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Tips and Tithing not the same?

from the I'll-just-have-water dept.
Jeff writes: "Dave Pringle recently wrote to the Daily Universe complaining that Ten percent isn't enough. I find it hard to believe that that many people that don't leave decent tips. How do other people decide how much to tip? Isn't 15% pretty common knowledge?"

I like water

I am fully aware that waiters deserve at least 15% and that they have to work hard for what they earn. But I've also felt like the second I order water, the waiter assumes I'm cheap and that I'll be leaving a piddly tip. I just want to announce that I prefer water to most drinks offered at restaurants, and that I'll be leaving a decent tip when I leave.

My problem with tipping

I do tip, but most of the time it's only out of feeling like I'm supposed to, and not because I want to. Somehow it seems like things have gotten to the point where if you don't pay 15% you're stealing from someone. Like it's somehow money that you agreed to pay without actually ever agreeing on anything.

I don't know this for a fact but I'm pretty sure that the custom of tipping people came about gradually, with people tipping only when they received extra good service. But then people working in these sorts of jobs got to where they just expected to be tipped and so we've evolved this custom. Nowadays, tipping extra big is like tipping at-all was years ago.

It's just the principal of the issue that bothers me. I want to tip when I feel like rewarding my host for unusually good service, and not tip when their service was nothing out of the ordinary.

If it's so important that people be paid that 15%, why don't restaurants raise prices by 15%, give it to their employees, and let customers know that they don't need to tip at all? Customers would still tip, but it would be only occasionally, and I for one would feel better about eating there because I wouldn't feel like I was being hounded by a begger.

The whole system just ticks me off.

gives me leverage

I think it's a great idea to give the customer a great deal of control over the waiter's earnings. It gives the waiter an incentive to be friendly and helpful. I personally will give 15% if it's mediocre service, but I usually give 20% because most service, I find, is very good. When a tip is not involved, I don't find I get the same grade of service. I went to a sandwich shop recently and I thought that the girl behind the counter hated me from the minute I started talking to her. If she had depended on a tip, that probably wouldn't have been the case. I will also tip less whenever the service is bad. I think, in a way, it would be a disservice to the waiter by giving him/her a normal tip when the service was very poor. Once, for example, at dos hermanos I left a one cent tip. The service was the worst I've ever had. I wanted the waiter to know I was extremely displeased.
For those of you who don't like the custom of tipping, get used to it. Whether right or wrong, it's pretty much the accepted norm and if you insist on living a tip for "only exceptional service", you will be sending a message to the server whether you want to or not. I think 10% is the cheap man's tip or a tip for pretty bad service. 15% is what is expected. Anything above that is a compliment to the server.

tips are good

I think tipping is good because it lets the waiters earn the customer through service. But what do I do when the service is horrible? I have a hard time giving a less than 15% tip since it is their job. Is it seriously ok not to tip at all when the service is bad? Is it ok to not tip as well becuase the waiter was annoyingly intrusive to my conversation? I hate it when servers "feel" like they can butt in a happens all the time! I didn't go out to eat with friends to have a conversation with the server. I went to Olive Garden a couple weeks ago and the server looked like she had just woken up with the wrinkle lines on her face and she was a bit grumpy. I felt like I had to be nice to her...WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? I like being nice to people in general, but when I feel like I'm the one who is working in the eating out I think that's WRONG!!! Any ideas with all the above questions? Oh yes, what about tipping a hair dresser? How much should that be?

It's obvious you have never w

It's obvious you have never worked in the restaurant industry. I used to wait tables back in Texas, and it's not as easy as you think. But besides the hard work involved, you should know that the minimum wage for what is legally considered a "tipped employee" is around $2/hr. The "checks" I got from the restaurant were usually in the amount of 3-4 CENTS, the rest going to cover my taxes, making the money I made off of tips my only source of legitimate income. The only exception I know of to this is in California, where all employees are held to the same minimum wage regardless of whether or not they are tipped.

Imagine this scenario, which according to my roommate (a waiter at Outback) is common in Provo:

You're a waiter. You're getting paid $2/hr by the restaurant. A small group of people sit down in your section and you do your best to meet their needs. They finish their meal, but sit around talking for an extra 45 minutes to an hour. When they finally leave, they drop you a couple bucks as a tip. They not only stiffed you on the tip, but they sat around at a table you wait on for a prolonged amount of time, which means you weren't able to make money from that table on anyone else. Was it worth your time to wait on that group of people?...

With large groups of people (8 or more), most restaurants DO automatically add 15% to the cost of the meal (it's called gratuity) just to make sure that their employees don't get screwed.

When you go to a restaurant, you ARE agreeing to tip the waiter/waitress you serves you. You should take the future tip into consideration when deciding if you have enough money to pay for the meal.

Point taken, but...

It never bothers me when people want to drink water. Carbonation isn't even good for the body...What does bother me is when people order water with extra lemon and sit there and make their own lemonade because they're too cheap to spend the extra buck. It makes such a mess, with empty sugar packets all over the table and all...And yes, it really does happen. Ask anyone in the restaurant industry.

solution, maybe...

i am usually a great tipper 15% or more depending on service. I think that we should use the system that they have in europe though. When i was over there i learned that people don't tip, the tip is included on the bill. I think that that would fix all this bickering. It was easier on the customer and the waiter. I didn't have to hassle around with change and bills, i just had to give them the credit card (preferred payment). I know that we can just add the tip on the slip but it is always a hassle to figure out the percentage and write it down when your server is there watching you.

Great Question

I didn't even know I was supposed to tip a hair dresser until a few years ago. I just go with the same 15-20% rule, because I don't know any different. I asked my hair dresser the last time I got a cut, and it sounds like most people don't know. Any firm answers anyone?


Personally, I wasn't that impressed with some of the service I got when in Europe last year and wondered how different it would be if they had to win my tip. On another note, sometimes you will also get a sitting fee in Europe. This is when you are charged a buck or two just for sitting down. As previously mentioned on this page, waiters can get stiffed when customers stay for extended periods of time. I have some friends that use 15% as a guideline but base their tip on how long they stay in the restaurant. If you stay an obscene amount of time, leave a much larger tip.

If you are complaining about figuring out the 15%, my quick solution is to double the sales tax and round up.


Why do servers always complain about their customers anyhow?