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Old 03-19-2017, 05:30 PM
 
35 posts, read 24,291 times
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Hey All,
I was wondering if any bartenders/servers on the South East Coast would be willing to divulge any info on their tipping averages? We are hoping to relocate from CT to either Wilmington, NC, Charleston, SC or Savannah, GA. Tipping averages are fairly good up north, ranging from 15%-40%, with high average tickets (due to pricey entrees and $12 cocktails). We also usually make a fair hourly wage on top of that. I know I cannot expect to make the same type of income that I make up North, but I tried bartending in Western, PA., and despite working 40 hour weeks, I could not make more than $350 per week! I was hoping some servers in the Southern cities might be able to chime in and give a ballpark average of what to expect? It's also very common up here to only work at one restaurant or bar, and I know that in many other cities bartenders sometimes have to work at 2 or 3 different places in order to make ends meet.....I hope no one takes offense to this post! Hopefully, anyone in the industry knows that it's very hard to gage what one might make from one place to another, especially when considering moving to another region! Any info/advice would be greatly appreciated! Moving is always a nerve racking concept, but especially if it involves a 75% pay cut! Any and all opinions appreciated!! Thanks so much!
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:02 PM
 
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As an ex NY native don't expect a "buy back" as they don't exist down here.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:33 PM
 
181 posts, read 184,866 times
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People in North Carolina are pretty much always going to tip you 20%. You can expect that on average.

Now, you'll get the occasional jackass, and the occasional great table, but in the end expect 20% from just about everyone around here.

Unless your bar sucks or location sucks, you should be able to make more than $350 a week on a 40 hour week here as a bartender. That's extremely low.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:41 PM
 
35 posts, read 24,291 times
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Thanks SOO much! It's a Godsend to hear that! I lived in Pittsburgh temporarily, and even though I absolutely loved it there, it was brutal trying to make ends meet. It was a real rude awakening coming from New England, where generally everyone tips 20%. Granted, Pittsburgh is also extremely over saturated with bars, that just drumming up business is a challenge. Thanks so much for the feedback! My husband will most likely be taking a major paycut to move, and I want to be prepared for what I can anticipate as well.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:39 PM
 
1,088 posts, read 1,962,979 times
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Remember, most of the people down here are originally from the Northeast where tipping is normal at %20.

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Old 03-21-2017, 08:52 AM
 
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Thanks again, guys! That makes me feel a lot better. I loved living out in Western, PA., but I could never risk doing a repeat of that financial disaster. You guys have been a big help!
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:04 AM
 
6,800 posts, read 4,426,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscman View Post
Remember, most of the people down here are originally from the Northeast where tipping is normal at %20.

Thankfully, that's not true.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC.
98 posts, read 77,485 times
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I wasn't gonna say anything , but to say most of the people are from the NE isnt true. I'm from the NE. And a lot more people then I expected are from the NE. But I'd still say it's 75% southern 25% moved from elsewhere. That being said I have yet to meet a rude local and have met alot of very nice respectful ones. Don't know what that means for gratuity. Just be aware theres a college here so I'm sure they're applying for the same jobs you are.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:31 AM
 
5,910 posts, read 6,707,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscman View Post
Remember, most of the people down here are originally from the Northeast where tipping is normal at %20.


And, if you move into a "resort" city/environment/club/restaurant much of your business is going to be tourists, and you know how that can go. Some are quite generous, and others figure they will never see you again so they are cheap with tips.


Here's another big factor: Cocktails and liquor by the drink are relatively new concepts in the south. Most bartenders have been trained by incompetents. A "good" drink is hard to come by as many joints use ******* or measuring systems. Add in that anything other than a "bourbon on the rocks with a splash" is over their qualifications.


A person who can make a sophisticated cocktail, serve it properly, and be congenial to his/her guests can do quite well. Word travels quickly--both ways.


Get in the right situation and you will do fine. Bars can be big profits centers and smart managers know this. They also know that running a congenial operation (while not giving away the store) can be a big lead-in to the break-even food side of the biz.


Know your drinks, know your wines, and be able to pour a beer properly and you can win big(ly).
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,417 posts, read 5,398,904 times
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We lived in the Greenville area for 14 yrs. & the bartenders/servers told us for all those years that their tips were terrible. We personally saw clients leave $1.00 tip many times after sitting at the bar for several hrs.

It would depend where you tend bar & we lived in a College town. I always tell people before moving down have a job.
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