The Spot????

Formerlyjerseyjack said:

It was long about 5 years ago. An upscale restaurant announced that they were going to pay their employees an above scale wage. AND staff would no longer be allowed to accept tips.

AND the cost of menu items would increase to reflect this practice.

As I recall, it lasted a few months and customers complained about the increased prices on the menu--even though they were not adding a tip.

 The restaurant went back to the previous system.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/20/dining/danny-meyer-no-tips.html


Thinking on it.... I would rather pay more for the meal, avoid tipping and KNOW that the staff got a living wage.


kenboy said:

PVW said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/20/dining/danny-meyer-no-tips.html

Tom Colicchio tried it at Craft, too -- lasted six months: 

https://nypost.com/2017/04/11/why-restaurant-tipping-will-never-go-away/

Key quote for me:

"Colicchio said that while younger customers “were more open to no-tipping,” his older clientele “was still not ready” for higher menu prices and losing the freedom to tip based on the experience. And while the waitstaff were fine with no-tipping at lunch, they were “less enthusiastic about dinner,” with some fearing they’d make less than they did before."

It's probably, as ridski notes, a very ingrained part of American culture. I wish it wasn't -- this whole "rich people distributing boons" strikes me as profoundly anti-democratic -- but there it is.


Two things.

I had another delicious breakfast sandwich from the spot this morning. 

maybe there should be an app-based gig system for wait staff. You show up at a restaurant, and have to go into an app to find a free server and offer them enough money to put up with your **** for the next two hours. Other patrons would have the opportunity to outbid you, and both waiters and patrons would be rated kind of like on Uber.Then the higher rated servers could command more money. And lower rated patrons would find themselves having to either bid higher or go hungry.

You could also offer different tiers of service, with more attention costing more.  

Yes, I’m being a bit facetious. However, right now, if you are a server in a restaurant, you are assigned tables. There’s no way of knowing which patrons will be ordering the cowboy steak and a bottle of wine and which will be getting a hamburger and glass of wate. or which customers are skinflints and like to flex their privilege by how much they choose to tip, so there is no equity regarding your effort. 


Another issue is, not all restaurants pool their tips. And as Karen said when she bussed tables, waiters have two pockets for tips, especially if they are pooling the tips. At the end of the day they tally up and divide equally, then the bussers get a percentage, usually around 7%. Bussers usually get a higher hourly wage than servers. Cooks usually don’t partake in the tips. 
Oh, and not all restaurant owners are honest either when distributing the tips, especially if the tip is added to the card.


When I was a waiter in a small cash-only place in Red Bank in 1999, minimum wage was around $2.13/hour, but we got to keep all our tips, so I made around $600/week - and back then people rarely tipped 20% (15-18% was still the norm). Luckily I didn't have to share my tips, nor were they taxed (it's a long story as to why I was there but technically I was working both legally and illegally.)


I would also note that many of us have rushed to credit cards that reward us with cash back or frequent flyer miles - those cards have higher vendor fees in many cases, and business owners don’t love giving up profits so that we can get our cash-back rewards.

joan_crystal said:

Using a credit card for purchases is a convenience that someone has to pay for.  Due to inflation, costs are rising. Restaurants are trying to keep their prices as low as possible to attract and keep customers.  Many restaurateurs can no longer afford to pay the credit card surcharge directly and are passing it on to the customer.  I agree with the above poster who suggests paying in cash if you want avoid the credit card fee. 


susan1014 said:

I would also note that many of us have rushed to credit cards that reward us with cash back or frequent flyer miles - those cards have higher vendor fees in many cases, and business owners don’t love giving up profits so that we can get our cash-back rewards.

joan_crystal said:

Using a credit card for purchases is a convenience that someone has to pay for.  Due to inflation, costs are rising. Restaurants are trying to keep their prices as low as possible to attract and keep customers.  Many restaurateurs can no longer afford to pay the credit card surcharge directly and are passing it on to the customer.  I agree with the above poster who suggests paying in cash if you want avoid the credit card fee. 

Banks are making it more difficult and expensive to get cash.  For example, Bank of America shut down the ATM in downtown Maplewood.  The only national bank left in the village is Wells Fargo. If I use any other ATM besides my bank I'm charged a fee, but I have to make a 15-minute round trip by car to get cash (without a fee).


Can you switch to one of the three remaining banks in the Village?


PVW said:

kenboy said:

PVW said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/20/dining/danny-meyer-no-tips.html

Tom Colicchio tried it at Craft, too -- lasted six months: 

https://nypost.com/2017/04/11/why-restaurant-tipping-will-never-go-away/

Key quote for me:

"Colicchio said that while younger customers “were more open to no-tipping,” his older clientele “was still not ready” for higher menu prices and losing the freedom to tip based on the experience. And while the waitstaff were fine with no-tipping at lunch, they were “less enthusiastic about dinner,” with some fearing they’d make less than they did before."

It's probably, as ridski notes, a very ingrained part of American culture. I wish it wasn't -- this whole "rich people distributing boons" strikes me as profoundly anti-democratic -- but there it is.

There's a place I heard about in DC that just adds a 22% service charge to all checks and is VERY upfront about it. https://www.duckandpeachdc.com/why22/

I also had breakfast at a place in South Jersey this morning which was also very upfront about adding a 3.5% card charge, but also had an ATM in the restaurant that you could use if you didn't want to pay it. I didn't use it, so no idea if the ATM charged to take money out though...


jimmurphy said:

Gonna take a bit of a conservative tack on this. 

