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TIP WARS: WaPo food critic says you have to tip 20 percent, no matter what

Pet

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,085
SoCal
Yep. I can't stop you from stiffing a waiter, to be sure. It was just my suggestion that you don't protest in a way that hurts other people ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
You should probably read my edit.


Also yeah, sorry (not sorry) but you and a lot of people in this thread ARE the problem. The incessant circlejerking and automatic dismissal of anyone raising counterpoints to tipping, including pointing out better systems (at least, imo) that combat a lot of problems in the restaurant industry.

I mean really, in order to participate apparently I need to meet y'alls ethical tipping standard lol. You want receipts to see how much I tip before I'm allowed to have an opinion? What if y'all realized I tip by taking the entire amount post tax, moving the decimal point, doubling, and rounding up by a few dollars to make my whole bill even, usually ending in 0? That good enough for you? Can I have an opinion now because I usually end up tipping 30% or more, regardless of if my bill is $8 or $800?

Like seriously, people here need to get over themselves and realize SOME people that don't tip are trying to enact change the way they think is best. Maybe we should consider those viewpoints instead of bukkaking ourselves over supporting a discriminatory, unfair, fuck you got mine system?
 

NoMoreTrolls

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,885
Texas
Nah motherfucker if you give me bad service (that excludes things that are our of the waiter's control, like kitchen issues), I'm not tipping your ass

I also don't tip at essentially self service joints where you order at a counter and pick it up yourself.
 

EGOMON

Member
Nov 5, 2017
774
Oman
I am always baffled by these threads never sieze to amaze me how backwards American and there shitty tip practice, sometimes makes me question how us in the rest of the world are functioning.
 

Cat Party

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,967
I generally tip around 20%. If service is truly bad, I will tip less, but not by much. The tipping economy is fucking bullshit and I believe that the tip is essentially part of the cost of dining out. I expect to get paid for the work I do, even if it's not perfect, and servers (and the kitchen staff) should, too.
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
842
Okay so in that case, how is that motivating anyone to tip servers if it turns out servers want to exploit the kitchen staff and back of the house and we still have all the problems we do? Sounds like it's the servers saying fuck you, got mine to everyone else working there.
I don't believe servers actively want to exploit the kitchen staff. It's just that the way this system works benefits them so they're careful in how they rock the boat (demanding higher minimum tip, point out how difficult it is to deal w/ diners and their "water requests", complain on people that don't tip enough). They never really take their ire out on the actual system itself or the restaurant owners who at the end of the day benefit the most because at the end of the day being a server as labor intensive as the job is does equate to a solid service wage commensurate to job prerequisites.

I also don't think most people tip based on actual quality of service since that's incredibly subjective....most people tip d/t social obligation/custom.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,573
You should probably read my edit.


Also yeah, sorry (not sorry) but you and a lot of people in this thread ARE the problem. The incessant circlejerking and automatic dismissal of anyone raising counterpoints to tipping, including pointing out better systems (at least, imo) that combat a lot of problems in the restaurant industry.

I mean really, in order to participate apparently I need to meet y'alls ethical tipping standard lol. You want receipts to see how much I tip before I'm allowed to have an opinion? What if y'all realized I tip by taking the entire amount post tax, moving the decimal point, doubling, and rounding up by a few dollars to make my whole bill even, usually ending in 0? That good enough for you? Can I have an opinion now because I usually end up tipping 30% or more, regardless of if my bill is $8 or $800?

Like seriously, people here need to get over themselves and realize SOME people that don't tip are trying to enact change the way they think is best. Maybe we should consider those viewpoints instead of bukkaking ourselves over supporting a discriminatory, unfair, fuck you got mine system?
Nah, people who "protest" by stiffing wait staff can fuck themselves to death. They also go on my ignore list, just like you.
 

jetscanfly

Member
Jan 19, 2018
59
Like seriously, people here need to get over themselves and realize SOME people that don't tip are trying to enact change the way they think is best. Maybe we should consider those viewpoints instead of bukkaking ourselves over supporting a discriminatory, unfair, fuck you got mine system?
Sorry, but how is not tipping simply because "it's stupid" not a fuck you got mine attitude?

