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View Full Version : Tipping? - Why do Americans feel the need to tip anything that moves?



Sawday
02-05-2017, 08:51 AM
As a regular cruiser (ie person who goes on cruise holidays - not any other sort!) we are constantly amazed, and have a good laugh at, our fellow American guests who feel the need to add a tip to bar bills when an 18% gratuity has already been added or who give a tip 'up-front' to the maitre d' thinking that they will somehow get better service (they don't), but a recent trip to Japan made us feel ashamed that we might be thought of as being of the same breed. Having researched the country before we visited we knew that tipping in Japan is not expected and is often seen as quite offensive. On our first tour the guide reinforced this in her introduction to Japanese customs, yet at the end of the day the American couple beside us opened their wallets to give the guide a tip. This caused our guide to be visibly upset at which our American cousins tried to give her even more! Doh!

So what is it about Americans that makes them want to tip all and sundry? I have no problem tipping when a service is given 'above and beyond' what would normally be expected when someone does their job but by definition this should surely be an exception rather than the norm. What do nationals of other countries make of this trait?

badshoehabit
02-05-2017, 10:50 AM
As another Brit, I share your view about only rewarding good service but do think you should do as the locals do when in another country. Even if tipping is obligatory in the US, your fellow travellers were rude to apply home habits when in Japan when the culture says no.

I feel that companies should pay fair wages and not expect customers to round them up with tips. But exceptional service deserves recognition.

It's becoming normal in the UK for restaurants to add a service charge to bills but I always ask whether the tips go to staff (big row here recently about management taking share of tips) and never include a tip if paying with a card but leave cash instead. I was surprised in New York to find restaurant bills already printed with what a 15%, 18% or 20% tip actually was. I was also upset at a hire car driver who, almost back in the driver's seat, abused us outside our hotel for not tipping before we had got our suitcases fully out of the vehicle. He didn't give us time and we had our hands full, fgs!

pigoo3
02-05-2017, 02:01 PM
There are many totally acceptable things done in one culture/country....that are totally offensive or confusing in another culture/country.

For example:

- Showing or pointing the soles of your feet or shoes at someone in a Muslim country (considered the dirtiest part of the body)...thus offensive.
- Taking photos of someone in some cultures (it's felt you may be stealing their soul with the photo).
- Doing the "thumb's up" gesture in some countries is as offensive as flashing someone the middle-finger.
- Not slurping or not burping while you eat in some countries...is like saying you don't like the chef's/cook's food.
- In countries where toilet paper is not available or not commonly used (or wasn't in the past)...the left hand is considered the "dirty" hand. And thus you don't interact with other folks with the "dirty" hand (shake hands, serve food, etc.).

It really comes down to understanding what's acceptable in one country/culture is not always acceptable in another country/culture. And as an "outsider" to that culture...not judging whether it makes sense or not. It does make sense in THAT culture.:)

- Nick

harryb2448
02-05-2017, 03:15 PM
Different countries different customs. That is life.

chscag
02-05-2017, 03:26 PM
I would just like to add... I don't know which guide or which cruise member "Sawday" interacted with or went on... but having spent two tours in Japan for a total of 7 years, I can assure you that Japanese service workers will gladly accept gratuity and are in no way insulted. As a matter of fact, that extra 1000 Yen note will do wonders! ;D

toMACsh
02-06-2017, 01:54 PM
To answer the question, it's built in to the US economy. Many of the people we tip are paid very low wages, and we know that. For example, servers at a restaurant would not be able to survive on their pay alone, even working 50 hours a week. That's why we tip; it's expected by the employer, so the employees are paid accordingly.

RadDave
02-06-2017, 09:14 PM
To answer the question, it's built in to the US economy. Many of the people we tip are paid very low wages, and we know that. For example, servers at a restaurant would not be able to survive on their pay alone, even working 50 hours a week. That's why we tip; it's expected by the employer, so the employees are paid accordingly.

