I was on vacation since its a restaurant attached to a gift store. Servers make $3 an hour plus they say that servers make an average of $3 in tips per hour. Then, the gift store employees make $8 an hour straight. Its like if I was looking for a job, I would definitely go for the gift store and not be a server. In fact, I probably can do better than $6 an hour if I didn't work at this place I am thinking about and seek employment elsewhere if I didn't get the gift store job.

May 27, 2009
mlkrgr in Features