Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm Appalled

The owners of such restaurants as Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and Carraba's Italian Grill, among others, have decided that their servers are making too much money from tips.
Those dastardly credit card companies have the nerve to take a 3% fee, which is just too much for the restaurants to handle, so they have decided to make their servers chip in 3% of their tips. This means that if a diner leaves a $20.00 tip, the server will get $19.40. Then, he or she shares 3% of that with kitchen help, busboys, hosts/hostesses and bartenders.
Apparently, the restaurant owners of America, who pay servers an average of $2.63 an hour, are under the impression that the servers aremaking out like bandits on their tips. Some of them have as much as said so. This is how they justify picking the pockets of the lowest paid group of workers in the country.
Shame on them!
A letter to the editor in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this morning comes from one of these people who, back in the 60's we used to call a "Male Chauvinist Pig". While I am outraged by his letter, he is, in turn, outraged by Jessica Simpson. He seems to think that she is the reason the Cowboys lost one of their games because she selfishly hogged the limelight, as the girlfriend of Tony Romo, "putting her career above his" by distracting him from the business at hand.
He says this "smacks of the women's liberation movement of the '60's and '70's, now in its second generation. " He goes on to say that "all this comes as we prepare to elect the first woman president, born of the same era. We have since then elevated and promoted the influence of women. "
He warns, "We are headed in the same direction and, in my view, with the same results, with social balance at stake...."
Hey, Mister, some of us think this could be a good thing!
Our very own Huckster is running out of money, but not chutzpah. He called the Kenneth Copeland Ministries, begging for money, so they passed the plate and came up with over $100,000 for his campaign.
Copeland is under a congressional investigation because he refuses to turn over a list of his contributors. Seems Sen. Grassley has a crazy idea that Copeland might be a, dare I say it, charlatan. What? Just because he preaches that God wants Christians to be wealthy? This has been dubbed the "prosperity gospel". Well, Copeland has certainly prospered.
And, so has the Huckster. Stay tuned.
I have to admit I was surprised that Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama. He doesn't usually endorse anyone, and then backs the person who wins the nomination. So, I am asksing myself, "Self, wouldn't you like to know the real reason behind this ensorsement?" Since he appeared to be pretty thick with the Clintons, was it really Bill's heavy-handed attempt to make the campaign about race?
Or, could it be that Ted doesn't like Bill and Hillary as much as they think he does?


Jay said...

That Copeland guy refuses to turn his records over to the Senate because he says they "belong to God". I don't think Grassley's committee has jurisdiction over God, so this could get tricky. ;-)

Tink said...

They're making them give up some of their tips now?! That's ridiculous. It's not like they offer them healthcare or paid vacations... *Sigh* Looks like I won't be eating at Outback anymore. Thank God it wasn't Longhorn. Then I might have cried.

Dogwalkmusings said...

And I thought Idaho was bad. We just have Senators with wide stances!

Karen said...

After doing some reading on Ted Kennedy's son - who was sitting behind Ted Kennedy, I wouldn't want his support. What a life this guy has had.

And now my dream of making millions working at Applebees is dashed.

DirkStar said...

I'm bummed that three of our favorite places to eat are pulling such a stunt.

I'll bet Obama wasn't as quick to accept a ride home from Ted Kennedy as he was to accept his endorsement...

Sister--Three said...

I don't think he was trying to help the Clintons. I guess we could say...he probably does not want a leader who has more power than he does.

patsy said...

fleta says i don't know nothing but i think teddy got a deal as to who would be the vice president.

Alan G said...

With regard to Huckabee and Copeland….

I don’t think there is a better application of the word “hypocrite” than could be applied to this disgraceful episode – regardless of one’s religious affiliation or beliefs.

One of the more well known scriptures and incidents noted in the New Testament is that where Jesus violently disrupts the money changers who have taken up shop within the confines of the Temple conducting business producing obvious personal profits for themselves with no benefit to the Temple. Given the fact that both Copeland and Hukabee are so adamant as to declare this function and money raising event of theirs had nothing to do with the church would immediately lead a religious man to wonder then…. “Just why in the hell were you conducting this function within the confines of the church then? The churches use to give Paul money to spread the Gospel but I don’t recall them giving him money to run for President of the Roman Empire.”

Of course you might counter such a comment by saying, “Well, Huckabee ain’t no Paul!”

And I would have to simply state, “Perhaps you should check with Huckabee before making such a claim!”

Peggy said...

Those restaurants are going to find it hard to stay in business if nobody will work for them.

The man who writes to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is not very enlightened is he?

No support from Ted Kennedy? Is this a bad thing?

katy said...

how dare they take the tips from the staff, this is really bad, they are on a low wage and make up their pay with the tips and now they are being forced to pay the employer back some money! Wrong, wrong so very wrong.

Annie said...

I guess those companies want a rebate too.

Anonymous said...

February 1, 2008

For 20 years our success has been built on the spirit and pride of our people and the excellent customer service they provide. OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC and each of our brands, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Roy’s, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Lee Roy Selmon’s and Blue Coral, have been founded on and are dedicated to our Principles and Beliefs. Paramount among these is the belief that if we take care of our people and our customers, the institution of OSI will take care of itself.

It is no secret that all casual dining restaurant companies are facing unprecedented cost increases and substantial declines in profitability. It is our responsibility to adjust to this environment and take appropriate action to protect the business.

The recent decision to ask our servers to share in the cost of processing their credit card tips was made in this environment.

We did not make this decision lightly. We considered this in the context of the total package of benefits we provide our employees. After researching our competitors, we find our health insurance, vacation pay, and restaurant discount/comp policy to be significantly more generous than our competitors. For example, we offer our hourly employees a variety of health insurance choices with premiums as low as $42.71 a month. We keep health insurance premiums for our hourly employees low by charging a disproportionately higher premium to managers and executives – the more you are paid, the higher your premium.

However, upon reflection, we realize this decision is inconsistent with our Principles and Beliefs. Effective immediately no server will be charged for credit card processing fees on their tips. In those areas where we have already implemented this, all credit card processing fees will be returned to the servers.

OSI will continue to fulfill its responsibility to all of its stakeholders, including our people, to operate our business at an acceptable level of profitability. But we will do this consistent with our Principles and Beliefs: we will take care of our people and our customers and the institution of OSI will take care of itself.

Joseph J. Kadow
Executive Vice President
OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC

Betty said...

Mr. Kadow: Thank you very much for your response to my blog. I appreciate your position and commend you for having the ability to change your mind concerning the 3% credit card fee. It's a real relief to know that I don't have to stop going to the Outback Steak House. It's one of my favorites! I'll leave pretty good tips, too!