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Old 05-27-2011, 05:56 PM   #61
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This is exactly why I put the tip on the credit card if possible. To make sure that the waitstaff pays taxes on income. No reason to exempt them from taxation.
Wait staff are not exempt. The restaurant, as employer, is the retention agent for payroll taxes and would be legally exposed if caught deliberately aiding employees under-report. Tip income is estimated and reported either daily or monthly and easy to audit. Chains and large restaurants that have professional management instead of owners directly involved will have systems in place to audit and track the flow of money to minimize all efforts to misappropriate or cheat, including tips. Also, many restaurants share tip income and track the money flow to ensure employees do not cheat each other.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:58 PM   #62
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Not that it means much, but without exception the people I know that worked for tips (or low salary + tips) are generous when tipping others.

The money I saved from tips as a paper boy paid for half of my first year college tuition bill, and it was an expensive private school.
My Mom was a waitress from age 17 until she retired at age 62. The generosity of her customers made all the difference for groceries for 5 kids and some extra special birthday and holiday gifts.
I make it a personal mission to tip generously, in cash, as long as the table service justifies it. If service is minimal, like at a buffet, I leave $1.
Whenever I go to the Legion, I always tip $1 on my first beer, regardless of the cost. The bartender knows exactly where I am sitting. I leave at least $2 at the end of my time there also, often more.
I never w*rked for tips myself, but this is my way of "passing it forward"
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:59 PM   #63
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. My daughter & I were in Cozumel at Carlos & Charlie's sipping massive Margarita's when they came around to take our picture . The picture was good so I bought it and tried to figure out the tip while tequila and money exchange clouded my brain . Well we have the picture and they have a huge tip from a slightly tipsy tourist !
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:05 AM   #64
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I tip based on the service rendered usually. An adequate job; waiter, barber, car hop, taxi driver, will render 15-18%. An exceptional job will fetch more commiserate on the quality and/or quantity of service provided. Really, really bad service coupled with arrogant or hostile attitudes will result in a deduction, also commiserate with the lack of quality and/or quantity of service. I once left $0.02, to make a point that I did not forget to leave a tip.

Baggage handlers get $1 per bag (it irks me to have to pay that while shelling out $$ to the airlines for them to transport my bag (usually on the same plane) for me to my destination.

Car Valet gets $2 unless he is a jerk.

Taxi driver gets 15% or more is he does not talk my head off and gets me where I'm going in the shortest distance or least time practicable.

Housekeeping staff gets a range from $2-5 per day I have the room serviced. If traveling with DW I give a little more .

I don't tip at buffets unless someone carried a tray or did some task for me other than take my money when I can in the door.

Car hop=waitress/waiter so the tip is the same percentage.

I understand the tipping system in America and even if I don't totally agree with the concept, I do comply with the intent and spirit of the system. Since money talks in the US of A, tips will always be a part of some businesses as opposed to their International counterparts.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:51 AM   #65
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I do the math in my head.

10% of the total (dollars round down to nearest $) + 1/2 of the 10% amount (rounded down to $) + $1... round up the total bill to an even $ amount (no change).

Bill $75.23

Tip 7 + 3 + 1 = 11

That is $86.23

Round up the Total to $87.00


It is not always exact to the penny... but close enough!


The only time I have problems with it is if I had a few drinks.
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:56 AM   #66
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Whenever "they", be it an individual, organization or media outlet, tell me about a new social norm, first thing I do is check to see if it runs with or counter to their social agenda. I'm not very likely to believe them unless it's counter to their agenda and they're not complaining.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:59 AM   #67
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Wait staff are not exempt. The restaurant, as employer, is the retention agent for payroll taxes and would be legally exposed if caught deliberately aiding employees under-report. Tip income is estimated and reported either daily or monthly and easy to audit. Chains and large restaurants that have professional management instead of owners directly involved will have systems in place to audit and track the flow of money to minimize all efforts to misappropriate or cheat, including tips. Also, many restaurants share tip income and track the money flow to ensure employees do not cheat each other.
I imagine what you say is true at the large chain establishments. But at the typical locally owned restaurant or bar, I somehow doubt they are overly vigilant at ensuring that employees are reporting all tips and properly paying tax on all of that income. After all, it costs the business payroll and employment taxes on every extra dollar of income that they force their employees to report, so businesses have a profit motive to have their employees under report tip income. Not saying most or all restaurant/bar owners encourage under reporting of tip income, but I bet they aren't including long speeches on properly reporting all tip income in their weekly staff meetings. They probably encourage some token reporting of cash tips and the credit card tips would cover the rest.

And don't get me started on tales of non-reported income at the local nail salons (on tip income and base salary/commission).
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:55 PM   #68
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And don't get me started on tales of non-reported income at the local nail salons (on tip income and base salary/commission).
In our area, it is all undocumented Vietnamese workers.
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:01 PM   #69
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I go to restaurants and leave a 15% tip, I go to the barber shop and leave a tip. I hate to tip. I wish they would just raise the price of a haircut so I would know what it would cost everybody would leave happy. restaurants are my worst, I avoid going to a sit down restaurant with waitress's because I always feel cheated when I have to pay the tab and an extra 15%. I think they should just raise the price of the meal, and subsidize the wait staff and the bus boys accordingly, so that when I look at the menu I could say this is what it cost, and we would both be happy. I know that the waitress and staff don't get paid much and they have to live, but I see a lot of people leaving huge tips, maybe for great service, I don't know, it's just gotten to the point that people are viewed as pariah's if they don't leave enough tip for the service people when their wages should be livable and paid to them. If they can't make a living working in a place they should make an effort to move up, more education, etc. I know bartenders and people who work in pizza places and they want to work the tables because they take home hundreds in tips nightly, whether its taxed or not I don't know. I just think it would be fair to everyone involve if you knew what it would cost going in and there would be not bad feelings later.
I too tip at restaurants, because of a summer job I had as a waitress at a now-defunct chain of restaurants. We got paid minimum wage, with an hourly amount taken out for meals, even if we didn't have time to eat, and for tips, even if we didn't get any. No tip was not an infrequent occurance, as many of the customers were a couple of moms taking a dozen or so little kids out for a birthday party. They sometimes had to feel under the cushions to pay for the food, never mind a tip.

