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Old 02-14-2020, 04:55 PM
Damuri Ajashi is offline
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Another Tipping Thread


Why has the tipping rate gone up from 15% to 20-25% for in restaurant dining?

Why is 20% starting to become an expected tip for deliveries?

Why is 20% starting to become an expected tip for pick up orders?
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:00 PM
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Is it? I still give 15% for satisfactory to good service, and 20% for very good service, and more for exceptional service, and I've never gotten any pushback for it. Where have you heard that this is the new norm?

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-14-2020 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:02 PM
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Yeah, another one.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=107398

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=446028
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:23 PM
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Because restaurants think it would be awesome if you paid a fifth again higher for things, and thus hint at it whenever they can. Red Robin's table-pay devices default the tip to 20%, and many higher-end restaurants will up the price by 20% without asking or giving you the option to say no. With this awareness that 20% is expected many people just shrug and go along with it.

I continue to pay around 1/6th (~17%), and would probably pay less if I thought my food would keep reaching me intact. In any just world restaurants would just pay their damn employees.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:12 PM
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Because people serving you live in a world of skyrocketing prices too!

Last edited by elbows; 02-14-2020 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
Why is 20% starting to become an expected tip for pick up orders?
We didn't used to tip for to-go orders at all, did we?

I feel like those companies that used tablet/ipad based POS terminals started this trend. Those stupid terminals suggest a tip by default, and you have to specifically go out of your way normally to press no tip. A lot of people are suggestable and do not want to seem like they're going out of the norm by not tipping, so they started accepting the default tip.

And boom, something that wasn't even considered a tipped service now has a tip expectation. What's next, tip your fast food drive through worker? Why not. Companies can try every which way to get consumers to feel pressured into paying their workers instead of paying them themselves.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:43 PM
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Because people serving you live in a world of skyrocketing prices too!
This argument would work if restaurant food prices (upon which tip amounts are based) were somehow the only ones not rising.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:56 PM
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Because people serving you live in a world of skyrocketing prices too!
Amazingly, though, 15% of a higher price is precisely the same proportion of that higher price as 15% of the old price was. 20% is inflation on top of the inflation.

(Old price: $10. Old tip: $1.50
New price: $20. New tip: $4.00. Price increase: $10 (twice the old price). Tip increase: $2.50 (two and two-thirds times the old price).)

But as long as people fail to understand math, your argument will somehow make sense.

Last edited by Dr. Drake; 02-14-2020 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:12 PM
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Is it? I still give 15% for satisfactory to good service, and 20% for very good service, and more for exceptional service, and I've never gotten any pushback for it. Where have you heard that this is the new norm?

I think it depends on where you live. I would say that in the last 10-15 years or so, 20% has become the tip default here in Chicago, at least among the middle-class set. Like see this Eater article.

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In 2018, the precise amount you tip is widely understood to be a round 20 percent. Etiquette guide the Emily Post Institute may say between 15 and 20 percent is fine, but to tip well — and who wouldn’t want to tip well (aside from the aforementioned non-tippers) — 20 percent is the gold standard.

Eater NY chief critic Ryan Sutton says that 20 percent before tax is actually the minimum one should tip at a restaurant, “though for extra good service, 20 percent after tax instead of before tax is nice.”
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Because people serving you live in a world of skyrocketing prices too!
In what way is the general inflation rate higher than the inflation rate on restaurant food?

And how does that justify the new norm in tipping food delivery and food pick up.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
We didn't used to tip for to-go orders at all, did we?

I feel like those companies that used tablet/ipad based POS terminals started this trend. Those stupid terminals suggest a tip by default, and you have to specifically go out of your way normally to press no tip. A lot of people are suggestable and do not want to seem like they're going out of the norm by not tipping, so they started accepting the default tip.

And boom, something that wasn't even considered a tipped service now has a tip expectation. What's next, tip your fast food drive through worker? Why not. Companies can try every which way to get consumers to feel pressured into paying their workers instead of paying them themselves.
That is exactly how i see it;. I go to pick up food and they spin the ipad around so i can sign it and before I can sign I have to add a tip or type in -0- because the options are 10% 15% and 20%...to pick up food
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:26 PM
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This argument would work if restaurant food prices (upon which tip amounts are based) were somehow the only ones not rising.
ninja'd
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:31 PM
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I think it depends on where you live. I would say that in the last 10-15 years or so, 20% has become the tip default here in Chicago, at least among the middle-class set. Like see this Eater article.
That quote says 20% before tax is default- I think most people tip on the total, including tax. So that makes the actual tip lower than 20%. 20% after tax is for very good service.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:49 PM
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That quote says 20% before tax is default- I think most people tip on the total, including tax. So that makes the actual tip lower than 20%. 20% after tax is for very good service.
It's not really that much a difference.

