Tuesday, August 15

Readdressing Tipping Etiquette

I wanted to address a comment that was left on the the tipping etiquette post.

The question I answered was if you tip 20% on an expensive bottle of wine. I said yes. You tip on the dining experience and not the item. Read more of the answer HERE... Others disagreed:

Buster had this response:
Bollocks - 20% to open a bottle of wine!
Americans think they deserve a tip for nothing. At an average New York hotel I was expected to add 15% to 20% for a self service breakfast! I live in Spain where waiters ( of either sex ) only expect a tip for proper service.



My rebuttal: I agree that waiters in America also should only expect tip for proper service. However, Buster, I just spent two weeks in Europe, and you must remember that being a server is a different profession there than it is here. In Europe a server is paid a proper salary and in America servers rely on tips and work well below minimum wage. It is not that we want a tip for nothing (believe me, we don't do nothing!)! Our service industry culture is different than yours!

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21 Comments:

Blogger Angel Feathers Tickle Me said...

love to all........

Angel Feathers Tickle Me

8/15/2006 5:53 PM  
Blogger JB said...

Actually, in California, servers get paid minimum wage ($7.25/hr) AND tips. Though, it is sad that a lot of the U.S. doesn't do it that way.

8/15/2006 6:13 PM  
Blogger Minge said...

I think tipping is dreadful. You shouldn't have to pay extra to be treated properly.

8/15/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger JenLo said...

You aren't tipping for being treated properly. You are tipping somebody for doing something for you that you could very well do yourself. The bill is for the food, the tip is for the person who sets it down for you and runs and refills your drink every time you want another one.

8/15/2006 8:47 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Actually, I was under the impression that the service person's WAGES were what they were paid to set the food down for me, refill my drink etc. That is their job. The cost of a meal at a restaurant is far more than what it would cost to prepare it at home. The cost of electricity, supplies, wages, etc. are worked into the cost of a meal that a restaurant charges.

By saying that I am tipping someone for doing something that I could do myself is a bit ridiculous. Yes I could do it myself but this is your job. You could certainly bag your own groceries, change your own oil, pump your own gas, but when you don't and someone else does it for you, most people do not tip those service workers.

Don't get me wrong, even when the service is poor, I usually leave a tip at a restaurant. However, it will be a dollar or two compared to the 15-20% I would normally leave. A tip is for service above and beyond what someone is already paid to do. I'm sorry that you may not be paid a decent wage. If you get a petition going, or want to contact public officials, I will sign on the dotted line and let my voice be heard along with yours. However, don't expect me to make up for the lack of compensation your employer gives you.

8/15/2006 10:00 PM  
Anonymous the Laughorist said...

Is not much of this a discussion of class, once all the waters still? Yes, poor service should not be rewarded, but frequently it is not the fault of the server in any way. The only experience I can relate is working as a caddy and as a busboy. Especially as a caddy, some people were great, some were awful. And we're not just talking about tips. Some golfers brandished the word "caddy" exactly like the N word. Tip or not, the insult was palpable. Ah, but if the tables were turned! Cf. the original movie version of "Swept Away."
Laugh.Or....
Else.

8/15/2006 10:13 PM  
Blogger BionicBuddha said...

I believe that wait staff tend to be undercompensated, however I also think the employer should helpt in making up at least a part of the compensation...



www.bionicbuddha.com

8/15/2006 10:37 PM  
Blogger Whit said...

Servers seldom get what they want, and even less often do they get what they deserve. It is hard work. If a person is unable or unwilling to tip they should consider other dining options. They should also consider getting a clue.

8/16/2006 1:08 AM  
Blogger The Scribe said...

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2


http://theprinceofpeace.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_theprinceofpeace_archive.html

8/16/2006 1:29 AM  
Blogger Tina T-P said...

Washington State is also a "lucky" place to be a "wait person" - our minimum wage is $7.63 (and thanks to our Senator's Cantwell & Murray it won't go down to the Federal level~who does congress think they are fooling - a restaurant job is very rarely a "living wage" job. Servers get tips on top of that - I always tip in restaurants,(and because I worked in one for 21 years, I generally tip fairly well) but I very rarely tip in motels or other places. Good topic for thought...

8/16/2006 3:06 AM  
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8/16/2006 3:18 AM  
Blogger triplesix said...

I live in the UK, and tipping is a diffrent thing over here, but i do leave a tip for the service I've had. But who leaves tips in such places like MacDonalds and KFC and places like that?

8/16/2006 4:01 AM  
Blogger Vivienne Tomb said...

