Friday night topic: the unwritten rules of tipping

When you think about it, giving extra money to folks who do certain jobs is kind of a weird tradition. Yet we practice it regularly. What’s weirdest about tipping is that it seems to follow an unwritten set of conventions that we’re largely supposed to know, apparently by osmosis.

Generally speaking, I’m happy to tip, and I fall mostly on the generous side. I usually give 20% of the check (and I round up to the nearest dollar) in restaurants, for instance. But there are places where the rules break down, and I find that absolutely befuddling.

One example: what to do about tipping in a buffet-style dining scenario. Do you really tip the same amount to a server who only refills your icewater once or twice? If that’s the plan, then I’m willing enough to pay up, although it seems kind of odd. The trouble is that I honestly do not know the expected protocol. I’ve asked others around me about this scenario, but agreement or a clear sense of the correct answer seems elusive.

Another case: sometimes, when I’m attending trade show, a company will arrange transportation across town to a press event via a car service. A dude will show up to pick me up at a hotel and cart me across town. His fee is paid by the company who made the arrangements. Should I also tip, and if so, how much?

Again, no clue.

Heck, I don’t even know what the fee is sometimes, so estimating a percentage of that would be rather difficult. At other times, I’ve caught a glimpse of the fee on a reservation email, and the tip is sometimes already included in the up-front costs. Is it always? I don’t know, and I dunno when it is and isn’t.

On top of that, I pay for nearly everything by card and am rarely carrying anything close to the correct change for a tip. I’ve joked recently that bums the homeless may have to start carrying smartphones with card readers, if digital payments become the norm.

In Europe, I was surprised to learn that many kinds of tipping practiced in the U.S. just aren’t common. That can lead to situations where you’ve essentially insulted someone by handing them money. Which is great.

Do any of you find certain tipping scenarios similarly confusing? If so, which ones? Should we just abandon the practice altogether, or does tipping have its place? Also, if you have somehow picked up more of the rules of tipping than I have along the way, perhaps you can enlighten me on the scenarios above.

Discuss.

Comments closed
    • wkstar
    • 6 years ago
      • Beelzebubba9
      • 6 years ago

      I hope you’re not an American!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    I Tip by american standards, 15-20 percent at a minimum unless my service is EXTREMELY poor. I have a high level of empathy for the trials and tribulations of the trade so a fair pay is in order. When I travel I’ve found US tipping practices are excessive, but since its money already spent in my mind I always tip by US rates. In a few places this ends in confrontation but in many places it ends with you being the best customer they’ve ever had.

    I even tip when grabbing a glass of water at the bar. 1 dollar minimum tip always.

    • End0game
    • 6 years ago

    I can see a lot of people here never serving a table in their life, and therefor have no idea what that server or bartender goes through with on a daily basis.

    This means that a lot of people don’t know how tipping out works in many places here in the USA, and I don’t mean how you (the customer) tip out your server. I’ve been a server now for three years, so let me break this down for you:

    Let’s say your bill is 100$, and you leave me zero on the bill. Well, I have to tip out my bartender, food runner, and kitchen, which equates to 3% of my total sales. So if you left me NOTHING at all, I would have to pay 3$ for you to come in, sit down in my section of limited tables, and serve you.

    I don’t care if your service was that bad, nobody deserves to have to PAY for YOU to sit there and be served by them. How to remedy this? In my opinion, I wish that we did in fact have forced gratuity.

    Hell, I tip out 20% usually just for poor service, and 30% for great service. Especially when that server/waiter has to be knowledgeable in wine & beer.

      • chΒ΅ck
      • 6 years ago

      Doesn’t sound like the problem lies with the customer.

      • Milo Burke
      • 6 years ago

      No one is suggesting you should have to pay for the privilege of serving a customer. But what we are calling into question is why the price of the meal can’t include the price of service. And leave the rewarding and retention of good employees up to the managers, as is done in all the other industries. Doing so would remove a great deal of guilt, ambiguity, and mutual rudeness.

        • End0game
        • 6 years ago

        I agree wholeheartedly, especially now that a lot of restaurants removed gratuity for larger parties.

    • Crackhead Johny
    • 6 years ago

    What started as a way to thank someone for exceptional service or preferential treatment has become an expectation.

    Wait staff needs to learn that like stripping, they are in a natural selection job. Those who are good at it will make good money. Those who are terrible at it will not make good money and are not entitled to make what the talented waitstaff makes. If your job is not paying you the wage you want, go find a job that will. If you cannot find a job that will pay you what you want to make, either readjust your expectations or get yourself the skills that will get that job.

    When it comes to waitstaff talking about how you have to tip, I suspect this not coming from a charismatic wait staff who is happy to see the customer, is a master of banter, bonds with the group, gets the order right, makes sure everyone is having a good time, and makes big tips. I always get the idea it is more of the “Give me a 25% tip or I will masturbate with your food before I bring it to you!” waitstaff.

    Being someone who likes to cook I do not go out very often. The service I see is generally not exceptional. A few years ago I went to a wing place for their all you can eat lunch. The waitress took more than a half an hour between check ins to see if we wanted more (it took ~5 min to eat the 5 wings they would bring as a serving) and generally stood in the corner of the restaurant socializing with other waitstaff or yapping on her cell phone and ignoring us when we tried to flag her down. The lunch special ended with us still hungry. She didn’t get a tip (or maybe I tipped a penny). When I remembered I left something at the table and went back while I was leaving I found she had written something profane about how cheap I was, on my tray, in hot sauce. I have never gone back to that restaurant.

    Do not get me going on cashiers at places like Taco Bell/BK/McDonalds putting out a tip jar.

    I was raised that a 15% tip is for exceptional service. 10% for good service and 0% for bad. For terrible you may tip a penny. These days I have waitstaff online tell me i should tip 30% or more..

    • willyolio
    • 6 years ago

    well, in canada, people are paid a minimum of minimum wage (although it’s still not much, it’s still better than US laws that allow peanuts for pay). There is no mandatory tipping, and the servers are at least getting as much money as other people who never get tips, like cashiers at the mall.

    My personal rule for tipping basically goes as follows:

    1. did they ask for my money before giving me services/goods that cannot be undone/given to another customer?

    2. was the service/goods/experience actually any good?

    if so, then i tip between 10-20%.

    personally i see it not only as a thanks for good service, but also putting their trust in me that i’m not a dine-and-dasher.

    so things that cannot be returned or handed off to the next guy, like food i’ve already eaten, massages, taxi rides, i’ll tip. Fast food joints where they make me pay up front before i get the food, especially when they can just put the burger back in the heater and give it to the next guy that orders it, get no tip. even though they ask for one (like at fatburger).

    • terbro11
    • 6 years ago

    Essentially most of us work with grim-faced nitwits that are like sandpaper on our very souls. Yet you gladly work for your living and dislike everything about work when you get home.

    Yet most ‘tipped’ souls, work in atmospheres of people enjoying themselves, it is therefore preferable to fob them off with cash than give them an equal displeasure of work and pleasure of play than you enjoy yourself.

    These ‘tipped’ creatures most probably go home to a hideous world where they enjoy being whipped to a deadline completing the most mundane of operations.

      • bill94el
      • 6 years ago

      It’s Monday morning…time to sober up

    • thesmileman
    • 6 years ago

    I’ve worked as a waiter and tipping is a great way to get fucked over. Both by customers and more importantly my your employer. U shouldn’t give a waiter more than the advertised price unless they give u Something that is above your expectation. Unfortunately the world isn’t that black and white. Companies don’t pay anything to waiter, but they have to give them minimum wage if tips don’t cover it. Unfortunately you always make minimum wage so the salary of 2.13 (or whatever it is now) is just a sad joke and not based on quality of work. I’ve found you can get 15-20% tips and be a shitty waiter and you can also get 15-20% tips doing an amazing job. The only difference is the outliers and they often give you 0-1% regardless. Sure u get an amazing tips 2-3 a year but it really doesn’t motivate u as it is almost noise I’m the common. 10-15% norm. As with most things it isn’t black and white and a shitty situation either way.

      • EsotericLord
      • 6 years ago

      I am very confused. You type with good grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but insist on using “u” instead of “you.”

      y dunt u jst go all da way w/ proper spelling?

    • chΒ΅ck
    • 6 years ago

    The people commenting here saying that we absolutely must tip because waiters only make $2/hr are seriously misinformed and are embarrassing themselves.

    [quote<]If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.[/quote<] [url<]http://www.dol.gov/elaws/faq/esa/flsa/002.htm[/url<]

    • Jambe
    • 6 years ago

    God help me, but I think the European model is better. Integrate service charges into the cost bill and reject tips (and donate surreptitiously-left tips to a charity).

    There are various accounts of American restaurants doing exactly that, and they generally find that their staff retention improves, as does customer reporting on service quality.

    • zenlessyank
    • 6 years ago

    It’s good to see compassion has been officially killed off and outlawed by the capitalistic population.

    coal subscriber

    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 6 years ago

    Moving a plate of food from one side of a room to another is not a skill set that demands a 20% tip.

    If you don’t like it when a customer stiffs you on a tip maybe you should of listened to your parents and stayed in school and got an education.

    • NeoForever
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<][s<]bums[/s<] the homeless[/quote<] I'm not sure what you're trying to say there.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 6 years ago

    Save yourself the hassle.

    Don’t tip.

    Eventually, the system will change once enough people get past the “tipping point” and stop tipping. With the death of tipping, order in the world will be restored.

    Then wages can go up to pay people what they actually need to live rather than restaurants relying on the promise of tips to make up the difference (when they often don’t make up the difference).

    Do everyone a favor. Fight the power. Refuse to be part of the system. Don’t tip.

    …except if you regularly get delivery from the same place. Otherwise, you’ll get spit in your food.

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    [b<]I hate tipping.[/b<] I usually tip 15% for decent service (that's high in Europe) because it's just part of the essential pay for staff who work in idustries where tipping is the norm. They get paid terribly yet they have the exact same bills and mouths to feed as everyone else. The whole culture [b<]stinks[/b<] and I would vote for any politician who bans tipping. The vast majority of us don't get tipped for doing our jobs, we have reliable, regular incomes - and that should be a basic right for [i<]any[/i<] employee.

    • atari030
    • 6 years ago

    In summary form, and I suppose I’m stating the obvious, I’d have to say that:

    – Our current tipping practices in the U.S. probably came about as a way to award better than average -personalized- service. Essentially, any basic service related job where you’re spending a good amount of face-to-face time with someone.

    – With time, these tipping practices evolved to include some services that likely don’t really need a gratuity added to them (e.g. random ‘tip cups’ everywhere!)

    – With time, these tipping practices became so common that employers (and the government) started to bake the extra money earned into their pay and taxation policies.

    – With time, these tipping practices, and the social and monetary expectations surrounding them, became unwieldy, complex, overgrown, and just plain uncomfortable in some cases.

    Ideally it should really just boil down to the relationship between the client and service person. If the client appreciated the service, then they’ll reward the service person. It’s unfortunate that this type of extra reward has become expected and integral to so many service transactions. The employer and the government should really not have any involvement in it. Such is life.

    • hasseb64
    • 6 years ago

    In Japan they will be very upset if you tip.
    In my country it is kind of luxury to tip, mostly only in better restaurants. (and still no “hidden” rules, 1-10%)
    I do not understand this tradition!
    Tippin is for me like beggars.
    Just quit it and let the Company who hire the person pay his full salary.
    If he/she does a good job, show it!
    If he/she does a bad job, show it!
    Simple!

      • jihadjoe
      • 6 years ago

      I tried tipping once at a japanese restaurant. My food came down to nearly exactly 15% less than the money I paid, so I left the change on the table.

      I was followed out the door by a very concerned looking waiter saying I had forgotten my change.

