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Old 06-27-2013, 04:06 PM   #121
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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.
Good luck persuading a court of law that tipping - especially some fixed pecentage - is an implied condition of contract and thus a legal obligation of any restaurant patron. I know that you wish this were true, but it is important to recognize that it is not.

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Tipping is a ritual of this society as-a-whole, and the expectation of respect for it applies across society.
Society has a lot of expectations, e.g. that people will work until at least 65 before retiring. Fortunately it remains possible for free thinkers to disregard rituals that they see as pointless. George Bernard Shaw said it best:
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:31 PM   #122
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I couldn't really say what is the "right" percentage for a tip, so these arguments seem completely pointless to me. Here's why.

For our usual $5 lunches at neighborhood restaurants, that are usually pretty cheap in New Orleans, it seems to me that at the very least, the waitress has to

1. take the order
2. punch it into the computer
3. follow up with the chef to make sure it is not delayed
4. bring the food and drink promptly
5. ask us if we need anything else when the food is served
6. refill the drinks at least twice
7. ask us if the food is OK
8. check to see if we want dessert or coffee
9. remove the dishes
10. bring the bill, and the change, and so on, all with a pleasant smile and demeanor.

It seems to me that the waitress for a $50 lunch would be doing the exact same things, and I'll bet she would not be doing 10x as much work per table. So, we tip a much higher percentage at our usual low cost places than we would if our lunch cost more.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:42 PM   #123
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It works well for me. Since tipping is ostensibly discretionary and I don't answer to you, that is the only justification I need.
Yeah, and I'm sure that on your second visit your server from the first visit is hoping that you get seated in another server's section.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:45 PM   #124
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Yeah, and I'm sure that on your second visit your server from the first visit is hoping that you get seated in another server's section.
What? And miss out on the chance to spit in his soup?
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #125
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I think every once in a while a restaurant owner tries to offer a no-tipping policy and it fails miserably. Now that the airlines must provide aftertax/fees pricing, perhaps restaurants will be next, in that tax and tip can add 30 percent to a bill. And then the auto industry so we know what a car costs going into a showroom. And colleges.

But there is not much an individual can do, so in our case we deal with restaurants by tipping 20 percent if there are wait staff involved; if tipping really bothered someone, I am surprised they would tip at all. Of course, with the growth of "fast casual" (order at the counter, and it might be delivered to your table or you might have to pick it up), many places won't even have waiters. Tipping problem solved.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:49 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I couldn't really say what is the "right" percentage for a tip, so these arguments seem completely pointless to me. Here's why.

For our usual $5 lunches at neighborhood restaurants, that are usually pretty cheap in New Orleans, it seems to me that at the very least, the waitress has to

1. take the order
2. punch it into the computer
3. follow up with the chef to make sure it is not delayed
4. bring the food and drink promptly
5. ask us if we need anything else when the food is served
6. refill the drinks at least twice
7. ask us if the food is OK
8. check to see if we want dessert or coffee
9. remove the dishes
10. bring the bill, and the change, and so on, all with a pleasant smile and demeanor.

It seems to me that the waitress for a $50 lunch would be doing the exact same things, and I'll bet she would not be doing 10x as much work per table. So, we tip a much higher percentage at our usual low cost places than we would if our lunch cost more.
And at the same restaurant, the $25 dinner takes no more effort from the waiter's part than the $12 special, but the waiter gets twice the tip.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:53 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I couldn't really say what is the "right" percentage for a tip, so these arguments seem completely pointless to me. Here's why.

For our usual $5 lunches at neighborhood restaurants, that are usually pretty cheap in New Orleans, it seems to me that at the very least, the waitress has to

1. take the order
2. punch it into the computer
3. follow up with the chef to make sure it is not delayed
4. bring the food and drink promptly
5. ask us if we need anything else when the food is served
6. refill the drinks at least twice
7. ask us if the food is OK
8. check to see if we want dessert or coffee
9. remove the dishes
10. bring the bill, and the change, and so on, all with a pleasant smile and demeanor.

