Tipping people

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Ixtellor » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:37 pm UTC

phlip wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:2) It makes you a better person and increases your Karma by something like 400 points.
3) It gives you endorphins. When you see the reaction of a waiter who just got a 50% tip, your body will be flooded with a high feeling.

If overtipping is your bag, then there's nothing stopping you from tipping regardless even if there's a service charge on the bill. You'd still get your precious karma and endorphins...

Ixtellor wrote:1) It does result in better service if you are a repeat customer.
4) It demonstrates your ability to empathize thus is a direct reflection on your intelligence. Bigger tippers are smarter than stingy tippers.


[citation needed] on both counts.

The only citations I've seen in this thread are the two newspaper articles linked to by the OP. And yet everyone's rushing in to counter them with matter-of-fact claims like these, backed up solely by anecdotes.


Ok..

I just finished reading/skimming 6 major studies on tipping.
I can not link them because they are password protected and not copyable.
But here is a link to a good abstract and ok abstract on one of them.
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/su ... 185959_ITM
We find that tipping and reputation can evolve over time in four types of paths, described as follows: (i) tipping and reputation converge to an interior stationary equilibrium with tips above the minimal level and positive reputation; (ii) tipping decreases first and then increases indefinitely, while reputation increases indefinitely from the beginning; (iii) tipping converges to the minimal tip and reputation converges to zero; and (iv) tipping and reputation increase indefinitely from the beginning


The conclusions seem to be consistant.

1) Tipping has a direct correlation to reputation. The more you tip the better your reputation.
2) Tipping is a valuble tool to businessess, in that it saves money in both wages and in oversight. Instead of hiring an extra manager, you can just use the tip's as a way to monitor and ensure good performance.
3) In terms of big tipping = better service, all the studies are inconclusive to causality. Or make exceptions. Best example is in the abstract I linked.

Azar (2005a) incorporates social norms and feelings of fairness and generosity in the customer's utility function. He finds that while in general tipping improves service quality and social welfare, the equilibrium is crucially affected by the sensitivity of tips to service quality. When this sensitivity is high, tipping can serve as a good monitoring mechanism and support an equilibrium with a high service quality. The lower this sensitivity, the lower and farther away from the social optimum is equilibrium service quality.


I don't think I answered all your criticisms.
But there are numerous studies out there. I will try to find a way to link the 'big' definitive studies on here that isn't pword protected.

I do think it is safe to say that big tipping is ultimatly beneficial.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Coffee Sex Pancake » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

Just a bit of info that hasn't been explicitly mentioned (though it was implied by the sharing-the tip comments earlier).

This is referring to a major U.S. city with a highly developed restaurant culture--

Waiting tables in this city is a legitimate profession. In order to get jobs at certain restaurants, you need a certain number of years experience at other restaurants, so you have the restaurants divided into de facto "tiers" with the average age and skill of the waitstaff increasing as you go up. Because of this, the wait staff is expected to be furthering their carreers as they go. (It blew my mind when I ate at Morimoto in Philadelphia and the waitstaff couldn't speak Japanese -- that would'nt fly where I worked. Likewise, my favorite game to play when I go out to eat in New York is to count how many "firing offenses" I see before I get to my table.)

The IRS has a set amount of tips that they expect, presumably based on the restaurant sales. They do audit entire restaurants about every five years or so. Also for this reason, the restaurant will withold taxes from the paycheck on an hours-worked basis. The paycheck usually reads $*.** (no pay.) In addition, the restaurant makes the waiter pay an amount to the house based on their nightly sales (in my experience, between 2.5-4%) so if you stiff a waiter, not only is she working for free, she's PAYING for part of your meal.

If you have a problem with the service, ask to see the manager. Usually you'll get a free meal/dessert out of it. Stiffing the waiter just makes you an enemy.