I think that's what most people here are trying to say is a problem.
 

chezzymann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,757
Listen if you are in a cheaper area by all means tip 15. If that's the standard culture there then fine. But in major metro areas, for normal service, 20 is expected.

The server knows that his performance can dictate his tip. If the server is fucking up, if he writes down your order wrong, if he forgets to bring you something, if he leave you empty or forgets to check on you. By all means deduct some money. Just don't punish them for things that aren't their fault like the food tasting bad or being late or something. Get the manager involved at that point, they will usually hook you up.

I'd say 10% is about as low as ill go for shitty service. I can even allow no tip at all if the person was just outright rude or an asshole to you.



As for the money issue.... I am not saying poor people don't deserve to eat out. I am pretty goddamn poor for my area and I still eat out from time to time. But I tip 20%. What I am saying is this...

If you are going to eat out, make sure you can afford the tip on what you are planning to order. Choose a restaurant where you can afford what you want to eat/drink and still tip.
If you are going to eat out, and purposely choose a restaurant with higher priced food because you have chosen to not tip or tip less to make up the cost... that is a dick move.

Is that really so hard?
I don't care what people are changing it to, 15% was expected before and 15% is what I'm tipping. Changing that makes zero sense and I'm not going to contribute to people creeping up those percentages all the way to 50% or something stupid 20 years from now.
 

PHOENIXZERO

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,104
Why is it always ignored that if a tipped employee doesn't meet normal minimum wage after counting tips that the employer has to make it up?
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
842
Additional considerations- tipping encourages bigoted behavior and discrimination. A server that is motivated by tips will cater and treat the people they think will tip the best, better. Moving to a fixed price system guarantees, at least, that everyone is assumed to pay and there's no justification to treat people differently.
Totally forgot about this.. Family had holiday dinner last year at House of Prime Rib in SF(one of my favorite places to go). Party of 6-7 Asians. Our server was pretty apathetic to us the whole night. Taking forever to get to our order, clearly half assing everything while at the same time catering heavily to the table of 4 next to us constantly checking on them, small talk the whole 9 (served them food before us even though we arrived earlier/on time for our reservation etc..). Now i'm not a regular at that place but I've gone enough to know that this isn't the typical service.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,573
Why is it always ignored that if a tipped employee doesn't meet normal minimum wage after counting tips that the employer has to make it up?
I think most people don't realize that the point of working for tips isn't to make minimum wage, it's to make more, because minimum wage is like $15k a year and nobody can live on that. Anybody advocating for min wage and no tips for the service industry is basically saying they think all these people making $25k should only be making $15-18k and paying more taxes.
 

Bio

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
2,178
Denver, Colorado
You should probably read my edit.


Also yeah, sorry (not sorry) but you and a lot of people in this thread ARE the problem. The incessant circlejerking and automatic dismissal of anyone raising counterpoints to tipping, including pointing out better systems (at least, imo) that combat a lot of problems in the restaurant industry.

I mean really, in order to participate apparently I need to meet y'alls ethical tipping standard lol. You want receipts to see how much I tip before I'm allowed to have an opinion? What if y'all realized I tip by taking the entire amount post tax, moving the decimal point, doubling, and rounding up by a few dollars to make my whole bill even, usually ending in 0? That good enough for you? Can I have an opinion now because I usually end up tipping 30% or more, regardless of if my bill is $8 or $800?

Like seriously, people here need to get over themselves and realize SOME people that don't tip are trying to enact change the way they think is best. Maybe we should consider those viewpoints instead of bukkaking ourselves over supporting a discriminatory, unfair, fuck you got mine system?
A) Not dismissing the idea that the current system sucks. I've repeatedly said it does and I'd love to see it changed.
B) I guess where I'm getting caught up is the idea that not tipping, or tipping poorly, can be any kind of driver for needed change. It doesn't hurt a restaurant's bottom line so there's no incentive for them to change; it only hurts the waiter.
C) You don't need to tip a certain amount to have an opinion, but I'm probably not going to agree with your opinion if it is "don't tip" or "tip a little bit"
4) The "got mines" of the "fuck you got mine" system are restaurant owners, and us. Not the waiters. They're the ones getting fucked over, and I simply don't see how fucking them over more will ever eventually help them be fucked over less. We need laws, preferably at the federal level but I'll take states adopting measures on their own, that prevent waiters from being exploited by companies and underpaid by the patrons who are (literally and figuratively) left holding the bill.

