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Tipping Etiquette

Your Two Cents: Tipping Etiquette

Tipping can be a surprisingly hot topic for some people. I've heard some say they feel insulted that a server expects a tip, but I've always been a good tipper because of past waitressing experiences. I've felt their pain. Of course there are instances where a bigger or smaller tip may be appropriate, but I've definitely never left a tip that would make the server's night worse. What about you: Are you hard to impress when dining or do you have a pretty standard tipping etiquette?


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bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
This topic has been beaten to death. This argument is going nowhere. It's over. I'm finished talking about this with you. You're also being really rude. I'm done.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
Let's not forget about places that deliver that charge a delivery fee. These are the same exact places that deliver to college campuses--mainly because they already KNOW that students can't afford to tip. Delivery fees are designed because the restaurants know that they'll have to pay the deliver people and it's a way to make paying them hassle-free.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
...I also think that if you're going to knowingly leave someone a tip that is significantly lower than what the average consumer leaves then you should not be so surprised and indignant when people get angry and/or give you bad service in the future. I said nothing about deliveries to a home or to a business, but I said a college campus where students usually don't have money. My point is, it's ridiculous for someone making minimum wage or more to get angry at me for little or no tip. Yes, the AVERAGE consumer may tip 15%-20% to a delivery person. But when you're delivering to a college campus--a residence hall--the food is cheap enough to buy and have delivered, but one cannot afford to tip. Many students just can't afford to. And if I apologize and say, "I'm sorry, this is all I have" and you get mad at me, that's ridiculous. ...but its the reality of the industry. It's the reality of the industry to be rude? Interesting. But me getting upset about it makes me indignant, hostile, and self-righteous? How quaint. You may say, "I'm not trying to bash you..., but you're making some pretty harsh judgments about me (even if it's in a roundabout way).
gingerdelmore gingerdelmore 9 years
N, I'm not trying to bash you, I just don't agree with you. I actually did read your original comment and I appreciate that you make attempts to sincerely apologize to delivery men but the tone you took in the follow up read quite hostile and yes, came off (to me) as self-righteous. I respect your right to tip people as you see fit, but as for me, I will continue to factor my tip into the price of delivered food, taxi rides, hair cuts, and other such luxuries in which the workers already make minimum wage. And yes, when money is tight, I consider these things to be luxuries, not necessities. While I don't think its right for anyone to express hostility toward a customer who leaves them a bad tip, I also think that if you're going to knowingly leave someone a tip that is significantly lower than what the average consumer leaves then you should not be so surprised and indignant when people get angry and/or give you bad service in the future. Again, it may not be right that we're now expected to manditorially tip people already making minimum wage, or for a delivery driver or taxi driver to tell a nontipper to f'off, but its the reality of the industry.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Like almost all ex-servers, I make a point of tipping well, because I remember what it's like to basically live on tips. The only time I've ever given anything less than 15% was when my fiance and I had a truly horrid experience: our server brought us the completely wrong food, then abandoned us completely for the rest of the evening so that I had to get up and find someone else to bring us the right orders, after which there was a hair in my fiance's food and I had to get up yet again to find someone else to help, after which we finished eating and then waited fifteen solid minutes before I got up for the third time to find someone to bring us the check. It wasn't even busy in that restaurant. I gave 10% and left a note for the server saying that he might want to try paying attention to his customers, as that tends to get better tips.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
Number 1: You're still taking my words out of context. Number 2: You must be one of those people who jump to conclusions and read way too much into whatever it is you read. You really think I talk to service people like that? Interesting. Regardless of what type of job you have, NO ONE likes to be talked to like that. I'm expressing with words how I feel when delivery people who are paid FULL wages (almost double or more than waiters/waitresses/servers) get an attitude with me. If you get an attitude with me because you feel like being a greedy prick, I'm going to give you an attitude right back. I've actually had delivery people who get full wages curse me out. I'm supposed to take that? Number 3: I've already explained my reasoning with my first comment (as well as in point Number 2 above) on the front page, which you obviously didn't read. Therefore your statement really isn't valid, and you're still bashing me when you don't know the entire story. Brilliant. I'll tip a decent amount when necessary, but if you're paid full wages and tips are a perk, don't get mad at me if I don't give you a tip. I've worked in the restaurant industry, and I've been in the industry of retail. While tips are necessary for a waiter/waitress/server, they're not necessary for a sales associate at, for example Old Navy, though they can provide the same quality of service. The only difference is: One is underpaid because the government assumes that they'll make it up in tips. The other is paid at least minimum wage or more. A little unfair, if you ask me. That being said, if you're being paid full wages, you don't need tips. Forty-hours or more a week at $6.15/hour (or $5.15 when I was younger) is enough to sustain a simple life that focuses on the necessary things. Granted you're scraping by, but it's enough. $2.10 or less is about what waiters/waitresses/servers receive. Damn right you should be mad if someone doesn't tip you AND talks down to you. You can't survive on $80 a week (and I didn't even subtract taxes).