    • Meadows
    • 6 years ago

    I’m with Scott on this one. This osmosis hasn’t reached me much. Even when tipping does need to happen, I prefer if it’s already in the check.

    Having to actively wonder how much to tip, whether it’s polite to tip, whether it’s necessary to tip etc. only makes me anxious about the whole thing, and that’s the last thing I want to be when I’m at such establishments.

    Then again, I prefer being straightforward (and perhaps rude) to being ignorant, so under sufficient pressure I’d simply ask the person I’m dealing with — with the most frank expression and tone you can imagine — about what their standard tipping rate is, complete with a white lie like “because I couldn’t find that on your website” or something.

    • Wirko
    • 6 years ago

    There is some serious inflation at work here, tipping apparently went [url=http://www.today.com/food/25-new-standard-tipping-depends-where-you-eat-1B5989931?franchiseSlug=foodmain<]from zero to 20-25%[/url<] in a little more than 100 years. Was America a socialist land back then so tipping was unnecessary, or what?

    • humannn
    • 6 years ago

    Tips are an incentive to provide great (or at least above-average) service. Otherwise, the waiter’s only incentive is to NOT get fired. Waiting is a service industry, with many gray areas in regards to level of service, and tipping gives you a way to exert some control over that.

    • Laykun
    • 6 years ago

    In our country we have a minimum wage for all jobs. There is absolutely no tipping and we don’t encourage businesses to under-pay their staff.

    I have heard many stories from many people who come from the states and although in theory a tip is incentive based it generally ends up being a guilt factor and never really encourages good service.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 6 years ago

    I’m usually happy to tip ~20% for customarily-tipped services. For buffets or restaurants where the server only takes your order or brings you a drink or two, I usually give about $2-3 (this is usually 10-20% for one person’s tab at that kind of place anyway). Cabbies I give 15-20%, tattoo artists I’ve given 25% for terrific work (though my tats are small and that didn’t really add up to a whole lot, but I felt it was appropriate and they were very thankful for it).

    If the service at a restaurant is so awful that I wouldn’t tip anything, I bring it up with the manager and request a different server. They always oblige, and always want to hear about any server that’s spoiling someone’s experience at the place due to rudeness. Frankly it’s been a looooong time since I’ve had to do that, though, and whether or not they’re getting paid enough, most servers I’ve had have been very polite and accommodating.

    Food service is a tough industry for everyone, both operators and staff. Margins on food are next to nil as it is and many many restaurants close before the initial business loan is paid off, even when servers and other staff are paid minimally. Raising prices would reduce sales…..I think the crappy waitstaff pay is more related to this economic reality than to any honest accounting of how much their work is really worth. My fam was in the restaurant business for awhile, and from what we saw, most owners/managers would love to pay their people more (especially to hang on to the good ones), but simply couldn’t pay all the bills if they were to do so. No flagrant greed involved, just tough business.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 6 years ago

    There should be a prerequisite to posting, and that should be the posters need to have completed Macro and Micro Economics and have a solid understanding before talking about ‘wages’ and other macro/micro variables few on here grasp. sighhhhhhhhhh BED TIME!

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]There should be a prerequisite to posting[/quote<] I don't think that would be good. It's important that people who don't understand, like you, are allowed to post, so people who do understand, like me, can teach them how they should think. Anyway, I guess it's past your bedtime. Don't let the bed bugs bite!

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 6 years ago

        <3

      • f0d
      • 6 years ago

      min wage work in just about every other country for the services you normally tip for
      why wouldnt it work in usa?

      • plonk420
      • 6 years ago

      i guess for us non-macro/micro economics people: [url<]http://www.wnyc.org/story/301181-freakonomics-radio-should-tipping-be-banned/[/url<]

      • Captain Ned
      • 6 years ago

      OK, genius. I’ve got a BA in Economics (Colgate 1985) and have spent my working life in the financial services industry, starting first as an employee in the industry and for the last almost 18 years as a regulator. Employment surveys and prognostications are part of the daily intel for regulators.

      What would you like to discuss?

        • anotherengineer
        • 6 years ago

        Does your economics apply in Cuba?? πŸ˜‰

          • Captain Ned
          • 6 years ago

          No, but no one else’s do either.

            • anotherengineer
            • 6 years ago

            Well China’s and Russia’s used to, and North Korea’s probably do to a certain extent, and there are others in the world that probably still do also.

            One reason I was never a fan of economics, or at least some of the theories behind economics is because it was just made up by people living in a location which used/ran by that specific economic system at that point of time. I think here in North America, it should more correctly be called Capitalist Economics.

            I took enough economics courses in university for a minor in the subject, and although somewhat interesting, I did not care for it (well some of the odd theories) that don’t really work at all in the real world regardless of economic system.

            The nice thing about engineering, (kinetics, chemistry, physics, etc.) is it’s universally the same the world over.

            • Captain Ned
            • 6 years ago

            There is a reason it’s called “the dismal science”.

            Macro never made sense, while micro did. Price=Marginal Cost. Pure & simple and no bodging about with I/S and L/M curves. Still don’t know how I passed that course and it was core for my degree.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 6 years ago

      My experience with economics and modern business practices is that they are universally applied to all businesses whether or not they work for that business.

      Not all businesses can do record profits and growth every year, yet thats the goal of virtually every business. ie: stockholders ruin everything.

      What this has to do with tipping, I dunno.

      • albundy
      • 6 years ago

      3
      2
      1
      Thumbs Down! lol

    • kumori
    • 6 years ago

    Tipping is not optional. It is a non-negotiable portion of the purchase price of whatever service you are being given.

    If you don’t like the service tip 15% and talk to the manager.

      • Chrispy_
      • 6 years ago

      If it’s [b<]non-negotiable[/b<] then it should be clearly shown as a service charge up front. Advertising at one price and then charging another is wrong on more levels than I can care to list. In Europe there have been lawsuits and heavy fines imposed for such behaviour against both huge corporations and small businesses.

        • MathMan
        • 6 years ago

        The waiter gets paid much less than minimum wage because tips are assumed by all parties to be part of the deal. If you don’t want to tip, then don’t be a jerk and don’t go to a restaurant. It’s really that simple.

        The common practice rules in Europe are irrelevant.

          • Meadows
          • 6 years ago

          Why would they be irrelevant?

            • MathMan
            • 6 years ago

            They’re irrelevant if you’re a customer now, and you’re deciding to stiff a waiter now.

            You can argue at the bar all you want on how the rules should be posted blah blah, but when it comes time to pay, your bar talk opinion should not be an excuse to not pay up.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            They aren’t irrelevant in Europe. You know, that place behind that big water?

            • mcnabney
            • 6 years ago

            Because servers in Europe are actually paid quite a bit.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 6 years ago

          If the server makes less than minimum wage with tips added the employer is required to make up the difference.

            • MathMan
            • 6 years ago

            Yes. But the default pay is lower (if anything at all) unless that (ridiculously low) minimum is not met.

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 6 years ago

      Says you? When I get crap service, I happily jot down 0 for their tip and tell them about it. Tips are optional and really depends on whether the waiter is doing their job or not.

        • MathMan
        • 6 years ago

        And that makes you a jerk. Because even if the service wasn’t great, she still spent serving you. You could pay 10% is it was bad, that will send the message just fine.

        The thing is: waiters are very likely to be making a lot less money than you. Often working multiple jobs at a time, and still having a hard time making ends meet. They can have sick kids that screamed all night. They may have been scheduled an extra long shift because a coworker didn’t show up. Etc.

        You’ll probably say that you don’t f’ing care and that exactly my problem with all of this: the way people think it’s totally fine to financially punish people because they have to wait a few minutes more, or because she didn’t smile enough at your entitled fat face. I think it’s disgusting, Mr. Pink.

        I must rather give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Allow them a bad day and still give a 15% tip.

        And if they go beyond the call of duty (just a little): 20% tip or more.

          • BoBzeBuilder
          • 6 years ago

          How does not rewarding crap behavior make me a jerk? You go on to get too judgmental, but remember that we all put up with enough shit with our jobs and that doesn’t excuse poor performance regardless of the situation. No one seems to give a damn about my kid screaming all night and I don’t expect them to.

          No I’m not entitled and no I don’t care about the money. I’m a nice guy and I’m generous with tips when a waiter at least pretends to care about their job. If not, the financial punishment is a result of their own poor performance.

          tldr check out Krogoths’ post.

            • kc77
            • 6 years ago

            Your answer is actually in Krogoth’s post. Although I don’t believe the question itself makes you a jerk.

            “How does not rewarding crap behavior make me a jerk? ”

            The main problem with this question is that the customer shouldn’t be in a position to award/reward based on performance. That’s the job of the establishment. Moving that role to the customer when the customer isn’t the boss of the waiter or waitress is problematic.

            If the hourly wage is below the minimum wage the tip is actually the salary. At 15% tip the hourly wage covers the taxes, and the tip is the actual take home pay for the waiter/waitress. Depending on the establishment, the taxes owed by the waiter/waitress can be estimated. If this happens it’s even worse. If you tip below the 15% then the waiter/waitress has actually paid a portion of your meal.

            No other industry works this way. You can’t go into Walmart pick up an item that costs $5 and decide based on demeanor whether you are going to pay the full price or not. In all other scenarios that $5 pays for everything. The person who stocks the item, the person who checks you out, and even down to the bag you take the item home in. Even if you disliked the person at checkout the most you could do is complain to the manager. The manager could fire the employee, or not. But again it’s the establishment doing it, and the person even if they gave you crappy service still get’s paid for the fact that they were present.

            The only opportunity to reward good behavior on the behalf of the customer is to come back to the establishment and really nothing more.

            Having said that, the flip side of this is that if the waiter/waitress works in a good restaurant, and is actually good, then they can make some serious cash.

            • MathMan
            • 6 years ago

            Exactly. I’m not in favor of the tipping system. There’s a lot of things I don’t like in my version of the society. But I don’t go around punishing people who are forced to work in it.

            Become a politician if you want to change something for real.

            • MathMan
            • 6 years ago

            Be 100% honest with me: has there never been a day where your job performance wasn’t 100% for whatever good or bad reason? Did your manager reduce your pay that day?

            • BoBzeBuilder
            • 6 years ago

            Apples and oranges. Every job is different. A waiter must provide excellent customer service if they want to earn a lot of tips. If their service sucks, they shouldn’t be surprised to make less and its no one’s fault but themselves.
            Just like a sales job. The amount of commission you earn is a reflection of your performance.
            To answer your question, no. But if I’m consistantly less than 100% there’s a good chance I’ll lose my job.

          • Chrispy_
          • 6 years ago

          You can’t go calling people a jerk just because they disagree with you.

          This is [i<]clearly[/i<] a devisive topic with three main groups of agreement; [list<][*<]Always tip, even if they suck because their employer doesn't pay them enough.[/*<][*<]Tip, but only if the service is good, i.e. 'bad job' = 'no pay'.[/*<][*<]I don't agree with tipping, the whole culture is morally/politically/ethically wrong. [/*<][/list<] The split seems pretty even, so according to your logic 2 out of 3 of us gerbils are jerks? Go sort your head out, then come back.

            • MathMan
            • 6 years ago

            I feel pretty good in the head for having the empathy of not denying low income people a few dollars because they didn’t smile as much as I would have liked.

            • BoBzeBuilder
            • 6 years ago

            It’s their job to smile, their income depends on it. I hope you can sink that in. I know dealing with people sucks but that’s life and no one likes their job.

            • MathMan
            • 6 years ago

            “No one likes their job?”
            Rats, now I start feeling sorry for you too!

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            I’m both #1 and #3

            • Chrispy_
            • 6 years ago

            #2 and #3 for me, possibly because I’ve been raised in a part of the world where tipping is neither expected nor common, though the loathesome practice is becomming more and more common over here.

