Monday, June 28, 2010

I Rock! But Not At Basic Arithmetic and Algebra.

Serving from 2 pm - 9:30 pm, I sold over $1200 today. ON A MONDAY!!!!!!!

Sure paperwork that should have had me out the door no later than 10 kept me till 10:45, but hey, at least I had real numbers to crunch.

What many people are surprised by is that servers are responsible for reconciling what their computer generated sales report tells them they owe with what they have. Sitting in the itty bitty un-windowed office in the basement of the restaurant, we count every credit card receipt to make sure we have the right number of Visa, Amex and Mastercard charges (we take Diner's Club but I've yet to see one come out). The report also tells us how much cash is owed- this figure represents not the total paid to servers in cash, but the cumulative total of cash bills. The hope is that there is left-over. The difference between cash owed and cash had is cash tips. Put those is a seperate envelope. On this envelope, also write the number written on the report as "total service charges." That number represents the charged tips earned. Separate receipts for any comps or voids and put those in the comps and voids file in the office. Wrap the cash owed and all the credit card receipts with the report and put them in a bank envelope for the controller. Ok, the easy part is done.

What I find difficult is the endless arithmetic and calculation to determine the tips. When you work the 2-10 shift, which I often do, it is your responsibility to figure out total tip earning for the daytime staff, daytime staff being defined as all tipped employees who worked between 7 am-5 pm. Today, that meant : 1 Bartender, 1 barback, 2 bussers, 2 servers, 1 food runner, and 1 barista. We are a pooled house which means everyone get a percentage of the tip pool. The way we figure out who get what is by a point system. A server's hour is worth 4 points, a bussers 2 and so on. Dividing the total tips earned in the day by the total points earned gives you the value of a point. Then you just multiply across-

HyperActiveBusser worked 4 hours at 2 pts/hr = 8 total points. 8 X pt. value = daytime tips earned.

You think this should be easy but its not. The totals don't always add up, after the end of a shift its hard to push all the right buttons on the calculator, and I'm pretty sure that I skipped a step in my description seeing as I seem to often have to re-do my math for having skipped or over-looked something. Thankfully, there's usually a supervisor- theoretically there is always a supervisor, but sometimes they leave you alone and just initial your work.

Watching me struggle with figuring out what numbers go in what column, what times what divided by what equals a point, and why my numbers kept not working I shared with my flabbergasted supervisor that this is the part of serving euphemistically "doesn't come naturally."

"Ivy League?" he said. "Proud Arts and Literature double major," I replied.

For those of you who know me, and for those who don't, understand my majors have been generalized to protect my anonymity...from Them. They're Watching.

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