Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: noydb on October 14, 2013, 08:10:28 AM

Title: tipping 25%
Post by: noydb on October 14, 2013, 08:10:28 AM
Just read this article http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2013/10/14/tipping-25-percent-restaurants/2976417/ .  Thoughts?  I dont know, I was a server for years, totally sympathize, but unlike most past servers, I have never given into the notion that I will tip extra good because I know what it is like.  My attitude has always been 'serve me well and I will tip you well, but a "well" tip is like 20%'.  Used to drive me nuts when fellow co-workers would tell a bus-boy 'sorry my tip out to you is small, I only got 15-18% tips tonite'.  That's normal, average, expected!!  My tips given to servers these days usually range from 10-25% (10 for buffets, 25 for rare super wonderful servers or those $8.00 bills and just leave a $10), with an average of 18-20%.  NOW this person is suggesting 25% as the norm?!!??  No.  Most servers make pretty good money, depending on market.  And over the years, food prices rise, they get raises then.  Do I think their hourly wage should be more?  yes, a bit more. 
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: It's good to be Queen on October 14, 2013, 08:42:42 AM
No, sorry, not going to tip 25%.  I have raised my tipping to 18-20% over the last few years, but as restaurant prices keep going up, tips go up too so I don't see the need to increase the %.  The only place I tip more is a little diner my friends and I go to for breakfast often.  The whole meal costs $5 (including coffee) so I generally tip $2-3 because I can't bring myself to leave those great waitresses a $1 tip.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: MrTango on October 14, 2013, 08:44:57 AM
No, sorry, not going to tip 25%.  I have raised my tipping to 18-20% over the last few years, but as restaurant prices keep going up, tips go up too so I don't see the need to increase the %.  The only place I tip more is a little diner my friends and I go to for breakfast often.  The whole meal costs $5 (including coffee) so I generally tip $2-3 because I can't bring myself to leave those great waitresses a $1 tip.

I totally agree.

For a given meal that used to cost $20, a 15% tip would be $3.  If that same meal now costs $30, the same 15% tip is increased to $4.50.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Lynnv on October 14, 2013, 08:49:09 AM
If I were Queen of the Universe (or even the High Minister of Tipping), servers would get paid a real wage and tipping would not be the issue it is.  <double checks business cards> Since neither of those titles appear on my business cards, I am stuck with tipping.  As such, I stick towards 15% (figure out 15% then round up) for regular good table service.  Closer to 10%ish for buffets/delivery.  Up to 25% for extraordinary service.  But that is usually places, like our local brewpub, where we get outstanding service on a regular basis.  The servers there really know us and take care of us (as does the manager), and we tip high in response.  I will resist the tip creep as long as I can without becoming the woman who tips a quarter because that was a good tip "back in the day."
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: TurtleDove on October 14, 2013, 08:55:55 AM
I have no problem tipping 25% (I generally tip 20% or more).  I make good money - definitely more than my servers do - and I count the tip as part of the cost of going out.  When I was a server, it was not my "career" (it was during summers when I was in college and law school) but I appreciated being tipped well.  I "needed" the money but it was not my only source of income (I had scholarships, grants, and student loans as well).  I was never worried about whether I would be able to eat that week, but I know that it not the case for a lot of servers.

When I consider that other servers are in the position I was in (students trying to minimize loans and get a step up when they enter "the real world"), I want to tip them well.  And then I consider that for some people server is their career and only source of income and I want to tip them even better.  A few dollars more in a tip is immaterial to my bottom line (in fact, I factor it into my budget).  However, a few dollars more from each patron could mean a single mother is able to pay her rent *and* school clothes this month, for example.  I realize not everyone has the means to think this way, or the desire to think this way, but for me, I do not begrudge servers a few extra dollars out of my wallet.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: tinkytinky on October 14, 2013, 09:02:11 AM
the only reason I would go 25% on a tip is if the server goes above and beyond for me. The amount I tip has many variables. If the restaurant has a tip sharing policy (the servers pool the tips and split it equally, maybe including kitchen/clearing staff) I usually tip the 15-18%. If my server has be exceptional, I will maybe go to 20%, but I get the servers name so I can let management know of the great service. If the tips go directly to the server and I get exceptional service, I will go higher. Also the more complicated the dish to deliver, I will maybe give a little more (a chef salad is less to deal with than a hot plate of fajitas where the server could get burned, kwim?).
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 14, 2013, 09:05:47 AM
No, sorry, I will not pay a 25% gratuity. DH, DS and I went to dinner Saturday evening. Mid range restaurant for our city with most entrees between $12 & $18. We had 3 entrees and a shared appetizer. Our bill which included 2 iced teas, a soda and a margarita came to $75.  We were seated for less than an hour. A 25% tip would be $18.75. Our server was not dedicated to our table, she had at least 5 other tables. I feel the $15 we left was more than reasonable for the amount of time she spent taking our order, bringing our drinks, turning in our order, bringing our food and clearning our table.

