I don't understand tipping culture...

GonzoGamer

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Apr 9, 2008
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Dryk said:
As I understand the US tipping culture is an elaborate ruse by restaurants to make customers pay their staff's wages for them
Yes, that's pretty much what it is but you can't take it out on the staff. They're not even paid min wage and now they have to buy health insurance too; and that shit's expensive, even if your employer does subsidize it. Now, I can understand resenting the ruse but that means you shouldn't go out to bars or restaurants, not that you shouldn't tip.

In the US you have to tip because that's the meat of people's pay. It would be nice if it was treated like a real career the way it is in other countries but unfortunately it isn't.
 

Diddy_Mao

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I usually tip because I understand that the service industry is awful in the US and customers are terrible.

But I would be lying if I said there was any consistant logic to it.
On a $20.00 tab I'll tip between 5.00 and 7.00 depending on the service.
This scale does not increase too much based on the bill.
You aren't getting a $10.00 to $14.00 tip on a $40.00 tab.

My bill is determined by the quality of the food. Which is the kitchen staff's job. The tip is for the server whos interaction with me, doesn't change much from location to location.

My bar tipping has no real logic. Minimum of 1.00 per drink and usually an extra 5.00 if I've been there for a few hours.
That's the closest I can get to a "system."
 

dvd_72

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I think it varies between countries. In America, from what I understand, the serving staff are paid only by their tips while here in Belgium the serving staff gets a salary, and the tip is merely on top of that for above average service.

If the tip is how the staff gets paid, then wouldn't it make sense to pay them for average service?
 

BeeGeenie

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Apparently we tip because the restaurant owner is too cheap to pay his wait-staff a decent wage. Which ought to be illegal, if you think about it.

Actually, I would argue that if nobody ever gave a tip, waiters might actually bother to fix the broken system and force management to give them an actual paycheck...

So, like, we're enabling the owner's bad behavior by tipping.
 

Roggen Bread

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DVS BSTrD said:
Dividing tips among the staff always seemed like bullshit to me: I tipped THIS guy because he did a job, the rest of them didn't earn it.
The kitchen staff appreciates this. Like not.
They aren't getting paid any better but will not receive tips. Thus deviding tips is just fair.

To topic: I always tip. If the service was incompetent or tried screwing me over I "adjust" the tip. But it is just something that has to be done.

Like thanking a guy who gives you free ice cream.
 
Jun 11, 2008
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In Ireland we don't tip generally speaking as there is a service charge as part of the bill so there is no need to tip as the service charge serves the same purpose.
 

dementis

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People seem to be paid better over here in the UK, I worked as a waiter for a while and was able to live off of the standard wage, my tips all went to drinking most of the time.

I only ever tip for someone who goes above and beyond their job description. I'm not going to tip a delivery guy for arriving on time and I won't tip a waiter just because they brought me my food because that's their job.
 

Something Amyss

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shrekfan246 said:
Your first problem might be being Australian, where the average wage is high enough that people in the service industry can actually get by on just their normal pay.

In the US, people who are in "tipping" jobs can get paid as low as $2.50 an hour, though their employers are supposed to be legally required to ensure they get the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour if their tips don't cover it.
On top of that, if you're dealing with delivery, a lot of the drivers pay their own gas. So they're even more in the pocket if not for tips.
 

Biggyzoom

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I'm English. I'll tip in pubs and stuff but generally not in restaurants unless I'm abroad. I've always considered tipping as something that should be done if I feel like it if I liked the staff. I seems incredibly rude and awkward to me if anybody were to go around expecting or even asking for a tip. Being chased down the street by angry restauranteurs is not a good incentive for me to give out money. But yeah, I realise that in the US minimum wage is significantly lower and tips account for a lot in the staffs eyes. I also realise that in some countries, like Japan, it is considered rude to offer someone a tip so always research the manners required for you destination if you're going abroad I guess.
 

Flames66

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Nickolai77 said:
I don't tip as a matter of principle- and i have a worked in restaurant before. When you pay money in a restaurant you're paying for a product and a service which is covered under the price of the food you order from the menu. Unless the food is priced in such a way that it doesn't include the service then i have no objections to tipping. Otherwise you are just paying twice over for a service you paid for when you ordered the food. As a customer, it feels like deceitful behaviour.


shrekfan246 said:
Your first problem might be being Australian, where the average wage is high enough that people in the service industry can actually get by on just their normal pay.

