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No Tipping at the Sanford Event Center?

Mr. Ehrisman finds his fellow food and beverage professionals at the Sanford events center in Sioux Falls hindered in hustling for tips:

As I purchased a malt beverage at the bar, I asked the bartender where the tip jar was, they told me they had to ‘hide it’. They also made a colorful comment about Denny Sanford.

I am against this for many reasons, but mainly because of greed and hypocrisy. Besides the fact they charge too much for the beer at the ‘complex’ I think the bartenders should be able to put their tip jars in clear view [Scott Ehrisman, “The Evil Tip Jar,” South Dacola, 2015.03.29].

Mr. Ehrisman notes that the great public investment in the new Sioux Falls events center has been justified under the ever-handy rubric of job creation. But the boss’s banishing the tip jar shows that those jobs are under tight control and don’t offer their takers the same income opportunities that the same work would offer at other establishments.


  1. Curt 2015-03-30 09:23

    Who is surprised by this?

  2. o 2015-03-30 09:53

    To be fair, wouldn’t we need to know the staffs’ hour salary before we determine that being denied tips is unreasonable? If they are being paid a good wage (from those over-priced beverage charges), then they don’t need tips. Even the largess of the prices MIGHT be because a tips are not being used and not needed to supplement the good wage.

    Many cities are going to banning tips and raising waitstaff wages to real wages. Tips let restaurants/bars keep prices artificially low by under-paying staff – but then using patron tips to make up for that underpayment.

    A bit more info is needed before jumping to the easy conclusion on this one.

  3. bearcreekbat 2015-03-30 12:18

    I recall a pregnant lady that worked as a coat check girl at a restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota a few years back. There was a locked slot for “tips” in the top of the wooden door to the coatroom. Trouble was, unbeknownst to customers, the management kept all the tips put in the slot even though they were intended to help the pregnant lady.

    After learning about that scam, I have always tried to make sure my tips went to the server, not the management. Perhaps it is better to hide a tip jar so the server gets cash in hand rather than having it go to the management?

  4. Curt 2015-03-30 12:54

    bcb – That would probably put the server who accepts ‘unauthorized’ gratuities in jeopardy of losing his/her job. Best just to cease patronizing the establishment – and be sure to let mgmt. know the reason.

  5. South DaCola 2015-03-30 14:25

    I’m guessing they are probably getting minimum to $9.50 an hour, pretty normal for a part-time job like this, but you can call ask below. Also, you have to realize that setup and teardown of the bars probably takes up to 30% of their shift (time that they are NOT serving customers and receiving gratuity).

    From the EC website;

    Ovations Food Service is currently has numerous positions open for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Arena and Convention Center, and Orpheum Theater Center.

    Part time:
    Concession Cashiers
    Suite Attendants
    Concession Supervisors
    Warehouse Runners
    Concession Cooks
    Catering Cooks

    Applications may be picked up at the Sioux Falls Arena Administration Office. Questions about Ovations positions may be directed to Troy Miller at 605-367-4173.

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