You’re a bad customer and you don’t even know it

1-IMG_4079Deadbeats. Gate lice. Entitleds.

Pull back the curtain on the service industry and you can hear them talking about us — often in unflattering terms.

Being tagged as a terrible customer can be embarrassing. Consider the lousy tippers database, which outs customers who have the gall to pay the menu price for their meals, minus a gratuity. Being a bad tipper can have real consequences. Just ask Drew Brees, who, as it turns out, is not a bad tipper.

But did anyone bother to tell us what being a “good” customer means? That’s not always clearly disclosed. Maybe it should be.

You don’t have to yell

Consider my recent run-in with a little rule called NRS 463.350. If you’ve never heard of NRS 463.350, you’re not alone. Neither had I when I tried to walk through a Las Vegas casino with my family on our way to a bus tour. In Sin City, there’s really no way to avoid walking through a smoke-filled gaming floor if you want to get anywhere. You hold your breath and walk fast.

NRS 463.350 is a Nevada statute that says minors aren’t allowed to loiter on the casino floor. It’s a law I wholeheartedly agree with, but was unaware of when we stopped at a gift store to buy a bottle of water.

This particular casino is very upscale and enjoys a reputation for delivering excellent service. But, apparently, waiting for Mom to buy a beverage with an 11-year-old is considered loitering.

“You can’t be here!” an employee barked at me. “You have to move now.”

Had I known about NRS 463.350, I certainly wouldn’t have stopped.

But yelling at a guest? Unless there’s a fire in the hotel, I can’t think of any reason to do it.

Had the employee said, “I’m sorry, but Nevada state law doesn’t allow minors to stop in the casino,” then I might have felt a little better. When were they planning to tell me the kids couldn’t stop to marvel at the slot machines?

Point is, with just a few carefully-chosen words, the employee wouldn’t have made me wish I’d never set foot in the futuristic-looking casino with a backward view of customer service.

We’re not invisible

A few days later, I had another fascinating conversation with an off-duty bartender in California. During a frank discussion about the tipping economy, she told me that on a good evening she raked in $600 in gratuities, which she didn’t have to declare as income to the government. But she added that customers who didn’t tip “at least 20 percent” were her pet peeves.

“What happens if you fail to observe this invisible rule?” I asked.

“Unless you’re the only person at the bar,” she said, “you’re invisible to me. You don’t exist.”

OK, I’m on record as being the world’s worst tipper, which is why I always ask someone else to calculate the tip. I feel that the price that’s on the menu is the price I should pay. If you want 20 percent more, then why not add 20 percent to the menu and be done with it?

But beyond that, I wonder what happens when someone from Europe walks into the bar and isn’t aware that “at least” 20 percent is expected. Do they also become “invisible”?

This isn’t the time to argue about the ethics of paying your employees below minimum wage and forcing them to rely on the kindness of strangers to earn a living. I’ll save that for another post. But I’m hard-pressed to recall the last time my menu said, “YOU ARE EXPECTED TO TIP 20 PERCENT,” or even, “Prices do not include gratuity.”

There’s no guidance, no disclosure.

As a result, employees are often furious at us. In the airline industry, for example, employees have a rich vocabulary to describe passengers that behave inappropriately, starting with the simple word “pax” (an abbreviation of passengers) and ranging to the derogatory term “gate lice” for inexperienced air travelers making rookie mistakes. They also call people who ought to know better, because of the color of their frequent flier card, “entitleds.”

So how can we be good customers if no one knows how they’re supposed to behave? The casino should have told us about the kids-standing-still rule by prominently posting it outside the entrance. It did not.

My friend’s bar should inform patrons that they depend on tips to pay the rent. Or, they might start by printing a little notification at the bottom of our bills:
Prices do not include customary 20 percent gratuity.”

I spend a lot of time on this site telling companies how to behave. Maybe it’s time they let us know what’s expected of us, too.

Should companies be clearer about their expectations?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on our help forum.

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  • Rebecca

    I worked in retail and a call center for over 10 years. I can let almost anything roll off my back. The way I look at it, if you have nothing better to do than be nasty to customer service people, I will probably deal with you for only a few minutes. You leave and you’re still a miserable jerk. I’m not, so I don’t care about you.

    I will say, the only people that really got to me were two small groups: the people on welfare that pulled out their food stamps with wads of cash and/or kept having more and more kids. And the people that sauntered in 2 minutes before closing and wouldn’t leave until a good 30/40 minutes after the store closed. Like their time is that much more valuable than the employees waiting to go home.

  • Maxwell_Daemon

    To Rebecca,

    “I will say, the only people that really got to me were two small groups:
    the people on welfare that pulled out their food stamps with wads of
    cash and/or kept having more and more kids.”

    This is some of the worst racial stereotyping that I’ve seen posted here. Besides it is also off topic.

    When in the US I usually tip at 15%, which I feel is adequate. I don’t like tipping creep.

    Only
    once did I refuse to leave a tip. It was near Miami when a waitress
    slipped a 20% tip onto my bill without telling us. I barred it with a
    red felt tip and redid the addition. There were just two of us at the
    table, my wife and I speaking French. I guess the waitress was surprised
    when she asked me where I was fram and I said Brooklyn.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Hmmm. Sometimes I wonder if I want to be a good customer. Almost all of the examples presented was basically, capitulating to the service industries requirements, especially with regards to tips or you’re a bad customer. Seems very one sided.

  • Dutchess

    What bugs me are opinionated servers who judge their customers on their public assistance status. What the heck does it matter to you if they have food stamps? Are you saying they didn’t tip or were rude, or are you just saying you don’t like poor people? Last time I checked, retail workers were some of the lowest paid workers in the service economy. I guess everyone, even a poor waitress, needs to feel superior to someone!

    Also, if you’re open until 10, don’t complain about people coming in until 10. That’s part of your job, you just have to deal with it. Last time I checked you’re still getting paid to be there and not the customer.

  • Dutchess

    I have no problem tipping, in fact I’m a decent tipper, typically 20% but the bartender’s entitled opinion is a turn off, especially for a bartender. I usually tip out at $1 per drink. This isn’t table service so the idea that you get 20% is frankly absurd.

    Also, the fastest way to get no tip is to mention tipping. I once had a tour guide mention tips three times! He got no tip. Also, I had a german waiter mention once that the price didn’t include tips even though the receipt very clearly included a gratuity.

  • Rebecca

    I’m saying the same people who were on food stamps when I started still were 8 years later. Except they had several more children. I absolutely judge that. It’s my money to begin with.

    And don’t get me started about the ones that used assistance cards to buy liquor…..

  • Rebecca

    What are you talking about race? I didn’t say anything about race. The word I used was “people.” What race exactly is that stereotyping?

  • Grant Ritchie

    How is a mention of “people on welfare that (keep) having more and more kids” racist? I think someone’s own prejudices might be showing.

  • Randy Culpepper

    My first career was in the service industry (11 years as a server), and please don’t let the bartender you spoke with in Cali speak for the rest of us. She strikes me as an entitled service employees who changes restaurants/bars every six months or so and always claims that her previous employer doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Also, bartenders and servers lie about their money. A lot. I can’t imagine she’s having two many $600 nights if she’s straight up ignoring guest that aren’t up to her standards. Mature servers understand that: a) not every table is going to be a dream table, b) while bad tips do happen, they aren’t as frequent as generous tips. c) by no means should your level of service change simply because you think you’re going to get a bad tip–then it becomes a sulf-fulfilling prophecy. Sadly, a LOT of servers that I worked with over the years would see that their table was race [x] and immediately their demeanor would change to something more surly.

    I realized that I was becoming one of the more mature guys when I learned not to get pissed off when somebody orders a hot tea. :-)

    Also, did she tell you she isn’t reporting her tips, or did you assume? Most people pay with plastic now, so card tips get reported. Otherwise, if she’s making $600 straight cash, then something else is afoot.

  • LFH0

    I really did not like the selfish hypocrisy of that bartender. She said that “on a good evening she raked in $600 in gratuities, which she didn’t have to declare as income to the government.” In fact, such income does have to be reported to the government. Only people who are dishonest and cheat on their taxes do not report such income on their taxes (yes, that’s a lot of people). So not only does she want 20 percent from her customers, but she also wants to cheat all the non-customers by not paying her fair share of the tax burden that is levied on all of us. If she’s not paying taxes on those 20 percent tips, then she is, effectively, taking the equivalent of 30 percent in tips. How greedy!

  • Randy Culpepper

    Also, servers and bartenders in Cali make $8,00/hr plus tips AND they have healthcare options that servers in the rest of the country could only dream of. That was always our understanding for why Californians generally tipped a bit under par, because they’re already taken care of their workers.

  • Maxwell_Daemon

    There are such things as well used code words.

  • $16635417

    In my high school years I bagged groceries and that was my first exposure to what sort of “people” abused food stamps. They would stock up on frozen dinners and then peel off $100 bills to pay for the cigarettes and liquor.

    I only encountered white “people” on food stamps, so is that racist?

    Edited to clarify: This applies to the job I had in high school. I have since seen food stamps used (and abused) by all races over the years.

  • backprop

    You have to love tip inflation. Years ago (well within my lifetime), a 15% tip was customary for very good customer service. Then it was 18%. Then 20%. The bartender in your post now says 20% is the minimum. And, on food forums where I lurk, waitstaff that post now say that 25% should be the minimum!

    Just in case anyone tries to pull the inflation bit – that cost of living has increased, and so should tips – realize that a percentage tip is based on the price of the meal, which has also increased during that time. A $6 meal in 1995 is a $12 meal today, and a 15% tip has gone up proportionally.

  • Maxwell_Daemon

    No, but it will make you an exception in it’s usage

  • Maxwell_Daemon

    That logic/math is to simple for the waitstaff to comprehend

  • $16635417

    So if I had started the thread by saying, you should have seen the “people” I encountered who used food stamps, what would you have assumed?

  • Maxwell_Daemon

    Most people that use food stamps in the US happen to be white, and most are hidden in places like Appalachia or the suburbs.

    How ever in this day and age the accusations of “food stamp usage” has been taken over by people with an entirely different meaning and usage

    So taken with out a context, or a in a specified context it could mean anything, taken tin the context of what Rebecca said/posted it meant what I said it meant

  • RushFlights

    I think it is also matter of different habits in different countries. People who travel often don’t know that it is necessary to tip, or how much should they tip. This differs from country to country and one can be considered rude if he gives too small tip although he thinks he is generous…

  • Kevin Mathews

    Max,
    You own stereotypes and racist attitudes are coming out here. Nothing in what she wrote would indicate one race or another at all. You may have assumed she meant one race, but that was based on your experiences and opinions, not hers. While her comments were a little off topic from Tipping/Not Tipping, her opinion and personal experiences are hers to share, even if you twist the words into ways they were not meant to be taken.
    Personally, I think the EBT/Food Stamp system in our country is a waste of taxpayer money. Not because I think helping out other people in need is a bad thing, but because the way the system is set up is ripe for abuse. I absolutely avoid Walmart from the 1st through about the 4th of every month. I also know the chances of buying meat is slim and none. I have seen people clear out the Walmart meat section, then turn around and sell the meat for half price for cash. Sickens me to see my tax money abused in such a manor.
    BUT, WIC is a fabulous program. If you are going to be on public assistance for food, it should be for the necessities to survive. You should not be allowed to use public assistance to grab a bag of chips…
    And for those of you who think her comment about staying late after work is OK because she is getting paid to be there, how many people after working a 9-hour shift want to hang out at work for another hour afterwards simply because someone won’t leave? When I was an hourly worker, I looked forward to when the clock hitting leaving time so I could get out of there and go home…

  • Kevin Mathews

    Card Tips are only reported if the place doesn’t cash out the staff at the end of each night. If the place withholds electronic tips and puts that into their paycheck, then they are required to withhold taxes and blah blah blah from the money. Otherwise if they just cash out the servers/bartenders at the end of each night, it’s on the employee to report her income…

  • Maxwell_Daemon

    I disagree. I think that people that travel a lot are in tune to the different customs in the different countries, the exception being those that travel in groups. The first thing that I do is to assume that I don’t know what the local customs are. I then execute those proverbial remedies, I ask, and look around.

  • Randy Culpepper

    I guess every place is different. At my first serving gig (Romano’s Macaroni Grill), We cashed out every night, but the POS still kept track of our CC tips and those were reported on our stubs/W2s even though we’d gotten the cash.