Honestly I think we're more or less in agreement on both the problem and correct solution, with the one key difference being that I don't think your interim solution of not tipping is productive at all.
 

Pet

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,085
SoCal
I don't believe servers actively want to exploit the kitchen staff. It's just that the way this system works benefits them so they're careful in how they rock the boat (demanding higher minimum tip, point out how difficult it is to deal w/ diners and their "water requests", complain on people that don't tip enough). They never really take their ire out on the actual system itself or the restaurant owners who at the end of the day benefit the most because at the end of the day being a server as labor intensive as the job is does equate to a solid service wage commensurate to job prerequisites.

I also don't think most people tip based on actual quality of service since that's incredibly subjective....most people tip d/t social obligation/custom.
Yes, and yes. I agree with you.

But that's also why I support moving to a service based standard. It seems there are lots of problems with the restaurant service industry as is, and changing the way everyone is compensated would alleviate at least some of the problems.

In the end, I expect the consumer (in this case, me) would pay about the same amount anyway. The only difference would be that it would be all at once, up front, easily, instead of this weird sanctimonious tipping system. If I have to read another article explaining to me why a voluntary x% is "required," my eyes will be able to generate enough power to support a small nation.

Like, congratulations, the writer gets to feel good about themself for pitying someone who they see as charity because they won't make enough otherwise. It's supporting an inherently unfair, discriminatory system. Maybe it's ERA, but I see way more articles about "this is why you NEED to tip x%" than "this is why we should move to fixed/flat rate restaurant systems."

Cynical part of me wonders if it is because a lot of people that benefit from the current system are on here.
 
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PurpleCopper

Member
Oct 5, 2019
37
If that's the case, how do they do it in other countries? Like, loads of places where servers do make livable wages.
Honestly? Cultural differences that Americans don't share with the rest of the world. The rest of the world probably don't mind paying higher prices, or they have smaller portions, or things that we take for granted in the USA restaurants that don't exist in other countries. And most likely there's a built-in structural economic/business system difference in other countries as opposed to the USA, (food suppliers, healthcare, etc.).

I feel like if you want to successfully institute a livable fixed wage, you gotta go for a multi-pronged approach.

But then again, you have like places like California which banned tips and gives fixed livable wages...
 

meow

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
902
NYC
I don't think I understand the reasoning behind the "tip 20% or don't go out to eat" crowd. What do you think will happen if everyone who doesn't want to tip 20% decides not to go out to eat? It's not like those tables are all going to fill up suddenly with people who want to tip 20%.

Also that article that says "tip more, it'll keep your food prices low!" How tf is it keeping food prices low if it's just going into the tip instead?
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
7,239
I think most people don't realize that the point of working for tips isn't to make minimum wage, it's to make more, because minimum wage is like $15k a year and nobody can live on that. Anybody advocating for min wage and no tips for the service industry is basically saying they think all these people making $25k should only be making $15-18k and paying more taxes.
Like the other poster said, though, if you live in a state where servers are paid minimum wage and you don't believe that's enough to live on, why not tip every single person that makes around minimum wage, including fast food, the cashiers at stores, etc.? Because it's customary, that's the only reason.
 

GMT Master

Member
Oct 3, 2019
42
I think I can count on my hands the number of times I've left no tip in my life. I'm not leaving 20% for poor service. Service is part of the job. It IS the job. I can go grab the plates from the kitchen and bring them to the table myself if that was an option.

I used to go 15% because it was the standard, but now I'm at 20% simply because at the end of the day, that 5% isn't going to break me, but it might help the person on the other end. So 20% is fine.