gingerdelmore gingerdelmore 9 years
"gingerdelmore, I completely respect the fact that you took my comment out of context and bashed me." What makes you think I took your comment out of context? Delivery drivers are as much a part of the service industry as are servers, executive chefs, line cooks, restaurant managers, bartenders, and so on. My point is this: Money isn't everything, but self respect is. Telling a service person to "be grateful" for what you can give them sounds incredibly insulting, and while maybe that wasn't your intention, it came across that way. I stand by my statement that I would rather accept no tip, than a huge tip from a customer who I feel is insulting to me or speaks down to me.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
mariserin: It's assumed by the government that you'll make up the rest with tips. To quote a Wikipedia article entitled 'Etiquette in Canada and the United States', "US Tax Code assumes that food servers receive 8% tips on average." My gripe is not with servers or any kind of service person IN THE PHYSICAL LOCATION of a restaurant, but with delivery people who are already paid full, or AT LEAST minimum, wages and then get freak out about tips.
mariserin mariserin 9 years
btw, i asked my boss why we dont have to get minimum wage, and he said theres special laws about tippable jobs. i make half of minimum wage, then tips.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
By the way, gingerdelmore, if you want to get snooty and technical with me, I can give you another fifty cents if you want to ride a bus around here. It's two dollars. :faint: Guess you won't be getting around, eh?
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
gingerdelmore, I completely respect the fact that you took my comment out of context and bashed me. So mature of you. Thank you. Especially when I was talking about delivery people who are delivering to college campuses where people usually don't have much money to begin with, and not servers. By the way, I too have worked in the service industry, and yes, it was grueling. Yes, it was hard work. And yes, I was treated like sh*t, especially because I lived in a very racist area--who wants the black waitress serving them, right? I'd be mad if someone gave me a dollar, but it's better than nothing. You have to take what you get and learn how to deal with what life gives you. Do me a favor and don't take things out of context. It makes you seem ignorant.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 9 years
annalia05, we can weed tipping out of our culture as soon as servers start getting paid over $6 an hour. In AZ, it's less than $3 an hour! No one can live on that, that's just ridiculous. That would be the first step in eradicating tipping. And I agree with kiddylnd, if these people just can't bear to cook their own food, and "can't afford to (go out or) tip," get something at a drive thru. Or order To Go. Mintie, most of us are breaking it, but the b*tches who claim they shouldn't have to and therefore don't not only ruin servers' nights, but also give us a terrible name! I worked *soooooo* hard as a waitress, I would come home so exhausted after my 16 hour shifts that I would just sleep for 7.5 hours straight so I could get up and go pull another 16 hour shift the next day. When people didn't tip me even though I went out of my way to give them excellent service, free desserts, etc - I was a super and could break the rules about charging for every little thing like our owners demanded - and I didn't get a proper tip, you'd better believe that I never forgot, and making those customers happy the next time they came in was no longer a priority. We waitresses have long memories. I still see those people in town, and they're still on my sh!t list. On the other hand, regulars who were decent (even 15%) got consistently excellent, far beyond the reaches of normal service. And they see me in town. I haven't waitressed in over 3 months, and I ran into an old regular at the coffee shop the other morning, and he bought my drink for me. Now *that* is how you thank a server! :P
mariserin mariserin 9 years
Also, I like to think there is no such thing as "over-tipping." I prefer to think I deserve what they give me!
