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Stereotype much?

i knew some people would take exception. yes, i'm sorry, stereotypes are unfair to those who don't fit. but the fact is -- and servers will agree with me across the board -- that you are much, much likelier to get stiffed by one of those groups, no matter how good your service is for them. it's a numbers game, and the odds are against you in those cases.

But people like him are the reason I generally don't tip. They see it as an entitlement and expect it for any piss poor lack of service.

and people like you need to stick to eating at fast food drive-throughs and all-you-can-eat buffets.

if i gave shitty service i expected a shitty (or no) tip. that's why i always gave the best service i could give. like keeping drinks filled, making sure the food was delivered correctly and on time, being aware of when customer needed something... maintaining attentiveness without being fawning or obsequious. all the while helping other servers, and doing behind-the-scenes duties that all servers have to do to keep the front of the house working smoothly.

sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just completely blow the service for a table. sometimes its not even your fault, the kitchen screws stuff up. in any case i'd apologize and own the problem, and try to remedy it as best i could, and accept the fact that i probably wouldnt get a very good tip.


....

now, i have a professional job, but i remember the days of restaurant work. so i give 20% for decent service. 25% for exceptional service, and 15% for mediocre or indifferent (but not bad) service. If the service was truly BAD ( and i cant recall the last time that happened ) i will write a scathing comment on the credit card slip.

writing comments on the bottom of the credit card slip is very effective. the manager must review each CC slip at the end of the shift to make sure they were entered properly. anything you write WILL get read. I write good comments for really good service (in addition to the tip). it really can make a difference for a server, to have their manager read a compliment about them on the CC slip.

i eat out a lot, and its probably been at least a year since i gave no tip and wrote a highly critical remark on the CC slip. i reserve that for truly bad service. Restaurants here in Seattle just don't have bad service. there's too many good restaurants here for shitty ones to survive long.

.

Edited by jephthah: n/a

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Well, I'm one of those old farts you stereotyped. My wife and I went to a small-town restaurant about an hour ago for lunch. Food was ok, nothing to brag about, but the service was pretty good. One waitress served 10 tables; she had no spare time. So I gave her a 20% (or maybe a little more) tip.

But I can understand why many old people do not tip well, if at all. They can barely afford the cost of the food, let along a tip too. Old people have a lot of medical problems, and medicines are very expensive. I've seen a few people pay upwards of $500.00 USD for a tiny sack of pills (at WalMart). So for them its a matter of give you a 20% tip and skip a few days pills. I don't have that problem because I spent 23 years of my young life to get the medical insurance I now have. And I am now glad that I sacrificed all those years.

Edited by Ancient Dragon: n/a

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yeah, i understand the problem of the retirees with fixed income and medical bills. so i always cheerfully waited on them just the same, expecting to get a small tip, and would be graceful to receive it because i figured they were doing what they could.

but there are some older folks who just have this attitude that tipping is some sort of communist plot or something, and they just flatly refuse to tip.

either way, the probability is against the server when waiting on older folks. it's just the way it is. i'm glad you're able and willing to tip appropriately as the service deserves it.

DISCLAIMER: i'm not ever suggesting that anyone should reward truly bad service, or give a full tip for subpar service. but do consider that sometimes things are out of the server's control, and it's not an easy job.

Edited by jephthah: n/a

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Wow, this is all so confusing i must say. I'm on my holiday in the US at the moment. Driving trip around California, as well as driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, all this tipping buisines is making this holidays even more complicated :P

we have been sticking with 15% as a good amount, though i agree with vega, 10% is a lot easier for the maths.

But anyway, i'll hardly be posting for the next few weeks. Having fun on my holidays, US is good fun :)

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20% is easy too. just calc 10%, and double it

;)

As usual, Larry David has done a full analysis on the subject.

http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/11/larry-david-protests-tipping-on-top-of-a-mandatory-gratuity/

"It's an 18% tip included. And then they have a space for an additional tip. What I have to start doing math in my head now? Then what does it come out to, two dollars? I'm leaving an extra two dollars, That makes me look cheap. I'm not leaving any more additional tips. I'm protesting it... I don't care for it."

