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Old 06-14-2013, 09:38 PM   #21
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Mostly I see no correlation between the tip and our service.
I've seen study's that basically claim this as well, but I wonder if this lack of correlation is just within in the US but not necessarily true globally. I've found service to be uniformly better in the US than Europe (at least at the restaurants I've been too).
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:51 AM   #22
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I pay it, but have never "got" this whole tipping thing. They should get a salary paid by business and bake it into the menu prices.
Honestly, you don't think tipping provides an incentive for servers to provide better service? How much I tip is always influenced by the service we receive, but maybe others just tip the same regardless.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:53 AM   #23
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I had someone chase me down when I tipped only $10 on a $100 bill for 2 people.

Waiter said it's mandatory 15%...What? Nowhere did the menu say mandatory 15% for 2 people. The service was horrible. I wanted to tip 0% because it was so bad.
I suspect you would have been doing the manager/maitre d' a big favor had you just walked back in and asked about "the policy." Odds are it was bogus, and the management might have been very interested in the waiter's actions.

I can't remember when service was so bad that I wanted to leave 0%, but I'd find the management and explain why up front before doing it. Without hearing about the poor service, the restaurant staff would understandably conclude you (the customer) were just a cheapskate-jerk...
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:10 AM   #24
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This is an area I choose to look at as "small stuff" and don't sweat it. I tend to tip around 20%. With what I make its no real difference leaving a $15 vs. $20 tip. Of course when I retire and have to live on less, I may change this habit.

At times I like to use tipping as "act of random kindness". I remember once eating with a friend and our waitress was essentially being sexually harassed by a nearby table, to the point where we spoke out to them about it. Of course these fools didn't simmer down and then left without a tip. We could tell she was upset so we decided to leave a big tip, $50 on a $30 bill, with a note that said "thanks for the service, not all guys are idiots, hang in there". Just before we got to our car she came tearing out of the the restaurant to us, crying and thanking us and hugging us. She even joked and asked us "Are you married or dating anyone? Or do you have brothers who are single?" Sometimes it feels good to tip and help brighten someone's day.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:20 AM   #25
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Honestly, you don't think tipping provides an incentive for servers to provide better service? How much I tip is always influenced by the service we receive, but maybe others just tip the same regardless.
No, I just give the 15%-20% each time. To me anyways, it doesn't effect the service in any way, because it is paid after, not before, and they would not know prior if I was a cheap bastard or not. I pay because it is expected, because their pay depends on it. When some restaurants already add the tip into the bill it is expected, not an incentive. It may just be me, but the business should pay the appropriate salary. Why tip a waiter for good service, and not cashier at Walmart who moves the products through at a fast rate and bags the goods in an excellent manner? Why tip cab driver, but not a city bus driver, who got you safely to your destination, also? Why not tip the heart surgeon who successfully performed your heart transplant? Just because he makes a lot of money doesn't mean he would put maximum effort into it. I will never figure it out, but I am conditioned to pay the past 30 years, so I will dutifully continue.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #26
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I pay it, but have never "got" this whole tipping thing. They should get a salary paid by business and bake it into the menu prices.
Nobody is forcing anyone to be a waiter; they know what the pay situation is going into the job. Like commissioned sales staff in a way, the good ones probably much prefer the system as it is.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:57 AM   #27
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I almost never go to a new restaurant other than when I am someone else's guest, so the tip is their responsibility. the places I go to a lot I tip well, because I like the people and I like the way they treat me. No doubt in my mind that they remember. If I do go to a new place (new for me), I'll tip well if I think that I might want to repeat.

I go to one place downtown where I never get charged what the menu says I should owe- they might say, how does $x sound? I say it sounds splendid, and give them 20% on what it would have cost me if they had charged it, plus a bonus.

I am on no crusades, don't like 'em. Just want to live happily, and in my small way to help those that I know and like have a decent day.

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Old 06-15-2013, 12:10 PM   #28
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No, I just give the 15%-20% each time. To me anyways, it doesn't effect the service in any way, because it is paid after, not before, and they would not know prior if I was a cheap bastard or not. I pay because it is expected, because their pay depends on it. When some restaurants already add the tip into the bill it is expected, not an incentive. It may just be me, but the business should pay the appropriate salary. Why tip a waiter for good service, and not cashier at Walmart who moves the products through at a fast rate and bags the goods in an excellent manner? Why tip cab driver, but not a city bus driver, who got you safely to your destination, also? Why not tip the heart surgeon who successfully performed your heart transplant? Just because he makes a lot of money doesn't mean he would put maximum effort into it. I will never figure it out, but I am conditioned to pay the past 30 years, so I will dutifully continue.
That pretty much nails it for me. I think this was discussed recently here, but as you say, 15% from a cheap guy might be an indication of exemplary service, and 15% from someone who normally tips 20% might be a sign of poor service. How does the waiter know which message is being sent, if any?

