Hill Country Tipping
Hill Country is a cafeteria style restaurant with separate lines for meats, side dishes, drinks. Cocktail waiters can also bring drinks. Floor staff (different people from the cocktail waiters???) clear tables when you are done and sometimes ask if you want water. Your most important interaction is with the counter staff who take your meat order, call it back to slicing team and then weigh the meat and hand it to you on butcher paper. They also mark your meal ticket with its price. You bring your meal ticket to a cash register on your way out to pay.
There are tip jars at the drinks counter and the cash registers. There are no tip jars at the meat counter. You can also add a tip if you pay by credit card at the registers.
A post on another web site says the meat order takers and slicers do not take part in the tip pool. A friend who asked was told that they do sometimes, whatever that means. I was told a few days ago by one of the cash register staff that the meat order takers and slicers are cut into cash tips left in the jars but not the credit card tips. She said those go only to the cocktail waiters. This makes no sense at all.
I’m happy to tip like in a normal restaurant if I know that the meat guys get most of the money, or at least some. I’m not happy to tip normally in a place where I wait my own table and don’t order drinks from the cocktail waiters if the waiters get all the money and the meat counter staff get nothing.
Can someone with inside knowledge enlighten us please? BackYardChef, you seem like you're affiliated with Hill Country in some way. Can you help? Thanks.
I wouldn't tip like a 'normal' restaurant, as the hill country employees aren't paid as if they were tipped employees. The tips they get are extra, like gravy. Their pay is not dependent on receiving tips like a bartender, or standard waiter/waitress. It's the equivalent of tipping the person at starbucks or the pizza shop.