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Author Topic: Oprah says to tip 10%
snopes
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Comment: I own a restaurant and have heard from many of my waitstaff that
Oprah suggested tipping only about 10% in restaurants. I do not believe
it, but it's a very widespread legend in my industry.

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Kahdra
Deck the Malls


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Oprah.com has a Guide to Tipping

Oprah didn't write it, but it seems to have appeared in her magazine. It suggest 15-20%.

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Richard Nixon
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You're supposed to tip ten whole percent!?
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Esprise Me
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I'm going to catch thirty different kinds of hell for even suggesting this, but...
It is an article of faith among servers that black people are terrible tippers. A recent study confirmed that African American people do, on average, tip less than white people, and are more likely to stiff the server entirely. The Los Angeles Times ran an article in March about the study. Given that this is the case, and given that Oprah is one of the most recognizable and influential black people in America, it's not surprising to me that someone would make that connection.
Believe me, a non-racist explanation for why black people repeatedly impede our attempts to pay the rent would spread like wildfire among servers. It really hurts to work your ass off taking care of people, only to get stiffed; when an instantly recognizable category of people consistently do this, it's hard not to fall into stereotyping. The article I linked to above suggests that the primary reason black people tip poorly is they feel they are discriminated against, and receive poor service. However, I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I've waited on a party of African-Americans (and I do mean Americans--not recent immigrants who might not know better) and been thanked profusely, told I did a wonderful job--and given an eight percent tip. That just makes me want to cry.
(On the other hand, in the five years I've been a waitress, I can count on one hand the number of times I've received a tip above 15% from a party of black people. These incidents are burned into my memory because they were so shocking. For the record, it has happened three times. And on one of those occasions, I did find out, while chatting with said customer, that he was a former waiter himself.)
Anyway, the point of this post, which will probably hijack the entire thread before it even gets going, is that an urban legend to the effect of "it's all Oprah's fault" would fall on very receptive ears, because it would allow servers to acknowledge this very obvious, undeniable problem without admitting we're being racist.

ETA: Oh, and Richard Nixon--I sincerely hope that's your idea of a joke. I get $2.63 an hour plus tips, and will never get a raise until I find a new line of work. Many shifts, especially during the day and during the week, I sell less than $200, which means if everyone tips 10% I don't even make anything close to minimum wage. Some of my co-workers are single parents, many are college students, and none of us would be doing this if we could afford not to.

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Dogwater
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Esprise Me ...sans the lil' [Smile] or [lol] , I'm sure it's hard to tell, but I'd bet RN had tongue firmly implanted in cybersapce cheek.

I will say this as a restaurant guy of some 20 years ( THAT deserves an OMG!!!111!!)...Its' not just black people that carry that reputation. It's Asians, UKers, Europeans, East Indians (I guess that also falls in the Asian catagory, no?), women (especially those with kids, and ESPECIALLY groups of women), teens, old folks and anyone who isn't:
a)male
b)middle-aged
c) white collar
d)white guy

The truth of the matter is that I have a great memory for those 'stiffers' out there. Memories are easier to conjure up when they have a identifiable feature attached to them The color of someone's skin is a good marker. We probably remember those in the above paragraph who stiffed us because they have identifiable characteristics.

Said middle-aged white guy just fades into the noise of the day. If he stiffed you...well, the other 10,000 guys like him you see will dilute that memory.

You mentioned a "recent study", so I'm sure you expect that someone here will say "produce it". Might as well be me! Further, as a member of this board I'm sure you'll realize that a single 'study' does not a fact make.

Besides, we all know that what Oprah REALLY said was "Tip Tommy Hillfiger 10%", right?

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Just to give the other side of this coin--speaking as someone who works in this business right now (and taking into consideration that I do make considerably a LOT more than just about every waitress out there)...

It might be where I work and what I serve (consistantly), but I've found that as a general rule, my bad tippers are older people (I don't care what race) and Foreigners.

I've only been stiffed **once** by a black person and even then, his wife came back the next day, apologizing for him not tipping me and left me a ten spot.

