Tipping people

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Varsil
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Varsil » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:04 am UTC

How do people feel about the common practice of under-reporting of tips to income tax services of those in tip-collecting professions?

I admit that it's one of the reasons why I've been reducing the amount I tip lately (note: I live in a country that doesn't have brutally gouging 'tip wages' like 0$/hour or the like). I'll also note that I would much rather see a restaurant that didn't have tipping, but charged (and paid to the staff) commensurately higher prices. One reason for the tipping stuff is that all of that undeclared income is income that doesn't have to have CPP/etc (Canada Pension Plan) paid onto it, which employers normally have to match. In other words, tips help the restaurant stiff its employees out of future retirement income. It's a screwed-up system all around.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:49 pm UTC

My guess is vast majority of people who under report their tips aren't making tons of money anyway, and could stand to have extra pocket change. Those that do work in upscale restaurants/bars and make fist fulls of cash are still doing so on the generosity of others.

And while under reporting may be boning the establishment, I'd go out on a limb and say overall, the establishment is far, far, FAR swung towards taking advantage of the employees.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby 22/7 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:28 pm UTC

Does it not bother you that underreporting on tips is income tax evasion? I'm kind of split on this because while I know quite a few people who have waited/are waiting tables and make very little (relatively, at least) and while I like to leave the tip in cash so that they're keeping a little more of it, I'm essentially asking them to commit tax fraud rather than tip them a little more.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:09 pm UTC

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but;
I've been told by waitstaff that if you leave a tip on a credit card, they don't receive the entire tip, as the credit card company charges a premium for the right to use their service. So I guess the opposite side of this 'dilemma' is the possibility that that majority of tippers do so on credit cards, and therefor waitstaff are already getting whatever % it is less then they are entitled.

Admitting to repeating unverified speculation is not a good idea. Especially not when the veracity of that speculation was addressed in source material cited earlier in the thread. Further citations, although state specific, are very easy to find.

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Also, you're talking about tax evasion in a population of employee's for whom the average income is LOW, in a major city no less. My guess is there are far more lower end food establishments then luxury 5 stars, that despite the possibility to really make a killing in an upscale club/restaurant, the avg is so slanted towards Denny's and Golden Nuggets, that trying to establish a blanket 'I don't tip highly because I'm enabling tax fraud' is really screwing over the wrong people.

If you don't want them to be capable of tax fraud, always tip on a credit card, but be aware that you're effectively throwing a couple % of someone elses money to a big faceless credit card company. If the notion of a snooty/cocky/arrogant waiter at a pretentious restaurant cheating on their taxes bothers you so much, pay with a credit card. If the notion of that 'working her third job and second straight shift at the Waffle House' waitress paying what would amount to a couple hundred less on her taxes so she can, you know, buy diapers for her kids or something, bothers you, theeeeeen I don't know what to say to you.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Azrael » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:57 pm UTC

To preemptively answer the PMs, yes, I deleted your posts.

There may be some mileage left in underreporting tips, but if there isn't, and the conversation returns to a round table of sharing our tipping philosophies and experiences, the thread will be locked.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby i_dt_knw » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:14 pm UTC

I'm gonna have to take a middle of the road stance here. Tipping is good, it gives an incentive to not only do better, but possibly to get a better meal/product as well.
You have to remember, tipping is not strictly a "sit down restaurant" thing. there are delivery drivers, hair cutters, and even people who work inside at take out places. I worked as a pizza delivery driver for the past 2 summers, and I have to attest that The people on the inside did just as much if not more work as I did, and they didn't get to sit in their car half the time. But we didn't have a tip-share program, and people rarely tip when they pick up their pizza, and the insiders therefore got paid minimum wage. I, on the other hand, got min wage AND tips AND gas compensation. All I'm saying is tipping has become such a social norm that people forget to tip for service and quality, but instead tip for habit.
I personally am a hypocrite, and find it very difficult to tip drivers more than 2 bucks, especially if they have a delivery fee. Being from the industry, i know exactly how much work they did, and hold the opinion that drivers get paid just plain too much. Lets face it, if you can support a family on your ability to read a map and drive a car, you found a flaw in the system.

