In the service industry your coworkers are everything. They are your friends and family; the people you spend the most time with every week. They are your outlet for stress and your shoulder to lean on.
Most of the ride-or-die friends are people you met while serving or bartending. They are a diverse group of wonderful individuals who have make life worth living. However, not every coworker will be so great.
Sometimes you come across that one person who can completely change the environment in a room and just make everybody miserable. Maybe they’re always grumpy and complaining or just downright rude and obnoxious. Here are some tips for how to deal with that one employee that every restaurant seems to have.
A little server-to-server venting is always great. However, as soon as you walk in for your shift you don’t want to be met with a barrage of complaints and gossip.
One very effective way I’ve found to deal with someone like this is to simply walk away. Make a polite response and a quick exit. Over time, hopefully they’ll get the hint that you’re not the person to go to with every little gripe.
A little snap here and there isn’t necessarily cause for concern. But, if someone is overly mean or bullies you time and time again, you don’t have to stand for it.
Try to tell them you’re unhappy by using “we” phrases that diffuse the blame so they don’t feel attacked. Go for something like, “Hey, I know that sometimes we get really stressed and are mean to each other but let’s try not to do that so much.” Or, “I really love being your friend, but it bothered me when you said XYZ.”
Most people avoid conflict at all costs, so a lot of times bullies will back right down if they see you’re willing to have a discussion.
It can be tempting to enlist your other coworkers in the battle against The Awful One, but you should resist. If coworker A feels like everyone’s talking behind their back and deliberately excluding them from things, it’s not great incentive to change is it?
Try and stay professional and resist throwing shade. “Kill them with kindness” sounds cliché, but by rising above the situation, you can encourage them to do the same.
While we’re not saying this is your fault, a little self-examination never hurt anyone. Is there something you could be doing that triggers your menacing coworker? Why not ask them? Try, “Hey it seems like it really bothers you when I don’t restock the fruits. I’ll try and be better about that.”
Also, sometimes that horrible coworker may be dealing with a problem that you know nothing about, making them extra sensitive. While you don’t have to listen to them complain about inane things, sometimes the issue might go a bit deeper than you think.
While not all situations necessarily merit manager interference, some do. If someone is constantly harassing you or hasn’t responded to any attempts at informal conflict resolution, it may be time to go get the boss.
Having difficult coworkers is the reality of any job, but if you feel a line has been crossed, tell someone. This is always a better option than gossiping about the individual.
Remember, you deserve a safe and harassment free work environment! Always ask for help if you need it.
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In the bartending game, tips aren't everything although that's how so many approach the profession. In order to have massive success, you have to focus on a long-term strategy.
You’re either a bartender or looking to become one right? And you’re just checking to see if you already do these things or trying to figure ways to get better. This kickass list is simple and straight to the point sharing ways to nail bartending.
Everyone thinks being a bartender is all about fast cash, and a lot of it is. But, when the IRS comes calling, we pay and we pay big.
For many of us, April 15 th looms like a giant question mark in our minds.
What will we owe? Will our tax bill wipe out our (sometimes measly) savings accounts?
The thing is, bartenders and servers rely almost solely on their tips, often all of which are received in cash. Our checks are then taxed and depending on how much of your tips your employer is claiming, they can amount to literally nothing. I’m talking voided checks or or ones worth pennies.
So, to help all those hospitality workers out there, here are some things you should know about your taxes.
Most likely your employer is reporting your tips for you and taking the requisite taxes out of your hourly paycheck. However, your stingy hourly rate may not be enough to cover the taxes on your tips. This is why most of us owe the tax man come filing time.
Technically you should be reporting all of your tips, cash and credit card. Some restaurants fudge this information as conventional wisdom has it that the IRS assumes you’re only making 8% of your sales in tips. However, this isn’t exactly the case. Following this advice could leave you at risk for an audit, especially if you’re claiming something below this threshold.
It is always wise to claim all of your tips; you’ll be thankful later when you’re not getting audited. Here is the IRS page about tip reporting.
One major piece of advice we have for tipped workers is to keep careful track of what you’re tipping out to busboys, service bartenders, etc. If this isn’t being factored into how your employer claims your income, you could end up owing more then you should. You aren’t required to claim money you didn’t receive. So, have a chat with your manager about whether they’re claiming your income before or after your tip outs.
If your employer doesn’t reimburse you for uniforms and shoes, you can and should write them off. Be sure to keep all of your receipts just in case. If you buy your uniforms from your restaurant or bar, just ask them to make you out a simple receipt. As long as they are required for the job and unsuitable to be worn outside of work (I’m looking at you, khaki Polos), you can write them off.
Any Extra Training or Classes
Did you have to get a food handler’s certificate or become TIPS certified to keep your job? If so, save those receipts and write those babies off!
Credit Card Processing Fees
Although rare, if your owner is passing on the cost of accepting credit cards to you, you can write off the processing fees as an expense when you file your taxes. Consult the IRS or a tax professional for more information on write-offs.