For further clarification, a 'tipped' employee can be paid MUCH less than the minimum wage (MW) in the USA presuming that their tips will equal or exceed the MW - see the chart below (Wiki Source (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage_in_the_United_States)) which may not be up to date but makes the point. SO, we Americans tip knowing this wage discrepancy - I've always found the process a burden, i.e. 15% or 20% (which I tend to give now) or much less w/ poor service - not really fair to the server depending on the reasons. I'd rather just be charged more for the food, have the wait people paid a fair wage, and forget the tip - wife and I have stayed at a number of resorts were the charges are 'all inclusive', yes these are fancier places (and usually more expensive), but relieves one of the burden of thinking about tips. Dave :)
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ADDENDUM: For an interesting & fun read (a little long) - take a look HERE (http://kitchenette.jezebel.com/the-gratuitous-injustice-of-american-tipping-culture-1608009017) - ;)

Jonzjob
03-04-2017, 06:41 PM
We have just returned from a week in the U.K. and we stayed in a Wadsworth pub in Wiltshire. We arrived on the eve of the managers leaving party! We later met the new manager who had just moved from a pub in East Anglier and it was just outside the gates of a USAF base. Therefore he had LOADS of USAF blokes in the pub every day. He said that they would come up to the bar, buy a pint (the full 20 fl oz pint, not the short change 16 oz jobbie you trans Atlantic cousins like ;);) ) and when they paid the would chuck an extra beer token (1 coin) across the bar every time!!

I told him "welcome to the real world mate!" He laughted.

I tip here in France if I get the service and that is most of the time. 10% is the norm here.

Just as a matter of interest, English beer is the finest in the world and my special is Wadworth 6X, pure living nectar! :Smirk::Smirk:

harryb2448
03-04-2017, 10:02 PM
English beer is the finest in the world?

Bloody hell John. Your taste buds are dead son! All that goat whatsit you have been drinking.

Jonzjob
03-05-2017, 04:06 AM
I finally found out how larger is produced. This is from a proper, real ale, pub:Evil::Evil:

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f180/Jonzjob/Johns/Whole%20Hog%20loos%202_zpsemngvvsx.jpg (http://s47.photobucket.com/user/Jonzjob/media/Johns/Whole%20Hog%20loos%202_zpsemngvvsx.jpg.html)

But you are used to it I suppose Harry :Evil:

Ember1205
03-05-2017, 04:38 PM
As RadDave has already shown, the "Service Industry" workers are allowed by Federal Law to earn -significantly- less than actual minimum wage because the "rest" is supposed to come from patrons tipping based on the quality of service that they receive.

Far and away, however, Americans don't actually understand how to calculate tips and overtip by large amounts. For example, tip amount should be calculated as a percentage of only the PRE TAX bill amount since taxes vary by states and counties (sometimes) and shouldn't change your tip amount for identical service and food quality simply because you dined in two different locations of the same restaurant.

Also, the "Mandatory" tip added for parties of 6 or more (8 or more in some restaurants) is infuriating to me. I tip correctly, and appropriately. And the proper amount of a tip for perfectly acceptable service with no issues is 15%. To be told, before I am even seated, that I will be required to pay an additional 18% (which is almost always calculated on the total bill, including tax) is absolutely unacceptable to me. I'm not saying I won't be happy to tip 18% or even 20% with a larger party (I fully understand that coordinating more meals is harder) - I'm saying I don't like being told that I "have to" pay it. And then there are the folks that just add 20% regardless, even when there's already a tip included, and they're basically double tipping at that point. Since tipping is generally not covered in any form of laws, there is almost always no way to enforce making someone pay any tip amount, let alone the "mandatory" levels that are added for large parties.

Another thing that people don't understand is that you should NEVER transfer a bar tab to your table if you have a drink while you're waiting. Close the bill out and tip the bartender. They did 100% of the work, they should get 100% of the tip. If you move your $10 drink over to your table bill, and add $2 to the tip over there, the bartender will likely see about .$40 - $.60 of that tip instead of the whole $2 because of the way servers tip out the bar staff for drinks that are ordered at the table.