Most of my customers are equal parts white/poor, white/comfortable, old/older, black, single women with kids....

Just about every combination out there--I've got equal parts of (remember I work at a bowling alley, so I see ALL types of people) and I can honestly say the worst ones are the older generation and foreigners.

But... I can at least give the benefit of doubt to the foreigners, because at least they try--some ask, some have those handy "tip conversion" charts they keep in their wallets, some just leave a blanket amount--not much, but something.

However, older people leaving me a quarter on a $5.00 or more order is insulting. Though I say nothing and continue to serve them, it still is insulting.

Some of my best tippers are the ones who see the value of what I do--I take care of them, make sure their glasses are full, do my normal job. They are both black/white and come in all shapes/color/sizes, etc.

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annabohly
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I tip according to the service I get. Usually about 12 0/0, but that goes down if the service is bad. If it's really bad, no tip. BTW I have worked as a waitress before.

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James G.
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
... It's Asians, [I]UKers{/I], Europeans, East Indians (I guess that also falls in the Asian catagory, no?), women (especially those with kids, and ESPECIALLY groups of women), teens, ...

Tipping convention in the UK is about 10%, so it may just be that people are unaware of the fact that higher tipping is expected in the US. (In the UK, waiters/waitresses must be paid the minimum wage, regardless of tips.)

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Lady Moon Shadows
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I think the wording, here in the US should be "living minimum wage"...

because according to the US, we **are** making minimum wage--for waitresses at least. They need to change the min. wage anyway to make it match the cost of living...


toni

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Esprise Me
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
You mentioned a "recent study", so I'm sure you expect that someone here will say "produce it". Might as well be me! Further, as a member of this board I'm sure you'll realize that a single 'study' does not a fact make.

If you re-read my post, I linked to an article that details the results of said study.

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NocturnalGoddess- naughty or nice?
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I round-up when I go out to eat (eg, a $36 bill gets a $7 tip... ok, so it's teh boy's money, but whatever). I seriously cringe when my dining partner whips out their cellphone and starts entering numbers into the eztip function. I mean, I speak from no personal experiance, but I think tipping to the penny is demeaning.

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I normally give 15% because it's easy to calculate in my head (10% of the bill + half of that = 15%). If the service and food are particularly good, then 20% (10% + 10%). I round up to the nearest dollar.

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BeachLife
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I start at 15% rounded up to the nearest dollar and add or subtract according to the service. I don't expect much for the 15%, but I also won't hesitate to increase or decrease based on the service I receive.

I was in DC just this last week relying on a shuttle bus to the metro station each morning. I tipped based solely on the drivers ability to make it to the bus on time. If he decided to shoot the shit with other hotel workers until 10 minutes after the hour I figured he didn't care whether he got a tip or not.

The part of tipping that I am still working on is tour guides. Generally, outside the country I tip them all. But in the United States I rarely tip them. I was at Falling Water a week ago and noticed that one member of our group tipped the tour guide, but this seems to happen so rarely that I think tipping tour guides in the US is far from expected.

Beach...maybe I just hate American tour guides [Wink] ...Life!

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Midgard_Dragon
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I think tipping well is far more ingrained in those of us who have worked in a tip-based job before. My dad usually never tipped more than two dollars anywhere, even if the meal was 40 bucks and up. I would have believe this okay, if I hadn't have worked as pizza delivery boy for my second ever job. Nowadays, I never tip less than five dollars (and usually more if the bill is up there) unless I simply do not *have* it to tip. I never -ever- stiff anyone. If I don't have at least a buck to tip, I don't get food from somewhere where tipping is the norm.

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snopes
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Study shows blacks tip less

Research indicates that African Americans, on average, leave smaller tips for servers than whites do and that they're more likely to leave nothing.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-insider26mar26,1,1446332.column

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Just today, I went to my mother's where she promptly ordered 6 pizzas for delivery--some $50 bucks worth of pizza. Her tip: $2.25.. I never thought I'd be the one to rip her up but I told her that that was just not enough on a $50 order. I ended up contributing $5 more making it $7.25... I told her my reasons:
Holiday.
He won't make too much as it is.
He pays for his own gas, his own wear and tear on his car and his own damage to his car due to an accident (no fault of his, type accident)..

she didn't believe me.

grrrrr...

toni

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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Goombah
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Lady Moon Shadows:
He won't make too much as it is.
He pays for his own gas, his own wear and tear on his car and his own damage to his car due to an accident (no fault of his, type accident)..

she didn't believe me.

grrrrr...