Last thing: if the restaurant has an automatic gratuity policy (like on large parties or what have you) they are supposed to make the tip pre-tax, but the sales tax on both the meal cost and the gratuity cost.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Xeio » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

Coffee Sex Pancake wrote:Last thing: if the restaurant has an automatic gratuity policy (like on large parties or what have you) they are supposed to make the tip pre-tax, but the sales tax on both the meal cost and the gratuity cost.
Should I note that multiplication is commutative? 15% on top of $10, then another (7%, or whatever your state's sales tax is).

10*1.15*1.07 = 12.305
10*1.07*1.15 = 12.305

So taxing gratuity in general I think is the problem. I assume he means gratuity should be on pre-tax, and tax should only be on the bill total without gratuity on top.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby qinwamascot » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Coffee Sex Pancake wrote:Last thing: if the restaurant has an automatic gratuity policy (like on large parties or what have you) they are supposed to make the tip pre-tax, but the sales tax on both the meal cost and the gratuity cost.
Should I note that multiplication is commutative? 15% on top of $10, then another (7%, or whatever your state's sales tax is).

10*1.15*1.07 = 12.305
10*1.07*1.15 = 12.305

So taxing gratuity in general I think is the problem. I assume he means gratuity should be on pre-tax, and tax should only be on the bill total without gratuity on top.


In general, the way sales tax is collected in the US is, according to my research, different from how the law mandates. The law requires that, for example, for every $1.06 collected by a store (for 6% sales tax) the store gives 6 cents to the government. So charging tax after meal prices is really a form of incorrectly advertising prices, because it's assumed the consumer will pay sales tax, where in reality the vendor should be paying it. So the problem is that we are treating sales tax like an additional cost, where it's supposed to be part of the price of the item. There are economic benefits for vendors to do so as the real tax burden is no longer even partially on their shoulders; instead the buyers cover it's entirety (according to my research, which is cursory at best).

But that's all only tangentially related. For the effect of this commutative multiplication, we can take 15% of 6%, which is exactly 0.9%. So with a 6% sales tax, the increased tip due to sales tax amounts to less than 1%, which is well within the margin of acceptable tip values. If you feel cheated, then tip 1% less. It won't turn out much different.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Coffee Sex Pancake » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:52 am UTC

Xeio wrote:
Coffee Sex Pancake wrote:Last thing: if the restaurant has an automatic gratuity policy (like on large parties or what have you) they are supposed to make the tip pre-tax, but the sales tax on both the meal cost and the gratuity cost.
Should I note that multiplication is commutative? 15% on top of $10, then another (7%, or whatever your state's sales tax is).

10*1.15*1.07 = 12.305
10*1.07*1.15 = 12.305

So taxing gratuity in general I think is the problem. I assume he means gratuity should be on pre-tax, and tax should only be on the bill total without gratuity on top.


Sales tax varies state to state, county to county, and city to city. In this particular case, the interpretation was that sales tax had to be paid on all non-exempt goods and services. Since the gratuity was for the service, it was subject to the sales tax
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Re: Tipping people

Postby roc314 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:02 am UTC

Xeio wrote:
Coffee Sex Pancake wrote:Last thing: if the restaurant has an automatic gratuity policy (like on large parties or what have you) they are supposed to make the tip pre-tax, but the sales tax on both the meal cost and the gratuity cost.
Should I note that multiplication is commutative? 15% on top of $10, then another (7%, or whatever your state's sales tax is).

10*1.15*1.07 = 12.305
10*1.07*1.15 = 12.305

So taxing gratuity in general I think is the problem. I assume he means gratuity should be on pre-tax, and tax should only be on the bill total without gratuity on top.
I think what was meant was that the tip is added to the cost, not multiplied. So you get

10*1.15*1.07 = 12.305 (tip is pre-tax)
10*1.07+10*.15 = 12.20 (tip is after tax) (or 10*(1.07+.15) = 12.20)

The difference is small, but it is still there. (This is assuming that things work elsewhere how they do for me and that I didn't misread anything.)
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Coffee Sex Pancake » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:40 am UTC

The difference is who gets the bigger chunk, the waiter or the guvvmint.

On a party of eight diners, $100 tab, 15% automatic grat, 8% sales tax...

