The Tipping Controversy

Today, while looking at my Technorati Incoming Links, I noticed a new one entitled The Problem of Tipping on Valentines Day.

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19 thoughts on “The Tipping Controversy

  1. This is StuartD – The guy who wrote the article, the guys from ScribbleSheet emailed me to let me know you had replied to my article.

    My response…..

    Let’s look at the overall problem here. The problem is your restaurants are not paying you well enough. In the UK there is a minimum wage of about $10 US an hour. So clearly there is some transatlantic conversion difficulty.

    But still going back to the root, you are not being paid fairly. Now who is to blame for this? Your employer surely. Should your frustration/need for increased payment not be borne on him/her instead of the customer?

    Prices may have to be raised so you guys get a decent pay but isn’t that something that should be pushed for to end the arbitrary nature of tipping. You don’t give a policeman a tip if they are especially nice when your house gets robbed. They have a universal pay standard for each grade.

    Thats what really gets me about tipping. Its enforced. Its supposed to be a gratuity (a gift). Its arbitrary.

    And just to let you know, my beauty is not buck-toothed. She’s gorgeous! The date went splendidly and she paid for the tip! 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t take what he says seriously. First off his post just highlights his ignorance of other cultures. In America tipping is the rule but in most if not all others, tips are for above and beyond service. That is because tips are rolled into the price. That is true for most of Europe and Asia.

    Also in most foreign countries the wait staff is paid more and that is because unlike here where you have to threaten people that their wages depend on their performance, in other countries people actually take pride in their work and don’t just expect a handout unlike here in America.

    Now I am not saying all waiters are people who demand money for no reason but lots of shitty waiters exist and feel that they shouldn’t work hard cuz they won’t get tipped big and it is a self destructive cycle.

  3. I’m asking this out of honest curiosity because the place I once worked didn’t automatically include a service charge.

    In the event you go to an establishment that does this, do you tip on top, is it optional and do servers get angry if a person doesn’t leave anything on top?

  4. For Stuart,
    If you increase the price of meals to raise the waiter’s earning, then in a lot of cases, you will also decrease the waiter’s desire to serve you well. You will be rushed through your meal, with no time to savor or enjoy, you won’t get refills, and so on. The business would be filled with people who want to do as little as possible. The people who thouroughly enjoy serving will find something else to do because they won’t be fairly compensated for the better service they provide. If you want a good meal at a decent price along with good service, tip your serviers well. Otherwise, you’ll get a bad meal and horrendous prices along with terrible service.

  5. the tip debate goes on and on. those not in the business just simply do not understand. there are enlightened consumers/ patrons, but not enough of them. there are far more “well then get another job and quit yer bitching so i can continue to be cheap and not get called on it” types.

  6. So I’m confused here–would this Stuart person rather eat somewhere where, say, a hamburger costs $30, soft drinks costs $5, there is 1 server for every 15 tables, but you don’t have to tip? Because that’s where I think things would go if servers even made minimum wage. To cover their rising costs, the customers would get screwed, and I don’t think the servers would be happy.

    I am also offended that everyone thinks servers hate their jobs and are all uneducated. I have a college degree, thanks very much, and I like what I do. I have enough money to cover my bills and put in my savings account, and I actually have enough time to enjoy life. I bet you can’t say that for most of the schmucks I wait on.

  7. I hope the people that are “too good” to tip choke on the steak they’re eating. Asshats. and no, you may NOT have 25 packs of artificial sweetner to make your ghetto-aid. Damn.