            If something says “10 eurobucks” and it ends up costing 12 eurobucks with hidden charges, then the original price is wrong and that’s a legal issue anywhere it’s enforced. I don’t know of anywhere outside the US where this is the case.

          • albundy
          • 6 years ago

          yeah, thats YP, not MP. go to school, earn degree, and get better job. i stopped feeling sorry for people that make poor choices a very long time ago. everyone digs their own hole, but some dig too deep.

            • MathMan
            • 6 years ago

            Yay for illustrating my point about empathy, Mr. Bundy!

      • Crackhead Johny
      • 6 years ago

      They pitch a deuce in the middle of my nachos and I should happily tip 15%, then talk to the manager? Someone sounds a little entitled.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 6 years ago

    I tip of the service is good. If the service is poor, I can’t in good faith tip that waiter who provided the poor service, thereby setting the precedent that poor service is okay. No one should encourage poor service, and no one should tip in the form of subsidies toward a waiter.

    Servers are not entitled to a tip. Servers earn tips just like all of us earn our money by providing a service at our jobs.

    • The Dark One
    • 6 years ago

    A general rule of thumb is to not only tip for the service you received, but for the service you’d like to receive the next time. Wait staff have memories and aren’t going to prioritize people who they know are stingy tippers.

      • faramir
      • 6 years ago

      This is just plain wrong, as others have pointed out.

      1st, slavery has been abolished some 150ish years ago. Employers should take note of this fact and pay their staff accordingly. There is a good reason for the concept of minimum wage to exist.

      2nd, waiters are there to provide a service, just like workers in any other service industry. If they get a fair payment (which should obviously be no less than the minimal wage FOR ANY PROFESSION) they should do their job. If they don’t like it, they should look into getting in a different line of work. Their personal beef with (former) customers should be left at the door when they punch in as they are paid professionals.

      3rd, we as the customers are paying for the service AND goods. This is not to make somebody feel good about us, but to get the food/drink served. If we wanted just the goods part, we’d go to a grocery store instead.

      This works in every other industry so how difficult can it be to implement it for waiters?

    • odizzido
    • 6 years ago

    In the US, greedy restaurants are allowed to get away with essentially not paying their employees and getting free labour because of tipping…

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 6 years ago

      There are choices in the workplace and also alternatives. The servers can have their voice heard by selecting other jobs.

    • nanoflower
    • 6 years ago

    I remember when I visited Australia I found that tipping isn’t the standard there. As for getting rid of tipping if that came with having all waiters/waitresses paid at least minimum wage that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Though in places where the tipping can get out of hand (think the VIP clubs) I can see why they wouldn’t want to get rid of it. (I’ve heard tales of some waitresses (hostesses) taking home over $1000 a night in tips.)

      • f0d
      • 6 years ago

      i dont think they would be unappreciative if you tipped them here (australia) but i wouldnt be surprised if they gave you a strange look for doing it because its so rare

      i was honestly shocked when i read here on TR that waiters/waitresses only get about $2 an hour pay – even with mandatory tipping which you have in USA its very low imo

      i think they should get minimum wage (aus min wage is $16hr) at least as its just as hard of a job as many others that they pay much more for

    • Antias
    • 6 years ago

    Tipping is not a common practice in Australia, because i suppose of Government regulated minimum wages being “fairly” reasonable (yes – that can be argued as being other than that – but that’s another argument)…
    However when i travel to states or EU i usually just settle on a 10% tipping scheme (unless service was really bad then i drop to 5%) for Services type service ()bellhops, waiters, etc..) but i don’t tip retail service.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 6 years ago

    This is my opinion on tipping, and try to follow me here.

    There are two main jobs in society that get money directly based upon their performance, sales and service.

    (you can skip the next two paragraphs if you want, its basically off-topic, but puts you in my crazed mindset)

    I don’t like salespeople. They lie, cheat, steal, break rules, have some meaningless degree (business, history, etc), are generally the duck-face taking pretty boy/girls of the world; and they make a shit ton of money for what they do. If there ever was an apocalypse, fall of society, whatever; they would have no function in the world. Their “skillset”, meaningless.

    Now, I understand *why* they make so much money, they “get the sale”. But to someone like me, the engineer, the guy that keeps things maintained, the one who does the customer service after the sale, the one who has to deal with all the empty promises the sales guy made, etc etc…. who gets paid a fraction of what they do but works 2-20x harder; you might understand the jealousy or anger towards these type of people. Its one of the aspects of modern society that is just outright “wrong” in my opinion. It goes along with that widening disparity between middle class and upper class. The bullshitters of the world are running things, and somehow we are letting them.

    Now, service, waiters/waitresses. It is their job to provide whatever they do at the best level possible, at all times. They get paid complete trash at a base level, but rely on their performance to get good money. They aren’t so different from salespeople, “people skills” trump all other skills in their field. What is different from the salesperson, is that they already have “the sale”, sure, they might convince me to get a dessert or an extra appetizer, but generally I’m immune to that kind of swooning; even a giant rack in my face won’t convince me to get the jalapeno poppers, sorry.

    This service experience they are providing is generally valued at 15-20% of whatever I’m buying. That can be a lot of money. And if I don’t get great service, I’m not going to give them a great tip. I don’t care if they depend on the money to feed their kids, they should have done a better job. If I’m at a cheap place, where my total bill is $20, generally I expect less from the staff, and the $1 difference between 15% and 20% won’t break me. Its really that mid level, the $80-100 checks is where I get pretty picky. Late to serve drinks? Ding 1%. Mixed up orders? Ding 1%. [b<]Asked if we were "ok" 20 fucking times while I'm eating[/b<] ding 5%. Seriously. You need to balance that. I'm trying to eat, I'm not a hospital patient.... Relating back to salespeople and service, I generally *want* service but I don't generally want to be sold on something. Waiting should be about the service itself, and not on selling me on that special or that app. If the wait staff focuses on this, then they will get a good tip from me. If they are merely trying to push me towards whatever the management wants them to push on me, then fuck them. Then you have the other side of "waiting", bartenders. At party-hard-downtown-bro-ville places, bartenders pull in more money than I do. They work their ass off but are usually complete douchebags to you if you aren't throwing money down their throats. I'm not sure what to think about these people. I avoid those places and even in my college days absolutely loathed that atmosphere...but they are one of those variables of this discussion to think about it.... In the end, I'd rather see staff paid a base that is appropriate to the establishment they are at, and tipping be something that floats around the 0-10% range. In that case, a shitty waiter gets 0%, average service gets 5%, and excellent service gets 10%. I'm really confusing myself on the whole matter....

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      After reading all that, I somehow got a feeling that it was largely a jealous whinefest because you’re not pretty and slick enough to be a good sales person, and you’re taking it out on “service people” because somehow you think “working hard” in YOUR job should be rewarded with “salespeople” level compensation, but “working hard” in a service job should be rewarded much less.

      See, this is the engineer arrogance that I was talking about.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 6 years ago

        I’m pretty confident that a salesperson at my previous job getting a 15k bonus for *my* team successfully getting an install completed before a fiscal deadline is money that they don’t deserve. That’s arrogance? (its also part of the reason I left that company, foolishly thinking I could get away from that kinda BS)

        Companies/Society in general is insane to pay salespeople as much as they do for the “work” that they do, which, like I said before, relies *heavily* on backhanded techniques (mostly outright lying to customers).
        The example most people are familiar with: Pharmaceutical reps getting paid 6 figure salaries to throw gifts at doctors pushing a drug that may or may not be good for patients. Hell there are laws against it, but it still happens. Its just made the job more cutthroat.
        Going up the chain, government contracts/legislation. Lobbyists = Salesmen. You ok with those people too? Think they deserve the money they make? Think all their “hard work” makes the world a better place?

        And I did give a fair warning about the two paragraphs being offtopic, but I’m pretty certain you wanted something like what I posted judging from your other post and you completely ignoring any of the comments about the waiting/tipping opinions:
        [quote<]Hey guys - what would be the best way to turn this into R&P? Usually it's pretty easy, but this topic seems so tame that I'm having some trouble with it...[/quote<]

          • anotherengineer
          • 6 years ago

          That’s life.

          Here in Canada home realtor’s get 6%, so 3% to them for commission and 3% to the realtor company which they get a wage from also. When times are good (good demand for housing) I hear these ‘salespersons’ can easily make 150k+ just in commission in a year.

          Average wage for a P.Eng here with 10 yrs. exp is about 80k range.

          So that kind of jars me out but that’s the way it is. I didn’t really go into engineering for the money, it was more about the interest, the challenge and the prestige so to say.

          Maybe a lot or most or all ‘salespeople’ don’t deserve 100k+/yr, but do pro sports players really deserve 6+ million a year?

          It’s just the way things are in North America, I don’t really like it either, but I try to follow the quote, ‘don’t hate the player, hate the game’

          edit – spelling

        • anotherengineer
        • 6 years ago

        Geee thanks, grouping ‘us’ altogether. I am a conservative/socialist engineer if that makes any sense.

        Or how about common sense, fairness and equality for all, well my personal belief’s only.

        I think the labourer’s nowadays tend to be underpaid and it seems to be getting worse, and I don’t think that’s right or fair. Some other educated people are shocked when I tell them it wouldn’t bother me if a garbage man made more than me. They ask why, I just tell them, that it is an important job, we would have rats, roach’s and the plague running rampant if there was 5ft of garbage lying around in the streets. Also who knows if there is a hypodermic needle in that garbage bag contaminated with AIDS or something. Then I ask would you do that job for min wage? Never heard a yes answer yet, then again, I think garbage collectors have a decent wage though??

        So in the end, if I can afford it and if the service was good I will tip accordingly. It is a weird thing though, maybe cause they get less than min wage though? I used to work at a concrete place as a summer student, and I used to load concrete blocks, patio slabs, etc. into customers vehicles. Not the easiest work on your back or hands. I don’t recall ever getting a tip for it, but then again I made more than min. wage also.

        There are many things here in North America that could use improvement that’s for sure.

    • entropy13
    • 6 years ago

    Tipping is a weird thing for us here. It’s not really something done normally over here. Especially if there’s a “service charge” in the receipt already.

      • entropy13
      • 6 years ago

      Just to add to what I’ve said, the general idea over here is that tipping is a bonus. So it’s not really required, and it’s still up to the customer.

      But as part of the staff you still give your 100% in the service portion of your work, regardless of the tips. You don’t reduce it to 85% just because a regular of your restaurant/bar or whatever doesn’t tip. He’s still a regular customer FFS.

      I’m not sure whether the service charge is a requirement or not (it’s not a “tip” because tipping means it goes directly to the staff; service charge means it’s like a tip, but the company would still be the ones giving that to the employee) over here, but as Krogoth have said already it looks like over there in the USA a part of the labor costs is being passed on to the customer in the guise of “required tipping”. And apparently they don’t have the minimum wage? WTF?

      Although to be honest a waiter over there in the US still earns more than a waiter over here, even without the tipping (but that’s a different matter: different economies, PPP, costs of living, etc. causes that).

        • stdRaichu
        • 6 years ago

        The missus works in hospitality in the UK; here the service charge goes to the company and is split equally between all the employees at the end of the month. Tips in cash are split up between the floor staff on shift at the end of the evening.

        The service charge is definitely not a requirement here, you’re entitled to ask to have it removed from your bill if you so wish. Many of the staff will appreciate it in cash because, mentioning no names, sometimes the money companies give out as the service charge at the end of the month doesn’t tally with what went into the service charge pot during it.

    • oldog
    • 6 years ago

    True story?

