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Author Topic:   No tipping?
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 16 of 41 (770976)
10-16-2015 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Percy
10-16-2015 2:30 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
Responding to Cat Sci, in your scenarios is there still a connection between the tip and the quality of service? If so, it wasn't apparent, and if not, then what's the point of a tip?
Yeah, it was all assuming that the service wasn't bad.
I was just curious why you care about how the number in the percentage feels?
You were torn because 15% felt too high. Why do you care about how the quantity of the percentage feels?
Isn't the typical difference between a 12% tip and a 18% tip negligible to you? (and isn't that typically a significant difference to the server?)
We're talking about a couple dollars, are you that hard up?
Assuming you're not (and that the service is not bad), then why not just give them the extra couple bucks and forget about what percentage that adds up to?
Why do you care about dialing in to just the right quantity of percentage points?
Further, if it's negligible to you, and has the potential of really helping someone else, then why not just be a nice guy and give it to them?
Tip big. It doesn't hurt and you might make someone's day.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 10-16-2015 2:30 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 10-16-2015 3:53 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 41 (770978)
10-16-2015 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Percy
10-16-2015 2:30 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
At Yahoo Answers someone asked the question How many tables does a waitress take on an 8 hour shift and how much tips do they make per day?". The first answer offered the example of a Saturday night where in three hours he served 65 people, which is twice as many as my 9 tables of four in three hours.
You understand that this is a single anecdote, right? I'm sure that some waiters do make lots of money, and that an even larger number make uncharacterisitcally great tips on occasion.
I'd also bet that numbers like these are more representative of what people actually make:
Waiters and Waitresses
As an example, people making about 32K per year are in the 90th percentile of all waiters and waitresses.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 10-16-2015 2:30 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 3:36 PM NoNukes has replied
 Message 22 by Percy, posted 10-16-2015 4:09 PM NoNukes has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 41 (770979)
10-16-2015 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by NoNukes
10-16-2015 3:28 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
I'd also bet that numbers like these are more representative of what people actually make:
Waiters and Waitresses
As an example, people making about 32K per year are in the 90th percentile of all waiters and waitresses.
Isn't that assuming that servers are reporting all their tips?
The servers I know report about 10% of their tips.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by NoNukes, posted 10-16-2015 3:28 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by NoNukes, posted 10-16-2015 3:43 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 26 by Theodoric, posted 10-16-2015 11:25 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 41 (770980)
10-16-2015 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by New Cat's Eye
10-16-2015 3:36 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
The servers I know report about 10% of their tips.
Sure. So the servers you know are actually making $320,000 a year but reporting 32K?

