Maltaran

Should tipping be banned?

333 posts in this topic

americans love to assume that which is going on in europe is wrong and a failure. have you ever considered that it works perfectly fine for us? i know...crazy ;)

actually i figure that which works well for you is great and good...for you.

it does not mean it works well for us.

americans who are fine with how things are done in their own country and that of others.

i know...crazy.

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Most of my family vacations these days are on cruise ships.

We started doing this just about 3-4 years ago. At the time (and for many years before that, from what I understand) the cruiselines paid their dining room servers, stewards and whatnot pennies and allowed them to make their money through tips. When you went on a cruise, you knew well ahead of time that you were expected to tip your steward $X per day and your servers $Y per day - as a minimum suggested tip. At the end of the cruise, you'd get little envelopes for each of the people you were supposed to tip and could either hand them over in person, or just leave them in your cabin or with the head waiter or whatever.

Well, nowadays just about every major cruise line has stopped doing that. Now tipping is automatically charged to your onboard account. You can go to guest services and have the amount charged to your account decreased or increased or taken off all together, but if you do nothing, the "minimum tip" is charged to you daily.

I prefer it that way, I wish restaurants on land would do it that way as well.

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there you go.

you win the thread.

where i live it does not apply to where i live. i only ask that that you up hold our customs when here and i will promise to uphold yours when there.

europeans love to assume that which is going on in the states is wrong and a failure. have you ever considered that it works perfectly fine for us? i know...crazy.

Do you often ask questions and then get shitty with people who answer it for answering it?

Seems a little unreasonable to me.

I don't think anyone has particularly said that the US system is wrong and a failure. Different, awkward, and counter-instinctive maybe; even "wrong" if pushed, and for a certain value of wrong; but I don't recall anyone saying it's a failure and needs to be changed. The article that inspired this thread is a piece by the British Broadcasting Corporation, talking about the tipping culture in Britain, so even that wasn't suggesting that the US system should change.

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On a related note, Strike

Does everyone deserve a living wage? Yes. What these workers fail to understand is that prices will have be raised to supply this wage. Business will slow down significantly and even more people will become unemployed.

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actually it rarely if ever goes into the kitchen. almost 20 years in the business and i have only been two places that tips went to the kitchen.

...

truly how is a service charge attached to a meal as is common in europe any different than tipping?

Note: all for the Netherlands, and probably not universal for the EU.

I did some quick checking in local sites, and it seems over here in the Netherlands at least tip sharing/pooling is relatively normal, while not universal.

Service Charges separate from the listed price probably still exist, especially for groups. But usually the price on the menu includes VAT (equivalent) and service. I cannot remember encountering separate service charges myself, but don't tend to eat out high market or often. Of course they generally make you pay even for tap water over here...

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I don't understand tipping (i.e. a service charge) for something that is already just a service, like a taxi. If I'm paying a fare in order to receive a service and nothing else, then by definition the fare already is the service charge. If you don't think the fare is high enough to cover the service offered then why not just raise the fare?

It's illegal here. The government hasn't given us a meter raise in years.

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truly how is a service charge attached to a meal as is common in europe any different than tipping?

It's guaranteeing the worker's salary and isn't sneakily passing off extra costs as optional gratuities.

Edited by Castel

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[snip] I don't think I've ever tipped anyone outside of food/drink service, it simply wouldn't occur to me, and I'd be amazed if it occurred to them that they deserve one. If someone takes a "fuck you then" attitude to that, then they're perfectly welcome to not be paid for not doing thier job; they could also expect an official complaint registered with their boss.

See, this is what I'm talking about with the whole, "taxi drivers are not your helpless victims like the rest of the service industry," thing. I find it to be a common attitude that the service industry is here to kiss ass and smile when they get stiffed from people who habitually mistreat servers, which swiftly transitions to abject shock when they find out that I'm an independent contractor who doesn't have to take their shit (more than once - as I said, I give everybody the benefit of the doubt). This sort of people reserve the "official complaint to the boss" as the game-ending threat that trumps all real debate when the victim is a poor waitress who can't afford to be fired. The people who act this way are, IMHO, total dicks.

I've had "official complaints" registered with the company that I contract with more times than I can count over the years, for everything ranging from a refusal to go through the drive-through at Taco Bell to beating the living shit out of the customer, and as long as the cops don't get involved they don't care at all because their money comes from me, not you.

