Thoughts on Tipping

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by stevento, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. stevento macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    So I saw this photo collection on ABC news of what they call "Bad Celebrity Tippers" and I thought I'd share my thought and ask for yours.
    click here
    Why should anyone be pressured into tipping, or called out for not tipping, if they don't want to? The story says "Madonna left only an $18 tip on $400 bill." and keeps accounts of other celebrities that have tipped "poorly" or not at all.
    I have ethical conflicts with presumption of tipping and expectation of a certain amount. I don't tip well either, sometimes not at all. There are some situations where I don't feel any reason to do so.

    For instance:

    1. At the airport, when they guy snatches my bag out of my hand and uses the touch-screen kiosk to check me in. He asks me questions like how many bags, and if I want a seat upgrade. He spends less than two minutes doing something I could do myself, then looks at me like I owe him a tip.
    2. Taxi Drivers. Taxi rides cost enough already.
    3. Delivery People. I don't see why I should ever tip one. Until I was about 18, I didn't know delivery people expected tips. Never tipped them before, never will.

    And I have questions about tipping culture as well.
    1. Why should I feel like I have to tip if I don't want to?
    2. Why should the amount of tip be based on the amount of the bill? Do you think a waiter working at a fancy restaurant works harder than one at Denny's? I don't think so.
    3. Who's invented tipping? Who set these rules?

    Nothing turns my stomach over more than tip jars at Starbucks. I tip bartenders and waiters. That's about it.
    When I ask these questions, people tend to say things like "You're stingy", and "You should tip because that's the way it is." Clearly, these responses hold no water. Until I find legitimate answers to these questions, I will continue to tip poorly and infrequently.
  2. OttawaGuy macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2006
    Some places are now including a mandatory tip on the bill. If you miss it you double tip.
  3. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    And servers will continue to spit in your coffee. Having been in the service industry, I can tell you that happens. It's not as if any of these people are making tons of cash, stevento. If you don't want to tip, don't- but people at the very least will think you're cheap.

    Then read your bill.
  4. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    These threads pop up from time to time. Eventually you'll see the argument split based on location, as I guess it's uncommon outside the U.S. for food service people to have almost all their income be based upon tips.
  5. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    I sympathize with people who work these types of jobs. If you've never worked a job where you're dealing with customers all day long, you wouldn't understand the stress and annoyances. Like Lee said they don't make much in the first place and rely on tips for most of their pay. So I usually like to tip a little more. It's funny because people I know who have worked those types of jobs before usually tip very little. I can't remember the last time I had a bad server though. And yes, tipping as a percentage of the bill doesn't really make much sense at all.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I agree that you should tip at a restaurant or wherever, but not for the reasons above. If the above were the argument as to why I should tip, then people working in shops, particularly high-end shops, or shops that are well known for their quality customer service, should get tips as well.

    I've been offered a tip once while working at a retail shop. A family of 4 spent $13,000 on ski equipment. Due to store policy, I had to say "no." I also was a bit surprised by the offer, but hey, that job was far more stressful than most restaurant or café jobs, being a bag porter at a hotel, etc. :eek: Perhaps I should be allowed to take a tip when it's offered.

    Saying that, tips should be paid. I know it's not a part of the official bill, but just add 15% and treat it as one of the costs of going out to a restaurant, or to a hotel. Don't be cheap and say they don't deserve more than their salary just because they work hard. I know that in other industries, you don't get rewarded for working hard and doing your job. I actually AGREE with that type of thinking, but unfortunately, our restaurant industry isn't structured to follow this ideal, so just play along by tipping, folks. :)
  7. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    Have you ever found yourself in a situation where some gears turned inside your brain machine, smoke billowing from ears to nostrils, a vestigial light emerging to guide you towards investigation before proclamation? Sometimes I find that if I put on my cognitive stovepipe apparatus, I am able to arrive at a location where I can make an inquiry before a conclusion, producing a sensation that I would liken to a sort-of outward introspection, or extrospection if you will. I realize this is not a process that most can abide for long, lest the machinations of reason and ra⋅ti⋅oc⋅i⋅na⋅tion become an immutable fragment of our souls. But, did you perhaps ask anyone who works as a server if there is some sort of institutionalized code of conduct, or "law", that would inform the convention of tipping? Something like the federal minimum wage in the U.S. for tipped employees being only $2.13/hour, with tips making up the difference? I'm not sure if there's any truth to that, and I am deeply, deeply afraid of the Google tubes and the disorienting onslaught of information they unleash. Perhaps this is something you can verify, while I wallow in my ignorance and filth, curled up into a deep ball and denying the existence of the outside world.
  8. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Tips should be banned or discretionary and people paid a minimum wage. Works over here in the UK, people were like "oh no its going to fail" and yeah it didnt.
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    My best friend worked as a waitress for over two years, and knowing what I know, I can't not tip well on purpose.