99% of times I eat out, I have a perfectly average experience. One server isn't doing their job better than the last. It's all the same. Some are nicer than others sure, but is that really the difference between good and poor service? It's the same damn routine every single time. Take order, bring food, possibly clear some plates, ask if everything is ok, bring check. It's not that complicated.

With that said, fuck all this shit. Automate everything. Give me touch screens at all tables and let me go pickup all my own food from a counter and bring it back to the table. I will never agree with this idea that "being a server is a difficult job" nonsense. It is tiring? Sure. Is it frustrating dealing with annoying people? Sure. Is carrying plates to and from tables difficult? No it's not.

Bring on the robotic future where a machine can bring me my food and anything else I may need during a meal.


American tipping culture is so fucking stupid

lol
Yeah
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,532
Like the other poster said, though, if you live in a state where servers are paid minimum wage and you don't believe that's enough to live on, why not tip every single person that makes around minimum wage, including fast food, the cashiers at stores, etc.? Because it's customary, that's the only reason.
Some do. Some are not allowed. I know a lot of corps that pay their base employees min wage also forbid them from accepting tips.

But it is also a customary thing. People working in a server role do expect a higher payout. Hell if I had the choice of being a server or cashier and they both paid the same I'm doing cashier 100%. The food service industry is hard and serving is a hard job. Was definitely harder labor and mentally than what I'm doing now (Textiles QA, in front of a computer in an office)
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,957
With that said, fuck all this shit. Automate everything. Give me touch screens at all tables and let me go pickup all my own food from a counter and bring it back to the table. I will never agree with this idea that "being a server is a difficult job" nonsense. It is tiring? Sure. Is it frustrating dealing with annoying people? Sure. Is carrying plates to and from tables difficult? No it's not.
I think having to deal with an endless parade of people, some of them easy, some of them assholes, and to be expected to treat all of them with a smile, keep track of their orders, top off their drinks, etc, with your wages on the line qualifies as difficult, yes. It's mentally demanding. And being on your feet for hours at a time is physically demanding.

I'd far rather sit at a desk and fiddle with a command line.
 

jetscanfly

Member
Jan 19, 2018
59
then again, you have like places like California which banned tips and gives fixed livable wages...
Tips are not banned in California.

I don't think I understand the reasoning behind the "tip 20% or don't go out to eat" crowd. What do you think will happen if everyone who doesn't want to tip 20% decides not to go out to eat? It's not like those tables are all going to fill up suddenly with people who want to tip 20%.

Also that article that says "tip more, it'll keep your food prices low!" How tf is it keeping food prices low if it's just going into the tip instead?
I don't think anyone is saying to tip exactly 20% every time OR ELSE! Just that it should be about the standard. Waving around that number is fine, no one is mad about it. If your waiter calls you a fat pig or stabs you in the back no one is going to scream because you tipped less. Tipping completely substandard amounts or not at all in protest of "tipping sucks" is what most people here are against.

To the second point, if restaurants increase wages, their costs have gone up and they need to roll that into costs. It also takes more money to pay a wage than to let a employee supplement their salary with tips. So if a restaurant raises wages by 20%, you'll see a 25% increase in prices at least.
 

GMT Master

Member
Oct 3, 2019
42
I think having to deal with an endless parade of people, some of them easy, some of them assholes, and to be expected to treat all of them with a smile, keep track of their orders, top off their drinks, etc, with your wages on the line qualifies as difficult, yes. It's mentally demanding. And being on your feet for hours at a time is physically demanding.

I'd far rather sit at a desk and fiddle with a command line.
So would I, and I have a desk job, but what I'm saying is that the moment to moment action of actually performing a service job is not difficult.

Is carrying a plate more difficult than knowing what to do with that command line?
 

Froyo Love

Member
Oct 28, 2017
921
With that said, fuck all this shit. Automate everything. Give me touch screens at all tables and let me go pickup all my own food from a counter and bring it back to the table. I will never agree with this idea that "being a server is a difficult job" nonsense. It is tiring? Sure. Is it frustrating dealing with annoying people? Sure. Is carrying plates to and from tables difficult? No it's not.
Jobs are usually considered difficult when they're tiring and frustrating. That's like saying, I can swing a hammer, construction isn't hard.
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,957
So would I, and I have a desk job, but what I'm saying is that the moment to moment action of actually performing a service job is not difficult.

