Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: Katana_Geldar on November 17, 2013, 06:53:31 AM

Title: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on November 17, 2013, 06:53:31 AM
Saw this link and it had me shaking my head.

http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/australians-tipping-more-than-ever-before-according-to-university-of-melbourne-study/story-e6frfm9r-1226762105086

It is nice that more people are tipping, but that doesn't mean we should make it mandatory like in the US. We give people a good basic living wage so there's no need to beg for tips, it's extra for very good service (and I have given tips for this).

What do you guys think? If an employee is given a good wage, do you think it should be necessary to tip them too for average or poor service?
Title: Re: Australian should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: menley on November 17, 2013, 06:56:51 AM
Oy. If I expressed my true thoughts, the thread would likely be closed due to ranting :) So let me just say that when people are paid a sufficient wage, tipping should be reserved to those cases where someone truly provided exceptional service, and that this should be completely optional and at the discretion of the tipper.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Lindee on November 17, 2013, 03:28:21 PM
Dreadful idea. I think the american tipping model is a nightmare and I hate it whenever I visit there, please don't start it here.
Title: Re: Australian should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: gramma dishes on November 17, 2013, 03:44:48 PM
Oy. If I expressed my true thoughts, the thread would likely be closed due to ranting :) So let me just say that when people are paid a sufficient wage, tipping should be reserved to those cases where someone truly provided exceptional service, and that this should be completely optional and at the discretion of the tipper.

Dreadful idea. I think the american tipping model is a nightmare and I hate it whenever I visit there, please don't start it here.

I agree totally with Menley and also with Lindee, except that I DO live here, but I agree it's a nightmare!
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: sammycat on November 17, 2013, 03:46:51 PM
Dreadful idea. I think the american tipping model is a nightmare and I hate it whenever I visit there, please don't start it here.

THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've never tipped here, and I never, ever, will. It's up to the employer to pay their workers' wages, not the customer.

Between working out tips and tax, eating out in the US is a nightmare on our holidays.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: katycoo on November 17, 2013, 03:50:55 PM
I, as with most Australians, tip when its called for.  Otherwise, people will often leave their coins if paying in cash.  And that's about it.

Market deregulation isn't going to get rid of the Federal Minimum Wage.
Quote
Insiders have declared it is time Australia embraced the American gratuity system in a bid to lift the standards of hotels and restaurants and boost employee pay packets.

Pah.  People who work hard and provide exceptional service already get recognised for that effort with tips.  Noone wants to end up ina  situation where you are obligated to 'tip' for poor or barely adequate service.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on November 17, 2013, 03:53:48 PM
I actually tipped fairly recently, when the server at a pasta bar helped me choose a menu item that was a creamy sauce without raw egg or soft cheese. The sauce had ham in it which he offered to remove too as I couldn't eat that either. I tipped him a few dollars in the tip jar, it was worth it as he helped me a lot.

And they're the sort of things I tip for. Like the cab driver who helped us move Ikea boxes from his van to the garage or the porter at the hotel who helped us when we had lots of bags and parcels on our wedding night. This is exceptional service and I don't mind rewarding.

And when on a cruise, I like to prepay tips and then add on top. It's easier.

And they better not do anything about the minimum wage. There will be consequences.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: sammycat on November 17, 2013, 04:12:40 PM
Quote
Insiders have declared it is time Australia embraced the American gratuity system in a bid to lift the standards of hotels and restaurants and boost employee pay packets.


I eat out a lot and have stayed in hotels all over the world. I can't say I've seen a difference in service between tipping and non tipping countries.  Most are pretty equal, with the occasional very good or very bad experience.  I've always found Australian service to be very high so I don't know where the writer got the notion that standards here have to be lifted.

