Tag Archives: Commentary

What We All Lose If Tipping Is Eliminated

Updated 9-18-16

~ Prices will go up more than 20% . Trust me, they’ll have to. So customers will pay more at any place that’s even moderately popular.

~ Good servers at most places will make less money as the net wage hike will not cover the lost tips. The majority of servers I know are strongly against getting rid of tips.

~ Operators will lose as higher menu prices will decrease customer visits and spending.  ~ Most sadly, another one of the rare person to person relationships left in our social life will vanish.
~ Based on my past as a tipped server in the past, and my years in many different aspects of the hospitality business, in concepts from low to high end, I think this is a mistake across the board.

~ Everyone will lose if we get rid of tipping.

Here’s a 9-18-16 update from the Chicago Tribune on how the no-tipping experiment is failing.

a tipster not just a hipster tip sign

 

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#MarriageEquality and #GunRights Show Us How To “Do the Impossible”

In 2008, Barack Obama met with a fundamentalist preacher during his presidential campaign, to state his opposition to same sex marriage.  The most liberal candidate in recent history felt supporting same sex marriage was politically dangerous just 7 years ago.  This week when the Supreme Court affirmed the right to same sex marriage was protected in the Constitution, it was the expected outcome.  And the vast majority of businesses, politicians and citizens saluted the decision.  The White House was lit in rainbow colors.  From Impossible to Inevitable in 7 years.

rainbow white house

I grew up in the country hunting, fishing and shooting guns.  Even in our conservative region in “the good old days” we still never imagined that all citizens would someday have the right to carry loaded weapons, concealed or open in holsters, in nearly every public setting.  Yet today every state is required by Supreme Court ruling to allow public possession of firearms, including concealed carry.  From Unthinkable to Unstoppable.

gunrallymarch

What these two remarkable developments have in common is an organized, passionate group taking sustained political action.  In both cases, citizens mobilized into a political force over decades, raising money and more importantly wielding the votes to threaten candidates’ and politicians’ careers if they didn’t support and advance their issues.  Gay Rights and Gun Rights activists didn’t get discouraged or give up until they achieved their goals.  It’s impossible to deny the effectiveness of their determination.

American Citizens are almost universally disgusted with American Government.  This is one sentiment where the left, right and center actually agree!  But we typically say we can’t do anything about government waste of taxpayers money, inefficiency, bloat, bullying citizens, corruption, unethical behavior and other problems.  We say “that’s just the way it is” and it will never change.  Or we feel we can just vote in “our guys” without changing the rules of the system.  History shows that tactic does not solve the dysfunction.

Whether we agree or disagree with the hard fought triumphs of the Gay Rights and Gun Rights movements, their victories show this fatalistic attitude about improving our society is simply a cop out.  What’s more important than wise use of taxpayer dollars and the integrity of our leaders?  Citizens can clearly seize power if enough people care and put in a sustained effort.  We have the power to step up and make things better.

Do we just like to complain, or do we actually want to change our nation and world for the better?  Whatever you care about, don’t cop out and say it can’t be done.   This week’s Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage is just one example proving that’s not true!

As dysfunctional as our politics have become, Citizens in our Republic are still in control of our own destiny.  But in politics as in business, success takes hard work and persistence.

sorry-for-the-inconvenience-we-are-trying-to-change-the-world

Read more about how same sex marriage triumphed in Slate.

And check out just a couple of examples of how the open carry and concealed carry movement succeeded in legalizing widespread carrying of loaded firearms.

Amazing things can be done when people care.

— TTBG

 

 

About This Letter to #AppleMusic from #TaylorSwift

It’s the perfect response.  Her message is polite, intelligent, rational and insistent.
I have had my serious falling out with Apple over music and equipment quality issues as detailed on this blog and my other pages. My issues are on the customer side.
Read Taylor’s Blog Post here.  It’s a spot on take regarding the artist side of the Apple Music controversies.

Read more in Rolling Stone.  I think AppleMusic is likely to succeed, but the Apple we all loved under Steve Jobs seems to be degenerating fast.

My idea to end all SPAM texts and phone calls.

UPDATE 2-24-16: HEY somebody did it!

The FCC is considering new ways to cut robocalls and SPAM texts.

