Hardbopjazz

Do you tip?

51 posts in this topic

I was watching a show on CNN hosted by Anthony Bourdain on restaurants and tipping across the globe. In some countries/cities tipping is not something your expected to do when dinning at restaurants. For example, in Rome no one tips. Here in NY, tipping is expected and proper (If the service is good). 18% is the norm in NY. If I liked the service I would even leave more than 18%. Do you tip?

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It depends. You're right, some places tipping is unacceptable, some places it's seen as "odd" and some places it's absolutely essential. I do a lot of research before I go anywhere. Ideally, I don't want to offend anyone.

Tipping behavior gets broken down even further for me (since I travel perpetually): restaurants, valets, bellmen/women, housekeeping, taxis, airport shuttles, luggage storage, coat check, the guy who escorts you to your room and shows you how to turn on the TV...there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason, except that in some places it's a "must" across the board (like New York) and some places it's a no-no (parts of Eastern Asia).

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We have family in the "service business" and usually tip 20-25% in the US. You do have to adjust elsewhere. I will never forget tipping a bellman in Rome and the look of humiliation on his face as he left. I had really insulted him.

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Always tip here at home, figure that what goes around comes around. Plus, the more I frequent a place, the more I tip. Equal parts investing n goodwill and trying to buy affection I suppose. :g

But seriously, until the wage structure for waitstaff gets changed, I start at 20% (the "new normal" around here for at least a decade) and round up.

Non-restaurant tippage, it varies, but if it's a business I frequent (and one where tipping is appropriate), I'll tip on the high end of appropriate, just because.

One thing I will not do, though, is reward bad service. I don't mean "off" or "had a bad day", I mean, "motherfucker, PLEASE" type bad. No, no extra money for you.

Another thing - in an environment where tipping is not allowed but service is outstanding, I make it a point to speak to the manager and/or take an online customer satisfaction survey to give the appropriate kudos. That's free, and it's effective.

For me, it's ultimately a QOL issue. Today's "service economy" is so NOT built on true service nearly as much as it is doing just enough to get by. I've seen it too often, employees not appreciated, recognition taken by managers only, just some real stingy-spirited shit. And since so many of these gigs are held by young-ish and or immigrant peoples, I fear the creation of a permanent "servant" class, where people have no expectations, no twinkle in the eye, all that. So I do my part to let people who do work the "right" way, treat me the way I would treat myself, that yes, they are being noticed, and that yes, your pride in your work and yourself does make a difference, if not to your employer, then to your customers. Just seems like the right thing to do, that' just me.

High end, shit, what little of it I do, I tip according to custom, because that's just the cost of doing business, I think. Can't/don't want to pay that price, don't go, or else wait for a satellite location to open up in the burbs. Pros get paid what they get paid, right?

Truly, I feel blessed to have what I have (not much in the grand scheme of things, but far much more than I have any right to expect given the life I've led). I feel that blessings are meant to be shared, not hoarded, and that indeed, what goes around comes around, if not directly in money, then definitely in spirit. So yeah, I tip, and have fun doing so.

But - I have no idea what I would do about this if I traveled to any significant degree...not sure how much "the world is my home" Bon Homey I'd be able to muster, since I stay home a LOT these days, so going out is a fun thing for me. And when I do go out, I'm usually ready to get back home sooner than later.

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Another thing - in an environment where tipping is not allowed but service is outstanding, I make it a point to speak to the manager and/or take an online customer satisfaction survey to give the appropriate kudos. That's free, and it's effective.

---

Truly, I feel blessed to have what I have (not much in the grand scheme of things, but far much more than I have any right to expect given the life I've led). I feel that blessings are meant to be shared, not hoarded, and that indeed, what goes around comes around, if not directly in money, then definitely in spirit. So yeah, I tip, and have fun doing so.

I'm "with" JSngry on basically all of what he says, but an extra "amen" on these points.

I try to be careful in the lousy service situation. I don't want to stiff the waiter if someone else is to blame: a cook or a manager who expects a waiter to cover 36 tables. But I tip generously because I'm getting serviced (take that anyway you want) 24/7/365.

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Something I don't understand about tipping (at least in the U.S.) - why does Starbucks expect you to tip them but McDonald's doesn't? Is there any fundamental difference in what the service is? They are preparing food or drink for you and you pay them for said food/drink.

Why does Starbucks have tip jars by the register and at the drive-thru window? Are their employees more deserving of a tip than a McDonald's employee?

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I'm with Jim. I tend to tip well and am happy that I'm able to do so. And in doing that, I hope that it helps the folks receiving the tips feel good about what they do.

(I should add that the fact that my wife worked as a waitress in college and for a few years afterward to supplement her income - though I didn't know her then - has had an influence on my attitude toward tipping.)

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No tipping in Japan, anywhere, ever.

The staff would chase you down the street if you left a tip in a restaurant.

