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Author Topic: Tipping - Why does this appear to be a "requirement"?  (Read 10507 times)
wraith808
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« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2010, 06:34:24 AM »

why would you serve worse if you get more basic pay? Less worries and it's not people will stop tipping.

Did you not see the above commentary on service in Europe?
Yes and I disagree with that statement, one waiter in london is not proof of london, a country or a continent. it's just an experience of a moment in time by one person in one day.

I've seen it from more than one place... and from more than one person's experience.  And I quite think it's a part of some people's make-up; if there's no incentive to do more, then why do more?
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Josh
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« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2010, 07:12:07 AM »

Now tipping is comparable to bribing public officials and law enforcement? Oh man, even Mr. Pink didn't go there.

This thread gets better with each post! I almost expect Godwin's Law to come into play soon!   cheesy

Jim

Why are you so PRO tipping? Honest question.
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cmpm
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« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2010, 07:53:41 AM »

Not just anyone can be a good server.
Any fake courtesies or service can easily be seen by most.

I couldn't do it, dealing with the public like that.
Others are very good at it and like it.

When we go out to eat we want to be served.
It's the whole friggin point.
Or get your order to go.

Servers are paid to serve, they are paid according to how well they do their job directly by the served, no middle man.

It's not perfect, but that is the way it is mostly....
Lobby congress for a change...lol...

Speaking of tips, there's a good illegal tipping market-Congress.
Like it's not legal for public service officials (Police) to accept gifts.
Here in the US anyway.

But tipping goes on in many arenas.
Gifts to teachers or other such work that benefits are seen.
Not required but it is happening.

Too bad taxes can't be treated like tipping!
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wraith808
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« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2010, 08:41:10 AM »

Now tipping is comparable to bribing public officials and law enforcement? Oh man, even Mr. Pink didn't go there.

This thread gets better with each post! I almost expect Godwin's Law to come into play soon!   cheesy

Jim

Why are you so PRO tipping? Honest question.

You weren't asking me, but I'll answer.  I used to be really anti-tipping.  But then I dated someone who was in the food service industry, and hearing her and seeing her experiences let me know that the tipping bit, though inconvenient and something added on top of your food purchase, was a direct way that your server was affected.  And trying to change that by *not* tipping just hurt them.  In fact, a good server could go out of their way for just the fact that they took pride in their job, and receive *no* recognition.  Then I had experience in places that didn't accept tips/tipping was not expected, and other than places where pride was a big factor (i.e. true Japanese restaurants), it really affected the service you received.

It was only when I started my new job, and became used to the culture here that I really understood why.  As a contractor, I've always held myself to a high standard- mainly because take pride in my work, but also because I knew that my continued (and future) employment depended upon my quality of work in a way that most permanent employees do not experience.  Now, being in an environment where you get your base salary (which is a bit less than market), but an increasingly large bonus based on performance, I see an energy that was lacking in other places.  That energy is driven by incentive.  Because we live in a society driven by money, it is a great incentive to get the best out of people.

At least that's what I've seen...
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Renegade
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« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2010, 09:14:10 AM »

Now tipping is comparable to bribing public officials and law enforcement? Oh man, even Mr. Pink didn't go there.

This thread gets better with each post! I almost expect Godwin's Law to come into play soon!   cheesy

Jim

I wasn't kidding. In some parts of the world, it's like that. Quite literally. Those are the attitudes. Obviously not in the US or many other places, but there are places where bribing the police is fully expected just like tips. It is a part of their expected income.
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4wd
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« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2010, 09:16:02 AM »


So basically:

if minwage > (wage + tips) then
  wage = (minwage - tips)
else
  inc tax
end if


Where: wage = what the employer pays employee
           tips = what the customer pays employee
           minwage = what the employer is too cheap to pay employee
           tax = universal constant
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Renegade
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« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2010, 09:20:19 AM »

I should mention bribery of school teachers also being commonplace and an expected part of their income. It depends where you are.
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« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2010, 11:01:45 AM »

Wraith - You stated it exactly.  I waited my way through College.  It sucks - no way around it.  But if you are good (and I was based on others at the restaurant I worked at) you can make a LOT more than the "wages".  Indeed, the wages never even covered the taxes they were required to withhold.  Josh, you are adamently against tipping as a part of your salary believing you are paying for the service as part of the food costs.  However restaraunts don't see it that way.  They pay the minimum the government enforces on them to keep an employee and views the server as (priarily) a contract worker who makes as much as they can on their own work independent of the company.  They are not so much contract workers as much as commission workers.  Would you rather the restaurants (industry-wide) increase their costs about 300% to cover the costs, then pay the commission behind the scenes?  That is essentially what it would cost to cover the average server (for me, it would have been about a 600% increase unless I took a dramatic cut in pay).  Perhaps you are suggesting they cut the server's pay instead to be more in line with a fast food joint?  Then that is what you would end up getting.  Oh, and was already stated, don't forget the pay of those who the server must pay out of their tips - the bartender, the busboy, occasionally the cooks, etc....  Their pays get cut too.  Actually, looking at it from that perspective, the costs may have to go up more than 300% to cover - again, this only applies to US costs.