Honestly, I wish if they aren't going to switch away from tipping that instead we go to a flat rate per person or per hour. I never could figure out why I should pay more for them to take and bring an order for a prime rib versus a burger.

Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: auntmeegs on October 14, 2013, 09:08:12 AM
I have no problem tipping 25% (I generally tip 20% or more).  I make good money - definitely more than my servers do - and I count the tip as part of the cost of going out.  When I was a server, it was not my "career" (it was during summers when I was in college and law school) but I appreciated being tipped well.  I "needed" the money but it was not my only source of income (I had scholarships, grants, and student loans as well).  I was never worried about whether I would be able to eat that week, but I know that it not the case for a lot of servers.

When I consider that other servers are in the position I was in (students trying to minimize loans and get a step up when they enter "the real world"), I want to tip them well.  And then I consider that for some people server is their career and only source of income and I want to tip them even better.  A few dollars more in a tip is immaterial to my bottom line (in fact, I factor it into my budget).  However, a few dollars more from each patron could mean a single mother is able to pay her rent *and* school clothes this month, for example.  I realize not everyone has the means to think this way, or the desire to think this way, but for me, I do not begrudge servers a few extra dollars out of my wallet.

POD, this is where I stand as well. 
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Peppergirl on October 14, 2013, 09:10:24 AM
I don't know.  It may not be a good reason for you, but having been a server in the past and now having the means to 'pay it forward' by tipping well, I do so.  I also consider it good karma. 

I do want to qualify the above statement by saying that I only tip well (above 20 percent) when the service is good, and I don't ever want to feel *obligated* to tip above 15 to 20.  It's just that I enjoy the feeling it gives me if the service warrants it.

I also was a pizza delivery girl back in the day, and I always tip the drivers extra well, because that's a tough gig too.  In return, they remember my address and I always get little extras, and my food arrives extraordinarily fast.  So, it benefits me too. :)

Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: sweetonsno on October 14, 2013, 09:20:56 AM
I think 25% is a bit much for average service. I personally tip 20% as my standard for your usual good service. Someone who does a great job gets more. Someone who is "meh" will get 15%, and someone who actually does a bad job gets 10% or less.

I don't quite buy the "tips go up as food prices go up" argument, though. I don't think food prices are going up fast enough to cover the increasing cost of living. As an example, entree prices in my favorite Vietnamese place have gone up a dollar in the three or four years that I've been going there. However, rents have increased by as much as $150 a month. That's quite a few more meals that the server needs to sell in order to not lose her home.

I think the amount one tips should be based not only on the quality of service and the price of your meal, but also on the situation in the state you live in. If I know I'm dining in a place where servers make below minimum wage, I'm probably going to increase my tip, especially if they're great. I'll also tip better if I've been parked at a table drinking a giant pot of tea for over an hour.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Redneck Gravy on October 14, 2013, 09:39:56 AM
I live in west Texas,  right now the economy is booming and everything here is grossly overpriced (real estate & rents are over the top ridiculous). Unemployment is stated below 4% but truly is probably around 2% (that's right 2% unemployment - if you don't have a job it's because you really don't WANT one around here). 

Big box stores are starting employees with NO experience at $14 + per hour, wait staff is getting similar wages so restaurants can keep their doors open.  Waits at fancy restaurants are 2 hours or more on the weekend evenings.

Last year for Christmas Day a local chain brought in a team of workers at $12 per hour and paid their motel bill - one of them told me she made $200 that day in tips, plus her wages ($96) and got an overnight stay for a change.  I realize that is abnormal nationwide but it is not unusual for the area right now (the last two years and long term predictions). 

Tip 25% - not happening for me.  I think I tip above average at 20%.  Right now I am at 15% for very good service because I know what they are really making.  If the service is poor I will still throw 10% down or complain until I am satisfied.  There are several places in town I won't set foot in for awhile because they just don't have the labor force to accommodate evening & weekend crowds. 

So in summary of my long winded response - my tipping depends on the local economy also.   
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: 123sandy on October 14, 2013, 09:51:49 AM
25% is a really big tip! I wonder if the high tipping in the US is why other countries assume Americans are all rich? I live in Germany now and I've had servers follow me out of restaurants to hand back part of the tip.

