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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Tipping? Automatic or only for good service?

    I'm normally a generous tipper, but last night I had a bad waitress. After she took our order we dodnt see her again until the bill. She forgot our coupon which we gave her at the beginning of the service.
    When I pointed out the coupon issue she kinda snapped and asked for my card and said she would adjust it at the register. I said I was paying cash, so she kinda huffed off. People at the next table commented that she was being rude.

    I got the bill, it was 26.97 so I left 27 cash and left.

    I don't feel bad, I refuse to tip bad service.

    Bill

  2. #2
    Dr. Buzz Killington
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    I have a lot of friends who work in the service industry as servers or bartenders, and they're the crowd that tries to convince people tipping is mandatory and that the minimum is 20%. The only arguments they can muster are that they make below minimum wage and that it's a "dick move" not to take care of the people serving you. I always love the argument, "Compliments don't pay my bills.". Any-who, time for some legal perspective...

    A gratuity is defined as "something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service" according to Merriam Webster's Dictionary. (Gratuity - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary). The Fair Labor Standards Act also gives a very similar definition. Additionally, the FLSA dictates that employees on a tip credit may be paid as low as $2.13/hr which they know entering their agreement with their employer. However, if tips plus their reduced wage do not come to $7.25/hr, the employer must make up the difference (http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs15.pdf). Moreover, there has been no legal precedent requiring people to tip, and every court case where restaurants tried to sue customers for not paying those "mandatory gratuities" have resulted in judgments for the customers as this term is an oxymoron.

    Only you can decide how to spend your hard-earned money. If you're going to let people guilt trip you into tipping automatically based on fallacious logic, then you don't need to be associating with those scientific illiterates, and those people need more education. It makes no sense to compensate somebody who doesn't show you respect as a patron and an adult. I experienced a similar situation several months ago when my parents and I ate at this place in Jacksonville called Poe's Tavern. We had a rude waitress, and I'm the type of person who likes to ensure that future patrons don't suffer the same indignity, so I wrote a very detailed review about her on Yelp. I got a response the next day from the owner saying that he and the other managers noticed she exhibited unfavorable tendencies and thus was fired. That wasn't my intended result, but the great thing about the tip-based service industry is that it helps weed out the undeserving participants.
    Last edited by SauronHimself; 01-19-2013 at 01:13 PM.

  3. #3
    half-fast
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossracer View Post
    I'm normally a generous tipper, but last night I had a bad waitress. After she took our order we dodnt see her again until the bill. She forgot our coupon which we gave her at the beginning of the service.
    When I pointed out the coupon issue she kinda snapped and asked for my card and said she would adjust it at the register. I said I was paying cash, so she kinda huffed off. People at the next table commented that she was being rude.

    I got the bill, it was 26.97 so I left 27 cash and left.

    I don't feel bad, I refuse to tip bad service.

    Bill
    You did alright. There's sort of a running tally in my head when I'm out. Going the extra mile type of gestures make this tally increase. Huffy absentee waitress tallies decrease on a sliding scale.

    That scale has slid right to zero at times, so you were nice enough to give her 3 cents.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I was wondering about this last night at the fancy salon with the "star" hairdresser. Does he automatically get a higher tip as a percentage of the higher price one pays to have him? I still tip 20% of the bill, but it's painful. Shampoo person gets $5, just a bit more than usual.

    Also, this guy had an assistant. I tipped her nothing, b/c I had no idea he HAD an assitant, and have no idea what the protocol is in that case. If the protocol is to tip her as well, then I'll ask for somebody else next time. It's excessive enough as it is!

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    You start at 20% when I sit down. It goes up or down from there depending on your attitude and service. I cannot recall the last time it was so poor that they received nothing.

  6. #6
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    tipping is pretty mandatory imo. tip less for poor service and more for good service. many times those tips are split to the hostess and buss people. if you get poor service, notify a manager and many times that will get you some form of compensation. there is no reason to punish a team for the actions of one individual.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatoni View Post
    tipping is pretty mandatory imo. tip less for poor service and more for good service. many times those tips are split to the hostess and buss people. if you get poor service, notify a manager and many times that will get you some form of compensation. there is no reason to punish a team for the actions of one individual.
    Sure there is reason to punish the team. One it might encourage them to improve who is on the team. Two, you don't know if they split or not, some do, some don't, and either way you didn't get to make that decision before walking in.

