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The Tipping System is Ridiculous

The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:09 pm
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Default The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Let me start by making it clear that I'm no cheapskate, and always pay my waiting staff a decent 15-20% tip. My beef is not with those hard working people, but with the system that is in place.

In the UK, there is no obligation to tip. People such as waiters, hairdressers and cabbies make a decent living (many at or above minimum wage) and can get by without tips. They are not required or obligated. Tips are the result of a customers kindness, or appreciation of a job well done. For example, if you order a drink at the bar for 1.80, it's customary to let the barman keep the 20p change. Over the course of the night, he can collect a few quid and get himself a snack on the way home.

Similarly, you tip a waitress, barber or cabbie for a job well done. Maybe they were very polite, or did the job faster than usual. You tip them in addition to their wages to show your appreciation.

In the USA, however, it seems you are pretty much forced to pay 15-20% tips to subsidise the cheapskate wages of employers. In other words, some fat S.O.B opens up a restaurant and can get away with legally paying his workers something like $2 an hour. The workers then have to hope to God that they get decent customers who are willing to tip sufficiently enough for them to take home a decent wage. So it's up to people like me to leave them large tips simply to help them survive, while the restaurant owner collects the profits. I'm effectively paying for his staff. And by not tipping, it's only the staff who suffer - I've made many friends over here who regale me with tales of their college days waiting all night on a customer, only to get a few cents in tip.

What kind of system is this? I'm getting fed up of being expected - both morally and socially - to be dropping $10s and $20s to every Tom, Dick and Harry who offers me a service. Where is the discrimination? Why don't I get a tip for doing a good job as a marketing executive?!

I recently got a massage for $50 and was advised by friends that a 20% tip is expected. Thus I left an additional $10. Later in the week, a $20 haircut, with another $4 tip. A $30 meal, with a $6 tip. Right there, I've had a total of $20 taken from my own wage packet simply to supply gratuities and customs to people who are victims of greedy employers and tight-assed systems.

Why no minimum wage laws in the US? And why not some rule against receiving poor service or dirty looks if I choose not to leave a tip EVERY time I order a drink from a bar? It's disgusting.

And they call it the Land of the Free?!

Last edited by Tolos; Jul 13th 2006 at 6:12 pm.
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Tolos
I recently got a massage for $50 and was advised by friends that a 20% tip is expected.
not quite the happy ending you expected?
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Manc
not quite the happy ending you expected?
LOL - sadly she wasn't that kind of masseuse...
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

If we all just quit tipping, we could spend a lot more money of slave reparations.
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Tolos
Let me start by making it clear that I'm no cheapskate, and always pay my waiting staff a decent 15-20% tip. My beef is not with those hard working people, but with the system that is in place.

In the UK, there is no obligation to tip. People such as waiters, hairdressers and cabbies make a decent living (many at or above minimum wage) and can get by without tips. They are not required or obligated. Tips are the result of a customers kindness, or appreciation of a job well done. For example, if you order a drink at the bar for 1.80, it's customary to let the barman keep the 20p change. Over the course of the night, he can collect a few quid and get himself a snack on the way home.

Similarly, you tip a waitress, barber or cabbie for a job well done. Maybe they were very polite, or did the job faster than usual. You tip them in addition to their wages to show your appreciation.

In the USA, however, it seems you are pretty much forced to pay 15-20% tips to subsidise the cheapskate wages of employers. In other words, some fat S.O.B opens up a restaurant and can get away with legally paying his workers something like $2 an hour. The workers then have to hope to God that they get decent customers who are willing to tip sufficiently enough for them to take home a decent wage. So it's up to people like me to leave them large tips simply to help them survive, while the restaurant owner collects the profits. I'm effectively paying for his staff. And by not tipping, it's only the staff who suffer - I've made many friends over here who regale me with tales of their college days waiting all night on a customer, only to get a few cents in tip.

What kind of system is this? I'm getting fed up of being expected - both morally and socially - to be dropping $10s and $20s to every Tom, Dick and Harry who offers me a service. Where is the discrimination? Why don't I get a tip for doing a good job as a marketing executive?!

I recently got a massage for $50 and was advised by friends that a 20% tip is expected. Thus I left an additional $10. Later in the week, a $20 haircut, with another $4 tip. A $30 meal, with a $6 tip. Right there, I've had a total of $20 taken from my own wage packet simply to supply gratuities and customs to people who are victims of greedy employers and tight-assed systems.

