Author Topic: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant  (Read 9814 times)

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Goosey

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #60 on: June 17, 2014, 09:52:26 PM »
As to immediate review, there is always the option of getting the manager. Just like anywhere else. "Can I speak to a manager please" instead of "I don't like your service so I'm going to dock your pay".

I think the idea that tips are important in promoting good performance is absolutely wrong. Do you know what drives good performance? Raises. And security. And promotions. And bonuses. And awards. People will work hard to excel and advance. The desperation that comes with "I hope this guy
doesn't stiff me" or "I have the slow shift this week. I hope I can pay my rent" or "why was my tip so low? I did everything right" absolutely does not drive good performance.

It's also important to note that while a tipping culture may work for an individual, it can also be very harmful to people in general. I'm sure a lot of people like the "No tip!!" option as a form of punishment. But, unless you'd like it done to you, I'd try to imagine yourself in their shoes.

marcel

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #61 on: June 17, 2014, 10:13:21 PM »
Oh, no, I don't think car mechanic are part of the tipping culture. I just think some of them WILL slip your car to the head of the line, if you give them something extra. and there are a lot of people that we're 'supposed' to tip, like hairdressers & valets. And it works in the restaurant industry because it is expected at this point.

I certainly wish them luck! They're up front about it, so everyone knows what they're getting into.

Yes, that was my original point. And my question to you then, if you are in favor of keeping tipping culture in the food service industry, because you like being able to pay for labor based on your assessment of their performance, why are you not also advocating having tipping culture in the automotive repair industry for the same reasons?

But then we WOULD just be paying for the parts, it would cost less, and I would have no problem tipping.

But the question isn't if you "would have a problem with it", the question is "would you prefer that system to the system we have now?"


Well, if that's the underlying question, then no. No, I would not prefer it to the system that we have now.

Then why do you prefer it in the food service industry?

 Because it has always worked for me. I tip more for good service, and tip less for bad service. How many times have you been in a store or doctors office or whatever and gotten lousy service and thought, well, I could tell them about this, but a) they probably won't care, & b) I have to take time out of my busy life to have this conversation. (I'm sure some people will care, but mostly, I really don't think that they do.) I know that they have whole departments dedicated to customer service, but who is really reading all of these notes we leave?

 A couple of weeks ago my phone did one of those mandatory updates, and five minutes later it just died. So I had to go online and have a conversation about it and get a new phone, and of course it was Memorial Day weekend so they couldn't ship it out til Tuesday, so I didn't have a phone for 5 days. Now, I wrote them a letter about how disappointed I was, and maybe they shouldn't do this on holiday weekends. Did I hear a reply? No, of course I did not.

Sorry, I know that was off topic, but it was an example of being able to give an immediate review ( a less than great tip) as opposed to just sending your review off into to universe, and hoping someone cares.
I would still love to here why you believe the food industry or people working in food industry are so much different from people working in any other industry. In a way it is denigrating to people in a certain industry to say: "for the sole reason that you chose to work in this industry I do not have faith in you doing a good job, Actualy my faith in your work, compared to anybody else I have to deal with is so low, that I do not want to agree on a price before you suply your service but unlike when dealing with other people, I will completely subjectively judge your work afterwards and pay according to that. Moreover I will not tell you beforehand what my expectations are exactly and what I will pay for fullfilling these expectations." What is it that makes it okay to say this to waitstaff, but not to a mechanic or to a lawyer?
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marcel