  • Kevin Mathews

    It definitely does vary by establishment. The more established and “higher end” places, or chains, tend to be the ones that are more willing to deal with tracking all the incomes and such.
    Smaller “Mom & Pops” places don’t always have all the systems in place to do that…

  • EdB

    This is why when I tip, I always put it on the CC, so it gets recorded. Whether it is recorded in a way that forces the tip to be reported, I’m not sure, but like to think that it does.

  • EdB

    I agree. I always thought the amount of a tip was suppose to represent how good of a server the person is, not how bad a customer is.

  • John Baker

    And bartenders think I’m entitled? Wow. I’d love to know where she works so I can avoid it!

  • EdB

    If I walked into an establishment and saw a sign like that on the counter, I would have turned and walked out never to return. Tips are suppose to reflect the level and quality of the service, not the quality of a customer.

  • MarkKelling

    If you work somewhere in a job that people normally tip you for and you don’t like the fact that not everyone is tipping a high enough percentage to make you happy, change jobs. If you don’t like having to stay after your shift officially ends, change jobs.

    There are many reasons why customers don’t always tip 20% or more. Maybe because they simply don’t have that much extra to leave the tip. Maybe the server automatically judged them to be non-tippers based on what they were wearing or what they ordered and didn’t provide the level of service that would have gotten a better tip. Maybe the customer is from somewhere that tips are not the norm and don’t know how much to leave. Maybe the customer is simply a jerk. It shouldn’t matter. A server has a job to do and it should be done equally well for every customer.

    And that person who comes in at the last minute might just give you the biggest tip of the day because he is aware you are there after closing.

  • MarkKelling

    I just hope you never end up on public assistance or food stamps. I wonder how you will handle the stares and whispered comments.

    I worked in the grocery business for many years. I saw all kinds of people using food stamps. Many were those permanently on them. Many were people temporarily out of work who received them instead of cash benefits. Some had no problem counting out their payment while many seemed embarrassed by having to use them. It did annoy me at first when I would see them pull out $100 to pay for things that weren’t allowed on food stamps. But then I learned that for many that was probably their last $100.

  • naoma

    Our daughter worked at a restaurant in college and she said “If you can’t tip, don’t eat out.” These people depend on tips. Their pay is very small. Her Father (my husband) is a big tipper. Once we had a $5 coupon for money off and gave it to a couple who visited us — they took the $5 off their meal and did not offer any tip. My husband tipped very well. Needless to say, next time they came through town we did not “dine” with them. At many places the “tips” are shared by the kitchen staff also. Not only the servers. Once I took a job at a cocktail lounge-restaurant. First night: couple came in and ordered steaks and drinks and left without paying. I had to pay the bill to the owner. My first and last night as a server there. Another job was at an ice cream parlor/restaurant. Man left me pennies and one couple’s kids smeared food all over the table. Waitressing is a thankless task. I worked for an attorney (had a REAL JOB then) and he would leave small change at dinner — pennies, dimes, etc. I was so embarrassed I’d leave a few dollars of my own.

  • FQTVLR

    The casino needs posted signs about minors or to make them more visible so that you can comply with the law. I attend a meeting each year in Vegas and the signs at the hotel (on the strip, well known for customer service, etc) has had the signs prominently posted for years. That is the only one I am familiar with and assumed that others were the same. I have been attending this meeting for over 10 years and have known that no one under the age of 18 is allowed in the casino. Period.

    On to the food service industry.
    You can tell me what that expected gratuity is all you want but 20% is too much in most instances. I do not tip 20% but stick to the average of 15%. I have long been in favor of paying employees, including the wait staff, an appropriate wage and not forcing them to rely on tips for most of their income. The system we use is archaic and wrong. I am paying for a meal and the cost should include all costs of preparing and serving that meal. It is demeaning to the server to have to bow and scrape in an effort to get the money they should be paid by their employer.

    And I wonder why that bartender does not think she does not have to declare her tips. Federal law requires it as do most states. And California, that leaves no income untaxed? She is not only judgmental towards her customers but is flagrantly breaking the law.

  • Veronica

    I think that it should be clearly stated – that way there are no misunderstandings.

  • Goldie

    “If you can’t live off the wages of the job, don’t work that job.”

    See, it works both ways. Don’t try to guilt us into supplementing you choice for taking that job.

    As far as you having to pay for the meal that the patron skipped on, I call bullshit. Federal Law protects workers from cases like this. If you were forced to pay for something that you didn’t have to and didn’t fight back, don’t blame the patron. Look into the mirror to see the person to blame.

    But then, that kind of feeds back to what you are trying to guilt customers into do. They should have to pay “mandatory” fee for service no matter the quality and not paying what is by definition an optional payment, makes you just as guilty as that owner who you claimed made you pay for the meal the customer skipped on.

  • Goldie

    Chris, can we get the name of that bartender so we can report her to the IRS?

  • Pegtoo

    EXACTLY!!!!!

  • jerryatric

    I find that, in Canada, more restaurants are now writing at the bottom of their menus, “Gratuities not included” that should be enough! How much you tip is up to you & service received.
    Even some other areas, car washes etc., are posting signs.

  • John Baker

    @LFH0:disqus … Won’t she get a surprise when she gets audited. Yes, the IRS does look at your occupation and they do look to see what you declare in tip income if you have a “tip” occupation. My accountant sent me an advisory a few weeks ago that the IRS was stepping up enforcement on both individuals and businesses that were under reporting cash income based on industry norms.

  • Bill___A

    These past few years, I have been reading more and more about tipping – and although I was goaded some years ago into tipping 20%, after reading a lot about it, I don’t think it is appropriate at all.
    Having been to places where a tip is not expected compared to places where it is, I do not see “huge differences” in the food prices at all. The argument that we would see the prices go way up if tipping were abolished seems to be quite untrue. I’m sure that if employers were to pay a fair wage, they could do so without increasing the prices more than 15%.
    When I read about this bartender who expects 20%, it is definitely someone I do not want to do business with. If she is taking in $600 in tips each day and then her regular pay, she is getting $75 an hour “tax free” plus her regular wage. Is this a reasonable amount to pay someone for pouring drinks? Of course not. That’s what is wrong with the tipping culture, is that there is often the situation where people are paid far more than they should be.
    Although I do tip 15% generally, it is only out of the realization that the wages are not enough. However, I would like to see an end put to this whole tipping fiasco. It is particularly bad in the United States, where it is even out for fast food workers.

  • Trudi

    Wow, you may be exactly the kind of person Elliot is talking about. If people who are on govenment assistance don’t know that they’re supposed to appear poor, groveling, and sad then they shoud be so informed. When my sister’s husband left her with three kids she was getting public assistance for about a year until she found a job; during that time she took care of other people’s kids for extra money. She always dressed well, and made sure her kids were clean and dressed well, too, even though many of their clothes came from donation bins. Had you posted a sign saying if you use food stamps or an EBT card, you better come in early, be disheveled and needy, thin and gaunt would work; act appropriately ashamed. Then maybe this customer service person will treat you with less disdane.

  • Rebecca

    I said wads of bills; there were several customers in the store I worked at that literally would flash thousands of dollars in cash (not exaggerating) and pay with assistance.

    And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using food stamps. I only said it bothered me in specific instances.

  • Rebecca

    I said nothing about poor and groveling. Your example is exactly what public assistance is meant for and I totally support it. I sorry if it came across differently. I’m talking about people that game the system, NOT those we as a society we should help and give a leg up to. I should have explained it better, I guess.

  • Rebecca

    There was no code, honestly. I really, truly didn’t mean what you’re implying. There are people across all races that take advantage of and game the system.

    It’s offensive to me that you are labeling me that way.

  • Elmo Clarity

    And you knew they were gaming the system how? Just by looking at them? Assuming you knew everything about them with nothing more than a glance?

  • Trudi

    I travel as often as possible. When I do, I always treat the people I meet like I would a long lost friend. I don’t expect them to go out of their way to help me with something, but I expect common courtesy. If I trip and fall, help me up; if I walk in an out door, show me the sign; if I’m walking too slow, ask if you can go around – common courtesy. If I use food/drink service, hotel maid/doorman service, taxi/concierge service I expect to be told it’s an additional charge. I resent being told to tip bartenders, unless I request special service; however, because it’s expected and I know it’s expected, so I tip. I also typically chose to drink less in a bar and instead take my bottle of wine to my room. I don’t typically tip maid service unless I expect something over and beyond making the bed; frankly, I don’t mind making my own bed if I’m only going to be there for 3 or 4 days. If the hotel is hiring people who work for tips only, let me know that ahead of time. I don’t know who wrote the rules of travel, but they need clarifying. I’ve used a cab maybe 4 times in my life; why do I tip a cabbie? Does he/she only work for tips? Tell me so! I’ve never tipped anyone in an airline (except the curb help), but I can’t blame the air service people for being a little offended by someone who is pretentious and entitled – other people are sharing that space. I’ve never encountered really offensive service on the airline I usually use. If I break a rule, let me know; if you change a rule, let me know; if you don’t want my business – let me know.

  • Rebecca

    FYI – WIC supplies formula, which is one of the most heavily resold welfare items. Otherwise, I agree.

  • Rebecca

    No, because they bragged about it. Seriously. I specifically remember one customer on food stamps that got a new car every year, average cost about $75,000.

    And, like I said above, the people that literally flashed wads of thousands of dollars and paid in food stamps.

  • Trudi

    I don’t know where you live, but in the two states I’ve lived in, food stamps could not be used to by liquor. They couldn’t be used to by anyting inedible like cigarettes, toilet tissue, cleaning suppolies, toothpaste or other such items. I do know of people who sell their stamps/card to others so they can use the money to buy liquor, but that is illegal and punishable by jail time.

  • Rebecca

    The other thing is, retail doesn’t pay overtime. So employees end up having to do things like shorten lunches to make up for
    it.

    One year I volunteeredto work on Christmas, and the manager had to escort out a customer that wouldn’t leave. Because none of us had anywhere to be or anything…..

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    I absolutely despise signs like the one shown with this article. To me, it’s an implied threat: “Tip me or I’ll spit in your coffee”. I leave an establishment where such are displayed. Most coffee shops and delis that have these are already paying their employees at least the minimum wage and quite often the owner ends up with the contents of the tip jar.

  • BubbeJ

    I was in a restaurant where at the bottom of the bill it said 15% gratuity has been added to your bill. The waiter was quick to tell me that didn’t include a tip! What defines a tip if not the gratuity? I added an additional 5%, but she didn’t like that at all by the look on her face.

  • Rebecca

    Also, I was talking about the people that are still there at 10:30/10:45, not at 10.

  • Rebecca

    This was Illinois. In addition to food stamps, the cards had cash assistance that could be used like debit. And they could use it for whatever they wanted. Its meant for things like toilet paper or electric bills. And I saw a lot of people use it for liquor. It isn’t illegal, I checked and actually wrote to several lawmakers about it.

  • Cyn2

    Just wanted to step away from the tipping commentary and put in a note about the airline lingo. The term “pax” is used as an abbreviation, as the whole aviation industry is filled with abbreviations and acronyms for everything. Notes in customer reservations have to be kept as short as possible due to computer limitatations, while still being understood. Here are a few others: “wx” for weather, “mx” or “mech” for mechanical issues or mechanics on the aircraft, “flifo” for flight information, “agt” for agent (ticket counter or gate), “fa” for flight attendant. It’s not derogatory, it’s just shorthand.
    As for “gate lice,” I’ve only seen that term in the Flyer Talk forums, not used by agents, to my knowledge. As far as I can tell, they are referring to passengers who block access to the boarding line, when their group number or seat number is not due to be called for a while.
    I can’t speak to the term “entitled” and its usage by agents. I haven’t heard it personally. Again, that sounds more like a forum term.

  • Trudi

    Boy, this very interesting topic has taken off on a surprising tangent! Amazing what people see in a question isn’t it? Maybe that’s part of the issue. We don’t have a unified definition of expectations of behavior. In the casino, I’d have taken the kids into the store with me; still I never would have expected to be yelled at by an employee for standing there waiting for someone to come out. I don’t expect to be yelled at in public at all – it’s just plain rude. Somehow this story about understanding the expectations of behavior has shifted into a political free for all. You never know how people will react, huh?

  • Trudi

    Okay, but you did come off sounding very judgmental. There are some people who play the system, but fewer and fewer every day get that opportunity. I worked retail and grocery for 14 year; abuse did happen, but not often and not much.