I love the fact that when I go out to eat here, the price listed on the menu is the total price I have to pay. Having to muck about working out tax plus tip on top of that makes eating out in the US very unpleasant. I like to know that if I've got $10 to spend, then I can afford to buy the $9.95 menu item, not have to think 'oh wait, by the time I add tax and a tip, it's going to cost $12, so I can really only afford the $7 item instead'.
Title: Re: Australian should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: jedikaiti on November 17, 2013, 06:56:29 PM
Oy. If I expressed my true thoughts, the thread would likely be closed due to ranting :) So let me just say that when people are paid a sufficient wage, tipping should be reserved to those cases where someone truly provided exceptional service, and that this should be completely optional and at the discretion of the tipper.

As an American, I think this is spot on. The only reason servers get tipped here is because they DON'T make a living wage.

Pay your people, save tips for over & above situations.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: violetminnow on November 17, 2013, 07:03:48 PM
American here. Run far and fast from tipping! :)

I wouldn't recommend instituting tipping to anyone. Considering how heated threads here and elsewhere can be I'd say they're bad for our overall happiness. Some people get petty about service and "punish" their server, some are cheap and try to find excuses to not tip, some people overtip as an ego boost so they can feel better than others, and servers get to either feel bad that they didn't do well enough or resentful because they did but were being held to crazy unreasonable standards by someone who didn't really want to tip. I tip, but I think it's a bad system.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: turnip on November 17, 2013, 07:12:51 PM
I'll also add that studies have shown that there is a lot of troubling 'discrimination' that goes on in tipping.  Your gender, race, physical appearance, etc., can make vasts amounts of difference in the amount you are tipped - all other factors being equal.   It puts kind of nasty face on the whole thing, IMO.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Julian on November 17, 2013, 07:26:20 PM
I think the fact that on EH, with a very large proportion of US posters, still has regular threads on tipping is very telling on how overall confusing and contentious the issue can be.

I know during my trip to the US I was in a constant state of anxiety re tipping - too much, not enough, who to tip etc. 

If the US residents, who live with tipping every day, get confused, what hope for the rest of us?  :P
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Library Dragon on November 17, 2013, 07:57:11 PM
American here. Run far and fast from tipping! :)

I wouldn't recommend instituting tipping to anyone. Considering how heated threads here and elsewhere can be I'd say they're bad for our overall happiness. Some people get petty about service and "punish" their server, some are cheap and try to find excuses to not tip, some people overtip as an ego boost so they can feel better than others, and servers get to either feel bad that they didn't do well enough or resentful because they did but were being held to crazy unreasonable standards by someone who didn't really want to tip. I tip, but I think it's a bad system.

POD

I tip average to well because I know servers depend in tips.  But, there are so many others that provide services that aren't tipped and end up making less than the waitstaff at an upscale restaurant.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Bluenomi on November 17, 2013, 09:44:43 PM
No tipping please! It's an added complication you don't need when eating out.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: jaxsue on November 17, 2013, 09:53:56 PM
Dreadful idea. I think the american tipping model is a nightmare and I hate it whenever I visit there, please don't start it here.

I am an American, and I completely agree! I used to wait tables, and one of my bosses used to brag that he got away with paying us really low wages -  $2.15 an hour.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Pen^2 on November 18, 2013, 01:12:13 AM
I agree with PPs. It's a terrible idea. The minimum wage is high enough that it simply isn't required. I personally enjoy being able to reward truly exceptional service when I see it by tipping or, more often, purchasing something for the worker (flowers, a drink, etc. depending on their job and circumstance) rather than having to pay extra to everyone, no matter how lackluster their performance, because their employer isn't paying them enough to get by.

And that's enough before I start a huge rant about why it's the stupidest idea since lead make-up. Ugh.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: AussieMale on December 31, 2013, 02:00:32 PM
Americans... when you come to Australia... please don't tip unless you are receiving exceptional service...

I don't think any sane Australian wants the tipping nightmare to begin here...

Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: MrsJWine on December 31, 2013, 02:08:11 PM
I love tipping here in the US. I used to work for tips, and I love giving tips. But just because it works here (mostly, depending on who you talk to) doesn't mean it needs to start happening elsewhere. It's just a different system. No need to impose it on another place that has a system that works perfectly fine to begin with. I think that's just asking for problems.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: RubyCat on December 31, 2013, 02:42:47 PM
American here. Run far and fast from tipping! :)

I wouldn't recommend instituting tipping to anyone. Considering how heated threads here and elsewhere can be I'd say they're bad for our overall happiness. Some people get petty about service and "punish" their server, some are cheap and try to find excuses to not tip, some people overtip as an ego boost so they can feel better than others, and servers get to either feel bad that they didn't do well enough or resentful because they did but were being held to crazy unreasonable standards by someone who didn't really want to tip. I tip, but I think it's a bad system.

As an American who recently posted with a tipping dilemma I can't agree enough. I think employers should pay a good enough wage that people are able/willing to work for. When I was young, it was customary to tip 10%, which was easy enough to calculate. Then 15% became the custom; now it is 20%. Recently, I saw an article suggesting tipping 25% because the cost of living has increased. I don't think that one will fly. 

I wish we could do away with it.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on December 31, 2013, 05:06:14 PM
I think they're trying to with increasing the minimum wage.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: mime on December 31, 2013, 05:25:07 PM
American here. Run far and fast from tipping! :)

I wouldn't recommend instituting tipping to anyone. Considering how heated threads here and elsewhere can be I'd say they're bad for our overall happiness. Some people get petty about service and "punish" their server, some are cheap and try to find excuses to not tip, some people overtip as an ego boost so they can feel better than others, and servers get to either feel bad that they didn't do well enough or resentful because they did but were being held to crazy unreasonable standards by someone who didn't really want to tip. I tip, but I think it's a bad system.

POD

I tip average to well because I know servers depend in tips.  But, there are so many others that provide services that aren't tipped and end up making less than the waitstaff at an upscale restaurant.


Yes Yes Yes!  Another USA resident here.  I tip a standard amount in almost all cases because it has become is more of a 'service fee' for the server than a tip.  I'll increase for great service, and in my mind that increase is the REAL tip. I think the system is ridiculous and wish we'd do away with it here and just increase the menu prices and let our discretionary tips (if any) actually be a reward for over and above, rather than an expectation.

Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: shhh its me on December 31, 2013, 05:39:29 PM
  As an American I hope you don't.  I don't think true tipping is bad but what we've to some not all tip industries. Paying an insanely low wage to waitstaff is really unconscionable.  Federal minimum wage is $7.25 a hour most people agree that's not enough to live on as an independent adult(some argue that working at McDonald for example isn't a career so you don't need to earn a living wage but I've never heard anyone try to say "You can work 40 hours a week earning $7.25 an be an independent adult") the minimum wage for waitstaff is $2.13. *just as an example a gallon of milk cost $2.50 *  Good waitstaff in decently run restaurants make considerable more but the system depends far too much on peoples sense of fairness.


A customer of a company shouldn't really be able to decide that one single worker should not be paid or how much, that's whats its really become. 
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Iris on January 01, 2014, 12:01:46 AM
I read the thread title and immediately thought "No. Why would we do that?"

The only way that tipping should become a necessity is if minimum wage is no longer a living wage, and I would literally take to the streets if that were proposed.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Danika on January 01, 2014, 05:38:36 AM
Yet another American here. I hate hate hate that our system expects people to tip. Now we have coffee baristas and frozen yogurt retailers asking for tips when they didn't and couldn't do anything above and beyond what was in their job descriptions. It never ends.

And then the confusion that the 15% tip should go on the pre-tax amount, but our food is taxed, so many people pay on the post-tax amount. And the ridiculous laws of the state that I live in where every city and county have different tax levels, so a $1 item costs more in one city than it does across the street in another city. Not to mention that the prices on things here in the US are pre-tax so you never know how much cash to have in hand when you go to pay for something you've ordered and the lines take longer than necessarily because people are counting out change and digging in pockets.