Edited by Black Walder

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See, this is what I'm talking about with the whole, "taxi drivers are not your helpless victims like the rest of the service industry," thing. I find it to be a common attitude that the service industry is here to kiss ass and smile when they get stiffed from people who habitually mistreat servers, which swiftly transitions to abject shock when they find out that I'm an independent contractor who doesn't have to take their shit (more than once - as I said, I give everybody the benefit of the doubt). This sort of people reserve the "official complaint to the boss" as the game-ending threat that trumps all real debate when the victim is a poor waitress who can't afford to be fired. The people who act this way are, IMHO, total dicks.

I've had "official complaints" registered with the company that I contract with more times than I can count over the years, for everything ranging from a refusal to go through the drive-through at Taco Bell to beating the living shit out of the customer, and as long as the cops don't get involved they don't care at all because their money comes from me, not you.

It doesn't really help that you wrote "if you don't tip FUCK YOU". I know that you meant "I'm not dealing with you again, fuck off" but if I took it literally I'd report you to your boss too.

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It doesn't really help that you wrote "if you don't tip FUCK YOU". I know that you meant "I'm not dealing with you again, fuck off" but if I took it literally I'd report you to your boss too.

That's fair. It wouldn't accomplish anything, but I get where you're coming from if that was a literal quote to the customer's face rather than a description of my general ethos.

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on serving...it is not as simple as dropping off food, taking an order, etc. it is in a diner or something like that. but, at it's highest end it takes immense skill, training, dedication and devotion. i have eaten at three of the top ten restaurants in the united states. the service was amazing. these people are not doing these jobs until their acting career takes off. this is what they do. they are fantastic at it. they get paid. are they overpaid for what they do? that it a matter of perspective i suppose.

I'm aware. Serving done at a high level is very attentive. I still rarely see the justification of $50 on a $300 meal, which is about what I'd tip.

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See, this is what I'm talking about with the whole, "taxi drivers are not your helpless victims like the rest of the service industry," thing. I find it to be a common attitude that the service industry is here to kiss ass and smile when they get stiffed from people who habitually mistreat servers, which swiftly transitions to abject shock when they find out that I'm an independent contractor who doesn't have to take their shit (more than once - as I said, I give everybody the benefit of the doubt). This sort of people reserve the "official complaint to the boss" as the game-ending threat that trumps all real debate when the victim is a poor waitress who can't afford to be fired. The people who act this way are, IMHO, total dicks.

I've had "official complaints" registered with the company that I contract with more times than I can count over the years, for everything ranging from a refusal to go through the drive-through at Taco Bell to beating the living shit out of the customer, and as long as the cops don't get involved they don't care at all because their money comes from me, not you.

I never knew that taxi drivers considered themselves helpless victims of... anything much; nor indeed any other profession. I've learned something new today.

"I find it to be a common attitude that the service industry is here to kiss ass and smile when they get stiffed from people who habitually mistreat servers" some people are just twats.

"I'm an independent contractor who doesn't have to take their shit" Well of course not; no-one has to take other people's shit - regardless of whether they're an independent contractor or not.

Do people really use "official complaint to the boss" as the game-ending threat that trumps all real debate? if so, then some people are twats; and I doubt any boss would take the side of an unreasonable customer over a valued employee. An unvalued employee who regularly receives complaints on the other hand... probably deserves to be fired.

"to beating the living shit out of the customer," the you should be in jail, not bragging on an internet forum; going "oh poor little me; people actually expect me to do the job they've paid me to do; how mean of them to not realise that I'm the best, and they should pay me extra just because I'm great".

Quite honestly, it sounds like you're just one of those twats you keep complaining about.

Edited by Which Tyler

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it's funny how these topics keep coming up.

Anyway, why do we single out some professions and not others? why doesn't a shop assistant get tips for good service (bringing you a different size item to the changing room, counseling on what colour you look better in etc). Is that not a service?

Edited by Filippa Eilhart

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it's funny how these topics keep coming up.

Anyway, why do we single out some professions and not others? why doesn't a shop assistant get tips for good service (bringing you a different size item to the changing room, counseling on what colour you look better in etc). Is that not a service?

Depending on the store, I think they're incentive is commission on the sale. Essentially its the culture. We tip our waiters and bartenders because they've made the dining out experience enjoyable. I suppose if you wanted to tip the shopkeeper who helped you find the perfect set of clothes, or the Best Buy salesman who helped you find the best television, or the concierge who helped you score some rock while you were on that business trip in Atlanta, you are more than welcome to. There might not be a line for it on the bill, but still, feel free.