As for Europe, if someone takes a general idea of experiences from others and shows a specific example that showcases it, that doesn't mean it isn't common.  I can tell you from the years I spent around Europe, that the service, in general, is much more lax.  Perhaps some take their job seriously and do a good job for pride's sake, but that is very much the exception and not the norm.  From my experiences, France was the worst and Germany was the best, but that may be because most of the places I frequented in Germany were bars that the owner was also the server.  When it is your establishment, it tends to instill pride just to keep it open....Fine dining restaurants where the owners were not literally on top of the service staff just left you wondering if you would get your food at all and in what condition, not when.
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cmpm
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« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2010, 11:27:16 AM »

No one caught this?
or just not saying...

Quote
Lobby congress for a change...lol...

think of it next time you fill up your gas tank
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Shades
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« Reply #59 on: September 17, 2010, 07:34:33 PM »

Now tipping is comparable to bribing public officials and law enforcement? Oh man, even Mr. Pink didn't go there.

This thread gets better with each post! I almost expect Godwin's Law to come into play soon!   cheesy

Jim

I wasn't kidding. In some parts of the world, it's like that. Quite literally. Those are the attitudes. Obviously not in the US or many other places, but there are places where bribing the police is fully expected just like tips. It is a part of their expected income.

Over here in Paraguay it is not deemed wise by and for gringos to leave in a car in the days before a (inter)national happening, like for instance mothers day. The chance that you get picked and have to pay the fine that they make up on the spot is very high.

Here in the capital it is not so bad, but going to neighbouring cities... 
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mouser
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« Reply #60 on: September 30, 2010, 08:30:37 AM »

Interesting article on salon.com today about tipping:
http://www.salon.com/food...ip_waiters_for/index.html

"A veteran server reveals how we really don't care about the service when we tip, and how he makes more money..."
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superboyac
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« Reply #61 on: September 30, 2010, 09:10:18 AM »

Interesting article on salon.com today about tipping:
http://www.salon.com/food...ip_waiters_for/index.html

"A veteran server reveals how we really don't care about the service when we tip, and how he makes more money..."
Fascinating article.  So much psychology there.
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simakuutio
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« Reply #62 on: October 01, 2010, 02:41:14 AM »

As a European (living in Finland), this tipping in restaurant is so annoying thing when I do visit US (once in a two years or so). Everything else in US is pretty much the way I like it but when I'll go to restaurant, it's kinda strange because I have no idea, what that food I'm going to eat, is gonna cost me at the end... (of course I have some estimates but...).

And service... hey, I'm there just to eat something, not to ask to wipe my ass clean. Waiters are there only to ask what I want to eat, carry my drink(s) & foods for me and when I'm finished, get money for that food. I'm not expecting much more for a typical visit to restaurant. I don't expect waiters to give me a nice show when I'm eating, for that I'll go to movies/theater/somewhere else. Just plain basic, solid good service to get job done. And smiling should be free, no matter what.

In Europe, in many countries mandatory tipping doesn't exist. So no one expects you to tip but if you feel you're getting superior service, you're free to tip and make servers happy.

Here in Finland, when I go to restaurant, I quite rarely tip. But when I tip, there are good reasons for that. (same thing in many other European countries I'll visit).

That's my 0.02e for this discussion.
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Josh
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« Reply #63 on: October 01, 2010, 08:57:37 AM »

That is part of my logic. The cost of the food, whether this is actually the case or not, should cover the service the waiter is providing. If I tip, it should be EXTRA and not an expected part of their income. Why am I going to tip you 15% of a 60 dollar check for 4 interactions (Intro/Drink order placement, drop off drinks and take food order, drop off food and see if anything else is needed, and checking if we want desert/dropping off check) with the occasional extra drink refill? What did they do that warrants $9, in the case of a 60 dollar check, extra? Why should I leave you 15% extra from my check? What, because it is considered "customary"? Sorry, I will tip you when I feel it is warranted and you did something to earn the extra money. I will not tip because it's the "expected" thing to do.
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wraith808
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« Reply #64 on: October 01, 2010, 10:01:20 AM »

That is part of my logic. The cost of the food, whether this is actually the case or not, should cover the service the waiter is providing. If I tip, it should be EXTRA and not an expected part of their income. Why am I going to tip you 15% of a 60 dollar check for 4 interactions (Intro/Drink order placement, drop off drinks and take food order, drop off food and see if anything else is needed, and checking if we want desert/dropping off check) with the occasional extra drink refill? What did they do that warrants $9, in the case of a 60 dollar check, extra? Why should I leave you 15% extra from my check? What, because it is considered "customary"? Sorry, I will tip you when I feel it is warranted and you did something to earn the extra money. I will not tip because it's the "expected" thing to do.