No! Australians, please, don't do this to yourselves!
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Redsoil on January 01, 2014, 06:57:39 AM
I can't see Aussies ever really "taking" to tipping.  It's just not done unless circumstances are exceptional.  I think adult wage for restaurant staff is around $26 an hour?  Plus time and a half/double time in certain circumstances.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: kareng57 on January 01, 2014, 08:38:45 PM
I'm Canadian, not American, but servers in my area must be paid minimum wage anyway.  While I'm not completely against tipping, I don't think it should be mandatory when the service is lackluster.  Yes, I realize that servers work very hard, but so do warehouse workers (as an example) and no one tips them.  I certainly wouldn't recommend starting tipping in a culture where it's not routine.

Servers in upscale restaurants here can really make an enviable wage when the tips are factored in.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: CakeEater on January 02, 2014, 01:46:12 AM
No. No tipping.

I want someone to provide an item or a service, I want to see the price tag and then I'll decide whether I want to pay. No tipping, no haggling, no trying to get a better deal.


Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Psychopoesie on January 02, 2014, 04:45:16 AM
No tipping for me either.   It seems needlessly complicated when we have an alternative system which seems to work. I'm not seeing any advantage for me as a customer, anyway.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 02, 2014, 05:22:18 AM
I'm not Australian, or North American; but the content of this thread, brings to mind for me things which often occur to me when reading about certain aspects of US life.  Unfortunately, I've never been in a position to visit the USA.  Should I ever manage to do so -- I'd be apprehensive about ongoingly being driven slightly crazy by the "sales tax" business (I'm used to the amount displayed, being the amount that I'm required to pay !), and by the potential for mayhem in the realm of tipping.

Can "see with my head" that the conventions for tipping in US restaurants are considerably below rocket-science level as regards difficulty in understanding them; and that for the great majority of the time, things proceed smoothly on track and everyone is reasonably happy -- frankly, though, the whole US system re the remuneration of restaurant staff, strikes me as a dreadful one.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Peppergirl on January 02, 2014, 05:46:20 AM
American here.  I despise our tipping system and wouldn't wish it on anyone. 
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Mel the Redcap on January 02, 2014, 06:45:44 AM
No. No, we shouldn't. :o
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Froslass on January 02, 2014, 07:48:32 AM
I can't see Aussies ever really "taking" to tipping.  It's just not done unless circumstances are exceptional.  I think adult wage for restaurant staff is around $26 an hour?  Plus time and a half/double time in certain circumstances.

I'd love to work somewhere that would pay me that much! :) I'm an Australian working in a restaurant and I make around $11 an hour - that being said, I definitely don't think that we should embrace the tipping culture.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: katycoo on January 05, 2014, 07:17:08 PM
I can't see Aussies ever really "taking" to tipping.  It's just not done unless circumstances are exceptional.  I think adult wage for restaurant staff is around $26 an hour?  Plus time and a half/double time in certain circumstances.

I'd love to work somewhere that would pay me that much! :) I'm an Australian working in a restaurant and I make around $11 an hour - that being said, I definitely don't think that we should embrace the tipping culture.

Your should check your award then - that seems very low.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on January 05, 2014, 07:33:23 PM
The Federal minimal wage is about $16, is there a reason you're not getting this?
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 05, 2014, 09:52:51 PM
Tipping allows an embedded discrimination in US culture - minority/overweight/disabled/non-conventionally-good-looking people can't be discriminated against directly, but they can be statistically undertipped by a significant percentage of their customers.  It has the same effect - they don't get paid as much as the pretty, thin, white, able-bodied servers do.  And unfortunately, it's a difficult discrimination to fight, since any individual server may earn more than another - so if you don't make enough tips, it's easy for someone else to say "You should have been working harder!" instead of "You should be better looking!"
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Froslass on January 05, 2014, 11:48:14 PM
The Federal minimal wage is about $16, is there a reason you're not getting this?

Honestly, I'm not sure, but I have a few friends who work in different restaurants and they all make between $10-$12. I don't know why it's so low but it seems universal.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Iris on January 06, 2014, 12:07:32 AM
The Federal minimal wage is about $16, is there a reason you're not getting this?

