Tip Jars & taking money

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C2CD
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2013/05/22 20:20:14 (permalink)

Tip Jars & taking money

Dog Slingers;
 I once again have a question I am reaching out to the community to answer. Well 2 actually. The first is Tip jars, Are they worth having? Do you make any kind of real money on them, or does it end up being some place people get rid of there change?
 The second, What is the best way to take money, How to keep it fast and the line moving. How to you deal with having to re-glove or re-sanitize after each transaction? I really want to start accepting credit cards, cause I hate to lose business, but doing the cart alone I feel like it would slow me down way to much. Any advice? I would hate to have to hire someone just to take money.
#1

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    Buck & Vi's
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 20:35:09 (permalink)
    tip jars ?? damn right..so if it does turn into a spare change jar.. collect and enjoy I say.. I had a small jar at my place I originally put it out for a "need one take one" jar but it turned into a tip jar I take what's in there and put into a bigger jar.. I looked at it the other day and I had $74.35..ok that was for a few months but hey...... it's "real" money....
    #2
    lleechef
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 20:45:29 (permalink)
    About the tip jar......I ran a retail fish/lobster market and we also sold food.  (It was recently on DDD......Yankee Lobster Fish Market in Boston.)  I would crumple up a few one dollar bills in the tip jar before I opened.  By the end of the day I often had $250 in the jar which I split with the guy that helped me out in the kitchen.  A customer once came in with a "terrible twos" child......I helped him out to his car and he gave me $20! 
    #3
    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 20:50:34 (permalink)
    that's a good Idea to put money into it to start. Ill keep that in mind. thanks
    #4
    lleechef
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 20:56:11 (permalink)
    HotDogMafia

    that's a good Idea to put money into it to start. Ill keep that in mind. thanks

    It works!  I started out with an empty tip jar and that's how it ended up when it was time to close.  Something about the customer staring into a bunch of dollar bills in the jar makes them throw in another one!

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    BpCBlake
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 21:26:37 (permalink)
    Beats having a dancing rat on your cart
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    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 22:09:52 (permalink)
    Great advice guys on the tip Jar. I'm sold and will give it a try. any advice on collecting money fast? I have been trying a money box and an apron with 3 pockets to keep the cash in, just wonder if there is a faster way? and accepting credit cards? Good idea? Bad idea? Should I hire a cashier?
    #7
    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 22:09:53 (permalink)
    Great advice guys on the tip Jar. I'm sold and will give it a try. any advice on collecting money fast? I have been trying a money box and an apron with 3 pockets to keep the cash in, just wonder if there is a faster way? and accepting credit cards? Good idea? Bad idea? Should I hire a cashier?
    #8
    chefbuba
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 23:45:35 (permalink)
    You will be leaving several hundred on the table with no jar....now do you want their spare change?
    As lleechef stated , you must prime the jar and also screed some off if it gets too full. Too much or too little, and they won't put anything in it.
    #9
    BpCBlake
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/22 23:56:10 (permalink)
    and you can offer a gift for a tip. put a jar of candy on the cart saying, thank you for the tip.
     
    #10
    kennyb
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/23 20:04:30 (permalink)
    our  girls got a 100 doller bill in theres one time.
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    djdawg
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/24 11:37:43 (permalink)
    Gloves? Never at my cart... Well, rarely. Use your tongs for EVERYTHING. when someone comes to order this is what I do...I first grab a wax paper (Or whatever it is your using to serve your dogs in) then I use my tongs to take off the bun lid. I then grab a bun with my tongs - open it up with the tongs. Then I do the same thing with the dogs... Put on condiments, collect $ and you're golden!
    post edited by djdawg - 2013/05/24 11:39:11
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    bartl
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/24 11:44:50 (permalink)
    As a customer, I find that a tip jar increases the chances I will leave a tip. On the other hand, if the vendor does something above and beyond the call of duty, I will ALWAYS tip (and it doesn't have to be way beyond; making a slightly non-standard item, or, if my "to go" order is going to take several minutes, agreeing to put it aside if it's done before I finish a few minute errand is sufficient).
     