    Frank Sinatra is in the parking lot of a top Las Vegas hotel and he says to the admiring attendant ……

    “Hey kid what is the biggest tip you’ve ever been given ?”.

    The kid replies “$100 Mr Sinatra”

    Frank replies “wow – well here’s $200 and when people ask next time you tell em Frank Sinatra gave it to you”

    Curiously Frank then asks the kid – by the way who gave that big tip ?

    The kid smiles and replies – “you did” !

      • trackerben
      • 6 years ago

      Nice!

    • superjawes
    • 6 years ago

    I despise that tipping is [u<]required[/u<] (in the US). moose17145 pointed out that most wait staff actually make less than minimum wage before tips, and that sucks. It means that your wait staff get a pay cut when a customer is just feeling stingy, or if the customer is not used to tipping (non-US person eating at a US restaurant). So [u<]required[/u<] tipping sucks, but I would be okay giving a tip to someone who does an awesome job. After all, wouldn't [i<]you[/i<] like a bonus for doing well at your job? Of course you would. So if a waitress is awesome to you and your friends, give her some extra cash. If a taxi driver gets you to your destination ahead of schedule, give him a few extra bucks. If you are at a buffet restaurant and there's someone keeping your drink topped off just because he can, throw a few bucks his way as thanks. Tipping as an option would be awesome. But before I let this go, I have one request for everyone who reads this: tip your food delivery people. Even if you aren't in the US. I worked for a pizza place back in high school, and delivery orders had a delivery charge, and drivers made more per hour. However, these guys used their own cars (hence the higher wage). So driving food to your home means that their car isn't going to last as long as the manufacturer might have intended. On top of that, [i<]they are bringing food to your doorstep when you are too lazy to cook AND too lazy to drive to a restaurant.[/i<] Seriously, food delivery people are doing you a whole load of good. The LEAST you can do is kick them some extra cash for their job.

      • jessterman21
      • 6 years ago

      Love this. I generally tip 20% minimum to waiters because they can make as low as $2.50/hr.

      • trackerben
      • 6 years ago

      I try to leave most of the change for guys delivering food. This is one of the few entry-level jobs left open to almost anyone, and people need a break.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 6 years ago

    In the bay area min wage is around $10 but rent can easily eat half of that. Not sure how one could get by without tips unless they are supported by parents or a spouse.

    I usually tip $3 for miscellaneous services such as vallet parking, luggage, haircut etc. Restaurants and anything over $20 gets a 10-20% tip depending on service (10% means they were bad). I am pretty forgiving of a waiter at my favorite Chinese restaurant as he needs to be reminded 3+ times to bring hot tea. It’s weird because he only had this problem recently compared to the 10+ years I’ve been served by him.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    Mmm…i often go to the same restaurant, and usually order the same thing. Well, today the waitress remembered my order, so I got the food I wanted without saying a word. Awesome – made my day!

    I’ll tip her 25-30%, whatever makes the total a nice round number.

    EDIT: ended up being 37.5%…

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 6 years ago

      cheapskate

    • moose17145
    • 6 years ago

    I try to tip well when I am able to. I see a lot of people on here making retarded claims that “oh well I dont understand why they should make more than I do an hour when I am some high and mighty genius with technical job and they are just carrying food!”

    First… get over yourself.
    Second… they are being paid to deal with people, not just carry your food to the table. And dealing with people sucks.
    Third… most waitresses I know only make 3 – 5 dollars an hour before tips, well below the minimum wage. And something to consider, they might make a killing one night in tips (like lets say 40 an hour on a friday night), but then the monday – Thursday the restaurant is dead and they are lucky if they bring home 40 dollars in tips all day. So it balances out over the course of the week to being average at best.

    Even though I know I can do technical jobs that might be “more complex than just carrying food”, I also know I could not do a waiters/waitresses job. “You want me to carry food to your table for you? Screw you… go get your own food you lazy @$$hole. You have been a jerk to me all night so just shuv it!” Yea I couldn’t do it… so why do I try to tip well… because I know it’s a job that I could not do, and if I HAD to… would utterly despise.

      • f0d
      • 6 years ago

      i 100% agree even though (as i said in my post) aussies dont do tips (they get paid a wage)

      imo dealing with people like they do is difficult – having to always act happy even if the customer is a complete jerk and always smile no matter what they say or do is harder than people realize

      thats why i think they should get paid just as much if not more than other jobs, its not as easy as people may think it is dealing with people all the time like they do

        • moose17145
        • 6 years ago

        In that scenario where they are actually being paid… then I understand not tipping. But like I mentioned… many small restaurants here know that it is customary here for people to tip them, so they use it as an excuse to cut costs and not pay them crap…

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      I wholeheartedly agree.

      The technical folks in the US make way too much money compared to non-technical folks. I get the supply/demand thing, but the disparity is still just too ridiculous.

      Here’s my take: it could be considered my duty to aggressively go after a larger paycheck, because my employer makes an even more ridiculous amount of money. Then, I can redistribute that money to those who should be making more by tipping waiters/waitresses more, paying someone to mow my lawn etc.

        • moose17145
        • 6 years ago

        Since when is dealing with people a non technical skill? It is just as technical, just in a different way. And in a way that often goes over most of us nerds because we ourselves often suck at dealing with people. Also there are reasons to pay a person better despite the fact it might be “less skill intensive”. The job is dangerous, the job is highly stressful, the job requires extremely abnormal working hours, no one will do the job because it just sucks… etc etc… there are reasons a job pays well beyond it just being “skilled” or “unskilled”. Also I love mowing lawns. I find it relaxing. Gives me a reason to be outside during summer when there is not snow on the ground, and the mower is loud enough I cannot hear a single person who tries to talk or yell at me. Ah truly the good life while mowing the lawn…

        Edit: accidentally said less KILL intensive instead of less SKILL intensive… haha!

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          When I said “technical folks” I meant those whose jobs require skills in science, math, physics, engineering etc. [i<]That[/i<] kind of technical. You know - "nerd skills". A car mechanic also needs technical skills, but I wasn't talking about that in this context. The "technical folks" like that make much more money than those who deal with people. And I don't think that really makes sense.

        • NovusBogus
        • 6 years ago

        That disparity goes away when you consider that us evil mustache-twirling American technical folks a) have six-figure technical degrees to pay off, b) have to live in outrageously expensive urban areas where those jobs are, and c) are expected to have rather expensive skill-building hobbies like robotics. New York is especially egregious; everyone’s heard the stories of midlevel engineers making $250k/year but what they don’t tell you is that even a crappy rathole apartment costs $2500-5000 a month and basic goods and services are twice what they are anywhere else. They’re not getting rich over there, they just use much larger values on the balance sheet because they can.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          [quote<]a) have six-figure technical degrees to pay off[/quote<] Could've gone to a state university. [quote<] b) have to live in outrageously expensive urban areas where those jobs are[/quote<] There are technical jobs in less expensive areas, like Texas [quote<]c) are expected to have rather expensive skill-building hobbies like robotics. [/quote<] You don't [i<]have[/i<] to have expensive hobbies. That's your choice. My hobbies are simple and cheap. [quote<]New York is especially egregious; everyone's heard the stories of midlevel engineers making $250k/year but what they don't tell you is that even a crappy rathole apartment costs $2500-5000 a month and basic goods and services are twice what they are anywhere else.[/quote<] Again, that is your choice. One could go to Texas, buy a large house, and the mortgage would be half of that. Also, in the context of this discussion, the people who serve food to these technical folks in expensive places also need to live somewhere. Unless they get humongous tips, how can they afford to live in a rathole if you can't? You need to share the wealth; you don't deserve to live 10x more comfortably than the people who serve you food. And by "you" I mean technical folks in general - not "you" NovusBogus specifically

            • NovusBogus
            • 6 years ago

            Alright, Texas is fun–us Tennesseans colonized it so it has to be good–so here’s some data I found on salary websites for Austin, TX for BS + 3-5 years experience:

            Advertising: 55,000
            Business Analyst: 66,000
            Financial Associate: 107,000
            Aircraft Mechanic: 84,000
            Paralegal: 56,000
            Product Specialist: 75,000
            Project Manager: 77,000
            Network Admin: 63,000
            Software Developer: 74,000
            Waiter: 49,000

            So yes, technical positions do make more than waiters but not nearly as much as you’re implying and notably less than several other high-profile non-technical careers with similar experience and degree requirements. I’m not trying to be elitist or arrogant, just demonstrating that engineers already do “share the wealth” much more than we get credit for.

            Oh, and as for cheap non-programming hobbies that don’t get made a bullet-point development item on your annual review–be happy you didn’t work at my last company. Though to be fair I think it was actually the boss’ way of saying I should be building up my resume to move on to a more equitable company–we were making significantly less than that waiter up there. He was actually pretty cool–too bad the private-equity overlords (~100k if you were wondering) were jokers who ran a revolving door.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 6 years ago

        So you want to subsidize the income of other people?

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          “Subsidize” doesn’t quite capture my meaning, but it’s pretty close. Why do I make 4x more than the very nice lady that brings me food? Or that nice dude that carries my trash away? It doesn’t make sense.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 6 years ago

            Don’t hate the player, hate the game. People are willing to work for that money. People aren’t willing to work your job for the same the server makes. It’s simple economics.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 6 years ago

      lol 2nd? The person chose to work with people. Most of the jobs in the US are customer service centric jobs. Servers are a small segment of the overall service industry

      Get over YOURself.

      I’ve worked in a pharmacy for a few years dealing with people much worse than what you’ll find in a restaurant. Not once did I think of being entitled to a tip. Servers make a choice to work in an industry just like all of us choose to work in our fields.

      Stop being so emotional, bro.

      • albundy
      • 6 years ago

      why should i feel sorry for their pay? they took the job knowing that they will depend a lot on the tips.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 6 years ago

    Steve Buscemi feels your pain Scoot.

      • the
      • 6 years ago

      Relevant:
      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-qV9wVGb38[/url<]

    • albundy
    • 6 years ago

    i personally despise tipping. i’m not an effin charity! its their job to provide a service, just like its my job at the office to provide a service. why should someone making minimum wage get almost the same as my $/hr in tips per day?

      • internetsandman
      • 6 years ago

      Why do people assume that tips are that big a boost to their salary? AFAIK, restaurants pay less than minimum wage with the expectation that tips will boost them up to that minimum, and if they have a night where they had a run of particularly stingy customers (even if their service was stellar) they’re going home with less than minimum wage at the end of the night, and I’m not sure how that’s fair

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      Why should they be making minimum wage if you’re not? Aren’t you both just “providing a service”?

        • albundy
        • 6 years ago

        right, so wtf is my tip?

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          Let me rephrase.

          [quote<]why should someone making minimum wage get almost the same as my $/hr in tips per day?[/quote<] Why shouldn't that waiter get the same as you do? What makes you think you deserve more than they do?

      • cobalt
      • 6 years ago

      Even if we pretend that you’re the right person to decide the “right” pay for waiters and waitresses, do you have evidence to support your theory that they make almost as much as you do?

      First, their pay outside of their tips is approximately $0. Well, it’s $2.13/hr minimum wage for servers. Two dollars and thirteen cents per hour of work. Ugh. That’s approximately $0 in my book.

      Second, they have to show up on slow days. They’re there for slow times during the day. Just because they might make good money for a couple hours on a Friday night doesn’t mean their making that money all the time.

      Third, they have to work prep and cleanup at the beginning and end of their shift, when they’re not getting any tips, just their base bay (the one that’s roughly $0).

      Until laws and customs change, they really are dependent on you for their income, and I’m pretty sure they’re making nowhere near what you think they’re making.