Firstly, find out what tax bracket you fall into by looking at your paycheck and extrapolating it for the entire year. While this may vary, it should give you a good idea of how much you’ll be claiming. Remember, you’re looking at your “Total Pay”, not your “Net Pay” which is only what you’re taking home in your check.
Next, check out the tax rates in your area since you’re expected to pay the Federal government as well as the state. This will help you understand what percentage of your income the IRS expects you to pay.
There are plenty of resources and tax calculators to help you out with this. While we don’t recommend taking these as gospel truth, it’s really nice to know the general amount you need to be socking away for taxes. If you often get voided checks from your establishment, there may be a shortfall. This means you will owe money because your hourly rate is not enough to cover the taxes on your tips.
The general rule of thumb is to allocate 10-15% of what your total pay is every week for taxes. If you get into the habit of doing this, and placing it into a separate account, you won’t even miss that money. Then when it’s time to pay up, you have what you need (hopefully) ready to go. While this is obviously not foolproof, it’s a good start and if you have money left over after paying the IRS, hallelujah!
We hope this article helps you figure everything out. However, we are neither lawyers nor tax accountants so you should always seek professional advice if you have any questions about your taxes.
Want to connect with people at the bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!
Hey you, be sure you know your rights like you know your drinks.
If you’re a bartender, you’ve seen it all: the drunks, the fighters, the pukers, the bubbly late-night bar crawlers. Part of you loves your eclectic customers, and the other part of you really wishes you could kick a few of these people out, given the opportunity.
Or, rather, given the right.
Figuring out when it’s totally okay and totally not okay to refuse service to a customer or force one to leave a bar is a gray area for a lot of bartenders. And it’s not your fault—the laws governing bars and pubs differ by state and establishment.
You should never find yourself questioning your decisions, especially when it comes to the safety of your coworkers, your customers and yourself. These rules might be confusing and overwhelming, but they’re your rights—and, yes, you have a right to know them.
In the United States, bartenders (i.e. establishments) have the right to evict disorderly persons from public premises. But sometimes you’ll be faced with evicting less belligerent and less conspicuous types of people for other reasons equally justifiable.
While specifics vary by state law, here are a few circumstances in which you are (almost always) allowed to ask customers to leave:
Customer is violent, argumentative, threatening or obviously offensive, either to the staff or other patrons
The establishment is already filled to capacity
The environment poses a risk for minors or children, including those accompanying adults
When there is a large group of unpaying customers taking up space
And when it comes to the fun part of your job (e.g. making alcohol taste good), bartenders can legally refuse to serve alcoholic beverages to the following types of customers:
Overly inebriated customers or binge drinkers
Pregnant women (but never—and I mean never—assume a woman is pregnant)
Minors or customers without proper ID
Now that we know the basics, it’s time to delve into the specifics. What’s the easiest way to figure out your rights as a bartender?
Consult your employee handbook
Ask your boss or supervisor
Look up state laws
The simplest methods are to check your handbook and ask your superior, but neither of these resources gives you the breadth of legal information expounded in your state’s statutes—which are surprisingly pretty easy to find. All you have to do is hop online and visit your state’s legislative website by searching for YOUR STATE + LAWS. (Hint: You’ll know the site is legitimate if it ends with .gov versus .com or .org.)
Once you land the correct site, search for laws regarding public accommodations, establishments, disorderly persons or eviction.
For example, according to Texas statutes, the term “disorderly conduct” applies to any of the following situations and people:
A person who uses “abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place”
Someone who “abuses or threatens a person in a public place in an obviously offensive manner”
A person who “fights with another in a public place”
Someone who “discharges a firearm in a public place”
A person who exposes himself/herself, or performs lewd or obscene actions in a public place
While the above examples are perfectly legal circumstances to ask customers to leave, be aware of your choices and the overall atmosphere when exercising this particular right. The last thing you want to do is ask someone to leave due to a perceived personal prejudice. In other words, don’t be a sexist, a racist or a homophobic jerk—and definitely don’t seem like you’re one, even if you’re not.
For the most part, anti-discrimination laws sound a lot like this one taken from a Florida statute: “All persons are entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, handicap, familial status, or religion.”
Sometimes, though, these laws can be hazy. Such is the case with a pregnant woman who was asked to leave a bar back in 2011 simply because of the fact she was pregnant. No, she wasn’t drinking alcohol—just water. So was kicking her out an appropriate response, or was it downright discriminatory?
That’s where the infamous gray area comes into play again. As a bartender, you have to make judgments about certain situations, but you can’t just assume a customer is a liability without law, a handbook or common sense backing you up.
So study up, research and know your rights. You’ll be thankful you do when that one potentially problematic customer comes strutting in.
Bartenders are important people and one of the first persons you interact with after a challenging week. They must smile, keep the bar clean, make suggestions, remember everything, and know exactly what you want before you know it. Here I attempt to show the importance of bartenders.