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2014, 10:15:14 PM »
I'm reading all this with a keen interest. I come from a non-tipping culture (the Netherlands) and I love it.
Service in the food industry is, on the whole, awesome, servers are friendly, polite, knowledgeable and know when to leave the customers be. You're also not rushed: when you occupy a table in a restaurant for dinner, you're not expected to relinquish it to the next customer, it's yours for the evening. So you can linger over your coffee, just talking with your company, or reading your book even, without any (pointed) looks from the waitstaff. Also the waitstaff doesn't try to ingratiate themselves to you, in the hopes of a better tip: there's no need to grovel when they're paid a living wage (usually well above the legal minimum wage).
And if the service is really, really good? Then you can decide to tip, as generously as you like, keeping in mind that 10% is considered very generous indeed. Or you don't tip, that's fine as well: tips are appreciated but never expected.
And if the service is bad? You complain and/or vote with your feet, as you do in any other kind of business.
This is not true, the Netherlands is a tipping culture. What yopu describe is tipping culture, what the US has isn't.
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miranova

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #63 on: June 17, 2014, 10:56:49 PM »
Personally I'd be fine with getting rid of tipping (and yes I know the price of the food would go up, that's fine with me).  However, I doubt that most servers I know would prefer it.  Yep, they get some jerks that don't tip, but most people tip decently and some tip very well.  Do they really want to lose that in exchange for a steady but potentially lower wage?

Library Dragon

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #64 on: June 17, 2014, 11:10:43 PM »
I would like to see this catch on in the US.  The restaurant has been smart in building the framework of $10 or 20%. 

Many people work in customer service fields that never get tips and do a great job. Many waitstaff across the world do excellent jobs in restaurants without expecting tips.  The common factor is pride and enjoyment in their work.

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Sophia

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2014, 11:26:17 PM »
I disagree with the idea that waitstaff don't notice the tip amount and correlate it to the service. Through trial and error, I learned things like how important it was to 'ask' things like whether they wanted an iced tea refill using only body language so I didn't interrupt the conversation.  How to figure out when people were in a hurry, and when they wanted to linger.  How to figure out who to offer the cork in a gay couple.  When to keep the interactions to a minimum and when to be friendly.  For example, the clientele at the last place I worked absolutely loved it when I would answer "No" to a request. Really, I got laughs and usually another 10% tip.   But, I learned the hard way that it wasn't a joke when the request was for alcohol.  All of these things had a direct impact on the tip.  I made good money, and I never worried about the rent.  But, if you are going to work, you might as well make as much as you can.   

MariaE

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2014, 05:08:22 AM »
My problem with tipping has nothing at all to do with the money and everything to do with the expectation. Denmark is much like the Netherlands in that we will tip for good/exceptional service, so it's not that we don't tip at all - we just only tip when it's deserved.

If I get average service, why should I tip? Yet even here, on this forum, I've had people tell me it's comparable to theft if I don't (don't worry, I do - some things just have to be done even though I don't agree with them). That's not a tip, that's a fee, and should be listed as such.

I've never noticed a difference in level of service in tipping countries vs. non-tipping countries - it seems to be much the same. The difference comes in my perception of the service, because I find myself "grading" it in the US, and just enjoying it elsewhere. So a waiter going above and beyond in the US = "Wow, he's really angling for a good tip, isn't he?" whereas a waiter going above and beyond in Denmark = "Wow! Awesome service :) "

I know the last bit is my problem and not the actual thought-process of the waiter, but it's part of my personal reason for disliking the US tipping mentality.
 
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etiquettenut

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2014, 07:10:48 AM »
As a former waitress, I think the Netherlands model of an actual tipping culture would be best. So, you get your regular wages you are entitled to and if you do an exceptional job, people give you something extra.

I will also disagree that people's tips impacted my future performances in a significant way. You know when you've screwed up as a server. I would not be surprised to see the fact that I forgot to order the appetizers or ordered someone the wrong entree reflected in the tip. However, if someone tipped poorly when I did nothing wrong I just assumed they were a cheapskate jerk.

The fact that someone would tip less because a server had the audacity to ask, "Would you like some more tea?" rather than just silently holding up a pitcher is what's wrong with the US' "tipping culture" in general.

Margo

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #68 on: June 18, 2014, 10:55:09 AM »
I'm from the UK where we don't have the expectation of tipping that there is in the US. I like the sound of this.