      (edit: spelling is hard)

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 6 years ago

        $2.13/hr isn’t $0. I would be fucking ecstatic about a $2/hr raise. People working base level jobs should value every last dime they get, that’s how you get out of the situation of working a base level job like waiting. Students, people that failed to pay attention in school, and people with zero motivation in their lives (ie: the three major types of waiters, right?) shouldn’t be making good money. Sorry.

          • internetsandman
          • 6 years ago

          How can someone be expected to improve their skillset, and improve what they can offer the world, if they can’t even afford to house and feed themselves on the salary they have? That’s minimum wage across the U.S. if I recall correctly, inadequate for almost every living scenario that isn’t ‘with parents’ and yet people actually see no problem with paying them even less money?

          • cobalt
          • 6 years ago

          I think you’re arguing a point I didn’t make. I agree that a $2/hr RAISE is substantial, of course. That’s like a $4000/yr raise. I’d like that as a raise as well.

          That’s a very different thing than have a base wage of $2/hr. That’s 3.5x lower than minimum wage. That’s making a grand total of $4000/year. You can’t pay rent and eat on $4000/year in most places, let alone afford gas to drive to work.

          My point is that to even make the equivalent of federally mandated minimum wage of most professions, the VAST majority of the server’s income has to come from tips. In other words, I’m saying $2/hr is a lot closer to $0/hr than it is to $7.25/hr. They are, quite literally, dependent on tips for even a minimal level of income.

            • PainIs4ThaWeak1
            • 6 years ago

            Wait… a $2/hr ($3840/yr) raise is “substantial”?? Thank goodness I don’t work for the people you work for, lol.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            Again with the arrogance…

            That $3800 might mean that the children of the family might not have to starve. Or that they can afford to pay for heating during a cold winter. Or that they could afford to buy a car+insurance+gasoline so the mom or dad doesn’t have to get up at 4am so they could get to their job by 7am because public transportation is so inefficient. Or… or… or…

            $3800 is a huge amount of money for some families, even if it means nothing to you.

            • albundy
            • 6 years ago

            awwwww, wont somebody ever think of the children? wake up to reality and get over yourself. its not the worlds fault parents in the family created their own predicament. i don’t feel sorry for people when they have a bit of control over their lives and ruin it by having unwanted/unplanned kids in deep poverty and using that against everyone. it’s like blaming the 1% all over again, and we all know how occupy-wall-street turn out.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            [quote<]it's like blaming the 1% all over again, and we all know how occupy-wall-street turn out.[/quote<] 1% deserves all the blame they're getting, and Occupy 2.0 will be better. These people aren't used to organizing, and they don't have the massive financial backing of some casino moguls, so they really have to work a little harder on it. But this income gap trend will reverse itself soon enough. I hope that reversal happens through significant tax increases for anybody making over 100k, because that would be a nice added insult to injury.

            • cobalt
            • 6 years ago

            Eh, even if you’ve got a decent salary that can be an okay raise. If you’re making $60k, a $4000 raise is almost 7%, many times higher than inflation. You get a 7% raise every year, you’ve doubled your salary in 10 years. You have to be making $135k for a $4k raise to be less than 3%. (And inflation hasn’t even been 3% particularly consistently.) Now, maybe that’s not a good amount for a promotion, but we were discussing whether a $2/hr raise was a decent raise.

            My original point (which I don’t think you’re disagreeing with) was that whether or not you consider $2/hr a good raise, it’s a shitty salary.

    • Spittie
    • 6 years ago

    Okay, I’ve read the comments here and I have mixed feelings about tipping. I guess that’s better than before, because I’ve always considered it very dumb being from a country where tipping is the exception, not the norm (for example, you might have to pay 67€ and you just leave 70€ because you don’t want to deal with the coins).

    The bad side is that tipping seems to be considered just a way to offer below minimal wage salary. I see lots of comments like “I always give a generous tip because otherwise those poor boys/girls will not make it to the end of the day”. Really? Honestly, I’d rather see a decent minimal wage for every kind of worker.
    “I’ll give you almost no money for working, then you can get some if you’re lucky to get good customers” seems horrible to me. Maybe it’s just because I’m not American.

    The good side is that you can value with your money the service. I’ve had my fair share of awful waiters, so it would be nice to be allowed to say “tip? no, fuck you”. And also obviously it motivate the worker to do his best, because he relies on your tip to get good money. Good for customers, awful for workers I guess.

    Another thing that seems horrible is forced tip. Tips, by definition, should be decided by the customer. What’s the point in forcing me to tip? Then then whole point of it being good for the customer goes away (the workers will get the money however he works), and it become just terrible for everyone. I guess the only one gaining is the owner of the restaurant/whatever, since he has to pay a low wage.
    But, to be honest, I’m not *that* surprised. I come from a country where you always have to pay 1€/2€ for something called “coperto”, aka for being able to sit at the table. It’s to avoid group of people that enter a bar, order 1 or 2 coffee and stay here for hours.

    Oh well, I guess this is just one of the many things I won’t understand of America.

      • Rakhmaninov3
      • 6 years ago

      I’m with you on the forced tip. Usually they’re automatically charged on large parties (think 8+) in the US; if the establishment is going to require the server to tend to that large a group, then the establishment should pony up and pay the server extra for it, and allow them to make a little extra scratch from the customers in tips if they still do a good job despite the large workload. Instead they usually get the automatically-charged 15 or 18 percent and are given nothing beyond it by the diners, who may have actually given more but don’t because they’re already being charged against their will.

        • faramir
        • 6 years ago

        Where’s the logic behind forced tips for large groups anyway? Is waiter’s work any different when catering to 8 people forming a group than it is when dealing with 8 individuals? IMHO it isn’t and should therefore be handled in same manner (= no forced tipping crap).

          • cynan
          • 6 years ago

          The only justification I’ve come across that has any shred of validity is that, often, in large group seatings, people share the bill. When this happens, due arithmatic abilities of people when their lethargic after a big meal, or after a few drinks, or just because there are a few cheep skates that “don’t have the right change” and feel they can get away with it because their name isn’t on the bill, etc, there often ends up being very little tip.

          But I agree. Forced tipping as a concept is abhorrent. If for no other reason than because it is an oxymoron.

            • Kharnellius
            • 6 years ago

            Exactly. People really do suck at math and often add up just their purchases incorrectly while forgetting to factor in tax. By the time the last person is putting their money in the pot, there is almost ALWAYS a 10% deficit. It is the reason why I require that I am the one collecting money from everyone so as to make sure of two things. 1) I don’t get screwed. 2) Server doesn’t get screwed.

    • toki
    • 6 years ago

    just tip them a quarter and then doth thyne tipping cap. Onward good sir or madame.

    • internetsandman
    • 6 years ago

    My method of tipping is different, and some would call overly generous. Unless the overall experience was actually negative, I usually round up to the nearest ten and add ten (unless the price ended in something below three or so; I generally give around a $15 tip), because for one, I’m not gonna be bothered to calculate percentages when I just wanna get home and digest; two, I know staff at restaurants don’t exactly make a lot of money and every bit helps; and three, the restaurants I usually go to have amazingly friendly and knowledgeable staff, I figure they deserve it

    • Bauxite
    • 6 years ago

    Just remember, it is not a city in China.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 6 years ago

    I’m confused too. Maybe for different reasons.

    First, in the past, the tips usually go to the person that served you, but nowadays they seem to pool all the tips and distribute equally. Which I have a beef with cuz some deserve it while others don’t. So now, instead of showing my dissatisfaction of some server, I have to go to the manager to tell him the quality of the server.

    Second, the auto charging, I don’t like. Mostly related to the first.

    I do feel bad about the tipping/wage combo. Low wages with tips. I think they should just throw it all out.

    Did you know that Home Depot won’t let the worker who helps customers are not allowed to take tips. Pisses the customers off.

    I don’t know, I’m torn.

      • BIF
      • 6 years ago

      Yes, our local fire department can’t even accept cookies or a pizza (or even a gift card for a pizza) for helping out at a community event.

      And there’s one restaurant that puts all tips into a United Way donation. The servers get nothing, and the problem I have is that this is not well disclosed to the customer. I oppose the United Way on certain personal disagreements, and I want no money going to them. So this one tears me. Every so often, I ask them if tips go to United Way or the server, and they tell me United Way. So I continue to not tip at that chain.

      My local grocery chain’s helpers wear pins that say “no tipping; it’s my pleasure to serve you” or something like that. I like this because it’s right there and hard to miss.

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]My local grocery chain's helpers wear pins that say "no tipping; it's my pleasure to serve you" or something like that. I like this because it's right there and hard to miss. [/quote<] Now that is a wonderful idea. I'll tell my former boss as I don't work there anymore, but we keep in touch. The fire department thing really, really burns me! People are grateful to them and the fire department has to turn them away? Makes absolutely no sense to me.

    • NovusBogus
    • 6 years ago

    Smashburger makes a tasty burger but I don’t like eating there because there’s an awkward gratuity line on the receipt. I don’t want to screw the staff if they’re under that clause where waiters can be paid less than minimum wage because tips, but I’m also not going to give the restaurant free money for no actual service (if you’ve never eaten there, Smashburger is basically upscale fast food–pay at the register and someone brings your tray out). The irony of course is that by not eating there at all I’m screwing over the staff and the restaurant worse than if I ate there but didn’t leave any tip.

    • BIF
    • 6 years ago

    I am also usually generous. In restaurants I typically tip 20%, but if I like the server or if the server remembers my preferences from prior visits, then I’ll go higher. For a $10-15 lunch, I’ll sometimes go as high as a $4 tip.

    The buffet thing bugs me too, and also places like Pei Wei where you order and pay in the line and then a server brings your food to you. For these places I’ve decided to leave $2 per person at the table (sometimes I make up the difference for the table, sometimes not). I have a friend who leaves no tip at Chinese buffets, justifying it by saying “you serve yourself”. Well yes, you do, but somebody usually comes and brings you napkins, refills your drinks, advises you which sauce will put you in the hospital, and carries the dirty dishes away before you leave the table. I feel this deserves some acknowledgement, and the best acknowledgement is usually money. πŸ˜€

    For house work, I will tip the guys $20 each if the job takes a half-day or longer, or if they had to spend significant time climbing ladders or working in the hot sun or hot attic, etcetera. If the owner is on the worksite (my home), I don’t tip him; he’s the one who gets the big $1,200 check or credit card payment at the end of the job.

    For drivers, I too am never certain what to do. I rarely take taxis, so I usually give the driver a dollar or two more than the meter says and tell him/her to keep it. For a pre-paid private limo (a regular-sized Lincoln or Cadillac), I will try to tip if the ride lasted longer than a few blocks, and usually $2 to $5, depending on the ride, traffic conditions, and whether I had luggage. For the airport parking bus people, I usually tip $3 for 2 or 3 bags, $5 during holidays (both ways, leaving town and returning). My car has never been vandalized in airport parking, so I must be okay. For the retired fellas who drive me home and back again to the car service shop, I don’t tip them, but I often wonder if I should. It’s been years since I’ve had to valet my car so I don’t know how much I’d have to tip for those.

    For airport outdoor checkin, I tip them $5 to $10, and that’s for both checking, boarding pass, and luggage tagging and checkin. One time I didn’t have exact change so the guy got $20 for one bag! This is worth it because outdoor checking usually saves me 15-30 minutes of waiting in line behind that 15-person family who’s got some sort of problem at the indoor checkin.

    When I first moved into my house years ago, I had to do a lot of work in the house, plus cut away a lot of overgrowth around the house and yard. So the first two summers, I really hit the trash and recycle guys hard with a lot of refuse and recyclables. So those first two Christmases, I tipped the collectors $20 each and I gave them an ice cooler with a six-pack of cokes. For about 2 months after the first time, I noticed that they even picked up the litter from my front yard and they carried the garbage cans and recycle bins all the way up to the garage door. Wow, a few bucks really does get good service! For a little while at least. πŸ˜‰

    I do tip if somebody really goes an extra mile for me. I once tipped my men’s store guy $20 for helping me get fitted for a tuxedo and a couple of suits. He did a great job and I look great in my tux and all my suits. πŸ˜€ The overall bill exceeded $1,000 in that case. He was happy to get the tip and he gave me great service in subsequent visits even though I didn’t tip those times.

