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Working for My Cup or the House? For those who are not familiar with the service

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Business and Management | 0 comments

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Working for My Cup or the House?
For those who are not familiar with the service industry, employees are paid minimally by the company they work for, and their pay rate is determined by the tips received from customers. As a bartender, a person is exposed to having to deal with all sorts of people’s needs as well as employee competition and standard operating procedures set forth by management. Every time a drink is poured, a decision must be made whether to follow company standards or give away extra alcohol to receive a larger tip.
When first being promoted to bartender at an established golf resort, I witnessed firsthand the varied factors that can affect one’s “pour.” A pour can be defined as how much liquor is added to a customer’s drink. The three factors that affect one’s pour are as follows: comparisons to other employees’ pours, the requests of customers for extra pours with compensation of a larger tip, and what the company designates as a pour.
When working as a team or having repeat customers, bartenders are compared based on their pour. If one bar- tender uses two pours and another uses one pour (the latter is the standard for the company), the rule-following bartender is not viewed as favorably as the one using the larger pour. This is clearly reflected in tips from customers. Similarly, the customer might say, “Put a little extra in there and I’ll take care of you.” The employee is put on the spot to choose between the company and him or herself.
The bartender with the heavier pour or who gives away drinks for free may receive more money in their tip cup, but the company suffers from lost revenues. If a bartender makes an average of 100 drinks a night and uses two pours instead of one for each drink, that bar- tender is giving away 100 drinks worth of alcohol each night which reduces nightly revenues and has a huge effect on yearly liquor revenues.
In this highly competitive and profitable industry, over pouring is a practice that can cripple a business. As the newest bartender, one wants to fit in with the other bartenders and earn as much money as possible though it costs the company or “house” profits. Which is more important, fill- ing your own tip cup or maximizing the house’s profits that does not directly benefit the bartender?
1, Is it ethical to overpour customers’ drinks to develop better customer relations to earn more tips at the expense of company revenues? Are the bar- tenders using the “entitlement mentality” here to justify their self-serving actions? Do bartenders have a “right” to take care of their own cups?
2, If the customer wants or expects an overpour, should the companies allow an overpour to satisfy the customers’ wants and desires?
3, Is it ethical to witness and not report over pouring on the part of fellow bartenders who have been there longer? Should I inform management what is happening?

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