Honestly, I'm not sure, but I have a few friends who work in different restaurants and they all make between $10-$12. I don't know why it's so low but it seems universal.

Are you young? There is a minimum 'youth wage' that is lower than the minimum, but every young person I know in a proper restaurant gets about $20 per hour, so I'd watch for dirty work. You may find this link useful http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/pay-rates-calculator/pages/default.aspx (http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/pay-rates-calculator/pages/default.aspx).
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on January 06, 2014, 12:26:49 AM
Ask what award you're employed under, that has the right pay rate. Are you full time, part time or casual? If you're casual, you're being underpaid.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: veryfluffy on January 06, 2014, 09:29:48 AM
I read the threads not just about restaurants, but almost everyone in the service industry that you come into contact with, and it's scary!

Are there any Americans who think the tipping system there is wonderful?
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Danika on January 06, 2014, 09:58:32 AM
Are there any Americans who think the tipping system there is wonderful?

Among my friends and colleagues, I don't know of one person who likes the tipping system. But my friends and colleagues are all salaried and none of us work in an industry that earns tips, so I don't know what waiters/waitresses would say.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: menley on January 06, 2014, 10:19:53 AM
I read the threads not just about restaurants, but almost everyone in the service industry that you come into contact with, and it's scary!

Are there any Americans who think the tipping system there is wonderful?

I worked for someone who waited tables to pay his way through college and he loved the tipping culture because he was very good and worked at a very high-end restaurant, so the tips he earned were hefty. He also (illegally...) kept most of his tips off his income tax form as they were often paid in cash (he said it was not at all unusual to be slipped a $100 bill as people left their tables).

For the majority of the people I know, they are split in two camps. People who did the above LOVE the tipping system and would fight desperately to keep it.  People who either have never waited tables, or people who have waited tables in a restaurant or environment where they don't receive good tips or have to pass on tips to the busboy, kitchen, bartender, etc., HATE the system and would get rid of it with a fingersnap if they could. There's rarely in-between opinions amongst my crowd.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: MrsJWine on January 06, 2014, 02:56:37 PM
Are there any Americans who think the tipping system there is wonderful?

Among my friends and colleagues, I don't know of one person who likes the tipping system. But my friends and colleagues are all salaried and none of us work in an industry that earns tips, so I don't know what waiters/waitresses would say.

I loved working for tips. Some shifts were bad, but it evened out over time to a very good income. I worked my butt off, and while I might have had a slight advantage being young and relatively attractive, several of the higher earners at my job were neither. It's a great job if you have the right personality for it, and most people I know who liked it enough to stick with it for a while would say the same.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: shhh its me on January 06, 2014, 04:12:53 PM
Are there any Americans who think the tipping system there is wonderful?

Among my friends and colleagues, I don't know of one person who likes the tipping system. But my friends and colleagues are all salaried and none of us work in an industry that earns tips, so I don't know what waiters/waitresses would say.

I loved working for tips. Some shifts were bad, but it evened out over time to a very good income. I worked my butt off, and while I might have had a slight advantage being young and relatively attractive, several of the higher earners at my job were neither. It's a great job if you have the right personality for it, and most people I know who liked it enough to stick with it for a while would say the same.

From a customer stand point I think the issue is ,its an obligation for me to tip 20% or the waitperson receives virtually no compensation.  20 years ago minimum wage was about $3.15 a hour I believe the service industry was $1.15  (you could also buy groceries for $25 a week , find a 2 bedroom apt for $360 heat and water included, gas was less then a dollar a gallon , heath insurance was $40 a month for great coverage. So minimum wage was at least close to a living wage) So a waitperson could live with a roommate getting only $16 in tips per day.  Now they need $40 in tips to get to minimum wage and $80 to get to a living wage. When a waitperson needed to make $2 in tips in a hour I felt I could tip very little for poor service now I don't fee like less then 15% is an option, I feel the most pressure in the least expensive places and the least busy.

