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people who bitch about tipping are scum?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Teger, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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  2. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    If they auto-tip you for the 18-20%, can you put a negative amount if you don't think its worth it? (has anyone here actually done this)
     
  3. Van Veen

    Van Veen Senior member

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    Technically, 0 seconds, since the menu was usually sitting on the table. It took ~15-20 minutes for someone to actually approach us to see if we wanted to order anything, in general. Every step of service took 20 minutes to a half hour. What would be a 20-30 minute lunch in the US was an hour to 1:15 in Europe.

    I get that you guys have the luxury of shorter workdays in Europe, so an hour and a half lunch is normal. Must be nice. But I have better uses of my time than sitting around waiting for service when I'm on vacation and have 2 days in a city that shuts down at 5pm. I'd rather eat at a kebab stand than spend an hour and a half on 2 drinks and a mediocre sandwich.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  4. Scelerat

    Scelerat Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. My oldest son lives in Spain and tells me that tipping just isn't done. Mind you, he says that service is generally "alright" rather than good.
     
  5. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    You reveal your American plebeian mindset here. Anyone with culture understands this is how it's done when you pay your wait staff enough that they can determine how you should be served. /Britlian
     
  6. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm always terrified at what I end up tipping after getting wasted at a bar. Is it enough? Did I do the math on the bill correctly? Could they even read it? Feedback from my local favorite is the drunker I am the better I tip by a lot.
     
  7. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    This is where being married really is a good thing.
     
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  8. Van Veen

    Van Veen Senior member

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    You gotta tip big to get them free drinks, though. The short term investment pays off in the long run. Everyone wins except the bar owner.
     
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  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Even he/she probably wins overall through the volume faithful regulars generate. Nothing worse than an empty chair.
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My local place has a thing called a green card. It is basically a trigger in the system that gives you a "regulars" discount. They use this in lieu of free drinks. Works nicely.
     
  11. idfnl

    idfnl Senior member

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    I'm not sure I see logic in this. You tip big to get something free... meaning you just overpaid for a free drink? In the long run, exactly how does this pay off for you?

    On a side note, I've always felt that knowing bartenders was not a healthy sign.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  12. Van Veen

    Van Veen Senior member

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    You establish yourself as a regular, a friendly person, and a good tipper, then you start to get free drinks. Now you are getting free drinks every time you come in (probably one out of 3 or 4 rounds). You should still tip generously, but you're coming out ahead.

    Let's say I buy 3 $6 beers. If I paid full price, I'd tip $3, for a total of $21. If the bartender buys me a round, I'd tip a few bucks extra ($5), for a total of $17. I saved $4. Now multiply that out by how much you actually buy and the number of people you're with, plus add in some comped food. You're tipping more than the normal person, but the total is still a lot less than if you'd paid for everything you consumed.

    I've only ever been a regular at one place, and it's because my wife and I came in the same day every week for their all night happy hour. We only went there once a week, but since we developed a relationship with the bartender, we got treated really well. You don't have to go out every night.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  13. idfnl

    idfnl Senior member

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    That seems like a lot of math to do when you're oiled up and it's a fair amount of investment for a minimal gain. I mean, $4? Free chicken wings? :eh:

    The markup on alcohol is laughable. If you have to think about this stuff, having drinks at home is much cheaper, then go out and milk a Miller Lite all night.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  14. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Trying to explain social conventions and social calculus to misanthropes is a losing proposition.
     
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  15. maxalex

    maxalex Senior member

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    I live in the U.S. but travel to Italy several times a year and I speak Italian. Restaurant culture there is so completely different from North America that comparisons are pointless. To begin, in Italy a dinner out is meant to be the entire evening, usually beginning at 8 or 9 and going for three hours. There is rarely a concept of "table turnover." Your table is yours for the evening. As such it would be considered extremely rude for a server in Italy to bring your bill before you have asked for it--again because Italians will sit at their table for hours, it's their culture.

    When a restaurant meal stretches to three hours, common sense suggests there will be periods of not eating and not drinking. The first such period takes place immediately after your arrival: Italian servers will not rush over with bread baskets (bread is meant to be eaten with the meal) or goblets of tap water filled with ice cubes (there is no concept of drinking tap water in an Italian restaurant). During these rest periods, diners will just be talking, or (in the old days) smoking. Over the course of three hours there is no need for servers to hover or rush or do "something" all the time. This is completely natural to Italians, even though it might look to North Americans like they are being "ignored."

    Meanwhile, servers in Italy pride themselves on professionalism and efficiency; they do not pretend to be your chum. They will not share their name, talk about their cats or otherwise distract from your dining experience. They will not come by and ask "How is everything?" because if the food or wine were not excellent they would not have served it. They will not tell you to "Have a good day!" because the reality is that people don't actually care about the quality of a stranger's day, that is an American social artifice. (I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wishing a stranger a good day, it's just not an Italian convention.) All of these customs might seem rude or reflect poor service from a North American perspective, but to Italians it is all perfectly normal.

    Tipping: Restaurant employees in Italy are paid by their employers, there is no need to tip. The price of service is included in the price of the meal--either as a separate line item or reflected in the overall pricing of food and wine. Servers are "incentivized" to do a good job by personal pride and the desire to keep their job--just like the rest of us who hold jobs everywhere. This very sensible idea appears to be spreading to North America, where some restaurant owners are banishing tips and adjusting menu prices to reflect higher wages.

    While I personally prefer the Italian conventions of restaurant dining (to say nothing of the food), there is really no right or wrong. Just different. Don't even get me started on France.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017 at 3:43 PM
  16. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    ^That was very informative. Please do get started on France!

    I think the NA convention for tipping sucks. The whole let's pay servers minimum wage and let diners take care of making sure servers are adequately compensated is ridiculous. It's a racket of the restaurant industry.
     
    clarksdb likes this.
  17. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    The recent trend of 'we'll add 3% to your bill to take care of health costs' is such BS.
     
    idfnl likes this.
  18. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    During the "rest periods" do diners nap? Maybe lay their heads down on the table?
     

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