I won't be tipping 25% and I don't like being told if I can't tip properly I should stay at home (by a server on a mommy site).
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 14, 2013, 09:58:05 AM
I have no problem tipping 25% (I generally tip 20% or more).  I make good money - definitely more than my servers do - and I count the tip as part of the cost of going out.  When I was a server, it was not my "career" (it was during summers when I was in college and law school) but I appreciated being tipped well.  I "needed" the money but it was not my only source of income (I had scholarships, grants, and student loans as well).  I was never worried about whether I would be able to eat that week, but I know that it not the case for a lot of servers.

When I consider that other servers are in the position I was in (students trying to minimize loans and get a step up when they enter "the real world"), I want to tip them well.  And then I consider that for some people server is their career and only source of income and I want to tip them even better.  A few dollars more in a tip is immaterial to my bottom line (in fact, I factor it into my budget).  However, a few dollars more from each patron could mean a single mother is able to pay her rent *and* school clothes this month, for example.  I realize not everyone has the means to think this way, or the desire to think this way, but for me, I do not begrudge servers a few extra dollars out of my wallet.

But where does it end?  Everyone would like to receive a few extra dollars. My plumber would like to charge a few dollars more, my hairstylist would like to charge a few dollars more, my gardner would like a few dollars more too.

I'd much rather save my few dollars more and contribute more to charity than assume I know anything about the financial position of my server. I go in assuming that if they are willing to do the job then they are willing to accept the pay that the job is for. And in my community that mean an average of 18 to 20% for standard service.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: rose red on October 14, 2013, 10:03:44 AM
Honestly, I wish if they aren't going to switch away from tipping that instead we go to a flat rate per person or per hour. I never could figure out why I should pay more for them to take and bring an order for a prime rib versus a burger.

I always had a problem with this too.  What if a table of two order steak and lobster, but a table of ten order soup and salads?  You are working harder for the ten people, but get tipped less.

I use to tip around 25% or even more since "it's only a few bucks," but now that money is tight, I tip between 15-20%.  Tipping more was my choice, I don't think it's right to raise that to be the norm.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: TurtleDove on October 14, 2013, 10:11:03 AM
But where does it end?  Everyone would like to receive a few extra dollars. My plumber would like to charge a few dollars more, my hairstylist would like to charge a few dollars more, my gardner would like a few dollars more too.

I posted what I personally believe.  You don't have to conduct your life in the same manner.  To answer your question, though, I am not saying the restaurants should charge more (which is what your comment seems to indicate).  I said I tip well in all tipping situations.  It isn't required, it is something I want to do becuase I think it is the right thing for me to do.  I can afford it.  I feel good about doing it.  For example, I tip my hairstylist 25-30% (she is also a personal friend of mine, and I know she is the sole breadwinner for her family of two young children and an injured husband, and she is also a full-time student). 

For servers, tips are a part of their overall compensation.  It is expected that they will be tipped.  It is not "required" and there is no way of predicting exactly how much they will be tipped on any given day, but tips are a major portion of their income.  This is not so for non-tipping jobs, like receptionist, or lawyer, or accountant, or cashier.  Sure, lots of people would take more money if offered to them.  The difference between a server and a non-tipped job is that the non-tipped job does not have the expectation of tips as part of their compensation.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Ryuugan80 on October 14, 2013, 10:25:02 AM
Honestly, I think that raising the percentage for tips would actually earn the servers less. People tend to be willing to pay a certain amount for their meal. If I know I'm going to have to pay out a 25% tip, I'm either going to get a cheaper meal or just go to a different/fast food place. At the end of the day this is money coming out of someone else's pockets. People will, generally, try to minimize their losses and costs. So the few people that don't will end up having to push their tips up to 30 or 35 percent to make up for the others that are still tipping the minimum or under.

Heaven forbid if store owners take that as a reason to give out fewer raises or keep workers at the absolute minimum wage rather than something more competitive.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Goosey on October 14, 2013, 10:26:59 AM
I think tipping 25% is nice when you can do it, BUT servers should not expect that level of a tip AND it should not be held up as the standard.

I tip between 18-20%. I think that's the standard, if I'm not mistaken? I've heard 15-20%, too.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: mich3554 on October 14, 2013, 10:49:30 AM
I had an interesting experience a couple weeks ago that I think pertains to this.....

My b/f and I met up with a group of my friends (from the other side of the country) in a nearby city.  There were 7 of us total, 4 women and 3 men.  Over 3 days, we split up into groups of various sizes to do our own things, but always met up for dinner.  One of the things that I noticed was that each evening where we met as a group, service at whatever restaurant we were in (because we were 7, had an automatic gratuity) was severely lacking.  However, when we at lunch together, in groups of 3-4, service was much better.....even in same restaurants, same servers, about the same density of diners.  The last dinner we had together, a smaller table adjacent to our's with 3 diners got MUCH better service by the same server.  We had to ask repeatedly for bread, for another glass of wine, for water.  That was when the light went on in my brain that the server knew he had a guaranteed 18%, so why should he give us any more than bare minimum?