    Bart
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    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/24 13:44:26 (permalink)
    @djdawg I am not a fan of gloves either, I keep them there in case the HD comes around. I do use tongs for most of the process, I have stainless spoons and ladles for toppings. I might move to wax paper cause right now I am using the tin foil sheets and it gets kinda hot on the hand some times 
    @batl I am going to leave a tip jar, But I think I will put a note saying tips go to feed the locale homeless, I will take the tips earned and buy the dogs from myself each day and give those dogs to the homeless shelter. That way I am not losing the tips, and I am getting my name out in the community in a positive way. 
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    djdawg
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/25 02:13:32 (permalink)
    Mafia....can I ask what your motivation is behind giving the tips to a homeless shelter?  The reason I ask is if it's because you're afraid that people will be offended if you just put a tip jar out and you're trying to ease them into it, don't worry about it.  Of course if it's because you really are a giving type person - go for it!  : )
     
    The reason I say this is because when I first started I was very self conscience about putting one out and didn't...after two weeks of people almost getting mad at me for not having one out, I finally broke down and put one out. 
     
    I think us hot dog carters are viewed differently then other services like Starbucks, or other corporate things similar...most know we are probably the owner...trying to squeek out a living and they are quite appreciative and enjoy showing their gratefullness!
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    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/25 22:18:30 (permalink)
    @djdawg I am putting the tip jar out like that cause I am all about community involvement, But I think people will tip more if it is for a good cause and what I plan to do is save all the tips for a week, at the end of each week I add it up, see how many hot dogs I can buy with it, buy them from my cart, donate those to the homeless shelter which is a charitable donation. so not only did I get the money from the tips, I helped homeless people in my community and I get to claim it as a tax right off 
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    BpCBlake
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/25 23:24:23 (permalink)
    also at the end of each day you can donate the leftover dogs that are all ready cooked.
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    bartl
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 11:15:42 (permalink)
    OK, my marketing side is coming out here. As I have mentioned in the past, if you contribute to the public good in your own name, great, but if you are doing it in the name of your business, it should be a form of advertising; encouraging people to use your business.
     
    In terms of homeless shelters, there are two problems involved. The first is that homeless shelters are a major NIMBY issue; while people, in general, are in favor of providing food and shelter for the homeless, they don't want it near where they live (consider that, while many homeless people are good people down on their luck, a good chunk of the homeless problem is due to the trend to, as a money saving measure, move mentally ill people from state institutions to local community services, and then not using any of the savings to fund the community services, leaving the mentally ill people pretty much on their own). Secondarily, there is an association of homeless people and shelters with a lack of sanitation; there is a disgust factor if people think they are eating the same food as the homeless people do.
     
    Therefore, I do not think that publicly helping out homeless shelters would be good for a food business, particularly a street food business (where you already have the "unsanitary" stigma working against you).
     
    Another problem is on the other end of things. Food donations to homeless shelters are not treated as extras; those funding the homeless shelters reduce the budget for food based on those donations. So, in effect, food donations are not going t the homeless as much as they are going to the taxpayers, and result in a less healthy diet for those in the shelters (especially as a lot of the donations are in the form of relatively unbalanced snack and treat foods, and, at the risk of offending many in this group, hot dogs are not the healthiest food on earth).
     
    Having a donation jar for local causes may well be a good idea for a cart, but try to match the cause to one that will give the underlying message to the customer, "I really want to buy a hot dog from this cart."
     
    Bart
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    BpCBlake
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 11:40:42 (permalink)
    I have a box of lollipops near my tip jar saying thank you for your support.
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    Ironhorse07
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 12:58:29 (permalink)
    My wife and I started a bbq trailer about 5 months ago and we put a couple of dollars in the tip jar to start the day off and skim it off mainly because it would be an easy target to steal. Anyway we run from 11 to 2 mon through fri and she would hand me the tips at the end of the day and I just stuck them in an envelope. After we had been open a couple of months I counted it up, almost 700 bucks! My wife has a habit of comping sides or sodas if she thinks s customer had to wait too long or things like that and it is amazing how many people will drop 3 - 5 bucks into the tip jar after that, pretty good profit on a soda. When we started we just used a plastic pitcher we had laying around then a local cop stopped buy for lunch one day and told us that there was quite a problem with tips being stolen, a wide mouth container makes it easy to act like your putting money in when you really take it out. We thought about it and it's hard to really pay that much attention, someone could have been easily taking tips.

