Tipping in the service industry...

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    May 08, 2008 8:05 AM GMT
    Alright guys, here it is...

    I've been in the service industry for close to 14 years now. One thing I've noticed both first hand and through other fellow colleagues is that many people who are not in the industry may not be familiar with the tipping standards / customs.

    For the most part 18% of your bill, tab, or service rendured is traditional for good service. 20% and above is for excellent, superior, and phenomenal service.

    At least $2.00 per drink at the bar, $3 - $5 for valet service. $1 per bag at the airport or hotels. 10% of gambling winnings to the slot person who pays out your jackpot.

    Of course this is just rough guidelines, but please do remember that those of us in the service industry pay our bills with these tips, not relying so much on our taxed paychecks, or that "verbal" tip. Therefore, please take care of your servers, bartenders, porters, towel boy, bellhops, valet, casino slot techs, trainers, hairdressers, and whom every else provides a service for you.

    You don't want to be "that person" whom we talk about to other co-workers, and trust me, we do talk and we do remember faces....

    Thank you kindly and share your thoughts, feelings or personal experices with me.

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    May 08, 2008 11:02 AM GMT
    I've worked in restaurants all my working life and I'm in agreement with you on the tab ( I always tip 20% unless the service is god awful )

    I think a $2 per drink tip is a bit much though.. I always tip a buck a drink...why should you give $2 on a $3 beer? I have many bartender freinds that are very happy with a buck.. If you leave them a quarter, they might throw it at your headicon_twisted.gif
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    May 08, 2008 11:07 AM GMT
    In the UK, tipping is frowned upon particularly in bars where it has been foisted upon customers by owners.

    I rarely tip bar staff; buy a drink in London and you'll soon understand why. A beer costs $6 and if you are buying a round that's a lot of money to be shelling out.

    Also, I don't understand why the paying customers should be responsible for subsidising someone's wages. Surely, it's the bar owner's job to pay their staff decent, living wages not the paying customer.
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    May 08, 2008 12:19 PM GMT
    I always Tip. I usually Tip more than the usual percentage too. It's cheap not to do so.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16414

    May 08, 2008 12:41 PM GMT
    I think here the accepted average is 15%. The dilemna comes up when you are at a "brunch" where a buffet is involved. Whats appropriate when you get your own food and the server only brings drinks. I think I tend to be fairly generous, but it is factored in.
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    May 08, 2008 2:44 PM GMT
    My best friend is a bar tender, so I tend to go out a lot. Even if I'm not buying my own drinks, I usually drop $5 or more in the tip jar on my way out, depending on how many people are working, cause they split tips around here.
    I've worked in fast food places, so I have never had to rely on tips to compensate my wages, but working in the food industry, I have my own ideas of what earns a tip and what earns a big tip and what doesn't earn a tip. For example: I don't tip if I don't get a refill on my drink, regardless of type of restaurant. (i.e.Sonic) Or if they don't bring it to the table, I don't feel I should be required to tip because I'm doing the work.
    Most FF places I don't tip at, unless I feel like it when I'm paying at the counter.
    A lot of places include the tip on your check or provide a place on your card receipt to leave a tip. But regardless of my total, I base it solely on service.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 21020

    May 08, 2008 3:10 PM GMT
    I worked in restaurants for many MANY years, so I am extremely sympathetic to service industry workers. That being said, regardless, I still tip according to service -- period. I would never EVER give less than 15% unless the server for some reason was just plain rude. If they are rude, and snap at me for something or throw me attitude, they may get a penny. On the other hand, if the service is bad because the server is obviously just WAY busy, they still get a good tip -- probably 20% at least if they are giving it their best effort.

    As for tipping at bars for drinks...I think $1 is definitely the norm...$2 a drink seems a tad excessive, but I would tip that much, maybe even more, if the bartender was super attentive and got me my drink quickly. If I am standing at a crowded bar and that bartender passes me by over and over and over again as if I'm invisible while I am standing there parched as the desert in the middle of an Arizona summer, he ain't getting more than a dollar for that drink - period. Tipping, let's not forget, is a gratuity for service, NOT for the worker simply doing their job.
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    May 08, 2008 3:24 PM GMT
    Get good service you get a Tip if not Tough Shite that's

    my Motto !!! AS for 1usd for every Beer get a Life!

    l was in the service industry at the airport and no one Tips us???

    Australians never Tip did you know that?

    l was in Miami and this sour faced waitress in this fish rest' asked me why l never left a Tip cheeky Cow! l said Try smiling maybe that will work for you?
  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    May 08, 2008 3:48 PM GMT
    Oh yes, Turkish, we're VERY aware that Australians (and Kiwis) never tip. Whenever I would hear that accent when I greeted guests it was all I could do to keep from swearing under my breath. Nothing ruins your night faster than a big part of Australians drinking and having a great time, running up a big check...and then leave you nothing!icon_evil.gif

    I agree that a dollar is the right amount at the bar, but I will say that a friend of mine who tips very, very well now has the West Hollywood bar scene hooked up in a serious way. He can't remember the last time he paid full price for a round of drinks. I would say that it's almost an investment since he goes out so much, but it's something to think about. I wouldn't bother trying it at a corporate restaurant bar, but the locally owned bars? Might work. Now if even after great tips they ignore you, then f**k 'em.