None of us were inclined to tip over the auto grat of 18%, whereas when we met at lunch, we had very good service and did tend to tip over 20%.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 14, 2013, 11:15:50 AM
When there is an autograt, I don't tip over that amount unless the service was stellar.

Where I live, servers get close to minimum wage; it isn't severely less, like it is in many states.  Our tax is 13%.  For good, normal service, I will tip the tax, rounded up to the next dollar amount, also rounding the total up to the next dollar amount.  So on a $10 bill, the tax is $1.30; I'd tip $2 for a total of $12.  On a bill of $11.50, the tax is about $1.50.  So I'd tip $2 + $0.50 to make the total $14.  The tip tends to be a bit better on smaller bills.

Absolutely stellar service will see a tip of 25% or better.  But in that case, the server has to practically anticipate my needs before I even know I need it.

I do tend to tip lower for buffets but there is one buffet I go to that the service is incredible.  I never have to move my old plate out of the way when I get back with a new plate; my water glass is always full; I get a warm towel to wipe my face and hands at the end of the meal.  So that place, I tip the same way I do any other restaurant.  But otherwise, I round the tax down to the nearest dollar but round up the total bill.  So for the $11.50 bill, I'd tip $1 + $0.50 for a total of $13.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: whiskeytangofoxtrot on October 14, 2013, 11:45:18 AM
I've worn the apron too, and because of that I can be a server's best friend. I also hold them to the same standard of quality that I learned to adhere to when I waited tables. That being said, I tip the customary amount for adequate but not remarkable service, a bit less for poor service (but not severely so, I'm still sympathetic to the wage situation), and incrementally more for better service. I will tip 25%+, on occasion, if they're really good, or for someone with whom I have a long-standing relationship, like my hair stylist.

It's certainly not the server's fault that wages are so low, but it's not the customer's fault either, and I never expected my customers to make it up to me. I was happy if they tipped according to service.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: problemattic on October 14, 2013, 11:56:46 AM
DD is a waitperson and I know that for every 15-20% tip she receives, another patron who leaves 5% or nothing.  Everywhere she has ever waited tables, she cultivates regulars who ask to be seated in her section time and again, so I know it isn't typically a function of poor service. (I'm sure she has her bad days, like everyone else.)  I think there are still some people who honestly don't know she doesn't make a living wage without tips.  But I digress...

I do sometimes tip 25%, when I can afford it.  I know I'd be a miserable waitperson and it just looks like a thankless, difficult job.  If a waitperson is friendly and I feel they are doing their best to give me a good dining experience, I am generous.  My husband used to work in the restaurant business, so he tips according to how well the waitperson performs technically.  He has a back-of-the-house perspective.   We sometimes dine for free due to his connections.  When this occurs, we over-tip ridiculously, but even then we are not coming close to what we would have paid for the meal. 

My plumber makes better money than I do, so he's on his own!   >:D
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: gellchom on October 14, 2013, 12:01:04 PM
I just hate the whole tipping system, and even percentage-based service charges.  I'd much rather see servers paid like everyone else and pay higher prices for my meal. 

What really bothers me is what others have mentioned: the percentage system, whether it's 15% or 25% or anything else, is based on how much the food costs, not on how hard the server had to work.  So the cocktail waitress carrying a tray of tiny, super-expensive cocktails at a place full of big spenders will get a much bigger tip than the her grandmother who is a waitress carrying a huge tray of heavy, inexpensive meals at a pancake house to a big family that will make a mess and probably can't afford to spend much anyway. 

So I might tip more than 100% for a cup of coffee, but probably a bit less than 20% for a super-expensive meal, even if the service was excellent.  I try to think in dollars, not percentages of prices.

I also notice that a couple of my friends who make a big deal of ALWAYS tipping at least 20% seem to be trying to outdo each other in a more-sensitive-than-thou way.  They always tip more than I do, and rather ostentatiously.  I also happen to know that they give very little to charity.  So it's nice that they are being generous to the servers -- I just wish they would keep that spirit of generosity when it isn't a Diamond Lil kind of situation where they are showing off.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: EllenS on October 14, 2013, 12:15:52 PM
I consider 15% to be the minimum for decent service, less than that would be a penalty.  For better than average service, I lean to 20%. 