Why no minimum wage laws in the US? And why not some rule against receiving poor service or dirty looks if I choose not to leave a tip EVERY time I order a drink from a bar? It's disgusting.

And they call it the Land of the Free?!
Excellent first post...Welcome to BE.

Have you noticed how restaurants/bars here are far less expensive than the UK. I have noticed that we pay practically half what we would have normally have paid in the UK for ANY restaurant here.

I do understand your complaint that the employer of restaurant employees/bars are paying low wages and letting the wait staff work hard to get a tip based on actually giving good service...rather than in the UK..where the same staff are paid a decent wage, do not need a tip and appropriately give bloody awful service 9 times out of 10...the 10th example gets a tip from me.

There are minimum wage laws which do vary from state to state, yes some have none...that may need changing.

Personally I tip at 20% , I do include the wine - can be very expensive so might be changing that particular policy, very rarely leave no tip because the service is usually excellent here. If it is bad service..I leave a dime...it tells the wait staff that they need to buck up and get their act together. If the food is bad but the service has been good...I tell the waiter that the food wasnt good when they ask...if they dont ask I tell them anyway ...and leave a tip based on the service only 15%

If you know the reasoning behind tipping in this country and accept that the people serving you are on low wages..why would you be surprised that you get a dirty look...remember what I said about the prices being of food and drinks being lower here. Unless you are on a very low wage yourself its a small price to pay and if you choose not to tip you have to learn to live with the consequences.
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Manc
If we all just quit tipping, we could spend a lot more money of slave reparations.
And always lock your back door ...

I often tip with an autographed photo of myself....
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Tolos
Let me start by making it clear that I'm no cheapskate, and always pay my waiting staff a decent 15-20% tip. My beef is not with those hard working people, but with the system that is in place.

In the UK, there is no obligation to tip. People such as waiters, hairdressers and cabbies make a decent living (many at or above minimum wage) and can get by without tips. They are not required or obligated. Tips are the result of a customers kindness, or appreciation of a job well done. For example, if you order a drink at the bar for 1.80, it's customary to let the barman keep the 20p change. Over the course of the night, he can collect a few quid and get himself a snack on the way home.

Similarly, you tip a waitress, barber or cabbie for a job well done. Maybe they were very polite, or did the job faster than usual. You tip them in addition to their wages to show your appreciation.

In the USA, however, it seems you are pretty much forced to pay 15-20% tips to subsidise the cheapskate wages of employers. In other words, some fat S.O.B opens up a restaurant and can get away with legally paying his workers something like $2 an hour. The workers then have to hope to God that they get decent customers who are willing to tip sufficiently enough for them to take home a decent wage. So it's up to people like me to leave them large tips simply to help them survive, while the restaurant owner collects the profits. I'm effectively paying for his staff. And by not tipping, it's only the staff who suffer - I've made many friends over here who regale me with tales of their college days waiting all night on a customer, only to get a few cents in tip.

What kind of system is this? I'm getting fed up of being expected - both morally and socially - to be dropping $10s and $20s to every Tom, Dick and Harry who offers me a service. Where is the discrimination? Why don't I get a tip for doing a good job as a marketing executive?!

I recently got a massage for $50 and was advised by friends that a 20% tip is expected. Thus I left an additional $10. Later in the week, a $20 haircut, with another $4 tip. A $30 meal, with a $6 tip. Right there, I've had a total of $20 taken from my own wage packet simply to supply gratuities and customs to people who are victims of greedy employers and tight-assed systems.

Why no minimum wage laws in the US? And why not some rule against receiving poor service or dirty looks if I choose not to leave a tip EVERY time I order a drink from a bar? It's disgusting.

And they call it the Land of the Free?!
There are minimum wage laws and that's part of the problem. The Federal minimum wage hasn't risen for nearly 10 years...
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Kate2112
Excellent first post...Welcome to BE.

Have you noticed how restaurants/bars here are far less expensive than the UK. I have noticed that we pay practically half what we would have normally have paid in the UK for ANY restaurant here.