    As far as restaurants, when I sit down a server has 20% coming their way automatically and it's theirs to lose if they don't do their job. Blow me away (or just blow me) and it goes up to 25%, a few times even 30%. But I used to be a tipped employee, so I'm a little biased.

    Tip karma, guys. It all comes back to you.
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    May 08, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    i agree that it's the owner's job to make sure his/her staff is paid a decent-enough wage to live on. the united states is such a screwed-up capitalist culture that way---how come more people don't see the structure that's been created as exploitative? it just doesn't make sense to have an owner of a restaurant or bar making money (possibly lots) off of the staff's labor, paying them a pittance, and then foisting the responsibility of giving a decent wage onto the customers. it's a whole weird robber-baron system that somehow is just seen as "the way it should be" in this country. bizarre!

    that said, of course, i tip 20%.

    except at starbucks. i hate that coffee-shop tip jar thing. "hey, give me a tip for our two second interaction and my perfunctory smile, even though i get paid better than the average waiter or barback anyway." that's just annoying!
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    May 08, 2008 4:22 PM GMT
    I don't understand why we should tip people for doing their job. Rant over.
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    May 08, 2008 4:29 PM GMT
    redheadguy saidI don't understand why we should tip people for doing their job. Rant over.

    If you're in the US, it's imperative that you tip because of the wage structure under which service staff work. People in the service industry in the US (particularly at restaurants, bars, and hotels) are paid a minimum wage of about $3.75 an hour because it's expected that tips will supplement their wages. You may believe that it's the employer's duty to pay good wages, but that doesn't change the structure that's being operated under. If you get good service in the US, you tip. If you don't get good service, then you're under no obligation to tip.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    May 08, 2008 4:53 PM GMT
    And this is why I enjoy one of the local restaurants that has a policy of no tipping, announced by the staff when they bring you the food. I somewhat prefer paying a higher price for my food that is at least a set price, and not subject to me guessing whether the restaurant is paying an acceptable wage and gaging my tips accordingly. It feels wrong to me to tip when the waiter or waitress does a really bad job--getting the order screwed up, never refilling a drink, being rude, etc.--but it also feels wrong that they're making less than minimum wage if I don't tip.

    I also, incidentally, resist the idea that 20% is standard. I'm sure it is in certain areas, but 15% is just fine in others. I'm generally somewhat over 15% myself, because the fact that I'm drinking water isn't actually less work for the waitstaff than if I was drinking a soft drink, unless they leave a pitcher at my table, but I'm not going to feel cheap leaving 15%. Nor do I tend to drop anything in the tip jars I've seen sprouting up at all sorts of weird places--fast food, retail stores, pizza places (though I would tip a delivery person), etc. Waitstaff are one thing, and if I drank I imagine bartenders too, but cashiers are not really in the category of people I feel should be tipped, as they're governed by the general minimum wage everyone else is subject to.
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    May 08, 2008 5:48 PM GMT
    When working as a Bartender the norm was $1.00 for a beer (bottle or Tap) and $2.00+ or more for a mixed cocktail depending on how complex the drink is to make.

    I understand the Euros point of views here since there "Tipping" is just a town in china. That and its also included in the bill within most countries. I had a friend out here from France and I had to explain why service was so rude to him when he would go back into the same resturants.

    I will tip on the basis of service, if its good %15 after tax. Great %20+ and a note to the management.

    Only one time at "Mi Piace" here in Old Town Pasadena did I recieve such horrible service from a waitress that was only working 3 tables, forgot our order, never came to check on us or refill our drinks, and when she did come by she treated us like we were her inconvienence, did I give a bad tip and bad note. On a $150.00 tab, I left her $1.00 and a note stating that she should never work in customer service and the dollar was for the bus boy because at least he came back once to serve us bread.
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    May 08, 2008 5:57 PM GMT
    I agree with the non-US residents that the tipping culture in the US seems to be unfair. It is unfair because for a restaurant owner, they will be very lucky to be earning 20% of the gross on their food items, so it does seem a little weird that a waiter can earn more than the restaurateur who has put up the investment and is taking all the risk. Obviously, this is not true for the bottles of wine or a hard liquor drink.

    The culture of tipping has gone skyward over the last twenty years for no good reason. Why should a person in the service industry be making more money in (non-taxable) tips than say a teacher or a nurse would be making in wages total? In most cases, the investment that the nurse or teacher has made in education is certainly higher than your average bartender or waiter or bellhop?

    In Spain, where I live, it is normal custom to just round up the bill, for example, if I spent a 2.70 euros on two cups of coffee, I might leave 0.30 euros tip and many Spaniards do not leave anything. If we go out to dinner and spend 48.00 euros, it would be OK to leave 2.00 euros.

    It is important to know that in places like Australia, owners tend to pay their help a much better wage in accordance with the standard of living and that is why Aussies do not tip very well.