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 3:36 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 4:00 PM NoNukes has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21347
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 20 of 41 (770981)
10-16-2015 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by New Cat's Eye
10-16-2015 3:18 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
I think you've got different questions. First there's this:
Cat Sci writes:
Yeah, it was all assuming that the service wasn't bad.
I don't know what to make of this. Are you talking about some binary approach where you either tip good or bad depending upon whether the service was good or bad? Or is there more nuance?
I was just curious why you care about how the number in the percentage feels?
You mean how it feels to the server or how it feels to me? For myself, uncertainty about whether I got the percentage right and sent the right message about how I felt about the service makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't like feeling uncomfortable, so of course I care about how it feels to me. But I didn't say that about normal restaurant meals. I said it about buffets.
By the way, I also care about how it feels to the server, just because I'm human. I'm never happy when I tip low, because oftentimes it seems like the server was doing the best he could. On the one hand it seems cruel to punish someone financially when he was trying as hard as he could, and on the other hand it seems like the right thing to do because it should motivate him to either improve his performance or find another line of work, each better alternatives than continuing to be a horrible waiter.
Sometimes terrible service is a result of a manpower crunch. Once a long time ago our dinner took over an hour to arrive after we ordered. It became apparent after a while that the restaurant was terribly understaffed that night, and that's not the server's fault, but what to do? You don't want to reward horrible service, but you don't want to punish the server either because staffing isn't their responsibility. I don't actually recall how much I tipped, it was 15 or 20 years ago, I only recall the dilemma now.
You were torn because 15% felt too high.
For buffets. You mentioned buffets, too, in your previous message:
For buffets, I just give them $5 regardless of the percentage that comes out to be.
Just because you have a hard and fast rule doesn't make it right. You have the same uncertainty I do about whether that's an appropriate tip, it just doesn't seem to bother you the way it bothers me. Maybe some buffet establishments pays their wait staff enough that they don't need tips, and others don't. How would you know which is which? If your fixed $5 is actually stiffing someone with a very low tip, wouldn't you want to know about that?
We're talking about a couple dollars, are you that hard up?
Well now you're way off course. I never mentioned affordability as a consideration.
But I do feel uncomfortable not knowing whether the tip I just gave sends the message I intended it to send. This isn't an issue at a normal restaurant meal, and I said that right up front in my opening post. I said you just tip 15% plus or minus depending on the quality of the service. I think I called restaurant tipping the last bastion of tipping certitude. It was in a subsequent post that I mentioned that buffets present some uncertainty that makes me feel uncomfortable.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Typo.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 3:18 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 4:26 PM Percy has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 41 (770982)
10-16-2015 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by NoNukes
10-16-2015 3:43 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
So the servers you know are actually making $320,000 a year but reporting 32K?
More like they make 50k a year and report 10k in wages and report another 10k in tips. 10% was a bit hyperbolic.
But to your point, you can't really use how much money servers report that they are earning as being the best metric for how much money they are actually taking home.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by NoNukes, posted 10-16-2015 3:43 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by NoNukes, posted 10-16-2015 5:15 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21347
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 22 of 41 (770983)
10-16-2015 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by NoNukes
10-16-2015 3:28 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
Oh, I didn't realize you were getting off into general table waiting. That wasn't what I was wondering about. I said I thought waiting tables at places like TGI Friday's, Longhorn's, Applebee's, etc., seemed pretty lucrative and was wondering if that was true. My estimates seem pretty conservative, anecdotal stories support it, and so it does look pretty lucrative, but one open question is how much one can count on getting scheduled at the lucrative times. If you know why or why not waiting tables at those establishments wouldn't be lucrative then it would be interesting to hear about. Just something I've always been mildly curious about.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by NoNukes, posted 10-16-2015 3:28 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by NoNukes, posted 10-19-2015 11:04 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 23 of 41 (770984)
10-16-2015 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
10-16-2015 3:53 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
You mean how it feels to the server or how it feels to me?
I was under the impression that you were talking about how it feels to you.
I hadn't considered that you might be talking about how it feels to the server.
Now that you mention it, though, I think that you are over-thinking it. If you are trying to send a message to the server, that they need to improve their service, by lowering your tip by a few percentage points, then I don't think you are achieving your goal.
When you give a low tip, the server most likely just thinks: "that guy was an asshole".
They're not thinking: "Judging from this tip, I need to be more polite and responsive next time"
For myself, uncertainty about whether I got the percentage right and sent the right message about how I felt about the service makes me feel uncomfortable.
Why do you care so much about the percentage quantity?
Too: I don't think you really understand the messages that servers are receiving from their tips. How could they tell from a calculation of the percentage if you saw room for improvement in their service or if you were just a cheap asshole?
They couldn't, right? So how do they get the message?
Maybe some buffet establishments pays their wait staff enough that they don't need tips, and others don't. How would you know which is which? If your fixed $5 is actually stiffing someone with a very low tip, wouldn't you want to know about that?
I don't see how I could be stiffing them when I'm going and getting my own food.
And around me, buffets don't cost $25 so my $5 tip is always >20% - which is a good tip.
It was in a subsequent post that I mentioned that buffets present some uncertainty that makes me feel uncomfortable.
I just don't understand why you care so much about the digits in the percentage.
I'm beginning to think that you think that the server is somehow using those digits to translate a message about how good of a job they did. I don't think that actually happens - and that's where my confusion stems from.
Are you talking about some binary approach where you either tip good or bad depending upon whether the service was good or bad? Or is there more nuance?
At a restaurant, in general, if you don't fuck it up then you're getting a big tip from me (20+%).
And if you suck, then I tell you that you suck and I don't tip you. I don't try to send a message by just adjusting the quantity of the percentage of my tip.
I don't even see how that could send a receivable message. There's no way to tell the difference between a critique of their service and someone just being a cheap asshole.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 10-16-2015 3:53 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Percy, posted 10-16-2015 5:35 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 41 (770987)
10-16-2015 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by New Cat's Eye
10-16-2015 4:00 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
But to your point, you can't really use how much money servers report that they are earning as being the best metric for how much money they are actually taking home.
I suppose not. I don't know how the reporting system works.
A couple of my wife sisters worked as waitresses at one of the more famous restaurants in my area back in the late 80s, and neither of them seemed to be living large at the time. I find it difficult to believe that they were raking in 80K or so. On the other hand, occasionally they got huge tips.
I know. Just a couple more anecdotes.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 4:00 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21347
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 25 of 41 (770989)
10-16-2015 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by New Cat's Eye
10-16-2015 4:26 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
Cat Sci writes:
Now that you mention it, though, I think that you are over-thinking it. If you are trying to send a message to the server, that they need to improve their service, by lowering your tip by a few percentage points, then I don't think you are achieving your goal.
If the amount of a tip doesn't provide feedback about the quality of service, what is it for?
When you give a low tip, the server most likely just thinks: "that guy was an asshole".
They're not thinking: "Judging from this tip, I need to be more polite and responsive next time"
Wouldn't the reactions of service staff to the amount of a tip be as widely varied as the service staff themselves?
Anyway, if it's generally true that tipping provides no incentive to provide quality service (which is what you seem to be saying), if low tips don't tend to make servers wonder what they did wrong and what they could do better next time, then that's very interesting. It calls the very concept of tipping into question.
For myself, uncertainty about whether I got the percentage right and sent the right message about how I felt about the service makes me feel uncomfortable.
Why do you care so much about the percentage quantity?
...
I just don't understand why you care so much about the digits in the percentage.
I wasn't trying to say anything like that, it's just my style of talking. Rephrasing, uncertainty about whether my tip communicated what I intended makes me feel uncomfortable. I understand you don't believe tipping does anything much anyway.
Maybe some buffet establishments pays their wait staff enough that they don't need tips, and others don't. How would you know which is which? If your fixed $5 is actually stiffing someone with a very low tip, wouldn't you want to know about that?
I don't see how I could be stiffing them when I'm going and getting my own food.
But not your own tableware, water, drinks, deserts, other extras. How do you know how well the establishment compensates their waiting staff during a buffet? Maybe your $5 plus salary just doesn't cover it.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 4:26 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by NoNukes, posted 10-17-2015 12:11 AM Percy has replied

