Why all this tipping? Where'd it come from?

 
Old 06-27-01, 05:35 PM
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People have said how much.

They have also said to some extent why (personal service).

In older threads we have talked about the difference between US conventions and European ones.

But why don't people just get paid a rate for a job by their employers? What is so different about being a waitron, or a barman, or a furniture mover, or a hairdresser.... or any of those apparently tipping-dependent "professions"?

If you personally engage someone then you negotiate terms and a fee. If you patronise an establishment with staff it is up to the owner to pay said staff out of turnover, right?

Can anyone answer why this still goes on in the 21st Century First World countries?
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Old 06-27-01, 05:45 PM
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It's not a bad idea at all. For example, if the restaurants paid waitstaff higher wages, the money would just get passed into the food prices, so you'd be paying it anyway. At least this way you're paying for performance. Gives people an incentive to have good service.
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Old 06-27-01, 05:54 PM
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Duran, what professions do you think your "better service" criterion shouldn't be applied to? And why?

Thank you Doctor, that was some excellent brain surgery, please accept $100 as a small token. And, you, porter, you bumped my wheelchair against that door on the way out, so its only $1 for you!
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Old 06-27-01, 06:16 PM
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I hate the whole tipping thing. People pay tips so automatically that I really don't think they serve their original purpose.

I think employers should pay a wage. If you're a good waiter, you get a raise. If you're a bad waiter, you get fired. Let supply and demand dictate what they get paid.
Just like in any other profession. It especially sucks that restaurants get to pay a smaller minimum wage (assuming that employees clear at least minimum wage between their wage and tips).

J
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Old 06-27-01, 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by Duran
Gives people an incentive to have good service.
Shouldn't having a job be reason enough for good service? Why don't people on a call centre get tipped? They're providing every bit the service that you get in a restaurant (and often more given they actually sometimes need to THINK about finding a solution to your problem).

Personally (and I seem to be in a minority here), I think tipping for average or simply good service is just damned ludicrous. You should EXPECT that as a basic requirement. Why reward average service?

Oh...I forgot. Because that's what's come to be expected. Rewarding mediocrity is the American way.

I must admit, I am really curious though how tipping got to be so ingrained in the American culture whereas in Europe and Australia it just never took on. Does anyone know the "history" of tipping and why it became so popular? I'm assuming that it's to do with the service industry not wanting to pay a decent wage to staff.

As benedict said, If you personally engage someone then you negotiate terms and a fee. If you patronise an establishment with staff it is up to the owner to pay said staff out of turnover, right? You don't pay a call centre operator, or someone who fixes your washing machine, you negotiate a fee. Why shouldn't the "tip" be included in the wage?

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Old 06-27-01, 06:36 PM
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Augh, tipping is a pain in the butt especially when you go out a lot in large groups, u gotta calculate tip and in a large group, the price range of the meal is huge. so it's not fair for the person with the cheapest bill to be paying the same tip as the person with the most expensive bill..

There's no tipping in China or Japan... and they way you pay for the "good service" is by going back to the restaurant...
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Old 06-27-01, 07:38 PM
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In some restaurants in Japan they automatically add in a "service charge" but in most restaurants they pay the waiters a decent hourly wage 900 (approx 7.50 USD) yen or more per hour in small places, even McDonalds pays about 1,000 yen ($9.20 USD). So I imagine in the nice restaurants its even higher.

The service I get in most places in Japan is far better than what I get in the US.

But where did the rest of the tipping idea come from, especially things like tipping the doorman, the taxi driver, etc etc..

-g
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Old 06-27-01, 07:40 PM
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Tipping isn't brain surgery. As long as you ferret out the cheapskates it works out fine.
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Old 06-27-01, 07:54 PM
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Bushdog, do you have any answers to the points raised atop this thread?
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Old 06-27-01, 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by benedict
Bushdog, do you have any answers to the points raised atop this thread?
I think he's saying it's easy so obviously it's right.

I think tipping is ridiculous. It's a way that restuarants and other places can sham workers out of money. They risk it that they'll make up for it by "working well". Quickly they learn that most people automatically tip 20% so it doesn't matter if they are a sucky waiter. Then we get worse service as a result of this and end up paying more for our food.

Very VERY rarely do I find a good waiter. That is the awful truth too. I don't remember the last time I had a truly exceptional waiter anywhere.
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Old 06-27-01, 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by Bushdog
Tipping isn't brain surgery. As long as you ferret out the cheapskates it works out fine.
Yes, but do you think its a good idea to tip? Do you believe you should reward average service? Tipping 15% for average service and 20% for great service does mean that a really good waiter is only getting a 5% bonus over his mediocre companion.

The great waiter will spend time making sure you get satisfaction; the mediocre waiter will try and cover as many tables as they can. End result? Mediocrity is rewarded and the message that you should only do minimum effort is only reinforced.

Think of the guy who opens your door at the expensive hotels (the ones where they tender for the job). How do they get the most money? They simply provide an average service and get through as many customers as they can.
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Old 06-28-01, 03:00 AM
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Why you HAVE TO TIP or ELSE

The meaning of TIPPING has changed from being a reward for service to being a "social requirement" even for mediocre service.

