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Old 08-19-2013, 05:15 PM   #41
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Very thoughtful and interesting reads from everyone. I knew this would be a hot topic as it always is. The fact is that tipping for some services is expected in this culture, although not the norm in other places like Australia, and New Zealand. They seem to get along just fine. I don't have a pat answer, but I do know that I think any tip should be earned and not expected.

Actually I wish this thread had been done as a poll although it would have to be pretty elaborate.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:16 PM   #42
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I'm with Andy and Dawg ... I think it's a great idea. I bartended in college and found out quickly that if I was quick with the wait staff, I got my tips from them like I was supposed to.
Actually, I had a lot of experience, and was very quick and efficient. The waitrons (not all) just didn't want to share, and the policy wasn't enforced. We were all poor and starving back then!

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btw, Andy and Dawg both said they thought tipping should be abolished.

I never said it should be abolished, just that I liked the idea. I relied on the tips I made. Once, when I was behind the bar, a couple guys gave me a $100 tip, they said they wanted to see how it felt to leave a big tip! It made my starving college budget go so much further, and was greatly appreciated.


When we've stayed at all-inclusive resorts, the Dominican comes to mind, I've noticed that Canadians and Europeans don't tip. They assume the tip is included, and never give it a thought. Often, we Americans are accused of overtipping, and corrupting these poor people into expecting tips for everything.

I usually tip 20%, even though it may be overboard. My math skills aren't that good....
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:28 PM   #43
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I agree with those who don't leave a tip for atrocious service. But to me that's just another example of why tipping is so messed up. For instance, here in SD the minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 an hour! Yeah- per hour! But drive forty minutes east into MN and there's no exemption for tipped workers so the servers there are paid minimum wager. I'm not sure if that's the Fed min wage (what is it now, $7.25?) or if there's a state min.

So let's hypothetically say that you're dining in Sioux Falls, SD. Your server is working your table but also two other sections because a couple of other servers called in sick. Or lets even say the cheapskate owner didn't schedule anyone else on. Your poor server is running her butt off trying to keep up but she's only one person. Her tips are going to suffer for it.

Okay, that doesn't address the lazy or incompetent server. And maybe you can't find a manager to complain to. If your only recourse is to not tip, do what you have to.

I guess my main issue isn't that people shouldn't tip (even though it's a relatively recent phenomenon in the dining sphere). It's that I don't think the burden of providing a living wage should fall on the diner. Some restaurant owners will complain that they can't survive if they pay servers the minimum wage but that's obviously bologna! If every restaurant in the neighboring state can afford it so can the ones here! I once was the Sous Chef at a large chain restaurant that had locations in SD and MN. The menu prices were pretty close from state to state and the ones in MN still made money despite paying $8/hr. So there's that.

It would probably be better if the service charge was just rolled into the regular menu prices. After all, if you walk up to the cash register at Target to pay for your purchases, they don't tack on a surcharge to pay the guy ringing you up. That's just part of the price on the tag, the cost of doing business.

Restaurants are one of the few places where the business owners have conned the customers into directly paying the payroll for him. Great work when you can get it!
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #44
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The problem with rolling the SC into menu prices comes when potential customers compare prices among restaurants and choose another because your prices are higher. Unless all restaurants do the same that's an issue.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:57 PM   #45
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I've been reading all the responses here. Interesting topic. I agree that tipping should be done away with. The workers should receive a decent wage and their pay should be figured into the cost of the meal. I almost never add more when they already add the "tip" to the check (like for groups) unless the service was superb. Then again, I never leave no tip either. I've noticed that "tip jars" are showing up in all sorts of places like sandwich shops and coffee shops. It just makes sense to pay the staff and charge the customer a cost that will cover everything that goes into the meal. I have never had to rely on tips for my paycheck but my kids have. I never understood how a waiter at a fancy restaurant can make 20% on a $200 meal and really hasn't worked any harder than the waiter at the local diner where the average ticket is $50. Tying the tip to the cost of the meal doesn't seem fair to me either so we tend to over tip in cheaper places. To get rid of this unfairness, I'd like to see tipping done away with.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:19 PM   #46
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On the flip side, I easily made $20/ hour on days shifts or slow, slow nights and double+ that during busy times. There is no flipping way I would work that job without tips. That is mostly because there is such a HUGE gap between "minimum wage plus a buck or two" which is what so many think should be acceptable and a LIVING wage.

