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Old 06-17-2013, 07:10 AM   #61
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Anyone else over tip elderly waiter/waitresses? Some smaller breakfast/burger places have wait staff well past FRA still humping tables. In general they are the friendliest. The checks are generally small and I will tip 30-50%. Maybe it is just nice to see someone older than me.

A pet peeve is people that leave change for a tip. I will always round to a dollar. A few weeks ago I took some change to the bank to run it through the counter. A young girl kept dumping in bags of change. Then she went the the teller with the receipt and a wad of bills. The total was something like $346 in change and 41 in bills. She said she was a waitress and that was her weekend take. She was basically exchanging it for bigger bills which she walked out with. Such is the life of a waitress I guess.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:15 AM   #62
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I usually take 20% of the before tax total and round it down to the nearest dollar to get the tip and then further round the total (up or down if slight) so the total that goes on my credit card doesn't have cents. So if the pre-tax bill was $45.82 and the total was $49.94, I would generally tip $9.06 and my total would be $59.00. If service is particularly poor, I'll dial down to 15%. I usually only increase if service has been above and beyond or if the bill is small (for example breakfasts) and if I have a discount coupon I calculate the tip based on the bill before the discount.

I've always wondered whether my server makes out better if I tip cash rather than put it on my credit card. Supposedly they do but it is much more convenient for me to just add the tip to my credit card bill.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:06 AM   #63
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I've always wondered whether my server makes out better if I tip cash rather than put it on my credit card. Supposedly they do but it is much more convenient for me to just add the tip to my credit card bill.
I figure the tips on a credit card are more likely to be reported as taxable income and also to be included in the calculations to assure the person made minimum wage. If I've got that right, then tipping in cash helps a dishonest server evade paying taxes, so I see it as an advantage to tip using the credit card. Plus, there's the CC rebate . . .
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:12 AM   #64
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I figure the tips on a credit card are more likely to be reported as taxable income and also to be included in the calculations to assure the person made minimum wage. If I've got that right, then tipping in cash helps a dishonest server evade paying taxes, so I see it as an advantage to tip using the credit card. Plus, there's the CC rebate . . .
Credit where credit is due: I disagree with samclem on so much, but agree with him 100% on this.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:17 AM   #65
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I figure the tips on a credit card are more likely to be reported as taxable income and also to be included in the calculations to assure the person made minimum wage. If I've got that right, then tipping in cash helps a dishonest server evade paying taxes, so I see it as an advantage to tip using the credit card. Plus, there's the CC rebate . . .
I think some restaurants deduct the CC fee from the tip which is why we usually leave a cash tip. But I doubt the waiters really care either way.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:10 AM   #66
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A tip is supposed to be for good service, not to be used as a payment to a mob gangster for 'protection' against people spitting on my food.
You are certainly correct in what "should" be happening. Unfortunately reality deviates from the should scenario as often as not. I tend to try to observe what is happening, be aware of legal constraints that also affect the space, and try to harmonize with what is the case, and forget what should be the case. Otherwise, don't participate-like you said, skip the meals out. Even on trips we can buy cheese at a market and eat in a park.

I should be able to walk around anywhere at 2 am, after all there is no law against walking around at any hour. Nevertheless if I did so and someone hurt me, the police among other things would say that I was an idiot. I should have realized that while there is no law against walking on public streets, and there is a law against assaulting people, in the real world the law against assault may not adequately protect me while I am legally walking.

For some odd reason, many of us as Americans spend a fair amount of energy resisting reality as it exists on the ground.

Ha
You are right of course, and we all do this, probably w/o thinking most of the time. And I think I made the same argument recently with regards to bike riding in traffic - it may be legal, but it's still risky.

But in this context, the idea that a 10% tip would result in my food getting spat upon is outrageous. Given that there are some servers who would resort to this (hopefully a very small minority), I would expect that it would take more than a 10% tip to trigger that action, esp if it was in response to poor service.

And you tip after the meal, so this opportunity would not present itself until you return. Is that same server going to remember a 10% tipper, and serve that same person again, and hold a grudge that long? Could happen, but seems a stretch.

I would think it would be more likely to happen if the customer was acting obnoxious to the server, during the service. We've probably all seen that happen, and while I certainly wouldn't condone the spitting response, it would be a bit more understandable. Being treated like dirt can stir some pretty primal instincts. A 10% tip for poor service should simply tell the waiter you didn't think their service was up to par.

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Old 06-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #67
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If you blithely return to a restaurant where you tipped less than 10%, due to poor service, then I'm more concerned about what you're doing than what a server might do. Unless you have reason to believe things will be different*, isn't it the prototypical definition of insanity to go into a restaurant you've already received poor service from expecting good service?

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:21 PM   #68
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If you blithely return to a restaurant where you tipped less than 10%, due to poor service, then I'm more concerned about what you're doing than what a server might do. Unless you have reason to believe things will be different*, isn't it the prototypical definition of insanity to go into a restaurant you've already received poor service from expecting good service?

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Very good point, and it fits into why I don't like the whole tipping thing. What assurance do I have that my tip is going to change anything? I think we'd be far better off with this cost built into the meal, and let the manager know if our experience was above/below average. If the manager doesn't address the issue, time to move on to another place.

But am I expected to 'train' every sub-par server I come across, running my own little operant conditioning experiment with every meal? And count on others to do the same? And I don't get to see their log book to compare notes? It just seems so ineffective. And I'm there for a meal, not to train their staff.

If I go back and that server is gone, did they leave because of low tips, or did they leave for other reasons? Is their replacement any better?

If the manager asked for this feedback, we'd only have to 'train' one manager, not an entire staff.