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Isn't all this missing the point? If waiting tables is truly slave labour, shouldn't you petition Congress (or whatever/wherever you have to go) and demand a decent (minimum?) wage. This ensures employers are not left off the hook. The restaurant then adds to their prices to reflect the extra money that they have to pay in wages. Everything is transparent and above-board. Nobody now pays taxes for money they haven't received.

If this were achieved, tipping could then be abolished. Some complain that the removal of monetary reward for good service, leads to poor service. Maybe, but you'd probably find that the best waiters would go to the best restaurants (who pay the best wages).

Perhaps I'm being really naive. I can't pretend to understand 'tipping culture' - especially in the UK/other parts of Europe, where waiters etc, actually do earn minimum wage or better.

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If waiting tables is truly slave labour, shouldn't you ... demand a decent (minimum?) wage. ... tipping could then be abolished. ... in the UK/other parts of Europe ...

Wut? The hell you say, this is AMURRICA!

You don like it you can go on an GIT OUT!


.

Edited by jephthah: n/a

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sure it's taxed. But if you leave cash on the table, do you really expect it all to be declared?
Of course not, the bulk of it will not be declared.

Tipping is subject to income taxes based on employer reporting; it is not a simple subject wrt tax rules but is anything?

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I was just going to jump in and say:

Isn't that a city in China?

But....

Our state tax is 8.5%, so Leslie and I just double the tax for the tip.

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(1) tables are not always filled. tables are often empty depending on night of the week, time of night, local economy, host(ess) playing favorites, all sorts of other reasons.

Problems with the restaurant (such as hostess playing favorites) are not my problems - what does this have to do with tipping? And obviously the restaurant should not have as many people working at less busy times, just like any other business.

(2) tables do NOT turn themselves over every 15 or 20 minutes. i dont know where you go out to eat. Subway? McDonalds? People sit at their table for upwards of an hour or more, getting refills of iced tea or water all night long.

Did anyone say 15 minutes? I said an hour. That might be lower than reality, but you're missing the point. It isn't my responsibility to give you a bigger tip just because some other patron sat at their table for 2-3 hours. That is that patron's responsibility.

(3) people who have a clue, tip 20%. ignorant provincials, tightwads, jerks, old people, large groups of women, minorities, and all sorts of other people might tip anywhere from 0-10%.

... just a plain ignorant comment.

(4) waiters tips do not go in their pocket. they have to "tip out" the hostesses, the bussers, the bartenders, and sometimes the food expediters. they may lose up to 1/4 or of their total tips.
(5) waitstaff do NOT just wait a crush of tables, rake in the cash, and go home. the typical evening dinner shift is a 6 hour shift, from 4:30 to 10:30. of which only about 3 hours are peak, from 5:30 or 6:00 to 8:30 or 9:00 or so. the rest of the time is slow, tables are spotty, and furthermore waitstaff are required to do additional work like cleaning, rolling silverware, additional prep work, expediting other's food... all of this at below minimum wage levels.

Yes, but some of the time waiters spend doing 'prep work' is at a time when they are also waiting tables. So they are receiving tips during some of those hours. Some legitimate points though. See my first response about 'slow and spotty time periods'. If the restaurant has too many workers on hand, this isn't my problem, it is the restaurant's problem. This has nothing to do with how much I should tip.


you need to accept the fact that eating out is a luxury, and add 20% to the bill. if you cant afford to eat out like you have some class, then go to Burger King or stay home.

Again, you made some legitimate points, but many of your points have nothing to do with tipping. It is the restaurant's responsibility to schedule workers; you're implying that I should tip more because during non-busy times waiters have fewer tables. By the same faulty logic, during busier times I should then tip less. You also insinuated that waiters do a lot of work behind the scenes. True, but during some of these times they are also actively waiting tables (and therefore receiving tips), which you failed to mention. Furthermore, people who sit at tables for many hours should tip more as a result; it isn't my responsibility to "make up for" their lousy tip by tipping more myself.

