A Conversation for Tipping Etiquette in the USA
French tipping in the USA
DrMatt Started conversation Oct 11, 2005
I have problems with the whole philosophy of tipping. It allows employers to underpay their employees on the assumption that customers will pick up the tab. Direct tipping is also aimed at the 'frontline staff' - so you'd tip the porter at the hotel, but not the housekeeper that came while you were away. You'd tip the waiter, but not the chef.
Presumably the automatic 15% added to the bill gets around this problem (because then you can distribute tips evenly amongst all staff), but this defeats the purpose of the tip. It isn't any cheaper for the customer, doesn't reward good service (unless an extra tip is provided) and adds complexity to the bill and to the accountant who has to distribute the money.
Why not simply pay people a decent wage in the first place? Far simpler, better for staff morale (hence less turnover in staff) and removes the need for tipping etiquette at all. In New Zealand, tips are provided only for exceptional service and certainly aren't expected. We also have a not-too-bad minimum wage equivalent to ~US$6.60/hour. That's why Kiwi travellers are usually pretty bad tippers - we're not very used to it.
[BTW The title isn't about the French at all, just a Debbie Harry reference]
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