I do understand your complaint that the employer of restaurant employees/bars are paying low wages and letting the wait staff work hard to get a tip based on actually giving good service...rather than in the UK..where the same staff are paid a decent wage, do not need a tip and appropriately give bloody awful service 9 times out of 10...the 10th example gets a tip from me.

There are minimum wage laws which do vary from state to state, yes some have none...that may need changing.

Personally I tip at 20% , I do include the wine - can be very expensive so might be changing that particular policy, very rarely leave no tip because the service is usually excellent here. If it is bad service..I leave a dime...it tells the wait staff that they need to buck up and get their act together. If the food is bad but the service has been good...I tell the waiter that the food wasnt good when they ask...if they dont ask I tell them anyway ...and leave a tip based on the service only 15%

If you know the reasoning behind tipping in this country and accept that the people serving you are on low wages..why would you be surprised that you get a dirty look...remember what I said about the prices being of food and drinks being lower here. Unless you are on a very low wage yourself its a small price to pay and if you choose not to tip you have to learn to live with the consequences.
Thank you for the very kind welcome! And you definitely raise some good points.

Like I say, I have nothing against the staff themselves. They are 95% of the time very cheery, professional and helpful. It's the system that annoys me. being obligated to tip people just seems wrong to me. A waiter effectively does the same job no matter what you order. He brings the food, opens the wine, and clears the table. Yet if I order a plate of lettuce and a bottle of $12 wine, or if I order lobster and filet mignon and a $200 bottle of wine, his tip changes dramatically. Why should the waiter (bless his heart) earn $30-$40 from me, when he effectively gave me the same service as the customer next to me who just ordered breadsticks?!

Sorry for the rant, but I recently did a financial count up for 2006 and was shocked to see that I've accumulated literally $100s in tipping people.
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Old proverb..."Always judge a date/person on how they treat the waiter waitress"






Waitress : So how would you like your steak Sir? Rare, medium rare or well done?"

Rushman: Just cut it's horns off and wipe it's arse Luv "!!!

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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Tolos
I order lobster and filet mignon and a $200 bottle of wine, his tip changes dramatically. Why should the waiter (bless his heart) earn $30-$40 from me, when he effectively gave me the same service as the customer next to me who just ordered breadsticks?!
because you can obviously afford it.

You're complaining that you are giving a less than minimum wage minion a $30 tip while you spunk your money $200 bottle of plonk!!! You're also forgetting that not only are they being paid less than minimum wage but they also work until stupid o'clock at night forgoing their social lives.

Last edited by rushman; Jul 13th 2006 at 6:49 pm.
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by rushman
because you can obviously afford it.

You're complaining that you are giving a less than minimum wage minion a $30 tip while you spunk your money $200 bottle of plonk!!! You're also forgetting that not only are they being paid less than minimum wage but they also work until stupid o'clock at night forgoing their social lives.
True, but then that's not my fault is it? All that drama belongs to the waiter and his employer. I shouldn't be guilt-tripped into handing over my own cash because of a bad system. All I know is, I want to go into a bar or restaurant to order something, and not be blackmailed into huge tips because I HAVE to. Give me the English system where I tip because I CHOOSE to. Tips should be rewards, nothing more.

And I wish I could afford $200 wine, LOL. I'm just speaking hypothetically.
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by rushman
because you can obviously afford it.

You're complaining that you are giving a less than minimum wage minion a $30 tip while you spunk your money $200 bottle of plonk!!! You're also forgetting that not only are they being paid less than minimum wage but they also work until stupid o'clock at night forgoing their social lives.
Four posting and three moaning about the US ...
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Tolos
Give me the English system where I tip because I CHOOSE to. .
Its still there waiting for you.....
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Ray
Its still there waiting for you.....
Well I'll be honest Ray, I have to be smiley and cheerful nearly every waking bloody minute in my job. I needed somewhere to go to steam about a few US peeves, and I chose your poor souls. I'm actually very happy here and have an enjoyable life in the US...but that doesn't mean one or two items don't bug me!

A quick scan of this section shows I'm not the only one to use this place to let off steam and share peeves.

Last edited by Tolos; Jul 13th 2006 at 7:00 pm.
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Old Jul 13th 2006, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: The Tipping System is Ridiculous

Originally Posted by Ray
Four posting and three moaning about the US ...
And I suspect he has already got Rete's back up

I see a future for him here
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