15% service charge

Old Jun 2nd 2019, 12:42 pm
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Default 15% service charge

A general 'does anyone know' question. A colleague told me that this was a recent thing (couple of years) and prior to that, any tipping was discretionary. Who introduced this nonsense? It really gets my goat. A decent meal for 2 can cost upwards of $10 as a tip. It annoys me more at bars where you are actually buying it AT the bar but still get thumped with 15%. Thank goodness for Sunset House who DON'T slap you with 15% but leave it up to the customer. Rant over. This WASN'T an advert for Sunset House just in case you're wondering.
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Old Jun 2nd 2019, 1:29 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
A general 'does anyone know' question. A colleague told me that this was a recent thing (couple of years) and prior to that, any tipping was discretionary. Who introduced this nonsense? It really gets my goat. A decent meal for 2 can cost upwards of $10 as a tip. It annoys me more at bars where you are actually buying it AT the bar but still get thumped with 15%. Thank goodness for Sunset House who DON'T slap you with 15% but leave it up to the customer. Rant over. This WASN'T an advert for Sunset House just in case you're wondering.
A decent meal for 2 can warrant a tip of $10? I must say that sounds like a cheap meal. Here in the states it has always been a customary 15% tip but the customer makes the decision of what to tip. It's not added to the bill. We went out to dinner the other night. The tip we left was $15. Never leave less than a fiver for a single lunch when I treat myself and those lunches are less than $20. Easily leave a $20 or $25 tip for a meal for two at one of the better restaurants.
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Old Jun 2nd 2019, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Lol tipping is never discretionary in the states, the game is for the employers to fleece the staff and make them seek their salaries direct from customers, rather than pay a living wage. Often on top of a ‘mandatory’ service charge.

There are loads of places where the waiter will follow you out onto the street and swear at you if you dont tip, and clearly you can never visit again unless you want your food ‘doctored.’
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Old Jun 2nd 2019, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Incidentally, i am not anti tipping, its a reward for great service, just that, its not a right or something you reduce if you arent satisfied. IMHO you entered a contract with the menu, if it and service were adequate you have paid correctly, if your service was excellent you should reward that.
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Old Jun 2nd 2019, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
A decent meal for 2 can warrant a tip of $10? I must say that sounds like a cheap meal. Here in the states it has always been a customary 15% tip but the customer makes the decision of what to tip. It's not added to the bill. We went out to dinner the other night. The tip we left was $15. Never leave less than a fiver for a single lunch when I treat myself and those lunches are less than $20. Easily leave a $20 or $25 tip for a meal for two at one of the better restaurants.
Are there any vacancies where you work?
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Old Jun 2nd 2019, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
A decent meal for 2 can warrant a tip of $10? I must say that sounds like a cheap meal. Here in the states it has always been a customary 15% tip but the customer makes the decision of what to tip. It's not added to the bill. We went out to dinner the other night. The tip we left was $15. Never leave less than a fiver for a single lunch when I treat myself and those lunches are less than $20. Easily leave a $20 or $25 tip for a meal for two at one of the better restaurants.
I always knew I was a cheapskate but you just confirmed it! I don't even spend $20 on lunch, never mind being able to afford to leave it as a tip
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Old Jun 2nd 2019, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

I no longer work in the service industry but it was a means and way to support two young children without welfare and/or child support. I didn't need a safety net provided by my government to make ends meet and care for the children that I brought into the world willingly. I was not disabled and could work and I did. I even was able to get my college degree while waitressing but then I did take advantage of state and federal programs to pay for my tuition. Felt I paid my taxes so I was just getting back some of what I put in and by getting a college education I would earn more and therefore, pay more in taxes. A win win situation for myself and the government.

I don't work, I'm retired.

I don't spend that amount often but yes, I do treat myself well. After all I worked since the age of 16 until retirement at age 66-1/2 and if I don't pamper myself, who will?