I dislike the expectation that you must tip. I do it, because I know it is the custom of the country, but I don't like it, and it can get stressful sometimes wondering who to tip and how much.

I also think it would be fascinating to compare the way in which customers treat the staff, with a similar restaurant in a similar location with a standard US tipping policy. I think that the direct nature of a tip does mean that customer / worker relationship is different to where there isn't such an immediate link, some good (for instance, direct incentive to staff to address any concerns/queries) and some bad (customers feeling they can be very demanding and withhold tips for any petty dissatisfaction).

(the other reason  I would like it is because I have had experience of getting poor service where the reason appeared to be that an assumption had been made that I wouldn't tip well. Which then leads to the dilemma of trying to decide whether to tip well to try to counter the preconception, or to tip less well because of the poor service but in doing so, perpetuate those assumptions...)

Yvaine

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #69 on: June 18, 2014, 11:02:59 AM »
$10 or 20 percent of hourly food sales - makes me wonder if waitstaff might be tempted to hurry one table along in order to seat the next family and sell them more food.

They already are, aren't they?

Not exactly. They try to strike a balance.  Yes they think about the next table but they have to make the current table happy if they want a good tip. So if that table wants to linger,  get a refill, etc. there might be a profit in that through the tip.

When people describe service in countried without tipping it sounds a bit less "warm" for lack of a better word. It would be interesting to see if there was a shift like this in a nontipping restaurant in a society that still embraced tipping overall.

I'd love to have less "warm" service. I think expecting service employees to be gushingly faux-thrilled to be helping you--as opposed to just calmly polite--is kind of dehumanizing for the employee and can be sort of...alarming for the customer, too, if taken too far. I've had servers whose enthusiasm was too obviously edged with fear (of bad tips) and it was uncomfortable to feel like I had that much power over someone, if that makes any sense. i felt like Joffrey Baratheon deciding whether to behead somebody. I'd rather have have service that's more neutral (but still polite! please note, i'm not advocating rudeness or anything) than gushing.

Luci

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2014, 11:26:01 AM »
I'm reading all this with a keen interest. I come from a non-tipping culture (the Netherlands) and I love it.
Service in the food industry is, on the whole, awesome, servers are friendly, polite, knowledgeable and know when to leave the customers be. You're also not rushed: when you occupy a table in a restaurant for dinner, you're not expected to relinquish it to the next customer, it's yours for the evening. So you can linger over your coffee, just talking with your company, or reading your book even, without any (pointed) looks from the waitstaff. Also the waitstaff doesn't try to ingratiate themselves to you, in the hopes of a better tip: there's no need to grovel when they're paid a living wage (usually well above the legal minimum wage).
And if the service is really, really good? Then you can decide to tip, as generously as you like, keeping in mind that 10% is considered very generous indeed. Or you don't tip, that's fine as well: tips are appreciated but never expected.
And if the service is bad? You complain and/or vote with your feet, as you do in any other kind of business.
This is not true, the Netherlands is a tipping culture. What yopu describe is tipping culture, what the US has isn't.

You have said this three times about the US. We do have tipping culture by our definition, so I don't agree with this. The restaurant in question is in the US, so I think we should go with that. I won't mind if it changes here, though.

I do love reading about "tips"  in other countries, however, and how it works for them, so please keep the stories coming!

lowspark

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #71 on: June 18, 2014, 11:35:50 AM »

(the other reason  I would like it is because I have had experience of getting poor service where the reason appeared to be that an assumption had been made that I wouldn't tip well. Which then leads to the dilemma of trying to decide whether to tip well to try to counter the preconception, or to tip less well because of the poor service but in doing so, perpetuate those assumptions...)

I used to worry about this too. But I got over it. Giving me bad service because you think I'm going to tip poorly is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Yeah, I'm perpetuating the assumption by tipping poorly, but then if I tip well, I'm sending the message to the server that even if s/he gives terrible service, they'll get tipped well so why bother to try?