    Doug
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    lleechef
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 13:10:37 (permalink)
    I didn't have to worry about people taking money out of my tip jar.....a unit of Massachusetts State Police was right across the street!  They were some of my best customers and biggest tippers.  I used to comp the construction guys that were working on Boston's Big Dig early in the morning for coffee.  Those poor guys were frozen by the time I got to work at 7AM.  I would not charge them for coffee but they left me big tips!
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    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 14:40:06 (permalink)
    @ Bartl I will not broadcast how it will feed the homeless Just a sign that says like 100% of tips feed locale homeless or something to that effect. I know for example Panera Bread donates their left over bread each night to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. So kinda the same thing. But I plan to save tips for a week, and make a drop of X amount of dogs, still frozen and buns to match. so the shelter or wherever can keep it frozen until needed. It is my hopes that it might catch media attention and start to change the stigma of street food vendors. I have lived all over the world and street food is huge through out the world, and looked at differently than here. It has only been in about the last 5 years or so it has started to catch on here.
    @Ironhorse07 I plan on using a big huge jar from old deli mustard with a slot in the lid, but I do something a little controversial to deter theft. On my cart we Open Carry. So when people see a firearm on your hip in plain view they think twice 
    @lleechef I don't have the means to make coffee on my cart, and I think I might not be allowed to in my area 
    #22
    lleechef
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 14:52:10 (permalink)
    HDM 
    You are indeed a good person!  Thank you for donating to the homeless.  I did the same thing when I worked at l'Aroma in Anchorage.....all the left-over bread and pastries went to a homeless shelter.  Unfortunately when I was chef at the Black Cow in Hamilton, MA we never had any left-overs.  But I did save the lettuce trimmings and vegetable trimmings for the goats that provided me with delicious local goat cheese!!
    #23
    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 19:21:15 (permalink)
    @lleechef Thank you for your kind words. I too am a chef by trade, Just in these tough economic times I seem to be able to cut out a better living slinging hot dogs than working in fine dining. I am all about buying locale and giving back to my community.  
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    BpCBlake
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 19:43:42 (permalink)
    dogs are great. look what Nathan did with his grandmothers recipe. every great dog starts somewhere.
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    lleechef
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 19:55:14 (permalink)
    HotDogMafia

    @lleechef Thank you for your kind words. I too am a chef by trade, Just in these tough economic times I seem to be able to cut out a better living slinging hot dogs than working in fine dining. I am all about buying locale and giving back to my community.  

    I wouldn't know where to begin with hot dogs.  I have always done fine dining.  But yes! I always bought local........picked up my own fish in Boston, picked up my lobsters and crabmeat in Boston, picked up my veal, my fresh mozzarella, fresh pasta and then stopped at the farm........1 mile from my restaurant........for all the produce they could give me depending on the season.  I lived 27 miles from the restaurant and would drive 20 miles to pick up all my food every day. 
    Good luck and all the best to you!  The food biz is tough but I always gave this advice..........whatever you do, hamburgers, hot dogs, fine dining, etc., do it well, the best you can and you'll be successful.
    #26
    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 19:56:41 (permalink)
    I aspire to be like Hot Dougs just outside of chicago, dudes got it going on. I mean a foie gras dog with fries fried in duck fat, come on your talking my language now 
    #27
    lleechef
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 20:13:33 (permalink)
    Did you just say foie gras and duck fat????  Those are two of the holiest words in culinary vocabulary! 
    #28
    C2CD
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/05/26 21:25:51 (permalink)
    I did and they are 
    #29
    top^dog
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    Re:Tip Jars & taking money 2013/06/07 09:36:09 (permalink)
    I only use gloves for prep work in my truck...i would go out of my mind changing gloves after each transaction... i have 4 tongs..... no credit/debit cards takes too much time....i dont use a tip jar, to me its liking begging for some spare change but it adds some extra money
    #30
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