The mandated way: waiter gets $15 (15% of $100) powers-that-be get $9.20 (8% of $115) total cost to the diners: $124.20

The way the waiters wish it were: City/State coffers get 8$, Waiter gets $16.20, total cost $124.20

The way the diners wish it were: taxes $8, gratuity $15, total cost $123
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Re: Tipping people

Postby qinwamascot » Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:51 am UTC

Are we seriously debating over whether a 6% sales tax (perhaps slightly more based on locale) should be multiplied or added with the gratuity cost? Like I said, if you care that much about the 1% additional cost, then just tip 1% less. You're still within the margin of acceptable tipping by a lot. And the way it is charged doesn't have anything to do with if it's automatic. Sales taxes are collected by the state, and as far as I can tell no state has a provision exempting automatic gratuities on restaurant bills from sales tax or vice versa.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Ari » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:13 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:I think one of the most controversial subjects I've ever talked about was tipping. Almost everyone I know is for it and I'm against it. They always throw out "well you've never been a waiter then".

However that doesn't mean I don't believe in fair compensation. I just think that the price of a good should be understood and if that price is met then all parties should be happy. I think it's better to have a service charge automatic on the bill. Not this system where the "true" price is never explicit. So even if I pay exactly what they charge me then I come off as a cheapskate. A tip is suppose to be a bonus. If you think you deserve more then I should be charged more.

I think there's a fallacy that there is a perceived influence in tipping. That tipping causes better service. That influence is a myth. Especially when you pay it at the end of the meal. It only really works if you get the same waiter every single time at the exact same place.

This article conveys why I think it's better not to tip.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magaz ... ing-t.html


Just FYI- down here most service industries don't rely on tipping. Wage costs are factored into what you pay, and they don't even bother to include service charges on the bill.

As for tipping making service jobs less soul-draining: I disagree. Treating your service industry friends as real human beings makes their jobs less soul-draining.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Ixtellor » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:21 pm UTC

Ari wrote:
As for tipping making service jobs less soul-draining: I disagree. Treating your service industry friends as real human beings makes their jobs less soul-draining.



Funny you mention that. I read a 1947 study on tipping in America. One of the conclusions was that people are far more likely to do 'demeaning' or what is basically 'servitude' work, if you show gratitude.
This old study concluded that tipping was good because it showed that rich or well off people appreciate the services that low paid workers are providing.
I think about the bath room attendants.
It you think about it, it is probably pretty demeaning to have a job where you primary directive is to help people clean up after using the toilet. I guess the tips make it bareable.


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Re: Tipping people

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:59 pm UTC

In Australia tipping is not customary and is often disallowed. If your staff suck you'll loser customers and they'll get fired. We (in general) don't tip other people for how good their service is, so why should we tip waiters?
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Jessica » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:07 pm UTC

Because it's customary to do so in some cultures but not others. If I don't tip in Canada, I'm considered rude by my friends. If I don't tip in bars, I'll get worse service. If I regularly don't tip in restauraunts, service will decend.

I know this isn't the same across the world.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Ari » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:37 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Ari wrote:
As for tipping making service jobs less soul-draining: I disagree. Treating your service industry friends as real human beings makes their jobs less soul-draining.



Funny you mention that. I read a 1947 study on tipping in America. One of the conclusions was that people are far more likely to do 'demeaning' or what is basically 'servitude' work, if you show gratitude.
This old study concluded that tipping was good because it showed that rich or well off people appreciate the services that low paid workers are providing.
I think about the bath room attendants.
It you think about it, it is probably pretty demeaning to have a job where you primary directive is to help people clean up after using the toilet. I guess the tips make it bareable.


Ixtellor


I don't think tips should be seen as a replacement for real gratitude, but I do think to some degree they work well as an "honesty" system to pay service wages, because your employees are probably likely to get paid more on average from tips than from the employer working their full wages in as a cost.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby cleverdan » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:25 pm UTC

cspirou wrote:I notice the conversation always veers to people saying "If you don't want to pay extra then stay home". Nowhere is that my argument. I'm advocating for an automatic service charge as opposed to leaving it ambiguous or an supposed option when it's a de facto charge.