    The ones that I think are getting a bit out of hand are the tip jars at fast food restaurants such as Chipotle, especially when they don’t bring your food to your table. It further frustrates me when I’ve left a tip only to find that all the tables are dirty and I have to ask for somebody to clean one (and then hold my tray while waiting for an unenthusiastic person with a barely damp washtowel to execute the task).

      • BIF
      • 6 years ago

      Upon further reflection, I thought of a couple more things…

      At hotels, I usually get housekeeping only every other day. Then I tip $5 to $6, depending on how messy I was. πŸ™‚

      Pizza delivery drivers, I’ll tip $5 to $8 for bills up to $40, more at the holidays.

    • xeridea
    • 6 years ago

    I am a lowball tipper in comparison to standard. I figure if everyone tipped 15-20%, and a server did 5 tables an hour, they would make like $30/hr and I just don’t think that is necessary for taking orders and carrying food around. I also base it highly upon how good they actually do, and don’t tip some arbitrarily set unspoken amount because others do. I don’t tip for buffet, is it really that hard to fill drinks? I tip pizza delivery the most because they have car upkeep.

      • hbarnwheeler
      • 6 years ago

      So, you tip less than the norm because you believe that servers shouldn’t take home as much money as they do? Why begrudge someone for making more than is “necessary” (whatever that means)?

        • BIF
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah, this “more than necessary” thing bugs me too because it discourages personal excellence.

        You can say “thank you” and that has some level of meaning.

        You can say “thank you” and give cash, and that says more.

        It’s a fact of life. Realize this and you’ll be happier!

      • internetsandman
      • 6 years ago

      I promise you, if servers made 30 bucks an hour, everyone would suddenly aspire to be waiters and waitresses. From my experience, especially at lower-end restaurants or casual dining, the staff is barely making more than minimum wage after tips are factored in

      • cobalt
      • 6 years ago

      internetsandman’s right. They do not make $30/hr. It’s possible servers might occasionally make thirty dollars in one hour, but there’s probably only one hour like that their whole shift, and even then only on popular days. You make a FRACTION of minimum wage as a starting pay. (I think it’s still $2.13 an hour!!!!) You have to clean up at the end of the shift and prep at the beginning (when, guess what, you’re not making any tips), and at even lower-end restaurants, servers still tip out the busboys (girls) at the end of their shift, and that obviously comes out of their tips.

      I agree that expected tipping is a bizarre ritual. (Heck, some of the best service I’ve had was at places like all-inclusive resorts where tipping is prohibited.) But until things change, their entire pay structure is dependent on people tipping 15% or more for decent service.

      Frankly, I think everyone should have to wait tables in their life, even if just for a few weeks. It would go a long way towards dispelling some of these bizarre beliefs (like servers making $30/hr, ha!) and give you a real appreciation for how difficult it is. Juggling “just” five tables and making them all feel like you’re paying attention to them is freaking HARD. Then you have to deal with people with attitudes like “sure, you did well, but I assume you make too much money, even thought I have no idea what you actually make or how hard your job is, so I’m not going to tip you the customary amount”.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      I believe the servers also share the tips with the other people working there, like the kitchen. But I guess it depends on the place

    • FireGryphon
    • 6 years ago

    I usually tip in the 20% range on things like restaurant service, haircuts, and taxis. If it’s a free taxi service provided by someone else, I tip anywhere from $2-$5 as a nice way of saying ‘thanks’. Buffet-style dining doesn’t warrant any tips in my book, but I haven’t eaten in those places too much, and then only when I’m with a huge group, like a class trip, when I’m not tipping from my own pocket anyway.

    I understand that if the owner of an establishment serves you (like a barber who owns his own place) you are not supposed to tip him, but I do anyway.

    I also tip guys who come to do non-routine work on my home, like a guy installing cable, a plumber, or a carpenter.

    I’m not sure where tipping comes from, but I think it’s a nice way of thanking people who do excellent work and who’s salaries are commensurate with the utility of their service.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    I learned that one of my friends is biased against eastern/southern asian international students as a waiter.

    He said there was one instance that after he served a party of 16 with a food bill of way over $100, they left him a $1 tip. And it wasn’t the first time where he really got stiffed on tips by international students.

    And his minimal wage is around $3 due to state law regarding the restaurant industry.

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 6 years ago

      Tipping is largely cultural and not the ‘norm’ in Asia…except in tourism and hospitality.

      • UberGerbil
      • 6 years ago

      This is the reason a lot of places in the US that see high tourism from non-tipping countries include an automatic service charge (eg 20%). (This was what they told me in South Beach when I asked about it — see my other post on that topic).

        • xeridea
        • 6 years ago

        Man I hate it when they do that. I figure tip should be optional based on how well they do. If the server is terrible, why should I be forced to tip 20%?

    • Dazrin
    • 6 years ago

    I find transportation and hotels hard to determine. I very rarely take a cab (1-2/year tops), how much am I supposed to tip? I assume it varies by how long the ride was. What if it is a shuttle instead of a cab? How does that change things?

    Generally in hotels, I won’t give them a chance to take my bags just due to confusion about how much they will expect.

    • oldDummy
    • 6 years ago

    Agree that it’s a bogus mandate, food industry ignoring their employee’s needs.
    However, I try to leave .2 extra for a tip.
    They have to be pretty bad for me to stiff them.

    • rpjkw11
    • 6 years ago

    I always tip 20%, unless the service is bad, then 15%. Under certain conditions I may tip 25%, but that’s rare. If we are in a group (6 or more) where 15% is automatically added, I leave another 5-10% depending on service.

    Baggage handling while traveling that involves lifting, I’ll go $5 per bag. Just moving bags from here to there, $5 total. We recently bought a new washer/dryer set. My wife tipped the guys $20 apiece because they hooked everything up when they weren’t supposed to since we didn’t pay for the “extra” service.

    • UberGerbil
    • 6 years ago

    There’s a debate going on in Seattle right now regarding a proposed $15/hr minimum wage: there are business interests that support it but only if that represents “total compensation” — which for hourly employees who frequently don’t have much else in the way of benefits, mostly means tips. How this would work — would they have signs by the cash register and notices on the menus discouraging tipping? — remains unclear.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      They could announce that all tips go to the establishment instead of waiters/waitresses. I’m pretty sure that would largely eliminate tipping so there wouldn’t be any confusion.

        • UberGerbil
        • 6 years ago

        Well, that would have to be mandated by the legislation; otherwise, as a business owner, you offer no signage and say nothing (or even encourage tipping) since the tips are going into your pocket, not your employees. Of course they can make a point of mentioning it to the people they’re waiting on (and possibly employers attempting to forbid that), but this gets into making the employer-employee relationship worse, not better. It’s also unclear what happens when (if?) you have some restaurants following that rule and others continuing on as before, paying the new minimum wage but with tips still going to the waitstaff. It will probably sort itself out eventually, but given that Seattle will be unusual in this respect and has large number of people moving to it every year from elsewhere in the US where tipping is customary, the European practice is unlikely to catch on quickly. Of course all this is merely speculative at this point anyway. And [url=http://www.1seattle.org/job-creation.html<]the debate[/url<] goes on

      • xeridea
      • 6 years ago

      Holy crap, that’s almost what I make doing web development. Do they plan on cheeseburgers costing $9 to cover costs of employees? Do they plan on no one going to college because they would do just fine at Mcdonalds?

        • UberGerbil
        • 6 years ago

        Minimum wage in Seattle is $9.19 right now, and while I haven’t eaten at McDonalds for a long time I don’t think the cheeseburgers are inordinately expensive. If you’re any good at web development you’re already making more than that (though you better be doing more than basic stuff, because there are guys in India who’ll do that for a lot less). Of course you’re also paying $1K a month for a studio apartment if you don’t want a long commute.

          • xeridea
          • 6 years ago

          I get $20/hr. I am the best at my work, I have received 3 raises in about a year. It may be a little low for my skills, but I am in Idaho, so it isn’t bad. I am saying if you could get $15/hr with 0 experience, 0 skill, and 0 commitment, what is the purpose of going to school, or getting any skills if you get paid the same for serving fries, or bagging groceries. Are they going to start paying secretaries $30/hr, or $40 to cut hair?

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            If the minimum wage is moved up, the other wages will start moving up too for the exact reason you mentioned.

        • f0d
        • 6 years ago

        min wage is $16 in australia (we dont tip here) and yet we dont pay $9 for a cheeseburger
        also i thought people dont tip at mcdonalds?

        this tipping thing is very confusing to me as an aussie

          • crabjokeman
          • 6 years ago

          You Aussies obviously don’t know how to do corporate greed properly.

          EDIT: If you had a neighboring country run by drug cartels and absurdly corrupt politicians with grossly underpaid manual laborers, you just might have >= $10 burgers. When Pangaea split up, you got the long end of the stick in that regard.

      • crabjokeman
      • 6 years ago

      They could forbid tips and use “secret shopper” customers to make sure employees are complying.

      EDIT: They could have a sign saying that servers are paid accordingly and all tips will be donated to <insert charity> or they could automatically factor a fairly small “gratuity fee” into the bill.

    • crabjokeman
    • 6 years ago

    Abandon it. (I’ll use food service as the example because that’s the only tipping I’m familiar with.)

    – It’s awkward as hell and not standardized.
    – The total of the bill is a lousy basis to use for the amount because $20 worth of food may have actually been heavier for the server to carry than $100 of food.
    – You’re basically paying your waiter/waitress to kiss your behind and actually do their job (and/or not spit in your food the next time they see you).
    – It gives employers the excuse to give their employees far less than minimum wage.
    – It makes most food servers act so phony/fake that I can’t stand them the minute they open their mouths.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      I largely agree with you.

      But why so much hate? If you’re nice to “food servers”, they are nice to you. It almost sounds like you believe that if they serve you, you are somehow better than them, and you shouldn’t have to treat them as equals.

        • crabjokeman
        • 6 years ago

        I hate tipping and the way it makes people act. I don’t think I’m automatically better than someone serving food (Heck, I used to work jobs like that).

    • jdaven
    • 6 years ago

    The answer is simple:

    Make the minimum wage for servers the same as all other occupations. If they make more with tips, then kudos for them. Maybe the public will get even better service through better skilled servers competing for the potential of a higher paying wage.

      • nanoflower
      • 6 years ago

      That has been talked about in the past but it always gets shot down. I’m sure it has something to do with the politics of the issue (likely some lobby is paying a lot of money to keep the status quo and no one is fighting for the waitresses/food delivery people) but I’m not sure who is controlling the issue.

        • Captain Ned
        • 6 years ago

        Ugh, the misinformation on this one is strong.

        [url<]http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs15.htm[/url<] If employees make lots of tips, the employer can use tips (up to a certain point) as a credit against cash minimum wages. If an employees' tips plus the minimum cash wage do not reach the Federal minimum wage, the employer MUST increase the cash wage to reach the Federal minimum. States with higher minimum wages tend to do the same thing. From the linked Federal guidance: [quote="Dept of Labor"<]Where an employee does not receive sufficient tips to make up the difference between the direct (or cash) wage payment (which must be at least $2.13 per hour) and the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Where an employee receives tips only and is paid no cash wage, the full minimum wage is owed. Where deductions for walk-outs, breakage, or cash register shortages reduce the employee’s wages below the minimum wage, such deductions are illegal. Where a tipped employee is paid $2.13 per hour in direct (or cash) wages and the employer claims the maximum tip credit of $5.12 per hour, no such deductions can be made without reducing the employee below the minimum wage (even where the employee receives more than $5.12 per hour in tips). Where a tipped employee is required to contribute to a tip pool that includes employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips, the employee is owed all tips he or she contributed to the pool and the full $7.25 minimum wage.[/quote<]

          • The Wanderer
          • 6 years ago

          I think you’re conflating “wages” with “wages plus tips”.