I think someone on this forum also put it well. They said, if I go to a restaurant, I am paying for the food, service and atmosphere. So after this is supplied, I'm now going to be put upon and be expected to perform a performance review of their staff? ? ? ! ! I hated doing performance reviews at work - almost everybody does! The restaurant manager should be doing the performance reviews, that is his/her job. Let me eat my dinner in peace. If I have a particular problem or particular bright spot, I can let the manager know, and it is up to them to decide to do something about it or not.

But, I have to go along with this (as Sheldon Cooper would say) 'sub-optimal social convention'. But I don't have to like it.

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Old 06-15-2013, 01:09 PM   #29
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But, I have to go along with this (as Sheldon Cooper would say) 'sub-optimal social convention'. But I don't have to like it.

-ERD50
I'm curious- what would you consider to be optimal social conventions? Are there any? And isn't this determination pretty much in the eye of the beholder anyway?

Ha
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:58 PM   #30
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I'm curious- what would you consider to be optimal social conventions? Are there any? And isn't this determination pretty much in the eye of the beholder anyway?

Ha
Sure, it is subjective, but I'd say there are plenty of them that most of us would agree on.

Doing a favor for a friend is one. It's social convention, and usually very practical. I might help a friend with something that is easy for me, but difficult for him. He returns the favor in his area of expertise. Win-win.

Plenty others are neutral, but it's easy to go along with. Some are a pain for many of us, they are 'sub-optimal'.

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Old 06-15-2013, 03:05 PM   #31
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Sure, it is subjective, but I'd say there are plenty of them that most of us would agree on.

Doing a favor for a friend is one. It's social convention, and usually very practical. I might help a friend with something that is easy for me, but difficult for him. He returns the favor in his area of expertise. Win-win.

Plenty others are neutral, but it's easy to go along with. Some are a pain for many of us, they are 'sub-optimal'.

-ERD50
Well, I agree with the assertion that doing a favor for a friend (and of course having the expectation of reciprocity) is likely to leave satisfied participants or at least fairly satisfied. But I would say that the same is true of tipping. I prefer as many areas in my life as possible to be responsive to my input. Tipping is, when practiced as I and many others do. Now my voting in national elections has essentially zero effect, and my local voting other than initiatives likewise. In fact, envy initiatives are being gutted by the courts. Funding proposals have some responsiveness to the voters en masse, but in my liberal community almost none to my particular concerns.

I don't like the way a counterperson at a national store treats me, I cn complain but I am more or less out of luck if I expect any response. Not so my tipping behavior, though I concentrate more on rewarding good service than on punishing poor service. IF a I have a few hundred restaurants nearby, my remedy for poor service is clear enough.

I think to like the market system but not like tipping is at least somewhat inconsistent.

Ha
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #32
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Generally my max is 12% unless the bill is really low then the % goes up. Seems most of the places we go to pool the tips -- that's my impression. Mostly I see no correlation between the tip and our service.
So you give $12 on a $100 bill? Even if the service was outstanding? That's being cheap in my opinion. You should've just gone to McDonald's.

With bad service I can see why someone would tip low but your max being 12% most of the time is terrible.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:25 PM   #33
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So you give $12 on a $100 bill? Even if the service was outstanding? That's being cheap in my opinion. You should've just gone to McDonald's.

With bad service I can see why someone would tip low but your max being 12% most of the time is terrible.
First of all Ikonomore, I'd never tell someone even on the internet that they are cheap. I try to show more respect but your standards are apparently different.

Second, that 12% was the old standard that I had seen maybe 15 years ago. Maybe times have changed.

Third, we don't go out to $100 places and have even visited McDonald's.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:47 PM   #34
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... I prefer as many areas in my life as possible to be responsive to my input. Tipping is, when practiced as I and many others do. Now my voting in national elections has essentially zero effect, and my local voting other than initiatives likewise. ...

I don't like the way a counterperson at a national store treats me, I cn complain but I am more or less out of luck if I expect any response. Not so my tipping behavior, though I concentrate more on rewarding good service than on punishing poor service. IF a I have a few hundred restaurants nearby, my remedy for poor service is clear enough.

I think to like the market system but not like tipping is at least somewhat inconsistent.

Ha
If it works for you, that is great. IME, I'd equate tipping with your view of voting - essentially zero effect.

The free-market aspect is just as you say - I'll stop going to that restaurant if the service is a problem. You are not tipping the chef, or the guy that delivers the meat and produce to the restaurant, or the many other people involved - I expect the restaurant manger to manage them, and the wait staff.

I think the last time this subject came up, there were some links to some restaurants that were dropping tipping, and they explained it just as I view it - let them take care of providing good people, and if they don't, let the manager know about it.

The one place that we are at often enough to really feel like our tipping might affect service is an inexpensive and casual Mexican-style place. It is family run, we've seen many of the same servers there for years and years. They really work as a team, any waitress walking by is likely to help you out if she sees an empty drink or a plate to take away, regardless of whether that is 'her table'. They pool their tips, we pay at the cash register, and so unless they are searching through our receipts trying to match us up to the tip amount, they'd never know who tipped what. Maybe the manager tracks average tips to monitor things, I don't know. But they do their job, I give a tip around 18%, maybe rounding up a bit since the food is pretty cheap, and they still have as much/more work as if the bill was double, and we keep going back, and it is usually pretty crowded.