In a lot of ways, I think we would be better off as a society if tipping just simply went away in restaurants as an expected course, and folks were encouraged / allowed to add a couple of dollars after the fact if things were really great or the server accommodated some type of special request.

Slydude
03-05-2017, 05:18 PM
Have to say I pretty much agree with that 100%.

I also don't like places that "pool" tips and then split them at the end of the night either. I understand what is trying to be accomplished but don't like that method of handling things. Someone who isn't providing good service gets some of the money from someone who is providing good service.

harryb2448
03-05-2017, 06:45 PM
For mine, Sly, the low basic wage of workers in the service industry in the US does in the main make for very good service at hotels, restaurants and so on. The level of service is outstanding as a general rule as the staff have to rely so much on good tips. The sharing the 'pot' is a dumb idea, and allows the mediocre waiter to get the same money as the outstanding. My favourite waiter world wide was Kevin, a young guy in the Club Bar upstairs at the Hyatt in Phoenix.

Nah John we don't have goats in this country fortunately as thy compete with King Sheep for fodder. That is apart from our Federal Parliament of course.

They had to cancel the Christmas Nativity in Canberra, the nation's capitol. Couldn't find Three Wise Men let alone a virgin!

Slydude
03-05-2017, 07:10 PM
They had to cancel the Christmas Nativity in Canberra, the nation's capitol. Couldn't find Three Wise Men let alone a virgin!
ROTFL

In our case one of the big pizza chains has a franchise here that we no longer do business with because they cannot seem to get the order right and this happens consistently. At one time they had the share tips policy in place IIRC.

pm-r
03-05-2017, 09:01 PM
They had to cancel the Christmas Nativity in Canberra, the nation's capitol. Couldn't find Three Wise Men let alone a virgin!


Good one, and I think many other places were in the same situation but didn't even know how to admit it.

Maybe they could have come up with a solution if they got tipped enough or just plain got tipsy.






- Patrick
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Ember1205
03-05-2017, 09:06 PM
Friendly's used to do tip "pooling", and I believe they may still. I stopped eating there long ago partly because of that. I never wanted to tip because my money wasn't going to the person that took care of me.

I also completely don't understand this business of tipping for takeout. What gives with that? You prepared my food and sold it to me. There's no service to be tipped for.

pigoo3
03-06-2017, 12:51 PM
I also completely don't understand this business of tipping for takeout. What gives with that? You prepared my food and sold it to me. There's no service to be tipped for.

Have to agree. If someone is driving to a store to pick up some food they ordered...and takes it home (or somewhere else) to eat it...no tip required in my opinion.

This is essentially no different than going thru the drive-thru lane at McDonald's to get some food. Imagine tipping the McDonald's employee handing you the bag of food thru the drive-thru window at McDonald's. Not gonna happen here.;)

Not saying these folks don't deserve to earn more money. It's just not a tipping situation.

- Nick

Jonzjob
03-06-2017, 01:32 PM
"McDonald's to get some food"

Now there's a contridiction :Evil::Evil::Evil:

The French call them McDoos, I call them McDooDoos, says John running for cover :Evil::Evil:

pigoo3
03-06-2017, 04:38 PM
"McDonald's to get some food"

Now there's a contridiction :Evil::Evil::Evil:

I realize that you're having a bit of fun.:) But McDonald's has over 36,000 locations worldwide...and serves 68 million customers each day. That's 68 MILLION people each day. If McDonald's isn't serving "food"...what are they selling...can 68 million people each day be wrong??

Every country has food laws & food regulations...and McDonald's is very good about adhering to them all. Don't let various anti-McDonald's slamming stories over the years from the mass media create a negative image of the company or the food McDonald's sell's.:)

- Nick

pm-r
03-06-2017, 05:47 PM
+1 agree Nick.

Lot's of completely unfounded Mac type etc bashing over the years and those from the tofu-eater bashers can just be ignored, especially for those of us who eat real food like meat and potatoes etc. ;)






- Patrick
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Jonzjob
03-06-2017, 05:53 PM
We, this side of the pond might call it tounge in cheek. I have never been much good at taking life seriously. It's too short to do that.:Mischievous:

Jonzjob
03-06-2017, 06:02 PM
Our posts crossed Patrick. Real meat? I do like snails and cassoulet and good stuff like that. Don't be stingy with the foie gras either. Fantastic with fress figs!

