anime - amatsuki - smile - summer

On tipping...

Coming from asia, where tipping was not the norm growing up, I still have trouble calculating a tip. So looking at the tax and doubling it, for instance, is new to me.

And then finding out that in some cases, the servers make more money than the cooks made me go o_O

I guess I'l try to do the 15% pre/post tax for servers and add a bit for those in the kitchen on the credit card receipt in future.

But everyone has their own way of doing it *shrugs*

The best bit was this:
"Wouldn't we all love it if restaurants paid all their employees appropriately, set prices to reflect that, and prohibited tipping, so that the business transaction aspect of dining was no different than the business transaction aspect of seeing a movie or buying shoes? And best of all, there would be no more tipping threads!" - OP
- (Anonymous)
I was surprised that the tipping percentage might be different in NY vs Oregon etc. Doubling tax prob works when the tax is at 8-10 percent prob.

tip calculator on mobile *_* SO COOL
hmmm...the problem with eliminating tipping is that it de-incentivizes good service. now, i know many will say that if servers are paid minimum wage that that shouldn't be the case. in response, i urge people to think of other employees working in the service industry who have to deal with horribly obnoxious customers with no extra benefit, and decide whether they would want these people handling their food. cell phone customer service anyone? even where good service is expected, like at a high-end resort, if the tip is fixed or if the tips are pooled and split among servers, the service will be of a decidedly lower quality than if you were free to tip whatever you want.

i was a waitress way back when, and people are frankly horrible. if it weren't for tips, i can't imagine doing it. as for the comment in that link: yes, servers tip out bussers and the bartender (who tips out the bar back). in my experience, bartenders make the most money, not servers, but i think this depends on the restaurant. the cooks do not get tipped out, and yes, they are generally disgruntled. and yes, they will take it out on your food. :) however, i've never seen anyone specify tip allocation on a credit card receipt. i don't know if it would actually end up in the cooks hands, as credit card tips are entered into the computer and get handled differently.

i personally always tip 20% post-tax, even if the service is bad. generally, i can tell when a server is getting run over and since i've been there, i want to give them a break.
"i was a waitress way back when, and people are frankly horrible. if it weren't for tips, i can't imagine doing it. as for the comment in that link:"

Gotta run but I did wonder - yes, the job is a thanless one in many ways, but its not the only one. Why can't waiting on tables be like retail positions at shops? We don't tip the peeps over there. Or the cashiers and baggers at grocery stores who end up standing just as long as the peeps at restaurants...

I'd forgotten about bartenders but then I rarely ever have to deal with them XD
it could be, certainly, but again, the quality of service would be lower. i also think that what kind of service you're getting is more important to restaurant diners than to people shopping in a store. you can be largely self-sufficient at a store, with little or no help from a sales associate save for the cash register, while you need a server at a restaurant.

however, at higher-end retail shops, sales associates work on commission. i think people feel that the more they are paying for something, the higher the quality of service should be. retail commissions and percentage tipping are reflective of this.

i have also worked in retail, though very briefly, and i don't think the labor or the type of customer interaction are close to the same. being a server is much more physically demanding than just standing on your feet all day. you are literally running all over the place and carrying large trays of food on your shoulder all day long. it's grueling.

also, in a store, a customer is not going to call you an idiot and demand a comp because she asked you how spicy the sauce was before ordering a certain dish, and now disagrees with your assessment. after she's eaten the whole damn thing. nor will a customer buying a pair of pants scream at you because her steak is overdone and send it back three times, while wondering aloud if you are a complete incompetent. it's also unlikely that gross old men will wander into a shop and expect you to flirt back with them just because you are an employee.

the tip thing works both ways: they know you want it, and they want to make you work for it.

*cringes at memories of how much i hated people*

Edited at 2008-10-11 08:12 pm (UTC)

hmmm...the problem with eliminating tipping is that it de-incentivizes good service

I don't agree with this. I've lived in tipping and non-tipping cultures and I have to say that overall there is no difference in the levels of service. In fact, I occasionally find the hover American service I've received in some places a wee bit terrifying.

The thing is that non-tipping cultures necessarily come with paying a decent wage. Australia is a good case in point, our minimum hourly rates are somewhere around $10ph for juniors without experience and and a bit over $14 per hour for people over 17. A lot of cafes and restaurants pay considerably more than this, and there is a tradition of occasional tipping, probably one in three people would toss their change into the tipping bowl, up to about 10% of the bill. But people stay at cafes for years because they are paid a reasonable wage and have holidays, superannuation (401K) and sick leave.

Now, compared to the USA, Australia is the Socialist State thereof, but with all these workers rights we still have a budget in surplus. Oh, all right, I am a crazy pinko commie and proud of it ;-)
My secret for tipping is this

Let's say your meal cost $20.00

10% 2.00
15% 3.00
20% 4.00

Basically for 10% all you do is move the decimal place over 1 place to the left. For 20% you do the same but multiply by 2. For 15% you multiply by 1.5.

Although when it is a big group I let my friend figure out the tax and tip that everyone owes.
It's sad how much servers/wait staff get paid. Around here you get paid typically $2.50/hr. And then there's the problem that some places make you split your tips with the other wait staff (that sucks because some waitresses just plain SUCK and don't deserve a percentage of the tips).

Tipping is rather tricky to figure out, but most cellphones come with an automatic tip calc that you can just add in what percent you want and such. I love that little feature.
Our tax on food is 8.5%, so I usually double the tax to figure out a tip. I'll do a little more (round up) if the service was good, less if it was crappy. But my best friend was a waitress, so I know how important tips can be to them. Plus, we tend to go to the same places over and over, and we get pretty decent service b/c the servers know us.

Tipping is a tricky thing though. I wouldn't object to it just being included in my bill, lol.
In Australia thirteen years ago the minimum wage was very reasonable wrt living expenses - and as a consequence, while meals were more expensive up front, there was no moral or social pressure to tip at an ordinary restaurant.

Unfortunately living expenses have risen faster than the minimum wage, and now there is a need to tip servers. (At least in Sydney.)

Counter-intuitively, it doesn't seem to improved the service. Perhaps making a decent wage in the first place gives one more diginity and security in the first place, and that flows through in how one deals with the people to whom one serves food? Copntented cows giving more milk, and all that.