The Tipping Point


So you’ve just forked out a 20 percent tip and are feeling mighty generous—even charitable—for helping to fatten the wallet of the young college student who so cheerfully served your meal.
     News flash: The buck doesn’t stop there.
     Tipping out—the industry term for the sharing of tips among servers, bussers and other staff—differs from restaurant to restaurant. But the bottom line is this: You may think you’re paying only your server, but in reality you’re tipping a small army of staffers who help to make your dining experience special.
     Just how does this work? While some restaurants have formal policies involving percentages and points, others, like The Firehouse, are a bit more casual. “We do have a general guideline, but it’s done on a good-faith system,” says Owen Ward, floor manager of the Old Sac landmark.
     Here’s how things might break down on a $50 tip at The Firehouse, according to Ward: 

$27.50 Server