20% before tax would be an 18% after tax tip in the parts of Chicago that have an 11.5% tax. If your tax rate is closer to 6%, then we're talking about a 19% tip on the pre-tax total. 20% is pretty much standard here, and we just look at the after-tax line.

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-14-2020 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
In what way is the general inflation rate higher than the inflation rate on restaurant food?

And how does that justify the new norm in tipping food delivery and food pick up.
...the minimum wage in America is 7.25. 10 years ago the minimum wage was...7.25. Sure: many states have a higher minimum wage than what is Federally mandated. But many don't. And many restaurants don't pay the minimum anyway, relying on tips to make up the employee wage to the federally mandated minimum.

So wages haven't kept up with inflation. Does that answer your question?

As for justification: they don't need to justify it to you. Its a tip. Its not mandatory. Pay what you want.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:13 AM
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Why is 20% starting to become an expected tip for pick up orders?
So are supermarkets going to be next? Buy some ground beef, carrots, onion, celery, tomato sauce, pasta, and a bottle of wine; Sir that will be $20, plus $1.50 tax and a $4.30 tip. Let's just round that up to $26, shall we?
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:39 AM
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What bothers me more is not the increasing expectation of the tip percentage, but the apparently increasing ubiquity of tipping. When are you NOT expected to tip?

I tip restaurant servers -- always, unless I have a serious complaint.

I don't move often but when I do, I tip the hardworking sweating movers generously.

My former old house needed renovations and in two different cases I hired what turned out to be brothers who were newcomers to Canada and experts at their trade. Their work was exquisitely good. I didn't think of what I gave them as a "tip" so much as a substantial overpayment, and they deserved it. One pair actually refused to take the extra, and I had to really insist.

If I'm too lazy to drive out for takeout, I'll tip the delivery driver.

But that's about it. The other night I drove out for Chinese takeout and the POS credit card terminal demanded information about the tip amount. WTF? I had absolutely no hesitation in pressing "zero". The place makes great food but the guy cooking it up is the owner and now that I'm retired probably makes a lot more than I do. Tipping should be for personal service, particularly exceptional service, not for arbitrary business transactions. I see in the pile of mail in front of me a notice that I need to renew my car license plate. Should I tip the person at the DMV, too?
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:51 AM
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Standard propina in our Mexican and Central American travels was 10%. Our standard table-service tip in the US is 15%, maybe a little more if we intend to ever face that server again. 20% is for extravagantly outstanding service. Drive-throughs, food trucks, counter service get no gratuity except maybe spare coins in a tip jar.

Watch out for those POS kiosks. They're usually about as filthy as restroom diaper-changing platforms. Hand sanitizer is your friend.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:04 AM
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... many restaurants don't pay the minimum anyway, relying on tips to make up the employee wage ...
Yes. Tipping is thus a type of scam by which employers avoid the normal requirement to pay their employees a salary by implying that customers should shoulder this duty.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:29 AM
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Just remember that the customer provides 100% of the server's pay, whether through tipping or through increased wages via the employer.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:31 AM
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In tipping threads I seem to go against the grain. I love tipping and am very generous; partly because I truly appreciate the work servers are doing, and partly because I see my tip as a sound investment.

We eat/drink out very often and frequent the same hand full of places. Chances are I know the bartender, have maybe even met their kids. If there's a miss pour, chances are it'll be offered to me. If we walk into a restaurant and a server knows that we usually order the mussels, she'll make sure to set aside an order for us if they're close to running out. I know we'll be offered our favorite table.

The one thing I should probably watch is including the (hideously overpriced) bottle of wine in the total I use to calculate my tip.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:09 AM
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Just remember that the customer provides 100% of the server's pay ...
Right.

And much the best scheme is to be up-front about this. It should not be optional for the customer to pay a fair share of labor costs. It should not be tolerated that an employer shirks the duty to properly pay employees while putting the blame on fickle / stingy / ignorant customers.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:33 AM
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Why has the tipping rate gone up from 15% to 20-25% for in restaurant dining?
It hasn't.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:18 AM
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In a lot of restaurants, the mandatory tip out by the waiter has gone up. When my wife was waiting tables, 14% of what her total sales were for the day. If you tipped her 15%, she got 1%, the kitchen and the bus guys got the other 14%. If you tipped her 10%, she paid 5% of the bill you paid to the kitchen and she got shanked on the deal. It was a high end restaurant, so lots of foreign born customers that tipped 5-10%. She paid to wait on all of those people.