Also, I think restaurant tipping should have an expected rate of 10%, because 15-20% is ridiculously high for a moderate-skill, low training, low education job.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Minstrel » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:02 pm UTC

Another vote in the anti-tipping camp.

I DO tip, of course. I understand waiters are paid below minimum wage, and you just generally look like a jackass if you don't tip and I don't want to think what might end up in my next meal if I don't.

I don't really see what's so special about the food service industry, or other tipped jobs that they require this form of payment. They have a variable quality product (both the food and the service). So I get the argument that the incentive of more money equals more effort. I even believe it works. But that doesn't mean a system without tips wouldn't work. Quality is a large factor in many other, non tipped, industries. And their success or failure rides on the quality of their product or service. As much as I'd like to chew out certain customers at my job, I don't. The business would suffer, and I doubt my boss would like it. But I don't need to have my base pay cut, and rely on the customers/salesmen tipping me when I have to deal with them to give me that incentive.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby teamcorndog » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:49 am UTC

I'm glad there's a thread on this. I never know when to tip, or how much (beyond the standard ~15% to the waiter at a sit-down restaurant). Whenever I see a tip jar anywhere and I have cash on me, I throw some in. But then I feel bad when I don't have cash to throw in, because it's just their bad luck. I feel like I never tip based on merit, I tip based on a whim. Then I feel all icky.

I don't know why wait staff are always on tipshare. It sucks for everyone and adds a layer of awkwardness to the whole process (in my opinion anyway). Honestly, I like it when waiters leaves me the hell alone when I'm eating, but they seem to feel obligated to come over to my table to check on me all the time....so I know they care.

It bothers me that anyone can plop a tip jar by their cash register and make me feel like I need to pay even more for my scoop of ice cream or whatever. Sure everyone likes to get tips, but does that mean everyone should get them?

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Rinsaikeru » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:04 am UTC

I tip at sit down restaurants and I tip bartenders. I don't tip at ice cream parlours or coffee shops unless I've asked them for an incredibly complex order or inconvenienced them in some way..
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Telchar » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:22 am UTC

I think one of the reasons tipping doesn't, according to the study linked earlier, effect service quality is because most people tip regardless of service and generally tip generously or you are scene as something of an asshat. This kind of defeats the purpose of tipping, assuming that it is a way to reward good service. I'm guilty of tipping my pizza guy 5 bucks for a pizza that took a long time to get there because, hey it's probably not his fault. It might be, but I'll cut him some slack. That attitude, however, is what limits the actual effect of tipping.

As an aside, there are some tipping proffesions where the ammount you tip on a regular basis WILL effect your service, and pizza is one of those. If you don't think your pizza guy remembers, or has somone in his store that knows you if you order at all frequently, then you are kidding yourself. I would think this is true of most delivery places.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby cspirou » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:47 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:I think one of the reasons tipping doesn't, according to the study linked earlier, effect service quality is because most people tip regardless of service and generally tip generously or you are scene as something of an asshat. This kind of defeats the purpose of tipping, assuming that it is a way to reward good service. I'm guilty of tipping my pizza guy 5 bucks for a pizza that took a long time to get there because, hey it's probably not his fault. It might be, but I'll cut him some slack. That attitude, however, is what limits the actual effect of tipping.

As an aside, there are some tipping proffesions where the ammount you tip on a regular basis WILL effect your service, and pizza is one of those. If you don't think your pizza guy remembers, or has somone in his store that knows you if you order at all frequently, then you are kidding yourself. I would think this is true of most delivery places.



Right, but I see the difference as bad service and the service you're suppose to be getting. Not the difference between average service and great service. It's unhealthy because it's a positive(negative?) feedback loop as well. Say you don't tip the guy or just don't tip him well. The delivery guy remembers that and gives you a crappy delivery next time. The crappy delivery definitely isn't going to encourage a tip which the driver would take badly again. Either that or the customer just won't order pizza from there again. It will be the same with waiters too.