  • Goldie

    Retail doesn’t pay overtime? In the US, if you are hourly, it is required by law to pay overtime. Salaried employees in any field tend not to get overtime.

  • Goldie

    And how many of them bragged about it to you? I wouldn’t put too much credibility into her statements based on some of the “examples” she have given.

  • emanon256

    I worked for a pizza delivery business for years and we were cashed out every night and received our tips in cash, even if paid by credit card and/or check. I never had a situation where there were so many credit card/check orders I didn’t have enough cash to cover my tips. When cashing out we were asked to declare our tips. If we didn’t declare, a default of $2 per delivery was used. Some people refused to declare, however I always went with actuals. I usually made $2.50 per delivery on average, though some nights I made less, some more. When I moved to another city, I was averaging about $0.75 per delivery in tips (College town) so I found another job. The pizza place int he college town didn’t have any sort of policy. We cashed out, left with tips, and were asked to report our actuals.

    I always reported my actuals. I felt it was appropriate to be honest about my income. In fact, it disgusts me that some servers don’t report tips.

  • emanon256

    When I delivered pizza it wasn’t. But that was a long time ago, hopefully now it is reported.

  • LeeAnneClark

    AGREE! I fully remember when 15% was considered the norm. I learned to tip by taking 10% of the bill and then adding in half of that. It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago that I suddenly started hearing that tips should be 18%, which messed up my math. Then suddenly it was supposed to be 20%, which was easier math, but seemed ridiculously high for standard service.

    I still tip 15% for standard service, 20% if the server went above and beyond. If that is going to make me invisible to my server, then I will happily take my business elsewhere and that server’s tip just dropped from 15% to…add it up now…ZERO.

  • emanon256

    My wife believes breakfast should be 10%, lunch 15% dinner 20%. I am still not sure where she got that one.

    I am with you. 15% for standard service, 20% for great service.

  • Goldie

    Or that family and friends may be helping them. I personally have helped friends who have been down on thier luck by paying some bills for them so they didn’t lose things like thier car or cellphone. They needed them in order to get a new job to get off welfare and back on thier feet. Without them, they would still be on assistance.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Rebecca, I know where you’re coming from and it bothers me too, as a taxpayer, that there are people on welfare who live better than those of us who work for a living.

    It’s hard to stand there in line at the grocery store, calculator in hand to make sure you stay on budget, coupons bursting out of my hand, shopping cart full of generic merchandise and low-grade hanburger, and watch someone on welfare put on the conveyor belt several steaks and lobsters (yes, this really did happen – I saw it with my own eyes), the $5 a boxes of cereal, the most expensive toilet paper on the shelf and boxes and boxes of frozen treats.

    These same people have better cell phones than my husband and I, have the expensive manicures, designer clothes, and if you see them in the parking lot, driving the Escalades all decked out with thousands of dollars of extras on them.

    Whenever I see someone doing that and they don’t have the rewards card at a particular grocery store I go to that would save them a bunch, I always offer mine up and tell them, “This is to reduce the amount of my tax dollars being used.” They always hate it but the clerks always smile at me and thank me. Yes, I’m being nasty but I don’t care. In one case, I managed to save on a particular ring up over $100. That $100 could go a long way with a responsible consumer. I don’t begrudge a person being on welfare who truly needs a hand up, but I do resent those who treat it like “free money to burn”, thus a hand out.

  • emanon256

    I have seen that way to often. People will provide bad service because they expect a certain person/group etc. to not tip, and because the provide bad service, they get a bad tip. Its a self fulfilling cycle.

  • Freehiker

    I bagged groceries for a couple of years when I was in high school and never understood people that came in and used “food stamps” to buy large amounts of steak and high end items, then I rolled out groceries to their brand new car.

    There’s a difference between people that need it and people that abuse the system.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    So, Maxwell, you declare Rebecca a racist for using the term “people on welfare”, yet you were the one who brought race into the discussion. Seems to me “you” would be the racist to think she was talking about one race or another.

    Sorry, Maxwell, but your hypocrisy is showing.

    And, “code words”… Really? Code words? Are we back in WWII?

    And, dear Maxwell, when I was in college, I was a waitress. I did this 40 hours a week as well as attend college full-time. Someone who tips “only” 15% is a bad tipper, period. 10% is reserved for poor service, if you leave anything at all, 15% is reserved for average service and 20% is reserved for above-average service. If you routinely leave 15%, you’re rewarding those who serve you poorly and skimping on those who give you better than average service. Were you in my station and left only 15%, after I busted my butt to smile through it all in spite of my feet killing me, knowing I had a mid-term to study for, because none of this is the customer’s fault, you’d never get good service out of me again. Period.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Are you aware that far less than 1% of welfare recipients abuse the system? The myth of the “welfare queen” is just that – a myth. The vast majority of food stamp recipients are children, elderly and disabled.

    Are there some people who abuse it? Sure – there are always going to be criminals in any society, and shysters who try to get something for nothing. But it’s almost impossible to do so for long. States require that all welfare recipients must find work within two years of first receiving benefits. This includes single parents, who are required to work at least 30 hours per week. Two parent families are required to work 35 to 50 hours per week. Failure to obtain work could result in loss of benefits. It is also worth noting that thanks to the pay offerings of companies such as Walmart, many who work at low wage jobs qualify for public assistance, even though they work full time.

    Just trying to inject some facts and reality into what has turned in to a typical “bag on the poor people” discussion. Sad to see in here, especially from people who’s comments I generally respect.

  • Dutchess

    What business is it of yours how many children people have? No it isn’t YOUR money. Sure everyone’s tax money pays for these programs but you don’t think you benefit? How do they pay to eat at your restaurant? Oh yeah, with that money.

    Also, as a server, do you report 100% of your tips? (FYI, I’ve NEVER EVER met a server who reports 100% of their tips, so I won’t believe you if you say yes) If you don’t, you’re just as much a MOOCH on society as claim welfare recipients are. You’re taking away money from tax revenue that could otherwise go to fixing roads, or paying for schools. So, how come you’re entitled not to pay your fair share of taxes on your tips yet chastise others for receiving public assistance. That’s what I thought.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    LeAnne, while that might be the requirement, that’s certainly not the reality. There are ways to game the system and I’ve seen people brag about being on welfare for years and years.

    When I was the bookkeeper for a property management company, we had tenants on welfare (They were Section 8 housing) who would complain they couldn’t find work. I was constantly telling people, “I saw a Help Wanted sign at XXX” or “I saw in the paper the commissary on base is looking for cashiers, which starts as a GS-2” or “I saw such-and-such casino is looking for cage cashiers (or housekeeping, or waitresses, etc.)” and I always got the same responses, “I have to get up too early”, “It doesn’t pay enough”, “I don’t like the people on base”, “I don’t want to handle dirty sheets”, etc. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

    Only one time, out of dozens, did the person actually apply to the job I’d recommended and he got it. He brought me a gift for helping him, though I didn’t feel I deserved it. He told me they finally could support themselves, though it was the same income as welfare. However, he also said, “But at least I can work my way up to more pay, which I can’t do on welfare”.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Dutchess, when I was a waitress, I reported 100% of my tips. 100%. Always.

  • Dutchess

    Sigh, the whole myth of the welfare queen has to die.

  • emanon256

    I find that hard to believe. The maximum benefit in IL is $200 per person per month which goes down based on number of people in your household and income. There is an asset requirement which takes into account your vehicle and value of your vehicle. If this person had a $75,000 car before they lost their job, they would still get immediate help, but they could not stay on food stamps for an extended period.

  • Chris Johnson

    How did she anything about race? She didn’t indicate a damn thing about skin color or religion. I’m with Rebecca on this one too. Having volunteered at a church that offered meals to low-income people, I did come across some people who gamed the system too and even bragged about it. They knew how the whole welfare system worked better than their own caseworkers! They were of all races, I might add. Some people were a lot more judgemental than me though; I think the people that gamed the system were basically ruining it for everyone else that truly needed the public assistance, because other volunteers had the mentality that anyone on food stamps was just a lazy deadbeat. I didn’t think that way, but I sure saw some.

  • Rebecca

    I would say the abusers were outnumbered,for sure. My point was that only a few customers really irritated me. I apparently hit a nerve, which honestly wasn’t my intention. Stupid of me not to see that coming! What suprises me is how many people are judging me, complaining that I’m being judgemental. I do stand by what I said, I guess I should have been less abrasive about it.

  • Dutchess

    Yes, it’s called Dog Whistle politics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics

  • ExplorationTravMag

    LeAnne – you could sit in my station any time! That’s how it should be done.

  • Rebecca

    A surprising amount. And a lot of customers bragged loudly to each other. Like I said before,I’m not saying its the majority. It’s those few people, out of all the rest, that really got to me.

  • Guest

    So let me get this straight. a 10% tip means you had bad service. But someone who tips 15% is a bad tipper yet you then go on and say 15% is reserved for average service? So someone who tips the amount you say makes them a bad tipper is what you say they should leave for average service? And that “after I busted my butt to smile through it all in spite of my feet
    killing me, knowing I had a mid-term to study for, because none of this
    is the customer’s fault, you’d never get good service out of me again.
    Period.”, as you say, none of this is the customer’s fault, you are still going to penalize them for tipping 15% for average service?

    I sure hope you weren’t majoring in logic in college.

  • MarieTD

    Yes, they do brag about it. For a while, I worked in mental health where at least half of our clients were receiving assistance of one kind or another. I kept my mouth shut around those who gamed the system because I was once on the receiving end of welfare (before food stamps) and didn’t want to come off as moralizing as some of the posters here are doing.
    That said, being on welfare, collecting our box of surplus food, was one of the most humiliating things that I’ve experienced and as far as I know, most on assistance feel as I felt. And what does all this moralizing here have to do with the poll question?

  • Rebecca

    I’ve never been a waitress, I don’t know where you’re getting that from. I have always paid my taxes.

  • Guest

    Are you saying I shouldn’t have driven my new car to the store when I was helping my neighbor, who was on food stamps, by taking them to the store so they didn’t have to walk over a mile to shop? God, I wish I knew that then. I’ll never help anyone out again so others don’t get the idea the people I am helping are gaming the system.

  • Rebecca

    No, I’m saying you shouldn’t brag about your brand new Audi A8 and pay with food stamps.

  • Rebecca

    I meant they won’t allow you to work over 40 hours.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    What a condescending thing to say.

    Most servers have FAR more intelligence than you would give them credit for. I was a waitress and could do the math in my head.

  • John Baker

    I’m a 15% guy too. Exceptional service. You’ll get a little more.

    I’m also weird that I tip on the pre-discount amount so if its “kids eat free” day, I tip like I would have paid for the kids.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    You know, Chris, it’s funny you put tipping and a casino’s rules on children on the floor in the same article.

    I had an assignment for a small town in Colorado that has casinos and I took my son and his best friend with me. We went down for breakfast at the restaurant inside the casino we were staying at (with an employee walking us to the restaurant, due to the kids). I prefer to give cash for a tip so told the boys, “I’ll be back in a couple minutes. I need to break a $20 so I can tip our server.”

    The line was longer than usual at the cashier’s cage and it took me more than a couple minutes. When I came back, the server was giving them a ration of… Well, you know… because I wasn’t there. They had told the server what I was doing but he started calling them a liar and told them if I didn’t come back, they’d be removed from the restaurant. When I did come back, I told the server the same thing, he looked down and saw the change in my hand and he calmed down, probably because he only bullies kids, not adults. Needless to say, he didn’t get a tip that morning from me.

    The first time I took my son with me to a casino, I didn’t know that was the rule. However, they let you know pretty quickly and pretty forcefully. So, yes, I think something like that should be posted at all entrances. For some reason, I want to say the casinos in Biloxi have this posted and they’re MUCH more kid friendly. They’ll allow you to walk your kids to the buffets by yourself. Maybe, next time, you should go to Biloxi?

  • John Baker

    Here’s a weird thought… Maybe a business that is going to allow kids should have a path that they can take through the business that doesn’t violate the law … ie have a path from the hotel elevators to the buffet that doesn’t go through the casino..

    I know hard concept for the casinos to comprehend.

  • LeeAnneClark

    I hear what you’re saying…but the facts are that it is an *extremely* small percentage of welfare recipients who do that. But because there are a few, those stories get bandied about and repeated ad infinitum like it’s the majority. And that becomes the conversation: those on welfare all get branded as “welfare scofflaws” when in truth the VAST MAJORITY of those who receive government assistance are not.

