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Tipping Question
Old 11-10-2007, 01:24 PM   #1
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Tipping Question

Interesting article on tipping around the world. Even though I have been to Tokyo, I did not realize that tipping was considered an insult there. I have no problem with tipping for food service, but I have never understood how taxi cabs got into the mix. The food service folks actually add something to the experience (they deliver the food). The cabby just drives you from point A to point B. We do not tip a bus driver, a railroad engineer, or an airplane crew, so why does this taxi cab driver get more $?

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For taxis in cities such as New York City or Chicago, you should tip 15%, but in smaller cities or towns, you simply need to round up the fare to the next dollar amount.
http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home...ide-to-Tipping
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Interesting article on tipping around the world. Even though I have been to Tokyo, I did not realize that tipping was considered an insult there. I have no problem with tipping for food service, but I have never understood how taxi cabs got into the mix. The food service folks actually add something to the experience (they deliver the food). The cabby just drives you from point A to point B. We do not tip a bus driver, a railroad engineer, or an airplane crew, so why does this taxi cab driver get more $?

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home...ide-to-Tipping
One good reason to tip a cabbie is so that he won't run over you as he pulls away. In fact, a lot of tipping is just self defense, either to avoid bad vibes or insults or nasty actions, or to avoid getting the cold shoulder next time you come in.

As a retired guy I have less income than many of the people I am tipping, so in my case it is definitely a regressive tax. But for me the choices are go out and tip, or stay home. If I go out for a drink, it is not to get booze which I can drink more cheaply at home. It is for a pleasant experience, which it won't be if I don't tip.

My tipping epiphany was years ago, back when I was about 25. I was in a white linen tablecloth Greek restaurant in Boston, with a jet black haired and very sweet Greek woman. The baklavas and Greek coffee were finished, and the check came. My mind was doing its usual nerdish 15% arithmetic, while I fished in my pocket for coins. (Remember this was in the 60s, the bill was about $10 I think.)

So she leans over the table, touches my arm and with this real intimate look she says to me, "Oh, be a Sport Ha, just give her an extra dollar."

Sold! Ever since that I look on tipping with a mellow attitude.

Ha
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:14 PM   #3
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I was traveling with some Germans on business when we checked our luggage at the curb. Getting on the plane, one asked, should I have tipped the skycap?

Guess who's luggage didn't make it?
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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When I lived in Holland, the law required 15% tip to be added to restaurant bills. You were expected to leave whatever coins were left over. It was by far the worst service I've ever had anywhere in the world. Think there was a connection with the automatic tipping?
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:16 AM   #5
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I HATE tipping.. Like ha said, it turns a pleasant experience into an unpleasant one because of the tension involved. A lot of times the 'bad vibes' carry over into the service even when you tip well.. maybe because their last table didn't. I also hate the overbearing "chummy" attitude that servers think will enhance their tip. I don't want them touching me or kneeling down to get in my face, much less know their name.. sorry!

I find it more pleasant in Europe because the servers are just paid a decent wage. This allows everyone to just relax! Same with hairdressers.. if they make you happy they get repeat business.. why should I feel extorted if I don't tip some exaggerated amount.. will they f** with my hair? Yiikes!

On the downside, here I've heard of the occasional practice of tipping NURSES. It's not necessarily widespread, but I just don't even wanna THINK about the implications of that!!!

I don't have a problem tipping in US restaurants because I know generally what the 'standard' rate is.. (though this seems to be ever-increasing; 20% is the new 15%). But since I rarely engage hairdressers or bellhops or skycaps or taxicabs I have no idea what to tip them, and I think the whole process is wierd. The skycaps should just have a little badge saying $2/bag (or whatever the rate is). I avoid using certain services in situations where I otherwise might because I just am unprepared and "don't want to get into all that." Their loss.

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with this real intimate look she says to me, "Oh, be a Sport Ha, just give her an extra dollar."
Did she imply what you could get for $20?

I think people who are good tippers always tip well, and people who are cheap are always cheap. In most cases it's not a reflection of the actual service. The only time tipping generously makes sense is if it is a place you want to return to.. but still, I'd rather be served well because I try to be decent to the servers and not run them ragged.. not because I have a dollar sign on my forehead. And what happens if you DO get truly bad service and leave a poor tip.. the next time they'll spit in your food!? The tip then becomes, not an incentive, but an extortion. Yep.. bad vibes all around.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:33 AM   #6
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Yeah, what ladelfina said. Times 2
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
I have no problem with tipping for food service, but I have never understood how taxi cabs got into the mix. The food service folks actually add something to the experience (they deliver the food). The cabby just drives you from point A to point B. We do not tip a bus driver, a railroad engineer, or an airplane crew, so why does this taxi cab driver get more $?
It is a matter of compensation traditions. Waitresses in the US traditionally get tips. So do cabbies. I don't see that waitresses are providing more service than cabbies, just different service. And the tips are not needed for good service - food service is fine in countries where tipping is not required. But, in jobs that don't involve tipping, base compensation is generally higher.

