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Are you a bad tipper?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Ambulance Chaser, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's an issue with taking your kids to, say... Denny's or even Red Robin or some place like that, but once you start taking children to higher end restaurants, you run a serious risk of disturbing other diners, and IMO they shouldn't be allowed. I'm not sure what their policies are, but I almost never have seen children in any of the finer dining establishments that I patronize.
     
  2. Styleman

    Styleman Well-Known Member

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    (Styleman @ Feb. 10 2005,14:05) 2) Excessive scrutiny of semantics as a means of keeping change in your own wallet is at the very least passÃ[​IMG].
    I don't want to engage this particular post as much as I want to engage this sentiment in general as I've seen on this board. I love this: Â one tries to refine or discern meaning or clearly state something and one is accused of being a semantician.
    I think you should have the courtesy to quote the right person; I did not say that. Yet you quoted me somehow.
     
  3. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    Horace, I'm glad you find my statement "laughable". It is the unfeelingness towards children that has been expressed by some that bothers me. Honestly, I have been disturbed by adults in restaurants at least as often as I have been disturbed by children. I see no reason why children should be singled out in reference to creating disturbances.
     
  4. Horace

    Horace Well-Known Member

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    (Horace @ Feb. 12 2005,09:46)
    2) Excessive scrutiny of semantics as a means of keeping change in your own wallet is at the very least passÃ[​IMG].
    I don't want to engage this particular post as much as I want to engage this sentiment in general as I've seen on this board. I love this: Â one tries to refine or discern meaning or clearly state something and one is accused of being a semantician.
    I think you should have the courtesy to quote the right person; I did not say that. Yet you quoted me somehow.
    Sorry -- I have a very bad tendency to mistakenly shift around stuff in my reply -- deleting some things and retaining others.
     
  5. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    Hopkins,

    Some environments are adult ones and not meant for children, and higher end restaurants are one of those. Most people realize this and leave their children at home, others do not, and this is IMO bad for both the children (who find it boring and tedious) and both the adults in question, and others in the area. IMO people need to understand what environments are appropriate for their children, and which are not.
     
  6. Nonk

    Nonk Well-Known Member

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    Well said Sir.
     
  7. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    this is a hard call - I would agree that at the very high end kids have no place, and even in the middle (and, sorry to put a number on this but lets say high end being >80 and middle >50 bucks a head, without wine) kids need to behave as well as adults. but I think that there is an advantage both to the family and to the child to be included in resteraunts like this. I take my son to most places we go - he has been to a czech modern ballet, and to good resteraunts in several cities in europe, as well as lot of places that are more, say traditionaly accepting of children in the american spirit. if he makes any noise, we zip him outside. but I want him to get used to how to act in these places.
     
  8. Debaser

    Debaser Well-Known Member

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    I'm a server, and cannot believe how naive many of you are to the trials and tribulations the profession often entails.

    If you get good service, tip 18-20%. If you get service that's above and beyond, tip more. 15% should be left for mediocre service, less than that for terrible service. It's shocking how quick people are to deduct from the tip, and how reticent they are towards boosting it.

    FYI, your food coming late, overdone, etc. is usually the kitchen's fault, and WILL be corrected, and often with a bonus or compensation on the mangers' part to boot. A tip is based on server performance. I make $2.13 an hour, and the arrogance and readiness to deduct from my livelihood that some of you demonstrate, especially regarding aspects beyond my control, is appalling.
     
  9. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    Who's naive? This is not an established guideline for patrons of restaurants. Whether it should be, or you would like it to be, is immaterial; it simply is not the established scheme. 15% is considered reasonable by most tipping guides, and more importantly by most patrons, for adequate service with no serious mistakes. I don't mean this to sound rude, but if you don't like that, you can either start a mass media campaign to inform us all on the new rules, or find another line of work that pays better. You cannot, however, expect the ordinary person to 'know' this or follow it; nor can you rightly feel slighted when he does not.

    No, it WILL NOT necessarily be corrected; it often is not corrected in my experience, and if it is the kitchen's fault the server needs to get the manager and have these corrections or compensations made. It should not be our job as patrons to seek out compensation for deficiencies in the expected service. If you get a bad tip when you don't seek the manager's help in correcting the patron's experience, you deserve it.

    It's a difficult job, I know, and I wouldn't want it. But complaining about the way it IS is ridiculous. I don't do that job because I know the way it is, and I wouldn't be able to handle it especially for the amount of money I would make.

    All that being said, I am a very good patron, typically tip over 20% for adequate but not intrusive service, and don't ask much of my server. But I am not going to reward mediocre service with a good tip.
     