It may just be regional thing but when I ran pizza deliveries, I got paid an extra buck per delivery on top of my regular, hourly pay to compensate me for fuel and car expenses. I'm sure the driver appreciated your thought though.

I recently got into a bit of an arguement over tipping. How much should you tip when you're takinf your order to go? Our office placed a large but not overly complicated order with the local Chinese place (we ordered three each of eight different meals - total of 24 dishes) for a lunchtime meeting. We gave them a couple hours notice, we picked it up and we left $150 for about $135 worth of food. As far as I was concerned, this amount was more than generous for a carry-out order. My boss was livid and pulled a fifty dollar bill out of his wallet and told us to go back and give them a "proper tip". It was his money and we took it to the staff but would anyone else consider a nearly 50% tip for a carry-out order reasonable?

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
You mentioned a "recent study", so I'm sure you expect that someone here will say "produce it". Might as well be me! Further, as a member of this board I'm sure you'll realize that a single 'study' does not a fact make.

If you re-read my post, I linked to an article that details the results of said study.
I absolutely missed that...apologies.

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cubbie
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I always tip at least 3 or 4 dollars, but that's only when i can afford to go out and eat. Most the time my bill is under 10 dollars. so 4 dollars is probably is very decent tip.

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Goombah:
How much should you tip when you're takinf your order to go? Our office placed a large but not overly complicated order with the local Chinese place (we ordered three each of eight different meals - total of 24 dishes) for a lunchtime meeting. We gave them a couple hours notice, we picked it up and we left $150 for about $135 worth of food. As far as I was concerned, this amount was more than generous for a carry-out order. My boss was livid and pulled a fifty dollar bill out of his wallet and told us to go back and give them a "proper tip". It was his money and we took it to the staff but would anyone else consider a nearly 50% tip for a carry-out order reasonable?

Well...far be it from me to discourage an extra-large tip, but...
At the restaurant where I work, take-out cashiers start at $8/hour. Unlike servers, they cannot legally be paid less than minimum wage. Considering the size of your order, leaving a tip was certainly the right thing to do, and I think the amount you chose--$15, or about ten percent--was more than adequate. Had your boss been picking up the order and wished to tip $50 (or $65), that would have been his prerogative, but I think it was way out of line for him to react the way he did.
On a few occasions, I've gone out to eat with someone who insisted on picking up the tab, but, I noticed, left a horrible tip despite receiving great service. When I'm feeling like a coward, I'll slip an extra $5 or $10 bill under the salt shaker when my dining companion isn't looking, or I'll return to the restaurant later to apologize and tip the server. But most of the time, I take the opportunity to gently point out just how much servers depend upon tips for their income, and offer to pay the difference. Becoming "livid" and ordering someone to go back and tip some more would be a rude way to handle it even if your tip had been insufficient.

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abigsmurf
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quote:
Originally posted by James G.:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
... It's Asians, [I]UKers{/I], Europeans, East Indians (I guess that also falls in the Asian catagory, no?), women (especially those with kids, and ESPECIALLY groups of women), teens, ...

Tipping convention in the UK is about 10%, so it may just be that people are unaware of the fact that higher tipping is expected in the US. (In the UK, waiters/waitresses must be paid the minimum wage, regardless of tips.)
Some of the tipping in here just wouldn't occur to me. Tipping for an order you're carrying out your self? What's next, tipping mcdonalds staff (we actually had to refuse any tips when I was working there)? In my view to get a tip a server/waiter should be carrying out a (good) service to you. I'm very reluctant to tip at a buffet for instance as the waiter has to do very little.

