Author Topic: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!  (Read 2178 times)

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Luci45

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Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« on: September 04, 2013, 04:55:32 PM »
I just read that restaurants do not like putting tips on our credit card as it makes more work for them, whereas, a few years ago, I read that restaurants like it because it makes bookkeeping easier for them and usually there is no problem with the servers being compensated. So which is it?

For us (Lucas and I), in a one of a kind place, we pay cash and leave a cash tip.

Usually in larger places, we pay by credit card and leave a cash tip or the tip on the card. Just depends on our whim.

With legalities, the IRS, and the act of declaring real tips aside, does anyone know what would make the managers and servers happiest?

(Just to let you know, my standard is 15%, down to 10% for substandard service, and up to 20% for awsome, so I may be a little out of date here.)

Zizi-K

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 05:02:49 PM »
Credit card tips are normal and ubiquitous. Putting a tip on a credit card makes the tip traceable (auditable?) and therefore the servers are held more accountable for paying the taxes that they should rightly pay. But as an American who eats out regularly, I never think twice about tipping on the credit card. I leave the tip however I paid for the meal, just as you described. It is not 'more work' because everyone does it, and they have systems in place for dealing with it. I would not concern yourself with this at all.

blackthumb

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 05:22:51 PM »
Servers like cash because they can get away with not claiming that income to the IRS. As a (very recent) former server, I've never gotten bent out of shape because a guest left the tip on their credit card. IMHO a server that complains about being paid a fair wage in one of the most common payment forms because they can't dodge their tax liability is kind of a jerk.

It should be noted that at my restaurant I never had to wait for my credit card tips and management never tried to steal my money. I've read of those kind of things happening at other places but don't know how widespread it is.

Bottom line, Luci45, whichever payment form that fits you best at that moment is perfectly fine. I wouldn't worry about using any type of currency that the restaurant chooses to accept.

EllenS

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 06:11:08 PM »
This is the sort of thing you will get different answers about, because there probably are some restaurant manager/owners who prefer it one way or the other.

Both are perfectly polite.

Personally, I think it is a bit odd for someone-especially a business owner- to claim that it is "too much work" to get paid. 

HappilyInsane

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 08:32:57 PM »
From a server point of view, if you pay a cash tip, they get it that night. If you are putting it on your card, they have to wait until payday to get it. At least that is how it works in most places I know about. That also means more record keeping for the boss, because he has to keep a total of how much he owes each server.

From Management point of view, it may have more to do with the fees they have to pay to run your card. A lot of places are charged a flat fee per transaction plus a percentage of the purchase price. That puts them actually paying to give someone cash. My place a employment is not exactly like a restaurant, but this is the reason my boss will not run cards for cash or anything over amount of purchase.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 08:40:04 PM »
I tip in cash if I have it; otherwise I add the tip to the credit card.

My SIL, who is a hair stylist, prefers to get all payment in cash (not just the tip) because of the fees.  She works in a salon, but the stylists are semi-independent and their charges are separate. She has to pay the fees for all her charges, including the tip. 
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Library Dragon

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 01:22:55 AM »
We try and tip in cash due to fees deducted for the credit card.  DS1 works the hot pass in a restaurant.  He's told us horror stories of restaurants that keep tips from credit cards months before tipping out the wait staff.  I don't want anyone waiting on their pay. 

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greencat

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 03:09:58 AM »
Most servers prefer cash tips because of the immediacy of receipt, however, it is usually customary to tip with the same method you used to pay for the meal.  I also know some restaurants that "tip out" the servers from the cash drawer based on the credit card receipts at the end of the night, so even credit card tips go home with them as cash that night!

kherbert05

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 06:13:39 AM »
You didn't do anything wrong.

I try to leave a cash tip - because personal experience in 2 different locations (club Dad belonged to and a place a cousin worked) were the manager was stealing tips from staff.

Dad found out about the thing at his club and organized the members to get rid of the manager.

Cousin thing was more recent. The restaurant was a local chain that pretty much everyone in my generation and the next worked for summers HS/collage. Cousin told older cousins a couple of them called the owners at home and told them what was going on at a this location. Manager was fired.
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Cami

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 10:39:19 AM »
I tip the way  that is the easiest for me. I am the customer and that is my right.  It's not my problem to make managers and servers happy. My duties end at treating them politely and tipping them the appropriate amount. Not making their financial lives easier.

And I say this as someone whose company spends a HUGE amount of time processing credit cards. It's a cost of doing business. If you as a business owner don't want that cost, then stop accepting credit cards entirely. (And watch what happens to your bottom line. In most cases, it won't be pretty.)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 10:45:33 AM by Cami »

WillyNilly

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 10:43:03 AM »
There are a lot of perfectly reasonable things a customer can do that restaurants don't like (only ordering loss leader items and no beverages for example) but its the cost of doing business. I know of no business that likes paying credit card fees or keeping track of tips as extra paperwork. But they recognize that the cost of the fees and the paperwork is minor compared to the extra business accepting credit cards brings them.

As a customer it really shouldn't be your concern if a restaurant likes tips on credit cards - if they accept tips on card they have made the business decision that the annoyance/inconvenience is till in the big picture worth it to them. If you have the cash and want to, for various reasons, tip in cash after paying with a card, many people along the line will appreciate it. But trust me, if you your option is tip on card or don't go/don't tip at all, they would rather get that tip on the card!

bopper

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 11:33:57 AM »
Waaahh... they don't like when I put the extra money I am giving them that I do not have to on a credit card?

Do what is convenient for you.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 11:46:35 AM »
I'm sorry -- but the more I hear about tipping in restaurants in the US, the more I feel that, should I ever visit the States, I would not dare to eat in a sit-down-type restaurant. So many possible pitfalls !  I might go to a proper restaurant in the company of locals who would handle everything, and whom I could reimburse afterwards as appropriate.  Otherwise, I'd be restricted to serve-yourself fast food places, and street stalls.

mrs_deb

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2013, 12:32:01 PM »
My nail salon has a sign up that reads something like, "Due to the high cost of credit card processing, if you'd like to tip, please tip in cash". 

They'd also prefer that I pay entirely in cash, but it's a struggle for me to find and remember to bring $5 in cash most days, much less $25.

WillyNilly

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Re: Oh! No! I thought I knew about tipping in the US!
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2013, 12:58:17 PM »
I'm sorry -- but the more I hear about tipping in restaurants in the US, the more I feel that, should I ever visit the States, I would not dare to eat in a sit-down-type restaurant. So many possible pitfalls !  I might go to a proper restaurant in the company of locals who would handle everything, and whom I could reimburse afterwards as appropriate.  Otherwise, I'd be restricted to serve-yourself fast food places, and street stalls.

Please don't be scared or intimidated. You are really only hearing about the 5% of annoyance or issues that crop up. 95% of the time the whole process is simple and smooth. You get a bill. You look at it to see if a "service charge" or "gratuity" was added. If not you simply calculate 10-25% (honestly your choice) of the total (you choice to use pre-tax total or after tax total) and leave it as a tip either in cash or if you are paying by credit card, on the credit slip. Its as easy as that.

Restaurants will always give you an itemized bill and time to look it over. And really while everyone has personal rules about tipping, in the grand scheme of things, a lot is simply up to you. Personally I always tip 17-20% with the fluctuation based a whole bunch of random things like the service, but also rounding out the numbers for easier math and my mood at the time. Some people tip 12% or 25%, some are strict and give down to the penny a perfect percentage, some round to not have to deal with change. None of us are more right or more wrong, we are just doing what we personally feel is right.

So long as you give at least 10% you are pretty much in the clear.