    The VAST MAJORITY of those who receive food stamps are like my family: when I was young, my father lost his job in the Aerospace industry crash. With a Masters in engineering, he couldn’t get a job. We burned through our savings, and after a year we went on food stamps, which allowed us to NOT lose our house. Mom was treated like absolute DIRT at the grocery store…she was branded because of all the stories like the ones you shared here, even though they have no relationship to her and our family.

    Three years later Dad got a great job and we went off food stamps. We were able to keep our house and keep us kids in good schools, and we all three grew up to be tax-paying citizens contributing to our communities. THAT is what food stamps do for families. Had we not received them, we would have lost our house, lost the car, Dad never would have been in a position to get the great job he did, and certainly none of us kids would have been able to go to college.

    But what do people (generally those who identify as “conservative”) talk about, when the topic of food stamps come up? The TEENSY TINY percentage of criminals who manage to somehow game the system. Not the families like mine who turned to our government to help us when we needed it, and then paid it back in spades.

    Sad.

  • emanon256

    Ive always used PAX myself. I always see it on tour forms and such, “# of PAX”, etc.

  • Goldie

    Then you should have said they don’t let you work overtime, not they don’t pay overtime. Big difference. Also, allowing overtime is a individual business decision. Not a sector wide mandate.

  • Trudi

    Like most myths it develops a life of its own and just grows and grows. Everyone knows someone who kept having babies just so they could get welfare payments….right. Didn’t happen then, doesn’t happen now.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Or perhaps you could have been cognizant of how you came across as suggesting that food stamps scofflaws are so common. That’s what got everyone’s dander up: your suggestion that people like that are so prevalent that you actually found yourself continually irritated by them.

    Or perhaps it was just the tone of your comments, which came across as utterly unsympathetic to the poor.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Your family is a classic example of what the program was designed to do; give you help at a time when you really need it, and nothing more. After three years, your parents were able to get off the program and support the family again.

    However, sadly, there are people who simply don’t see it as a hand up, a support ballast, if you will. And I’m sorry your mom went through this painful time and was treated so badly.

    When my husband was new in the military, we received pubic assistance, so I’m not saying it’s not a good program. We got a weekly delivery from WIC (and I still miss that good government cheese) so it’s not that I don’t’ realize its benefits. I’m just saying, too often (and even once it too much) people abuse the system. It’s sad, really, that a good idea so long ago is now so taken advantage of, making it difficult for good people such as yourselves, to utilize the system as it was intended.

  • Rebecca

    Fair enough. But again, honestly not my intention. It’s like everything else in life, a few bad apples spoil the barrel.

  • LeeAnneClark

    I know, right? But people want to believe anything that furthers their world view, regardless of any basis in fact. They don’t WANT to help the poor…god forbid it might actually come out of their taxes. So they make up these myths that help them believe that the poor are undeserving. That way they can complain about being forced to help the poor without coming right out and saying the truth…that they just want to keep everything for themselves and really don’t give a damn about anyone else. Which always makes me laugh since so many of these types claim to be “Christians”. The irony is almost overwhelming.

  • emanon256

    I am perplexed by the Casino bit. I have never taken my son to Vegas, but I go a lot myself, and I am always surprised by the number of kids all over the place including the Casino. Its pretty common to see a mom with a baby sitting a slot machine playing.

  • Trudi

    water under the bridge….we need to move on to the actual subject of Chris’ article – how do we know when we’re bad customers

  • LeeAnneClark

    And again (seriously, this is the last time I’m making this point, since I believe I’ve made it enough)…the people you are talking about, those who “abuse the system”, are so few and far between as to be an almost negligible percentage. And yet, you continue to mention them like they are a big problem in our country. They are not. But those stories continue to be trotted out to justify cutting aid to EVERYONE…including the vast majority who are families like mine, or are elderly or disabled.

    The whole conversation needs to change. The focus needs to be on the FACTS, not the myth of the welfare queen who doesn’t even exist, and was invented to give “conservatives” a justification for cutting aid to those who need it.

    I do hear you, and I’m not saying the abusers don’t exist. What I’m saying is that those few stories are being used to frame the entire conversation about welfare in this country. Bring up food stamps and what do you hear about? The supposed plethora of people who peel off $100 bills from their stack of food stamps to buy cigarettes and liquor. Like they are the majority.

    They are not. They are just a convenient excuse for not wanting to help the poor.

  • emanon256

    I do the same. Or if I have a coupon or gift card, I tip on the pre coupon or gift card amount. I love getting a bill for $2 after using a gift card, and then adding a tip of $5 or $10 dollars to the $2 bill. But that was the value of what I got. I have has so many servers thank me and tell me that most people would have tipped 15% of the $2.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Yeah, and there are just SO MANY food stamps recipients bragging about their new Audis. It’s gotta be, oh…80%? I mean, based on the number of complaints I hear about all these rich food stamps recipients buying new Audis and bragging about it, it’s GOTTA be, right? There wouldn’t be that many people talking about all the food stamps scofflaws if there weren’t so darn many of them! They’re like cockroaches…they crawl out of the woodwork, somehow manage to get the government to give them food stamps, and then go make meth in the basements of their McMansions and buy Audis with the proceeds. And then brag about it to retail sales clerks. It’s a gosh darn epidemic, I tell you!

  • Guest

    So now you want to dictate what people can talk about? Besides, who said I was talking about it? I was responding to Urof’s implication that just because the car he rolled the groceries out was new, that person was gaming the system. There was no mention about it being talked about. And even if it was, what business is it of yours?

  • DavidYoung2

    Why on earth should anybody be judged by whether or not they’re receiving public assistance? Who cares? If you’re in customer service, be a professional and provide quality customer service regardless of who you customer might be. Some customers you might like, some you might not and some you might detest. If you do your job as a professional, it shouldn’t make any difference.

  • $16635417

    You’re right!

    My comment was not meant to say that all (or the majority of) food stamp users abused the system, but rather to relay my observations that abuse was not limited to a particular race or group of people. I’ll edit my comment to reflect that.

    Thanks!

  • Guest

    Hehe. I love it. :) i just keep wondering how deep of a hole she is going to dig for herself.

  • DavidYoung2

    You’re so right about myths and lies repeated so often people take them as fact. A recent poll showed 29% if Louisiana republicans blame Obama for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina — three years before he became president. Stuff that’s just factually untrue develop a life of their own.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Great post. It has moved totally off-topic plus I’m rather amazed that so many people are finding it hard to believe that anybody has ever gamed public assistance. That’s so well known that even the government admits it routinely happens.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    What is the source for the “far less than 1%” statistic? 99% compliance on anything is extremely rare and in any program where there is financial gain to be had by stretching the truth, that’s basically impossible. I’m sure most people are honest and use the system as intended, but don’t try to pretend that abuse of the system is all but unheard of. Even the government admits that billions get wasted by people abusing the system.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Wow. This has now officially jumped the shark.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Yeah. The difference is…those who get it and actually need it are greater than 99% of the total. Those who abuse the system are less than 1%, and are mainly fictions created by “conservatives” who don’t believe in helping “the least among us”. (Which is hilariously ironic when you learn where the term “the least among us” came from…)

  • Maxwell_Daemon

    Absolutely, then they shouldn’t ask for more then a 15% tip, this based on meal costs, before taxes are added on.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Yes it has! But it sure is hilarious to watch. :->

  • Joe_D_Messina

    The question I always have is when exactly did the standard move from 15% to 20%? When I was growing up 15% was the only number you heard, then I remember 15-20 coming into usage, but it now seems that for some 15% is totally gone and 20% is the standard. Plus, if everybody actually tipped (and I mean tipped almost any amount) servers would be WAY better off. Arguing over the difference between the people who tip 15% versus 20% seems pointless given the real problem must be all the people who tip nothing or almost nothing.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Well, given that this entire comments thread has completely jumped the shark, I’m not going to burden you with all the links to my sources – which do exist. Suffice to say that there is more than enough indisputable evidence that the number of abusers (and I never said there aren’t any) is tiny compared to the number of non-abusing recipients. And it is well known that the “right” tends to wildly exaggerate the number of abusers in order to frame the conversation in this nation around welfare to be about the abusers, rather than the vast majority who are legitimately in need.

    But then I also totally get how facts aren’t always convenient when one is trying to justify one’s world view…especially when that world view is about hanging onto their hard-earned money so as to not have to help anyone. It’s so much easier to justify not helping when you can make the needy appear to be so-called “welfare queens”, or rich shysters using their food stamps to buy steak and lobster and carrying it out to their new Audis. ;-)

  • Joe_D_Messina

    I thought Chris’s story about the California bartender was strange, any way. People who tip less than 20% are invisible to them? Okay… but how would he/she know what they’ll tip? The only people who pay by the drink at a bar are either in a hurry or know they’re only getting that single round, so ignoring them does nothing. And everybody else is on a tab so you don’t know how they’ll tip until they pay right before they leave.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Her whole story to Chris was a crock, any way. She’ll totally ignore you if you don’t tip 20%? How does she know what you’ll tip? If you’re a regular, I guess she could, but you wouldn’t be a regular of a place that totally ignores you. And if you’re going to have more than a single drink you’ll likely have it put on a tab and pay the whole amount at the end. By the time she figures out you’re a lousy tipper worthy of being ignored, you’ve already left her bar.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    So, for many decades they could comprehend 15%, but now they suddenly have lost that ability? Too bad there aren’t machines that can compute things like that. Like maybe large machines that also secured cash, or even little gadgets we could carry with us in our pockets. There could even be charts printed up…

  • FQTVLR

    I see PAX all the time on forms. It is not hidden lingo, just an industry abbreviation and not a demeaning term the way most airlines use it. I did call a good friend who is a gate agent in Atlanta for DL and asked about gate lice. She was stunned for a minute and says that she has never heard of that term. And she did acknowledge the “entitled” but also noted that entitlement mindset is simply a result of the airline marking many passengers as better than others based on frequent flyer status and class of service booked.

  • bodega3

    Yes, I thought she was full of it with that comment, too.

  • bodega3

    There is a fast moving trend now for restaurants to not allow tipping. They are paying their workers more and tipping isn’t expected in their establishments. Several in SF have join this….but not the place we ate at yesterday. I don’t mind tipping, but I resent being expected to tip.

  • jennj99738

    I live in Las Vegas and casinos do post signs and do have paths marked on signs that indicate where minors can walk and where they can’t. Next time I’m in a casino, I’ll take a photo and post it. Given how many entrances and exits casinos have, it is easy to miss those signs, however. Casinos do not go out of their way to violate any statute or regulation. Their gaming licenses are too valuable. That said, the employee should have told Chris to move along in a much friendlier way.

  • Dutchess

    Ah, so you have no basis for your “wads of cash” stories, it’s just hyperbole?

    FYI – The whole welfare queen thing is a Myth, started by Reagan in the 70s and used by the right to justify taking money away from needy families.

  • http://www.talestoldfromtheroad.com/ Dick Jordan

    The New York Times addressed the custom of tipping in this story which was published last week: http://nyti.ms/18Jmk3s

  • LFH0

    During my last to southern Mexico a few years ago, after finishing a restaurant meal and tendering my credit card for payment, I would sometimes be asked if I wanted to include the tip in the credit card voucher. A “yes” response did not get followed-up with the question “how much?” but was instead inevitably carried out with the standard tip included in the total, i.e., 10 percent.

    Many years ago I remember in this country 10 percent being standard, then between 10 and 15 percent, and next 15 percent. The reason for the increase should not be inflation: the underlying prices upon which tips are calculated have been increasing for that reason, so a constant percentage does result in increased tip amounts over time. To me, it seems simply to be acquiescence to a desire for “more.”

    Lastly, it surprises me that so many in the service either believe, or advance the idea that, the percentage is based on the total price plus government taxes. There is no basis for tipping someone for tax, as taxes are never “served”; taxes are merely an exaction from the government independent (but for its basis of calculation) of what is sold as a good or service. And so many consumers seem as well to have accepted that idea (though how many do it out of convenience in not having to look for the untaxed sub-total?).

  • LeeAnneClark

    This is also the case with some cruise lines. The high-end cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea & Sebourne do not allow tipping. They pay their crew appropriate salaries, cruise fares are actually representative of what your cruise is going to cost you, and guests are not expected to play the envelope (or, these days, “auto-tipping”) game. It’s so much more civilized!

  • Lindabator

    But its usually not the COMPANIES who are looking for the higher percentage, but the employee. So of course, the company could care less in that case.