I really wish paying exactly what you're charged was an acceptable practice and that anything more was viewed as a welcome bonus. Unfortunately it's not.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Telchar » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:01 am UTC

Obviously system really only works like it's supposed to if you don't tip for service=o and tip progressively more as service->00 (That's infinity for the character disinclined). My arguement is that the positive feedback we have now is not the positive feedback we want to be giving and THAT is why service doesn't increase when tips increase. Waitstaff realize that their service doesn't influence tips as much as a persons personal preference, so there is no incentive.

What do we do about that? Barring a national campaign/change of opinion, I don't think anything changes and it becomes one of those cultural nuances associated with the US.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Natael » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:12 pm UTC

I'm going to have to agree with those that say tipping should only go with some kind of service where extra effort could be put in. If I get a little extra pampering at a hair cut (which is really easy when it consists of shave off most of my hair), if I never worry about refilling my drink and get my food as ordered, or if the bartender mixes a drink (never will I tip for just opening a beer, expensive enough as it is). I usually laugh to myself at the tip jars at somewhere like Subway or an ice cream shop. I usually throw a couple dollars for a pizza delivery, especially if there is no delivery fee or if they are real quick.

Of course, most people don't tip based on service, and mostly out of habbit, so my philosophy doesn't mean much.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Comic JK » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:30 am UTC

As I see it, although it would be nice to standardize tipping into meaningful performance pay, as things stand people who don't tip are free riders on those who do.

When a low-tipper or non-tipper walks into a restaurant, he is greeted by the conscientious efforts of a waiter who is trying to impress him into leaving a large tip. At the end of the meal, the waiter finds out too late that his efforts were in vain. If this happens repeatedly, the waiter will probably stop doing the extra things (refilling water, asking if the food is properly prepared, etc) for which he receives no marginal benefit besides tips. The dining experience is thus worsened for everyone else.

Thus, in a tipping-based culture, you pretty much have to tip. Try to do it based on performance, and not on what will make the change simpler.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby cspirou » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:17 am UTC

I was thinking about maybe not tipping is an effective way to change. I was thinking about the situation with gas prices. It would be great to get fuel standards when gas prices are low but that never happens. Then when oil goes to $200/barrel the car companies suddenly are under enormous pressure to make fuel efficient cars. They saw no reason to change when they were able to sell they're SUVs and other low milage cars.

So as long as waiters receive tips then they have nothing pressuring to change the system. But what if enough people stop giving tips? Then waiters will starts to look at that $2/hour they get and demand a fair wage. So I see three ways around this.

1.)We pass legislation to mandate a percentage on every bill for service
2.)Restauranteurs drive the policy themselves
3.)We stop paying tips and then waiters will demand a fair wage

Now it's obvious that I hate the system we have now. But do I really have the balls to just not pay tips ever? Probably not. So they get to keep their system.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby phlip » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:17 pm UTC

Nice in theory... except for the part where between you stopping paying tips and the restaurateurs increasing service staff's pay, they're going to go through a long period of having significantly less income than usual, and still having to survive somehow. This is not a good idea, you're punishing the people who are already the victims of the situation. Sure, you can argue that it'll be better for them in the long term... but that's only any good if the short-term is good enough for them to make it to the long term. And, of course, in the more likely scenario that you don't manage to convince large numbers of people to follow your lead, the situation's not going to change, and all you're doing by not tipping is making them think you're an arsehole (and start the downward spiral into disgruntled waiters and bad service, that others have talked about at length already).

If your plan is going to be not completely destructive (the phrase "it's going to get gets horribly worse before it gets better" comes to mind) then the order of events has to be: restaurants increase wages and prices, then stop accepting tips. Not the other way around.