    I do tip, and tip more for good service and less for poor and rarely nothing at all. I do hate places that put an automatic gratuity on your bill. Means I don't get to decide the amount of gratuity or at least not without hassle (yes I have asked it be removed due to near non-existent service once). In those cases, they should up the price by 20% and have a no tips policy. In the case where I had it removed the manager did so while commenting he just as soon not have me as a customer. He got his wish at least for four months (at which point surprise, surprise they had to close down for lack of business).

    Heard a radio program on this issue awhile back. The conclusion by people who had spent time studying the issue and interviewing a few hundred folks was they rarely associate the size of tips with the job they do. They just assume no tips means the customer was a lousy tipper. Which means often the tip doesn't do what it is thought to do which is provide feedback and reward for good service.

  8. #8
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    Since a tip is a gratuity, it isn't mandatory. I might tip less for unimpressive service, but I don't often experience that. One time I had really bad service and was going to leave nothing, but recalled reading that it's better in such a case to leave a nickel. If you leave no tip, they might think you forgot. Leaving a nickel is a clear message that you felt the service was really bad.

    I like even better the suggestions to speak to someone in the restaurant about it. Clear and direct communication is generally best, and the nickel tip, while clear, is indirect.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I am an ok tipper and my wife is more generous than me. I don't think the OP did anything wrong. We didn't tip a server once, and that was a well deserved no tip.

    That $6 that the OP's server missed out on isn't going to hurt her very much, if she continues with her attitude though, the accumulation of bad tips will, and it should.

    Like Dirt said, I start at 20. If I'm made to feel like a jackass on top of really bad service I lose no sleep over not tipping, but that very rarely happens. Maybe tomorrow she'll be in a better mood and make up what she lost out on.
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  10. #10
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    I generally tip at 20%, the thing that pains me is that so many places share tips that i can't slight my server for bad service without hurting all the staff, however I have slipped extra money to good servers.
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  11. #11
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    I will typically tip 15% of the bill; however, vary + or - 5% based on the level of service. I never worked in food service but, most servers I've seen hustle their butts off and put up with waaaaay more crap than I have to on a regular basis.

  12. #12
    Masters Neophyte
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durt View Post
    You start at 20% when I sit down. It goes up or down from there depending on your attitude and service. I cannot recall the last time it was so poor that they received nothing.
    "UP"? From 20%?! Damn, I must be cheap. I have tipped over that- but only a handful of times.
    I generally tip 20% for dinner, but 15% for breakfast or lunch. Adjusting up or down.
    Capt Willard: "Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger."

  13. #13
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    And here's a weird one I do but don't understand- I always tip $1 or more for a latte, but when I'm picking up food I've ordered "to go"- never tip.
    Am I supposed to?
    I've always rationalized it by thinking that they didn't have to wait on me... but it's basically the same interaction as ordering coffee.
    Hmmm.
    Capt Willard: "Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger."

  14. #14
    Slightly Opinionated
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRRoubaix View Post
    And here's a weird one I do but don't understand- I always tip $1 or more for a latte, but when I'm picking up food I've ordered "to go"- never tip.
    Am I supposed to?
    I've always rationalized it by thinking that they didn't have to wait on me... but it's basically the same interaction as ordering coffee.
    Hmmm.
    It was always my understanding that take-out was no tip. Delivery, however...
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  15. #15
    Masters Neophyte
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    Quote Originally Posted by robdamanii View Post
    It was always my understanding that take-out was no tip. Delivery, however...
    Mine too- it was only when I realized that I always tip when buying coffee that I started to second-guess myself.
    Why do I tip $1 for $4.50 latte, but nothing for $30 worth of Chinese take out?

    Oh yeah, I tip the delivery guys well. That is a MUST.
    Capt Willard: "Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger."

  16. #16
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    "I haven't @#&$ed like that since I was an altar boy." Hank Moody
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  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Tipping bad service is a big no-no in my book.
    It has only happened a couple times in my life and I hope the non-recipient took it to heart.

    If you are in a service profession that pays you terribly on a per hour basis because they think you can make the good money with tips, you better be on your game every night.

  18. #18
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    This is the topic of much debate among my fiancee and I at sit-down restaurants. She's of the idea that she has friends in food service, and knows how badly it sucks, so she often over-tips. I'm of the idea that they're doing this for a living, knowing full well how much it sucks, and that they should work to overcome the suckitude. She'll oftentimes tip at least 20%...often up to 25 or even 30% of the total bill. I, however, start at about 15% (the perceived standard tip), and round up to the nearest whole dollar for good service. I'll toss more in if it's spectacular service...But, I'll also round down for poor service.