It seems to me that the waitress for a $50 lunch would be doing the exact same things, and I'll bet she would not be doing 10x as much work per table. So, we tip a much higher percentage at our usual low cost places than we would if our lunch cost more.
The confusing part for me is I don't even know who is actually getting the tip, and who isn't getting paid minimum wage. Usually somebody other than the waitress seats us, a different person brings out the food, and even a separate person refills the drinks. The waitress at many of my eating places sometimes only takes the order, brings the bill and asks if we need anything else. I pay my 20% but I wonder who actually receives the tips?
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:42 PM   #128
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Almost three weeks in Alaska last week, I took 100 bucks in fives, $86 in ones, and made it home with $2. I tipped a buck every time my bag was touched. Shuttle drivers 2 train rides 5 airline flights, 3 hotels and a week cruise. The cruise was easy they expected 5-10 for gratuities, I gave somewhere in the middle, because Ms G and I had a bottle of wine with dinner every night so I tipped about 20% on our bar tab. In a lot of tourist places on the receipt it was noted how much a 15-20-25% tip would be. My biggest beef is including tax in the total tip able amount. Where i live I know the sales tax, not so much in Anchorage and Seattle. We did have a great time and unseasonably sunny weather.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:38 PM   #129
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Puts me in mind of the way real estate agents around here justify a 7% commission: "Oh, it gets divided up among so many agents, plus the brokerage house, that any one of us barely gets 1%, and that's not much of an incentive..." Then they unsubtly suggest an "extra incentive" (e.g. $1,000 to whoever sells the house).

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The confusing part for me is I don't even know who is actually getting the tip, and who isn't getting paid minimum wage. Usually somebody other than the waitress seats us, a different person brings out the food, and even a separate person refills the drinks. The waitress at many of my eating places sometimes only takes the order, brings the bill and asks if we need anything else. I pay my 20% but I wonder who actually receives the tips?
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #130
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Puts me in mind of the way real estate agents around here justify a 7% commission: "Oh, it gets divided up among so many agents, plus the brokerage house, that any one of us barely gets 1%, and that's not much of an incentive..." Then they unsubtly suggest an "extra incentive" (e.g. $1,000 to whoever sells the house).

Amethyst
Let's put them on an hourly wage too! . Just think how many tips you would have to dole out to everyone who was involved in the purchase, closing, and mortgage of a home......
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:19 AM   #131
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Good luck persuading a court of law that tipping - especially some fixed pecentage - is an implied condition of contract and thus a legal obligation of any restaurant patron.
No one has said that it was a legal requirement. You're getting off-topic. Several of us were referring to the expectations based on social norms, that which establishes the expectation for (for instance) saying please and thank you; chewing food with mouth closed; offering hospitality to guests; maintaining reasonable hygiene; etc. There is a difference between criminal behavior and social deviant behavior.

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I think every once in a while a restaurant owner tries to offer a no-tipping policy and it fails miserably. Now that the airlines must provide aftertax/fees pricing, perhaps restaurants will be next, in that tax and tip can add 30 percent to a bill.
This is key. Changes such as this need to be a collective decision of society, and generally purveyors need to cover of government mandate, because of our society's almost pathological antipathy for higher base prices.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:45 AM   #132
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No one has said that it was a legal requirement
You spoke of an "obligation". If something is not legally enforceable, it cannot be an obligation, merely an option.

As W2R says, there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone is free to tip 0%, 50%, 500%, or whatever other amount they choose: it is purely a matter of individual discretion, and no one needs to justify their choice.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:08 AM   #133
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It is not true that all obligations must be legal obligations. Gandhi said, “Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds not words.” There he was talking about an obligation to do something that often was illegal, rather than legally directed. You mentioned personal responsibility, earlier. While I believe you were off-target regarding the nature of personal responsibility, true personal responsibility as I outlined it is a non-legally-binding obligation.

Rewarding good service with a percentage gratuity half that of the standard causes offense. Earlier, the question was put as to what basis does one choose to do that? The answer provided was, essentially, "None of your business." Discretion implies the application of wisdom and reason and decorum in behavior in society. It is not the same as freedom to do whatever one wants. There is no legal obligation to explain one's discretion, but there is an obligation, albeit not legally-binding, to have one's discretion be reflective of wisdom and reason and decorum in behavior in society.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:19 AM   #134
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Tipping the wait staff in a restaurant is part of a social contract. Before entering to dine we understand that the wage has been split in parts, payment of one part of the wage has been transferred directly to us as customers, and when we tip less than the amount assumed in the overall construct we are, in effect, underpaying for our service. If the situation is unique and infrequent, as in unusually poor attention, the underpayment is deemed appropriate. Otherwise we should leave the average tip and direct our complaints to the restaurant management, and then "vote with our feet".