 Maybe I'm miss-remembering it but I don't think restaurant prices have consistently increased by 500%. I'm throwing that out there because if breakfast and coffee for 2 was $5 20 years ago and its now $10  at 20% tips the waitperson needs to serve 3 tables for 2 to get to minimum wage and 6 to get to a living wage per hour vs needed to serve 2 for min and 3 for living wage 20 years ago. That's not account for splitting tips, with busyboys (who I think do earn minimum wage ) cooks , hostess etc.

I don't think tipping is evil I think not paying a real base wage is.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: baglady on January 06, 2014, 08:46:03 PM
I'm American and I have no problem with tipping in general. I *do* have a problem with the fact that the restaurant industry (in most states) is allowed to pay servers less than minimum wage because they get tips. It should not be *my* job as a customer to make sure *your* employees are paid a living wage, Mr./Ms. Restaurant Owner.

Here in the U.S. it's also customary to tip hairdressers, bellboys, hotel maids and taxi drivers. But all those jobs pay minimum wage or more. I don't understand why the restaurant industry gets away with being the exception, and it's not a system I'd wish on Australia, or anywhere else.

(For the record, I'm a good tipper, and I would continue to tip well even if servers weren't forced by the system to rely on tips the way they are now.)

Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: gollymolly2 on January 06, 2014, 08:53:14 PM
I'm another American who doesn't mind the tipping system. There are definitely some confusing situations like when you're not sure whether/how much to tip in new situations (like your first time dealing with carpet cleaners, say). But otherwise, I find it very easy to calculate 20% and add it to my bill. It takes me almost no time at all. And I think it actually often benefits restaurant workers, who I think often end up making way more than minimum wage (I certainly did, and I didn't work at particularly fancy places). I think with tipping, workers end up getting to keep a higher percentage of the bill than they would if restaurants just raised prices by 20% and paid servers a standard wage.

I'm not saying tipping is perfect or other cultures should adopt it, but I don't mind it at all and in fact I think it often benefits both the workers and guests.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Bethczar on January 08, 2014, 07:00:09 PM
I'm another American who doesn't mind the tipping system. There are definitely some confusing situations like when you're not sure whether/how much to tip in new situations (like your first time dealing with carpet cleaners, say).
As an American, it can another problem is deciding who to tip. For example, I would never think to tip carpet cleaners.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: MrsJWine on January 08, 2014, 09:21:09 PM
I don't tip anyone other than servers and hotel service workers, that I can think of. If I were ever unsure, I would look it up and see if it's a profession where tipping has been standard for a while, or if it's new.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Danika on January 09, 2014, 01:35:26 PM
American here. I only tip waiters/waitresses, cab drivers and valets (parking my car), and hairdressers.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 09, 2014, 01:58:15 PM
American here. I only tip waiters/waitresses, cab drivers and valets (parking my car), and hairdressers.

Yeah, those are the only ones I would think of as "mandatory" (okay, with the addition of bellhops).  And even there, servers are the only ones whose tips are socially codified as a % of the total cost - the others are "a few bucks" or "some" or "round up to an even number" or whatnot.  There are tons of other jobs which may receive tips - tour guides, baristas, hotel cleaning staff, etc - but I don't think you'd see a consensus even among Americans in a specific region whether any of those tips are "expected" versus just "a nice thing to do."
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: shhh its me on January 09, 2014, 04:17:19 PM
American here. I only tip waiters/waitresses, cab drivers and valets (parking my car), and hairdressers.

Yeah, those are the only ones I would think of as "mandatory" (okay, with the addition of bellhops).  And even there, servers are the only ones whose tips are socially codified as a % of the total cost - the others are "a few bucks" or "some" or "round up to an even number" or whatnot.  There are tons of other jobs which may receive tips - tour guides, baristas, hotel cleaning staff, etc - but I don't think you'd see a consensus even among Americans in a specific region whether any of those tips are "expected" versus just "a nice thing to do."
and bell boys and skycab
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Library Dragon on January 09, 2014, 05:46:44 PM
This is part of my problem with the tipping culture.  Who to tip and the expectations increase and vary.  Furniture delivery seems to be a more common thing.