    Of course, it is equally important to become aware of what the tipping culture is in a country when you travel so as not to over or under tip. In some places in Europe the tip is included as service charge on the bill and is usually around 10% so you have to be careful. If I were to travel in the US, I would bite the bullet and try to give a reasonable tip, but, is not two bucks for a drink a little too much.
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    May 08, 2008 6:24 PM GMT
    I always tip 20 percent, usually a little bit over. I don't care if a waiter doesn't smile, I don't care if he's not perky, as long as the job is done I'm tipping him well. A waiter would have to not only fuck up but be actively rude about it for me to tip any less.

    I do it in part because (like a lot of others here) I used to wait tables. I also do it because money talks and you wouldn't believe how much it gets repaid to you in the long run if you're generous with your service workers. And even if it is a situation where you don't stand to gain anything from it, it just feels really good to pay people well for their time and effort.
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    May 08, 2008 8:45 PM GMT
    I dunno I like where what you see is what you pay... I've looked an idiot several times

    Once I went to a spa day for a birthday present that was all paid up so I left my wallet in my hotel room. Looked like an idiot having to go get it and just pulled out a fifty and went to leave and got called back to break it up put it all in little envelopes for 4 different people only two of who's name I remembered. It was humiliating.

    Others I've thrown down a ten or twenty thinking it's a lot more money than it is and have to add more when I actually look at the bill. Over here I usually leave a 5 or ten and it's more than enough and only in sit down service.

    Also hate the sales tax every time I hit up the convenience's store get a bunch of stuff add it up in my head say yeah I'll have just about enough change and I don't

    Us dollars are deceptive you can have a wad of them and it actually adds up to less than twenty euro

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    May 08, 2008 8:45 PM GMT
    Eh, I rarely eat out but when it do it's usually some special occasion like vising a friend in the Metropolis of Tucson.
    I know waiting tables is a shit job because of how people treat you. I've never worked tables but I've seen my father treat service staff like crap.

    It's kinda fun to tip big if you can. It's a simple act that can considerably brighten someone's day.
    Went to one of those Chinese buffet joints in Tucson with a friend a few years back. It was like 10PM or so and only one lady working, she was really nice, but didn't have good english; her name was Mei. I tipped her $20 and she thanked me, told me it was kharma and, almost in tears, explained how a mother came in with children and wasn't able to afford drinks, so Mei bought them for the children.

    My friend was of the opinion that it was kharma too. I don't know about that; she was a nice lady and that's why I tipped her as I did.

    I saw a study a few months ago, that it is better to give than to recieve. icon_biggrin.gif I agree.
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    May 08, 2008 8:49 PM GMT
    I haven't waited tables since 1985, but I still dream on a regular basis that I'm "in the weeds" and can't find the kitchen.icon_redface.gif

    Every person should have to wait tables @ least once in their lifetime...

    Went to dinner last night with three friends...are bill was $64.00. We left a $20.00 tip. We're all former waiters...we understand.icon_wink.gif

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    May 08, 2008 9:00 PM GMT
    I usually tip but it's according to the service I get. As far as bars go, you get a big tip for me if you do more than pour some juice into a glass (why should I tip $3 on a juice that's already marked up (I don't drink)). I'd say the best assets for working the service industry is a good attitude, strong nerves, and to look good (it shouldn't matter but I swear, back when I was bartending I made more if my shirts were tighter than I did wearing loose clothing).
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    May 09, 2008 9:36 PM GMT
    I generally tip $1 for beers. Unless im buying a round. That can get $2. When I go out to eat I give 20%. If the service is awful I give 15%. When I pay with my debit card I also try to give cash instead of tipping them on the card.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 09, 2008 9:48 PM GMT
    I always tip 20% or more, but $2 for a $3.50 drink? Not gonna happen.
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    May 09, 2008 9:55 PM GMT
    I'm all for 20% at a sit down place that had good service. But, $2 for a drink? I don't think so. Even if I'm buying $12 drinks, I'm not leaving $2 per drink. You buy enough drinks in one night to have all those one dollars add up to a sizable tip. Maybe if I'm only planning to get one drink and leave, I'll leave more. Otherwise, that's overkill.

    As far as salons and spas go, I just don't get the tipping. I mean, charge what your service is worth. If I'm paying $50 for a haircut, I hate having to leave a tip for the shampoo chick and the guy cutting my hair and maybe the chick that sweeps up the floor. It's ridiculous. I tip all these people, don't get me wrong, but it still pisses me off inside.
  • joeindallas

    Posts: 484

    May 09, 2008 10:01 PM GMT
    Tippping in America is neede for they have a sub minimal wage for servers On the other hand there are some people who should not be in the Business. when you are standing to order a drink and the bartender goes over to talk to a friend. Leaving you waiting, that time i stiffed him giving him a not "this is a Job not a Social Event" I seldom go to him to order anymore. Tipping should be based on service bad service slow etc no tip.

    I have worked in a tipping enviorment and I know how it goes
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    May 09, 2008 10:03 PM GMT
    Anyone care to weigh in on lesbian tipping practices?