You didn't provide an accurate picture of how much waiters would make if everyone that came to the restaurant were to tip 20%. Why don't you do that for me and then I'll explain why I think me carrying other people's weight is BS.

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Oh, and one more thing: I tip around 20% for good service only. I had a pleasant, charming, and quick waiter last night and I tipped him 19% (the odd percentage on account of paying in cash). I'll tip somebody 10% if they aren't a good waiter. Good service is to be expected. My expectations aren't unrealistic, but I expect a waiter who is pleasant and reasonably timely. Failure on either count means a lower tip. Success on both counts means a 15% tip. A waiter who does something beyond that will get a higher tip, but 20% for a decent waiter is not worth it IMO.

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If I go to the US (33 years since my last visit!), who should I tip? I realise taxi drivers, waiters, porters, bellboys, busboys (or whatever they're called), consierges, coffee vendors, pizza delivery guys (only if their face looks less like a pizza than their product though) - but who else? Who decides? Is there a manual or a "bewildered's guide" for who you should and shouldn't tip?

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If I go to the US (33 years since my last visit!), who should I tip? I realise taxi drivers, waiters, porters, bellboys, busboys (or whatever they're called), consierges, coffee vendors, pizza delivery guys (only if their face looks less like a pizza than their product though) - but who else? Who decides? Is there a manual or a "bewildered's guide" for who you should and shouldn't tip?

Try these....
http://artofmanliness.com/2008/06/24/gentlemans-guide-how-much-should-tip/ (note the address on this one :icon_wink:)
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2006/10/12/basic-tips-on-tipping-how-much-and-to-whom/
http://www.drdaveanddee.com/tipping.html

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Do not forget that most restaurants above the 'Denny's' level usually have team systems with a captain, 2 or 3 waiters, and the general support person (often called the bus boy). The captain will take the order and work with the customer on wines and the different courses while the rest of the team do their best to keep the customer completely oblivious of their presence - delivering food, removing plates, refilling water, etc; ideally they do not intrude.

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If I go to the US (33 years since my last visit!), who should I tip? I realise taxi drivers, waiters, porters, bellboys, busboys (or whatever they're called), consierges, coffee vendors, pizza delivery guys (only if their face looks less like a pizza than their product though) - but who else? Who decides? Is there a manual or a "bewildered's guide" for who you should and shouldn't tip?

If you offer a tip at the Wal-Mart store where I work I will have to refuse it. That has been done before.

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I think I disagree with mom. Dealing with restaurants, 15% is standard, plus or minus based on the service. What I dislike is 6 or more the tip is automatically added and calculated at 18%. I've even seen higher.

Other services have different rates. 15% is not universal.

This looks like a good writeup

More info here

No offense, but you have obviously never waited tables before. Believe me, there is nothing more frustrating than having a 10-top (10 people at a table, which usually takes up 3 tables) which may or may not be your entire section. Spending a large amount of time on that table at the deficit of your other remaining tables. Then have the 10 people run up a $1,000 dollar bill (it's not that far-fetched) and then leave you a $50 tip.

I know your response will be how was the service. When I waited tables I prided myself on excellent customer service, and sometimes with all that you still get screwed. Mandatory gratuity is for the protection of the employees.

1

What's going on in the restaurant is irrelevant. The premise is simple, you go out so you don't have to cook. You pay for the food because the restaurant has fixed costs to cover. You tip the waitress because of the service. If your waiter was attentive, remembered to check to see if your food was to your liking, fixed any problems that may have arose (quickly and courteously), filled your glasses before you had to signal that you wanted a refill. Then that's considered good service. THAT IS WHAT YOU TIP ON. It doesn't matter if you are the only person in the joint or if there are 1,000 people waiting for food. Again, if you can't afford to tip, you really can't afford to eat out.