    In fact, a while back I left a bad tip (I think it came to be a tad over 11%) on accident (drinks+math=epic fail), and I felt like an ****** after I had realized my mistake when it was already too late to go back.

    Bottom line: people work really hard to provide services to you, even if you don't always see it. Don't be "that guy." Tip at least 15%, even if you are disappointed. If you liked how things went, don't be stingy and go for more. You'll really make someone feel appreciated.
  10. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    I tip and usually in the 15-20% range. I was once a starving student making minimum wage so I understand how hard it is to get by with a job that pays so little. Tips make a difference.
  11. donga macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2005
    i don't think OP has ever been in the service industry.

    in general, waiters/waitresses get paid less in salary from their employers and work for the tips that you give them to make up the difference. tips are generally performance based, so if they work hard for you and serve you well, tip accordingly.

    if you don't want to tip, it's simple, go to the grocery store, buy food, go home and cook.
  12. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I tip 15 to 20% for good service (for typical service I'll calculate 15%, then round up to a more convenient amount). Occasionally I'll go higher; if they go above and beyond, so will I. Bad service receives 10%.
  13. irmongoose macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2001
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    It's a stupid system and should be abolished. But the bottom line is, as long as it's in place, you should tip. And that's that.

  14. lmfao macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2009
    Do you mean like Pizza delivery people that use their own vehicles and pay for their gas and insurance out of their minimum wage checks so they can have the privilege of delivering food to your house?
  15. lmfao macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2009
    I'm basically the same around 20% for good service with a smile. 25%+ for outstanding service... but for bad or rude service I don't have a problem not tipping and that only happened once.
  16. nicinabox macrumors newbie


    Feb 5, 2009
    Oxford, UK
    Well I live in the UK, I myself have never tipped anyone. I don't see why I have to. They're are doing there job and are getting paid for it. I'm pretty sure restaurants over here don't expect tips so its a regional thing i guess.
  17. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    Then you also shouldn't complain when the delivery person delivers someone elses order before yours simply because they know the other person will tip them $5. I did that all the time when I used to deliver pizza. Non tippers also didn't get pepper and cheese packets though I always had them in the car. They stayed in the car for a reason.

    I also saw drivers do unspeakable things to peoples pizza and chicken wings when the order was for someone who didn't tip. Remember, the driver has full access to your food, do you really want to chance that with no tip?
  18. northy124 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2007
    I live in the UK and I tip depending on how well the waiter/waitress looked after me, wasn't rude etc etc, or if the Taxi driver got me somewhere quickly instead of slowly (like most do). I start tipping at £1/€1.

    If they aren't helpful, rude, slow etc etc I won't tip them.

    P.S in the UK delivery drivers don't expect a tip (unless the deliver pizza which I rarely order to be delivered) so I don't give them one ;)
  19. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    It's a ridiculous idea that I should have to tip to get even the basic level of service and even to have people leave my food alone!
  20. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    If your eating out, or are having food delivered, than chances are your doing well enough to leave a decent tip, and you should account for that in the cost of the meal. When I could afford to eat out more and have food delivered, my general rule was this:

    If the service is poor, and the server is not paying any attention to me, I will not leave any tip. It is seldom that this happens though.

    If the service is std., I will leave between 10-15%.

    If the service is exceptional, and the server is exceptional I will usually leave around 20%.

    Drivers that deliver food usually get about a three dollar tip....

    I also usually tip when I get my haircut if the person doing the cutting is really nice.