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 8140
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 26 of 41 (771015)
10-16-2015 11:25 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by New Cat's Eye
10-16-2015 3:36 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
Claiming 10% of your tips wouldn't be real helpful. The employer is required to withhold 8% of all sales. So, your friends are getting dinged for 8% of all sales, so claiming 10% should be well below the mandated withholding. I think they may be telling you a story.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-16-2015 3:36 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by NoNukes, posted 10-17-2015 12:17 AM Theodoric has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 41 (771017)
10-17-2015 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Percy
10-16-2015 5:35 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
If the amount of a tip doesn't provide feedback about the quality of service, what is it for?
The tip is to reward good service, but tipping is an inexact method of communication. Unless the waiter has some experience with me, the waiter cannot tell that the 15% gratuity I just left is less than I would normally leave. Even if I leave a smaller than traditional tip, the waiter might just think I'm cheap.
If you think the service is bad and you want to communicate that accurately, perhaps you should speak up.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Percy, posted 10-16-2015 5:35 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Percy, posted 10-17-2015 8:31 AM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 41 (771018)
10-17-2015 12:17 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Theodoric
10-16-2015 11:25 PM


Re: Rules for Tipping
Claiming 10% of your tips wouldn't be real helpful. The employer is required to withhold 8% of all sales. So, your friends are getting dinged for 8% of all sales, so claiming 10% should be well below the mandated withholding. I think they may be telling you a story.
I don't understand your point. Could you explain?

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Theodoric, posted 10-16-2015 11:25 PM Theodoric has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Theodoric, posted 10-17-2015 10:15 AM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21347
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 29 of 41 (771021)
10-17-2015 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by NoNukes
10-17-2015 12:11 AM


Re: Rules for Tipping
NoNukes writes:
If the amount of a tip doesn't provide feedback about the quality of service, what is it for?
The tip is to reward good service, but tipping is an inexact method of communication. Unless the waiter has some experience with me, the waiter cannot tell that the 15% gratuity I just left is less than I would normally leave. Even if I leave a smaller than traditional tip, the waiter might just think I'm cheap.
They might. But wouldn't most servers recognize that there is more than just that one possibility that the customer is cheap? Wouldn't most understand that it's somewhat of a crap shoot, that sometimes they're perfect and get a bad tip, and other times they screw up and get a good tip, and all cases in between? Wouldn't most tend to compare their tips with other servers and try to understand why some get better or worse tips? Wouldn't servers notice over time that they get lower tips on average from dinner parties where things went wrong, like the wrong order getting sent back to the kitchen or letting the group sit with empty drink drinks for too long or forgetting to fetch something the table requested?
So, yes, tipping is an imperfect system for communicating satisfaction with a specific instance of providing service for a meal, but there's still plenty of information there, and the general idea of tipping is to provide motivation to provide good service.
If you think the service is bad and you want to communicate that accurately, perhaps you should speak up.
I must be saying something wrong, because both you and Cat Sci seem to think I'm having a problem with tipping in restaurants. I'm not. For the third time now I'm calling it the last bastion of tipping certitude. I mentioned buffets as an exception to this certitude. That's it.
Anyway, I think most instances of poor service require speaking to the server, like receiving the wrong order, or not getting the condiment or glass of water you requested. Or did you mean having a conversation with the server about the tip at the end of the meal? If so, that would feel pretty weird.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by NoNukes, posted 10-17-2015 12:11 AM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by NoNukes, posted 10-18-2015 7:26 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21347
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 30 of 41 (771023)
10-17-2015 9:20 AM


Buffet Tipping
This page from Yahoo Answers about tipping at buffets has a number of different answers, but there seems a rough consensus around tipping in the neighborhood of 10-15% for a buffet: Should you tip at buffet restaurants?
  • I briefly worked as a buffet server and I did appreciate the tips, but at the same time I always felt like I wasn't giving the service that required a tip.
  • Even if you only got buffet you should tip...
  • A server at a buffet restaurant usually does more work than a server at a sit down restaurant.
  • Tip on the average of 15% - maybe a little more or less depending on the service.
  • I think you should tip at least 15%.
  • Fifteen percent is acceptable.
  • I dont believe I should have to tip, as I get my own drink at my buffet, and I never ask the waitress for
    anything.
  • Normally I just tip about $2-$4 for the table depending on the service.
  • I think about 10% is good.
  • I feel at least 10 percent here.
Interesting variety.
--Percy

  
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