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Old 06-22-2013, 04:28 AM   #101
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Too complicated for me. If I enjoyed the meal and the service was good, I tip 10%.
If simplicity is your goal, then 20% should work just as well. And that way, the server isn't getting short-changed, vis a vis society's expectation that you tip appropriately.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:52 AM   #102
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Actually I don't think maths are hard, I just can't be bothered playing games.

10% is a good rule of thumb. But if someone wishes to tip 23%, or 37.2%, or whatever, that is their choice.
In this country, 10% is not anyone's idea of a good rule of any thumb, maybe rule of middle finger? I am not sure it has ever been anyone's rule, so it sort of can't just be thrown out there like it just makes sense. As I understand it, the current rates of tipping came about because salaries are priced below currently expected minimum wages. With the added 15% or more, supposedly the waitstaff make closer to what the hourly wage would be without our tipping. Now I will grant you that the hourly service to wait on a table of 2 is not half as long as waiting on four, so clearly this is not the most accurate way to remedy this discrepancy in wage rates.

I am not trying to be difficult but what makes 10% the right number for you? Where is the logic or evidence that 10% is enough? Why not 1%? Or 100%? Why do you accept a rule with a percentage at all? Why not pay some hourly rate as you would any salary? Say $4 for an average length meal, more for longer meals...Or some flat per person rate? You know, $1.50 or $2 per person? Would it matter the overall,cost of the meal?
I am not saying any of these are right or good, just wondering how you came to this 10% rule that no one else has....
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:40 AM   #103
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At some point a number of years back the 15% tip went up to 20%. This may have been the late 70s. I know at some earlier point it was 10% but I could only afford eating at a hot dog stand then. I also recall that the rationale given was due to the cost of living going up or inflation. I didn't agree with that rationale then and still don't understand it now other than it being a "smoke screen". Since the cost of dining would have also increased making the bill larger then the actual tip amount at 15% would have increased along with it.

I generally tip 15% if the service is good. Sometimes 20% if exceptional. But there have been a few times it has been 0% along with a talk with the manager. At that point I don't worry about having anyone spit in my food since it is after the fact.

Cheers!
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:58 AM   #104
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+1 Badger. I usually tip 10% at the bar and 20% in the dining room. I recall in my youth 15% was the standard, and it crept up to 20% over the years. I used to be more a of a 15% guy but at some point I just decided that being a server is a hard job and usually low income and that I can afford the couple hundred bucks a year difference between 15% and 20% as long the service is good. .
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:59 AM   #105
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Servers know that there's individual variance in how people tip, and they include this in their decision regarding employment. I don't see anybody beating up on generous tippers ("you're not exactly matching [my perception of] society's expectation--quit it!").
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:26 AM   #106
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At some point a number of years back the 15% tip went up to 20%. This may have been the late 70s. I know at some earlier point it was 10% but I could only afford eating at a hot dog stand then. I also recall that the rationale given was due to the cost of living going up or inflation. I didn't agree with that rationale then and still don't understand it now other than it being a "smoke screen". Since the cost of dining would have also increased making the bill larger then the actual tip amount at 15% would have increased along with it.
I think the jump from 10% to 15% actually took place in the late 1960s, and the jump to 20% took place only in the last decade.

The justification for the increases probably can be found on this chart:



It shows a 30% reduction in real value of the federal minimum wage over the last 44 years. What we'd need to know for sure is whether the salary component of restaurant servers followed the same track. This article seems to indicate that that is the case:

Minimum Wage For Restaurant Servers Remains Stagnant

I don't know why restaurant servers at $100 a plate restaurants get tipped so much, but by the same token, they've always been tipped at a higher rate than the typical diner server, so their compensation never made sense to me.

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I don't see anybody beating up on generous tippers ("you're not exactly matching [my perception of] society's expectation--quit it!").
Just like there's a difference in the perception of a political candidate, for example, who donates more than the national average to charity versus someone who doesn't make any charitable contributions.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #107
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I am somewhat surprised that folks are uncomfortable with the tipping tradition at restaurants. We really enjoy eating out at nice places with good food, and one of the enjoyable perks is having a good waiter/waitress take care of us. So we are happy to signal our pleasure (or not) with the tip, and since we frequent the same places, I think it pays off. The more expensive restaurants are the ones with the better food and the more experienced and skilled waitstaff (otherwise we wouldn't patronize them). We're not talking about pricey places here, but definitely a cut above the typical national chain restaurants. And in the small mom and pop cheaper eateries, if the service is good, we often pay a higher rate just because the food is so cheap, but it will still be less than the finer places [the ambience tends to be pretty cheap too.]

I don't know about the 15 to 20% tipping convention increase. I waited tables in the late 70s and thought 15% was good even though I worked hard to give my customers good service. 10% was common enough back then. Believe me, people knew who of the regulars were the more generous tippers - do you think it didn't influence our level of service?
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:15 PM   #108
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I am somewhat surprised that folks are uncomfortable with the tipping tradition at restaurants. We really enjoy eating out at nice places with good food, and one of the enjoyable perks is having a good waiter/waitress take care of us. ...
I don't get the connection. When I go to a nicer restaurant, typically everything is better, and more expensive. I'm paying more, so why shouldn't I expect better service, along with better food, nicer plate, napkins, tablecloth, environment, etc.

I just don't see any connection between a higher class place providing better service, and the idea that this needs to be accompanied with a tip as a means to pay these people, versus the manager just deciding what he needs to pay people who provide good service, and charging the customer accordingly.

Wow, a nice, clean, white tablecloth - I can't expect that if I don't tip the laundry service that supplies the restaurant? I don't get it. I don't tip the laundry service, the manager manages this, and it's in my bill. Why are servers different?