Is carrying a plate more difficult than knowing what to do with that command line?
I feel like you're abstracting the entire job down to the simplest task. It's like saying 'Is carrying a plate more difficult than typing on a keyboard?'
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
842
I think having to deal with an endless parade of people, some of them easy, some of them assholes, and to be expected to treat all of them with a smile, keep track of their orders, top off their drinks, etc, with your wages on the line qualifies as difficult, yes. It's mentally demanding. And being on your feet for hours at a time is physically demanding.

I'd far rather sit at a desk and fiddle with a command line.
Sure but the pre requisites and actual value of the job are different.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,573
Like the other poster said, though, if you live in a state where servers are paid minimum wage and you don't believe that's enough to live on, why not tip every single person that makes around minimum wage, including fast food, the cashiers at stores, etc.? Because it's customary, that's the only reason.
Sure, but the answer is not to take money away from other lower class workers so everyone is even, that's ridiculous. All wages need to go up.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,517
Or....WaPo (radical idea I know) write an article about how businesses should pay their employees a proper wage so that they arent dependent on the kindness of strangers.
 

PurpleCopper

Member
Oct 5, 2019
37
Tips are not banned in California.
Whoops, meant to say that tips in California is purely as a thank you for quality service, and not something that the employer can deduct from your minimum wage.


Still kind of skeptical of the restaurant business surviving though, livable wage or no. Everything has gotten more expensive. Food prices, real estate, and even manpower. You'd think that there were more productivity gains in the restaurant business as well, but I don't see it. In the fastfood business you at least have a streamlined process with a whole bunch of automation robots and ordering machines.

Soon in the near future, only the rich will eat at restaurants. Everybody else will be eating at fastfood (Mcdonalds), fast-casual (Chop't), grocerants (Wegmans), food trucks (take your pick), or ghost-kitchens (a very profitable business for GrubHub in NYC).

Every single one of these non-restaurant food places are muscling out restaurants out of their territory, because they have much higher margins than a restaurant does. Most restaurants have 0-5% margins, All those other non-restaurant types have 10-35% margins. Pretty hard to compete against that.
 

GMT Master

Member
Oct 3, 2019
42
I feel like you're abstracting the entire job down to the simplest task. It's like saying 'Is carrying a plate more difficult than typing on a keyboard?'
Jobs are usually considered difficult when they're tiring and frustrating. That's like saying, I can swing a hammer, construction isn't hard.
I don't think that's unfair, but I personally don't define difficulty in that way.

For me it's about the skill set required to perform the job. Yeah both service and construction jobs are tiring and physically far more taxing than sitting at a desk mashing away at a keyboard, but I still don't consider them difficult in the same way.

For the record I don't consider service and construction jobs to be equivalent in any way. Using tools in a proficient manner requires real skill.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
7,239
To the second point, if restaurants increase wages, their costs have gone up and they need to roll that into costs. It also takes more money to pay a wage than to let a employee supplement their salary with tips. So if a restaurant raises wages by 20%, you'll see a 25% increase in prices at least.
I don't think that's true, unless the waitstaff wages are by far the main expense of the restaurant. If a restaurant raises wages by 20% for sure it will cost them more than that but I don't think that translates to 25% increase in prices.

Having said that, is there something unique to America that makes it difficult to run a restaurant with these kinds of higher costs? Is food much more expensive in places where tipping is not allowed? I honestly don't know.
 

jetscanfly

Member
Jan 19, 2018
59
I don't think that's true, unless the waitstaff wages are by far the main expense of the restaurant. If a restaurant raises wages by 20% for sure it will cost them more than that but I don't think that translates to 25% increase in prices.