  • Lindabator

    AH, the bane of a travel agent’s existence! THEY don’t have the time in THEIR schedule, but you are expected to work (without pay) to accommodate them when they walk in 5 minutes till closing, and then get huffy if you tell them you close in 5 minutes, but would be happy to make an appointment for another date. Frankly, I plan my days out a bit, depending on certain times I cannot meet with a client, so making an appointment time that will work for both of us, and give us enough time for the TYPE of vacation you were looking for is of paramount importance. So please consider that if someone else walked in to YOUR work, no warning, and expected you to work for free after hours, you might get a bit put off by them as well.

  • Lindabator

    I do agree that that is terrible – but the sign on the door SHOULD clearly state that the last clients will be allowed in at 9:30 pm in those cases. I’ve always thought so, unless the restaurant specifically scheduled you to leave at 11:00 pm for a 10:00 pm close. (Have some friends who do that)

  • Lindabator

    True – I had always assumed average places did NOT require the 20%, as it was not considered as much service as the really chi-chi restaurants with multiple courses, different wines, etc. Those I was always used to 20% being the norm.

  • emanon256

    The only statistics I could find via google were the LA, CA public record which stated that only 0.7% of the fraud reports the received in 2012 were actual cases involving fraud, and cited that overall 1/2 of 1% of recipients were committing some type of abuse. http://www.ladpss.org/dpss/ISS/default.cfm

    Also a conservative book bashing Obama and Welfare called “Obama’s America” states that 2% of all welfare recipients are fraudulent, thought he sources are not cited. The author thinks welfare should be done away with and that is the best number he could come up with.

    So I believe its somewhere between 0.5% and 2%, but would like more facts, but based on other readings and what I know I am in 100% agreement with LeeAnne on this issue.

  • Lindabator

    And that is what you are SUPPOSED to tip on. Unfortunately, most don’t.

  • LeeAnneClark

    I just noticed this comment. Boy do I agree with you. Did it really not occur to Maxwell Daemon that many college students work as wait staff to put themselves through school? That waitress whom he thinks can’t comprehend the math may very well be a grad student working towards her degree in astrophysics.

  • Lindabator

    True – but the bargain-hunters want to skimp on the tipping, too, so never even consider these nicer lines (Check out the new Viking Star from Viking river cruises – coming out 2015, but booking now. Include the no tipping required rule, include soft drinks, beer & wine with lunch and dinner, and even offer the complimentary shore excursions, like Regent). Love Crystal, too!

  • ExplorationTravMag

    He’s far too busy looking down his nose at the rest of us to consider something as logical as that. Nearly everyone I worked with when I was a waitress was a college student, and some of them were majoring in math or science! I was the only one going for anything that wasn’t those two specialities and I could STILL do the math in my head.

  • bodega3

    Several years ago, a friend and I were denied a table on the balcony of a restaurant in New Orleans, by the waiter, as it held 4 people and he wanted to fill the table with 4 not 2. This required us to wait for another table to open up. Back then, it was the only place on Royal St that had balcony seating and that is what we wanted, so we waited. This waiter’s table sat empty for some time. A table for two opened up in an area that was serviced by another waiter. He had seen how badly we had been treated by the first waiter and bend over backwards to make our experience enjoyable (even getting us champagne on the house). When we left, we gave a 25% tip. As we were leaving, the 4 people who had been seated at the table we were denied, were leaving and that waiter was running after them. I guess he didn’t get a tip and was demanding it. One of the men in the party of 4, turned on his heels and put his finger in the waiter’s face and said that had the service been good, they would have left one, but they got lousy service and they were not paying him even one penny. That as they say, was a Kodak moment!

  • jmtabb

    I expect that the waiter was having words with your kids because there are parents who have dumped their kids in the restaurant while they snuck back to the casino to gamble some more.

    We weren’t there, and can’t judge his words or tone of voice, but expect that his experience was that most kids sitting by themselves had been left there by the parents on purpose for reasons other than to break a bill for change.

  • bodega3

    I understand where he is coming from and I don’t think he means to insult you. I find a lot of workers who handle money (grocery store, clothing store, restaurants), can’t figure out change unless the cash register tells them what it is. I helped a young shopper figure out how much 20% was off her purchase as the clerk couldn’t do it unless it was done in the register at the time of sale.

  • Joel Wechsler

    Seems to me this discussion has gotten way off topic, what with all the comments about food stamps, tip income etc. etc. The question was whether companies should be more clear in their expectations, was it not?

  • Guest

    Hmm… Silly me. I always thought it was the host/hostess that assigned tables, not the waiters.

  • bodega3

    The waiter refused to seat us when the hostess brought us upstairs.

  • andi330

    Ok, the law that you don’t know, that’s one thing. If you don’t go to Vegas or Nevada or casinos often, you might not know, although really, it’s likely that it was posted somewhere in the hotel, as they can probably get in very big trouble if they get caught allowing children to violate the rule. On the other hand, tipping is customary in this country, and that’s nothing new. No matter what your opinion on whether or not tipping should be allowed, if you go to a sit down restaurant where you are served by a waiter or waitress, unless the menu specifically states that the restaurant includes tips in the final bill, or states outright that tipping is not allowed, you are expected to leave a tip. If a server recognizes you as a habitual non-tipper you won’t get good service. It’s that simple. Remember that in restaurants where tipping is permitted (and expected) your server is likely paid the state’s minimum tipping wage, which is about half the state’s regular minimum wage. When you don’t tip, you are taking food and rent money out of that server’s pocket, because the restaurant is only required to make up the difference in the pay check if the server doesn’t meet minimum wage in tips and base pay for the entire week. The most my restaurant ever paid me when I was waiting tables was $2.18/hour, and my tips for the week were never low enough that the restaurant had to make up the difference between $2.18 and the state hourly minimum wage. In fact, if your declared tips are that low (and don’t let servers fool you, they are legally required to report their tips as income, although many don’t) most restaurants assume you are not declaring your tips as required, and you will get a warning and possibly fired for violating company policy.

  • andi330

    I think the point is that companies don’t state outright that you are expected to tip because in this country, unless otherwise indicated on the menu, if you are in a sit down restaurant, you are expected to tip. And the customary tip amount for dinner service these days is about 20%.

  • bodega3

    The problem is the expectation. No one should expect a tip, but they should appreciate it if they get it. But it has become an expectation. When we left a one cent tip on a credit card charge, we hoped the owner would question the server about it. It was a high end restaurant in Georgetown, DC and the service was zero.

  • Randy Culpepper

    I’m honestly not sure. When I started serving (2000), I would say 18% or so was the norm in Baton Rouge. When I moved to New Orleans, which is a much more sophisticated dining city, the standard (what I averaged–not what I expected) was closer to 23%. I imagine that, New Orleans being a culinary town, your guests were more likely to have worked in the industry at some point…but who knows? I’m just conjecturing.

    All in all, I made a good living while attending college and graduate school. I had really good shifts and really bad shifts, but I’d say it all averaged out to be a roughly $500-600 income on 30 hours a week or so.

  • andi330

    You should have reported him to the manager. As a general rule, they take the tables they are given, they don’t get a say.

  • Randy Culpepper

    I call BS on that bartender. She has the wrong attitude to be successful. Ignoring guests because you don’t think they’re going to tip you doesn’t keep you employed for long.

  • Randy Culpepper

    Is it fair to say that the dining experience has changed from a generation ago? Do you expect more of your service/waitstaff than you did 30 years ago? The modern diner can be rather fickle, and in this age where self-described “foodies” have fetishized the custom of eating a meal to the point of being insufferable, I wouldn’t be surprised if today’s servers invest more preparation, planning and studying (yes studying!) into your meal than you realize.

  • emanon256

    Some of the best service and food I have had was in New Orleans.

  • Dutchess

    It was my understanding that restaurants generally DO account for this with their closing times. I understand that employees want to go home after a long day BUT this is and always has been accounted for in restaurant close times.

  • Randy Culpepper

    It was an amazing place to live and work. I was very fortunate to work for (in my opinion) the best chef in town. I learned and experienced so much, and all without the pretentiousness that often goes along with dining.

  • gratianus

    I understand that the core issue here is how customers are expected to know that tipping is presumed by society and by management to be an integral part of the service economy. To say that “This isn’t the time to argue about the ethics of paying your employees below minimum wage and forcing them to rely on the kindness of strangers to earn a living,” however is wrong, since servers are paid slightly more than $2 an hour, which anticipates that customers are expected to tip.
    As for Europeans, in their home countries servers are paid a living wage, and though they do not expect additional tipping, it is not unwelcome. Back home, some Europeans leave a bit extra, some don’t. When they are traveling the US, even when they know our customs, some choose not to tip. I noticed that in Lee Vining, which is on the eastern end of the Tioga Pass Road out of Yosemite, restaurants stamp their meal checks with a notice that tipping is not included in the total.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    This thread has gone off the rails a little. Please, let’s bring it back to the topic at hand. Thank you.

  • Guest

    Still not buying it. Normally the waiter never appears until after the patrons are seated. Are you trying to say the waiter actually came up to the host while you were being escorted to the table and told them, right in front of you, that the host couldn’t seat you there? If so, why didn’t you demand the manager come out and justify it.

  • ExplorationTravMag

    Oh man, you are SO right! I can remember one of my first jobs as an adult was working at a gas station that didn’t tell us the change and I had to do it all in my head and by hand.

    I can’t BELIEVE how many cashier’s out there can’t do the simple math and keep looking at the register to see what change I should get! I’ve actually told them before when they didn’t enter in the right amount I paid them ($2.00 instead of $20,00) and they tell me something along the lines of, “But that’s not what the register says”. Oh, okay, I’m going to let you short change me $18 because the register says so!

  • SallyLu

    I don’t know what the requirements are now, but when I was a server almost 20 years ago, 8% of sales was always reported, and that amount was in the Allocated Tips section of the W-2, so even if you didn’t report all of your tips, you definitely reported some of them. I’m in CA, so unless something has changed, that bartender is full of it.
    We also were always paid minimum wage, but didn’t have any health benefits.

  • Freehiker

    That’s not what I was saying, and you know it.

    What I saw was families coming in and using food stamps and driving away in new cars. Maybe that was a kind soul like yourself driving their neighbor in to get groceries (it wasn’t, but whatever).

    It still doesn’t explain why those people got to come in and buy steaks and everything else they wanted with food stamps. I was one of 3 kids, with working parents and there were nights we struggled to have things on our table, and things like steaks were never an option. My parents never owned a new car in their lives, and not by choice.

    But, I digress.

    And now I”ll wait for people to come back and cry and moan about this post as well.

  • Freehiker

    Please post the study where you got these statistics from.

  • andi330

    I assume that you expect to get paid for doing your job. Tipping the wait staff at a restaurant that has tipping is that employee’s pay. It is unacceptable to withhold that pay from someone. If your boss refused to pay you, you could sue them and get the money, even if your boss could legitimately argue that you had not been doing your job correctly. Your boss might be able to use that argument to keep you from getting unemployment after firing you, but they could not use it for withholding pay. The reason that you can get away with not tipping is because you are technically not the employer, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are withholding that person’s pay from them and it is likely not something that you would be willing to stand for from your boss. This is why tipping in this country is something that should be done away with. Employees who get fair pay and benefits will give decent service because they don’t want to be fired for not working correctly, or because they enjoy their job, not because of the threat of no tip, and employers will be able to weed out bad employees from good.

    And just leaving a $.01 tip for someone is not going to improve the service. In all likely hood the manager won’t even notice, because he or she won’t read the receipt. In most restaurants (especially fancy ones) at the end of the night the manager prints out a slip that says how much they should have collected in receipts and cash. They tell the employee how much cash to hand over, collect the receipts and then the rest is the employee’s. They aren’t going to over every signed receipt for the evening to see what the tips are. If your service is that bad, then you need to request to speak to the manager, and make it known to them.

  • SallyLu

    I agree. When I was a server almost 20 years ago, 15% was the norm and 20% suppose to be for outstanding service. Back then I rarely felt that people were tipping based on how good they felt the service was, but more on what they thought they were suppose to tip.

  • Guest

    You made a judgemental decision based on your post. Food stamps gives a fixed amount of money for the recipient to spend on whatever food they want. So if they want to spend it all on steaks, they can. And it is none of your business if they do. Saying they shouldn’t be buying steaks just because you couldn’t sounds pretty petty to me.

    Was that their new car? You knew it was how? You checked the registration when you wheeled their groceries out?