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An interesting article about tipping from a couple of days ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/business/dollar3-tip-on-a-dollar4-cup-of-coffee-gratuities-grow-automatically.html

I'm starting to see the iPad + Square reader-based POS terminals mentioned in this piece more frequently, in many cases at businesses where you might not automatically be inclined to tip (ice cream parlors, or restaurants where you order at the counter and the only "table service" is the cashier bringing your food out).

One thing I've noticed is that many older people seem to hold firmly to the belief that a 15% tip at a restaurant is more than adequate for excellent service, as opposed to a minimum baseline. I usually tip 20%, or a bit more for outstanding service.

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I have been chased down a couple of times in the past few years in Shanghai for having tipped!

I spent up to my very last cent when I visited NY in 2008. I could only tip $1 the last evening at the Iridium (Steve Kuhn/Eddie Gomez Trio) when entry fee +drink were around $35. I apologized when the waiter double-checked his tip, but I found his insistent complaint quite rude.

I had a breakfast for two in North California the year after. $14. I gave a 20 dollars bill asking for 3 dollars in return. "Something wrong with your breakfast, Sir?" is all I could get in return, repeatedly, at first.

Now I always tip separetely and I try to keep as much change as I could.

Not much tippers in France, service is automatically included. I usually tip from 1 to 5 euros, but mostly based on the quality of the service rather than on the price of the bill.

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I've always tipped but i'm so old I remember when 10% was the norm. I became a big tipper after both my kids began working in restaurants. (The system in NY where people working in restaurants can get paid less than the minimum wage is nuts. )

Edited by medjuck

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I had a breakfast for two in North California the year after. $14. I gave a 20 dollars bill asking for 3 dollars in return. "Something wrong with your breakfast, Sir?" is all I could get in return, repeatedly, at first.

$3.00 would be 20% so I have no idea what the problem is there.

I tip 20% at least, sometimes more. I have friends who work at a bar and who usually give me fat discounts, in which case I figure what I was comped and tip on what the "real total" would be.

Edited by clifford_thornton

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I'm not a fan of tipping, mostly because it allows business owners to pay less than the minimum wage, but also because in the U.S. at any rate it has spread to all kinds of professions where the link between (observed) service and tipping is weak at best. I find the idea that one needs to tip hotel maids bizarre and really more than a little offensive. I generally won't do it, and I certainly won't each night, which is what more and more (U.S.) etiquette books are preaching. I would definitely prefer a culture where fair (if not necessarily "livable") wages were paid and there was no tipping.

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One thing I've noticed is that many older people seem to hold firmly to the belief that a 15% tip at a restaurant is more than adequate for excellent service, as opposed to a minimum baseline. I usually tip 20%, or a bit more for outstanding service.

I have to admit, it's puzzling why the "standard" has increased from 10 to 15 to 20% in my life time. I mean, it's not like the menu you're basing the tip on hasn't kept pace with inflation.

Something I don't understand about tipping (at least in the U.S.) - why does Starbucks expect you to tip them but McDonald's doesn't? Is there any fundamental difference in what the service is? They are preparing food or drink for you and you pay them for said food/drink.

Why does Starbucks have tip jars by the register and at the drive-thru window? Are their employees more deserving of a tip than a McDonald's employee?

Have to agree here; but then I never tip at Starbucks or it's equivalent. If that makes me evil, so be it.

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I have always tipped hairdressers, waiters and taxi drivers, though I wonder if younger people still do this. Payment by card makes tipping more difficult. We used to have a regular all-year-round postman who got a "tip" at Christmas, but fragmentation of the postal services here has put an end to that.

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I'm not a fan of tipping, mostly because it allows business owners to pay less than the minimum wage, but also because in the U.S. at any rate it has spread to all kinds of professions where the link between (observed) service and tipping is weak at best. I find the idea that one needs to tip hotel maids bizarre and really more than a little offensive. I generally won't do it, and I certainly won't each night, which is what more and more (U.S.) etiquette books are preaching. I would definitely prefer a culture where fair (if not necessarily "livable") wages were paid and there was no tipping.

That's fine, but you won't force that into being by not tipping.

Aside from that, add me to the growing "I'm with Jim" camp. My wife and I always tip around 18-20%.

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20% for good service, more for excellent service, less for mediocrity. I rarely receive bad service.

For some reason, hostesses do like to offer me the worst table when there are better ones available. I have an amiable air about me.

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I tip 20% at least, sometimes more. I have friends who work at a bar and who usually give me fat discounts, in which case I figure what I was comped and tip on what the "real total" would be.

I consider this borderline unethical.

As a bartender I once experienced the exact opposite. the probably best customer of the bar who spent a lot of money over a period of time did not tip. When he paid bills of other customers you felt directly cheated out of your money.

Having worked for tips i consider myself a generous tipper. However I have personally a bit of a problem with fixed percentage rules. For example if I pay say for a dinner of four at an expensive restaurant I might get a bit stingier and consider how much time was spent serving and not tipping on taxes etc.

Edited by uli

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I have always tipped hairdressers, waiters and taxi drivers, though I wonder if younger people still do this. Payment by card makes tipping more difficult. We used to have a regular all-year-round postman who got a "tip" at Christmas, but fragmentation of the postal services here has put an end to that.