I just had a new extra-large lounge chair delivered to my home Saturday.  They carried out my old sofa to the garage.  I tipped them $20.  They were actually surprised that I tipped them for 5 minutes worth of work.  Well, it saved me a hassle since I didn't have to mess with it.

On the flip side last year I had a furniture delivery and when I asked with help shifting something the lead person proclaimed they weren't paid to do that.  Well I had planned to tip her and her crew for helping.  Never mind.  Then she was snippy that I didn't tip them at all.  I asked DS2 and his friends to do it later in the evening.  I gave them the tip money instead. 

Then there's the postman (I give him a box of chocolates because he makes a point of giving me my mail if our vehicles are passing in the street), the garbage men (who don't get out of the truck), on and on and on.  I'd rather tip the local fast food server who always makes sure there's no ketchup on my burger and only a few ice cubes in my drink.  She's given me better service than many others.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: MrsJWine on January 09, 2014, 06:12:43 PM
I just don't tip if it's not a well-established custom. Tipping is only taking over because people do it out of nervousness. Just don't. If you're unsure, look it up.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Lynnv on January 09, 2014, 07:56:15 PM
American here. I only tip waiters/waitresses, cab drivers and valets (parking my car), and hairdressers.

and bell boys and skycab

I count restaurant delivery folks as part of waitstaff (they are just waitstaff with cars and limited table service duties), so they always get tipped too.  Add in my tattoo artist and you have my list here.  There are other folks I will tip if they go above and beyond.  But this is (off the top of my head) the list of the ones I consider to be more or less mandatory.  If something has gone so wrong that I am not tipping these folks, then I am also complaining to management.

And if I lived somewhere that tips were not part of the culture, I would be thrilled to death.  I hate having to pay the salary that, IMO, the employer should be paying.  I realize that many (or even most) people who live and die by tips are okay with the system.  But I hate it.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Library Dragon on January 09, 2014, 08:09:21 PM
Looking it up doesn't guarantee an absolute answer. 

For furniture delivery people there is contradictory advice.

One source says no, http://www.itipping.com/tip-guide-services.htm (http://www.itipping.com/tip-guide-services.htm)
Another says yes, http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/the-ultimate-tipping-guide-who-to-tip-and-how-much/6 (http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/the-ultimate-tipping-guide-who-to-tip-and-how-much/6)

Opinions get split on tipping owners who provide hair or spa services. Some etiquette sources say no, but Peggy Post says yes. 
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: CakeEater on January 09, 2014, 09:15:42 PM
I just don't know how you manage all your cash. I rarely have cash on hand in the denominations that might be required to tip an appropriate amount in all those situations. I suppose you can't really ask for change, either!

We went on holidays to China a few years ago, and I found it ridiculously stressful to be always thinking about having cash, who to tip, how much, when to give it etc. And with the exchange rate on top, made it all a step harder.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 10, 2014, 01:29:37 AM
I just don't know how you manage all your cash. I rarely have cash on hand in the denominations that might be required to tip an appropriate amount in all those situations. I suppose you can't really ask for change, either!

We went on holidays to China a few years ago, and I found it ridiculously stressful to be always thinking about having cash, who to tip, how much, when to give it etc. And with the exchange rate on top, made it all a step harder.

It's less of an issue than it used to be, because you can tip on a credit card for pretty much anything you use a credit card to pay for.  You still need cash for a bellhop or a valet, but other than that you can use plastic for your server/hairdresser/movers/etc.  I rarely carry cash because I almost never need it.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Iris on January 10, 2014, 06:08:30 AM
Just to say, we went out to dinner tonight for a birthday. There was a massive group of us, mixed orders as well as a banquet, and a significant dietary restriction to deal with. So at the end we left what was considered a big tip. So much so that the waiter gave it back to me as change and I had to say that no, that really was for her.

But now that I think about it, it was a 5% tip (because the bill was huge). I think that Australia has a long way to go before we have a US style culture.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Danika on January 10, 2014, 09:56:23 AM
I don't know many Americans who do carry cash. Most tip on the credit cards.