Miam miam as the French say.:Cool:

I have just found this and it looks as if I could change my mind?

http://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-bath-spa-hotel/

The menu looks good and they do B&B too :Cool::Cool:

RadDave
03-07-2017, 01:56 PM
Well, when Susan & I are traveling in our car, we will stop at a 'fast food' chain (maybe a half dozen times or less a year) - quick and an adequate 'gastric filler' - our usual pick is Wendy's - just a single cheese burger + share some fries; have not been to a McDonald's in several years and believe I ordered the fish sandwich last time, which was freshly cooked and tasty.

NOW, we've been to Maine on vacation a number of times and have tried a 'lobster roll' at a McDonald's - apparently this is becoming a MUCH more widespread option - we LOVE lobster rolls, so would certainly give the chain a try if the roll looked as good as the one below - :) Dave
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IWT
03-07-2017, 03:01 PM
For the little it's worth, I would say that in my travels around the world - (most times on my own, related to my profession; but this applies when my wife and I travel) - going to a MacDonald's, you know exactly what to expect irrespective of local cuisine. It's safe, clean and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. A sanctuary in some ways.

Ian

pigoo3
03-07-2017, 04:24 PM
For the little it's worth, I would say that in my travels around the world - (most times on my own, related to my profession; but this applies when my wife and I travel) - going to a MacDonald's, you know exactly what to expect irrespective of local cuisine. It's safe, clean and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. A sanctuary in some ways.

Ian

You've hit the nail on the head Ian.:) This is EXACTLY what all chain restaurant's (fast food or otherwise) strives to achieve. The exact same experience wherever you go. Be it China, South Africa, Wales, Canada, Brazil, or the United States (or a chain restaurant that may only have location's within one country or region).

McDonald's may not be the best food on the planet. But it's tasty, satsfying, filling, trustworthy, safe, and inexpensive. And what you said about a "sanctuary"...is an excellent/perfect analogy!:)

- Nick

Jonzjob
03-07-2017, 05:13 PM
A bit like the Holiday Inn chain. Where ever you wake up in the world you could be in the USA. That is what they used to advertise.

IWT
03-07-2017, 05:50 PM
A bit like the Holiday Inn chain. Where ever you wake up in the world you could be in the USA. That is what they used to advertise.

There are worse in which places to wake up;D I'm being jokey, Jon, but it also has a serious side.

Ian

Jonzjob
03-07-2017, 06:30 PM
That isn't an opinion Ian, it's just what they used to advertise. I have no idea if that is true or not because the only times I have ever stayed in the USA was as ground crew with the Royal Air Force a couple of times. They were only over night stops.

The last time we stopped in a Holiday Inn was last Wednesday night in Cambridge. That's the original one with those old universities in the middle of the cite. It was very comfortable in the executive room we had. Not too sure about the breakfast as we were on our way to good old Ryanair at Stansted at breakfast time. But we made up for it with a very good lunch at the Stansted Airport Weatherspoons pub inside the security area. A pint or 3 of good English beer too to wash down my fish & chips (made from real potatoes O:)O:) )

As far as eating local is concerned. I love to eat what is there. It's the flavour of the place and you miss so very much by not tasting that, IMHO that is? That would be llike going to Glasgow and not having a deep fried MarsBar :\:\ (quell horror)

Manawar
03-08-2017, 03:27 PM
Its all about the culture. The culture in Japan is "not to give tips", and the culture in America is "to tip". In America, if you do not tip, you are being rude and arrogant. I guess that is where the east and west clash.

Ember1205
03-08-2017, 03:32 PM
Its all about the culture. The culture in Japan is "not to give tips", and the culture in America is "to tip". In America, if you do not tip, you are being rude and arrogant. I guess that is where the east and west clash.