I find it hilarious that people will pay $25 for $1 worth of pasta, buy drinks and champagne like its falling out of trees but then balk on the tip. It is the ultimate sign of no class.

With that being said, there are tons of crappy servers out there that I wouldn't tip $1, but the average server should get between 15% and 18% percent with 20% and up reserved for exceptional service.

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Do not forget that most restaurants above the 'Denny's' level usually have team systems with a captain, 2 or 3 waiters, and the general support person (often called the bus boy). The captain will take the order and work with the customer on wines and the different courses while the rest of the team do their best to keep the customer completely oblivious of their presence - delivering food, removing plates, refilling water, etc; ideally they do not intrude.

I need to start eating where you eat! Above the 'Denny's' level? I basically put all chain restaurants from Morton's Steakhouse to Olive Garden in that class. I've never seen a team captain in any restaurant. Perhaps in the Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton-esque restaurants, but anything below that..not likely. You usually have one waiter that is assigned a block of tables (between 3 and 6 tables) depending on the restaurant.

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I was just going to jump in and say:

Isn't that a city in China?

But....

Our state tax is 8.5%, so Leslie and I just double the tax for the tip.

Easiest way to do it..20% - Multiply the first number by 2 and that gives you the tip (don't for get to round the numbers) (i.e $58.75 = $12 tip) 15% - Multiply the first number by 1 and then take half of that number and add it to the first answer. (i.e $58.75 = $9 tip)

In this example $58.75 is nearly $60 ($1.25 isn't gonna kill ya) so the math is easier if you just round up (or down if its in the low side)

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It doesn't matter if you are the only person in the joint or if there are 1,000 people waiting for food.

That's... exactly what I already said.

... you're implying that I should tip more because during non-busy times waiters have fewer tables. By the same faulty logic, during busier times I should then tip less ...

Like I said, the logic was flawed. So we're agreed on that point.

Again, if you can't afford to tip, you really can't afford to eat out.

Nobody in here claimed or otherwise indicated that ability to tip is the issue here. Rather, what was being debated was the preferred amount of tipping and the social issues behind tipping in general. I'm sure there are people who can't afford to tip. Why do you assume that anyone in here is one of them?

Believe me, there is nothing more frustrating than having a 10-top (10 people at a table, which usually takes up 3 tables) which may or may not be your entire section. Spending a large amount of time on that table at the deficit of your other remaining tables. Then have the 10 people run up a $1,000 dollar bill (it's not that far-fetched) and then leave you a $50 tip.

That is a 5% tip. In a nutshell, what was being debated here was why a 20% tip is suddenly seen as socially acceptable whereas a 15% tip, which used to be seen as socially acceptable, is being shunned. I would never tip as low as 5% for decent service, but I do think it is absurd to suddenly change the standard tip rate. Why? What is the reason for this? Since the tip rate is a percentage of food costs, which are controlled by the economy, why would this happen? And how much is a waiter worth? Should I tip 25% if the rest of the country decides that it is a "classy" tip rate. At what point should I use my brain and tip what I think is reasonable rather than what I'm told to tip? And if you want me to change my opinion, you would answer my questions here with real examples rather than gross exaggerations. A 15% tip on a $1000 bill is $150 which seems good to me. Are you saying it isn't?


So you see, telling me that I'm cheap, not classy enough to go out to eat, etc... isn't going to stop me from going out to eat and isn't going to solve anyone's problems. Nor do I actually think that my usual tip of 15% actually "hurts" waiters in any way, but I guess we have a different idea of how much/hr a waiter is actually worth.