Tipping is almost required if you intend to eat there again. The Wait Staff will feel insulted AT YOU if you don't tip them. For them, it is not that you acknowledge their service quality, it is that you are depriving them of their ENTITLEMENT to compensation. Just as you've all seen people lose tempers on dvdTalk, you can imagine what happens when you give people the power over your food and the privacy of their preparation area.

In numerous previous "tipping" threads on dvdTalk, there were any number of reasons presented on why you MUST TIP including spit in your food, misprepared food, smaller portions of served items, etcetera.

I've known quite a few people who have worked in the food industry and have heard the stories of what was done to food of customers who had annoyed wait staff before and had returned to the restaurant on subsequent visits and been recognized.

There used to be a pretty hot webpage devoted to wait staff to let off steam, but it seems to have had all the good stuff removed (probably out of litigation fears). Anyways, a number of dvdTalk posters had posted in the past some of the shenanigans as well.

SO, basically, you have to tip.
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Old 06-28-01, 03:10 AM
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Originally posted by geno
In some restaurants in Japan they automatically add in a "service charge" but in most restaurants they pay the waiters a decent hourly wage 900 (approx 7.50 USD) yen or more per hour in small places, even McDonalds pays about 1,000 yen ($9.20 USD). So I imagine in the nice restaurants its even higher.

The service I get in most places in Japan is far better than what I get in the US.

But where did the rest of the tipping idea come from, especially things like tipping the doorman, the taxi driver, etc etc..

-g
I once tipped a guy at a restaurant and he could not beleive I gave him a tip.My boss told me they dont leave a tip unless its an Foreign restaurant in Japan.Cause the service charge is Incl!
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Old 06-28-01, 04:38 AM
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When i was in china, many of the restaurants had great service.. sad thing is, one person in my group read somewhere in a travel book that it was illegal to tip in china.... i didn't confirm tho. But the waitresses did seem surprised when I gave them a little something..
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Old 06-28-01, 05:07 AM
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Look... I'vve worked at a restaurant. And you guys clearly have no idea what actually goes into serving a meal. The wage a server makes (usually minimum wage) does not reflect the aount of work that goes into making sure that EVERYONE THAT YOU SERVE has a nice meal. Srver is the one who take the blame if the kitchen screws up. For the amount of "GARBAGE" the average server goes through... a tip is a small amount../

Honestly, how many jobs involve you to be so subservient to a stranger,

Its degrading.. so just pay the 2 bucks;;;\\

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Old 06-28-01, 05:33 AM
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Originally posted by Alyoshka
I think he's saying it's easy so obviously it's right.
I'm fairly sure you are right about that....

.... but having carefully broken it down in the first post so as to avoid such (non) answers I was feeling a bit although asked again nicely because I really didn't want to risk a bushwhacking!

Damn_PhDs.

jhunt and damn_skippy sorry guys, you seem to have missed the original point of this thread. It wasn't about bad/good serving staff or how much to tip etc: it was intended to go a little deeper. If you are still interested, please read my first post atop the thread. If not.... obviously you can do the other thing.

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Old 06-28-01, 05:42 AM
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As was I..
Sometimes a thread grows bewond the original question.
To me.. that is the sign of an INTERESTING thread.
Sorry if our responses deviated from the heading.

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Old 06-28-01, 05:47 AM
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Sorry to both of you guys. Although Alyoshka did say this....
It's a way that restuarants and other places can sham workers out of money. They risk it that they'll make up for it by "working well".
.... as well as talking about perceptions of poor service. damn_skippy seemed to focus on the one peripheral point and turn it all around on Alyoshka.

But looking at what you said, why do people working in certain jobs accept that they can be taxed on money they might or might not earn?!

Why are the bosses too cheap to pay them so they have to rely on handouts? Other jobs that involve service don't need to do this. These should be jobs; not welfare.

jhunt, you are absolutely right about thread drift. But I have seen many threads on tipping that ended up with restaurant workers criticising patrons and others calling people tight. I was trying to buck the trend by delving deeper.

* * *

Just so there is absolutely no innocent misunderstanding, I do tip and, if I came to the US, I would certainly bear in mind what has been said by interested parties on this and other similar threads. But my clear aim was not to rehearse all the old arguments about the right amounts to tip; poorly paid/exploited staff; mandatory jail-terms for brain-dead food-abusers etc. etc. etc.

As I mentioned earlier, most of the US (and Europe for that matter) can hardly be regarded as Third World territory. Yet this corrupt, feudal system of payments still exists: patrons literally lord it over the lowly staff; vengeful staff plot "below stairs" how to get even with their wicked masters.... while all the time having to appear cowed and servile in order to ensure that they receive enough scraps to put food on their own tables back home.

Anyone here heard of the dignity of labour: a fair day's pay for a fair day's work? If staff in the service industries can be paid "properly" in communist China then why the hell not in capitalist America?

From what has been voiced by some here, and through the apparent refusal/unwillingness to consider lifting the scales from (some of) your eyes and to challenge the status quo, one is forced to ASSume that there is some perverse unspoken conspiracy; where some really prefer to remain servants, tugging their forelock while cursing under their breath and others to remain the masters exercising "noblesse oblige".

