Tipping

Jimmy Todd

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So I had a debate with a friend about tipping. In the U.S. there are now tip jars everywhere. It used to be in my youth that tipping was just for waiters. Now you see them everywhere. Anyway, I noticed that in coffee shops if I put in a tip, it is not acknowledge. I think a "thank you" is just basic good manners. My friend thought that was kind of elitist, as if I expect the worker owes me something special because I deigned to throw them some extra money. I will admit that I always tip when they can see me doing so because I want them to know I appreciate good service and a cheerful attitude. However, I do get a little miffed if they don't at least acknowledge it.
What do you think?
 

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I find tipping in USA scary!

I do get rather fed up with people who for the 4th time tell me "Gratuitys are not included!" I want to say I heard you first time, Im not deaf (well I wasnt then, might be a bit now!) They should be paid a better decent wage to start with so that they dont need to rely tips to make ends meet

Its that its expected, good service or not - I always leave a tip in UK. but if the service is slow or the server is surly they dont get as much - and yes a smile or a thank you is appreciated for it but not always received

Friends had a bad experience in NY and didnt tip and the server came running out of the restaurant after them, thats not acceptable
 

Daniel Avery

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There are more and more instances of people hinting around for (and just outright expecting) tips in inappropriate places. In many cases it's just testing the waters, trying to see what they can get away with. in larger cities I'm sure they try to make visitors/tourists think it's customary; scamming tourists should be an Olympic sport.
My rule of thumb with restaurants is that if I have to buss my own table, then nobody's getting a tip. At a buffet restaurant (where the wait staffers might only refill drinks or bring extra napkins, while we get our own food), I still tip, but it might be a lower rate (like perhaps 10-15% rather than 18-20%) because of the "cleaning up behind me" aspect. No one in fast food should be hitting up a customer for a tip---that's just ridiculous.

I don't frequent coffee shops, but from what I read online, that seems to be the battlefield of tip culture these days. If someone just hands me a doughnut and a drink from behind a counter, I cannot imagine where they get the idea that they've earned a tip. That's not "higher-quality service"---it's doing the bare minimum of your job description. You're getting paid to do a task; you're getting tipped for what you do above and beyond the bare minimum of that task. But like I say, I don't frequent those places, so maybe I'm missing something.
 

Jimmy Todd

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I go to coffee shops and it's now customary to see a tip jar in all of them in fact, I see tip jars in almost all such places in which they are just handing you your cup of coffee.
I often get therapeutic massages for the knots on my shoulders, and I will tip 20%. I recently found a new place a physical trainer recommended. The masseuse was very professional and very good, but when I went to pay, she specifically asked, "Will you be putting the tip on your debit card or in cash?" I found that very cheeky. I don't have to give a tip, and being expected and put on the spot like that is off-putting. She was good, and massages are very healthy so I plan to go back so I don't mind tipping, but still, it casts a bit of a pall over things. If one doesn't tip. If I didn't tip, or tip enough, would she feel justified in giving me a sub par massage in the future?
 

Emelee

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Tipping was never a thing in Sweden until it suddenly was a thing, out of the blue. I now feel forced to tip at restaurants and I hate it. How much do I tip? What's ok? Having to do quick thinking is not what I feel like doing after eating.

I only tip at good restaurants. I have not heard of anyone in Sweden tipping at fastfood places or regular coffee shops. Just places where you actually get nice service by waiters.

Far from all places have card readers where you type in the total sum yourself. If they don't, I assume tipping isn't done there.
 

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It's around in the UK, but to a lesser extent. Not really something that I do often. Two or three times a year maybe.
 

Jimmy Todd

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It's around in the UK, but to a lesser extent. Not really something that I do often. Two or three times a year maybe.
Interesting. It's so prevalent in the U.S. I am always being asked if I will tip someone. It's at least once a day.
 

Jimmy Todd

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It's around in the UK, but to a lesser extent. Not really something that I do often. Two or three times a year maybe.
Interesting. It's so prevalent in the U.S. I am always being asked if I will tip someone. It's at least once a day. It begs the question, is tipping in America really because higher ups(owners,corporations) don't want to pay fair, livable wages?
 

Daniel Avery

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I recall in some Asian country (I want to say Japan), that if you tip someone, it's considered insulting. It's characterized as the would-be tipper deciding you must be poor and need charity.

is tipping in America really because higher ups(owners,corporations) don't want to pay fair, livable wages?
I know that is a popular refrain among some, but as usual it's much more nuanced than that. People aren't "tricked" into taking such jobs; it's well-known that wait-staff positions get paid a salary lower than typical minimum wage because the tips should help make up for the lower base pay. I say "should" because the jobs are not meant for everyone. Those who bust their behinds and do their jobs well can make good money. Those who don't want to do the less-attractive parts of the job (being nice to rude people, etc.) aren't going to succeed at it as well, and the money will not be as easily earned. But those people get weeded out eventually. It's not as if the restauranteur is pocketing all that money he/she saves from not paying the wait staff higher wages; it's well known how low the profit margins are in such businesses. I think something like 80% of them go out of business within five years. Villainizing the owners for a pay structure that virtually all restaurants follow is short-sighted, in my opinion, since the owners put up with a LOT of foolishness from above (suppliers, inspectors, franchise owners, inflation and utility prices) and below (irresponsible employees, rude customers) in pursuit of a dream that only 20% manage to fulfill. And again, if someone doesn't like the pay structure or how they will need to perform in order to succeed, they ought not take the job.