I drove a cab in Chicago back in the late 60s. Tips were as much a part of our compensation as they are for food service people. I believed then and still believe that passengers/customers should view tips as part of the cost of riding in a cab or eating out. If you don't want to tip, take the bus or drive yourself. If you don't want to tip, eat at home. Don't take your attitude (and cheapness) out on a low income employee who works in a position dependent on a tipping tradition.

On the other hand, when someone working in a tipping compensated job gives you intentionally rude service a very clear message like a penny, prominently left in the middle of the table, is in order.
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Old 11-11-2007, 12:12 PM   #8
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It's not a matter of cheapness.. I have no idea how much to tip a cabbie!!!

The few times I've taken cabs in my life I started out at about 10% and then raised it to the nearest even $1/$5/$10/$20.. Just for MY convenience to not have to deal with fumbling for change and stuff along with bags and everything else -- NO correlation to service! I'm sure I gave some people less than they'dve liked, and other people 30%.. it's not about price. It's about convenience. I take a cab / go to a restaurant for convenience. It is not convenient to have the price of the service fall on me to calculate on the fly with the server breathing down my neck or threatening to spit in my food or run over my foot.

If the price is 10, tell me 10. If the price is 20, tell me 20. Why should it be MY problem? Every tipping instance is just begging for bad vibes on one side or the other or both. It will never work out exactly 'right' for both parties.

I don't feel the way I do in order to "take my cheapness out on" someone. The perceived bad service for which you leave a penny may be due to delays in the kitchen, mgmt. policies, or other things beyond the server's control.

I've just finished reading Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Nickle & Dimed"; it was pretty grim. But how does it help that people have to scrounge for tips to the extent that they fight amongst themselves, for example, to fob off tables with certain customers (in particular blacks but also obvious super-Christians) -using code words!- because of the shared perception that they tip poorly? Whether that is true or not I don't know.. but if so, one could imagine it due to a feedback loop: since they experience poor service to begin with, perhaps justifiably they tip accordingly, and so receive poor service, etc. in a self-fulfilling prophecy. If everyone just paid the same price for the same food and more or less the same service, we could avoid these bigoted psychodramas.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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It's not a matter of cheapness.. I have no idea how much to tip a cabbie!!!

The few times I've taken cabs in my life I started out at about 10% and then raised it to the nearest even $1/$5/$10/$20.. Just for MY convenience to not have to deal with fumbling for change and stuff along with bags and everything else -- NO correlation to service!
10% is probably reasonable for a cab. I give 20% (same for food service) but I am on the high side since I used to drive one. I think you are over complicating this. Pick a simple percentage and add it to the bill -- NBD. Rounding up for your convenience makes sense as well.

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I don't feel the way I do in order to "take my cheapness out on" someone. The perceived bad service for which you leave a penny may be due to delays in the kitchen, mgmt. policies, or other things beyond the server's control.
I never stiff a waiter or waitress for slow service. But I have (rarely) run into rude servers. That is a different matter. Another is just plain thoughtless service. A recent example: I ordered a 16 oz rib-eye steak for $24. The waitress told me they were out of rib-eye but had a nightly special on a 16 oz porterhouse so I took it. She didn't bother to mention the price of the special which is an obnoxious practice but not uncommon. When the bill came, the porterhouse was $38. I called the waitress over and told her it was not reasonable to steer me from a $24 item to a $38 item without mentioning the price difference. I calmly told her she should drop the price. She talked to the manger and did, although she never apologized or acted like she recognized any error on her part. I gave her a regular tip but I would not have given her a tip if she didn't get the price adjusted. By the way, the steak was lousy, although I wouldn't blame te waitress for that.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:00 PM   #10
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Tipping is not the norm here. Waitstaff get paid a salary just like any other job. It is an insult to leave a tip for them though in the tourist areas they understand it's common elsewhere and don't take offence if you do.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:05 PM   #11
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Did she imply what you could get for $20?
Back then, I think $20 might have got me acts that I had never heard of.