  • bodega3

    Oh well, it was the best we could do at the time and one cent has always been the message of crappy service.
    It isn’t my job to pay businesses employees. It has become the way here in the states for diners to do this, hence the restaurant owners pay lousy wages because they have lobbied for it and it has been allowed. We tip. But don’t expect it just because someone sits at your table. Expectations often lead to lousy service and expectations on behalf of the diner often lead to low tips. We had a great waiter last night and he got 20%. We had a lousy waitress recently who got nothing.

  • bodega3

    Well I am sorry that you aren’t buying it. It surprised us, too, that the waiter could refuse to have customers seated at a table, but it happened. But it was pay back when the 4 people left him no tip and told him why. Couldn’t have happened to a better jerk! Was that you?

  • andi330

    Here’s the deal, just plain and simple. If you don’t want to tip people, go to restaurants where tipping isn’t permitted. There are sit down restaurants that have started to move in that direction, as you yourself have pointed out in other posts. If you go to a restaurant where tipping is expected, your tip is the payment of that employees wage. If you would be okay with your boss telling you that you didn’t work up to his standards for the day and so you would be docked one day’s on your next paycheck, then go ahead, don’t leave a tip. If you aren’t okay with that scenario, then you need to rethink your policy on tipping or go somewhere that it’s not expected. I can guarantee you that if you patronize the same restaurants over and over, and you are known by even one or two of the employees as someone who does not tip, you likely don’t get the best service from most of their employees, because they know you, and if they think that they aren’t going to get a tip from you, they aren’t going to put in the effort.

  • Guest

    Why would you even think it would have been me? If it was, then I would have belived it from the start. So why didn’t you report it to the manager while you were waiting for another table?

  • bodega3

    Do you want to sit at a table where the waiter is a prick and would give you crappy service because he didn’t want you there? We decided to wait and in the end, we had great service, free champagne…thanks to the waiter telling the manager about our situation and who paid a visit to our table…and a delightful meal. The dessert was seeing the other waiter get his just reward…zero tip!
    BTW, this happened several years ago, when I new to traveling alone on businesses trips. If this was to happen today, I would have handled it much differently. You learn how to deal with problems after encountering them as you go along.

  • bodega3

    Sounds like someone has been stiffed a tip or two. Maybe due to attitude?

  • backprop

    Well I don’t expect more than 30 years ago because I was barely around, much less able to pay for my meal. Compared to, say, 15 years ago, no I don’t expect more. In fact, I generally get less.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Yes, Crystal was wonderful! I did a Baltics cruise with them…fabulous.

    In my experience, the cruises I’ve done on the no-tipping lines provided FAR better service than the ones where tipping was expected. It also just seemed less…I dunno…”faked”. What I mean is, on the cruise lines where tipping was expected, I often felt like the staff/crew were acting almost desperate in their efforts to win big tips, and it was not unheard of for a crew member to actually mention tips to me, e.g. to remind me to remember what a great job they did at tip time(which I found distasteful). Whereas on the Paul Gauguin, Regent, Crystal, the service was exquisite, and the friendliness and service felt real, not like a desperate ploy for cash. On the no-tipping lines, it felt more like they were just taking pride in doing the job they are paid to do, which is to make the customers’ vacation experiences as wonderful as possible.

    Not sure I articulated that well, but I tried!

  • Lindabator

    Articulated PERFECTLY! I once did a presentation to my BNI (Business Networking Group) to explain why you should use a travel agent. I did a side by side comparison, and showed the “CHEAP” cruise to be far more costly, while the “EXPENSIVE” one was the better bargain, and the service, as you mention, is far superior and “genuine!”

  • LeeAnneClark

    Feel free to do your own research. The truth is out there for those interested in actual facts, rather than partisan propaganda spewed strictly for the purpose of making heartless rich people feel better about not wanting to help “the least of us”.

  • RetiredNavyphotog

    Rebecca never mentioned race.

  • LeeAnneClark

    No crying and moaning. Just shaking our heads over the judgmentalism and heartlessness of so many Americans who scramble to come up with ways to justify not wanting help those less fortunate.

    Oh, and by the way, when my Dad got laid off and MY family got food stamps, my Dad had just bought a car. Which, yes, Mom drove to the store to buy groceries with food stamps. We also still had clothes and furniture, and Mom even still had her wedding ring. Now prepare yourself for this…it actually had a DIAMOND in it! Yes! People who received food stamps owned a gosh darn DIAMOND! The government did not require that we actually got rid of all of our belongings before they were willing to help us buy food.

    Good thing Dad didn’t have to sell the car. Or his suits. He was able to use it to drive around for interviews and not look like a street beggar. And wouldn’t you know it…someone actually hired him! And we were able to get off food stamps. See how that works?

    But I realize that seeing Mom driving that late-model car and buying food for us kids while wearing her diamond would have sent you and your ilk into a tizzy. Which I suppose is why she had people hurling disgusting epithets at her at the grocery store. Just more judgmental people.

  • SallyLu

    andi, you are completely wrong to expect that every server should be “paid” by the customer in the form of tips, regardless of the level of service. It doesn’t matter if tips are expected. Tips always have been and continue to be optional, and based on the level of service. If the server can not provide an acceptable lever of service, they are not entitled to a tip. With that being said, I was a server for many years and always tip something, even if I don’t get good service. I also try to look around and see if the reason why service is bad is due to the server being super busy or just slacking.

  • bodega3

    I stated elsewhere that I would have handled it differently now than then. I was younger and inexperienced in complaining. I have figured the latter out now :-)

  • andi330

    I continue to maintain that in general, you should not fail to pay someone for service provided. If you are not okay with your boss docking your pay just because you didn’t live up to his standard, how dare you do the same to someone else?

  • bodega3

    I think taking pride in ones work is becoming a lost value and it isn’t just here in the US.

  • bodega3

    Sadly, you are missing the point in tips. It is for service and your pay is for doing your job. If you aren’t providing service, why should a patron to your restaurant tip you? Don’t go into the service industry expecting tips. They are not a given, nor should they be. The attitude that patrons are paying you is the wrong one.

  • andi330

    Actually, I never had a problem getting tips from my customers. We did however, have one family who habitually did not tip. It wasn’t me, it was everyone. The husband didn’t believe in it, and he refused to do it. In spite of this they got decent service from me (if not my best). The wife would slip you a dollar if she could catch you somewhere that her husband couldn’t see, and the hosts/hostesses knew them so they tried to rotate them among servers so no one got hit with them too often. I do know however, just how hard it was to make ends meet, even as well as I did making tips. Most former servers will tell you that they never go out without leaving a tip for that exact same reason. I might leave a smaller tip if the service wasn’t good, but I don’t ever leave no tip. It doesn’t improve the server in question, I wouldn’t accept a boss docking my paycheck because he thought I was slow today, and it serves no purpose except to get you bad service the next time you go in. If you have bad service, talk to the manager, before you leave. You might get comped, or he might be able to take care of the issue before you leave. It will be much more effective.

  • Freehiker

    I have. I don’t see those stats anywhere.

    Just because you said it, doesn’t mean it’s true.

  • Freehiker

    “MY family got food stamps”

    =)

  • andi330

    The problem is, in this country, in most restaurants they ARE a given. Servers are paid a wage based on the FACT that they will be tipped. So when you refuse to tip, you are taking food out of their mouths. Their child could go hungry because you refused to tip.

    In any other industry, this practice would be considered horrific. But it is currently the norm in this country, and until it changes, if you don’t like tipping, you shouldn’t eat somewhere where it is expected.

  • $16635417

    I was using a 15% discount card last week and showed it up on ordering. The waiter got a crestfallen look across his face. He dutifully returned to take our order. He did not suggest appetizers, drinks or desert. He did not refill our drinks or bread. He DID point our the expected gratuity was 15% of the pre-discount amount. I felt like ordering apps, drinks and desert, but didn’t. I usually tip 20% of the pre-discount amount but didn’t. He got the 15% gratuity as requested, instead of 20% of a higher check.

  • SallyLu

    Because, andi, I am not the server’s boss. I do not pay their wage. Their wage is an amount agreed upon by their employer and themself. My tip is a supplement to the wage they are paid. If you choose to work as a server, you go into that knowing the risks of relying on tips as a source of income. You are always free to go work somewhere else that pays a set wage that you can live on.
    As I mentioned, I worked as a waitress for many years, and took the good tips with the bad. I supported my family on tips. And never once did I give sub-par service to someone who I knew to be a bad tipper. My philosophy was always that those people, even if they were bad tippers, were still customers. They might go and tell a friend who might be a great tipper about my restaurant, and based on that word of mouth, a new customer might come in and become a regular. People who give poor service regardless of the reason, only do damage to the restaurant’s reputation.

  • bodega3

    Sadly, your industry has lobbied for this. I am for you making a decent wage and doing away with tipping. I get that tips make you more money and I tip. But I will not tip for lousy service as that is what a tip is suppose to be for. Lately, there has been an attitude with people that they deserve things even when they do a crappy job. I live in a small town and have noticed a lot of new employees at local businesses. The word has gotten around the town that people are taking business elsewhere due to bad employee interactions with customers. There has been a noticeable improved at one store I shop at.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Oh, is that supposed to somehow be a dig? A smiley because I am not ashamed to admit that when I was a child my family received government assistance? So you assume that I’m somehow a criminal scofflaw who abused the system? Of COURSE you do!

    In fact I’m proud to share the story…it’s a perfect example of what our country can, and should, do. It’s what our great nation is all about.

    Yes, when my father was laid off during the Aerospace crash, he was unable to find a job, even with his Masters in engineering. After my parents depleted their savings, they turned to government assistance for food. That is what kept us kids FED while Dad searched far and wide for a job…driving his car that he’d bought BEFORE he lost his job, wearing his suits that the government DIDN’T force him to sell in order to feed his children.

    Three years later he got a great job. Food stamps allowed us to keep our house, keep us kids fed, and not become homeless street beggars. All three of us kids went to college and became tax-paying citizens who contribute to our communities, and have paid our government back for its short-term help in spades.

    But I suppose you think we should have just been thrown out on the street so none of us would have been able to recover. Because gosh darnit, we were actually POOR for a while. And it’s clear what you think of poor people.

  • andi330

    You are unique as a former server. I have never met one with your attitude after working as a server. Your philosophy on serving people you knew were bad tippers is fine and dandy, but you must know it isn’t shared by many. Most servers see bad tippers as not worth the effort. I never gave our habitual non-tippers bad service, but I certainly didn’t put in the extra effort I might have given someone who I knew would give me a nice tip.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Well of course you’re not gonna find it on Fox News! ;-> Sorry, but facts are facts, even if they don’t further your world view, or help you justify your utter disdain for the poor.

  • bodega3

    While Chris is on a trip and may or may not be back to a place he received bad service, where you live and you receive bad service can break that business, especially if you live in a small community. Good service brings in customers and good service comments spreads like wildfire. In my old neighborhood, we closed down a dry cleaning place by not taking our business there due to problems with their service. I got two employees fired at a local store after witnessing how they treated an elderly customer when she asked for the manager. They had attitude with others and this was just the icing on the cake the manager needed to be able to let them go.

  • LeeAnneClark

    And that right there is the reason tipping should be eliminated. Nobody should receive bad service…period. As a server, it is your job to give great service — every single time. NOT only when you think you’re going to get more money for it.

    Tipping is NOT a wage. I am NOT your employer. I’m paying for a service. If I don’t get it, I’m not going to pay for it. If it’s lousy, I’m going to pay less for it. You ask how dare I fail to pay for someone for the service provided? Well I’ll tell you how I dare to do it – if I don’t get it, I don’t pay for it. If it’s substandard, I pay less for it. I’m not your boss, I’m your customer. Tips must be earned.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Your story of giving a 1c tip reminds me of an old family story. My Dad took my family out for dinner on Mothers Day. The service was WORSE than horrible! The waiter was rude and snippy. He took our orders then disappeared for a half hour before finally bringing us our beverages. He apparently lost our orders, leaving us with no food for over an hour…not even our appetizers…and when we complained about having no food, he angrily started all over and took our orders again. When he finally did bring our food, the orders were wrong, and he got all huffy about fixing them. I could go on and on…to this day it remains one of the worst wait service experiences I’ve ever had.

    After paying the bill, my Dad left TWO DIMES on the table. As we were walking out the door, the waiter came barreling up to him and loudly said, “Sir, I believe you’re forgetting something!” and held out his hand with the two dimes in it.

    Dad simply blinked at him and said, “Why yes, you’re right, I did!” And he took back one of the dimes.