But with respect to tipping, I think service in this area (South Florida) is generally lower than most other places I've been. I fear that if wages were raised to replace tipping for excellent service, workers would not have much reason to provide even the (spotty) level of service we see in our post-Covid world. In other words, if I can get paid the same money to be rude and dismissive that I was getting paid to be helpful and pleasant....why be helpful and pleasant? I mean, one only has to look to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the IRS to see employees who have no motivation to be nice or even productive, since they are not getting rewarded for such behaviors. They just do as little as they have to in order to keep from being fired. If that sort of mindset transfers to restaurant help, it will be a disaster. The level of service at a restaurant goes hand-in-hand with the actual food to decide whether it succeeds or not. There has to be that motivation among the wait staff to provide that extra level of service, and how better to motivate them than to allow them to pocket extra money for going the extra mile?
 

tommie

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I dunno
Personally, I think tipping cows is a better idea, until it isn't because they die and stuff

Don't tip cows man
 

Jimmy Todd

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I just saw an article that some supermarkets in America are having their self checkout counters ask for tips with the message that the money will be distributed among various employees.
The article mentioned Americans are suffering from "tip fatigue."
 

Daniel Avery

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I went to my local Steak-and-Shake the other day, the first time I'd visited in several years. They had basically done away with the waitresses, the cashier podium, and a hostess escorting you to your table. You entered your food choices into a kiosk near the door and you could only pay with a credit or debit card. They'd also cut the menu options down by about two-thirds. The only employees I saw were the manager, one cook, and a young girl cleaning the tables after customers left. The overall vibe was that, even though there were tables to sit at, they were hoping you were ordering your food to go.

I'd always liked S&S's "diner" theme with wait staff and the like, so this was an unpleasant experience. There were three kiosks and I felt rushed to input my order because there were people waiting behind me. The cherry on top, of course, was that after I pre-paid for my food, the machine had the gall to suggest a tip "for the kitchen staff". Um, no thanks. Other than someone calling out my order number to come pick up my food from the counter, no one said a word to me the entire time I was there. On one hand, they had succeeded in removing most human interaction from the place, and yet they still wanted to get a tip out of their customers, when tipping is supposed to be a reward for better-than-average service. Needless to say I won't be going back there; I hope this isn't a chain-wide transition and I can find other S&S locations that haven't gone over to this cold and impersonal format.
 
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Seaviewer

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Tipping's not really a thing in Australia - unless someone really goes above and beyond. We expect wages to be liveable and have a Fair Work Commission to oversee the system.
 

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I have an American friend who really hates tipping back home and he’s happy he lives here in Slovakia now because we either round the sum upwards to the nearest number ending with 0 or 5 or add just 5-10% of the total sum.

When I order food from a restaurant via Wolt service, they have options to tip the delivery guy in advance a fixed sum of €0.5, €1 or €2 regardless of the total sum. Imagine getting 5 bucks and telling the customer to FO. Goodness gracious.

At Starbucks I pay with my phone thus indicating I carry no cash (which I usually don’t) and ignore the tip jar. Was I supposed to tip? Oh, well. Whoopsie. We’re just not big tippers here and I hope it never changes.
 

Snarky Oracle!

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I went to my local Steak-and-Shake the other day, the first time I'd visited in several years. They had basically done away with the waitresses, the cashier podium, and a hostess escorting you to your table. You entered your food choices into a kiosk near the door and you could only pay with a credit or debit card. They'd also cut the menu options down by about two-thirds. The only employees I saw were the manager, one cook, and a young girl cleaning the tables after customers left. The overall vibe was that, even though there were tables to sit at, they were hoping you were ordering your food to go.

I'd always liked S&S's "diner" theme with wait staff and the like, so this was an unpleasant experience. There were three kiosks and I felt rushed to input my order because there were people waiting behind me. The cherry on top, of course, was that after I pre-paid for my food, the machine had the gall to suggest a tip "for the kitchen staff". Um, no thanks. Other than someone calling out my order number to come pick up my food from the counter, no one said a word to me the entire time I was there. On one hand, they had succeeded in removing most human interaction from the place, and yet they still wanted to get a tip out of their customers, when tipping is supposed to be a reward for better-than-average service. Needless to say I won't be going back there; I hope this isn't a chain-wide transition and I can find other S&S locations that haven't gone over to this cold and impersonal format.

TPTB have decided that four-on-the-floor vehicles are a thing of the past, and debit cards for fast food is the only way to go.

I'm not sure what their long game is, but they've got one and they're playin' it.

Fortunately, I rarely do fast food. But when I've tried recently, they don't want cash even in a drive-thru.

Time to move on.
 

Snarky Oracle!

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Yesterday afternoon, I took my sister-in-law to a one-month-late birthday dinner at a semi-nice-ish restaurant. I got a ribeye steak; she got the salmon. We ate more bread than we should have, and scarfed down an order of stuffed mushrooms as we went. There was a salad and two sides (sauteed spinach and asparagus). Took a dessert each home in a doggie-box.

When the nice waiter came back for our second wave of ordering, he mentioned he was having one of the worst days of his life -- his 71-year-old mother had died that morning, as she was getting ready for work, never sick a day in her life. Now he has to drive to Dallas when his shift is over to prep the funeral.

I tend to tip pretty well, so it wasn't necessary. And we were so stuffed with calories that it wasn't until we'd gone that I fully realized there was a 75% chance that the story was bogus -- he thought he could shake down the dumb white folks for a larger gratuity with a soulful tale of woe.

Well-played, actually. But I'd prefer he'd think it was my idea.

As I anticipated, I woke up in the middle of the night in a hot sweat. Too much food. I took an aspirin when I got home so I wouldn't die. It worked.

 
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Jock Ewing Fan

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And now the minimum wages have increased significantly in many areas.
I don't mind when people are paid a decent wage,
however the employers will then reduce staff and cut out other expenses, and raise prices.
So the tipping amount becomes an issue for some people.
 
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