Edited by BestJewSinceJC: n/a

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Correct if I'm wrong, but every disagreement that I've read so far in this thread has followed this line of thinking:

1. Some customers tip badly
2. Waiters make lower salaries than they should as a result
3. You should tip 20% to avoid being a bad customer

Can you not see the obvious contradictions and lack of logic in that thought process? The fact that some customers tip badly causes waiters to come home with less money than they deserve. Therefore, any reasonable line of thinking would conclude that these customers are to blame, and that these customers should correct their behavior. Yet the conclusion that some of you in this thread have come to is #3 - that I should "tip 20% to avoid being a bad customer". I'm expected to make up for someone else's bad tip???? Hmmmm

Edited by BestJewSinceJC: n/a

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You forget #4: an "standard" rate of tipping that's to be a minimum is going to reward poor service, and customers should not reward poor service as that means there's no incentive any longer to give good service (and we see the result all the time with waiters and other staff in the services industry).
And #5: how the heck has a tip, always having been meant as a means of rewarding exceptional service, devolved into being the actual salary of the person it's being handed to, and thus not a reward for exceptional service at all?

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You forget #4: an "standard" rate of tipping that's to be a minimum is going to reward poor service, and customers should not reward poor service as that means there's no incentive any longer to give good service (and we see the result all the time with waiters and other staff in the services industry).
And #5: how the heck has a tip, always having been meant as a means of rewarding exceptional service, devolved into being the actual salary of the person it's being handed to, and thus not a reward for exceptional service at all?

Self respect and work ethic: two completely reasonable incentives for good service regardless of where you work and what you do. You do make a good point, which applies to extremely high or low tips, but I disagree that a 15% tip is going to discourage anyone from their usual behavior at work. It also raises the same question that I've asked all along about limits, (if you can afford it, why not tip 30% - it comes down to either conforming to society or what you think the service is worth, both of which I've attempted explaining and debating but the other side is all like "you're a cheapskate"!).

And a tip devolved into being the actual salary when restaurants decided to pay their waiters wages which do not constitute the majority of their waiters' income. If you truly think that a tip is "a reward for exceptional service", then how can you debate what a reasonable tip is? Since the reward for anything below exceptional service would obviously be $0.

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A tip is given for service. Not exceptional service. They bring water, they deserve a tip. They bring your food, they deserve a tip. They do it grumbling and with a frown, they deserve less -- but they still served you.

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but they still served you.

which is why they're salaried.
If they were not paid a salary, you might have a point, but they are paid already to do exactly that.
If they consider that salary too low, they should try to raise it, not expect me to supplement it through social pressure and "mandatory voluntary tipping".

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which is why they're salaried.
If they were not paid a salary, you might have a point, but they are paid already to do exactly that.
If they consider that salary too low, they should try to raise it, not expect me to supplement it through social pressure and "mandatory voluntary tipping".

No, that is why they get a salary under minimum. Because they get tips.

I really wish people would try to understand another industry with different rules rather than try to map their cushy office job into a completely different industry that doesn't work the same. But I guess that's just a pipe dream. Oh, well. Gives me a better insight into the argumentative noobs here that have to do it their way even though the professionals explain what they are missing conceptually.

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Jeez. Tipping sucks. You all get your knickers in a twist about %ages. Pay the poor b*stards a decent wage, put the extra on the price of a meal. No problem.

But no, you gotta go and complicate sh*t. Bonuses for this, tips for that ... sorry forgot which thread I was replying to for a minute...

I was in a restaurant a week ago (in Avon, England) and had 10% option gratuity added to the bill. How the hell is it optional - they added the bloody thing to the bill. Am I now going to make a fuss and put a damper on the evening by asking them to take it off? It's my money, I decide if I want to tip, bloody cheek.

Have I ranted about this before? Maybe deja vu. Anyway, this is about tipping in the US. Sorry, felt the urge to vent my spleen.

Edited by diafol: n/a

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No, that is why they get a salary under minimum. Because they get tips.

I'd never accept such a work situation, and I'd report the employer to authorities for breaking the law (as minimum wages ARE a legal requirement, there is no provision in the law stating that minimum wages can be lowered if the employee can get performance related bonusses which raise his income over it).

If you can't understand how the status quo (if it indeed exists, which I doubt) is severely flawed legally and morally there's nothing I can do to help you.

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