I've been to other countries where tipping isn't standard as well. The times I've been to a restaurant I get fine service. As long as they bring my food then I'm fine. I don't need people to be my friend so I could careless if it's personal. I'm not saying your experience is wrong but I refute that it's universal amongst countries that don't tip. There are studies that show the difference is imperceptible. I consider the dining experience as a whole and I don't parse out between service and food. If the service is terrible then the restaurant gets a bad reputation and they lose business. That's incentive to hire competent waiters and to do their job well.

That's my other problem too. How much of your tip is dependent on the quality of the food? Sure the waiter has a duty to get the food to you before it gets cold but I'm going to go out on a limb and say 90% of that is because of kitchen staff. How much of the tip do they see? What if I order a rather expensive item? Does the waiter do any more work for bringing me an expensive entree?

You've never had a drink at a bar, right? Because that's a clear example of a situation where tipping matters. Unless we're only talking about tipping at restaurants. But if you want an experiment in how tipping affects service, go to a bar, pay by the drink, order only complicated drinks (that require extra work, like shaking), and pay the exact amount for each drink. Well, don't do it, because I'd feel bad for the bartenders subjected to such treatment.


I also clearly believe that he should get his cut for every drink. Raise the price in proportion to the work he does. If he does a great job then tip him. But if I don't tip him then I don't believe I shouldn't get shitty service as a result.


No, you're right cspirou. No-one should pay him a tip. He should just get paid a proper wage. Why is the responsibility of ensuring that the workers are paid for passed onto the consumer? The prevalent attitude in Australia is that the establishment pays their workers more than some astronomically low minimum wage, and that service is calculated into the the original purchase price. Leaving tips in Australia would be pretty much saying, "you have to be paid extra to perform the job for which you are paid."

If i ring a customer service representative, i don't pay a tip for great service. So why should the privelige be extended to people who work in the food service industry?

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Simbera » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:39 am UTC

For context: I'm from Australia, as others have said there's jack-all tipping done here.

See, to me a tip is a way of showing gratitude, so when there's an expectation it becomes meaningless. I mean, it's apparently quite necessary, due to the ridiculously low wages over there, but that needs to change.

I tip if someone's done an exceptionally good job, but that doesn't happen all that often. Usually it's just 'keep the change' or whatever, I don't bother with figuring out a percentage. Or, occasionally, whatever shrapnel I have in my pocket at the time.

That said, let me tell you - I work in a bar (well, behind the bar in a restaurant, anyway) and I rarely get tips, but when I do it does make me feel a lot better. Even if it's only a few cents (ie the change), the monetary value is minimal but the psychological value is a lot. But I doubt that would be there if EVERYONE tipped.

As to all the oh-customer-service-is-hard-need-to-motivate-them crap - it's their job, they're doing it to pay the bills. They don't have to love it - not many kids dream of being waitresses/waiters when they grow up. It's not the customer's fault they're stuck doing a job they don't like/is difficult, and the sucky conditions/pay comes with the territory of such jobs. And, to be honest, I think this is slightly oversympathetic - wait staff know how their jobs are, they're not idiots. They know they're hard, and accept that. It's not always in the same way, but most jobs are hard, really.

Also: the idea that tipping encourages people to be more friendly and so on is stupid too - they HAVE to do it. I work in the hospitality industry, so a requirement of my job is to be hospitable. I do it because it's my job to do it, not to plie tips from my customers; and if I don't do it, I get fired. Simple. Tipping wait staff just because they're doing their jobs seems a little 'congratulations, you're NOT completely retarded!' to me.