If a server gives different levels of service to different people based on a groundless prediction of their tipping habits, they are probably going to end up with a lot of crummy tips and will eventually figure out that this may not be the ideal career for that person.

And this is, actually, another argument for eliminating tipping as a required form of payment. Everyone should really receive the same level of service, and pay the same amount for it. Servers should be serving each and every customer to the best of their ability, not picking and choosing according to who looks like they'll give a good tip.


amylouky

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2014, 11:58:11 AM »
Really, calling this a "no tipping" restaurant is false. What it really is, is an auto-tip restaurant. The server is guaranteed a 20% "tip" from each table, unless that wouldn't make them $10.00 per hour, in which case they're getting more than 20%. That's a pretty good deal for a server.. most I know are very happy with 20% tips. It would be interesting to figure out whether tips normally average out to above or below 20%.

The $10/20% will be added to the cost of food, so it's really just an enforced service charge, rather than an at-will tip. That's not to say I don't like the idea.. I would have loved it in my server days. I usually tip 20% anyway (and often more, if the boys have made a mess). I guess that would be my only problem, not having the option to reward servers that go above and beyond.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #73 on: June 18, 2014, 12:21:48 PM »
Really, calling this a "no tipping" restaurant is false. What it really is, is an auto-tip restaurant. The server is guaranteed a 20% "tip" from each table, unless that wouldn't make them $10.00 per hour, in which case they're getting more than 20%. That's a pretty good deal for a server.. most I know are very happy with 20% tips. It would be interesting to figure out whether tips normally average out to above or below 20%.

The $10/20% will be added to the cost of food, so it's really just an enforced service charge, rather than an at-will tip. That's not to say I don't like the idea.. I would have loved it in my server days. I usually tip 20% anyway (and often more, if the boys have made a mess). I guess that would be my only problem, not having the option to reward servers that go above and beyond.

If we're going to start calling every sales-based payment method for restaurant employees a "tip," regardless of who pays it and why, then the definition of "tip" is going to get ridiculously broad. This a flat percentage paid by the employer as their employees wages and built into the price of the food. We already have a term for this type of pay: commission. "Service charge" is a little more vague, but still more fitting than "tip." Would anyone say that that, e.g., car salesmen are paid in "auto-tips" just because they receive commissions for their sales? Like other commission systems, the restaurant in the OP compensates the employees based on the sales they make without attempting to be a way to review the service. It's a different system from tipping (both the American expected-tip system and the tip-for-exceptional-service system). The only major commonality is that the OP commission system and the American tip system both depend on a percentage of the sales, but that's nothing exceptional, since a lot of sales commissions are percentage based.

mime

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Re: No-Tipping Policy In Restaurant
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2014, 12:29:02 PM »
I have been finding these posts very interesting!

Midwest USA here. I think of the current US tipping system as choosing how much to pay for the service you received. I would strongly prefer the non-tipping models (or, to be clear: the model where tips are unexpected and appreciated and not needed to get the staff's pay up to some minimum level). I prefer it for all the reasons that have been stated already, as I already like it for other services I buy, like car maintenance etc. I have no problem with the cost of the service being embedded in the cost of my meal, just like other industries embed cost of service into their whole package.

I also strongly prefer "professional" service over "warm" service. I want the servers to be helpful, but to otherwise disappear into the background of my night out.

The success of this model in so many other countries is proof that it *can* be done, and service is still great and servers are still happy. The question I wonder is whether we (the US) willing enough as a whole to part from our current ways to make that transition. We all get very comfortable in our ways, but I see so many forums and article responses online where servers complain about having to work for tips. I don't know if that's the majority of servers' feelings, or if they are just a very vocal minority... or if the vocal people will always see the grass greener on the other side of the fence.

In short: I like the idea of change and would gladly pay for it. I'm skeptical that such a culture-shift will happen here, though.