So your option number 3 is out. Your option number 1 probably wouldn't fly in the States, from the impression I get. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong (which is entirely possible), but that whole "The Man telling the little person how to run their job" thing is seen as a Very Bad Thing in the US culture. It would take a very large majority of Americans believing that abolishing tipping was important before that would happen... and if that was the case, then market forces would encourage your option 2 first. Of course, I'm not an American, so I'm not qualified to talk that much about this aspect... but I'm sure someone with more experience with the country than I have will be able to go into more detail.

Which leaves option 2, which is certainly possible... but short of starting up a restaurant with that policy yourself, there's probably not much you can do to encourage that to happen... Sure, if it happens, you can help by eating at any restaurants that try it... but until then...

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Azrael » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:51 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:I was thinking about maybe not tipping is an effective way to change.

Refusing to pay someone for the work they tender in order to force *them* to lobby for laws to be changed to suit *your* preferences is about the least effective way of getting things done ever.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Adacore » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:05 pm UTC

I think the tipping system works better here (the UK) than in the States, since it's not seen as being 'mandatory' to tip the 15-20% here. A standard tip would be 10%, up to 20% (or more) for good service, nothing at all if the service was poor. I've frequently tipped at every point in that range. This makes me despise restaurants that have a fixed service charge (for small parties - obviously it makes sense for larger groups) - if the service was very poor, I shouldn't have to pay for it. And I think it really does have an effect on the effort serving staff make for you when it works in this manner.

I tipped £20 for a £30 meal once, a few years back, but that was on a complete whim - I liked the idea of the waitress (who had been very good) being all 'WTF?!'

EDIT: Also, I was working in China over the summer last year, the culture there (although it's starting to change in the cities) is that it's rude to tip.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby JBJ » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

Also consider that restaurant traffic is unpredictable. On any given night you could be slammed with dozens of people waiting, and other nights there's maybe a handful of people. On very slow nights it's practical for the restaurant to have servers basically stand around and do nothing for $2.50 / hour vs. paying them $10.00 an hour to do nothing.

I personally don't look at tips from a pure service standpoint. If I have a problem with the service, the food, or anything related to my dining experience I speak to the manager. I don't take it out on the server, unless it is a clear issue with his/her attitude or competence, and even then you'll get more satisfaction and responsiveness from speaking with a manager versus leaving a piddly tip. Leaving a tiny tip, or no tip at all, doesn't address the problem. The server may just think you're a cheapskate and does nothing to correct the root problem (food late, food cold, no refills, whatever).
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Re: Tipping people

Postby cspirou » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:59 am UTC

Azrael wrote:
cspirou wrote:I was thinking about maybe not tipping is an effective way to change.

Refusing to pay someone for the work they tender in order to force *them* to lobby for laws to be changed to suit *your* preferences is about the least effective way of getting things done ever.


I am not really refusing to pay. Like I said before. There's no law that says I have to pay a tip and there's nothing on the menu or even the bill saying I have to pay it. I just do it because of cultural norms.

It is true if I'm the only one that does this then nothing will get done. That's apparent. But I've seen enough people on this thread alone to indicate that I'm not alone in this. That's why it has to be an organized thing. That's really what a boycott is. But it certainly isn't the least effective way. Are you saying that it will somehow drive wages lower and they'll be more dependent on tips?

phlip wrote:Nice in theory... except for the part where between you stopping paying tips and the restaurateurs increasing service staff's pay, they're going to go through a long period of having significantly less income than usual, and still having to survive somehow. This is not a good idea, you're punishing the people who are already the victims of the situation. Sure, you can argue that it'll be better for them in the long term... but that's only any good if the short-term is good enough for them to make it to the long term. And, of course, in the more likely scenario that you don't manage to convince large numbers of people to follow your lead, the situation's not going to change, and all you're doing by not tipping is making them think you're an arsehole (and start the downward spiral into disgruntled waiters and bad service, that others have talked about at length already).