I'm slightly confused by some of the posts here. Some people don't like the idea of having to tip, but they'd be happy if they just put a standard fifteen percent service charge on the bill? Or raise the food costs so the servers can get paid better? Isn't that sort of six of one, half dozen of the other?

But mostly, its the people who are bitching about having to tip that are baffling me. You don't have to. It is (barring the whole parties of six or more thing) an optional method of rewarding your server. You can't justify adding a fifty dollar tip to a three hundred dollar check? Don't fucking do it then. It is not mandatory. No one is forcing you. And no decent server is going to hassle you for it. This "social obligation" thing is bullshit. If you're too concerned about the servers and your friends thinking you're a tight-fisted dick, that's your problem and is something you really ought to get over.

Sort of an afterthought, on the subject of tipping your bartender (since I've seen posts mentioning it): the tip isn't really because we saved you the trouble of chipping your fingernail while opening up your can of PBR or the effort of pulling a tap forward for ten seconds. The tips, at least at the restaurant I work at, generally are given because of advice on our beer and liquor selection, our ability to remember what the hell each of the thirty people crowding the bar are drinking, making your overly-complicated mixed drinks quickly without sacrificing quality, and overall providing you with a pleasant experience so you don't walk out at the end of the night in a bad mood. Now, if you think all those things are just part of our job and do not merit anything extra, that's fine, man. Don't leave a tip. Anybody worth their salt isn't going to accost you for it, and at worst, they might think you're a bit stingy for a second, maybe down on your luck a bit, and then they'll get on with the rest of their shift and won't give you a second thought. As long as you treat us like human beings and just generally don't act like a dick, we won't think poorly of you, and we won't short you on quality of service, no matter what you tip.

Granted, there are plenty of servers and bartenders who can be little shits when it comes to a bad tip. I'm not speaking for them. They piss me off just as much as they do you.

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see, this is the whole problem with tipping, i should get excellent service regardless. a russian oil tycoon should not get better service than i do just because of their ability to throw money around willy nilly.

i suppose tipping does mean that bar service is one industry where women make more than men, as long as they don't mind dressing up and pandering to gross middle aged sleaze bags.

Then no-one gets drinks outside.

See, the thing is, if I'm free / not busy, I happily run drinks for anyone. Preference will go to regular customers, then people who have tipped me, then people who ask, then finally people who's drinks just look a bit empty. I'll offer.

If I'm really busy, no-one is getting drinks brought to them. There's a big queue at the bar for a reason, and I have ten million things that need doing to make sure those drinks carry on appearing. I have food to take out, plates to clear, glasses to collect. I'm helping out the barbacks and the kitchen and whoever else needs it.

If it's somewhere in between and I have a chance to do stuff for people, but not much and it is going to inconvinience me / make my job harder / make me run around rather than taking 5 in the back room and actually catching my breath... Well, if you aren't a regular and/or tipping me, I'm going to choose to take that moment to myself rather than offering you a drink.

Also, the oil tycoon won't necessarily be served ahead of you. If you are drinking in the City in an expensive riverside bar, and want drinks brought outside when there's no table service, then telling me to "keep the change" rather than have me count that £1,05 out for you is going to put you in my good books, and mean I'll try to look out for you.

I'd never not do my job because someone doesn't tip. However its up to me when and with who I go the extra mile and go beyond what I'm supposed to do. That might mean drinks outside on a hot day when the bar queue is half hour long and you can't be arsed to move. That might mean me finding out where exactly Downtown Abbey was filmed and getting you directions so you can go visit it tomorrow. That might mean making your pregnant girlfriend a crushed fruit non alcoholic cocktail even though it means a couple of minutes of cleaning the equipment and it's not something we usually offer, so I'll probably be giving away free or charging as an orange juice anyway. I physically can't take the time to do that for every customer. And if I tried to do it for as many customers as I could, it'd mean I'd never have any recovery time myself and would probably collapse six hours into a shift. So I have to pick and choose who I help out.

Would you also be upset to find out the Virgin Media guy also hung someone's flatscreen TV for them when he did their second box install, because he remembered them giving him a fiver "for a drink" when he installed the main box? Does that mean he should have to hang your TV for you? No, because it was a personal favour, going above and beyond his job. So are the things I'd reserve for a regular, a tipper or someone who I feel sorry for. I don't let the standard, basic services I'm paid to provide suffer regardless of how you treat me.

