I was in a local bar/restaurant in the Mays Landing area last week when I was rather perplexed by an item on the menu.

There was a suggestion that I buy a round of drinks for the kitchen staff.

Huh?

OK, I admit that maybe I don't get out much, but I've never seen or heard of this practice before.

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So, even before placing my food and drink order, I whipped out my cell and called my bar/restaurant expert (my daughter) and asked her "What's up with this?"

She works in another state and she said she's seen this suggestion a few places near her, but she's noticed it as a hot topic online.

(NOTE: I'm not including the name of the bar/restaurant here. This is not to point THEM out, since it's not their "invention.")

Apparently the idea is, if you like your food, you can include in your payment, a specific amount of money that will be used to buy the kitchen a round "after their shift."

Huh..... That's rather interesting, right?

I'm not a bad service tipper. I usually tip my server a minimum of 20%. Now, though, I'm being asked to buy drinks for the kitchen? Buy drinks? Instead of a cash tip? Why?

I've called the manager over to the table before to compliment the chef/cook before. Same with the wait-staff. But, I've never left a tip for the kitchen staff and I've certainly never bought a round of drinks for the kitchen. Where did this come from?

OH  - also, if everyone buys a round of drinks for the kitchen - isn't there a chance the kitchen staff will get sloshed - right before they get in their cars and go home? What if someone in the kitchen doesn't drink?

I have some reservations about this one....

So, I looked online and did a little research.

An article by the Dallas Observer dove into the topic and talked with an executive chef, and found that it's an excellent way to boost morale amongst the kitchen staff. It's common in bars for people to buy the bartender a drink, so why not the kitchen staff?

At his bar, the drinks are only handed out after closing, and there is a two beer maximum per staff member. Workers can elect an optional cash reward instead of the drink.

OK, that sounds like someone put some thought into this.

Still, it's new and weird. At least to me. How about you, what do you think?

In case you're wondering, I did NOT buy the kitchen a round of drinks. First of all, I wasn't that impressed by the food. A little disappointed actually. Does that make me a bad guy?

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