Good service is part of any job description. Customers should expect to pay for it in the prices they pay for whatever they buy and employers should expect to pay their employees for it.

Exceptional service should earn both the employer and employee more money.

Why food service and a few other services are singled out as special is beyond me.

I tip, sometimes generously, because of the system.

The system should change.


I totally agree but this is cultural rather than legal, for the most part, so it is not likely to change.  (I say "for the most part" since the legal system does allow for a lower minimum wage for tipped workers, but I don't expect that to change either.)


yahooyahoo said:

Banks are making it more difficult and expensive to get cash.  For example, Bank of America shut down the ATM in downtown Maplewood.  The only national bank left in the village is Wells Fargo. If I use any other ATM besides my bank I'm charged a fee, but I have to make a 15-minute round trip by car to get cash (without a fee).

There’s a B of A at Boyden and Springfield aves. 


The food is very good!!! The 3% does not bother me


Jaytee said:

yahooyahoo said:

Banks are making it more difficult and expensive to get cash.  For example, Bank of America shut down the ATM in downtown Maplewood.  The only national bank left in the village is Wells Fargo. If I use any other ATM besides my bank I'm charged a fee, but I have to make a 15-minute round trip by car to get cash (without a fee).

There’s a B of A at Boyden and Springfield aves. 

Yes, but this is a 15-minute round trip.  I get cash less frequently than I used to.


I’m going to invest in a company that makes money clips. Looks like cash is coming back en vogue. 

They were super busy when I stopped in after the parade yesterday. I’m really happy to see this. 


yahooyahoo said:

Yes, but this is a 15-minute round trip.  I get cash less frequently than I used to.

go to Wawa, get gas and stop in at the atm. 


Jaytee said:

go to Wawa, get gas and stop in at the atm. 

Grab one of their soft pretzels and maybe some Tastykake Krimpets as well.  


mrincredible said:

Grab one of their soft pretzels and maybe some Tastykake Krimpets as well.  the gas is generally a s...t show. I guess it's because they don't have enough gas pump attendants.

Gas is usually a s...t show. I guess it's because they don't have enough pump attendants or don't want to pay enough. Anyway, two or three lines of pumps are always out of operation. So ya gotta try to guess which one is gonna best accommodate the side of the gas cap on your car and then hope you are not head to head with a car coming at you.


bak said:

Newly-renovated with new owners, former Maple Leaf diner now called The Spot:  https://www.thespotdiner.com/index.html  Let's patronize their business and wish them well, regardless of feelings about the name please.

actually it’s named ‘Spot’ NOT ‘The Spot’


susan1014 said:

I would also note that many of us have rushed to credit cards that reward us with cash back or frequent flyer miles - those cards have higher vendor fees in many cases, and business owners don’t love giving up profits so that we can get our cash-back rewards.

joan_crystal said:

Using a credit card for purchases is a convenience that someone has to pay for.  Due to inflation, costs are rising. Restaurants are trying to keep their prices as low as possible to attract and keep customers.  Many restaurateurs can no longer afford to pay the credit card surcharge directly and are passing it on to the customer.  I agree with the above poster who suggests paying in cash if you want avoid the credit card fee. 

Most restaurants I've gone to recently have added 3.x% for using credit cards.


sprout said:

susan1014 said:

I would also note that many of us have rushed to credit cards that reward us with cash back or frequent flyer miles - those cards have higher vendor fees in many cases, and business owners don’t love giving up profits so that we can get our cash-back rewards.

joan_crystal said:

Using a credit card for purchases is a convenience that someone has to pay for.  Due to inflation, costs are rising. Restaurants are trying to keep their prices as low as possible to attract and keep customers.  Many restaurateurs can no longer afford to pay the credit card surcharge directly and are passing it on to the customer.  I agree with the above poster who suggests paying in cash if you want avoid the credit card fee. 

Most restaurants I've gone to recently have added 3.x% for using credit cards.

...but typically not for debit cards. 


The_Soulful_Mr_T said:

...but typically not for debit cards. 

Really? Whenever I ask, it seems they add the charge for any card, credit or debit. 


I've seen it set as a standard charge already factored into your bill before you give them your card.


Is it just me (or bad luck one time) or has their initial bubble burst a bit? We really enjoyed it the first couple of times we went but yesterday it was just OK.


kthnry said:

The_Soulful_Mr_T said:

...but typically not for debit cards. 

Really? Whenever I ask, it seems they add the charge for any card, credit or debit. 

I haven't been there, but I have been to lotsa places where there is no fee for debit cards. 


Visited Spot Wednesday for lunch. Thought the restaurant was nicely updated. The menu was huge,typical of all diners. They did have a printed luncheon menu. I selected crab cake sliders with French fries and a choice of soup or salad. Price $16. It was fine and I would go again. Too bad about the credit card but I think most customers will overlook that.


Customers need to take a careful look at their check if they are paying cash.  In two different establishments, the check I received already included the credit card surcharge even though I was paying cash. One restaurant refunded me the overpayment.  The other did not.


They re also not allowed to charge more than they are charged by the card issuer. 

Another thing to look out for, 18% service charge being added to your charge for tables of more than x people. Then you add your own $ as a tip to the already calculated tip.


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