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I'm slightly confused by some of the posts here. Some people don't like the idea of having to tip, but they'd be happy if they just put a standard fifteen percent service charge on the bill? Or raise the food costs so the servers can get paid better? Isn't that sort of six of one, half dozen of the other?

Not really, as it's not tipping itself that is the issue, but transparency. The price on the price list should reflect the actual cost for the customer without having to apply a calculator and loosely defined social rules. (Service charges usually only applies to larger parties, so listing a price including service charges just gets cumbersome.)

I understand that in the US it's a fear that there's an decrease in sales if the price is listed as 4.52 instead of 3.45 plus 14 % tax and 15 % to cover the waiter., but I believe this fear is unfounded. Of course, it should be clear on the menu that this is included in the price,

I don't think that many object to tipping when it is for service beyond "normal level".

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I'm slightly confused by some of the posts here. Some people don't like the idea of having to tip, but they'd be happy if they just put a standard fifteen percent service charge on the bill? Or raise the food costs so the servers can get paid better? Isn't that sort of six of one, half dozen of the other?

In cost terms, yes. But at least a rise in menu prices (or a compulsory service charge) would be consistent. Right now, it seems, in the US the customer is expected to pay the entirety of the servers' wages on top of what the menu says they should pay for their meals. I don't really see why that's a better system, or any fairer, than just paying for the whole experience in one go and for management to pay the servers an actual living wage. All it does is shift the onus of responsibility for maintaining the serving staff onto the customer rather than the employer, which seems to me to be the wrong way round. I also find it difficult to understand why there should be some kind of special case made for serving staff at restaurants. Or for that matter why you need to tip a taxi driver for the service you're already paying him for, assuming it isn't a special case.

There are some cultures where they don't tip - there are some restaurants that serve the food of such cultures over here at least where they expressly ask you not to tip - and they seem to get along fine.

But mostly, its the people who are bitching about having to tip that are baffling me. You don't have to. It is (barring the whole parties of six or more thing) an optional method of rewarding your server. You can't justify adding a fifty dollar tip to a three hundred dollar check? Don't fucking do it then. It is not mandatory. No one is forcing you. And no decent server is going to hassle you for it. This "social obligation" thing is bullshit. If you're too concerned about the servers and your friends thinking you're a tight-fisted dick, that's your problem and is something you really ought to get over.

If you want to eat in that restaurant again, you need to leave a tip. If you're aware of the general social situation, you need to leave a tip; it's not just whether your friends think you're a tight-wad, it's on your conscience as well. But I don't see why it should be your job to make up for the way the labour laws and tight-fisted management conspire to pay their hardworking staff a net salary of bupkiss and why you're the one who ends up feeling guilty if you don't.

In fact, though, tipping doesn't bother me that much, but then the UK isn't a particularly tip-heavy society and I'm pretty sure (confirmation would be nice) serving staff here have to be paid at least a minimum wage whether they get tipped or not. I will tip, and it annoys me when I'm out with people who don't, because either I have to shell out more or get tarred with the same under-tipping brush as them. But when I think about it logically rather than just "this is what we do" it makes no sense, and I can completely understand those people who resent the system.

Edited by Adelstein

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Here's the thing about the service industry.... A waiter, bartender etc will take your order, get your food, be polite, etc... but they are not your personal bitch for the duration of your meal. I've seen people treat wait staff like their last name was Lannister, and demand servitude, NOT service.

I gotta tell all of you non-tippers out there... you're doing *yourselves* a disservice. We try to be generous with as many people as we can, from our garbage men and post man to our pizza guy. We tip well, and although I don;t believe in Karma, generosity is an investment in one's own self, and the climate of their surroundings.

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Would you also be upset to find out the Virgin Media guy also hung someone's flatscreen TV for them when he did their second box install, because he remembered them giving him a fiver "for a drink" when he installed the main box? Does that mean he should have to hang your TV for you? No, because it was a personal favour, going above and beyond his job. So are the things I'd reserve for a regular, a tipper or someone who I feel sorry for. I don't let the standard, basic services I'm paid to provide suffer regardless of how you treat me.

In that circumstance the tip sounds more like a bribe, just saying. Having the hanging of the tv offered as a paid option is much more transparent.

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