But *my* point is that stiffing the waiter isn't hurting the restaurant, who is making the waiter depend on tips.  It's hurting the *waiter*.  I can understand your point, but is hurting another individual who has no influence on the pay scale the way to go about it?  Or perhaps to try, in some manner or fashion, to change the system?
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Josh
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« Reply #65 on: October 01, 2010, 10:19:24 AM »

Again, not to sound cold because that is not my intent, is that my concern when I go out to eat? If I worried about everyone who was being underpaid, I would tip the people at walmart who ring up my merchandise who make nothing, work 40+ hours per week, and receive no real set of benefits, I would tip the people at mcdonalds working drive thru, I would tip the person working the gas station, etc. I go to a restaurant to eat, not worry about the employment decision made by an individual. At what point do I stop worrying about everyone else and start worrying more about my family and my own obligations?

Again, I am not trying to sound cold, but I take this viewpoint from a realist standpoint and realize that I cannot affect everyone's pay without affecting those whom I have a direct responsibility for (My family). I am not going to tip someone an arbitrary amount set by tradition because it is the normal thing to do. I am going to tip you if I feel you earned it and even then I will tip the amount I feel you earned, not some arbitrary percentage.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 10:26:20 AM by Josh » Logged

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wraith808
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« Reply #66 on: October 01, 2010, 11:24:59 AM »

Again, not to sound cold because that is not my intent, is that my concern when I go out to eat? If I worried about everyone who was being underpaid, I would tip the people at walmart who ring up my merchandise who make nothing, work 40+ hours per week, and receive no real set of benefits, I would tip the people at mcdonalds working drive thru, I would tip the person working the gas station, etc. I go to a restaurant to eat, not worry about the employment decision made by an individual. At what point do I stop worrying about everyone else and start worrying more about my family and my own obligations?

Again, I am not trying to sound cold, but I take this viewpoint from a realist standpoint and realize that I cannot affect everyone's pay without affecting those whom I have a direct responsibility for (My family). I am not going to tip someone an arbitrary amount set by tradition because it is the normal thing to do. I am going to tip you if I feel you earned it and even then I will tip the amount I feel you earned, not some arbitrary percentage.

But the point is, they aren't underpaid as in their salary is low.  They are not *paid* by the establishment, because of how the industry sets up the pay scale.  The people at walmart make $x/hr to do their job.  That's what's communicated as their rate of pay.  When a waiter is hired, his rate of pay is $x/hr + tips.  That's how it's stated and what's communicated.  And before you say that it's their fault for signing on... look at the economy.  The same reason that people take jobs at walmart is the same reason that people wait tables.  Because they need a job that fits their skills.
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« Reply #67 on: October 01, 2010, 12:28:24 PM »

This all goes to distribution of wealth.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #68 on: November 15, 2010, 11:22:13 PM »

Very interesting thread. My girlfriend has been a server for about 7 years, she's actually good at it, but of course doesn't want to do it the rest of her life. Fortunately she's getting out of it now. But I digress. For obvious reasons I have a lot of understanding of and sympathy for the situation servers and other restaurant staff are in. It's an industry-wide systemic issue, and yes it's unlikely to change any time soon. So the thing is, I agree in principle with Josh, but I know that reality has other plans, so I tip - I tip fairly generously in fact. Usually no more than 20%, but seldom less than 15%! It *is* comensurate with service however.

The comments about service potentially being worse in other countries are very interesting for me. As I said I agree with Josh and have long wished for a more normal wage situation in food service, both for my needs as a customer, and for the stability and sanity of those employees. I've never really thought that maybe service *is* actually better as a result of our otherwise totally f*****d system though. Obviously a few anecdotal reports are not evidence enough, but it's intriguing at the least. Wraith's comments are particularly interesting, and echo my experiences with a significant other in the industry as well, i.e. not tipping just hurts the servers, it will never effect actual meaningful change.

I actually had vague notions of opening a restaurant at some point and trying an experiment: pay people good wages *and* give them benefits. The catch? I as the owner would not make any (or at least much) money off of it. A lot of owners, at least of successful restaurants, *do* make decent money off it; sometimes very good money. What do they do to justify it? Depends on the owner, certainly. But in many cases not much! Of course they did a lot more to begin with - they usually funded or at least managed it to start, they had the idea, they put in the work early on and got it started. And for many owners there can be a lot of ongoing maintenance, at least if they're not willing/able to hire a good manager. But anyway, I'm still curious just what it would cost to have a restaurant paying people decently, and not expecting tips... I don't really think 300% increase in food costs is necessary, quite honestly. But then I haven't done the math. I guess one interesting point is that the money is already there and has to come from somewhere. People pay *at most* 20% on average for tips, probably more like 10-15% is the average, and servers industry-wide basically "make ends meet", along with the bussers, cooks, dish washer, etc. So if that's the case, er, surely increasing the cost of everything 20% would do it??

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 11:30:11 PM by JavaJones » Logged

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J-Mac
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« Reply #69 on: November 15, 2010, 11:28:37 PM »

You are a fine gentleman Oshyan.  smiley

Thanks!

Jim
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