From: R C & M S on 30 May 2007 16:13
PRESENT TIPPING POLICY $10/PP PER DAY
From that $10 per person, $3.50 goes to your cabin steward, $3.50 goes to
your dining wait staff. The other $3 is divided among "The Behind the Scenes
People" - those who do the cooking, laundry men, etc.
The crew is given a list of those passengers who wish to either take the $10
auto tip off completely or partially. And they are instructed that should
those individual give them tips, they are to turn in that money which will
then be put into a pool which will be divided among everyone.
You will be surprised to learn that many of America's Best Restaurants have
a tipping pool almost exactly like the one used by most mass market cruise
They have 2 very good reasons for using that system:
1) Just like on ships, the pool subsidizes the salaries of the back of the
house employees, so the employer doesn't have to pay them so much.
2) Every member of the tipping pool has a great incentive to please the
guest. If the guest is not happy, EVERYONE on the team loses. So if the
waiter screws up and forgets to order something, the guy in the kitchen is
far happier to help him correct his mistake and get that dish ready ASAP.
Otherwise the tip might just get smaller and his cut of the pool along with
it. In restaurants that do not use this system, there is often animosity -
and sometimes downright hostility - between the kitchen and the dining room
employees. The kitchen guys usually don't get paid very much, work very
hard, burn their hands, cut their fingers and really sweat it out. Meanwhile
the waiters - who often have minimal training - are having a good old time
in air conditioned comfort, drinking wine with the guests, and taking home
lots of tips. Smart Restaurateurs force the issue of a tipping pool (yes, to
save money), but even better to form a cohesive team that works toward the
same goal. The team wins together or loses together. If you read the Zagat
Survey, the top 14 listed restaurants in America all currently have a
tipping pool in place.
Does anyone here like the grand traditions of cruising? I just love them.
One of the oldest and dearest cruising traditions was started in 1911 by
American Millionaire J.P. Morgan. He purchased the White Star Line as they
were building the Titanic. Even though he was the Bill Gates of his time, he
wanted to save a little money on his Transatlantic Shipping Operations. He
decided that it would be a good idea to pay his onboard service staff an
absolute minimum salary and force them to work for tips in order to survive.
The thinking was that if the stewards did a really good job, they would make
plenty of tips and want to stay onboard. If they did a lousy job, they would
receive very little in gratuities and go somewhere else. It's a great
incentive program when you think about it.
Since the "back of the house" people were not originally included in this
system, they found clever ways to get included. Dishwashers for example,
woud not wash the cutlery that was assigned to each waiter unless he gave
them a small side tip. If the Cabin Steward wanted to have enough sheets to
change the beds in all his cabins, he needed to pass a few dollars to the
boys in the laundry.
This Grand Cruising tradition has developed for nearly 100 years into what
we see today. In a surprising number of ways that are known to those of us
who work on ships, it really hasn't changed very much in all that time.