But I hate that whole system. The employer gets to underpay their staff, but the onus is on us customers if we don't pick up the slack for them. If the work the waiters do is worth ten, or fifteen, or twenty percent more than they're getting paid, then the restaurants should raise their prices and pay the staff what they're worth up front. If a waiter gives poor service, then it should be up to the restaurant's management to correct the problem, not the customers. Fortunately I am not "into" fine dining, so it's an infrequent irritation.

And don't get me started on porters, skycaps and the like. I'm perfectly capable of getting my own suitcase in and out of a cab, but heaven forbid I should do so. "They" expect me to let someone else do it and then pay extra for the privilege of receiving an unrequested and unnecessary service. IMO, all that sort of thing should be "opt in" not "opt out" as currently practiced. In other words, if I need help, I ask for it, in which case a tip would perhaps be appropriate—though I still think the wages should be what the job is worth. I don't expect to get extra money from individual customers for doing my job properly, and I'd be insulted if it were offered. I'm a government employee—accepting such a tip from a member of the public would be bribery, especially if I gave better service to the people who gave me the most money. How is it any different in the jobs for which tipping is expected, except that the employers are allowed to get away with underpaying for the work they expect the employees to do?
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:32 PM   #70
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Really, really bad service coupled with arrogant or hostile attitudes will result in a deduction, also commiserate with the lack of quality and/or quantity of service. I once left $0.02, to make a point that I did not forget to leave a tip.
That is how I feel as well. A tip is a tip, not an entitlement. Good service = good tip, great service = great tip. If the service is bad I don't feel that a 20% tip is deserved.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:40 PM   #71
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My entire career has been in the Hospitality Industry, and that makes this an interesting conversation for me to read. Having cut my teeth in a "tipped" position, and now upper management (at a local establishment), I can appreciate both sides of the issue.

The only bit I would like to add:
I believe that it is the responsibility of Management to make sure that the Customer is being treated properly by the Servers, not the Customer's job (via the size of a tip or lack of tip). If a Customer ever felt that not leaving a tip for a Server was the right decision, then that Customer should mention their experience to a Manager.

A properly run establishment should be run.. well, properly. I take great pride in leading by example, and I truly think that is has a Trickle Down effect. As in any Industry, leadership starts at the top.

And to FUEGO -
There is plenty of motivation for a Server to report their tips:
- Mortgage Application - documentation of income
- 401(k) Matching
- SS Benefits
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:51 PM   #72
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And to FUEGO -
There is plenty of motivation for a Server to report their tips:
- Mortgage Application - documentation of income
- 401(k) Matching
- SS Benefits
And plenty of reasons not to:
-- Income taxes
-- School loans for the kids (FAFSA, etc)
-- Earned Income Tax Credit
-- School lunch program and other need-based programs (some with income cutoffs well above the poverty level)
-- To come: Health Care subsidies from the government based on income
-- SS: Reporting income to get more benefits (much later) is a "win" for a fairly small percentage of folks--if the current social contract holds. Lots of people wouldn't want to bet on that.

The folks waiting tables/etc are working hard and deserve their tips. But many don't report them as income, and that isn't right.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:52 PM   #73
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My entire career has been in the Hospitality Industry, and that makes this an interesting conversation for me to read. Having cut my teeth in a "tipped" position, and now upper management (at a local establishment), I can appreciate both sides of the issue.
If your experience includes hotels, maybe you can answer this question. How common is it for hotels to have two grades of towels, one smaller, thinner and older than the other? The good ones are in the room when checking in, the lower grade ones appear the first night after a tip isn't left for the maids.


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There is plenty of motivation for a Server to report their tips:
- Mortgage Application - documentation of income
- 401(k) Matching
- SS Benefits
Never thought of that. Thanks for the education.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:30 PM   #74
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And plenty of reasons not to:
-- Income taxes
-- School loans for the kids (FAFSA, etc)
-- Earned Income Tax Credit
-- School lunch program and other need-based programs (some with income cutoffs well above the poverty level)
-- To come: Health Care subsidies from the government based on income
-- SS: Reporting income to get more benefits (much later) is a "win" for a fairly small percentage of folks--if the current social contract holds. Lots of people wouldn't want to bet on that.

The folks waiting tables/etc are working hard and deserve their tips. But many don't report them as income, and that isn't right.
Thanks for saving me the effort of preparing my own rebuttal post! I don't mean to stereotype, but many of the waitstaff or tip-compensated employees that I have known personally and heard of anecdotally are not thinking of 401k matches and SS (nothing against servers, just that none of my 30-something professional peers are thinking about these things either).

In the vast majority of situations I would think waitstaff would be financially better off if they did not report tip income. Especially if they have kids that would entitle them to a huge big ole helping of government dole bennies like you mention (free/cheap child care, pre-school, free lunch, EITC, FAFSA-based grants, soon health care subsidies, rental assistance, WIC/Food Stamps, etc).
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