I'll refer back to my gas price analogy. Do you think people weren't hurting when gas prices were high and demanding fuel efficient cars? That's really the point. Necessity is the mother of invention. It is true that we talked about how it leads to bad service as well but what if everyone does it? Then there is no individual to blame and it becomes obvious that the system is at fault and not just one person.

Once again, I'm not really encouraging this. But if I was bent on changing the system then I do believe this would be the most effective way to do it. I just think the negatives are far too much in this case. It's not exactly civil disobedience either since I'm not breaking any laws. It's rather apparent that I don't like to pay a tip just because someone just did the job they were suppose to do. I can see this sort of thing arise naturally anyway. Especially in a bad economy when people are counting their dollars and won't pay anything unless they really have to.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Adacore » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:41 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:I don't take it out on the server, unless it is a clear issue with his/her attitude or competence, and even then you'll get more satisfaction and responsiveness from speaking with a manager versus leaving a piddly tip. Leaving a tiny tip, or no tip at all, doesn't address the problem. The server may just think you're a cheapskate and does nothing to correct the root problem (food late, food cold, no refills, whatever).


Precisely - when I talk about the quality of service, I mean our server - whether (s)he was polite, helpful, etc. If there's a problem with the food, you take that to the management, or just send it back. Taking problems (genuine ones) to the manager normally gets you better results than not tipping from a financial standpoint too - they really want to keep your opinion of the place good, so are likely to start adding in extras or waiving payment for things if you have had a real problem.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Physics_Geek3.14 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

I'm not sure if this is applicable to this thread as it concerns tipping in professions other than food service.
But what customer service professions dictate a tip?

From my own experience working as a housekeeper in a hotel I saw a rather large disparity between the tipping mentality towards kitchen staff (including room service and the restaurant) and the housekeeping department. Both the kitchen staff and the housekeepers were paid the same starting wage of $7.25CAN (minimum wage in NB) but the kitchen staff had the added benefit of regular tips and gratuities. As a housekeeper I would very rarely receive any sort of tip, except for the odd occurence of some change left behind after the guest had checked out.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby phlip » Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:13 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:I'll refer back to my gas price analogy. Do you think people weren't hurting when gas prices were high and demanding fuel efficient cars? That's really the point. Necessity is the mother of invention.

But it's an artificial necessity. Your suggestion of a boycott isn't equivalent to high petrol prices increasing demand for efficient cars... it's closer to if petrol companies wanted efficient cars, and intentionally jacked up the prices to encourage it. Sure, in the end you get your fancy cars, but a lot of people, as you point out, are hurting in the meantime... and not because of complicated economic pressures (as it was in the real world), but because some dicks in some companies decided that those people's suffering was less important than some fancy efficient cars. And in the same way, your boycott claims that service staff's minor longterm gains are more important than major short-term losses (which, in many cases, would prevent them from staying service staff for long enough to receive the minor longterm gains).

Regardless of your opinion of the practice, you have to admit that the tipping culture exists in the US and is reasonably stable at present... there is no "necessity" for it to go away, even if you think that it being not there would be preferable.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Velict » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:27 am UTC

Physics_Geek3.14 wrote:I'm not sure if this is applicable to this thread as it concerns tipping in professions other than food service.
But what customer service professions dictate a tip?


There are several I can think of immediately, mostly relating to personal care. When I go see my barber, I'll normally tip him 30-40%. Not out of any feeling of obligation or necessity, per se, but because I've found that tipping well with people whom I get some service from on a regular basis results in myself getting better service. I'm pretty quickly flagged down as a large tipper, so people tend to try and do the best job possible in gratitude (and perhaps hopes of getting further large tips).

I apply this philosophy everywhere I find it applicable. In your example as a housekeeper at a hotel, I would not tip particularly out of the ordinary if at all, for two primary factors. The first, that I do not frequent hotels, and your service to me would likely be an isolated case. The second, that I have had no personal contact with you (presumably), and don't likely even know which of the housekeepers is cleaning my room in the first place. Now, if I saw the need to use a housekeeper to keep my own home clean, and would almost certainly use the same housekeeper on a regular basis, I would certainly tip well; I would more than likely see a very tangible benefit from it.