If I went to a fast food place for a $6 burger, drink and fries, of course, there is no tipping. But if my waitress/waiter is attentive, sees that my coffee cup, tea cup or ice tea glass is always filled, comes by to see if the meal is satisfactory to me and if not, handles it for me, then why would I leave them a measly 15% of a $12.00 lunch. His service to me was worth more than $1.80. I would probably in that instance leave $3.00 and if the meal came to $15.00, I would leave a $5.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 1:03 am
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Rete, I understand your thinking , but to me, the good service that you mentionec, is surely what the waitress job is all about , and what they are paid to do ? I’m sure that when you go into a store, say to buy clothes or shoes, you dont tip the sales assistant for helping you with your purchase. Similarly you wouldnt think of tipping a flight attendant for serving your meal and drinks with a smile ?
I lived in the US for 10 years and found it really aggravating that every time any one in the service industry, successfully completed their service, they stuck their hand out for a tip. I travel often to Australia and New Zealand, where tipping doesnt happen, and rightly so. They earn a salary, and they do the job they are paid to do.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 4:18 am
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
A general 'does anyone know' question. A colleague told me that this was a recent thing (couple of years) and prior to that, any tipping was discretionary. Who introduced this nonsense? It really gets my goat. A decent meal for 2 can cost upwards of $10 as a tip. It annoys me more at bars where you are actually buying it AT the bar but still get thumped with 15%. Thank goodness for Sunset House who DON'T slap you with 15% but leave it up to the customer. Rant over. This WASN'T an advert for Sunset House just in case you're wondering.
When we first came here in 1978 the 15% "gratuity" was fairly common at tourist restaurants but not elsewhere (as far as I can recall). But since then it has gradually spread to everywhere except some bars - but in those bars a 20%+ tip is expected. And cheerfully paid, according to all reports. Bartenders are reckoned to be extremely well rewarded - in the CI$80-90,000 bracket. Not bad for a job that requires minimal education!

We've gotten used to paying the 15% now, for all kinds of food- and drinks-service. That's easy for me to say, because at our age (high 70s) we only rarely eat or drink out: it's way too expensive. I couldn't even tell you what a "decent" meal costs today. It's much more fun to eat at friends' homes anyway. The food is better, and the cost - a bottle of prosecco or similar - is modest enough. And as for drinking out... I limit my entertainment to beers at the Tennis Club with a couple of friends, at about $3.50 a bottle, and no tip!
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow View Post
When we first came here in 1978 the 15% "gratuity" was fairly common at tourist restaurants but not elsewhere (as far as I can recall). But since then it has gradually spread to everywhere except some bars - but in those bars a 20%+ tip is expected. And cheerfully paid, according to all reports. Bartenders are reckoned to be extremely well rewarded - in the CI$80-90,000 bracket. Not bad for a job that requires minimal education!

We've gotten used to paying the 15% now, for all kinds of food- and drinks-service. That's easy for me to say, because at our age (high 70s) we only rarely eat or drink out: it's way too expensive. I couldn't even tell you what a "decent" meal costs today. It's much more fun to eat at friends' homes anyway. The food is better, and the cost - a bottle of prosecco or similar - is modest enough. And as for drinking out... I limit my entertainment to beers at the Tennis Club with a couple of friends, at about $3.50 a bottle, and no tip!
A certain waterfront bar owner told me exactly that! If you work at the Ritz, Westin, Kimpton etc. then these wages are common. Substantially more than I get. I appreciate that their working hours are often very long but that is a phenomenal wage for an unskilled (and I use unskilled in the academic sense) position.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

I understand the arguments about politics, paying a living wage, pressuring customers to paying a tip, etc., etc. but some countries have a "tipping culture" and no matter what I think, I can't change that, and shafting the service staff in a restaurant won't change anything either, it just makes you look like an a-hole.

What I do know, as Rete said, is that many people in the food service industry in the US rely on tips for their basic income, for food, shelter, and clothing, and basically for making ends meet. So for those reasons my wife and I are happy to share our good fortune in life with those who provide service in restaurants, and other industries where tipping is traditionally expected. If we can afford to eat in the restaurant we can also afford to tip generously and our tips are rarely less than 20%, or $3 for a $12-$15 lunch. We usually round our 20%+ tip up to the next whole dollar on restaurant bills up to $50 and round up to the next $5 on restaurant bills over $50, so the percentage probably averages out at around 22%-23%.

I left $5 on a $11 meal a few months ago at a local diner restaurant when another diner at a nearby table pissed around with the waitress, making multiple additional requests, then left the coins change from his payment for the tip i.e. less than $1! I have also taken to "over tipping" the lady who cuts my hair, I don't know how anyone makes a hair-cutting business survive on the standard (round here) $12 for a haircut, and I started out leaving $15. I think she has increased her base price, but I am not sure what to, because these days I usually leave her $25, which I consider to be a very fair price for the service I receive.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 3rd 2019 at 4:40 pm.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: 15% service charge

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
I always knew I was a cheapskate but you just confirmed it! I don't even spend $20 on lunch, never mind being able to afford to leave it as a tip
I hate tipping so as a result rarely go to restaurants or anywhere tips are expected. I don't make enough to supplement someone else income who is very likely making more per hour then I am once tips are accounted for. $20 for a meal is easy to do here at a sit down, fast food meal at the average chain will run $11 ish per person, and you don't have to tip at fast food even though where I am fast food servers and sit down food servers make the same wage per hour, yet we don't tip fast food workers.

One I haven't been able to avoid are taxi's sometimes I need to be somewhere before or after transit so only option is a taxi, but I try to keep it at $5 for the tip and haircuts a necessity since I am not bald, and not like they are charging low prices either, last one cost $40 and tip is expected on top of that.





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