Provided you treat the people who serve you as human beings, we can't complain. And the yanks can't complain about a lack of tips, either - they can and should complain, however, about the ridiculously low wages they receive.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Poochy » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:19 am UTC

qinwamascot wrote:If you want to compare to other countries where tipping isn't standard, I've been to them. The service you get is not great, and at best it's not personal.
Which of those countries would be the one(s) you've been to? I've been to Taiwan and Japan myself. Tipping isn't standard in either of those countries, and in my experience, the service in Japan is by far the best of anywhere I've ever been, and the service in Taiwan's also great. Sure, it's often a bit more impersonal, but they seem to care a lot more about your satisfaction with your visit. Basically, it's more "Is there anything we can get you?" and less "Hi, how are you?" And frankly, the average service I get in Taiwan or Japan is usually far better compared to what I get when I walk into a store or restaurant in the US.

Of course, in Taiwan and Japan, the prices listed on the menu are also noticeably higher, especially when the tax is included in the menu price, a common practice in Japan (and maybe Taiwan; can't remember). But the final bill is usually about the same as one would expect a similar meal in the US to come out to after tax and tip. So it's basically like the tip (and tax) is included in/factored into the menu price.

It's also worth noting that tipping someone in Japan just for doing their job is considered rude; they'll think you're implying that they need to be paid to be motivated to do their job well.

Overall, I'd think the no-tips/gratuity-factored-in system would work better in general, since then the waitstaff can't be screwed over by a Scrooge. And as an added benefit, I won't have the entire table turn to me to calculate the 15%. :lol: For poor service, just talk to the manager. And of course, even under a no-tips system, one can still reward good service by adding a tip.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Griffin » Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:05 am UTC

And of course, even under a no-tips system, one can still reward good service by adding a tip.


That's not actually true - many places using a no-tip system actually prohibit tipping.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby qinwamascot » Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:52 am UTC

perhaps I was exaggerating when I generalized it like that. In some european countries I've received poor service, but it's not an across the board thing. I just remember it better. So I'll retract that comment.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby dubsola » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:16 pm UTC

Simbera wrote:For context: I'm from Australia, as others have said there's jack-all tipping done here.

I am from Australia as well, and live in London. There is a bit more tipping here in London than in Australia, I've noticed. Especially at the fancier/hipper places.
-Some restaurants add an optional 'service charge' of 10-15% to the bill, this is optional in the sense that you can decline to pay it
-Many cafes have a small jar or cup for tips (with the occasional "good tippers make good lovers" card)
-Most traditional English cafes or pubs do not involve tips at all, especially outside of the bigger cities. This leads me to believe that it's a relatively new phenomenon.

Simbera wrote:I tip if someone's done an exceptionally good job, but that doesn't happen all that often. Usually it's just 'keep the change' or whatever, I don't bother with figuring out a percentage. Or, occasionally, whatever shrapnel I have in my pocket at the time.

I'd like to focus on the 'exceptional job' part of what you just said - when I went to NYC, my friends and I all noticed how incredible the service was. Everywhere! Even at the greasy spoons, someone served you quickly, made sure everything was alright, and were friendly. Honestly, I'd have to say that NYC (haven't been anywhere else in the US) had the best customer service of any city I've ever visited (which includes most Australian major cities, most major English cities, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, and various others). It was great!

I honestly believe this is down to the service culture that exists in the US. Staff there work for tips, and so they *really* worked for them.

Also: the idea that tipping encourages people to be more friendly and so on is stupid too - they HAVE to do it. I work in the hospitality industry, so a requirement of my job is to be hospitable. I do it because it's my job to do it, not to plie tips from my customers; and if I don't do it, I get fired.

I'd have to disagree. Purely anecdotal evidence - my own experience having eaten and drunk in many, many places around the world - says that less than half of all places where you get served food or drinks have friendly staff. In other words, most places would not fire an unfriendly worker. This could be down to bad management or a shortage of workers - either way, good and friendly customer service motivated by money, works.

IMO.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Simbera » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:43 am UTC

I'd have to disagree. Purely anecdotal evidence - my own experience having eaten and drunk in many, many places around the world - says that less than half of all places where you get served food or drinks have friendly staff. In other words, most places would not fire an unfriendly worker. This could be down to bad management or a shortage of workers - either way, good and friendly customer service motivated by money, works.