Let's get real --you absolutely cannot get anywhere making even twice the amount of what minimum wage is -- unless you have a huge nest egg to draw from, own your own home, don't have car payments nor have to worry about repairs, aren't putting kids through college, paying for orthodontist work, daycare, etc.

There isn't an easy answer. But I so have to laugh at the "don't tell me what to tip" crowd who mindlessly fork over their money at whatever profit margin X company states that they want for what they're selling for everything else they purchase. But I guess we all have to feel like we control something. =)
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:24 PM   #47
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1) Minimum wage just be just that: MINIMUM wage. An employer, no matter how he views it, should have to pay the federal (or state, if higher) minimum per hour, no matter what the job. Period.

2) Tips should not be used by the employer to make up the difference between what they want to pay and what the fed/state minimum wage is (see Fact Sheet #15: Tipped Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act .

3) It is my understanding that only table servers can be paid "servers' pay", ie $2.15/hour. I have been told that counter workers (think Dunkin' or McD's) and kitchen staff are paid at minimum. Perhaps this is state-by-state. Way back when (1990s) and in a different state (Ohio) both of our kids worked simultaneously for the same mall-based chain resto. She was a grill cook, he was a server. She made minimum when she started (raises every 6 months afterwards, based on performance), he was paid server-base plus tips. He was good and cleaned up in the tip department. She made him buy the gas for the car ALL the time. (They shared a car...)

4) Like some have said, I like having the control to reward for service well done. We've never not tipped because the kitchen was slow, the hostess was inattentive when seating us, or anything out of the control of the server. In fact, I can probably count maaaybeeee two or three times total (in nearly 40 years) we stiffed a server because they were so absolutely inattentive to the job they were hired to do.

We have juggled tips based on how our experience went. I can remember one particular time our supposed-to-be server was very lax in doing their job, but another server (or runner, or busser - don't remember exactly what position she had) picked up the slack and made sure we had all we needed and took care of us. In that instance we left 10% for our assigned server and 15% directly into the hand of the person who did the work, explaining what we were doing and why. Don't know if she kept it or gave/shared with our assigned server. That was up to her.

As a rule of thumb we leave 20% for decent service. Put in extra good service, we give an extra good tip - on occasion (back before Himself was laid off) we had gone to 35% because our server was Just That Good. When I would travel alone I would tip as if the server were waiting on two of us, mentally adding another 60% of my real bill to the figure I would tip off of. It takes a server just as long (sometimes longer) to wait on a single patron than it does to serve two. With him not working we don't go out often. IMO my food tastes better than about 90% of the places we've been (we now hit just a few regular spots because we know it will be well worth it) and the only tipping necessary is "Kiss the Cook".
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:34 PM   #48
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There are times we've also tipped the kitchen for an exceptional meal.

As far as paying x amount for other goods that we need, if the service in that store is poor we do vote with our feet. And I let management know why I no longer shop in their store.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:51 PM   #49
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I'm pretty vocal, period. Who, ME? Back before we got smart and still ate at chain restaurants (I still crave the salad from Olive Garden...) we had a crap meal. Appy was build-your-own-bruschetta - and the bread was still frozen in the middles. Salad came out just before the entrees. Dissatisfied with the meal (but not the server) all around. Before we left I said to Himself "I have to tell the manager". Himself went and hid in the corner quietly while I explained the problems to the manager, saying "If no one complains to you when things aren't right, and you start to lose business, how will you know to correct the problems?" He not only thanked me, the gave us a $50 gift card, asking that we come back in a few weeks to see if we noticed a difference. THIS MANAGER NEEDS TO TEACH HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT!!! Why? We went back a month or so later, to that location, and OMG, what a different restaurant it was! All the staff was attentive and helpful (but hadn't been an issue in the first place) and every item of food was perfect. He remembered me (not sure that's a good thing... ) and asked how dinner was. Told him we were amazed. Even in some chain restaurants management cares if customers are happy.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:13 PM   #50
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Whenever I fly, I have to use a wheelchair. Airports have a volunteer service that gets your to your gate in a timely manner. They depend on tips as their only source of income for the service they provide. You can wheel yourself around, but those airports are big. You may as well train for a wheelchair marathon. So I tip generously. Most of the pushers I noticed are elderly trying to augment their income. They take me to a special line for wheelchairs and I get through twice as fast as the rest of the folks do who have been in line for more than an hour. Only once was I asked if I had any identification showing that I was handicapped. I did. I had my placard for the Registry. I take it everywhere. These volunteers have a special rapport with certain TSA agents. It makes your experience at the airport more pleasant. Whatever tip you give them is certainly not enough. But I give what I can afford.