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:26 PM   #69
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What assurance do I have that my tip is going to change anything?
There are no guarantees in life, but a gratuity-based system works because if you're a poor performer, so much of your compensation being based on direct and immediate reviews of your performance results in an inability to earn anywhere near enough money. The fastest way to get fired as a server is for the employer to have to bring you up to minimum wage, on a night that the other servers earned loads of tips.

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I think we'd be far better off with this cost built into the meal, and let the manager know if our experience was above/below average.
I personally think that's a fairer system overall, but we consumer, specifically, wouldn't be better off with such a system.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:35 PM   #70
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You are right of course, and we all do this, probably w/o thinking most of the time. And I think I made the same argument recently with regards to bike riding in traffic - it may be legal, but it's still risky.

But in this context, the idea that a 10% tip would result in my food getting spat upon is outrageous.
I agree with you, the example that I gave is in a whole different realm from a 10% tip, or even no tip at all. To explain my thinking, I have to take a short detour into my psyche. So many things have happened in my life that I would have figured were essentially categorically impossible, that I have attempted to train myself to take nothing for granted. Robert Cialdini in his book Persuasion talks about a similar self training. He never responds to a request for a contribution, no matter how apparently worthy the cause is. His reason is that research shows going along with requests begets more going along with requests, such that one may eventually find himself doing things, or contributing to "causes" the he really has no interest in. One becomes in his own mind, ä generous, socially responsible person". While this definitely has its uses, not always for the person who has experienced this categorization.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:03 PM   #71
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Wait a minute - if I get bad service I am free to leave a small, or even no tip. But I wouldn't even consider spitting on the server. The very idea that a server who receives a <10% tip gives them the right to violate my food is obscene.

Maybe we should all just stop going to restaurants all together. Then see how much money these servers make, no salary and no tip.
Agreed.

Anyway, tipping is unAmerican ... Jason's Bar-B-Q had a sign to that effect in The Petrified Forest, so it must be so!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #72
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I think tipping does add an extra frustration to eating out that a lot of people would prefer to avoid. Of course, it also seems to add a tension between customer and server too, especially if the customer is unhappy. I'd much rather just pay the fee and get on with life.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:23 PM   #73
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And what if some loose cannon decides they feel like contaminating your food regardless of how you tip? Come to think of it, every time you eat out, you are ceding complete control over your food to complete strangers with unknown motivations! And people wonder why I don't eat out more

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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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Old 06-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #74
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Since I've retired, I find myself carrying very little, if any cash. I've found that miscellaneous tipping like golf cart attendants and valet parkers and such is the only reason I need to. Sort of seems silly to withdraw money and then give it away voluntarily.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #75
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If you blithely return to a restaurant where you tipped less than 10%, due to poor service, then I'm more concerned about what you're doing than what a server might do. Unless you have reason to believe things will be different*, isn't it the prototypical definition of insanity to go into a restaurant you've already received poor service from expecting good service?

_____
* For example, the receiving assurance that that one staff member has been retrained.
I agree - which is a reason why, on those infrequent occasions where I have left a bad or no tip, I made it a point to talk to the server or manager or write a letter to the owner to explain our reasons. Personally I found doing this in a pleasant but direct way greatly diffuses the situation, and most of the times we have gotten invitations to return and when we did, got treated much better. Once the manager even offered to comp our return meal, but we turned that down, we do not want to come across as freeloaders (sadly I have known of folks who complain just to get a partially or fully comped meal).

Based on experience and conversions with folks who have worked as servers, you are MUCH more likely to, shall we say, get "something" untoward done to your food if you treat them shabbily than if you leave a small tip. As I indicated in my previous post in this thread I get more annoyed by folks treating restaurant workers as "peasants" for their abuse instead of with due respect, even if you don't think the service has been great.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:08 AM   #76
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Based on experience and conversions with folks who have worked as servers, you are MUCH more likely to, shall we say, get "something" untoward done to your food if you treat them shabbily than if you leave a small tip.
So beckoning them, calling out, "Garçon! Garçon!" is probably not a good idea.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:39 AM   #77
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So if the pre-tax bill was $45.82 and the total was $49.94, I would generally tip $9.06 and my total would be $59.00. .
You have no idea what a PITA this can be at the end of the day.

After waiting tables for 8-10 hours and having to figure $X (an even amount) is so much easier rather than deal with .06 cents here and .03 cents there, calculate it out, go the the bartender for change ("can I have change for a buck...I need pennies too, I got $9 and 94 cents for a tip"). Gotta make your bank balance out.

Worse yet are the j&ck$#ses who take a $xx.16 bill and just total the CC receipt for $xy.00 and let you figure out what tip they left you. Just what you need when a place is slammed and you got 15 balls in the air and need to close out the tab.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:13 AM   #78
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Wow. "Jackass"? I hope you instruct your customers in advance.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:22 AM   #79
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Worse yet are the j&ck$#ses who take a $xx.16 bill and just total the CC receipt for $xy.00 and let you figure out what tip they left you.
Why is it preferable to put the math problem on the customer?
And wouldn't you check the math anyway, or would the server just assume the total was right, take the tip amount, and let the "house" suffer the consequences of bad math?
Imagine the horrors of a cash transaction at the register. The customer gets a bill, presents some slips of paper currency, and the panic-stricken cashier has to add up all the slips to find the total, then "make change" using more slips of paper and metal tokens to represent various non-decimal amounts. And yet, somehow, even when the place is busy, these cashiers get through it. With competence it is even faster than a CC transaction.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:40 AM   #80
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This thread reminds me of an old "Candid Camera" episode where a waiter approaches a table of newly seated diners and asks how much tip they intend to leave, so he could make sure to deliver the corresponding level of service.
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