Well, that may be true - but places which employ people that give you sub-standard service are a lot less likely to get repeat business from you, aren't they? Eventually, the system weeds out the employees or their place of employment, although of course it takes a long time and a lot of one-time visitors before it does.

I'd like to focus on the 'exceptional job' part of what you just said - when I went to NYC, my friends and I all noticed how incredible the service was. Everywhere! Even at the greasy spoons, someone served you quickly, made sure everything was alright, and were friendly. Honestly, I'd have to say that NYC (haven't been anywhere else in the US) had the best customer service of any city I've ever visited (which includes most Australian major cities, most major English cities, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona, and various others). It was great!

I honestly believe this is down to the service culture that exists in the US. Staff there work for tips, and so they *really* worked for them.


People's definitions of 'exceptional service' will alter, too - I don't want some chipper ass-hat bugging me every five minutes (which is often parodied on TV in those places with all the junk on the walls...presumably this is exaggerated but I have had waiters that aren't that far off). I don't even really want that much extraneous chit-chat, I just want someone to do what I want as quickly as possible and what conversation we have to be pleasant; and if you hang around or talk too much I will mark you down. Your mileage may differ; maybe I would consider the service at my local pub to be better than those NYC places you mentioned, if they were too ever-present. I don't know - perhaps the tipping-culture fosters that kind of behaviour, which is good for some people but bad for others.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby bonzombiekitty » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:22 pm UTC

I like tipping because it allows me to control the cost of a given service.

Consider a restaurant. The bill, before tip, includes the cost of the food, the cost of the cook to prepare it, various other innate costs to keeping a restaurant afloat, and the cost of having a server present. Rather than having the restaurant determine the value of the service the server gives to me, tipping allows me to determine that myself.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby EmptySet » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:03 am UTC

You can do that without tipping - if a restaurant's price is too high, don't go there. Also, in many cases the business is probably in a better position to determine the value of wait staff than you are, since it is linked to the proportion of suitable applicants, what kind of experience and qualifications are necessary, etc. A restaurant which requires waiters to speak fluent French and have a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate, for example, would have more difficulty finding staff than Big Bob's Barn o' Burgers, and it's simple for the restaurant to reflect that (and attract suitable staff) by paying higher wages. There's also the fact that steady wages make it easier to plan your budget. I mean, I'm sure tipping works well enough where it's part of the culture, but a non-tipping culture certainly doesn't seem to cause any problems, either.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby DougP » Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:56 am UTC

Wow. I am totally taken aback by this thread. I've never seen such an outpouring of hatred for PAYING people for their job. You realize that the hourly wage for a waiter or waitress isn't very high, and that tipping is assumed so that they actually earn a decent wage? Its totally a no brainer as far as I am concerned.

Sure, you can make arguments that they should just have a higher wage, and tips wouldn't be "required", but thats a separate argument from what a lot of people in this thread are saying, which is more along the lines of "Whatever, whatever, I do what I want!"

This post is inflammatory, repeats points that have been covered already, and was the primary reason for my locking the thread.

~CM

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Re: Tipping people

Postby phlip » Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:02 am UTC

DougP wrote:Sure, you can make arguments that they should just have a higher wage, and tips wouldn't be "required", but thats a separate argument from what a lot of people in this thread are saying, which is more along the lines of "Whatever, whatever, I do what I want!"

Actually, that's exactly the argument I see as being the majority of posts in this thread... whether a situation where waiters and such are paid a sane wage, and tipping is optional, is preferable to waiters being paid peanuts and tipping being all-but-mandatory.

Very few people have been advocating waiters being paid peanuts and not receiving tips.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Rinsaikeru » Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:35 am UTC

I'm used to tipping, and for me it can be quite important. I have a food allergy and I feel that it can be a lot of work sometimes for waitstaff to hear/understand my allergy, relay it to the kitchen and be sure that my food is ok. If they do this well and without seeming put off about it--they're going to get a great tip, otherwise a pretty normal tip.