  8. It would be interesting to see what a non-US server has to say about tips. Manuel?
    Personally, I think US servers should try to grasp why the idea of ‘enforced’ tipping is so unfathomable to non-US citizens (and actually, going by their posts, to many US citizens). I don’t agree with Rachel – I don’t think quality of service will be diminished if waiters are given a higher wage. I worked for many years in the British catering industry when I was a student and the whole team – wherever I was – always worked to please the customer. Pride in the job. The tips were not an incentive – they were zero or minimal. Anyway, judging by the US catering blogs, there are plenty of posts about serving staff who don’t pull their weight, so how much of an incentive is tipping really?
    Also – will the price of food really go up that much, if at all? Might that not be a myth perpetrated by US businessmen? I’ve only been to the US once, but I didn’t notice any differences between prices in the US and Europe (where waiters get a [reasonably] decent wage) – perhaps US restaurants have larger profit margins?
    Now I live in the Czech Republic and the non-touristy places are always surprised when someone tips. It’s just not the done thing.
    I appreciate that in the US, one must tip. However (perhaps this is the non-US mindset) I have to agree with Stuartd – the fault really rests with the employer (and ultimately the government) and not with the customer.
    I don’t think Stuartd deserved the snide comments he received, he was merely expressing how perplexed he was that the customer is the scapegoat.

  9. Tipping should be abolished. Servers should be paid starting at minimum wage and raises given for experience, longevity and performance. I know servers don’t like this idea, but I feel bad when I read about them not being able to make rent, but food etc…

  10. You know, I can’t be sure, but everyone who says tipping should stop seems like they have never waited tables.
    I don’t know about food prices going up–perhaps it is a myth perpetuated by business men. But I work in a family-owned restaurant, and I know that they wouldn’t be able to cover the costs of a pay raise. So maybe the corporations, who are making huge profits every year, would not be affected, but my little breakfast diner I work at would be. Would it be worth it to have mom and pop places everywhere go out of business?

  11. I don’t understand how you come up with menu prices doubling or tripling if restaurants started paying a living wage. A typical gratuity is 15-20%; a long way from double or triple. As far as incentives for performance go, that’s obviously not working either. With the exception of occasional establishments at the high end of the spectrum, service jobs are commonly filled by teenagers, people who lack options and other slackers who will do the same shitty job whether they’re compensated generously or not. Tipping has become automatic, or not at all in the case of some of your low class guests, so why not just eliminate it?

  12. Okay, this will be the last time I post something, I swear.

    The menu prices would double or triple because the server’s wages would have to (at least) triple or quadruple: If I get paid 100 bucks a week now, I would get paid 400 bucks a week if I was paid minimum wage. If there are seven servers, this goes from 700 a week to 2800, which is a major hit to smaller restaurants.
    Plus, many servers contribute to other people’s wages, like the busboy. Now the restaurant will be forced to cover their wages too.

  13. Another Stuart – Thanks for backing me up!

    Ultimately, the poor wages are the employers fault and the government for letting it happen. Don’t be annoyed at the patrons for lack of tips. Blame the employer.

  14. I still don’t get how eliminating an 18% tip translates into a 400% increase for the owners, or are you saying that in the current system you aren’t even coming close to making min wage? It that’s the case, I have to ask why anybody does it at all.

  15. StuartD

    are you a freaking moron-its the WAY its done in the STATES. Its been done this way for about 250 years now. It wont be changing. And yes you can blame the employers and the government but given Americans eat out more than most folks the drastic change in prices means short of a socialist takeover of American society tipping isnt going to change.

    And I grew up in a family owned retail business and had relatives who made their fortune as bankers before the days when banks were multibillion dollar monsters. In US most nonchain restaurants would fold if forced to go to a Euro compensation plan. There would be major fall out in the chains as well. And bear in mind under the current sytem 50% of restaurants go under before year 1 ends. I believe 75% do not last 5 years. Guess what its mostly chains making it for 5 years or more.

    live with it OR dont eat out when in the STATES. your whining about not liking to tip is like me saying the guards out side the palace is london look so GAY because those monsterous fur hats. Its my opinion on their appearance but you think the Queen is going to mess with tradition because a colonial dislikes em?!?

    if I go to Europe I will gladly not tip as its the social convention just like I will realize in Paris I will need to watch out for dog shit on the sidewalk.

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