And, if it isn't already obvious, I find that somewhat depressing.

[Edited by benedict on 06-28-01 at 05:56 AM]
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Old 06-28-01, 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by damn_skippy
Originally posted by Alyoshka
Originally posted by benedict
Bushdog, do you have any answers to the points raised atop this thread?
I think he's saying it's easy so obviously it's right.

I think tipping is ridiculous. It's a way that restuarants and other places can sham workers out of money. They risk it that they'll make up for it by "working well". Quickly they learn that most people automatically tip 20% so it doesn't matter if they are a sucky waiter. Then we get worse service as a result of this and end up paying more for our food.

Very VERY rarely do I find a good waiter. That is the awful truth too. I don't remember the last time I had a truly exceptional waiter anywhere.
Maybe your just a pain in the arse to serve.


If your to cheap to leave 15% then dont go out to eat. Servers pay taxes on every bit of food you order. So if you dont tip then it costs that server money to serve you.
I never said what I actually leave for a tip. Typically (99% of the time) I will leave 15-20%. A very good waiter will get 25%. I realize that it's a difficult job and that they get lower than minimum wage in most resturants.

However, I won't accept that argument that there is nothing else they can do. If a waiter doesn't like the tip system then they can go to mcdonalds and get a flat $7.50 per hour. If a waiter sucks I will give 10% or possibly less if they are horrendous.

I just think the tipping system is pretty worthless.
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Old 06-28-01, 10:12 AM
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Some of you sound like Steve Buschemi's character in Resevorir Dogs


I think tipping is deserved in instances of personal attention to you. Like waiters,bartenders,baggage handlers, valet....and so on.

I usually tip 15-20% if the sevice is good at a bar/resturaunt, but this is not guraunteed. If they are rude and do a piss poor job, they are lucky to get 5% and if they are very good, the will get 25% or more.

I dont good tips should be obiligotory, good service should be rewarded and bad service shouldnt. Getting bad tips may motivate someone to give better service or make them quit. Either way it's good for customers.
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Old 06-28-01, 10:21 AM
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I use to be a waiter awhile back, you would not believe the amount of BS you have to put up with from Customers sometimes.

A waiter is there to make his tips, I don't know about the rest of you but yes he does make about minimum wage but he works for his tip. If you don't want to tip, there's always TOGO or better yet Buffets where you get it yourself.

I can't stand ppl who don't know it is proper to tip. That is just the American way. So face it!!! TOGO or BUFFETS for all those who don't want to tip.
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Old 06-28-01, 10:25 AM
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nizzo, you've simply made a list of people who are in professions where tips are customary rather than listing all cases where personal attention is provided. Duran said much the same thing earlier on.

Personal attention is provided by doctors. Are they tipped, or do they expect to be paid the rate for the job? What distinguishes the various different kinds of "personal service"? Can anyone answer this without "tipping" being a part of their definition?

tangno, you say it is "the american way". Why is America backward in this respect compared to China?

I think we are just going around in circles without much evidence of anyone being willing to accept the challenge to their preconceived notions.... but I'd love to be proved wrong!
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Old 06-28-01, 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by tangno
I use to be a waiter awhile back, you would not believe the amount of BS you have to put up with from Customers sometimes.
Easy solution. Find another job. I worked for awhile at Braums as a second job. Customer service there sucked. I quit the second day and was much happier.

A waiter is there to make his tips, I don't know about the rest of you but yes he does make about minimum wage but he works for his tip. If you don't want to tip, there's always TOGO or better yet Buffets where you get it yourself.
Here in Kansas the waiters minimum wage is $2.12. The problem is that so many waiters DON'T work for their tip. They realize it's pretty automatic from most people. Or better yet they pass the blame onto others. Sometimes the kitchen does screw up but sometimes it's obviously the waiters fault.

I don't want to tip in the ideal world. This isn't so I do tip because I realize they are making pennies. But I reward good service. I give 10-15% for average service.
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Old 06-28-01, 10:43 AM
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I say "American Way" because since I was born there has always been a courtesy to go into a restarant and tip the waiter for his or her service, I'm not saying crappy service, but If he was there to fulfill your needs. So American Way just represents that It has been this way, I don't know how it got started, but tipping is a very "Common Action" in America. Next time if you go in a restarant be honest and tell your waiter that youre not going to tip them, even if they busted their a## for you, running and refilling your coke 10 times. Then you will see the type of service you will get. YOU and I know that if you eat while someone serves you, you should be tipping them. And yes I was sick of working at the Restaurant business , I was working there to pay for school, back in the day, now I make decent money, and much happier not having to serve someone, and depend my wage on if a customer is going to tip me or not.
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Old 06-30-01, 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by tangno
I can't stand ppl who don't know it is proper to tip. That is just the American way. So face it!!! TOGO or BUFFETS for all those who don't want to tip.
They ask for tips at buffets now. Actually, I went out to eat the other night at a buffet, and the cashier asked us if we wanted to leave a tip for our server before we'd even eaten.
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