State Laws Regarding Splitting Tips

Is it illegal to split tips in Pennsylvania?

By debra from Saint Michael, PA


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October 1, 20100 found this helpful

I am assuming you are a waitperson? Splitting tips has to do with appreciation of fellow workers in what they do to help you get the items on the table for the customers who leave a tip. Who seats your customers and gives them a menu? Who buses your tables? Who makes sure the food is prepped from the kitchen? Who makes sure that drinks are ready for you to serve? It's not even a question of 'legal', but rather of 'teamwork and appreciation'!

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October 2, 20100 found this helpful

Deeli I agree with you. I once knew an elderly woman whose young grandaughter worked in a combination lounge/restaurant. She was a waitperson and grandma was always complaining that the tips her grandaughter made had to be shared with the bartender. The complaint was that the people hadn't ordered a drink and I couldn't get it through the woman's head that the people might have had a drink at the bar before going to their table.


There was never anything said about the customer having to wait for their table. For all the waitperson knew maybe the people had just went in to have a drink and then decided to find a table and eat there too. That is something a person will never know. My thought is that restaurants should pay enough that tips aren't needed.

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October 4, 20100 found this helpful

Redhatterb, would you prefer that the restaurant raised prices $4-5 a dish so that you wouldn't have to tip? That is exactly what would happen if we went to a non-tipping system.Prices are kept low because servers make a whopping $2.83 an hour, and the rest is gratuity from the public. Good Service will go right out the window. I work in a restaurant but I am not a server. I just see first hand every day what goes on.

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October 4, 20100 found this helpful

No offense meant, Sandy/Pittsburgh, but what is the difference if customers leave a tip to the waitperson or if a higher price of a meal with no tip is expected? A wait person, on average, covers six tables or more per hour. Let's say there are only two people per table. Let's do the math for what the total food and beverage checks would be for those six or more tables during an hour!


The majority of us leave a tip for the waitperson involved because we already know the waitperson and the people who help them earn low wages! I don't see anything that redhatterb said that was anything other than supportive, and I've worked in a restaurant and depended on tips in my youth so I definitely understand the system! And if 'good service would go right out the window' because of the a 'current waitperson low wage' being raised to a reasonable wage then that would be on the shoulders of management for not properly supervising employees! McDonald's etcetera pay a regular/normal wage without expectation of tips to their employees and you know those employees would be gone in a heartbeat if their service 'went out the window'!

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October 5, 20100 found this helpful

I feel that with the current tipping system, the server must do everything in her power to make the guest happy, which is NOT easy. Her livelihood depends on it. I have some servers that routinely make EXCELLENT money, then there are others who do just "so-so." I have heard each at their tables and there is a direct correlation, trust me. If they worked for a flat rate, service would suffer and the guest wouldn't have as good of an experience. BTW, our servers don't get anywhere near 6 tables an hour.


3 is the limit, and that is to ensure good service.

Also, the server is not only waiting on her tables (and helping other tables in her area also), she is stocking, dressing food orders, making coffee and tea, bussing tables, cleaning salad areas, dessert areas, sweeping floors, mopping floors. Our servers do voluntarily split tips with out bussers, but only if that busser was a great help to the success of the restaurant. So the next time you leave your server one measly dollar, you should think of everyone else involved to get that meal to your table.

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October 11, 20100 found this helpful

Contact your states att. general office for legal clarification.

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