  10. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Well-Known Member

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    I agree and disagree, if the service is superb, I will definitely tip highly, and I do not base the tip on the service of the kitchen as much as the friendliness and care offered by the server, however I do not think 15% is warranted for ok or mediocre service either. I think it is a travesty what a server is paid as a base wage, if the minimum was say 3.85, I think attitudes would be better when a cheap-scape leaves a bad tip, knowing that with optimal service to the next customer one could be redeemed.
    For exceptional service I will try to lend myself to the 22%-25% range, rather good service the 17%-21% range, average service with a little more attention 15%, but mediocre 10%. I really will not comment on below that, but, I believe the service comes partly from the attitude and presence of the customer, I try to emit a friendly non-combative personality toward the server where he feels more a part of my dining experience than just a slave as many patrons treat waiters. It seems to make the whole experience more forth coming for all, and tends to bring better service as well. Rarely do I leave less then 20%....but I still do not tip the PIZZA GUY......
     
  11. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with most of what J says, except personally I tip according to the scale I posted earlier, and also when I refer to 15%, I am referring to the pretax, although I do generally include the wine in that total, but not corkage fees of any type. Why would you tip the server on money that you are paying to the state government?

    I think my tips typically average 12-13% of the pretax, but I rarely get service that justifies a higher tip. I have been known to tip well for exceptional service, but my standards are pretty high.
     
  12. Nonk

    Nonk Well-Known Member

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    My comments about tipping relative to service are from a UK perspective, where our minimum wage is around $9 an hour at today's exchange rate, not $2.13 as quoted for a US waiter.

    Interestingly routine tipping at 15% here could easily create (taking into account the average bill, and the average number of tables a waiter can serve over say a 2 hour period) a situation where tips and hourly pay combined would be far in excess of what I earn as an hourly rate.

    With no disrespect to waiters, I do not feel they should be earning more than I do.
     
  13. aybojs

    aybojs Well-Known Member

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    Can we please cut out the lie that servers only make $2.13 an hour? First of all, tips are a part of a waiter's income regardless, and the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of servers make far more than standard minimum wage becaue of tips. Second, the Department of Labor mandates that if tips somehow do not bring the server to a total that averages out to minimum wage or more, the employer is required by federal law to make up the difference. Therefore, the $2.13 an hour really is only a supplement to tip income and is thus irrelevant in these discussions.

    As far as I go, I average around 15% (sorry, don't try to tell me 20% is average, because it isn't; 20% is for highly above average service). I also am pretty low maintenance and do actively try to be efficient and polite so as to create a minimum of hassle for the server; I'm no fan of difficult customers either. That said, my pet peeve is when waiters get greedy or act entitled and break out the self-pity or holier-than-thou routine when they're getting paid much more than I did on my summer interships to do menial labor. I've been fortunate in never having to deal with that in any of my dining experiences, but if any of that comes out, that would be enough to sink any hopes of a > 5% tip.
     
  14. Horace

    Horace Well-Known Member

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    One thing I've noticed in some of your posts, and it's very interesting to me, is that some of you mention this idea of being pleasant or noncombative or what-have-you. Those on both sides (i.e. the servers and the customers) have been careful to couch their language and their stories in such a manner.

    Now, I'd like to know if there is something -- and maybe it's just an American thing -- about the waiter/customer relationship that is inherently antagonistic? Are we always ready for a struggle or an argument?

    Call bullshit on this if you will, but it's just this sense I've gotten (though I apologize for not being able to articulate it fully).

    Code:
    
    
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Well-Known Member

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    Well, I make $3.30 an hour.

    You're going to think this is holier-than-thou, but if you want to know what menial labor is, I will take you back to dish and let you see how they earn their keep.

    Servers take your order, will often answer menu questions and assist in the selection process. Servers have to juggle a section of tables and make sure everyone's glasses stay full, food is hot, and empty plates are taken away, and deal with how grumpy or personable you wish to be. I don't think doing this job deserves a medal, but just because it does not require a college degree does not mean anyone can do it.

    Tipping practices very greatly by lots of variables including but not limited to region, age, gender, and ethnicity. From experience I can expect probably about 12% from the four-top of retired folks visiting from Wisconsin. I'll probably only get $1 per person from the six-top of high school kids who ordered $70 worth of food and soft drinks. I also know that Canadians and Australians on average tip very poorly by US standards.

    20% certainly is the norm, but it depends where you go. Downtown or more affluent areas, yes. Higher-end restaurants, yes. Low-end restaurants like Denny's and Applebee's, lower-income or rural areas, not so much.
     
  16. aybojs

    aybojs Well-Known Member

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    What I meant was that I often hear friends or posters in other tipping threads state that they only get $2-3/hour from their employer, but they neglect to mention that they also get around $10-15/hour in tips. So in reality, it seems common that even waiters at low-end restaurants ultimately take home a sum that averages to around $10-15/hour. When I hear that someone "makes $X/hour," I take that to mean that the total income brought home by someone averages out to $X/hour.

    Common sense dictates that if it were common that waiters only brought home $2-3/hour (or ~$80-90/week), then it would be outright impossible for the number of self-supporting waiters to be what it is (indeed, as I somewhat jealously noted, all my waiter friends were making much more than I did at my standard office internship jobs). And this doesn't even include the fact that federal laws mandate that a waiter must take home minimum wage no matter what; so it would be illegal for a waiter to take home <$5.15/hour. I'm not trying to be accusatory or anything, but it seems dishonest that so many waiters seem to be claiming that it is even possible for them to take home less than the minimum wage. I realize I may be missing some subtleties of how the industry works, but according to what the law says, the $2.13/hour point does not hold. Only if the overall sum of your earnings (tips and all) averages $3.30/hour is it accurate to claim that you make $3.30/hour. Somehow I think you take home more than that.