Ha
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:20 PM   #12
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well, don.. how odd!

Do you think, perchance, she MIGHT have steered you to an item that would guarantee her fine self an extra 2-3 bucks from your table, for no extra work??

See what I mean? Tips are supposed to be an incentive to give better service to the customer, but in this case worked against the customer. Many other people in your shoes would have been too embarassed to complain. figuring it was their fault for not asking the price up front (and if ya hafta ask, you're a loser, right?.. don't go out if ya can't afford it and all that jive).

The waitron was not giving you thoughtless service; she was giving you thoughtFUL service.. just that it wasn't YOU she was thinking of.

Same with wines.. who needs the snotty attitude when you pick a 'regular' bottle instead of the (server's $20 jackpot) $100 one?

Free us all from the tyranny of tipping!
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:35 PM   #13
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Some years ago I was with a large group at a Washington DC restaurant. It was my turn to choose the wine. I chose a nice German Reisling for $20. When the wine arrived, the waiter went straight to an East Indian colleague (a nondrinker) and poured a sample for his approval. Wishing to appear as if he knew what he was doing, he said that was fine. I, on the other hand, was offended that a Y chromosome should be considered sufficient qualification to judge a wine. I also noticed that the wine was not the one we had ordered. No, it was a different Reisling priced at $28. I insisted that we be served with the wine we had ordered. Tip: $0. Reason: I didn't come here to have my intelligence insulted!
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:45 PM   #14
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In most instances, take the first digit of the bill total, and double it. This works out to between 15% to 18%. If the bill goes over $100 (three digits), use the 1st two numbers.

So much simpler than doing all the calculations.

If you're out of the country, ask around first. KISS (Keep It Simple & Stupid).

Just remember that most service workers (especially food folks) literally live off their tips. So be generous!
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:48 PM   #15
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In most instances, take the first digit of the bill total, and double it. This works out to between 15% to 18%.
?? A $19 bill would have you tip $2, less than 11%. Am I doing this right?
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:34 PM   #16
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I like to tip waiters/waitresses well if they do their job right...you heard me....if they do their job right- as in "correctly". Anymore, I get so much bad service, that just doing it right deserves a tip. When I get GOOD service, I tip very very well...and return at a later date.
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:58 AM   #17
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5% if the service was bad

10% if the service was "ok"

15% if the service was good

20-25% if the service was exemplary.......

I used to wait tables, so I guess I'm an "easy mark".........
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:40 PM   #18
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In most other countries service and tax are already included in the prices on the menu. My experience is that service is much slower in those countries, because the management only pays enough for slow service except in very high end restaurants. I like the tipping system... it actually does seem to motivate the waitstaff to do a good job.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:12 PM   #19
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I just got back from two trips a 18 day China tour and 5 days in Vegas. I think tipping has gotten out of control, and I suspect that Americans, plus greedy high restaurants are mostly to blame.

Evidently not too many years ago tipping in China was pretty much unheard of it. No longer, even though the tour was build as all gratiuties include, the fact was the tips for bell boys, local tour guides, bus drivers etc were now somewhat expected.

Of course Vegas is the worse, cab drivers, hostesses that take you to your seat at show, dealers, croupiers, cocktail waitress, maids, bell boys, taxi cap dispatchers, taxi cap drivers, conceirges, the list goes on and on. I probably spent $150 on tips last week, and if I tipped everybody I was suppose to tip at the amount I was suppose the the amount would exceed $500. I cause that would be ok, if I received exceptional service, but realistically I had one great dealer, and two very good waiters, everybody else was average at best.

I think what annoys me the most is various articles that suggest that the tipping at high end restaurants should be 18-20% because of inflation or some such nonsense. If I go to my local vietnamese noodle place the bill is $8.25 so I leave a $10 and feel a little cheap doing so after the guy fills up my water glass takes my order with a smile and delivers good food quickly.

I go to a nice restaurant and the bill with wine is close to $200 unless the service is exceptional I can't imagine why the waitstaff should expect more than $30, and frankly that seems high. There is simply no way that waiter did ten times more work than the guy in the Vietnamese noodle house. It seems to me that 20% should the average tip and you basic coffee shop, sandwhich place, 15% at decent place and 10% at a fancy restaurant.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:51 PM   #20
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well, the difference is that in a fancy restaurant, the waiter may only have a few tables...3 or so. And when you pay $200 for dinner, I'm sure you take your time and enjoy yourself. This results in less turnover....so the waiter/waitress needs to make a lot more to compensate
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