    :->

  • BobChi

    I dislike the whole tipping culture, but I do play along in fairness to the fact that the base pay these people get is simply inadequate. I wish there were a way to improve the system, but the current pattern is much to the advantage of the business.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    Why tip different amounts for different mealtimes? Especially lunch, where the check amount is almost certainly less, given that lunch entrees are cheaper and less alcohol is served.

  • E_Woman

    In California servers are paid minimum wage before tips, which is considerably more than $2.00 an hour. Yet we tip the same as everywhere else in the country.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    I worked at 3 different restaurants during my undergrad before entering (and leaving) the wonderful world of rental cars: Red Lobster, a small, family owned Italian joint, and a high end, high volume steakhouse in a tourist area.

    At Red Lobster, I was lucky to get 15% on a table, given that the chain caters to mostly lower income clientele. Volume was high, though, so I was still able to make a decent hourly wage. At the Italian joint, it was rare to make less than 20% on a single table, yet volume was so low that I actually made more at Red Lobster.

    You’ve probably guessed by now that the steakhouse was the most profitable, and it was, by far. This can mostly be attributed to higher check averages and above average clientele. I agree with most here that poor service doesn’t warrant a good tip, although leaving 2 dimes for servers is plain obnoxious (doubly so passing it on as a family story). The problem with that argument, though, is that browsing foodie websites will reveal that people have ridiculous standards all around. Some people consider it bad service for the appetizer to be served before the salad, some people consider it bad service for the check to be placed in front of the man, etc. Some people will also tip less if the food tastes bad, under the premise that tips are pooled (which is just a cheap person looking to justify being cheap, since tips can’t legally be shared with hourly employees like cooks, the one possible exception being sushi chefs).

    At the end of the day, servers who do a good job deserve an appropriate tip. At the steakhouse, with managerial approval, we were allowed to autograt foreign customers, since they were often unaware of American tipping customs. When we did this, we were required to verbally tell the customer a tip had been included. Some people may cry foul; I call it evening the playing field. Are you arguing I deserve to not get paid, even though I did a good job, because some remain ignorant of restaurant customs?

    BTW, it is a widely held belief in the restaurant industry that many foreigners play dumb about tipping customs. Think about it: they read the guidebooks, know the best local attractions, the best live shows, the best restaurants, yet somehow completely miss the part about tipping customers? Yeah, right.

  • E_Woman

    A little tough, Goldie, on calling bulls**t. She stated it was her first night on the job. Probably young and inexperienced. She also quit immediately because of it.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    That’s the key. Expectations have gone way up. Servers are now expected to be able to explain every item on the menu in detail, greet a table within 60 seconds of them sitting down, get them drinks within 3 minutes of taking the drink order (no matter how busy the bar is), refill soft drinks and water before they are half empty, clear dirty dishes the second the customer is done eating, and provide friendly small talk throughout the meal.

    Also, when I waited tables in NOLA, my base pay was $2.13/hour. It is true that inflation has kept restaurant prices up, but they have not kept up with realistic costs of living. Also, the minimum wage for servers in many states (including Louisiana) hasn’t changed since the 80’s. With these facts in mind, 20% seems reasonable for a standard tip, given that appropriate service has been rendered.

  • Bill___A

    After reading the “bad tippers database’ it makes me feel that tipping should be abolished. All businesses should be required to pay a proper wage to their employees and price accordingly.

  • Bill___A

    I don’t like the whole tipping concept but I do it out of necessity.
    However, part of the concept is doing a good job, and if they don’t do a good job, they aren’t getting a tip – nor should they. Fortunately, they just about always do a good job, but I will not hesitate to withdraw the tip when necessary.
    .
    Also, if you’re trying to doctor the credit card bill – I do take an image of every one and know exactly what was on it and authorised.
    However, the only time that came in handy for anyone was when a hotel lost their copy of the bill and I actually sent it in, made sure they got paid.

  • Bill___A

    I can’t fire a bad waiter or waitress, so I will choose to not pay them.

  • Bill___A

    So you’re saying that if one leaves a bad or no tip, that won’t improve service, but talking to the manager, where the server in question will get their butt chewed out would be more effective? I don’t see what point you are making here.
    How about not leaving a tip AND talking to the manager. Then the message is sure to get through.

  • EdB

    I read that database too and I wonder if it might not cross the line into the liable area. But that would be an argument for the lawyers to hash out. Now I didn’t look at that many entries, but I did find it interesting that in the column for restaurant name, there wasn’t any. Probably because if there was, people would avoid those establiments just to make sure their names didn’t end up on that list.

  • bodega3

    Great story! It was a friend of ours, who worked at a diner in Santa Cruz when we were all college students who said leaving a penny sent a better message than not leaving a tip at all.

  • bodega3

    Blame your industry, not the patrons for the lousy hourly rate.

  • bayareascott

    Owned wads of cash?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Next time you tell as story so funny, I’ll make sure I’m not drinking water. I nearly spit it out from laughing so hard.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Calling the customer the boss is silly. I can neither hire nor fire nor make you do anything. I can’t think of many situations where the person can fail to perform and still expect to get paid.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I’m calling BS.

    “Some people consider it bad service for the appetizer to be served before the salad, some people consider it bad service for the check to be placed in front of the man, etc. The folks who consider it bad service”

    Those folks are dining at very high end restaurants and are paying for that uber-level of service and sophistication. Now, admittedly some people take it out on the wait staff, things that are not within their control. For example, how long the food takes.

    But, there are things that are within the wait staffs control, such as your general attitude. I will treat you with politeness and courtesy. I expect the same in return. If you can’t do that, don’t look for a tip.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    I’m not sure what in my post convinced you that I show attitude to my guests. You are making an assumption without any backing. The ONE thing that has caused me to leave a server $1 is when she got an attitude with me, and that was when I was still waiting tables!

    I was merely pointing out that some people have wildly ridiculous expectations for good service, looking for any reason to stiff a waiter and justify it in their own minds.

    Hence, the reason autograts exist. BTW, 75% of the time I would NOT use the autograt, since I did an awesome job and didn’t want to cap my tip. However, I could tell when tables were looking to be cheap, either because they think the 15-20% doesn’t apply in a large group or because they were awful people who complained about everything. BTW, the autograt at my restaurant was printed on the menu and check as a service charge, meaning the guest couldn’t legally opt out. That doesnt mean they didn’t try, and I knew my managers would remove it if I didn’t provide stellar service, which is certainly expected when one is paying $40+ dollars for an ala carte steak.

  • TiaMa

    Don’t get me started on individuals in cash-handling positions that cannot properly count change back and just dump it in your hand.

  • Mel65

    I don’t mind tipping for good service, as years ago I worked food service while in school, but I’m irritated that people routinely “expect” 20% or more and this part of wages isn’t taxed. My entire income is taxed. So, I put tips on my credit/debit card receipt. But, I also don’t always tip 20%. Recently I took my family and extended family out to dinner at an upscale steak house. The bill came to $480. 20% would have been almost $100! I have an MS and I’m a certified professional in my field and I don’t make $100 an hour (and of course that isn’t counting the OTHER tables that were tipping him for that same hour of work). Yet the assumption is that the waiter should? I gave a $70 tip and frankly even that seems high to me, although I know that he prolly had to “tip out” 10% or so to the bar and other staff. High prices don’t equal more work. My favorite diner waitress works just as hard as the waiter there and gets far less. Tipping to make up for an unfair wage is fine; but tipping a % is just wrong. Minimum wage is what– about $8 an hour? Why on earth should we be tipping someone far and above that amount?

  • Mel65

    I agree that “servers who do a good job deserve and appropriate tip” but my issue is who decided that 20% that appropriate tip amount? If the point of a tip is to make up the difference between your hourly wage and a living wage, then that isn’t necessarily a %age of the bill. I prefer to tip a few dollars per person at my table and add to or delete from as based on the level of service (drink refills, responsiveness to special requests, frequency of check-backs, etc…).

  • Thoroughlyamused

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. As Carver said in an above post, places with higher prices such as upscale steakhouses have higher expectations for service. You can’t tell me that customers who are paying $40+ for a steak won’t expect service to be perfect. If you have higher expectations, rightfully so in an upscale steakhouse, it makes sense that you would tip more given the level of service is higher.

    Assuming that their were no issues with service (you didnt allude to any in your post) Your tip of less than 15% is not a proper tip. If you can’t afford to leave a proper tip, you should eat at home. People like you remind me why we had a 20% service charge we were allowed to apply to tables selectively.

  • Mel65

    Your repeated assertion that any person who doesn’t tip is taking wages out of the server’s pay is incorrect. They are paid, by their employer and once at least ONE customer per hour has tipped them $6 or so, they’ve reached at least the minimum wage. Anything more than that is basically a pay raise. When I’m in a busy restaurant and am given half-hearted service and “sorry I’m really busy” excuses, while knowing that that server is raking in tips from all those tables, I’m going to tip less. While some servers do work very hard and I tip them pretty well, I don’t think to myself each time “Hmmm what do I need to give this guy to make sure he gets paid the appropriate hourly wage today?” as if it’s all on MY shoulders to provide his/ her wages for that time period.

  • Mel65

    ” So when you refuse to tip, you are taking food out of their mouths. Their child could go hungry because you refused to tip. ” If the server is ONLY waiting on ONE TABLE per day or per hour, that may be true. Otherwise, it’s hyperbole. My brother, as a bartender, would go home with $200 or more tax free in cash a night in his pockets. And frankly, he wasn’t that great of a bartender! But he STILL made that much on an average night.

  • Elmo Clarity

    “If the point of a tip is to make up the difference between your hourly wage and a living wage”

    A tip has nothing to do with wages. That is something the service industry has pushed for to justify underpaying employee. The purpose of a tip was to reward someone for service above and beyond the norm.

  • Mel65

    Oh I agree, but that’s the point that people are making here.. that if we don’t tip “enough” we are removing wages from their pay and being horrible people taking food from the mouths of babes.

  • Mel65

    Higher expectations, maybe, but not almost $100 worth! I expect the basic same from servers: take my order accurately, bring the food hot, fill my water, clear away dirty plates, bring extra butter if I ask. And for doing this, I gave him a $70 tip. Not $7… $70. If you don’t think that a $70 tip is enough from ONE TABLE then you’re just greedy. What on earth makes what YOU do so special that you deserve almost $100 for less than an hour of actual work for ME–not like butchered it and then he was hovering around to wipe my brow, cut my steak and feed it to me! Remember, that server is also waiting on other tables he’s expecting tips from, as well. I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. There’s nothing that the server is doing in a high end steak house that a server at a local diner isn’t doing, as well, to deserve that high a tip. Our server was making easily over $100 an hour…. WAITING TABLES, not doing brain surgery.

  • Mel65

    Tipping is either to make up for restaurants not paying a living wage OR it’s to reward exceptional service. Can’t have it both ways. If it’s to make up for wages, then a % is the wrong way to tip as it’s unfair to those in less expensive establishments. If it’s for service, then the customer is the one who sets the value of that service to them. Food service is a JOB.. you aren’t doing us a FAVOR. You’re paid to do the JOB that you were hired for. Anything above that you should be grateful for, not bean counting and being resentful because I didn’t give you an EXTRA $20 for filling my water glass twice. Going above and beyond = extra money. Just doing your job is what is expected of you. The rest of us call that “work.”

  • Elmo Clarity

    “Assuming that their were no issues with service (you didnt allude to any in your post) Your tip of less than 15% is not a proper tip.”

    If you go by what a tip is suppose to represent, this statement is “Wrong, wrong, wrong”. Tips were not suppose to be for standard service with no issues, but for exceptional issue that goes above the standard. It has been so ingrained by the service industry that it is the responsibility of the patron to make up for the employer underpaying the staff.This is where the true problem lies. Tips are now expected for just being a warm body standing there, not for providing any actual service.

  • cscasi

    It may be against
    the law to misuse them for other than what they are intended for but, how often
    do you see any enforcement? There are folks who really need those and then
    there are those who have found that they can exist on those and other welfare
    and not work. There are those who have children by two, three or more fathers
    and just live on the “dole”. Is that right? Welfare has become an
    “entitlement” for a whole lot of folks. It’s easier to say I can’t or
    I won’t rather than to get out and work like the vast majority do. Again, this
    is not being said about everyone who is on any sort of assistance, but there
    are so many who should not be on it who are. Obama has managed to get the
    welfare law changed so that now people don’t even have to show that they are
    going out and look for work. That is the point!