Same here - although I cut (shave) my hair myself ... norm is something like: 10% up to 10 swiss franks - but when you eat somewhere and the bill goes up to 200 or 250, it can still be 20 or somewhat more. With taxis, it's usually in the same region - but I very often am the one giving the highest tip in a round of people my age (30-40, so not that young anymore, but even they don't always seem to behave properly ;-))

I missed tipping the postman (the ones bringing parcels only, wouldn't think of tipping the ones bringing letters, now don't ask me why, but I never see that guy anyways) this and last year - somehow, around x-mas time I've not seen the regular guy for many weeks. Next year, I'll tip him in November to make sure (don't want to tip a sub when the regular guy does a fine job all year long).

Also tipping the guy delivering the newspaper ... that would be 20 CHF or something around that - guess if all of his several hundred or thousand "customers" tipped, he would quite like it, but I'd assume very, very few people tip these guys nowadays. I learnt doing this when growing up. Not being rich, but well-off, it just seems a natural thing to do.

But never at Mac or at Starbucks ... rarely visit these places anyways. At the bakery's where I sometimes buy a croissant and a coffee in the morning, they've got this little thing on the counter and I usually put the small change in there - but as they never fail to react with a big smile and a most friendly "thank you", I guess I'm one of but a few that puts anything in there.

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I had a breakfast for two in North California the year after. $14. I gave a 20 dollars bill asking for 3 dollars in return. "Something wrong with your breakfast, Sir?" is all I could get in return, repeatedly, at first.

Not much tippers in France, service is automatically included. I usually tip from 1 to 5 euros, but mostly based on the quality of the service rather than on the price of the bill.

That "something wrong" attitude seems to be not so rare. I remember such a scene being worked into the plot of some German TV series (focusing a.o. on typical tourists' blunders abroad, including the USA) some 30 years ago. So this experience must have been current then too if it was singled out there.

Tipping in restaurants, bars etc. usually is around 10% over here. Which is the commonly existing and accepted average (give or take a scant few percent) across the board of service quality unless it's really lousy in which case I dont feel bad about reducing it.

I even tip some when I am in France (less than 10%, given that service is expressly included indeed, but rounding up the total a bit).

20% being the expected (and apparently tacitly enforced) norm sounds pretty hair-raising to me and like ejp626 says, if this is a way for employers sneaking out of paying halfway decent wages (a global problem, the wage level in these professions ...) then, ho hum ...

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I'm usually a 20% minimum tipper for good service and have gone way above that for excellent. All things considered we should not be tipping on totals that include taxes and over priced wine but I guess I've just become lazy and include it all.

NYC is out of control. Everyone with their fucking hands out. I never understood why some feel obligated to tip postal workers and City sanitation. I quit that shit big time. Same drill with the doorman at residential buildings. I mean, I can see doing a little something around the holidays but I have friends that tell me stories of how they feel like they are constantly being shaken down. I've witnessed a doorman give a friend the cold shoulder, basically turning his back to him as we entered the building. When I asked why, my buddy replied, "I didn't tip him for giving me the number of a housekeeper and he won't let it go".

Automatic gratuities included for larger groups also rubs me the wrong way. I see it both ways but it can lead to marginal service considering 20% is already added.

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I generally tip 10-15%, although most bills here include a 12% surcharge, but not always.

It's not mandatory in the Netherlands and certainly the staff don't expect it and are not relying on tips to give them a living wage. A good job too, because it's not really the done thing here, but they do of course appreciate a tip!

My missus goes mad, she doesn't see the need to give a tip where it is not necessary and considers it a sign of being somewhat a frivolous fop, lush and effeminate dandy.

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I tip 20% at least, sometimes more. I have friends who work at a bar and who usually give me fat discounts, in which case I figure what I was comped and tip on what the "real total" would be.

I consider this borderline unethical.

Why? You treat your regulars well. Your regulars then stay regular and keep the atmosphere nice.

Also, living in NYC off tips isn't easy, though maybe at upscale restaurants a bit better.

Being of a somewhat younger generation and having been broke with a lot of friends in the service industry or working freelance, I've realized that in lieu of livable wages, those tips matter. Y'all stingy.

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I tip 20% at least, sometimes more. I have friends who work at a bar and who usually give me fat discounts, in which case I figure what I was comped and tip on what the "real total" would be.

I consider this borderline unethical.

Why? You treat your regulars well. Your regulars then stay regular and keep the atmosphere nice.

Also, living in NYC off tips isn't easy, though maybe at upscale restaurants a bit better.

Being of a somewhat younger generation and having been broke with a lot of friends in the service industry or working freelance, I've realized that in lieu of livable wages, those tips matter. Y'all stingy.

well it obviously all depends on the circumstances. If your friends who work at the bar are also the owners of the establishment it's not the same issue as if they just give their friends a generous discount on the cost of the owners. for a generous tip.

As I said having worked in the business myself I have all the sympathy for the workers. On the other hand they are also notorious for cheating,

Edited by uli

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