Saturday, June 19, 2010

Should famous people tip more?

Should famous customers tip better than regular customers?

The majority of my serving and bartending experience has come from my time spent in Indiana. I have bartended and served in Detroit and San Diego as well. I was a server/ bartender for around 6 years before I actually had the pleasure of serving a famous person. I was actually waiting tables at a Blues bar in Detroit when I got my first famous bar regular. It was a famous musician from the area who was dating a very famous blonde movie star. This rock star came into the bar once every couple of months and would request me to wait on their table. I always treated them like regular bar customers, which is why I believe I received the return business. Being a bartender from Indiana I feel gave me a one up on the situation because I am, and have always been a foal mouthed abrasive bartender/server. I believe that the crazier shit you say to your guests the better they tip. If a bar guest wanted a normal laid back person serving them alcoholic beverages, they could stay at home and do it themselves. So I believe that the entertainment factor of my job is the most important.
When my famous bar customers would come in, I would yell at them and treat them like everyone else. They always came back for more of my simple and ever so entertaining abuses. They would always have a wonderful time and tip me 20- 30%. I felt like this was a great tip and was happy to entertain. I never felt that I deserved the tip to end all tips that every bartender or server dreams of. That is until they started asking for more than just the average service. I feel that if a famous person comes in and expects and receives the same service as everyone else there is no reason for them to tip more. But when they become needier than the average bar guest, they should tip bigger.
The problem with famous people is that they require more attention and service than most bar guests. My famous customers usually required entrance through the back door and a reserved seat. No biggie right? Well the more you give people, the more willing they are to ask special favors from you. After a year of waiting on the same famous people, I found myself body guarding the table and making all kinds of special accommodations for them. I would make sure that no one asked them for autographs, go find hot single girls for them to talk to, and usually convince a manager that they needed a complimentary tab. I however was receiving the same 20-30% tip. I feel like if a server or bartender has to put in extra work to make them feel comfortable then they should be tipped accordingly.
Since my first experience serving famous people I have served many different types of famous people. I have found in my experience the best famous tippers are the sports guys, particularly football players. I have owned my own bar and had to accommodate them as a club owner as well. I find that the majority of famous people tip good, but not great. I have never received a giant tip from a famous person, no matter how hard I have worked. I have however received this kind of a tip from a regular bar patron. I do enjoy waiting on famous people however for many reasons. First, because they never look like they do on television. Second, because you can shock them more than the ordinary bar guest. Third, bragging rights. Fourth, they don’t really have any rules therefore they can also shock you, jungle juice… need I say more. Fifth, because you can give them a non-ass kissing fun experience that they will remember and probably appreciate more than the average bar guest
So if you have waited on a famous bar guest, I would like to hear about your experience. Did they tip awesome? How did they treat you? Did you like waiting on them? Also I would also like to hear from anyone who has partied in a club with a famous person. In my experience that after parties are where the real fun happens with famous people.

Funny famous person story:
- I work with a server who was on his way home one night in L.A. when he saw some drunken famous people standing on the side of the road. He stopped and offered these famous people a ride. They got into his car and he drove them home. Once the famous people were out of the car, this fellow server of mine looked into the rear view mirror and realized to his surprise there was still someone in his back seat. He asked the guy where he was going and the guy gave him directions. He began the 30 min journey of getting this guy home when he realized that the passenger was a male prostitute who had just got in the car with the famous people. Needless to say the ride home was extremely uncomfortable and my friend was super pissed. The male prostitute was dressed extremely flamboyant in all white fluffy clothing. After that night he never did another favor for a famous person. I know that he has stuck to his guns, because when asked to give a famous person a ride home from the bar that we work in, his answer was something to the affect of “hell no”! He went on a rant about how he hated famous people because they had no rules or manners. He had given some famous people a ride home and all he got in return was a male prostitute, no gas, and the worst car ride of his life. :)

Tips for waiting on famous people:
1. Treat them like normal guests
2. If they start asking for a bunch of stuff, call them out on being high maintenance
3. Take a few jabs at em, remind them why they went out drinking
4. Never say, I loved you in… or I love your music. Until after you have successfully gotten them drunk.
5. Never give a famous person a ride
6. Always go to their after party…. They always have the best drugs
7. Tell them what to tip you. Thanks for the 50.00 dollars! I swear it works.
8. Never ask them for an autograph or picture
9. Never drink Jungle Juice
10. Never let your other customers bother them…

Drink recipe of the day

Man Tini #1
1oz Kajmir vanilla brandy
1/2 oz of Three Olives choc vodka
1/2 oz of Khalua or Frangelico

shake over ice... pour in snifter
can sub crown royal for brandy if needed