mariserin mariserin 9 years
Looseseal: Its not really as complicated as it sounds. 15-20% is how it goes almost everywhere. The opinions everyone is sharing here are just that--opinions. There are no "rules" and there is nothing that says the customer HAS to pay 18%, even if a sign says its required you can't force it on them. There can be a sign that encourages that, but that is all, the customer, in the end, gets to say how much they leave. If gratuity is added automatically, the customer has the right to ask that it be taken off so they can leave however much they feel is appropriate. It's not as complicated as having to Google it before you eat everywhere. It's just how things work here so it's not something people put much thought into. You go out to eat, you know you are leaving a tip at the end, you don't predetermine what percentage you will leave, you decide how much to leave based on personal preferences and the service. And as far as employers not paying minimum wage, mine pays minimum wage. It's just the way the industry works, and it is understood if you go to work as a server that you are working off of tips. That being said, there ARE some restaurants that always add gratuity automatically, so working there you might make more money than somewhere that doesn't do that, but if you are a terrible, people would probably all talk to your manager and have the gratuity taken off the bill. At the end of the day, between everyone's opinions and how I do with each table, I usually walk away with anywhere between 15% and 20% of my sales in tips. People's personal preferences usually balance out at the end of the day, sure there are some days where you get all bad tippers, but it's not the norm. Hope that explained it a little better to you. As far as tipping the hairdresser goes, it depends on the salon, but if you are tipping in cash, usually you go back and you hand it to the hairdresser, smile, say thank you. Not really a big deal. As far as tip outs: It would be really hard not to make enough money to tip out. For example, where I serve, we pay the bartenders 1% of our sales. If we didn't make enough to cover that then we would have made no tips the entire night--got it? We then pay the people who take the food out 2%. It's not a large amount, not that big of a deal.
elliedee elliedee 9 years
To those of you that dislike tipping or only tip when you can afford it or demand impeccable service for a decent tip - SHAME ON YOU. Put yourself in your servers shoes. Here in Virginia servers are only paid $2.13 an hour. This only covers their taxes - and many times it doesn't even cover that. At the end of the day, it is the tips that they receive that pay their bills. Of course, this is after they have "tipped out" to the busboys, food runners, bartenders, etc. Remember, it is you, the dining public, that write the paychecks for the waiters and waitresses at you favorite restaurant.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
I worked in customer service and dealt with some assholes in my time, but hey, a dollar is a dollar. If only I had a dollar for every time someone was an asshole. But no, I was in a canteen so I didn't even get tips. But I got to stay late without pay to clean spills (whoopee!) How do people get away with paying their employees less than minimum wage? There is no such thing as minimum wage in China, but I thought America had laws about these things. What does tip-out mean? Are servers expected to pay other workers? If they don't get enough tips would they have to pay out of their own pockets? How does that work? And how do you tip a hairdresser? Is it before or after they cut your hair? Do you hand them some money directly? The last time I had my hair cut, you pay at a counter at the end. The hairdresser was prissy. Was he maybe expecting a tip? Did I miss some kind of secret tipping signal there? Employers SHOULD just pay their employees properly and charge accordingly. Failing that, at least post some kind of sign. Have some way for people to know UP FRONT exactly what you expect. Don't expect people to be mind-readers. Even if I'm well-prepared enough to Google it ahead of time, how much the interweb says to tip might not be right all of the time. What's with all these different acceptable percentages in all these different places? And people are supposed to keep up with what the latest changes in acceptable tipping percentages are in accordance to the rate of inflation? Come on! And if the "tipping 18% or more required" sign drives business away to the point of $0, then, hey, at least there'll be none of those terrible, terrible $1 tips. Oh, I found this on some other forum when I was looking up tipping with The Google: "Men seem to be the biggest culprits in over-tipping. It must be an ego thing with, if we don't tip then we feel that we are a cheap-skate or the more we tip the bigger our willy is, or something like that."