I will tip extra on occasions when we have inadvertently caused a lot of hassle for the staff.  Our kids are well-behaved but they are kids, and will occasionally spill things or be messy eaters. The bigger the mess, the bigger the extra tip.

I usually have to add to the tip when my dad takes us out.  He, for some reason, believes that 8-10% is an appropriate tip.  I don't know if that is the old standard or just him.  I try to make sure and top it off, or else eat in a self-serve place.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: flickan on October 14, 2013, 12:21:41 PM
25% is too much to expect.

I would tip 25% for truly exceptional service or if for some reason we were a big hassle to the waitstaff (check split 5 ways or something)

I do tip 20% for all service.  I've never left a less than 20% tip, regardless of the quality of the service.  I don't expect others to do this.  But I've dated a waitress and I know that they have their bad days too.  It's unfortunate that we have to make up in tips what they do not get in wages depending on where they live.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Sharnita on October 14, 2013, 12:24:49 PM
I'm usually happy to tip around 20% and sometimes go up but I do not think it is reasonable to expect others to tip 25% to make up for somebody else's 5% tip.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: WillyNilly on October 14, 2013, 12:44:41 PM
My overall tipping philosophy is I tip on luxuries. I can do my own nails, but its nicer to have someone do them, I can cook and serve my own meals, but its a luxury to go out to eat, I can do my own laundry but drop off service is a personal treat. And I personally have the opinion if I can afford luxuries I can afford to be generous. And the more luxurious (a nicer restaurant, a high end bar, etc) I choose to go, the higher I plan to tip.

That said I was a server (actually at a rather high end place) and I have high standards for very high tips. My main baseline is water. In my city there is no regulation about automatically being given water, so if I have to ask I'm already annoyed. If my glass is ever empty I'm probably pretty ticked - water costs the restaurant fractions of a cent and filling a glass requires no skill.

My city's tax is just under 9% so my "base" tip used to be to double the tax (usually rounding up to the next easiest number). But these days I just go with an easy 20% because... well the math is easy. If I get really good service I'll go to 25%.

Of course all this is moot more then half the time because my husband and my dad are the ones ruining it for everyone, and when I'm out with either they tend to pay. I have no idea why but they both tend to just baseline tip 30% unless things are really, really bad in which case they lower it to 25% or so  ::) Going back to my original theory of tipping on luxuries and if I can afford a luxury I can afford to be generous, I figure if they want to tip 30%, being generous is a good thing to put out to the universe so I just let them tip well, and thank them for dinner.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Emmy on October 14, 2013, 01:06:46 PM
Honestly, I wish if they aren't going to switch away from tipping that instead we go to a flat rate per person or per hour. I never could figure out why I should pay more for them to take and bring an order for a prime rib versus a burger.

I agree with this.  It takes the same amount of effort to take a burger and a prime rib out to the customer.  I will pay 25% or even more if I have a very inexpensive order and good service.  I'll often tip more than 25% if we just go out for breakfast, dessert, or have an otherwise inexpensive meal.  If we go out to dinner, especially at a pricier place, I figure the server makes plenty with an 15-18% tip.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: noydb on October 14, 2013, 02:11:00 PM
No, sorry, I will not pay a 25% gratuity. DH, DS and I went to dinner Saturday evening. Mid range restaurant for our city with most entrees between $12 & $18. We had 3 entrees and a shared appetizer. Our bill which included 2 iced teas, a soda and a margarita came to $75.  We were seated for less than an hour. A 25% tip would be $18.75. Our server was not dedicated to our table, she had at least 5 other tables. I feel the $15 we left was more than reasonable for the amount of time she spent taking our order, bringing our drinks, turning in our order, bringing our food and clearning our table.

I think this is a great point!  Servers are making good money with good hours, besides having to work holidays and such.  Believe me, wouldnt want to go back to it (like my holidays/weekends off, I'm not too social so not suited to serving [but I did good at the time!]).  I do know some work too hard and are struggling a lot financially.  I have no solution there.

I had a fellow professional-like server tell me once that you dont want have the tipping system go away bc then servers have no incentive to serve you awesomely.

And, if you stick to the norms and tip appropriately, you keep the standards where they should be.  Those that are tipping 25% -- average service gets that?  So what do you give the exceltional, how do you reward them as they should be?
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Redneck Gravy on October 14, 2013, 02:18:53 PM
One of the many things that has been annoying to me lately is the appearance of TIP jars & signs at what I consider odd locations:

a drive through beer & cigarette sales location - where you literally drive up to a window and someone hands your order out the window; has a sign hanging up "Show us your tips" and an old giant pickle jar for tipping

a giant labeled tip jar outside of a Thai restaurant - you order by phone and pick it up at the window or you can be waited on and dine inside (where again, there is a tip jar by the register)

Tip jar at the counter INSIDE the pizza store (it's pick up or delivery only - no dine in) 

saw a tip jar beside the sink where I get my hair done, apparently I should tip my shampoo girl right then & there  :o

Recent visit to a swanky restaurant had this on the menu: All groups of 5 or more will be charged a gratuity fee of 22%   (Whoa- that's a lot for service that may not be worth it) and I have watched the group numbers decrease from 8 to 6 to now 5, if it drops to 4 there won't be many couples dining together !





Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Roe on October 14, 2013, 02:43:10 PM
I tip at 20%.  If servers feel that's unfair, I'll just go back to 15%. 
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: cheyne on October 14, 2013, 03:01:53 PM
I agree with WillNilly on the luxuries aspect.  We start at 20% and go up or down from there.  I have rarely tipped less than 15%, as DH and I are pretty easy to serve and don't need a lot of attention.  I don't get my nails or hair done so I am not sure what the percent should be for those services.  At the airport or hotel I tip $2. per bag (or $5 for two bags).  When we travel I always have a bunch of $1 and $5 bills on me for tipping.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: menley on October 14, 2013, 03:41:08 PM
I currently live in Europe and the standard is 10%, so the concept of 25% being expected is just sort of mind-boggling at the moment  :o

The creeping upwards in "acceptable" tips drives me crazy. When I was a kid it was acceptable to tip 10%, by the time I was in high school / college 15% was considered the norm. When I left the US 7 years later it was 20%, and now only two years later I'm being told it's 25%?

I understand that the servers' cost of living increases, I really do. But so does mine, and so does the cost of the meal, so as a previous poster said, the amount of the tip is increasing too even if you don't increase the percentage. At some point I'm going to be priced out of eating out, and I'm firmly in the middle of the middle class.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 14, 2013, 04:44:26 PM
Does any one have a limit how how much they would tip?

I have a bottom limit. Like DH and I grab lunch at a taqueria last week and our entire bill was $14 but we left a $4 tip which is my minimum but a sit down lunch service but works out to 40%.

But there have been business dinners with a group of 4 that we've ran up a tab where a 20% tip comes to over $100 for a 2 hour dinner. Every time I sign one of those tickets I realize the server is making a pretty high per hour salary just on serving our single table. I always wonder if one day I'm going to hit my upper limit and just rebel against the 20%. I quit going to one place near our office because the waiter asked if I'd like him to add 25 or 30% to the tab. Considering I was hosting a large group and the tab was over $1400, I was fine with telling him 20% since that was the restaurant policy for a group of 8 or more.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: noydb on October 14, 2013, 05:49:21 PM
I quit going to one place near our office because the waiter asked if I'd like him to add 25 or 30% to the tab. Considering I was hosting a large group and the tab was over $1400, I was fine with telling him 20% since that was the restaurant policy for a group of 8 or more.

The nerve!!!!  Seriously, I'm with you, that would end my business relationship with that restaurant.  *shaking my head*
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: magician5 on October 14, 2013, 09:37:29 PM
I never eat anyplace where a 25% tip instead of a 20% tip would break me (for me, an expensive dinner check is $20).

I get "my table" at a selection of the local ethnic joints, and they really repay an extra dollar or two with a warm welcome. I also go with my wife to Red Robin, and we return often because they fall all over themselves to serve us well even though (with her bariatric mini-stomach) we only eat, between us, a small entrée for one. In return, I simply can't repay all that friendly (and often extra) service with $2.40 on a $12 bill.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 14, 2013, 10:12:26 PM
I never eat anyplace where a 25% tip instead of a 20% tip would break me (for me, an expensive dinner check is $20).

I get "my table" at a selection of the local ethnic joints, and they really repay an extra dollar or two with a warm welcome. I also go with my wife to Red Robin, and we return often because they fall all over themselves to serve us well even though (with her bariatric mini-stomach) we only eat, between us, a small entrée for one. In return, I simply can't repay all that friendly (and often extra) service with $2.40 on a $12 bill.
I completely agree on not using a standard percentage on a low tab. For under $20 I always tip at least 4-5 dollars for table service. But with our family of 4 we seldom dine out with a tab of less than $65. 4 burgers, fries and drinks at our favorite counter burger spot is $43.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Library Dragon on October 14, 2013, 10:24:48 PM
Honestly, I wish if they aren't going to switch away from tipping that instead we go to a flat rate per person or per hour. I never could figure out why I should pay more for them to take and bring an order for a prime rib versus a burger.

