You may recall that my husband and I are preparing to get possession of a small full service family restaurant in our small town. When we get up and rolling I was thinking about having a tip out program for the staff. For those who aren't sure what I'm talking about, it's when the servers give a portion of their tips (a percentage of sales) to a pool that is divided between the kitchen workers, bussing staff, and hosts/hostesses.
This was a policy that was in effect at a popular restaurant I used to work at, and is the case for some others I know of. This was dispensed on a biweekly basis so that one week you'd get the tip out and the next, you'd get your paycheck. Overall, it was well received, and servers were definitely inspired to give great service to ensure they brought some good tips home to cover their tip out and then some. Back when I worked at this restaurant (ahhh! almost 20 years ago but seems like last year!) you might get between 30 to 100 bucks depending on how many hours you worked and what your position was. Not huge, but better than a kick in the pants.
I'd like to know how many others out there have worked in this type of system, and methods of making it work effectively. What was your percentage to tip out, and that sort of thing.