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Old 06-23-2013, 03:51 PM   #109
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We know the reason the servers are paid different is because of tradition in the US, which morphed into a minimum wage construct that restaurants have been able to use to pay the staff less.

Personally, I like dealing with the servers one-on-one rather than going through the management.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:13 AM   #110
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I know this wasn't your point, but your comment about "dealing with the servers one-on-one" got me thinking: In the United States, if it were not for the gratuity system and how it relies so heavily on that personal connection, I have no doubt that most restaurants would switch to a team service arrangement, since it would be a lot more efficient. We already see the indications of this in many of these restaurants, with food runners and such. The "I'm your server" thing is, in many cases, an inefficient overlay placed on top of a more efficient service model, the overlay in place solely to feed that personal connection so as to keep the gratuity consistently high enough.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #111
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+1 Badger. I usually tip 10% at the bar and 20% in the dining room. I recall in my youth 15% was the standard, and it crept up to 20% over the years. I used to be more a of a 15% guy but at some point I just decided that being a server is a hard job and usually low income and that I can afford the couple hundred bucks a year difference between 15% and 20% as long the service is good. .
I usually just get flat out screwed at the bar.. I get a beer, I give a buck..so it's 20%-30% plus for twisting the cap, but whatever... Even though the term 20% is used by most and me included, in my area, all the restaurants that add the tipping line on receipt for "convenience" use 18% and the actual dollar figure that equates out to. Maybe living in "low cost area" saves me 2%, also. I don't get the 2% discount though, because I use cash and do not have a pocket full of change, so they get the round up buck.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:45 PM   #112
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I get tip exhaustion down here. Everyone has their hand out. I learn to dignify them by looking away before they ask. Gringo = money in the minds down here...
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:56 PM   #113
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10% is not anyone's idea of a good rule of any thumb, maybe rule of middle finger?
No tip can reasonably consider be considered an insult ... a gratuity is free money,and should be received as such.

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I am not trying to be difficult but what makes 10% the right number for you? Where is the logic or evidence that 10% is enough?
I don't see any "logic" to tipping ... it's a tired convention that has long outlived any usefulness it may once have had. No "evidence" suggests that any amount is "enough".

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Why not pay some hourly rate as you would any salary?
That's a perfectly valid point, but one that should be discussed between the restaurant owner and his or her employees.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:19 PM   #114
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No tip can reasonably consider be considered an insult ... a gratuity is free money,and should be received as such.

I don't see any "logic" to tipping ... it's a tired convention that has long outlived any usefulness it may once have had. No "evidence" suggests that any amount is "enough".

That's a perfectly valid point, but one that should be discussed between the restaurant owner and his or her employees.
Your earlier post cited 10% as a good rule...good implies there is something good about it...why is 10% good? What if some one else said 1% was a good rule of thumb...as it could be in Europe... Where is the goodness derived from? Is it revealed truth from any particular source or is there some evidence supporting the validity of your proclamation that it is good? I have never heard this rule of thumb in the USA before and am not sure it exists outside of your post.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:29 AM   #115
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No tip can reasonably consider be considered an insult ... a gratuity is free money,and should be received as such.
I know you wish this were true, but it is important to recognize that it is not. In our society, restaurant gratuities are part of the expectation of patronizing restaurant meals. No amount of equivocations helps one escape the obligations thereof.

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I don't see any "logic" to tipping ...
I don't see any logic to the religion of my birth, but I still respect its rituals when I'm asked to attend family events within that religion's houses of worship. Tipping is a ritual of this society as-a-whole, and the expectation of respect for it applies across society.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #116
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...Tipping is a ritual of this society as-a-whole, and the expectation of respect for it applies across society.
I understand that point of view; but, if we had not had people who did not respect other rituals of our society in the past, we would still be doing some pretty awful things.

I really do not know what the right balance is between just putting up with the social norms/contract/whatever to have a harmonious society vs. feeling free to break those norms because of personal belief or to try and change the social contract for all.

Personally, I find the constant tipping expectation tiresome and annoying but not so much so that I am willing to rise up against it...except on those occasions when my service is less than stellar and I still see an expectant hand out, palm up.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:53 AM   #117
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I understand that point of view; but, if we had not had people who did not respect other rituals of our society in the past, we would still be doing some pretty awful things.
The question is what is the honorable means of opposition: Short-changing a hard worker isn't the right answer. Opening up your own restaurant, no gratuities allowed, is a right answer. Avoiding all restaurants that don't have "no gratuities allowed" policies, is a right answer.

Taking a moral stance on something usually doesn't carry with it personal financial gain, but generally the opposite, or at least some personal sacrifice rather than personal enrichment.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #118
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I don't see any logic to the religion of my birth, but I still respect its rituals when I'm asked to attend family events within that religion's houses of worship. Tipping is a ritual of this society as-a-whole, and the expectation of respect for it applies across society.
Seems a bit over-the-top to liken tipping to religion, the central source of truth in the lives of many people. And, undoubtedly the source of great suffering, too, in the history of mankind.
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And if you consider tipping to be comparable to any of the offensive examples you posted, then there is simply no speaking to you civilly about this.
One person's response to a more apt comparison.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:35 PM   #119
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Seems a bit over-the-top to liken tipping to religion, the central source of truth in the lives of many people.
The nature of analogy is that things aren't the same; they're parallel.

I'm sorry that you're disappointed that the parallel doesn't support your perspective.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:51 PM   #120
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Your earlier post cited 10% as a good rule...good implies there is something good about it...why is 10% good?... Where is the goodness derived from.
It works well for me. Since tipping is ostensibly discretionary and I don't answer to you, that is the only justification I need.
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