In the US, people who are in "tipping" jobs can get paid as low at $2.50 an hour, though their employers are supposed to be legally required to ensure they get the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour if their tips don't cover it.
This is why i would tip in America, but not anywhere else that pays it's staff at least minimum wage. I don't think it's a fair system at all though. I'm even told you're expected to tip the barman every time you order a drink.

Out of interest- do you feel the price of an item of food in a typical restaurant covers both product and service or just product?
I won't tip if I ever travel to America out of principal. I will not pay extra for service on top of the already extortionate mood cost unless they went well above and beyond what they were required to do.
 
Feb 22, 2009
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Because it's a shit job with low wages and if you're the kind of person who complains about the service you get from people working in it you're kind of an arsehole. Most people working as waiters do not want to be, and they do not do it to provide you the best possible service, they do it out of necessity.
 

Daniel Ferguson

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If it's mandatory, it's more like a tax than a tip. A tip by definition is a bonus for a good job, a good attitude, a good handling of something going wrong, etc. As far as I can tell, anyway.

Tips are actually optional in Australia. I think...
 

HardkorSB

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WoW Killer said:
Why not get rid of tips, increase the cost of all the meals by 5-10%, and then pay the waiters more?
I think it's mainly because tips aren't taxed and the restaurant owner spends less.

Treeinthewoods said:
Don't forget, servers must tip out their bussers, bartender and the other various behind the scenes staff (usually a guy who keeps the slide stocked and clean). It's usually a percentage of the servers sales that must be paid out (2-3%). This means if you leave no tip the server will have to pay out of their own pocket to the other employees. If you stiff a sever on a $100 tab they will still have to "tip out" 5-6$ to the other staff members.
Is that even legal? I think the owner could go to jail for this in the UK (where I live) and Poland (where I grew up). I assume that they do this in the US but this kind of stuff wouldn't fly in other places.

Treeinthewoods said:
Your country sounds cheap and unappreciative.
Yeah, how dare they pay the employees a full wage? They should instead pay them 1/3 of a wage and force "mandatory charity" on the customers. That's the way of the future.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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May 15, 2010
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I've always felt that a tipping job wasn't a guaranteed wage, it was performance based wages. Better job you do, better pay you get. Instant feedback, the employer isn't really paying you, you're being compensated by customers based (for the most part) on your work ethic. Good waiter/waitress = higher paid by tips. Bad waiter/waitress = should look at a different field to work in.
In food service you can't expect tips, you have to earn them. Sometimes you get stiffed. But it still ends up being dependent on you.
 

Mobax

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DVS BSTrD said:
Binnsyboy said:
Wickatricka said:
Waiters pretty much live off those tips so think of it as helping out another human being in rough times. Anyone who has been a waiter will know that it is very helpful to tip good.
Which makes it quite disgusting when you find the manager of a place pocketing a large percentage of tips taken in before dividing among the staff. :I
Dividing tips among the staff always seemed like bullshit to me: I tipped THIS guy because he did a job, the rest of them didn't earn it.
I worked in a upscale restaurant years and years ago. And tips were divided by percentage amongst all staff. Dishwashers got the smallest %, and it went up, with head cooks getting a higher percentage. Obviously the servers/waiters still kept the lion's share of their tips. But with all the serving staff giving a bit into a pool, all the other employees get rewarded for doing a good job. After all, if you have a great meal at a restaurant, the server has almost nothing to do with your actual food. The cooks make it, the dishwashers made sure you had clean dishes. The bussers made sure your table was set when you arrived. The bartender made your drinks etc etc. It's a whole team effort, so really it's bullshit not to share the tips.
 

Sectan

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Mossberg Shotty said:
shrekfan246 said:
Your first problem might be being Australian, where the average wage is high enough that people in the service industry can actually get by on just their normal pay.

In the US, people who are in "tipping" jobs can get paid as low as $2.50 an hour, though their employers are supposed to be legally required to ensure they get the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour if their tips don't cover it.
As low as $2.13 in my case. Speaking as someone who just became a waiter, it fucking sucks, and you have no chance of survival if people aren't tipping well.