I agree with this.  It takes the same amount of effort to take a burger and a prime rib out to the customer.  I will pay 25% or even more if I have a very inexpensive order and good service.  I'll often tip more than 25% if we just go out for breakfast, dessert, or have an otherwise inexpensive meal.  If we go out to dinner, especially at a pricier place, I figure the server makes plenty with an 15-18% tip.

POD

It takes no more energy to open a $50 bottle of wine as a $30 bottle of wine. 

When I have the local lunch special for $10 I always tip at least $3. A higher percentage, but well earned.  If I double the tax it's 16.5-18%.  I usually round up depending on how good the service is versus how much of that is high priced, low service items.  It usually ends up at 20%, but 25% is excessive.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: miranova on October 14, 2013, 10:35:22 PM
I won't be increasing my tip to 25%.  I know there are exceptions, but in general, most servers I know make more money than I do, and my job isn't a picnic either.  I haven't gotten a raise in 5 years.  Raising the tip percentage from 20 to 25% (assuming we accept 20% as the current standard which is debatable) would actually be a 25% increase in tipping income for servers.  I've never gotten a raise that substantial in my life.  I'm currently hoping and praying for a 2% raise this year.  I think it's getting out of hand.  The rest of us work hard too.  Let's keep things in perspective.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on October 14, 2013, 11:10:12 PM
I generally tip 20%, but that's because I like the "drop the last digit and double it" simplicity.  ;D

25%?  That's once a decade level of tipping (would likely be a little more often if we ate out a lot).
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: BabyMama on October 15, 2013, 09:10:45 AM
I tip 20% and up for good service, but I'm frequently a single diner, and live in a smallish city where people remember you (and I'm a minority race in a pretty white area, so the likelihood of that happening is fairly high), so I see it as a small investment for good service next time too. If my meal costs $8 or less, I'll round up to the next dollar for the tip. If service has been especially good, I'll throw in an extra two or three.)

I was reading article comments on Facebook the other week; it was one of those where the picture of the ticket was posted online, and people were angry because the tipper had left less than $5 (but they had tipped something like 23%.) Apparently some feel that you must leave $5 or 20%+, whichever is more. Um, no.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: menley on October 15, 2013, 12:10:25 PM
Does any one have a limit how how much they would tip?

I have a bottom limit. Like DH and I grab lunch at a taqueria last week and our entire bill was $14 but we left a $4 tip which is my minimum but a sit down lunch service but works out to 40%.

<snip>

Yes, I have a bottom limit as well. I often get delivery when my husband is working late or out of town, and food is super cheap here, so the total cost of my meal is $5-7. The standard here for delivery is just to round up your amount to the next bill, but that would be like, a $0.30 tip. I always give the equivalent of $2 in that situation.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: bopper on October 15, 2013, 12:16:32 PM
No, sorry, not going to tip 25%.  I have raised my tipping to 18-20% over the last few years, but as restaurant prices keep going up, tips go up too so I don't see the need to increase the %.  The only place I tip more is a little diner my friends and I go to for breakfast often.  The whole meal costs $5 (including coffee) so I generally tip $2-3 because I can't bring myself to leave those great waitresses a $1 tip.

I agree with this. The % stays the same (15-18%) but your take home amount is more because the price of the food is more.  This is why I don't tip more in NYC either...the price is double so you get more take home tip.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: cabbageweevil on October 15, 2013, 01:30:38 PM
I currently live in Europe and the standard is 10%, so the concept of 25% being expected is just sort of mind-boggling at the moment  :o

The creeping upwards in "acceptable" tips drives me crazy. When I was a kid it was acceptable to tip 10%, by the time I was in high school / college 15% was considered the norm. When I left the US 7 years later it was 20%, and now only two years later I'm being told it's 25%?

I'm east of the Atlantic, too -- in the UK.  As I've mentioned before on eHell -- the business about tipping in restaurants in the US, comes to be for me rather a disincentive re visiting the US, even if I could afford such a trip.  Have been reading discussions about this issue on various Internet sites, ever since my first discovering the Net a fair few years ago. At my "first discovering" time, 15% was generally quoted as the acceptable standard tip; then it became 20%; now 25% is being talked of (to my relief, the majority of posters on this thread are not in favour).  I can't help but wonder, though -- how long before the acceptable standard becomes 50%?  100%?  This thing truly strikes me as something of a bugbear, as regards visits to the States.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: TurtleDove on October 15, 2013, 01:33:28 PM
I agree with this. The % stays the same (15-18%) but your take home amount is more because the price of the food is more.  This is why I don't tip more in NYC either...the price is double so you get more take home tip.

The cost of living is higher in NYC too though, which is why the cost of eating out is higher.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: gellchom on October 15, 2013, 01:41:37 PM
I had a fellow professional-like server tell me once that you dont want have the tipping system go away bc then servers have no incentive to serve you awesomely.