Having said that, is there something unique to America that makes it difficult to run a restaurant with these kinds of higher costs? Is food much more expensive in places where tipping is not allowed? I honestly don't know.
Maybe my example is bad. The point I'm trying to make is that paying employees out of pocket costs more for a company (and note, most restaurants are small businesses not multinationals) than just that wage increase. There are more costs to a wage than just the wage and restaurants will want to recoup that as well.
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
842
Whoops, meant to say that tips in California is purely as a thank you for quality service, and not something that the employer can deduct from your minimum wage.


Still kind of skeptical of the restaurant business surviving though, livable wage or no. Everything has gotten more expensive. Food prices, real estate, and even manpower. You'd think that there were more productivity gains in the restaurant business as well, but I don't see it. In the fastfood business you at least have a streamlined process with a whole bunch of automation robots and ordering machines.

Soon in the near future, only the rich will eat at restaurants. Everybody else will be eating at fastfood (Mcdonalds), fast-casual (Chop't), grocerants (Wegmans), food trucks (take your pick), or ghost-kitchens (a very profitable business for GrubHub in NYC).

Every single one of these non-restaurant food places are muscling out restaurants out of their territory, because they have much higher margins than a restaurant does. Most restaurants have 0-5% margins, All those other non-restaurant types have 10-35% margins. Pretty hard to compete against that.
Tips aren't purely a quality of service thing in CA....You're still expected to tip
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,573
I don't think that's true, unless the waitstaff wages are by far the main expense of the restaurant. If a restaurant raises wages by 20% for sure it will cost them more than that but I don't think that translates to 25% increase in prices.

Having said that, is there something unique to America that makes it difficult to run a restaurant with these kinds of higher costs? Is food much more expensive in places where tipping is not allowed? I honestly don't know.
It's not raising wages by 20% though, they'd have to raise tipped wages like 400% to bring them up to what people average hourly with tips.

And the answer to your second question is that the entire restaurant industry has been built on this model for decades and decades. Changing it on a nationwide level would require a pretty drastic restructuring of the entire restaurant business, from restaurants themselves, to suppliers and distributors and transportation costs.
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,957
I don't think that's unfair, but I personally don't define difficulty in that way.

For me it's about the skill set required to perform the job. Yeah both service and construction jobs are tiring and physically far more taxing than sitting at a desk mashing away at a keyboard, but I still don't consider them difficult in the same way.

For the record I don't consider service and construction jobs to be equivalent in any way. Using tools in a proficient manner requires real skill.
A task being difficult, by definition, simply means it requires a deal of effort or skill. One can argue that service is not a skilled job, and, except at the highest levels, that's probably true, but to say that it isn't difficult is reductive, as to excel as a server clearly requires a lot of effort.
 

jetscanfly

Member
Jan 19, 2018
59
A task being difficult, by definition, simply means it requires a deal of effort or skill. One can argue that service is not a skilled job, and, except at the highest levels, that's probably true, but to say that it isn't difficult is reductive, as to excel as a server clearly requires a lot of effort.
Everyone should work in a brunch restaurant that has lines before they say serving isn't hard/difficult/taxing, imho. xD
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
842
And what bearing does that have on its difficulty? A thing can be physically and mentally exhausting without requiring a degree.
I'm saying that you can't compare those jobs because they require different pre requisites....You're the one comparing two entirely different job requiring two entirely different skill sets. I don't discount that being a server is a strenuous and labor intensive job.

The guy calling for your job to be automated is a backhanded insult. That I don't agree w/
 

GMT Master

Member
Oct 3, 2019
42
A task being difficult, by definition, simply means it requires a deal of effort or skill. One can argue that service is not a skilled job, and, except at the highest levels, that's probably true, but to say that it isn't difficult is reductive, as to excel as a server clearly requires a lot of effort.
Fair enough.

Increased wages is ideal, but this is a temporary problem. The robot server revolution can't come soon enough.
 

Jimx26

Member
Oct 30, 2017
992
If you do that in America, you're an absolute piece of shit.
Why? Because you say so!
Why should top up someone’s wages with my own hard earned money because the system is broken?

10% is more than enough imo and if everyone tipped that amount servers would hit minimum wage and more no problem.
 
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