    Delivery always gets a good tip, no matter what. I'm from the standpoint that delivery driving is hell on a car, and they gotta keep their car running somehow (and car **** is expensive). I over-tip, and people have told me that before.

    Bars...$1 per drink, first round...every subsequent round, I'll leave the coins for the bartender.

    My grandma's an odd cookie though. She's very old-school, and worked in Norman Rockwell's diner in the 50's. She's got the opinion that restaurant work isn't so bad, since she did it herself while raising 5 kids, and that you've really, really gotta work to earn your 15%. Like, a beej at the beginning of the meal and a reach-around for dessert. It's like pulling teeth to get her to pay more than 10% at any given time!

  19. #19
    Big is relative
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    I've been a waiter so I tip 20% if the service is good. I'm a straight 20%er at dinner but I tend to overtip for lunch and breakfast. Dinner is served at the pace of the establishment, lunch and breakfast are served at the required pace of the customer. Get me in and out at breakfast and lunch and you'll do well.
    Retired sailor

  20. #20
    A wheelist
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    $0.05 is right for really bad service because $0.00 means you're a cheap-skate. The best non-tip I ever heard of was a nickel in a glass of water, covered by a coaster, the whole lot turned upside-down on the table and the coaster slid out. Ouch!
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  21. #21
    getting older
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    I used to work in service a long time ago, but live more comfortably now. I agree with 15-20% when I sit down and adjust from there. I also strongly support bigbill's approach - breakfast and lunch are relatively cheap - 15-20% is not the same as 15-20% at dinner. Extra is given when deserved.

    I always go well over 15-20% for good service on low-priced meals in depressed areas. We travel to the Adirondacks multiple times per year and have become pseudo-regulars at some non-tourist establishments. If an extra $3-$5 will get me to 50% on a breakfast/lunch - I won't think twice for good service. We're not from the big city (NYC), but we come from a mid-sized city that pays decent wages and I feel the urge to 'spread the wealth' to some degree. As a quantitative person, I find it fun to see how much an extra $1 will do in terms of the %.

    On the other hand - if I am in downtown Lake Placid for New Years and part of the bill for me and my wife comes to $100, I'm not eager to push the tip much beyond 15%.

    At the end of the day - it's a personal choice.

  22. #22
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    I agree, 20% and down from there. Some restaurants have mandatory tip outs to the kitchen, bar and hostess staff, meaning for each table the waitress must give up a fixed amount regardless of amount of tip received. So if you don't leave a tip, the waitress actually has to give up some of her below minimum wage to serve you. And yup, they put up with a lot of $hit from some customers and their children, and they could be having a real bad day.

    I know people say, well they picked that employment, but would you like a world without restaurants?

  23. #23
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    do you guys tip on the bill total or pre tax amount?

    i'm a 20% across the board baseline tipper. breakfast lunch and dinner. poor service never gets less than 10%. exceptional service will get more than 20%. i base my calculations on the bill total. i guess it does make sense to use the pre tax amount, but i've just never done that.

    i usually tip a couple bucks on take out as well. i don't tip for karma but the other day at our favorite thai restaurant i was picking up our order and had a craving for one of their "appethaizers" i had already paid and was reaching for my wallet and he just threw them in. bonus.

    my wife says that at a salon, if she's with the owner, she'll generally tip way less than she would with someone renting a chair or an employee etc. i found that interesting.

    delivery gets the best tips from me. if i'm feeling lazy enough to have the food come to me, then i'm willing to pay for that.

    not sure how i feel about tip jars. i usually don't put anything in them.

    i guess in the end, tipping is a tangled mess of social norms and expectations that can be interpreted many different ways.

  24. #24
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    I really hate how the service industry has tried to convince people that 20 is now standard as opposed to 15. I don't mind giving more for good service, but I'm not a charity.

  25. #25
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    Went to a deli/convienence store the other day. Decent sandwiches. A tad bit more than I like to spend but worth it one or twice a month. I paid with a cc. Just signed the slip and left. No tip. Was looking on my cc statement later in the week. Counter gal had put her own tip on.

    I'll make sure the tip line is crossed through next time. And tell her I don't appreciate the additional charges.

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