I was in Arizona a few years ago (on holiday from England) and I left a cash tip on the table then went up to the cashier to pay the bill. The waitress was obviously angry when I didn't add a tip and when I explained I'd left it on the table she said "Yeah, sure you did." Now tell me, did this woman deserve a tip or to get fired? I always tip but in the US there's sometimes a thin line between expecting a tip and simply bullying people for money.

8/16/2006 4:51 AM  
Blogger triplesix said...

I've been to the US a few times, sometimes you get 'bullied' into leaving a big tip

8/16/2006 5:50 AM  
Blogger Katy Evans-Bush said...

I'm not aware of any waiting staff - we're talking about normal, everyday restaurants here - who get paid a lot of money, in the UK, anyway. I'd be surprised if they were paid differently on the continent. Last I knew it was either right at minimum or just below it - because in some jobs wages can legally be lower if you expect to get tips. It is iniquitous but wait staff do rely on tips.

It's worth remembering that your waitress may be paying a babysitter so she can work. Babysitters can earn more than waitresses.

That's really all there is to it. Other than that it is a matter for the individual. A lot of restaurants add 12.5% automatically, and you can refuse to pay if you feel you've had a terrible experience. While I'm not crazy about automatic service charges I can see the point: I barely know anyone who leaves more than 10%, and a lot of people will just leave nothing. I had a date where the guy never left a tip, after showing off all evening long, so I surreptitiously left one. And if the waitress has been specially wonderful I will also leave a little extra on the table where I know it'll go to her and not the kitty.

(Tip kitties, by the way, are not necessarily such a bad thing. Think of the kitchen staff.)

8/16/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger an english girl in new york said...

if your service was absolutely apalling, and you didn't want to be sued for not leaving a tip (that has actually happened somewhere, i forgot where)...and you want to make a point that the service was horrible..what would you do? (out of interest) leave like..a cent to show you'd thought of tipping but the service was atrocious?

this has never happened to me but still..the man who got sued had witnesses saying it took 3 hours to serve him, the food was cold/off etc. but he still lost...so how would he get his point across that the service was terrible and he did not wish to tip extra (esp. as gratuities had been paid) if they're just going to sue him?

what would be considered an acceptable way to convey this by the serving community?

8/16/2006 12:05 PM  
Blogger an english girl in new york said...

(out of curiosity, not experience)

8/16/2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger Cold Steel Rail said...

If you've really pissed me off as a server, I'll stack a couple dimes and pennies on top of each other. It's obvious that I didn't forget it and you know full well why it's there.

I'm with Buster on the self service thing. I go to a buffet at a hotel or casino, I'm not tipping you 20% for pointing to the table I sit down at. You're lucky if I leave anything at all.

This is not to say that I don't tip - far from it. I've tipped damn near 100% before if I thought the service was phenomenal.

I can't believe no one has chimed in with the Mr. Pink arguement from Resevoir Dogs yet! The man has a point (to a point, that is).

8/19/2006 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

20% for good service
15% for decent service
10% for below average service

8/20/2006 4:01 AM  
Blogger Lola2020 said...

Tipping is a ridiculous concept. Most of us get our wage and that's it. Waiting is hardly a skilled job with years of training and qualifications. Please. I wait on my family daily AND have cooked it too, and no one trained me to do it!
In the US you DO get bullied into tipping...why should we make up what the restauranteurs won't pay in wages. If you got a proper job you might get paid a proper salary.
So stop whining and don't expect that the world owes you a living.

8/20/2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger april said...

Oh my gosh, if you don't want to tip DON'T FREAKIN GO OUT TO EAT. It is the system. It is not a fair system. Reagan set it up in the eighties so that restaurants would not have to pay the minimum wage to servers. It is not right. (Some states have put their own legislation in place to fix this, many have not.) In Ohio where I am from originally servers make below minimum wage and the customer is expected to tip them and almost pay them for their service. It is not right, but that is how it is. The servers even get taxed on the tips they might not even get. The restaurant basically gets slave labour from them,paying them barely anything, and then mean customers can screw them over on the tips. Even people who LIVE in Ohio don't understand this often. Also many people often punish the server on the tip due to stuff that is not their fault -like late food or other stuff that is the kitchen's fault, how unfair is that.

I live in the UK now and most Brits don't understand any of this aboutthe US.

Do not blame or punish the server for a system that is not their fault. Realise that if you are going out to eat you will be paying for a meal,and then seperately should be paying for part of your service. I always add at least 20% on in my head when thinking about how much the bill will be.

8/28/2006 4:41 PM  

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