    And I don't mean to sound insulting when I call waiting a menial job. I know waiting requires certain innate skills that not everyone has (e.g. keeping your cool in a frenetic environment), but at the same time there are no artificial barriers to entry: you do not need to be of a certain age, pass an exam, have extensive technical experience, or display highly developed talent to wait tables. That does not reduce the difficulty of the job per se, but it is hard to maintain the stance that the number of people who can qualify for a waitstaff job and perform it competently is so limited that it warrants payment above and beyond its market value.

    Theoretically anyone off the street could come in and be qualified to wait tables at an average restaurant; and theoretically anyone off the street could be trained to become a competent waiter with minimal effort. Again, I'm sure the job is difficult and demanding, and I respect the efforts of the people who do it, but waiting is not highly skilled or specialized job. In honesty, it's just another retail job: the real task at hand is the stress of dealing with customers and keeping one's cool. What baffles me is that while waiting tables is much more lucrative than a generic cashier or shelf stacking job, waiters still complain vociferiously about their compensation. I would much rather wait tables at Chili's than work the floor at Best Buy, for example, because I would be making more money for doing a similar job.

    About the tipping standard debate: I confess that, as a college guy, I don't get the chance to dine out at super high-end restaurants on a regular basis. I do, however, read a lot of forums and periodicals on the subject of food and dining, and I find that the only people who make a big deal of claiming that 15% is not a perfectly fine tip are either connected to the industry or so rich that it doesn't really matter to them. As J said, the whole point of tipping is to give the decision to the customer, and not to expect them to intuitively know some arbitrary standard set by the waiter and lash out at them if they don't know it. As I mentioned earlier, it is really bothersome to see that the stereotypical reflex of a waiter to a less than satisfactory tip is to assume the customer is a cheap asshole who is completely in the wrong. I think coping with the reality of the way tipping works is another of those innate, unquantifiable skills that is necessary in a waiter but not present in everyone.

    Horace: I see what you're getting at, and my own response would be that the tone of this thread has a lot to do with the polarized nature of the debate (tipping threads are always among the most heated regardless of what sort of forum in which they appear). One thing to note is that the debate somewhat revolves around hypothetical extremes (the outright greedy and arrogant waiter vs. the outright cheap and thoughtless customer). I doubt any of the patrons here dislike waiters in general and in fact get along well with them 99% of them; likewise for the waiters in this thread. I also think that everyone in this debate realizes that both extremes are problematic; the question seems to be which extreme appears more often and is thus the source for most of the conflict. I don't see this debate or the waiter/patron relationship as antagonistic so I much as I do a confused one: the big issue lies in gathering and analyzing all the relevant information so that both parties can reach an informed conclusion that is mutually satisfying. In simpler terms, it's a matter of people understanding each other.
     
  17. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you go pick up your own pizza then?

    Wear and tear on my vehicle,
    $260 full coverage insurance per month,
    gas; for mileage around 50 miles a night.

    + minimum wage + tips = I have a few extra bucks a the end of the night.

    Subtract the tips from that though, and pretty soon I'm actually PAYING to deliver your pizza. Not only that, the IRS doesn't believe me when I tell them you stinkers aren't tipping me.

    Not only do I prepare and make many of the pizzas, I am very rarely late. I usually can get a pizza anywhere in our delivery area within 20 minutes. Now what great social ill did pizza drivers ever do to you that you don't tip us?
     
  18. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    I always tip pizza guys on the assumption that they have the best access to doing something really bad to my food. a waiter might not have the privacy and time to do anything to my food on the way from the kitchen, but the pizza guy has 20 minutes all alone with my pizza. [​IMG] that said, I live 5 minutes from pizza, wings, cuban and chinese. so for almost any of our simple take out needs I just walk over and get it.
     
  19. Debaser

    Debaser Well-Known Member

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    Amen. nightowl is inconsiderate, to say the least.

    I always tip the delivery boys/girls very generously, for multiple reasons:

    1. The establishment KNOWS who tips well and who doesn't, and often reacts accordingly (super-fast delivery times, extra effort, etc.).

    2. They're using their own vehicle. The cumulative wear and tear comes out of their pocket.

    3. Really, how cheap can some people get? Throw them a few goddamn extra bucks and make their day. They have to go through a lot of shit in their profession. If your pizza was 12 bucks, what would you have given them? $1.50? So why not give them 3 bucks instead? An exhorbitant loss of a dollar-and-a-half on your part...does that mean you'll have to get a grande instead of a venti latte next time? Heavens, how will you cope?.
     
  20. Debaser

    Debaser Well-Known Member

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    Isn't this assumed? Obviously they get tips. Whenever someone says they make such-and-such an hour, they're referring to their actual hourly wage. You're thinking way too hard, they're not trying to deceive you in some way.
     

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