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Self-service tipping

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Jude
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Tue 13 May , 2014 3:02 pm
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Get excited again!
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Tipping is mostly a North American phenomenon, and some restaurants in New York and California have instituted strict no-tip polices.

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Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Tue 13 May , 2014 3:33 pm
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Don't get excited. Coming from a no-tipping culture I wish I didn't have to pay for shit service. Trust me, its an incentive!

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Frelga
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Tue 13 May , 2014 3:38 pm
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Maybe it's just a shit service culture? :P

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Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Tue 13 May , 2014 3:40 pm
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Well if you get paid the same for shit service as good service...

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Jude
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Tue 13 May , 2014 3:51 pm
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Maybe if you give shit service you should just get fired. Isn't that how it works in other professions?

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Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Tue 13 May , 2014 3:59 pm
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That's what you would think, but labour laws here protect the employee so its very hard to fire someone.

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Frelga
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Tue 13 May , 2014 7:38 pm
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Ah, well. That's not often a problem here. Especially in the unskilled jobs.

Thing is, though, waitressing done right is not an unskilled job. An experienced server can really make a difference in how the restaurant is perceived by the customers.

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aninkling
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Wed 14 May , 2014 1:40 pm
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Quote:
Thing is, though, waitressing done right is not an unskilled job. An experienced server can really make a difference in how the restaurant is perceived by the customers.
I agree very much, Frelga. Actually, the best service we ever had was recently in ordinary restaurants in Europe. We're not demanding customers (order off the menu and ask nothing more), yet they were polite, there when needed (refilling water if it was low), left us alone when we didn't need them, let us linger over coffee, and were observant enough to need nothing more than a slight signal to bring the check.

I had a dose of culture shock when we get back, and we stopped for a meal on our way home from the airport. I had gotten away from the American norm of waiters who act like they're your best buddy (fake friendliness), interrupt the meal and your conversation repeatedly to ask if everything's OK, whisk away each person's plate while others are still eating, etc. I know it's the way they get bigger tips, but I'm not crazy about it.

We've also had excellent service at a local restaurant here, very similar to that in Europe. but it's a pricier place than we usually go.

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yovargas
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Thu 15 May , 2014 11:01 pm
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I've voiced before my disdain for our tipping model but I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of tipping. It just needs one big change to make it sane: why in the world is the expected amount of the tip tied to the price of the food??? If I order a $30 steak and you order a $10 burger, why am I expected to pay the waiter triple the money when they did the exact same amount of work?? The tip should be based on the quantity and quality of the work, not this weirdly arbitrary 18% regardless of what they did or even how they did it.


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Dave_LF
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Fri 23 May , 2014 12:49 pm
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Why? From the customer's perspective, it's easy to compute. Easier than the alternative of x for each main course, y for each appetizer, z for each drink, etc. From the business's perspective, it motivates the server to direct customers toward the more expensive items, and to convince them to purchase appetizers, desserts, extra rounds of drinks, etc.

I'm still not sure why this whole elaborate tipping culture managed to spring up and survive around waiting tables but not other service occupations. Sure; there are a few others where tips are accepted and (rarely) expected, but not to nearly the same extent.

Also, any perturbation to the system would have the effect of bringing it to the public's conscious attention, in which case they'd immediately realize how ridiculous the whole thing is and demand that restaurants just pay their people decently.


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aninkling
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Fri 23 May , 2014 1:17 pm
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Perhaps this is the key? :)
Quote:
From the business's perspective,...
The business gets to pay its servers less than minimum wage, and also motivates its servers to steer customers toward higher priced items and more food. And I've seen that phenomenon blatantly at work sometimes, like when a neighboring couple was clearly on a date.
yovargas wrote:
why in the world is the expected amount of the tip tied to the price of the food???
I've never liked that, either. On the lower end, we have a minimum tip we leave for dinner, figuring that the server had to work as hard even if we ordered an inexpensive meal. On the higher end, it doesn't seem fair to the customer, even if it's easier to calculate. Though I don't see why a fixed amount per appetizer, drink, meal, etc. would be any harder, especially if the restaurant printed a suggested amount on the tab.

