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Why should you tip? I hate it - the service is part of the experience, tipping suggests it is an optional extra on behalf of the restaurant. Aren't the staff paid for this anyway?
Since tipping is still standard in the UK I work on the principle that 10% is for average service - I'll tip more the the staff have been exceptionally helpful or understanding, but what if they've been below par - should you tip less, or zero?
Also - what happens to the tip. I suume that a tip on my credit card slip goes to the restaurant to share out and not necessarily to my particular waiter - so the point of tipping is diminished.
It would be much better is staff were better paid and then a tip would represent exceptional service.
Well, unfortunately not all people who work as waiters/waitresses are all that well suited for working with people - but I've seen staff really trying to give guests the best service possible in order to get a higher tip - it serves as a kinf of motivation...
There are persons who *enjoy* giving good service - but what would be the point in even trying if those who don't bother - the grumpy, sulky ones doing just what is barely required and not a bit more - would still earn the same amount of money?
The French are proud of the fact that service is 'compris' everywhere in France, by law. I asked a waiter for change so I could tip him, and he tried his best to dissuade me!
"C'est pas grave monsieur".
In the US, at least, servers are paid just very little, and tips can make the difference between surviving and living (no idea about fancy restaurants, but how many of us go to restaurants where an entree is $42 anyway? At least on a regular basis.) Also, here in the US, if you're a server, you pay taxes on the amount that it's assumed you've made on tips, so tips aren't free and clear So if the server makes less in tips than what is assumed (I think it's based on wages) then that person is paying taxes on what they haven't even gotten (Granted, I sort of doubt that happens often, if at all...)
Every now and then I hear someone arguing about why they shouldn't tip. See the first post of this thread, or listen to Mr. Pink's rant in the movie Reservoire Dogs. I can understand where they are coming from, but disagree with the act itself. When someone refuses to tip a server for providing them with service, I tend to think very low of that person. If Mr. Notipper goes into a restaurant knowing perfectly well that a real person depends directly on his tips, and doesn't leave one, then Mr. Notipper has taken advantage of the server's trust and abused him/her. If you don't plan on tipping, either don't eat out, or start crusading to have restaurants change their policy. Not tipping a server is just a heartless act of cruelty that accomplishes nothing more than making another person miserable.
My feelings on the topic are as such: the restaurant should pay its servers better, and the customers should be given the opportunity to rate the servers. The restaurant will then "tip" the server based on the rating. It isn't fair that servers have to depend on the public for most of their income, and it isn't fair that the public should shoulder the burden of paying a restaurant's employees. But, that's not the way it works right now, so I'm willing to deal with it and will continue to tip well until they change it. Unless the server is a real (expletive deleted).
I don't understand the tip at all, as a mandatory expectation. I would think if a restaurant were providing up-to-scratch, well-trained servers, that it should pay them a decent wage accordingly, and not rely on their customers to subsidise their living. I believe only when you are given exceptional service should you tip anyway, and you should not be harrassed into thinking this is mandatory. My thinking is that if the server thinks you are going to give them a tip as part of what is expected, they're not going to try too hard to please anyway, so what's the point.
I also think it's cultural. In Australia, for example, it is not expected that diners tip. Although we would usually leave the change from a rounded up figure, for example. For great service, my fellow diners and I have added a gold coin donation ($1 or $2) each to supplement this. But only if we've been satisfied that the server has been friendly, etc.
I had a nasty experience in the US (Boston, I don't know if that makes a difference) where a server chased my friends and I out the restaurant to bowl us out for leaving such a lousy tip (I think it was around 10%). He said it's expected to leave 20%, unless the service was really bad. Now, I don't think his service was anything great (in fact he committed some of the no-nos on the list in this article), so as is our custom we left change from a rounded up figure. He took this as a personal insult, and felt the need to come after us and harangue us in the street. Again, I bring up my point - if it's expected, why the hell is anyone going to give great service? US restaurants - start paying yoru servers a minimum wage, and stop relying on customers to fork out!
'Should' is the operative word... *sigh*
I tend to have difficulty figuring out the rules of tipping. Get's confusing in Canada where they seem to expect you to tip in pubs as well. Humph, they're expensive enough already.
I understand the point that not tipping when you know you should is cheap, but do tips always go to the staff? Also, what about cheaper places - never heard of anyone tipping at McDonald's, but their pay's crap so the staff probably need it.
When I was working fast food, we weren't allowed to accept tips...
"Friendly" is a curious word to use for service. The relationship is far from equal. "Courteous" seems more relevant. We speak of computer programs as "user-friendly" which is also when you think of it a poor description. It implies that out of the kindness of his/her heart the programmer has allowed non-geeks access to his kingdom. Not an equal relationship there either.
Now the programmer is not being friendly at all, but businesslike; and the same goes for the server who makes the diner's experience pleasant. Niceness doesn't enter into it, and certainly not friendship.
Tipping is an attempt by the client to appeal to the weakness of human nature in the server, and elicit favourable behaviour by bribery. Where tips become expected, it becomes too complicated for anyone's good; vive la France!
I worked in the food industry, and a lot of waiters do rely on their tips, where I worked waiters made less than busboys, but usually made 80-100 dollars in tips a night. Wherever I go i always tip big, it's how I am. One time I tipped 90%