  • Thoroughlyamused

    So when someone takes the order, provides pleasant small talk, coordinates proper order of service, provides wine advice, pours wine constantly throughout the meal, checks back to make sure everything tastes good, is this not service? What do you consider service? Do they need to give foot massages? Wipe the crumbs off your lap?

    With regards to tips, they are meant, in the US, to essentially make up a servers wage. What tips were meant to be 50 years ago or what tips are in other countries doesn’t change the fact that servers in this country, with maybe exceptions in 5 states, are paid much less than minimum wage, with the expectation that tips will make up the difference.

  • emanon256

    Because lunch people generally stay 30-45 minutes, so there is very high turnover. Dinner people tend to stay 2 hours, so there is much lower turn over. One dinner table may produce a $100 bill in two hours, while the same table can produce three to four $50 bills in two hours at lunch. Lunch with a lower tip percentage is much more lucrative fort he server. My wife always tried to work lunch for this very reason.

  • emanon256

    Why do they do that? That always annoys me so much. Ans they always ask us to present the discount before ordering, I always feel like they ask that so that they know in advance not to provide as good of service.

    We have one restaurant that asked us when we sad town if we had a groupon before we were seated, we told them we didn’t. We liked the place, so we bough a groupon the next time they did one and went back. After telling them we had a groupon, we were brought to a bad table in the back despite window tables begin open, and we were given different menus where the prices were much higher. I asked if we could sit by a window and was told those tables are all reserved. I then asked why the menu prices almost doubled from a month ago and was told they use a different menu for groupon customers. I will never go back to that place.

  • emanon256

    Yes, servers are paid a low wage based on the fact that they will get tips. However, if the tips do not bring them up to the full minimum wage, their employer is required by law to pay the difference, not the customer. Some people don’t tip ever, some people tip poorly, and some people tip well. The restaurant is required to ensure they get minimum wage, not the customer. I personally think minimum wage should be raised, and restaurants should pay servers more, but I don’t think a customer should be responsible for paying extra for lousy service. The customer can’t hire and/or choose their server, they don’t have a performance review with the server, and they can’t decide to fire the server. The server is employed by the restaurant, not the customer.

    I often tip over 20% for good service, and as someone who worked for tips for a long time I find it hard to leave a bad tip, but I feel its very appropriate to leave a bad tip for bad service. I also try to tell the server when service is bad, rather than the manager. However, usually the bad ones are no where to be found.

    And as far as not paying people for doing a lousy job, it works that way in many industries. I used to manage sub contractors for a construction company as my first job out of undergrad. If they did a lousy job or were too slow, you bet I docked their pay. It was then up to their company the sub contractor worked for to pay them the difference, not up to me as the general contractor. Just like a restaurant. I recently hired a plumber who took 2 weeks to do a job he should have done it 1 week, and he didn’t do it very well, I had to fix several things, I docked his pay as well due to lousy service.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    Again, you are wrong because your analogy assumes that service at Denny’s=service at Ruth Chris. Fine dining restaurants and their patrons have much higher expectations for service. When was the last time your Denny’s server poured wine in a decanter, or prepared a special dessert of bananas foster table side?

    You are also wrong because lower priced establishments tend to be turn and burn establishments, meaning the goal is to get the customer in and out as fast as possible to make more money. This contrasts sharply from a fine dining restaurant, where multiple courses are often served and many linger after the meal is completed.

    I’m positive that most people, yourself included, expect a higher level of service when dining at a fine dining establishment. Servers at these establishments tend to be more skilled (at my steakhouse, we had to attend monthly wine seminars) and offer a greater level of expertise than, say, a Denny’s server. It’s extremely cheap and heartless to expect a higher level of service, then decline to pay for it.

  • Mel65

    Ok so you DO want it both ways. You want my tip to make up for your low wage AND to “reward” you for good service. But, what wage am I supposed to make it up to? Should a waiter/waitress make $100 an hour because they were “pleasant” and did their job? I make about $75 an hour, regardless of how much I go above and beyond. Please explain to me why a server should get a 20% honorarium rather than what I believe the service is worth? I have not said I don’t believe in tipping. I just find an EXPECTATION of 20% to be arbitrary and gratuitously self-serving.

  • bodega3

    We found a similar experience with a well known chain pizza place. Two couples, paying separately, one with a coupon , one without, ordering the exact same pizza. The one with the coupon had less topping than the one without the coupon. We now preorder and present the coupon when we go in.

  • Mel65

    For the nth time, I don’t decline to pay for it. I do pay for it. I pay a MUCH higher price for the meal itself which pays the restaurant bills AND I do tip. YOU think that pouring wine into a decanter means a server is entitled to a $100 tip, and that’s not going to happen. The BASICS of good service remain the same. Take the order accurately, fill drinks, etc.. tips for EXTRAS should be determined by what the value of that service is to the customer, aka ME…some people don’t drink etc… And 20% is arbitrary and artificially inflates the importance of the “extra service” which often isn’t that much extra. I will continue to maintain that a server is paid to do their job and a 20% “hourly raise” from EVERY customer that they wait on is out of line.

  • Mel65

    I used to love a comedian who said that when he gets bad service he tips a condom…so that bad servers don’t reproduce.

  • http://sunlightdisenfects.myopenid.com/ Irving Feldspar

    All tips are income and have to be reported as such. If you would care to share the name and location of that bartender I can see that she becomes well aware of that fact.

  • Dawn Robinson Shepard

    I worked in a store for a lot of years and I never heard anyone brag to anyone about being on food stamps and having loads of cash. I think you’re making this up to justify your rather rude remarks

  • Dawn Robinson Shepard

    You probably shouldn’t be in customer service of any kind

  • Thoroughlyamused

    You pay a much higher price for the food, which is, in turn, much higher quality than say, a Denny’s. The higher price for menu items corresponds to the higher quality of said items.

    I don’t expect to change your mind regarding this. Having worked in a high end, nationally ranked steakhouse myself, I’m simply speaking from my experiences.

    Also, your experience in “food service” doesn’t mean anything, as you are clearly ignorant of certain restaurant practices. Ever heard of tipping out? Many restaurants require that servers tip out based on their SALES, not their actual tips, and set tipout percentages assuming you will tip a certain amount. By tipping less than 15% on that meal, that doesn’t change the fact that the server likely had to give a large portion of that tip to the bartender, busser, etc. Again, not expecting to change your mind, but please don’t assume that servers are making $100 an hour based on your grand observation of them waiting on other tables. You have zero idea what goes on behind the scenes.

    Again, I don’t expect to change your mind about this. I will say in my restaurant, if a known undertipper came in, we would apply a 20% service charge to their bill and verbally tell them about it when we gave them the check. Assuming their were no issues with service, our managers would back us on it. If the customer threw a temper tantrum about it, they would be asked not to return. Sorry, but when you have hour waits almost every night and people tipping hostesses $100+ apiece to get a table immediately, you get to tell some customers that we simply don’t need their business.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    Sorry, doesn’t work like that. It’s the same way in, IDK, every sales job ever. The same way that a car salesman is gonna focus on the customer buying his most expensive car on the lot as opposed to the used POS in the corner, I’m gonna focus more on the tables that are more profitable to me. Nature of the beast.

    I remember one time when working at Red Lobster, I greeted a table within 45 seconds of them sitting down. I said, “Hi, Welcome to Red Lobster, my name is ***, what can-” Customer: (yelling), “WATER WITH EXTRA LEMON AND BISCUITS.” I immediately obliged the request, returning in less than 2 minutes, and after being berated for her for taking so long, took her food order. After waiting for literally 5 minutes, she flagged me down, saying, “MY SON NEEDS TO EAT. WHERE IS HIS FOOD? HE NEEDS TO EAT!” Screaming so loudly that other tables started looking over. I just wanted her out at that point so I could flip the table, so I stood by the kitchen window until the food came out, at which point I brought it to her, to be greeted with, “DON’T EVER PUT A HOT PLATE IN FRONT OF A CHILD.” Don’t even get me started on overentitled parents.

    Anyways, after she got her food, she got ZERO service. When she started waving her iced tea glass in the air, I made direct eye contact across the restaurant, then ignored her. When she finally paid the bill, she was owed like $4.63 in change. I would normally round up and just give her a $5 (we kept our own tills), but in that case, I made her wait so I could get exact change from the bartender, coins and all, then proceeded to count it all out at the table. As expected, she tipped me two pennies. But it meant that I didn’t waste any more of MY time on some overentitled middle aged mom who was just a miserable person all around.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    “Don’t go into the service industry expecting tips.”

    Why would anyone go into the service industry then? With the exception of a couple states (California and Oregon are the only ones I’m aware of), servers make far less than minimum wage. So, again, why would anyone become a server? The joy of waiting on others hand and foot? The great working environment? The wonderful customers? All of those sound great, esp. when making $2.13 an hour!

  • Bill___A

    When I was a kid, tipping was accepted to be 10%. Later, it seems the norm is to be 15%, or 20%. Now, Christopher Elliott is advocating on USA Today that it be 25%.
    Sure, there are the restaurants and places where the food is dirt cheap and they can’t afford to pay their employees at those prices. But there are also a great deal of top end places where the price is through the roof – and they still expect the patrons to tip the same percentage.
    For some time, I was tipping 20%,. but then I realized it was a trend going the wrong way. I now tip 15%. But I am a lot happier when I am in a country where the service is included. I notice for the mid range restaurants, the prices aren’t much different really.
    If I really really like the service and find the person doing it quite personable, I will up the tip to 20%. But this is something that is clearly getting out of hand.
    One can say that we should cover the wages that the owners don’t pay the employees. An opposing view would be to not ever pay tips, and that would force the employers to pay a decent wage or go out of business.
    Tipping 25% is absurd and ridiculous. Tipping 20% is excessive. Tipping 15% is a sad but true economic reality.
    When one is commenting about business travel, does Mr. Elliott really think that these frequent business travellers can get reimbursed for 25% tips on their expense reports? That won’t happen. What happens is it comes out of our pockets as after tax money which actually would cost far more in pre tax income.
    The United States is in many respects an advanced country. However, it is also, in many respects, a seriously screwed up country. Making everyone pay a proper minimum wage would put a quick end to this absurdity. That’s what I propose rather than giving 25% tips.

  • EdB

    “Tipping 15% is a sad but true economic reality.”

    Tipping shouldn’t be tied to economic realities in my view. If that was the case, why then when the economy went down, the recommended tipping amount seemed to go up to help the servers. But when the economy was up, the expected tipping amount went up because the consumer has so much more disposable income. Tipping was suppose to be a reward for quality service that goes above and beyond what is expected. In the US, it seems it is now viewed as an wage supplement. :(

  • dwasifar karalahishipoor

    Granted that it would be nice if servers could make it on their actual wages. But we don’t live in that hypothetical USA, and until we do, this is the way things are: your server gets nothing, or next to nothing, if you don’t tip well. What it used to be like when we were kids is also irrelevant; we don’t live in that economy any more either. The balance is different now.
    And what does it really cost you? Say you have a $100 dinner tab. The difference between a 20% and a 25% tip is five bucks. You can afford to spend $100 on dinner but you can’t spare an extra fin for the waitress running her butt off to bring it to you? For five bucks you can make her evening. It means a lot more to her than it does to you.

    If you can’t afford to tip decently, you can’t afford to eat out. Stay home and boil some spaghetti if you don’t want to tip well.

  • Bill___A

    It is not so much the actual money, it is the point. And the fact that you are saying it is not how it was when we were kids anymore…exactly. It is not. We have people saying 25% instead of what used to be 10%. I suppose the next generation will be 50% or 100%.
    I generally tip 15%. I don’t like it, but I do it, that’s my concession. There was a time that I was tipping 20% but after some careful thought, it is now 15%. As for me staying home…I don’t get griping when it is 15%. Considering the skill level and the amount of work done, it is quite good compensation. I don’t live in the United States and we don’t have places where people get a couple of dollars an hour.
    However, when I do go to the United States, among other places, I am willing to give a 15% gratuity and that seems to suit most people just fine.

  • Serene Johnson

    I dont tip unless Im happy with the service. Im in Australia. We have this thing called “minimum wage”, which is like yours, but is actually enforced. Its a livable wage. There is no expectation to tip, and as an example, if I go out and the bill is $96, I might give $100 and just say to keep the change if I had a pleasant experience. If not, I would take my change home with me. Tipping is about saying thankyou receiving good service, its not an entitlement. You dont buy the server’s time with a good tip.