My idea is to go back to the old concept of collect calling. You could get a 900 number for your phone. When people call it says “the surcharge for this call will be zero if the person you are calling presses #1 within 20 seconds of answering the call, otherwise the charge for this call will be $9.99 plus tax. You can hang up now or charge will go into effect in 5 seconds at the time of the first ring.” This could not be blocked.  The phone company and the customer could split the proceeds from junk phone callers who don’t hang up fast enough.  If you charge a friend by mistake you’d have a couple of days to go online and reverse the charge.
For texts the texter would get 1 free shot and a warning. If the recipient does not respond to the second text they would be charged for that text and every text after from the same trunk system or IP.

PHONE COMPANIES PLEASE STEAL MY IDEA! I’ll be the first one to sign up.

Read what the FCC is considering here on Mashable. But I think my idea is best!  — Tim “TTBG”

 

 

 

http://wp.me/p2g9q8-BH

Bye Bye Miss #AmericanIdol

Well, American Idol is finally being cancelled. So now’s a great time to look at 11 singers that were rejected by American Idol and then went on to make it big, including Colbie Caillat and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. Fact is most of the biggest music artists in history probably would have been rejected. I never saw anything creatively ground breaking come from that show or any other TV talent searches. Steven Tyler was pretty funny though.

 

Business and Life Wisdom from Mom

My Mom kept it simple when we were growing up, but I still think of the things she said to guide us daily.  I still turn to her sayings in my business and personal life.

~ “Be considerate!” ~ I strive to think about what I am about to say or do and how others will react and feel.  This is a healthy version of being “PC.”

~ “I’m going to count to 3…” ~ I’ve learned to stop and think before speaking or taking action and I’ve never been sorry after doing so.

~ “Tomorrow is another day.” ~ I strive to let the grudges and failures of today not pollute my future attitudes and action.

~ “Mind your P’s and Q’s!” ~ In my lifelong involvement in  bar/restaurant hospitality industry, I’ve learned it’s a nickel and dime business where failure is often caused by ignoring a lot of little things.  I think that’s true of many other endeavors, both business and professional.

~ “It’s just one of those things.” ~ I have a need to analyze and understand everything, and I have to make peace with the reality that sometimes stuff just happens, and people act in ways that don’t make sense.

~ “We’ll see…” ~ Mom’s version of “maybe,” in response to those endless kid requests.  She taught me to be tactful in controlling requests, but staying open to possibilities.

~ “MOB!” (Mind your own business) ~ This is one I use every day and it saves me time, money, and aggravation.

~ “Don’t be unpleasant.” ~ Smile and the world smiles with you. Or as I say to Clients in the hospitality business, “Smile and Make Money!”

~ “Go outside and play!” ~ Mom had very tough rules limiting media screen time. Of course there was only the TV screen back then.  But growing up we “watched” much less than our friends, as Mom would kick us out the door to go expend some energy and grow our imagination.  Today, I’m aware that passively consuming too much media is binging on mental junk food.  I try to model behavior and spread the word to friends and associates that spending time with “talking heads,” talk radio, reality TV and negative web sites is mind pollution.

~ “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you!” ~ The Golden Rule, present in every major faith, was big for my Mom and it remains the ultimate piece of Life Wisdom

So here’s my favorite Mother’s Day Song from Junior: “Mama Used to Say.”

And Here’s some more thoughts on what some “old school” mom’s taught us kids.

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

On #EqualPayDay : There’s Gender Pay Gap Improvement to Celebrate

~~ Equal Pay Day is an important day for the hospitality business, as our industry has provided more management and ownership opportunity to women than most fields. Recent NRA research found more than 45 percent of today’s restaurant managers are women, compared with 38 percent in other industries. Further, the number of restaurants owned by women increased 50 percent between 1997 and 2007.

~~ Equal Pay Day is the day on which the average woman will make what the average man made in the previous year. So in all of 2014 plus every day of 2015 up to today the average woman’s earnings = the average man’s year 2014 earnings. There are many ways to calculate this and it is no where near an unassailable number or date. Yet the issues of why women lag in earning power are important and fair to debate. Here is a well-documented, balanced analysis from Pew Research Group, which shows improvements to be celebrated as the wage gap closes, yet still areas of opportunity for improvement.
~~ My take is that we have to be very careful not to choose “solutions” that will make things worse for women and the workforce as a whole, such as banning salary negotiation.

~~ To read more on the issue of diversity from the National Restaurant Association here.