She got paid 2.13 an hour and all of her paychecks said VOID on them.

If you ordered anything from the bar the mandatory tip out went up 3% to 17 in total.

When you tip, the restaurant makes most waitstaff pay the back of the house with it too. Keep that in mind. The lowest mandatory tip out I was ever exposed to was 11% when I was in the industry.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:56 AM
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Fuck tipping on takeout Unless pickup is at the bar, and the tender has to go get it, and the bar is busy, then maybe a buck.
But when waited on, my base is 20%, a little more on low-price-point restaurants. Good service rates extra.
If part of the tab is >$100 bottle of wine, I discount a little for that.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:31 AM
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...the minimum wage in America is 7.25. 10 years ago the minimum wage was...7.25. Sure: many states have a higher minimum wage than what is Federally mandated. But many don't. And many restaurants don't pay the minimum anyway, relying on tips to make up the employee wage to the federally mandated minimum.

So wages haven't kept up with inflation. Does that answer your question?
Almost no, rather than 'not many' restaurants pay at least minimum wage *in cash*, before tips, except in the 6 states that require that (see link). At the federal level the minimum cash wage is $2.13; if tips+cash don't sum to at least $7.25, the restaurant in theory makes up the difference with more cash. But also it's not 'some' states which have a higher min, it's 35 of 50 and a larger % of the population, counting the 6 which require min wage in cash.

So if you consider the predominant case, where the main source of the 'minimum' is actually the tips, you'd expect those tips to rise, at a given tip %, basically in line with costs/prices. So as the combined intake grew mainly with inflation on the 15% of bill, the $7.25 combined nominal min would become less relevant; even the higher nominal mins prevailing most places would. And in the 6 states requiring cash wage of standard min, it would be even more so.

So you've pointed out a fact: the fed min wage hasn't changed in a quite a while. You haven't IMO given strong logic to the tip custom changing from 15% to 20% in response to that fact.

The change in custom being a subjective impression rather than documented fact, but anecdotally that's definitely true where I live, inner NY area. When I was kid, same area, 15% was the custom and I believe like lots of customs was more uniform across social groups and econ strata than now. Now in predominantly upper middle/'yuppie' part of the area it's definitely 20%, at least: you're a cheap skate in that social strata if you insist 15% is standard. At least 20% is part of being 'up to date', like various other social views that are now expected in that group. Though like those other social views, the standard among 'yuppies' (of all ages) isn't necessarily followed among, for example, older working class people and some immigrants groups (from places where lower or no tipping was customary).

I don't see much practical connection between fed min wage law and tipping custom around here. In the big picture sure if you all along had a really high *cash* min wage relative to median wage, a tip culture might not develop in the first place. That's plausible. But the connection between a federal min wage still applying in Alabama and tip custom shifting from 15%>20%+ in this area is a much less direct relationship, if any, IMO. It's definitely not as simple as 'that answers the question for you'.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/sta...um-wage/tipped

Last edited by Corry El; 02-15-2020 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:49 AM
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A little off the subject maybe, but have you ever tried to tip a bank teller? It makes them step backwards with their hands in the air. Apparently they are not allowed to accept any kind of tip in any circumstance.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:58 AM
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A little off the subject maybe, but have you ever tried to tip a bank teller? It makes them step backwards with their hands in the air. Apparently they are not allowed to accept any kind of tip in any circumstance.
Do you really find that noteworthy? How about cops, ever tried to tip them? Judges?

Last edited by Riemann; 02-15-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:11 AM
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In a lot of restaurants, the mandatory tip out by the waiter has gone up. When my wife was waiting tables, 14% of what her total sales were for the day. If you tipped her 15%, she got 1%, the kitchen and the bus guys got the other 14%. If you tipped her 10%, she paid 5% of the bill you paid to the kitchen and she got shanked on the deal. It was a high end restaurant, so lots of foreign born customers that tipped 5-10%. She paid to wait on all of those people.

She got paid 2.13 an hour and all of her paychecks said VOID on them.

If you ordered anything from the bar the mandatory tip out went up 3% to 17 in total.