In regards to the more common type of tipping - one stemming from something more akin to obligation than pragmatism - I regard it as simple courtesy. I expect quality service from those who provide it to me. If you provide such service (and, I must admit, a vast majority of workers do), I'll give you the standard tip. I find it rude not to tip someone who did his or her very best to assist you. Now, while it is possible to argue back and forth on whether or not it is actually rude not to leave a tip, one must note that it is a societal understanding of manners and rudeness that is ultimately important, rather than any consensus reached intellectual debate, and society most certainly favors my side of the argument.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Chen » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

I've generally stopped tipping flat % wise in restaurants nowadays, especially the higher end ones. For a meal thats around $20 or lower I'll still tip the standard 15ish% modified only if service is either REALLY good or REALLY bad. And even then I rarely modify it much. But for the more pricy meals (say 100+) I'm down to tipping a flat amount of ~$10. Most of those expensive meals are generally due to wine anyways and if I order an expensive bottle of wine with a meal I don't think I should have to pay more of a tip than if I order a cheap bottle of wine (considering the waiter does the EXACT same thing with each).

What really annoys me are the situations where a waiter/hostess whatever actually mentions that the tip you left is insufficient. Frequently they'll do this in a loud enough voice in what appears to be an attempt to embarass you into leaving more of a tip. If its done in a polite manner, while still annoying me I'll generally explain myself (like the expensive wine type incident) and be done with it. In the loud trying to embarass you kind of way, they pretty much get one of the spare pennies I have in my pocket as a tip and lose the rest of what I HAD put down.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:34 pm UTC

Chen wrote:hat really annoys me are the situations where a waiter/hostess whatever actually mentions that the tip you left is insufficient.


You've had people do this? Like, beyond asking "Do you need change?"? That's fucking ballsy. This would immediately make me say something to the effect of "The tip reflects the service, I wasn't glad I got your service, be glad you got my tip".

But it takes a real fuckup to make me not tip.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Loftydreamer » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:52 am UTC

I can understand the concept of not tipping. I admit I am a heavy tipper in practice. Now the issue I foresee with the not tipping concept is that we will have to rework salary concepts throughout the nation. Wait staff salary is determined by the concept of gratuity and thus it is allowed for them to be payed under minimum wage. Without gratuity their pay will have to reflect this.

So this means the prices of all meals would have to incorporate their newly updated wages. This will then raise the prices and cause the feeble human mind to scream at the higher prices for their meals. Business psychology applies here, by allowing tips to supplement the wages of the staff you can showcase your prices as lower, in this you create an illusion that your prices are closer to cooking at home. This creates a safe feeling in the mind of the consumer and you get a populace that will eat out more often. While logically the service charges are sensible the human mind is an irrational thing.

I personally believe in allowing people the chance to work harder to get ahead. Some may think this will cause greed, but that is common in humanity. If you are payed the same wage no matter what you will not try harder to show your customer a good time. You will do the bare minimum to keep them served and move on. Look at any minimum wage job (good example would be retail) and you will see most employees are rather lackadaisical in the execution of their job responsibilities.

I personally would rather see the tips, but then again I prefer family owned restaurants so I expect to be remembered by how I tip. There is nothing like tipping well to have an owner come up and shake your hand as you leave or have three different people offer to get you a new drink when they see you running low. No, I am greedy in my own nature; I enjoy preferential treatment and I will continue tipping, because I can assure you that it would be much harder to build up reputation at dining establishments without it.