          The quote you cite requires that, to paraphrase, “if direct wages plus tips do not equal at least the required minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference”. This carries the implication that direct wages can be below the required minimum wage.

          What is being proposed is that the actual [i<]wage[/i<] portion of the server's pay, independent of any tips, be required to be at least equal to the minimum wage - not to some lower, server-specific minimum figure. (That would also make it practical for tipping to be truly optional, without the guilt-trip factor, and thus restore it to its proper status as a way to reward truly exceptional service.) I don't see how there's any misinformation in that, as long as you understand the distinction between "wages" and "wages plus tips". If you think there's something I'm missing or misunderstanding, please do point it out to me.

            • Captain Ned
            • 6 years ago

            No, you’ve got it right in US labor law. The big question is the one left open by the DOL tip policy.

            To be honest, we’re only talking about waitrons at the worst greasy spoons. Calling that a job that should be mandated as minimum wage + tips means the shitty service you get in places like that will only get worse.

            I’ll be unpolitic and blunt. There are jobs that are not worth and should never pay the Federal minimum wage, let alone what states have implemented. Here in VT the avoidance of the minimum wage is so bad that if I were to walk onto a dairy farm wearing a “Federal Blue” nylon windbreaker with no letters on the back the entire workforce would run for the hills.

            If you want to raise the minimum wage, evict all those who are currently working illegally. Remove the source of cheap labor and employers will have no choice but to offer decent wages for the jobs “no one else will do”.

            Yes, the “open borders” crowd and the “increase minimum wage” crowd are usually the same people but are incapable of the basic comprehension needed to see the inescapable dichotomy between the two.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 6 years ago

      Yes. The market will correct itself over time and those not making large tips will eventually find a new job. Tipping for service provided is the best way to ensure the service provided is of decent quality.

      • Scrotos
      • 6 years ago

      The costs will be passed on to consumers and across the board dining will cost more. People will go less (see: boutique clothing stores like cold water creek going bankrupt in lean times) and places will go out of business.

        • jdaven
        • 6 years ago

        We already pay the amount the servers should get paid through tips so your comment is not well thought out. If the servers made a decent wage, even if food costs go up, you don’t have to tip anymore. The only difference is that servers know they will get a decent wage and don’t have to worry about a night full of European customers.

    • f0d
    • 6 years ago

    tipping is an american thing as far as i know
    sure you could tip where im from (australia) but i have never seen it or done it, its not like in america where its almost expected (or it is 100% expected?)

    i really have no idea how tipping works in america and i would be confused on who to tip and how much and in what restaurants

    do you tip for mcdonalds?
    do you tip for average pizza places?
    do you tip for gourmet pizza?
    do you tip chinese restaurants?

    its all too confusing when i look at americans and how they tip coming from an australian as i dont have a clue how it works over there

      • UberGerbil
      • 6 years ago

      Generally you tip for table service, not for fast food (if you go to the counter and order, you don’t tip; if a waiter comes to your table to take your order, you do). Generally you’re tipping for service, so if you pick up a pizza yourself you don’t tip but if you get it delivered you tip the delivery guy. I also tip a bartender a buck or two on the first drink to ensure he/she gets back to me in a timely fashion later (if it’s a very busy club, you may need to keep tipping to get served subsequent rounds) but at my regular place I just tip because I’m friends with all the bartenders and they appreciate it and cut me a lot of slack. Tipping at your regular places adds up but it also earns you a lot of goodwill that pays off in unexpected ways (the baristas at my morning coffee place will reach around the indecisive people ahead of me in line to take my cup because they already know what I’m going to order)

      Tipping is also customary for what might be called “personal services” — eg you typically tip your barber for each haircut (they’re often freelancers renting a chair at the barber shop, and the fee they charge is set by the shop and tips are where they make their real money). Where it gets crazy is places like New York City where your apartment building has a “super” and a doorman and maybe a repair guy — all these people generally [url=http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/12/09/how_much_to_give_your_building_staff_the_annual_guide.php<]get tipped[/url<] once a year at the end of the year (right before Christmas). This adds up fast.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      I wonder if this works well enough but:

      * Tip if you pay for food after you eat.
      * Don’t tip if you pay for food before you eat.

      What do you guys think? Good enough?

        • UberGerbil
        • 6 years ago

        Pretty much. Again, though, added services like delivery or special requests (“I know you don’t do “to go” orders but you could you find some kind of container so I can take this to go?”) deserve a tip.

      • bandannaman
      • 6 years ago

      You basically tip if you have reason to believe that the person or people serving you derive a significant portion of their income from tips, and would actually be underpaid if everyone _didn’t_ tip.

      For non-US folks, a key thing to understand here is that the US has essentially two federally mandated minimum wage pay scales: a lower one for personalized service industries where you have a specific person representing the business and serving as the intermediary between you and the business (like restaurants where they take your order at your table, bartenders, valets, etc.), and a higher one for everything else. I don’t know what the legal division is between those two scales.

      My intuition says that this is somehow related to 1) tax reporting laws, 2) regulations restricting the way managers pay hourly compensation, and 3) the availability (or not) of benefits like healthcare. All of these are likely different than what other countries do.

      For example, don’t feel bad about not tipping at Starbucks — they get full benefits and an unusual level of job security so tipping is (compared to some places) just “fun money”. You should probably feel bad not tipping a truck stop waitress, where they get paid less than the “standard” minimum, their jobs can go away at any time, and they have to buy their own health insurance.

    • Alexko
    • 6 years ago

    “That can lead to situations where you’ve essentially insulted someone by handing them money.”

    What situations would those be? In Europe, or at least in France, you don’t need to tip waiters, for example, because they get paid at least minimum wage by their employer. But since they often don’t make (much) more than that, you’re still free to tip them, though it will usually be much less than the 10~25% you might see in the US.

    I can’t really think of a situation where someone might feel insulted by a tip, but your average waiter in a typical restaurant would certainly be (pleasantly) surprised to get, say, a €10 tip.

      • Dashak
      • 6 years ago

      Every time you give someone money in order to reward good behavior is almost the most significant insult you could carry out. You may not recognize it that way because Western society has been conditioned to see it as a good thing, but giving someone money in other cultures is essentially like saying, “I don’t want to have anything to do with you anymore; you’re beneath me and not even close to my equal, so go away.” So while you wouldn’t be insulted by being given a tip right now, you’d have second thoughts after reading [i<]Debt: The First 5,000 Years[/i<]. An interesting and somewhat-related documentary is [i<]The Century of Self[/i<] (BBC) on the history of consumerism and public relations (propaganda). For those that would like to remain plugged in to the Matrix, please don't read or watch either. Just keep calm and carry on.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 6 years ago

        There is no spoon.

          • entropy13
          • 6 years ago

          But you are welcome to stay at the Carriage of Plenty!

          • cynan
          • 6 years ago

          That’s an automatic 5% tip deduction right there. Especially if you ordered soup.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 6 years ago

    Sometimes, just the tip is enough to make one person happy.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    Hey guys – what would be the best way to turn this into R&P? Usually it’s pretty easy, but this topic seems so tame that I’m having some trouble with it…

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      Mm… looking at some of the comments here, I think I could turn this R&P by using some angle on the abuse of profit makers on the slaves (workers) to maximize profits, and how minimum wage should be increased significantly to promote redistribution of wealth.

        • zenlessyank
        • 6 years ago

        That isn’t political nor religious, but simply the truth.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          Sure it’s political. Profit makers have every right to maximize their profits at the expense of their employees. After all, they are the ones who took the risk and invested their [i<]own money[/i<] to create these jobs for others. In fact, the employees should be happy they even have a job. Pay too low? Go ahead and look for a different job. Or better yet, take your own risk and create something yourself - set up your own restaurant. We'll see how much you're going to pay to your own employees when it cuts into [b<]YOUR OWN[/b<] take-home pay.. Seriously... 'takers' have taken enough from the 'makers' already. And the laziness of the so-called "unemployed" is just ridiculous. Sure, it's easier to take government handouts than to actually WORK for it, but aren't they ashamed? Don't they know that nothing is free? All the money they take is away from someone else who ACTUALLY earned it.

            • davidbowser
            • 6 years ago

            That was a good effort.

            How about “God hates poor tippers!”

            or

            “Atheists left me a $1 tip, so they all suck!”

            • Generic
            • 6 years ago

            Thank you for the laugh… not so much for the follow up sting of reality. πŸ˜‰
            Nothing like killing yourself to make someone else rich, but we should all be entrepreneurs, right?

            I think everyone has it pretty well covered for me as far as tipping goes.
            – Original check: $XX.YY β†’ $X.XYY β€’ 2 + Merit $Z (unless you’re sh*t)
            – Tip everyone that physically comes to you*.

            *Except USPS Postal workers.
            I don’t [i<]want[/i<] [s<]advertisements[/s<] trash delivered to me on a daily basis.

      • blastdoor
      • 6 years ago

      People who tip are commies.
      People who don’t tip are facists.
      Discuss!

      • Scrotos
      • 6 years ago

      Something something minimum wage when tips are involved versus minimum wage in general versus liberals want to give everyone free money and conservatives don’t want to pay anyone.

      That seems like a good approach to me!

    • Krogoth
    • 6 years ago

    Tips used to be a way for customers to reward excellent service now they have become a way for the food industry in USA to externalize labor cost onto the customer.

    Enough said.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      I’m impressed by the fact that I agree with Krogoth.

        • Krogoth
        • 6 years ago

        It is a damn shame.

        The current practice in USA is unfair for the employee and customer. They are forced into a Mexican-standoff style blackmailing while businesses can get away with not dealing with the labor cost.

        I’m not entirely certain, there’s probably a large amount of tax revenue that gets “lost” since employees working for the food industry rarely report the amount on their taxes and there’s little or no paperwork to keep track of it. You are suppose to keep track of it. Ridiculous.

        • anotherengineer
        • 6 years ago

        I concur.

      • crabjokeman
      • 6 years ago

      You do know that if tips were abandoned and minimum wage enforced, then there’s no way you’d get a better overall price (unless you pay measly tips or none at all), right?

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]there's no way you'd get a better overall price (unless you pay measly tips or none at all), right?[/quote<] Um... in the same sentence you said "if the tips were abandoned"

          • crabjokeman
          • 6 years ago

          But minimum wage would be enforced to compensate (and the business would pass that cost on to the customer).

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            Sure. So, you pay the same, but some of it is no longer called “a tip”. What’s the difference?

          • crabjokeman
          • 6 years ago

          My writing comprehension sucks. I said it backwards.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            Maybe. Could you please enlighten me and explain what you meant?

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 6 years ago

            I think he’s trying to say that without tips, labor costs wouldn’t go up by the same dollar amount the waiter was tipped for the previous hour.

            Example:

            waiter makes $4 on the clock, and $10 in tips for that hour. Without tips, the restaurant isn’t going to pay the server $14. It’s more likely the server would make around $10 in many places, resulting in $6 higher labor costs.

            That’s my take on it. I hate subsidizing the income of crappy servers which is why I avoid many restaurants.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            In that example the restaurant could charge more for the food, and people would pay since they don’t have to pay the tip.