gingerdelmore gingerdelmore 9 years
above comment continued- I would prefer no tip than having to endure the self righteous rants of ANY customer with that kind of attitude, no matter how well the tip is. A whole dollar, eh? Throw in fifty cents more and you just bought someone a ride on the bus.
gingerdelmore gingerdelmore 9 years
"If all I have is a dollar, be grateful that I gave you even that." Wow. As someone who has worked in both the tipping and nontipping sectors of the service industry for years, I can say that I would prefer no tip
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
Tipping was started around the Great Depression for black stewards on trains. They would receive no pay, and train riders who purchased food would tip them for their service -their only income was tipping. For all you saying tipping should be eradicated - I AGREE. HOWEVER, until servers are earning minimum wages that are liveable, tipping is expected. Also, those higher wages = higher food prices. Restaurants operate on thin margins of income (for the most part), so you can certainly expect that to be the result of higher wages for servers. Also, I was a great waitress when I worked - friendly, patient, and on top of things. However, there are sooo many things out of our control in restaurants, and while many of you expect GREAT service - sometimes it's impossible. I've had people not tip me because I didn't bring bread out to their table - and that's because our restaurant did not provide free bread. I've had people not tip me because I charged them for extra sauces or drinks when I have to - that's not fair. Please tip 18% when you go out to eat. If your service was HORRIBLE, tip 15% and talk to a manager - please, it's the least we can do to be civilized and treat servers like they're human.
mariserin mariserin 9 years
Not to tip is incredibly wrong....I am a waitress and we make minimum wage, and most gets taken out after taxes anyway, so the majority of my pay comes directly from tips. 20% is considered standard, 10% is considered really cheap! Anything less than 15% is cheap. If the server gives you very basic service, 15% is fine, but if they give good service, they should get 20%. And please be understanding when a server is swamped! Believe me, they are trying to help everyone as soon as they can!
piesecki piesecki 9 years
In the UK where I live 10% is more customary (I don't know what it's like in other countries but here everyone over 18 is eligible for minimum wage, so they get paid something vaguely decent before tip), and knowing how horrible I found it as a waitress before, I will always tip no matter how bad the serivce. I like to think maybe they were just having a bad day! I hate it when I'm out with a large group of people and some will tip and some won't, leaving the rest to cover their tips as well so as not to look stingy. I'm with the 'don't eat out if you can't afford to tip' brigade I'm afraid. I also find it really hard to know *when* and who to tip. Yes in restaurants, and I think I'm supposed to at the hairdressers/beautician, but do I tip cab drivers? Sales assistants? pizza delivery people? bar staff??
Mintie Mintie 9 years
I posted my comment and then went back to read others' comments. I retract my "women are bad tippers" statement. I hope we are breaking that chain, and it from the looks of these posts we are... good job ladies. I agree with many comments above... one of which being, YES, absolutely! If you cannot afford to go out to eat and tip... then make your way over to the grocery store for some peanut butter and bread. I've been there... I may be there again. But I REFUSE to have a service person who relies on tips [or commissions] to waste their time with me if I cannot afford to pay them. Also... I worked in a restaurant as a favor to a friend [had two waitresses go on vacation at the same time] for 2 weeks. It was some of the hardest work I've ever done. At the time I made $1.92/hr and being in kind of white trash suburbs, I didn't get tipped very well. But like I said, it was as a favor, so I had a day job on top of that, so I wasn't trying to survive on that [thank god!]. Anyway... Karma... what goes around, comes around.
Mintie Mintie 9 years
FYI, it's a common conception amongst the service industry that women are bad tippers. Knowing this and wanting to break this trend, I purposely leave 25% on food bills and a minimum of $2 per drink at bars. That being said, if I receive poor service, I will tip much less.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
Actually, rainwen, the servers usually make far less than minimum wage. But I agree with you. I am also opposed to customary tipping. This sums it up COMPLETELY: Secondly, I worked in sectors of the service industries for years where tipping was not customary, and still cannot understand why you tip a bad waitress but not the sales clerk who bends over backwards to make you happy. Where's the line?
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