I feel a bit torn on this subject because I simultaneously despise my customers for having to rely on them, and hope they tip me well. It wouldn't be so bad if the manager wasn't there, taking his cut.

All of this in mind though, I still don't believe in tipping if the service isn't good. But no matter what, just be polite and don't be unreasonable.
I work in retail so I don't have to worry about tips, but we have a big ol' sign on the wall that has all of the OSHA and job regulations. One of the things I always see is "Servers can be paid a little as $2.13, but must be earning at least minimum wage if tips do not cover the rest." Is this a Minnesota only law or are restaurant owners just breaking the law by not paying and nobody's reporting it? Or are people knowingly walking into minimum wage jobs and getting pissed when the tips don't give them a larger paycheck to take home?
 

Blow_Pop

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Jan 21, 2009
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As a former waitress who worked her ass off and barely got tips thanks to managers giving her really shitty sections and then still had to tip the bartenders(luckily didn't have to split with cooks or anyone else) and barely left with $10 IF she was lucky (and this was at a more upscale kind of venue), the US pays terribly in most states for waiters/waitresses. Not only was I expected to take food/drink orders and make sure they get in the system and then get out to the right people, I also had to watch how much people were drinking and cut them off when they had too much. Not only that, I got treated like I was a whore (constantly getting sexually propositioned and guys pinching my ass and slapping my ass half the time to get their meals/drinks for free) and constantly berated by my managers for not being able to do as great of a job as everyone else starting from the first day I started work with no experience. And any time I complained to management about being sexually harassed I was told to deal with it myself. At the time I was a college student. Barely even making minimum wage. There was NO way I could have lived off my paycheck alone. For those who are saying that people who work minimum wage jobs aren't in desperate/dire situations, NONE of you know that for a fact. Some of the shit that wait staff in the states have to deal with is utterly appalling. I can't speak for other countries as I've only ever lived in the US and have never had the money/means to travel. Anyone who thinks being a waiter/waitress is easy, in my opinion, has never done it. Or if they have, they've been in a really nice area with people who, in general, aren't dicks. People are dicks to people in the service industry. Particularly the restaurant side of it. And I've found people from other countries don't understand tipping culture because they tend to have a wage that their restaurant employees CAN live off of. Minimum wage in the US started out as a wage you could support yourself on. Now? Depending on where you live and what your state's minimum wage is, you can't.

But I agree with people who say that waiters/waitresses who barely do the bare minimum of their job shouldn't be tipped. But then you also have to take into account how busy the place is too. Sometimes your wait staff only has time to do the bare minimum because they are stretched thin at their job due to call outs or bad scheduling and the place is busy. In which case, people are utter dicks about tipping.
 

thethird0611

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Feb 19, 2011
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BeeGeenie said:
Apparently we tip because the restaurant owner is too cheap to pay his wait-staff a decent wage. Which ought to be illegal, if you think about it.

Actually, I would argue that if nobody ever gave a tip, waiters might actually bother to fix the broken system and force management to give them an actual paycheck...

So, like, we're enabling the owner's bad behavior by tipping.
Sounds good. You go ahead and tell most waiters and drivers that they are going to make less money because you dont like tipping.

Oh, and yes, most waiters and drivers make more than minimum wage. Ive worked in both a driver heavy store (managed), and had many friends who were wait staff.
Zachary Amaranth said:
shrekfan246 said:
Your first problem might be being Australian, where the average wage is high enough that people in the service industry can actually get by on just their normal pay.

In the US, people who are in "tipping" jobs can get paid as low as $2.50 an hour, though their employers are supposed to be legally required to ensure they get the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour if their tips don't cover it.
On top of that, if you're dealing with delivery, a lot of the drivers pay their own gas. So they're even more in the pocket if not for tips.
Yep. Out of pocket. Even though my drivers made more than me (a shift manager) after their gas. Yep. Totally bad. Happy employees suck.

EDIT: Oh! Gas is also tax deductible to. Many of my drivers kept record of their mileage for tax breaks.
 

irok

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Jun 6, 2012
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What if I was to say we don't tip in New Zealand, at all , for any reason at any time. I believe staff are paid fairly enough to not need it and its just never caught on in our culture.