But then the minimum wage is strongly enforced in the UK and is fairly decent; £5.05/$8.50 iirc and there are big cultural differences.

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hudders
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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
servers depend upon tips for their income

I feel this is very silly way for your country to go about things.

Nobody should have to rely on gratuity for a living. It's akin to begging on the street in that it relies upon the genorosity of other people rather than the skill of the person involved.

UK minimum wage, (for people over the age of 22) is £5.05 which equates to $8.99 at the current rate of exchange.

Because our waiters and waitresses earn enough to live on, it's not surprising that you say that "UKers" don't tip well. It's because we're not even aware that you need it.

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abigsmurf
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to be honest you shouldn't need to tip a high percentage as standard to give servers a basic wage. All it does is serve to be a corporate tax which the company essentially pockets by paying the servers less. The real winners are the corporations who don't have spend so much on wages and can give people the illusion that food at their restaurant is cheaper than it is.
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hudders
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
to be honest you shouldn't need to tip a high percentage

I'd go further and say you shouldn't need to tip at all.
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Four Kitties
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Shouldn't? Probably. But it's the way the system currently works in the US, it's not the fault of the waitstaff or delivery drivers, and they shouldn't suffer for it. Focus your dissatisfaction on the folks who create/maintain the screwed-up system, not the folks who are stuck working within it.

I was a reasonable tipper before I worked for the blue-and-red-pizza-empire; I'm a bigger tipper now. And here's a hint for those of you who don't know already -- delivery drivers know where the good tippers live. If I had a 4- or 5-address delivery run, you can bet the big tippers got their food first!

Anecdote: where I lived two neighborhoods ago, I found a wonderful local Chinese place that delivered. I couldn't afford to order from there often; but when I did, I always tipped well. When I moved to the next town for a year, they continued to deliver to me even though I was out of their delivery area. When I moved back here, I bought a place all the way across town from the restaurant. Still, however, we always seem to get our order quickly, even during the dinner rush. [Smile]

Four Kitties

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StewPot
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This topic always gets me heated.

Am I the only one who thinks tipping should be abolished? Restaurants should pay their employees a decent wage, and raise the price of their food by 15%. I really resent being expected to tip 15%.

I should be able to tip nothing at all if the service is anything less than average. This means that half of the time I would tip nothing. If I did receive extraordinary service, then my tip would be considered a reward for a job well done.

Bottom line is, a tip should be additional payment for exceptional service, not an expected amount you pay to avoid looking like a cheapskate.

I know the world will never adapt to my way of thinking, but if I ruled the planet, this is the first thing I'd change.

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entropy9
I Saw Three Shipments


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...I think alot of it depends on what you see your parents do... That's how I learned to be honest. My mom always rounded up if it was under 10.00 then tipped 15% after that, my dad (1/2 asian 1/2 black) is VERy stingy and I doubt I've ever seen him tip...I tend to follow my mom's example. I don't know that race is the key factor I think think it's what you learned...and maybe blacks get good service now, but their pearents may not have or tipping wasn't that big of an issue so that's what they learned. just my opinion. My boyfriend is Black and he overtips ALL the time (just grabs whatever is in his wallet I guess). I usually pocket some of it before we leave (yeah, I need money too)
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entropy9
I Saw Three Shipments


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whew! sorry everyone. I'm in a computer lab and I rushed that last post...my grammar sucks, and I seem to be fond of using the elipsis...go figure AH! I can't stop!

Edited: I told you I can't spell or write correctly

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STF
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I typically tip at least 15% and I have no problem doing it.

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dewey
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Goombah:
I recently got into a bit of an arguement over tipping. How much should you tip when you're takinf your order to go? Our office placed a large but not overly complicated order with the local Chinese place (we ordered three each of eight different meals - total of 24 dishes) for a lunchtime meeting. We gave them a couple hours notice, we picked it up and we left $150 for about $135 worth of food. As far as I was concerned, this amount was more than generous for a carry-out order. My boss was livid and pulled a fifty dollar bill out of his wallet and told us to go back and give them a "proper tip". It was his money and we took it to the staff but would anyone else consider a nearly 50% tip for a carry-out order reasonable?