But it gets messy and I think sometimes workers might get offended because they are expecting a certain amount for a tip and don't always get it. For example, there are a lot of times a big group of friends will go to dinner and at the end, everyone will put their credit card on the bill and tell the server "split it 7 ways" but then some leave tips, other's don't, some don't want to tip more than 10%, some feel differently and tip more. That's why a lot of restaurants have the policy that all groups of more than X amount of people get a mandatory 18% gratuity/tip added to their bills. Then, some people don't read the fine print and see that so then they tip on top of the 18% that's already on the bill.

And then there are times when you go to a place where they advertise that the service will be Y amount of dollars, but you get your bill and it's higher. But you don't have time to talk to the server about why they charged you for X when they advertised that it would be free, because you're in a hurry to leave to go to your movie, so you leave a smaller tip because you hadn't budgetted to pay more for the service/meal.

For example, DH and I went to a restaurant that we really like the other night. It said that kids meals are free. Usually, that means one child per adult, so if you have 2 adults and 6 kids, only 2 kid meals are free. We were 2 adults and 2 kids. After we paid and left, I asked DH why he only left about a 13% tip when the server had been so great, and he said it was because the bill had included one of the kids' meals. I asked why he didn't ask about it, but it was late at night and we wanted to get home and get the kids to bed, so he didn't feel like waiting for the server to come back and ask, etc. He did pay by credit card, so he saw the bill before he paid. I don't know why he didn't ask. But I imagine this type of misunderstanding/mistake happens fairly often and then the server gets confused as to why they didn't get a higher tip. I wouldn't have handled it like my DH did, but that wasn't my decision since he paid.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: baglady on January 11, 2014, 10:15:52 AM
About a year ago a bunch of us went for the first time to a pub we'd heard about that specialized in exotic beers. We were a large party and an automatic gratuity was added to our bill. But there was also a line on the bill to write in a tip.

A couple of people in our party got very irate about this -- the greediness of expecting a tip on top of a tip! -- and vowed never to go back.

I figured it was just what their system does: includes the tip line on all bills, whether or not an autograt has been charged. Sort of like Braille on a drive-up ATM.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Sharnita on January 19, 2014, 07:31:26 AM
I do think that in a tipping culture there is more of an effort to please the customer,  which I certainly appreciate. 
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: Julian on January 19, 2014, 03:15:45 PM
Even in a non-tipping culture though, there is still the option of tipping if you have a great dining experience.

I've experienced the US culture, if briefly, and I must say the majority of wait staff there that I experienced are exemplary, however I've had just as good food and service here in Australia without the expectation of tips.  It may cost more up-front here, but at least I know that the wait staff are being paid a reasonable wage, and that they won't get stiffed by other patrons.

I certainly don't mind tipping in restaurants if the experience is worth it, however it seems to me that the growth of tipping expectation that is happening in the US, eg furniture movers, etc, is a very slippery slope. 

For an international visitor, the US is a very confusing place re tipping.  Who to tip, when, how much.  I spent an inordinate amount of time stressing over whether I was tipping appropriately when I was there, and that was even after some fabulous advice from EHell.  I didn't want to short anyone, and I didn't want to offend anyone who wasn't normally tipped.  I suspect I tipped over and above on occasions (the cocktail waitress at the casino that offered me change!), and I probably failed to tip someone I should have.  Erk.

Aussies apparently have a reputation as poor tippers...  I don't want to further that impression when I'm travelling.
Title: Re: Australians should embrace tipping culture?
Post by: jedikaiti on January 19, 2014, 03:24:59 PM
I read the threads not just about restaurants, but almost everyone in the service industry that you come into contact with, and it's scary!

Are there any Americans who think the tipping system there is wonderful?

A good server at a reasonably priced restaurant can easily make more than they would if they were salaried or hourly. I had one friend who had a good solid salaried job during the week, and was a bartender at a neighborhood restaurant/bar on the weekends. He made enough in tips at the bar to live on, and the salary was fun money.