Not all restaurants follow this policy. If we disagree with the approach, we are free to eat where there is no tip based wait staff.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:22 AM   #135
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You spoke of an "obligation". If something is not legally enforceable, it cannot be an obligation, merely an option.

As W2R says, there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone is free to tip 0%, 50%, 500%, or whatever other amount they choose: it is purely a matter of individual discretion, and no one needs to justify their choice.

I wouldn't frequent a restaurant where I repeatedly did not tip. Something about eating other's spit offends me.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:04 AM   #136
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Just curious - what do folks tip at self-service buffet restaurants, where one gets their own plates and food, and the servers are at most removing your used plates and refilling your drinks (more seem to be making you do those things as well)? They still leave a line for a gratuity on the receipt...
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #137
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You spoke of an "obligation". If something is not legally enforceable, it cannot be an obligation, merely an option.

As W2R says, there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone is free to tip 0%, 50%, 500%, or whatever other amount they choose: it is purely a matter of individual discretion, and no one needs to justify their choice.

WOW!!!

See the definition below... you will see that there are obligations that are NOT required by law... some are a sense of duty....

I have an obligation to not cheat on my wife... I feel it is my duty not to... but if I did, the police are not going to be breaking down my door to arrest me...

The definition:

ob·li·ga·tion

/ˌɒblɪˈgeɪʃən/ Show Spelled [ob-li-gey-shuhn] Show IPA
noun 1. something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a sense of duty or results from custom, law, etc.

2. something that is done or is to be done for such reasons: to fulfill one's obligations.

3. a binding promise, contract, sense of duty, etc.

4. the act of binding or obliging oneself by a promise, contract, etc.

5. Law. a. an agreement enforceable by law, originally applied to promises under seal.

b. a document containing such an agreement.

c. a bond containing a penalty, with a condition annexed for payment of money, performance of covenants, etc.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:58 AM   #138
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Just curious - what do folks tip at self-service buffet restaurants, where one gets their own plates and food, and the servers are at most removing your used plates and refilling your drinks (more seem to be making you do those things as well)? They still leave a line for a gratuity on the receipt...
I usually leave around $1/person at these places. Sometimes I leave more if a server really goes out of her way (not sexist, just not sure I have ever had a male server at one of these places in the USA), fetching coffee at the end of a meal, doing something for a special occasion, etc. Other times, I leave nothing if there is very little service.
  • I was with some of my family once at one of thee places and was not sure the server even spoke English; but, before we were done with the meal, she brought out a little cake and put the what she later said was the Chinese version of Happy Birthday on the sound system. Our server had overheard us tell the birthday girl she did not get to chip in for the lunch because it was her birthday. The cake and music were awful in my opinion; this server still got a very large tip from our table.
  • On another more recent occasion, I was dining alone at this kind of place and my dirty dishes were never collected; I filled my own drink; etc. So, I left no tip at all.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:54 PM   #139
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It is not true that all obligations must be legal obligations.
That's your opinion.

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Rewarding good service with a percentage gratuity half that of the standard causes offense. Earlier, the question was put as to what basis does one choose to do that? The answer provided was, essentially, "None of your business." Discretion implies the application of wisdom and reason and decorum in behavior in society. It is not the same as freedom to do whatever one wants.
Again, the suggestion that tipping 20% is somehow a minimum "standard" rate is mere opinion. If you want to argue (I don't know why you would, but anyway) that failing to respect that alleged standard is socially or morally unacceptable, the onus lies upon you to come up with credible evidence.

I simply stated that 10% is what I do and what I find to be reasonable. If other people choose differently, that is their right and it's fine with me. I would expect others to show me the same courtesy.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #140
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If you Google "useless pissing match" does this thread show up?
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