I feel that tipping grew out of the Capitalist nature of our society. Everyone has the opportunity to achieve higher by working harder, and tipping is how those in the service industry achieve higher. Sadly, tipping has become an expected norm and the desire to overachieve to EARN a quality tip is out the window.

In cultures where integrity and high quality work are simply EXPECTED, tipping is not necessary.

MacInWin
03-08-2017, 03:43 PM
Tip in cash. That way the server gets the tip, not some shared pool of people. The restaurant should pay the cook staff sufficiently well that tips are not needed. Pooling just lets the management cut salaries of the cook staff by sharing the tips. The only way to stop that is to tip in cash. Nothing for the cooks, they will eventually either get an increase in pay or leave. Show management that their tricks won't work.

Ember1205
03-08-2017, 03:59 PM
Tip in cash. That way the server gets the tip, not some shared pool of people. The restaurant should pay the cook staff sufficiently well that tips are not needed. Pooling just lets the management cut salaries of the cook staff by sharing the tips. The only way to stop that is to tip in cash. Nothing for the cooks, they will eventually either get an increase in pay or leave. Show management that their tricks won't work.

When the restaurant requires that all tips be placed into a "jar" and split at the end of the shift, this doesn't help in any way. And, keeping cash tips instead of adding them to the kitty can result in termination.

I say you boycott those places that force pooled tips or just don't tip at all there. Ask your server, the host/hostess, or manager before you order if tips are pooled. Then ask if you can have 100% of your tip go to your server.

If not, leave, and explain why. If enough people push back against stupid management, management will change their stance when they see the revenues drop.

MacInWin
03-08-2017, 04:04 PM
I never tip in a jar. Places with jars don't provide service with wait staff, and therefore no need for tips. What would you be tipping for, anyway?

I usually hand the tip directly to the server. It's up to them what they do with it at that point. If they want to share, fine.

Jonzjob
03-08-2017, 04:19 PM
Bring back Animal Farm is what I say then everyone will be equal apart from those who are more equal than others?

Attitudes are different the world over and long may it reign that way. We have a Monarchy and we are proud of it. Some are jealous of it, but what the hell do we care. Others shout from the roof tops that they are a democratic republic, the ones shouting loudist are usually the furthest away from it. That's how the world is and I ain't going to chage it.

Ember1205
03-08-2017, 04:46 PM
I never tip in a jar. Places with jars don't provide service with wait staff, and therefore no need for tips. What would you be tipping for, anyway?

I usually hand the tip directly to the server. It's up to them what they do with it at that point. If they want to share, fine.

My point is that the server doesn't necessarily have the option. Places that require pooling of tips force the servers to put their tips into a common area and they are divvied up later to a larger group. Doesn't matter if you charge the tip, leave in cash, hand to the server, etc.

Most "nicer" restaurants have a generally-followed formula of what happens with the tips. Some percentage stays with your server. A smaller percentage gets split out to those other servers that have assisted over the course of the shift. Another, smaller portion may go to those that bus tables and a similar amount may go to the bartender(s). When I worked busing tables at an upscale restaurant, I was supposed to earn about 10% of the servers total tips for the night. I generally earned a little more from them because I worked my butt off and helped with more than just busing tables. I'd run orders to the bar, help serve (large parties), help clear, and even carry trays to/from the kitchen for the servers. In that scenario, the server that accepted your tip with your payment would end up with about 40% of the tips from their shift staying in their pocket.

Jonzjob
03-08-2017, 05:34 PM
Our all time favourite bistro here is part of the huge Le Domaine d'Auriac, le Bistro d'Auriac. It's a place where you go to the restaurant and pay a fortune or the bistro where you get a lovely 3 course lunch for 40€ for 2 with 1/2 litre of very nice wine. . We are known there and are greeted with handshakes from the manager down. All of the staff work togther, from the manager down, and when a tip is given there they ring a small bell. That bell should be worn out by now! They work as a team and should be tipped, if they deserve it, as such. We always tip there because they always deserve it.

Other places we have been to I wouldn't even think of tipping.