            [quote<]I hate subsidizing the income of crappy servers which is why I avoid many restaurants.[/quote<] See - that's the problem with the whole tipping system. People think it's optional, and start making demands, or reserve the "right" to treat servers like sh*t because they are "paying" for that privilege. But it's not really optional. It's an integral part of the server's income, and an integral part of the price of food+service people pay in restaurants. In the US system, [i<]it's not optional[/i<]. It really should just be added to the bill automatically at a rate of, say, 15%, and if you really liked the service, you can pay more. But making people think that 15% is optional is just going to create an unhealthy tension between the customer and the server, making the customer think they are somehow "better" than the server. BS. They are people like you and I, just trying to make ends meet. They deserve respect, and should be treated like you would want people to treat you.

            • VIIII
            • 6 years ago

            If tipping isn’t optional, then why is it optional?

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            It’s not optional. Some people think it is, but it’s not

            • trackerben
            • 6 years ago

            Which would mean in your case it can be demanded. If servers can demand a tip, does it remain a gratuity by definition? Gratuity – “something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service, or something given in addition to what is ordinarily expected or owed.”

        • thesmileman
        • 6 years ago

        Minimum wage is enforced. U can NOT make less than minimum wage as a waiter unless your employer is evading the law. If your tips don’t add up they HAVE to pay u the difference. That will never happen but it is the case . You will always make more than min wage but not too much more in most cases. Anyway tipping is a practice that screws the customer and the employee but is great for business

      • sjl
      • 6 years ago

      I’m Australian. Here, restaurants and bars are expected – nay, [i<]legally obliged[/i<] - to pay their staff at, or above, minimum wage. The prices of meals are set accordingly. We also have a goods and services tax (10%), which must be included in the advertised price. So if I see a meal, or some product I want to buy, advertised at $X, then I know that I have to pay $X in order to purchase that meal or product. I don't have to figure out what tax rate I have to pay. Nor do I have to figure out what the expected tip is. This is what it costs; I need to pay that. End of discussion. Now, if I [i<]want[/i<] to leave a tip, then I can do so. But there is no legal, moral, or social obligation upon me to do so. And that is, IMO, the way it should be. There was a restaurant owner who [url=http://jayporter.com/dispatches/observations-from-a-tipless-restaurant-part-1-overview/<]experimented with running a no tip restaurant in the USA[/url<] - the six part series is an interesting, and (again IMO) enlightening read.

        • odizzido
        • 6 years ago

        Interesting read, thank you.

        • rahulahl
        • 6 years ago

        I am an Australian as well, and I find this tipping system of US a but puzzling.
        Here, its simple. Item costs x amount, and that is what you pay. The seller will pay the wages for whoever is involved in the trade. Why should I have to figure out who deserves how much.

        It creates a situation where some people would be shortchanged, because they didn’t get the expected tip, and in some cases the customers are paying extra because they are not entirely sure of what the tip should be, and don’t want to leave too little and end up with the embarrassing situation of the other guy demanding a tip. (Seen that happen on TV.)

      • Bensam123
      • 6 years ago

      Yup, with no clear way of fixing this as it would have to be a all or nothing approach. Restaurants could simply add a fixed tip and notify customers of it if they wanted to transition away from tips… But since they’re the ones that benefit from it, why would they do that?

      • The Wanderer
      • 6 years ago

      Hear, hear.

      I have no problem with the idea of tipping in response to truly excellent, stand-out service. (Although by its very nature, such service will happen relatively rarely, 10% of the time at the very most and probably less than that; if it were more common, it wouldn’t stand out enough to justify the tip.)

      But tips should not be calculated as part of the waiter’s (or other person’s) expected pay. They should be considered purely a bonus; the waiter’s base pay should be calculated on the expectation that they will receive no tips at all.

      I don’t even like thinking of this as “fold the expected tip into the price of the meal” or similar. I want tips to remain a separate thing, and be completely optional; the price of the meal would have to be increased to cover the increase in the waiter’s base pay, yes, but that should not be considered to constitute a “tip”.

      • eitje
      • 6 years ago

      Krogoth is unimpressed… with the food industry in the USA.

      • Resound
      • 6 years ago

      This is my impression of the practice. I’m another Australian bemused at the idea that customers are meant to pay staff rather than their employer. I’m also bemused at the idea that employers are supposed to provide healthcare (and decide what healthcare you may and may not have) rather than the government but that’s a whole other kettle of wtf. Even if you’re a base level plate carrier, you still have to make rent and bills and feed yourself, and often your children. The idea that people are being paid a couple of dollars per hour and the rest of your income being more or less at the whim of the people you’re serving is bizarre. That’s a set of conditions you accept because you have no leverage to negotiate, not because it’s actually good.

        • f0d
        • 6 years ago

        i guess americans dont see it as bizarre as they have had this system for a long time now
        but for us aussies some of the systems in america like tipping, employers providing healthcare and their unemployment system is just flat out bizarre

        • dextrous
        • 6 years ago

        Don’t mistakenly assume waiters/waitresses take home next to nothing. All the waiters/waitresses I’ve ever known (nearly all my friends at one time or another) make pretty good money for the skill & effort involved. Some people I know dropped out of college to wait tables full time because it pays better than a career in the area they were studying.

        It’s very common for a waiter/waitress to make $25/hr (after taxes no less since nobody actually reports their tips) in my home town – which has a very low cost of living and a high amount of poverty ($30k median household income). My wife took a significant pay cut at one time to stop waiting tables and be a dental assistant.

      • My Johnson
      • 6 years ago

      I’m kind of perplexed that the most popular comment would be the route of the cost. It’s sort of dumb that it matters so much to people.

        • hansmuff
        • 6 years ago

        There’s a point behind it that is valid, but to the staff you should tip it makes little difference. And from a cost perspective, could restaurants not get away with it, they’d just increase the cost of food to make up the difference.
        So it becomes a discussion about morals and taxes, I suppose.

        Personally I don’t mind this system. I can tip a good wait staff really well and they will appreciate it and treat me very nicely next time, or I can tip little for a shitty job and they’ll either improve or keep getting paid crap.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 6 years ago

      Free market economics would indicate if the market couldn’t bare the structure it wouldn’t exist.

      IE, either not enough pay for employee’s so no one goes to work in restaurants designed around tipping. Or too poor of service so no one eats at restaurants with tips.

      But instead we see tipping happening same as always. Its a low level no pre-requisite job that only requires elementary school levels of math, reading and language. It’s hard work for sure but typically all jobs are supposed to be hard work, especially entry level employment like waiting. If you think you are making out like a bandit by not working… don’t worry corrective forces are going to be applied to your life soon enough.

        • The Wanderer
        • 6 years ago

        “What the market will bear” is by far not the only criterion for whether something is or is not acceptable, much less necessarily always the best one.

        Even trying to address the other faulty assumptions in what you wrote would be far more trouble than it’s likely to be worth…

      • Tech Savy
      • 6 years ago

      Not to mention that the Government has to get a hand on that gift of appreciation you give for good service. It’s law that a give or leave of inheritance under 10000 dollars is not taxable. However they call tips income even though it’s not mandatory that customer tip anything.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Another case: sometimes, when I'm attending trade show, a company will arrange transportation across town to a press event via a car service. A dude will show up to pick me up at a hotel and cart me across town. His fee is paid by the company who made the arrangements. Should I also tip, and if so, how much?[/quote<] Don't quote me on this, but I think it's customary to tip something like $5 or $10.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]In Europe, I was surprised to learn that many kinds of tipping practiced in the U.S. just aren't common. [/quote<] Yep. In Finland you don't tip in restaurants. Tipping a bartender in a bar is OK, but not necessary. In some ways this makes sense - the pay is defined and fixed, the price of your dinner is defined and fixed. No need to try to calculate some pre-defined tip percentage. On the other hand, the downside is that waiters/waitresses in restaurants can be downright rude - they don't have much of an incentive to be nice to you.

      • Alexko
      • 6 years ago

      Interesting. Why do different rules apply to restaurants and bars?

        • crabjokeman
        • 6 years ago

        Exactly. In every job I’ve worked that involved direct feedback from customers, a manager would be on my case if a customer complained about me. It’s not like there’s a shortage of people looking for an unskilled job…

        • stdRaichu
        • 6 years ago

        Because restaurants and bars are different πŸ™‚ And highly dependant on culture.

        In the UK it’s the exact opposite – tipping in restaurants is very common (to the extent that many establishments will automatically add 10 or 12.5% to your bill) but tipping in pubs is almost never done.

        From [url=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BritishPubs<]TVTropes[/url<]: [quote<]Unlike the US, serving staff in Britain earn the same minimum wage as everyone else, regardless of opportunities to get tipped. Thus, you are not expected to tip every time you buy a drink β€” or indeed at all. However, if the landlord or barperson has given exceptional service β€” perhaps he took a bullet for you or donated a kidney to your dying child β€” then you can give a gratuity. However, note that directly tipping with money is generally frowned upon; the traditional thing is to offer the barman "one for yourself". The barman will then either pour himself a small amount of beer or a shot for later, or take the equivalent money and put it in a tip jar. However, if you are eating in a pub and it is following the restaurant rules (bill brought to the table rather than having you pay upfront) then leaving a ten percent tip is the done thing.[/quote<]

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        I have no idea.. maybe because tipping in a bar will get you preferential treatment when the bar is packed with people?

        Why does one tip a waiter in a nice restaurant, but not at McDonalds?

          • Dazrin
          • 6 years ago

          There are McD’s with waiters?

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            Hah, good point. I guess by “a waiter” I meant whoever gives you food..

            • davidbowser
            • 6 years ago

            I am almost certain they have done this as an experiment in countries outside the US.

            One McDs in Manhattan near Wall St used to have staff bring your order to your table, but that is as far as I have personally seen.

          • NovusBogus
          • 6 years ago

          Two reasons. One, the idea is that by paying for service you’ll actually get good service–you’ve said yourself that no incentive for bottom-rung workers invites rudeness and apathy–and at least in the US eating out is considered a luxury that should be enjoyed. Two (an offshoot of one) is that America actually allows wait staff to be paid less than minimum wage if they pull in tips. This usually works out very well for waiters that aren’t totally worthless–I know wait staff at even midrange restaurants that make more than as I did as an entry-level engineer–but since Americans all know this they’re obliged to tip unless the service is terribad.

          At McDonalds no service is expected or given–they take your money and hand over a bag of cheap burgers, a robot could do it–and since McD’s doesn’t do tips everyone there is making at least min. wage.

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    Unwritten Rule 1

    Make sure the cow is sleeping…

    • UberGerbil
    • 6 years ago

    In South Beach (Miami) restaurants it’s not unusual to see a “tip table” on your bill, with “suggested” tip amounts pre-calculated for you; the table usually has entries for 15%, 20%, and 25%. But that’s not the best part: if you look at the bill carefully, you’ll generally see that a 20% service charge has [i<]already[/i<] been included, so whatever you write into the "tip" line will be on top of that.

      • BIF
      • 6 years ago

      In some of the more touristy areas, the tip-table on the bill is more common, precisely because of international travelers not knowing American customs.

      In many restaurants, an 18% or 20% tip will be added if the total party exceeds 7 or 10 people. Again, due to international travelers, but also due to cheap-ass locals. πŸ˜‰

      And yes, you have to look at the check before you pay it.

        • davidbowser
        • 6 years ago

        Yep. Many places do it in NY City.

        • UberGerbil
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah, that was the explanation when I asked about the 20% service charge; it was the combination of that with the added tip table that surprised me. (Amusingly, at least one server in Florida told me the problem wasn’t so much the Europeans as “all the old people from Canada”)

          • BIF
          • 6 years ago

          Okay, blame the Canadians!

          That’s okay, they blame us in places like Niagara Falls. πŸ™‚

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