Also to comment on a previous post. I had a waitress count the money in front of a group of us at a teppon grill one night, before we had even finished gathering the money to pay for the food. Her comment was,"This isn't even 10 percent." At which point I politely said, "Oh I'm sorry here let me get that money back and recalculate everything real fast for you." I then took our money back payed the exact amount and left without another word. I will never be more appalled by a waitress' behavior than that woman. Granted I will also comment that this event happened, because one of the members in our group was a non-tipper so we hadn't finished pitching in to cover his portion.
Last edited by Loftydreamer on Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:35 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby akashra » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:20 am UTC

Tipping goes to show the poor implementation of 'minimum wage' the US government has (as that's where it's predominant and more accepted the norm than elsewhere). If companies/waiters expect to be paid more for food, then the list prices should reflect that. Don't expect me to add some stupid amount on top of what you've listed - just tell me what I need to pay. I don't need to know how much goes directly to the waiter, how much to the cook, to rent, power, the owner... That's the responsibility of the stores manager.

Here in Australia, tipping is practically a faux pas.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:48 am UTC

caveat: this is relevant to the US only.

Waiters cannot make less than minimum wage, period. If they don't get tips, they must get minimum wage. Employers are allowed to calculate their tips into their wage in most states, which can get the hourly wage (not counting tips) down to somewhere in the range of $2/hr, but tips received during a shift must add up to the hourly wage during that shift to work out to at least minimum wage. They almost always do, though.

Most waitstaff expect to make good money in tips - often both they and their employers count on it. And understand, you're tipping for service, not food. Waitstaff are often paid less than kitchen staff because they expect to get tips.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:You've had people do this? Like, beyond asking "Do you need change?"? That's fucking ballsy. This would immediately make me say something to the effect of "The tip reflects the service, I wasn't glad I got your service, be glad you got my tip".

But it takes a real fuckup to make me not tip.


Its happened more than once where someone has pointed out that the tip wasn't "sufficient". In every one of these cases the people received no tip as a result. Until its considered a service fee that I'm forced to pay you are not entitled to a tip. I don't particularly care that your base wage is bad and I'm screwing you if I don't leave one. If service is average you'll get the standard ~15% tip or ~$10 if the meal is an expensive one (or has wine). If service is poor you'll get less of a tip. Maybe if service is truely excellent you'll get a higher tip. But if you feel you're entitled to a tip AND you make it vocally known that for whatever reason the tip I left is not up to par, you'll very quickly find yourself with nothing.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby cspirou » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:03 am UTC

phlip wrote:But it's an artificial necessity. Your suggestion of a boycott isn't equivalent to high petrol prices increasing demand for efficient cars... it's closer to if petrol companies wanted efficient cars, and intentionally jacked up the prices to encourage it. Sure, in the end you get your fancy cars, but a lot of people, as you point out, are hurting in the meantime... and not because of complicated economic pressures (as it was in the real world), but because some dicks in some companies decided that those people's suffering was less important than some fancy efficient cars. And in the same way, your boycott claims that service staff's minor longterm gains are more important than major short-term losses (which, in many cases, would prevent them from staying service staff for long enough to receive the minor longterm gains).

Regardless of your opinion of the practice, you have to admit that the tipping culture exists in the US and is reasonably stable at present... there is no "necessity" for it to go away, even if you think that it being not there would be preferable.


I would say it's closer to the government putting a high tax on gas. Something that many governments do precisely to encourage fuel efficiency. Europe has been doing it way before "real" market pressures came about.

Plus being a waiter isn't as essential as one might think. If these are industrialized workers at a factory then I could see suffering during the short term. But these are jobs you can get with little to no experience. There are several unskilled entry level jobs without any tips whatsoever. I guess people that are really attached to the job wouldn't look for other work. But unless you're at a high class restaurant or you happen to be an owner, being a waiter is almost always a transitory job as opposed to a career choice.

And people quitting because of the lower income is precisely what would encourage restaurateurs to offer higher wages. I guess where we differ is that I do think people are adaptable to other jobs at that income level where you don't believe that. Waiters have a very high turnover. They're quitting or getting fired all the time anyway. It's just that there's usually someone coming in to take up the position. When there's more flux going out of the restaurant then into it then there will be change.


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