Here is a story we aren’t hearing in the mainstream these days about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Democrat hopeful was apparently stingy when it came to sharing tips, which was standard at Flat Six, the restaurant she previously worked at.
The former bartender was supposed to share the tips with the waitresses according to Page Six. This is not unusual, in fact it is almost standard. You would think a “Socialist” like Alexandria wouldn’t mind spreading her wealth around. Guess not.
Here is what the Chicago Tribune had to say about tip sharing in an article they wrote in 2014.
Are tips property of the restaurant?
No. Tips belong to the employee. However, many restaurants have a tip pool policy, in which front-of-house workers cull gratuity at the end of the night and divide it in a shared arrangement. That money cannot be shared with non-tipped employees, such as, say, a salaried sommelier. That’s the law; how rigorously restaurants adhere to accounting for this is another matter.
What are the advantages of the individual approach?
This is the more popular model. It’s a commission-based system with higher risk but also higher reward. The biggest pro is the incentive for servers to be extra attentive during service, to sell that extra glass of wine, to advocate for the dessert, to push that check average up. Under this model, let’s say a benevolent customer leaves a $100 tip. After tipping out a percentage to back waiters (the people who fill water glasses, take away plates), the server receives the majority of that $100 tip. The server’s wages are also largely dependent on which customers are seated in his or her section. If the diners are a dozen suit-and-tie executives, congratulations in advance. (The flip side is it can lead to squabbling between servers and the host, who decides where diners are seated. A common refrain: “Why did I get the tourists and she got the expense-account suits?”)
“Our bartenders and servers act as individual entities while on the floor,” said Colin Burke, owner of Wicker Park gastropub The Monarch. “I like my employees to be more independently minded and entrepreneurial within their department. I let them reward themselves.” (Burke says twice a year, they hold an all-staff meeting to vote whether to revise their tip policy.) Boka group restaurants also take the individual approach. In addition to the incentive for workers to try their hardest, partner Kevin Boehm said it helps in hiring too: “You’d probably attract more ambitious people.”
An unidentified woman remembers fondly a busy night during Cinco de Mayo where the tips received were high ($560) and Ocasio-Cortez gave the waitress a small fraction of the amount in tips. After complaining to management, the $50 received was doubled to $100. The waitress said,
It says so much about her character,” said my source. “From that point on, I wouldn’t talk to her. I couldn’t look at her.
With all things being equal in a Socialist’s mind, you would think the tip money would be shared equally. Guess not.