Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Why Tip?

Do you wonder why the US the only country where tipping is expected? That is most other countries they include tips in the price of food? The prices of services have already factored in the "tip".

I would prefer that we not tip as a society and instead increase the price of services. That way people don't have to sit and wonder about tipping. They don't have to ponder how much to tip a dog groomer, dog walker. Or what's appropriate for a cabbie who doesn't help you with your door and bags. Or do you need to tip your hair stylist every time and then extra at Christmas? Or your babysitter every time and Christmas as well.

These so called rules get very complicated and confusing quickly. It seems like you need to tip for every possible service in the US. Eating out, carrying a bag, delivering an item, etc. Often you feel awkward and unsure not only about whether to tip but how much?

If we moved to a system where a tip was considered a bonus I think it would be so much easier. We wouldn't have to worry so much about offending the tippee. Plus I think that the people expecting to be tipped outrageous.

Nowadays everywhere you go, there is a tip jar next to the register. Which leads me to wonder just for punching a cash register I need to leave a tip? Basically every time I spend a penny someone else is looking for more money?

Would it stop you from purchasing an item if it was a bit higher and no tip was necessary? I think not. It might make you consider your purchases more, but you'd feel it was more worth it because you wouldn't have worry if you were "breaking" the rule by not tipping.

Would you pay more to stop tipping? Or is tipping just part of the culture and too ingrained? Or are we moving towards overtipping?


MEG said...

I think we are moving WAY towards overtipping in certain areas--especially for food service.

I know, I know, lots of restaurant-goers under-tip, and that is offensive. I know servers depend on tips for the bulk of their income. But the general gratuity expectations of most servers and of well-meaning citizens are getting to be outrageous.

Expecting to be paid upwards of 20% of the cost of my meal just for taking my order and bringing me my food is not reasonable--especially when the cost of my meal is high simply because I ordered a more expensive meal, not because the server did any extra work.

Traditionally 20% was a general (and mostly maximum) guideline that was offered for the best service in very nice establishments. That gratuity was typically split between several attendants and servers who worked hard and were incredibly attentive throughout a long evening of multiple courses.

Nowadays every teenager at Chili's thinks he/she deserves $30 just for slapping a few plates on my table and up-selling me the margarita/brownie explosion. I don't think so.

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

That irks me as well.

I hate that we as customers have to pay for overpriced food (marked up a gazillion percent), and then on TOP of that, pay for the servers' wages as well...!!!

Hell, we might as well get a share in the restaurant with how much we're footing in overhead costs.

I tip 15%, minimum. But what really makes me angry is when I get SHODDY, AWFUL service (waiter ignores me all night, takes half an hour just to get my drink order, or wanders off and is nowhere to be seen), and then they expect 15% or more for their service.

And when I leave a buck because that's all his service was worth to me, I get flack from my friends about how I should leave more because they depend on tips, WHATEVER.. and how I shouldn't "take it out" on the waiter for bad service.

Me: Then who the hell do I take it out on for bad service? The manager? The guys in the back? They didn't serve me!! If I could leave a tip for the busboys and the chefs ONLY, I would! But I cannot!

Ugh.. you hit a nerve with this post LOL

Living Almost Large said...

I used to wait tables in college and so I think I tip generously easily 20%. But bad service I don't tip and I make a point of telling them why.

I tell them that we've been waiting a long time for service. Last weekend with the in-laws we waited 1 hour for our food. We left no tip and I explained sorry the kitchen was "back up" they should have mentioned it earlier and they should have brought something to the table instead of ignoring us for 1 hour.

I did get up and ask about the food and instead was given the brush off. At the end of the meal I paid by CC and politely asked to speak the manager. I explained why there was no tip and we left.

Who knows what happened.

Anonymous said...

I think that as consumers, we are being hostage by the expected tipping of waiters/waitresses.

True, a part of their income is made up of tips. But, other people in minimum wage jobs work just as hard and don't receive tips for their hard work.

It seems that waiters and waitresses are treated like they do special work for the public when all they do is serve the food. Their work is not harder than people who have to work hard at fast food joints. And people who work at fast food or other minimum wage jobs don't receive mandatory tips for their hard work. Yet, in turn although minimum wage earners don't make much money, they are still expected to tip waiters and waitresses when they go to a restaurant.

The practise of tipping has become an albatoss on society.