Speaking of calculations, I saw something interesting about how tip inflation supposedly progressed (and I remember when the expected tip for good service was 10%). To make it easier to calculate, the tip was supposed to be twice the tax on the meal, but as the food tax became larger in bigger cities, the expected tip became larger... No idea if that's apocryphal or not.

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Dave_LF
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Fri 23 May , 2014 1:37 pm
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aninkling wrote:
Perhaps this is the key? :)
Quote:
From the business's perspective,...
Important, but not sufficient. I'm sure businesses would love to pay their servers nothing and have tipping cover everything, but the other parties in the deal wouldn't accept that. But for some (presumably legitimate) reason, they do accept things the way they are. I think customers just prefer doing a single computation over having to look several different numbers up in table, compute several different percentages, and then add everything up. Nowadays a computer could just do all the math and print it for you on the bill (as you suggest), but the system is a fragile anachronism, and any jostling is likely to make the whole thing fall apart.


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aninkling
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Fri 23 May , 2014 4:47 pm
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Quote:
I think customers just prefer doing a single computation over having to look several different numbers up in table, compute several different percentages, and then add everything up.
I wasn't actually suggesting that (especially knowing how much trouble many people have with simple math calculations!). I was thinking more along the lines of X amount per any entree, Y for any appetizer, etc. Simple addition instead of calculating a percent.

But I don't think that system is likely to fly, either. Though I'm not so sure people would revolt if tinkering to the system brought the whole mess to their attention. I suspect it's more inertia - many people don't like changes in a system they're used to.

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Society can and does execute its own mandates, and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. ― John Stuart Mill


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yovargas
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Fri 23 May , 2014 9:24 pm
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Quote:
Speaking of calculations, I saw something interesting about how tip inflation supposedly progressed (and I remember when the expected tip for good service was 10%).
I've been very curious about this as well. It was 15% when I got old enough to start going to restaurants in the later 90s. Just last nite I saw that thing on the bill that says "Parties of 6 or more are automatically charged a 20% tip" which is the first time I've seen it say over 18%. It's another part of my irritation with the system - how am I really supposed to know what a "fair" tip amount is when I haven't a clue what 15 or 18 or 20% translates to for an average hourly wage?

As to the per item thing if we were to go that route - my thought was simply "Number of items ordered times X". I don't see any reason it'd need to be fancier than that and it's certainly easier than calculating 18%.


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Impenitent
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Wed 09 Jul , 2014 3:49 am
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I don't get it at all; I just don't.

The bill should be inclusive of all costs - the raw ingredients, the overhead (power, cooking, service, cleaning) - and the proprietor should be responsible to then pay those costs - pay their staff, pay their utility providers, pay their suppliers. Did you notice the "pay their staff" bit?

The employer should damned well pay their staff a living wage.

All the current bally-hoo about Walmart's starvation wages, and their employees needing second or third jobs plus food stamps...

There's no difference here.

Employers should be required to pay their employees a living wage, otherwise it's slavery (or serfdom, or bondage, or servitude) by another name.

And I won't listen to blither blather about if the employee doesn't like it, the employee is free to get a different job.

Really? Without education? In a market where all the jobs available to a person of that socio-economic class all pay the same starvation wages? Where a person is stuck geographically because of family responsibilities, and where their only support network exists?

It's just plain wrong.

What the hell is wrong with the politicians who allow this to continue? And what the hell is wrong with a society which is so disengaged and ignorant that it votes in politicians who allow this to continue?

Civilization is in retreat.

Golly. I got all firebrand there.

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Jude
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Wed 09 Jul , 2014 10:21 am
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Stay firebrandy - I agree with you!

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LalaithUrwen
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Wed 09 Jul , 2014 12:20 pm
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Impy for President!

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Frelga
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Wed 09 Jul , 2014 9:14 pm
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IAWI
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yovargas
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Thu 10 Jul , 2014 1:36 am
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:D


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Impenitent
Post subject: Re: Self-service tipping
Posted: Thu 10 Jul , 2014 3:55 am
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yov, my dear, where is your avatar? I see a broken link wherever your posts appear.

Sorry. [/osgiliation]

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