There are just so many areas where we expect the manager to manage the people we interface with, I just don't understand why waiters should stand out as the main group that relies on tips. Are you saying you would prefer to tip the guy in the Home Depot aisle, the check-out person at Trader Joes, the guy sweeping the floor? Where does it end?

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #35
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In general I always tip about 15%. But some of the cheaper places I would round off the next dollars which could make my tip 20 or even 30%. My personal view on this is that I wish America would take a hint from the rest of the country and ban tipping. I'm more than willing to buy meals with prices that can support a living wage for the staff. But why should the high-end places get a percentage cut compared to the low end when the reality is that both did roughly the same amount of work.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:08 PM   #36
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That pretty much nails it for me. I think this was discussed recently here, but as you say, 15% from a cheap guy might be an indication of exemplary service, and 15% from someone who normally tips 20% might be a sign of poor service. How does the waiter know which message is being sent, if any?

I think someone on this forum also put it well. They said, if I go to a restaurant, I am paying for the food, service and atmosphere. So after this is supplied, I'm now going to be put upon and be expected to perform a performance review of their staff? ? ? ! !

-ERD50
I tend to leave 15% and round up for inexpensive places. Unless the service is bad in which case I'll leave 10%, although I can't say I've done this in several years.

When I do receive exceptional service I'll leave ~25%. However, I also make a point of going up to my server, and saying something along the lines, of "that was really good,and the service was even better" and if the manager is around telling him also.

About once a year I go to the nicest restaurant in Honolulu, (Alan Wongs), the service is exceptional but since the price I think reflects the service,I don't feel obligated to tip over 15%.

What do I hate is the high end places trying to suggest that 18% is the proper tipping amount.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:40 PM   #37
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My grandmother was a waitress, and she drummed it into my mother (who drilled it into us) that you always tip 15%. If the service is exemplary, take it up to 20% or 25%, and if the service is bad, speak to the waitress immediately. You aren't always going to get stellar service, but if the staff is making a good-faith attempt to deliver, I will at least give the baseline 15% tip.

I agree that tipping is a ridiculous system, and the staff should be paid a living wage by the establishment as part of the employment; however, I recall a couple of comments my mother made over the years that some weeks the tips were what let them buy groceries. Sure, the workers know the salary and earnings when they sign on; however, for some, it really is the only job they can hold. For me, it's a "there but for the grace of god" and "better you than me" kind of offering to karma when I tip. (Waitressing would be high on my list of jobs I'd loathe. Right up there with telemarketer or sales.)
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:39 PM   #38
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No, I just give the 15%-20% each time. To me anyways, it doesn't effect the service in any way, because it is paid after, not before, and they would not know prior if I was a cheap bastard or not. I pay because it is expected, because their pay depends on it. When some restaurants already add the tip into the bill it is expected, not an incentive. It may just be me, but the business should pay the appropriate salary. Why tip a waiter for good service, and not cashier at Walmart who moves the products through at a fast rate and bags the goods in an excellent manner? Why tip cab driver, but not a city bus driver, who got you safely to your destination, also? Why not tip the heart surgeon who successfully performed your heart transplant? Just because he makes a lot of money doesn't mean he would put maximum effort into it. I will never figure it out, but I am conditioned to pay the past 30 years, so I will dutifully continue.
If you leave a cheap tip, don't plan on going back. We just go to a few restaurants on a regular basis, know most of the servers and treat them well. If you leave 10% or less, be prepared to have a server spit in your food once in a while.......I've seen it happen. And, If I were the server I'd be tempted (but wouldn't) spit in their food as well.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:02 PM   #39
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My grandmother was a waitress, and she drummed it into my mother (who drilled it into us) that you always tip 15%. If the service is exemplary, take it up to 20% or 25%, and if the service is bad, speak to the waitress immediately. You aren't always going to get stellar service, but if the staff is making a good-faith attempt to deliver, I will at least give the baseline 15% tip.
This is pretty much my routine also.

There is a Mexican restaurant that we visit routinely sometimes once a week. Their prices are low, so sometimes our bill is only $20. We always tip 20-25% there, they know us by name and our standard order, kinda like Norm and Cheers

If we go to a non regular restaurant, we tip 15%, if the service was less than desired, (forget to check on us, give refills, ignore us when we are ready to leave, etc.).

If it is good, never having to ask for a refill, comes to check on us with out too much intrusion, quick about getting the bill once it is ready for check out, etc. It will be 20%.
I used to work in the food service business and realize how many people can leave zero or pocket change for a tip.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:16 PM   #40
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If you leave a cheap tip, don't plan on going back. We just go to a few restaurants on a regular basis, know most of the servers and treat them well. If you leave 10% or less, be prepared to have a server spit in your food once in a while.......I've seen it happen. And, If I were the server I'd be tempted (but wouldn't) spit in their food as well.
If I ever saw someone spit in someone's food I'd be talking to the owner or the health department. That's nasty, and inexcusable.

(Shudder)
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