My girlfriend in Atlanta makes frequent trips to NY with her father for business. Sometimes she usually him herself. I asked her if she ever used a volunteer. She had no idea that they were volunteers. And she had never tipped one. Now she knows.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:17 PM   #51
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Do any of you tip the housekeeper who cleans your room in a hotel? I do, even if I stay for just one night. A five dollar tip is the norm. I have friends that never do. Trust me folks. Any one who is serving the public directly, is making only minimum wage.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:46 AM   #52
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In response to a very interesting discussion. If you think your meal was exceptional ask the chef to come out to your table and thank him. In most cases he or she will bring praise back to the kitchen and share it with the rest of the staff. Many times front of the house will not relay your thoughts.[waitrons,hosts, managers etc] Kitchen gets no tips and in most cases get a fair wage. A kind word helps the morale of a sometimes difficult shift. All complaints end up in the kitchen. As for the tipping issue I see both sides of the fence.All management should pay all personnel a decent wage, include it in the price and loose the non producing workers, just like any other business. Because of competition a lot of managers,chefs,waitrons, and other personnel now work on a bonus incentive system. When things are good pay is good. When things are bad its time for a new job. Seems a lot fairer than any tipping or added charge fees.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:51 AM   #53
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Do any of you tip the housekeeper who cleans your room in a hotel? I do, even if I stay for just one night. A five dollar tip is the norm. I have friends that never do. Trust me folks. Any one who is serving the public directly, is making only minimum wage.
In my working years I spent most of each year living in hotels. We used to tip the housekeepers and also leave them our unopened bottles of beer, wine coolers etc.... We stayed in New Hampshire for an extended period of time and the housekeeping staff started having a happy hour every Friday afternoon with our leftovers!
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:40 PM   #54
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And do the teachers get a bonus if the children do well?

In Virginia, we have the Standards of Learning tests - SOLs for short. Smart marketing, eh? The schools are penalized by the state and federal governments if the students don't do well, so they're forced to put pressure on the students and teach to the test. It's lazy politicians who think evaluating school effectiveness by testing is going to improve the schools that are at fault.
Yes they do and their salaries are tied to performance too. The schools also get more funding if test scores are high.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:42 AM   #55
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Here's another related article I saw this morning:

The end of restaurant tipping? - MarketWatch
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #56
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Here's another related article I saw this morning:

The end of restaurant tipping? - MarketWatch
Another interesting article ont he subject. There were some very big name chefs and restaurants making the change to no tipping. Interesting to see how far this goes.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #57
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I was a waitress at a members' only yacht club. Tips were shared with the front and the back of the house. I can't remember what the mandatory tip was, but I think it was 25%. This was a long time ago. The back of the house got 10% to split, the bartender got 5%, the waitress got 10%. This was in the early '80s. Shift manager figured out the amounts and handed the bucks out at the end of each shift. I made far more in tips working there than I did working in a retail clothing store. Why are some "services" considered "tip worthy" and others not? I do tip my hair dresser, but the cost of a cut is $20. I give her $10 because she does a fantastic job on my very fine, difficult to style hair. She spends a lot of time on my hair.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:45 PM   #58
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When I was in college, I was a waitress for a couple of years at the Officers Club at the Naval Air Base in Norfolk. Because it's a federal facility, it's not subject to the minimum wage exemption that allows regular restaurants to pay $2.13 (or thereabouts) per hour, so I made the minimum - I think it was $5.something at the time. Plus tips, plus it was mostly buffets, so the work wasn't onerous and back then, officers and their families drank freely. Sunday champagne brunch was the best for making tips

The club also did a lot of catering - wedding receptions, command change dinners, welcome-home dinners, etc. I think the club charged a percentage of the total bill and distributed it among everyone who worked it. Bartenders had tip jars on the portable bars for these events; I don't remember now whether that was included in the tip pool.

I figured I made probably $10-12 per hour at least, with the tips.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:22 PM   #59
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There were days I went home the end of my 4 hour shift with $100 in my pocket. When I got to work dinner service, I went home with anywhere from $175 to 225. Those shifts were 6 hour shifts.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:29 PM   #60
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There were days I went home the end of my 4 hour shift with $100 in my pocket. When I got to work dinner service, I went home with anywhere from $175 to 225. Those shifts were 6 hour shifts.
That kind of pay was a problem years ago when we were trying to convince young freshfaced kids to go to school and get a degree.

It can be very tempting.
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