I'm not sure when people started tipping for takeout. I am a very generous tipper for table service but have never felt obligated to tip on a takeout order. I am willing to accept that I am wrong and if it is expected I will start doing so.

dewey

Posts: 2413 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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quote:
Originally posted by StewPot:
This topic always gets me heated.

Am I the only one who thinks tipping should be abolished? Restaurants should pay their employees a decent wage, and raise the price of their food by 15%. I really resent being expected to tip 15%.

I should be able to tip nothing at all if the service is anything less than average. This means that half of the time I would tip nothing. If I did receive extraordinary service, then my tip would be considered a reward for a job well done.

Bottom line is, a tip should be additional payment for exceptional service, not an expected amount you pay to avoid looking like a cheapskate.

I know the world will never adapt to my way of thinking, but if I ruled the planet, this is the first thing I'd change.

You're hardly expected to not tip for crappy service. That's why not tipping at all is such an insult - you're essentially telling the waiter that you hated their service. They also can't *make* you tip at all, regardless of the quality of the service. But where in the world are you eating that is giving such lousy service that you won't tip half the time?

I would only not tip if I was given exceptionally bad service. Late food is one thing - it might well be out of the server's hands (so long as the server is still checking up on me and keeping me updated). No food, never bothering to check up on me, a nasty attitude, or something else horrible would stop a tip. I've never run into this, but my sister has before and she tips the way I do.

I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape over tipping at all. It sounds more like justification for being exceptionally cheap than being concerned over the quality of service.

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"One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes

"Vote Republican! We won't burn you at the stake for your religious beliefs or slaughter your family and steal your land." -- Ramblin' Dave

Posts: 3555 | From: Florida | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by James G.:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
... It's Asians, [I]UKers{/I], Europeans, East Indians (I guess that also falls in the Asian catagory, no?), women (especially those with kids, and ESPECIALLY groups of women), teens, ...

Tipping convention in the UK is about 10%, so it may just be that people are unaware of the fact that higher tipping is expected in the US. (In the UK, waiters/waitresses must be paid the minimum wage, regardless of tips.)
Similarly, in some Asian countries, tipping isn't done (and is even frowned upon if you try to do it).

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Another lifetime I'd have fallen in love with you
Swept away by my feelings, ashamed and confused
But just now it's enough to be walking with you
Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

Posts: 2669 | From: Jouy en Josas, France | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I don't like to tip because it requires a sort of informal interaction with another person. When I buy something at a store, the clerk tells me how much I owe and I give him that amount; the interaction is almost totally impersonal. However, when tipping at a restaraunt, I have to decide whether I liked the waiter or not. It's way too personal for me, and so I usually tip exactly 15% no matter what.

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Fools! You've over-estimated me!

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Rebochan:
I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape over tipping at all. It sounds more like justification for being exceptionally cheap than being concerned over the quality of service.

You missed the bit where she said that the price of the meal would increase 15% then?

If you're expected to tip even when you get bad service then it isn't voluntary. It's part of the cost of the meal that they disguise by not adding to the price.

How many other jobs are there where your pay is controlled by the whim of a customer after you've actually done the job?

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
i typed for miles
"Repaint and thin no more!"


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quote:
Originally posted by StewPot:

Am I the only one who thinks tipping should be abolished? Restaurants should pay their employees a decent wage, and raise the price of their food by 15%. I really resent being expected to tip 15%.

so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? no? then neither should your server. if you can't afford to tip 25% at the maximum (in the event of above-and-beyond exceptional service; i'm not saying that should be the standard) then you can't afford to dine out.

it would be nice if the industry paid more than $2.15/hour, but i don't know how soon that will happen. and if the restaurant is going to up their prices 15% so you don't have to tip, you're still technically tipping the server anyway.

i'm not intending this to be rude, but as a former waitress, this is a touchy subject for me.

oh and i'm new here, so hi everyone.

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crazy is as crazy does, but fire speaks louder than words.

Posts: 21 | From: Virginia Beach | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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