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American tipping culture, 30% tips in New York?

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posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 11:52 AM

In a bid to boost their wages, New York food servers are now suggesting diners leave tips of up to 30per cent. With many U.S. restaurants permitted to pay staff as little as $2.15 per hour, workers often rely on service charges to supplement their income. But following an increase to 20per cent over recent years, the average tip rate is set to rise again


I caught this story in my daily news trawl. Coming from the UK where we don't really have this "tipping culture" I'm a little shocked by it (we do tip here in restaurants but for a tip this large the service would have to be exceptional) .

I understand that the servers rely on tips because they are paid so badly but theres a couple of things I dont understand about.

1 Are these tips always paid no matter what the service is like?

2. What is the reasoning for things working like this rather then the restaurants just putting a little extra on the price of your meal and then paying the staff better?

3. For anyone thats worked in this kind of job, what exactly is the protocol if a customer doesnt tip the amount expected are these tips put onto the bill when you hand it to the customer or are they just expected to know how much to tip?

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 12:01 PM
I shoot for 20-25%, I use a handy-dandy tip calculator on my droid and use the round-up feature to keep things tidy.

I don't know of any person who is a waiter or waitress that is rich, so I figure a buck here or there isn't going to hurt me and may help them. I'm not rich either but I'm not worried about tipping a couple extra.

When the service sucks, I often vocalize it and deal with it that way, so usually the server corrects the bill or whatever it takes. And when they do, I usually keep a decent tip because they corrected the problem.

There HAVE been exceptions....

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 12:06 PM
How about restaurant owners pay them a real salary and lets do away with tipping?
Waitress now EXPECT a tip, regardless of what kind of service they provide.

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 12:09 PM
I have to pay in cash at Starbucks because their cc receipt doesn't allow for a tip. I guess that makes me a terrorist.

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 12:12 PM
reply to post by Juggernog

Your point is exactly what I think, why don't they up the staff wages and up the price of food a little to compensate.

To me it almost feels a little dishonest on the part of the restaurant (not the server) that the amount you end up with on your bill is actually a third less then your actually expected to pay.
edit on 20-9-2012 by davespanners because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 12:21 PM
I have always tipped based on performance. If you suck, your tip will be to improve at your job. If you excelled at your job, a couple of bucks is well spent.

I never understood the compulsory act of automatically saying "We need to tip X%" No, we don't NEED to tip any percentage, we CAN tip if we feel you have gone above and beyond. A simple sitting me down, asking my order, and bringing food to my table is nothing worthy of a tip. In fact, I am more tempted to tip a cook for a well cooked meal. Why should I give tips to the person who simply walked the food to the table, when the real hard part was cooking the meal in the first place.

Also, why do waitstaff get tips, but we don't tip say convenience store clerks, or the milkman etc. Who decided that JUST because these people make less, we have to make up for it. If you cannot survive on your income alone, find a way to supplement it if you can.
edit on 20-9-2012 by Daemonicon because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-9-2012 by Daemonicon because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 12:55 PM
When a server takes the time to provide excellent service and when I want something else and don't have to wait for them to show up again so I can ask for it, I try to give a good tip. Here in NY the servers are not usually paid well. They can be paid poorly by law, as the minimum wage does not apply to them.

For poor service, I either don't tip at all, or vote with my dollar and don't eat there again. There are so many resteraunts in this area with superior service and food of any type that the competion is fierce for customers. Places with poor service or food quality usually don't survive for long.

There are a few places where the food is quite good and the service is excellent. These places usually pay their staff better than most so the servers really go out of their way to provide good service and make friends of their customers. These places are the ones who stick around for years and can sometimes be difficult to get a table at. We have one in particular where we have befriended the head waiter and even when the place is packed we can get a table and superior service. We have gone there to eat when he wasn't there and got bad service. We mentioned this to him and the other server who provided inferior service was removed. He is the manager and won't tolerate bad service from any of his staff. This place has a loyal clientel and makes good money providing superior food and service. I attribute that to our friend. And we tip him well, because he deserves a good tip.

edit on 9/20/2012 by lonegurkha because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:13 PM
On a personal note on this, I once got talking to two girls in a bar that were on holiday in London from the USA and noticed that they were tipping the bar staff every time they poured them a drink (something we never do) I told them that they didn't need to do that (right in front of the girl they were tipping) need less to say my drinks tasted funny for the whole rest of the night

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:33 PM
reply to post by davespanners

Most of the places I go to , the tips are not included o the bill. I love that. I often pay with my debit card so if the services was very bad I leave a 1 cent tip and they have the paper work to proove it.
If it's good around 20% is what i leave,

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 03:35 PM
Ya know I don't mind tipping for good service at a restaurant or bar, especially since the minimum tipped employee wage is only $2.15. What gets me is some places the tips have to be split with kitchen staff & hostesses. I don't agree with that.

As for bartenders, if you have the right clientele it can be a good paying job. I know of one bartender in Knoxville that was able to retire in his mid 40s.

posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 10:38 PM
Like a lot of people, I waited tables and tended bar through college so I have a biased opinion. Depending on where you are, restaurants pay servers about 2.13/hr because they can and given that, why should they pay more? To give you an idea, I used to work 40-45 hours a week and my 2 week check was never more than 20$ after taxes. From the cash tips they receive, its also common for the server to also have to split that with the bartender, busboy, cashier, etc...

It really wouldn't be fair to raise the food prices and pay all servers the same (higher rate) unless you are communist. and to be realistic, some servers are much better than others and would thus deserve to make more. Additionally, even if two servers could provide the same level of attention, its possible one could provide the same service to more people at the same time and thus deserve to make more.

As for people that don't tip (or tip poorly), mark my words - you will certainly get the worst service possible if you have been to that restaurant more than a couple times. There is no doubt, you are known as a crappy tipper the moment you walk into the door and you are probably shuffled to the crappier server's section as the better servers would likely have enough influence to steer you away from their section. From the server viewpoint, why would they give you any attention when they could give it to someone else who is (or at least might be) a good tipper.

From a customer's standpoint, I'm personally embarrassed to dine with someone that is a crappy tipper (if they are paying). And if they do, I generally try to let them pay only if I can cover the tip. If that's not an option, I'll stash some extra cash under a plate or something when we leave as I'd not like to be associated with being a poor tipper.

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