That said, I frequent relatively few restaurants and am familiar to staff at a couple of the places I do go, it's that sort of relationship that helps me feel safe dining. Yes you could up their wages to something that could help them without requiring tips, or inserting the gratuity. I do feel, however, that I like having the ability to scale the tip based on service and also that it's a direct communication with the staff.

It's a cultural system in the places it exists--it would probably be very hard to change--and if you insist that the gratuity be on the bill anyway, it isn't as though you aren't paying the same amount in a different format. I'm not saying one method is necessarily better or provides better service (because this is anecdotal stuff really)--but I really have no objections to tipping. (Also the government taxes equal up to about 14% so I can guesstimate to 15% from there and then more for great service which makes it pretty easy). AND!!! if I'm paying by credit card it gives me a chance to practice my addition. :P
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Re: Tipping people

Postby clintonius » Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:10 am UTC

And round and round we go.

If anyone wishes this thread to be unlocked, PM me with your reasons.

~CM

Edit: unlocked per a well-reasoned request.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby Terebrant » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

Thank you Clintonius.

Disclaimer : I am not American so, I probably don't know some very basic facts an hypothetical you might take for granted.

From what I understand from this governmental factsheet, tipped employees (but not independant taxi drivers, etc. ) make a different minimum wage that must be at least equal to the usual minimum wage when including tips or the employer need to complement to reach at least minimum wage.

However, from reading the thread, I got the impression that those in the food service industry need the tip to survive. Has this industry enough exceptions that it doesn't matter in day to day life ? is it a pervasive meme ? And more globally, what do you think of this factsheet ?

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Re: Tipping people

Postby kriel2 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:42 pm UTC

Minimum wage is not really enough to survive. Albeit, yes, in those tipping industries companies (are supposed to) supplement their original wages with enough to reach minimum wage, that dosen't change the fact that tips are still the vast majority of their wages.

(60 hours a week at minimum wage with 11% taxes (more or less what gets taken out of my checks from what I've figured) comes out to ~$1800/mo. That's enough to.. well, live, yes, but not very comfortably. Nowhere NEAR comfortably if there's anyone else dependent upon you.)

EDIT: This was a direct reply to the reason above me. I didn't read the three pages beforehand. I apologize.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Azrael » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:31 am UTC

Let's try something new in this thread: Citation or it didn't happen.

And by "it didn't happen" I mean "your post got deleted."

Obviously this only applies to things that *can* be citied ... which means that if it *can't* be cited ... don't post.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Ixtellor » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:37 pm UTC

Terebrant wrote:From what I understand from this governmental factsheet, tipped employees (but not independant taxi drivers, etc. ) make a different minimum wage that must be at least equal to the usual minimum wage when including tips or the employer need to complement to reach at least minimum wage.

However, from reading the thread, I got the impression that those in the food service industry need the tip to survive. Has this industry enough exceptions that it doesn't matter in day to day life ? is it a pervasive meme ? And more globally, what do you think of this factsheet ?


1. People who work for tips have a lower minimum wage. (Usually around half of the State Minimum [citation?]). If you look at that reduced Federal minimum ($2.13/hour) then NO people working for tips could not survive on that wage.
2. People working for tips, almost always make more than people working for a straight minimum wage. Waiters make more than busboys. Bell hops make more than maids. [citation?]

In answer to your first question. Yes people need the tips to survive, without it they would make way way below the poverty line.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Jessica » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:18 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:1. People who work for tips have a lower minimum wage. (Usually around half of the State Minimum). If you look at that reduced minimum ($2.15/hour) then NO people working for tips could not survive on that wage.

In America.
Not necessarily internationally.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby SJ Zero » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:47 pm UTC

Many other countries make similar accommodations, but not to the same levels. In Canada, the minimum wage for people who serve alcoholic beverages is over a dollar less per hour to account for tips.1

By contrast, it appears that the UK does things differently, and in 1999 implemented a more or less universal minimum wage.2 The question of tips never seems to come up.