    One place I will not tip is when I get served at a walk in establishment that has a tip jar. My one exception to that is my local starbucks...Ive been going there for years, and they treat me extra shots of espresso and stuff like that.

    My basic feeling is that if you don't think you can afford to tip, or dont' want to tip, you shouldnt be eating out.

    Also, like leekohler, I worked for years in the food industry. Thats one reason I don't like to eat out. If your a repeat customer and are known as a bad tipper, you have probably had your food or drinks spit in at one point in time..
  21. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    Quoted for truth.
  22. marbles macrumors 68000


    Apr 30, 2008
    EU mostly
    Live in EU so it's not part of the wage system here, if I lived in the US I would tip but as I don't I only tip if someone who offers me a service go's above and beyond the call of duty, when this happens I tip well, only because it's rewarding someone for taking the time to make another person feel good or help them someway, imo that should be rewarded.

    Most times people do go above and beyond and so I usually tip in restaurants/taxi and for delivery's [unless I'm given good reason not too] and I very rarely am, if that happens won't pay anything at all, not for the food/ journey or whatever.

    I tend not to use places where the service may be in doubt before one walks in

    Have you ever asked a delivery driver if he's like a tip, I bet he/she would ;)

    A l o n g time ago I was a delivery driver and worked hard to get things done on time for my customers and they repaid that to me by tip here and there.

    It's just down to respect for your fellow man at the end of the day.
  23. ajthomason macrumors 6502

    It's completely down to cultures. I live in the UK and the only people who expect a tip are waiters/waitresses, but when I went to the USA for a holiday everyone seemed to expect one... It has never crossed my mind to tip delivery drivers - they provide a service that I have paid for and if they do it exceptionally well then I will be more inclined to use that company again rather than just give them money for it.

    To the person who said that they tip 10% for bad service, why?! If I'm in a restaurant and the service is 'bad' then I won't leave a tip at all because they clearly don't deserve it, but that is just a difference between the UK and USA.
  24. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    I don't know the rules for doormen, concierges and airport folks, but as for waitresses/waiters, the only thing you need to know is that their base pay is usually slightly LOWER than minimum wage.

    They're paid by the restaurant to be their to serve customers whereas customers are expected to help pay for the service they receive in return. One can debate the merits of having to pay the servers, but that's just the way it's always been.

    In return, you're supposed to be treated with proper care and respect to how you are served and how your dinner is presented to you (not talking about the actual food presentation, but your needs in general).

    For me, I always tip based on how good the service is. higher for good service (ie. getting the kids meals ready first, taking care of their needs) to lower than average for crappy service. My expectations aren't tough, but they need to be met.

    Serving is a tough job. Not that there aren't tougher jobs out there, but think about making less than minimum, standing on your feet the entire shift, remembering orders, dealing with customer complains, often being understaffed so they're running around like the proverbial chickens and carrying food plates and drinks the entire time.....all the while supposedly maintaining a cheery disposition.

    So that is your legitimate answer as to why you should tip (like I said...for restaurants...i don't know about the rest).

  25. marbles macrumors 68000


    Apr 30, 2008
    EU mostly
    I Live in the UK sometimes too and yeah the waitress/waiters seems to expect a tip regardless of 'performance', haha maybe they've been watching to many American TV program's with American waiters/waitresses in who are complaining about not getting a tip :confused:.

    In the UK you have already paid for both services included in your bill so It surprises me it hasn't crossed you mind.
    I agree that a company is a good way to show gratitude for good service, though that usually only directly profits the company and not the actual worker as a tip would, it's straight into the guy/gals pocket as a thanks fellow human for doing something nice for me kinda thing.

    Maybe it is because the services differ so much in themselves by the fact that waiter/waitresses are constantly near you... that could make you feel as though you owe them something?.. more than say,.. a delivery driver with his 2 minute hello/goodbye (and time spent driving to you etc)- but both services in the UK are included in the final price of the delivery and meal so really you needn't feel that you should tip a waiter over a delivery guy....your point doesn't make sense.

    When I go out and it happens that I come into contact with someone in this way, they usually give a stellar service( above and beyond duty call) and so I tip, regardless of what job it is, although I tend not to use other people for services very often and so do things for myself for the most part, I tip myself often :).

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