Author Topic: Waiters token (Kellner Marke) with purpose stated on it.  (Read 92 times)

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Offline Henk

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Waiters token (Kellner Marke) with purpose stated on it.
« on: July 09, 2018, 09:06:52 PM »
The token described here is a Waiters token (Kellner Marke) with its use described on it. Description is as follows:

21 mm, Copper
O: ELBSCHLUCHT OTTENSEN / (eagle standing right with wings outstretched and anchor in its right claw)
R: Gültig f.d. Kellner als Zahlung im Ausschank * / 20

Note: Also the values 10 and 15 (pfennig) are known
Elbschlucht (Literally: A gully of the river Elbe) is the name of the Restaurant. Ottensen is part of Hamburg-Altona (Germany). The restaurant was opened in 1886, it still exists.

The translation of the text on the reverse is: “Valid for the waiter as payment in the bar”. This is the only example I know of a Waiters token that explicitly states its use. These waiters tokens were  bought for cash by the waiter from the proprietor of the restaurant. Customers paid for their orders to the waiter in cash and the waiter in turn used the tokens to “buy” the food or drinks ordered, from the delivery point in the restaurant. This was a control system preventing the waiter, or the people working at the bar from pocketing money. The waiter got a reduction when buying the tokens. This constituted his salary which was automatically proportional to his turnover. The system was in use until to the early 20th century.

References:
S. Grossmann, T. Krawinkel, K. Schulz; Marken und Zeichen der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg, Dritte Auflage 2016: E 009.03
Peter Menzel, DEUTSCHSPRACHIGE NOTMÜNZEN UND GELDERSATZMARKEN im In- und Ausland
1840 bis 2002, Erste digitale Ausgabe 2014: 25198.3

Offline malj1

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Re: Waiters token (Kellner Marke) with purpose stated on it.
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 12:04:22 AM »
Thank you this is very useful information.

I am unsure however that a waiter living from hand to mouth could afford to buy the tokens up front - could they have been also more of a credit system?
Malcolm
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Offline Henk

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Re: Waiters token (Kellner Marke) with purpose stated on it.
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 11:27:06 AM »
The waiter would not have to acquire a full days need of tokens at one time. He could start with a small batch and buy additional tokens when the initial lot was spent. But yes, I think that credit could have been given.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Waiters token (Kellner Marke) with purpose stated on it.
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 01:17:45 PM »
Paper tickets from a cash register would have provided security also. The tokens go one step further. If you use this system because you don't trust the waiter with money, it makes no sense to offer him credit. At 20 pfennig a token, the amounts involved are limited, though. With 20 marks, you can finance a stock of 100 tokens. If the waiter sells 50 beers an hour and works 8 hours, he needs to buy new token stock only four times a day.

It is difficult to compare 20 marks to an amount today. Not only is there no indication of when the token was used, but also, the Mark was reformed in 1922/23 and 1948 and replaced by the euro in 1999/2000. Assuming a base date of 1914 (because I have figures from that year), I get a value of very roughly DM 400 in 1999/2000 or very very roughly €150 today. That would be around two days of work at the legal minimum wage.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Henk

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Re: Waiters token (Kellner Marke) with purpose stated on it.
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 02:58:23 PM »
The tokens were in use before cash registers became available. If the waiter gets credit, amount and person it is given to are known. Pocketing money is done secretly and is prevented by the use of tokens, or indeed a cash register. Trust is good but control is better!