That's pretty sad.  I always give my clients my best because that's what they are paying for, and because I take pride in my work.  I'm sorry restaurant servers don't see it that way.  But I bet most do and your friend is an exception (or doesn't report tips on their tax return!).  Anyway, by that logic, I shouldn't tip anything at all if I am not planning on ever returning to that restaurant, right?

Nope, sorry, the tip isn't a bribe for better service than others are getting (and, I suppose by definition, the extra attention I would be buying for myself would take away from others' service).  It's to pay for service.  And it just seems to me that the tipping system is an unfair system that underpays some servers, overpays others, confuses and bullies customers, and pretty much brings out the worst in everyone.  I'll continue to try to tip generously and fairly, but I sure wish we could dump the tipping system in favor of just paying servers, salon workers, and so forth fairly to do their jobs as we do in most fields.

The tips I resent a bit are the ones for something I don't even want -- like a restroom attendant, an airport van driver who grabs my carryon away from me when I don't need help, or required valet parking in a restaurant lot where I could easily (and more quickly) just park and get the car myself.  I still tip them, but I feel kind of trapped.

And I definitely agree about tip jars at locations like those Redneck Gravy listed.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: EllenS on October 15, 2013, 01:46:42 PM
I currently live in Europe and the standard is 10%, so the concept of 25% being expected is just sort of mind-boggling at the moment  :o

The creeping upwards in "acceptable" tips drives me crazy. When I was a kid it was acceptable to tip 10%, by the time I was in high school / college 15% was considered the norm. When I left the US 7 years later it was 20%, and now only two years later I'm being told it's 25%?

I'm east of the Atlantic, too -- in the UK.  As I've mentioned before on eHell -- the business about tipping in restaurants in the US, comes to be for me rather a disincentive re visiting the US, even if I could afford such a trip.  Have been reading discussions about this issue on various Internet sites, ever since my first discovering the Net a fair few years ago. At my "first discovering" time, 15% was generally quoted as the acceptable standard tip; then it became 20%; now 25% is being talked of (to my relief, the majority of posters on this thread are not in favour).  I can't help but wonder, though -- how long before the acceptable standard becomes 50%?  100%?  This thing truly strikes me as something of a bugbear, as regards visits to the States.

In my experience of eating out in Europe and the UK, though, it appears to me that the relative price for a restaurant meal is about 15%-20% higher than for a comparable meal/type of restaurant here.  The costs of the server's wage is built into the menu price. It evens out, at least in my travels.

The tip creep is insidious.  I'd rather see the US go to a living wage for servers and drop tipping, but it seems to be ingrained.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 15, 2013, 01:49:51 PM
Honestly, if I'm travelling, I don't really care if the server thinks I'm cheap.  It's not like I'm going to be eating there again any time soon.  You'll get 15 to 20%, depending on the quality of the service.  And if you don't like it?  I don't care.

It would be different if it was a place in my home town that I go to all the time.  If the town culture is 25%, I either tip 25% or I stop going out.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Clarissa on October 15, 2013, 05:14:04 PM
I live in England and tipping is not the norm. Not at least where I live ( the midlands). I do understand that in the U.S it's different, but I can't understand why the waiter/ess is not paid a proper wage to start with. I do tip for exceptional service.
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: Twik on October 15, 2013, 05:23:19 PM
I have no problem tipping 25% (I generally tip 20% or more).  I make good money - definitely more than my servers do - and I count the tip as part of the cost of going out.  When I was a server, it was not my "career" (it was during summers when I was in college and law school) but I appreciated being tipped well.  I "needed" the money but it was not my only source of income (I had scholarships, grants, and student loans as well).  I was never worried about whether I would be able to eat that week, but I know that it not the case for a lot of servers.

When I consider that other servers are in the position I was in (students trying to minimize loans and get a step up when they enter "the real world"), I want to tip them well.  And then I consider that for some people server is their career and only source of income and I want to tip them even better.  A few dollars more in a tip is immaterial to my bottom line (in fact, I factor it into my budget).  However, a few dollars more from each patron could mean a single mother is able to pay her rent *and* school clothes this month, for example.  I realize not everyone has the means to think this way, or the desire to think this way, but for me, I do not begrudge servers a few extra dollars out of my wallet.

The problem is that the line is always moving. How will you feel in ten years, when USA Today is telling us that the bare minimum to tip is 50%, and generous people leave at least 100%?
Title: Re: tipping 25%
Post by: TurtleDove on October 15, 2013, 09:11:19 PM
I will feel the same and I will tip as *I* see fit.