I would certainly have to ask whether wages are artificially kept lower for skilled waiters in various countries. Will the waiter in a French restaurant who has been doing this for decades and is at the top of his game be making minimum wage because it's expected he or she will be getting insane tips?

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Azrael » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

Terebrant wrote:From what I understand from this governmental factsheet, tipped employees (but not independant taxi drivers, etc. ) make a different minimum wage that must be at least equal to the usual minimum wage when including tips or the employer need to complement to reach at least minimum wage.


Correct. According to that cited document, an employer must compensate an employee to *at least* the Federal Minimum Wage if the employee's [Direct Wage + Tip Received < Federal Minimum Wage].

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Jessica » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

SJ Zero wrote:Many other countries make similar accommodations, but not to the same levels. In Canada ONTARIO, the minimum wage for people who serve alcoholic beverages is over a dollar less per hour to account for tips.1
Edit for not all of canada has that law.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby SJ Zero » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:47 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:
SJ Zero wrote:Many other countries make similar accommodations, but not to the same levels. In Canada ONTARIO, the minimum wage for people who serve alcoholic beverages is over a dollar less per hour to account for tips.1
Edit for not all of canada has that law.1

Citation added.

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Elennaro » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

I have one problem: how am I supposed to know what to do in another part of the world? I'd hate to be looked upon as a cheapskate because I didn't tip enough, while I was merely unaware of the unspoken rules of those places.

Edit

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Rinsaikeru » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:27 pm UTC

Generally when I'm going travelling I look up travel guides online before hand. They just about always give you advice on whether to tip or not and how much to tip.
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Re: Tipping people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:45 pm UTC

Let me ask the community about a specific type of scenario that I've found myself in on a handful of occasions (maybe 3 in the last 5 or 6 years).

You're out with friends in the US (i.e. large enough group to invoke the mandatory 18% gratuity, this usually happens with about 8 people) and your service is utterly terrible. See spoiler for the highlights of the most recent occurrence.
Spoiler:
I mean the place is relatively dead, as it's a week night, it takes 15 minutes to get your drinks, another 20 to get your waiter back so you can place an order, when you finally do get your food, you're still on that first drink which is all kinds of empty now, since your waiter simply hasn't been around to refill it, and when you finally ask for your bill it takes him (literally) 30 minutes to pull 4 checks (for 8 people). In addition, there is no explanation as to why it's taking so long.
2 questions.
1. Would you tip anything at all here if paying with cash (leaving your money on the table and walking out)?
2. How would you handle the credit card payment (where the 18% is not deserved)?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Tipping people

Postby Jessica » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:13 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Let me ask the community about a specific type of scenario that I've found myself in on a handful of occasions (maybe 3 in the last 5 or 6 years).

You're out with friends in the US (i.e. large enough group to invoke the mandatory 18% gratuity, this usually happens with about 8 people) and your service is utterly terrible. See spoiler for the highlights of the most recent occurrence.
Spoiler:
I mean the place is relatively dead, as it's a week night, it takes 15 minutes to get your drinks, another 20 to get your waiter back so you can place an order, when you finally do get your food, you're still on that first drink which is all kinds of empty now, since your waiter simply hasn't been around to refill it, and when you finally ask for your bill it takes him (literally) 30 minutes to pull 4 checks (for 8 people). In addition, there is no explanation as to why it's taking so long.
2 questions.
1. Would you tip anything at all here if paying with cash (leaving your money on the table and walking out)?
2. How would you handle the credit card payment (where the 18% is not deserved)?

When a gratutity is added to the bill, that part is part of the bill.
If you have a problem with the service at that point, ask to see a manager, and say "I'm sorry but our service was absolutely horrible. Horrible enough to make me not want to pay you a 18% gratuity, in fact I'm annoyed enough to tell my friends to never return."

If you have problems with service, complaining to the manager is much more useful than not tipping. If you don't tip, they won't think "damn my service was bad" they'll think "damn you're cheap".
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Re: Tipping people

Postby 22/7 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:18 pm UTC

So are we flat-out against tipping poorly (say, 8-10%) for bad service?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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