Dec 14, 2013

16 TIP–The Tipping Debate

tipTo tip or not to tip, how much to tip, do I have enough to tip, can I afford to tip, what is the minimum amount, is there a maximum?  ….

Tipping is somewhat of a heated topic of debate. To tip or not to tip, how much to tip – 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%  or should one tip depending on the quality of service(s) received or mandatory tipping regardless of the quality of services rendered.

Depending on whom you ask there are lots of opinions flying around about tipping – waiters, waitresses, the pizza delivery guy etc. I have heard waiters and waitresses complain very passionately describing customers as “cheap” because they either left no tip or a menial tip.

A cheap customer generally is considered someone leaving less than 10% tip or not tipping at all. Some people support this notion by arguing that most waiters and waitress, delivery persons work for below or at minimum wage. Minimum wage varies depending on city, state, country and can be anywhere from $6.50 to $11.00 per hour.

I have seen and heard friends feel pressured to leave a tip for fear of being shamed or labelled cheap while others refuse to go out if they just have the bare minimum for their meal. That bugs and concerns the hell out of me because there are a lot of assumptions and judgments being made about some non-tippers or sometimes minimal tippers branding them “cheap” and other unflattering terms used to categorize those not offering the expected tip.

The assumptions, (1) that the person dining/ordering is making more than wait staff/delivery person, (2) that because the person(s) chooses to eat out that they have money beyond the cost of the meal.

The judgment, that because the tip left below the expected or there was no tipped left that the person is a cheapskate.  

While there are those who will not leave a tip simply because they don’t want to, it is not true for all who may not have tipped. I usually tip when I go out to a restaurant or order in however I cannot always afford to do that and I don’t think I or others in the same position should be labeled and penalized (some say stay home/don’t order in) and relegated to the confines of their homes because they do not have sufficient enough funds to leave a large tip.

There are times when I have just enough for my meal and I want to treat myself as I am not able to do it often. I live on a budget so I am mindful not to indulge in careless splurging. I do not go out to restaurants every week or order in everyday however every once in a while I like to treat myself. Sometimes I have enough to leave a generous tip and other times I do not but I can still leave a small token as appose to not leaving any. I am no Donald Trump, Tyler Perry, Michael Kors or Oprah Winfrey.

While I empathize with those in the services industry who depends on tips as part supplement to their income to pay bills and maintain a decent standard of living, (trust I understand all too well) I don’t think an entitled approach to receiving tips is the best attitude to cultivate.

The truth is we don’t know a person’s story/life and assumptions should not be base on the fact that because they choose to eat out or order in that they have extra to drop in your hand or on your table.

Personally I tip when I can afford to and at times when I am not able and wanting to avoid the drama of no tip judgment I resort to calling and picking up my own order so I am won’t feel obligated and the worker won’t feel slighted.

p.s.

*Service quality matters and if the service sucked I won’t pay extra for it.

16 comments:

  1. I remember when my son was waiting tables while going to college. His base pay was $2.10 per hour and sadly today it is only about $2.50 an hour plus tips. If they don't get tips they don't make enough to make it worthwhile for them to do this kind of work. Remembering how he (my son) struggled in those days I always leave at least 15 percent plus a heads up penny. The penny indicates you were given good service. I have on occasion been so disappointed in the service that my tip has been less and obviously no penny left.

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    1. Employers should not be able to do that to pay employees way below minimum wage on the premise that they well get tips to supplement slave wages. That is institutionalize and normalization of slave labor. It is a systematic problem, the ownest for honest pay should not be on placed at the public’s feet. It is the responsibility of the employers to be accountable for paying decent wages to their staff who work their butts off to keep them in business. The flip placing the ownest on the dinning customers is side not all customers has the affordability to add 15% on their bill in addition to taxes, that is the sad reality. Some of those same dinners are too themselves working for slave wages.

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  2. I agree with you completely. Wait staff should not feel entitled even if they give shoddy service. We tip according to the service we get. Definitely!

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    1. I do to and I try to have a little to tip, at times i do 15% when i can afford other times I do 8/10%

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  3. It would be ideal if the employers of the establishments pay their employees adequately and put up a notice board requesting customers not to tip the employees.I have seen such instructions in a few places.It is a different matter if some satisfied cutomer who has money to afford tips.The bottomline however would be for the employer to pay the minimum wages.

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    1. One would think it would be that simple, it seems a legitimize way to pay people way below minimum wage hence normalize slave wages.

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  4. I generally leave 10-15%. There have been times when i've left less. There have been times where my tip was more than my actual bill. Depends on the service, my mood, and how close to payday it is lol.

    I rarely if ever tip delivery guys though. But its an extreme rarity that i have anything delivered anyway. I don't think i've had food delivered since like 2010 and before that one time, i can't even tell you.

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    1. Well here the delivery guys expect to be tipped and if you do not they give you a dirty look.

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  5. I always leave a tip on an average around 10% which is the norm here in India. Sometimes I choose not to tip when the food is unsatisfactory or the service is poor. And I do not care what the think of me. At other times when the food is exceptionally good and the service exemplary I tend to more generous.
    I agree with KP that the eateries should pay the waiters minimum wages as per law. Tipping should be optional purely at the discretion of the individual.

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    1. hmmmmm......the only time my tipping would be way below average or not tip when i can afford to would be if the wait staff was less than curtious. When I have enough to tip the 15% my evaluation of the wait staff begins when sit down and the percentage is lowered until I leave. If its crappy service it can go from 15% - 0%, if its good, it will be the full 15%.

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  6. Well generally speaking I'll leave good tip. I work with the public as well, not as a wait person, but I can sympathize with them. The times I have had bad service it wasn't the wait person fault it was the kitchens fault. Should I leave a small tip or none at all to the wait person who really did nothing wrong? The only other way to show your displeasure towards the restaurant is to never go back again. If I don't have enough money for a tip then I just don't go to a restaurant.

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    1. Oh like you I sympathize although my sympathy does not extend to penalizing myself by not dining out just because i don't have a great amount to leave a big tip.

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  7. I love to dine out and when I do tipping is always optional depending where I go. However 99% of the time I will most definitely leave a tip based the level of service. And I think even if the food was shite a friendly waiter or waitress deserves recognition for being attentive on the day.

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    1. I do to, not as much as I would love to though.

      Just dined recently with a couple of friends collectively between the 3 of us we left the waiter with a $11.00 tip. He was patient (since we were waiting a bit for our other friend to arrive), and courteous.

      Where my concerns lie is in that assumptions that states, low tip or no tip means cheap person(s). Or the edict that states if you don't have enough to tip one shouldn't dine out.

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  8. In my country, one does not feel obligated to tip but chances are if you do, and you find yourself at the same place another time, you receive exceptional service. Makes me wonder, aren't I supposed to receive exceptional service all the time?

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    1. Ah, that would be the thing that would stop me from dining at a particular restaurant because like you I believe exceptional service should be the rule not the exception that is predicated by the expectation of a tip.

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