When you tip, the restaurant makes most waitstaff pay the back of the house with it too. Keep that in mind. The lowest mandatory tip out I was ever exposed to was 11% when I was in the industry.
This is why tipping culture can such a problem. What you're saying here is that restaurants are misrepresenting their true pricing. The are underpaying kitchen staff (who customers have no interaction with), taking money from waitstaff to make up for it, and expecting customers to make up the difference with a larger tip. They are effectively expecting customers to make a discretionary payment to staff that they never even see on top of the prices displayed on the menu.

Tipping for customer-facing staff can be justified. But it seems to me that we'd much better served if the law prevent restaurants taking or redistributing any of the money a customer chooses to tip. How can it possibly make sense for customers to be making discretionary optional payments to staff they never interact with? Just like all other business, payment for kitchen staff etc. should be entirely the responsibility of the restaurant as part of its cost structure, and should be reflected in menu prices, not taken out of discretionary tips.

Last edited by Riemann; 02-15-2020 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:15 AM
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Do you really find that noteworthy? How about cops, ever tried to tip them? Judges?
I find it [not tipping bank tellers] just a teeny, tiny bit noteworthy given the ever expanding pool of people who now expect tips that we never thought about tipping before.

Last edited by Ynnad; 02-15-2020 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:18 AM
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As one data point, the last time I used a credit card in the point-of-sale card reader to pay for a meal in a no-frills restaurant (Denny's, I think), it gave me three options to add on a tip: 15%, 20%, and something in between. To add on more than 20%, I would have had to override the default and type in an amount.

Personally, the lower the overall amount, the higher the percentage I am inclined to tip. For a cheap meal at someplace like Denny's, 20% is my personal minimum (unless I were really dissatisfied with the service).
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:19 AM
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I find it just a teeny, tiny bit noteworthy given the ever expanding pool of people who now expect tips that we never thought about tipping before.
But surely you can see that if somebody's job is to handle large amounts of physical cash passed to them by customers, obviously with strict control procedures to make sure that staff don't pilfer money, it could cause some confusion (at the very least) if a customer told them to stuff one of the pile of $20 bills that they just handed over into their pocket.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:24 AM
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But surely you can see that if somebody's job is to handle large amounts of physical cash passed to them by customers, obviously with strict control procedures to make sure that staff don't pilfer money, it could cause some confusion (at the very least) if a customer told them to stuff one of the pile of $20 bills that they just handed over into their pocket.
Then why are people who work in casinos allowed to accept tips?

I am, however, pleased to know that bank tellers cannot accept tips. It seems to be an appropriate policy.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:36 AM
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[QUOTE=Corry El;22140490]So if you consider the predominant case, where the main source of the 'minimum' is actually the tips, you'd expect those tips to rise, at a given tip %, basically in line with costs/prices. So as the combined intake grew mainly with inflation on the 15% of bill, the $7.25 combined nominal min would become less relevant; even the higher nominal mins prevailing most places would. And in the 6 states requiring cash wage of standard min, it would be even more so.[/quotes]

Costs/prices in the food industry don't increase at the same rate as the standard of living increases. Food is one place where capitalism has worked, driving down prices.

Quote:
The change in custom being a subjective impression rather than documented fact, but anecdotally that's definitely true where I live, inner NY area. When I was kid, same area, 15% was the custom and I believe like lots of customs was more uniform across social groups and econ strata than now. Now in predominantly upper middle/'yuppie' part of the area it's definitely 20%, at least: you're a cheap skate in that social strata if you insist 15% is standard. At least 20% is part of being 'up to date', like various other social views that are now expected in that group. Though like those other social views, the standard among 'yuppies' (of all ages) isn't necessarily followed among, for example, older working class people and some immigrants groups (from places where lower or no tipping was customary).
You seem to be treating the custom changing as being a cause, rather than an effect. From what I've been told when this comes up, the custom changed because people thought 15% was no longer enough for these people to live off of. Any time you bring up tipping less, that is the argument people use.

I also note that this doesn't have to be factually true. It only has to seem true to those who tip. They merely have to perceive that 15% isn't enough. That said, I would guess that perception comes from them actually working those jobs or knowing people who did.

Tipping percentage increases seem to be the type of thing that would be started by the waitstaff.

Last edited by BigT; 02-15-2020 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:21 PM
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Do you really find that noteworthy? How about cops, ever tried to tip them? Judges?
Yeah, you used to be able to really fuck up their day by cashing a check, picking up the bills and saying "keep the change." They wouldn't dare put money in their pockets, but if they put it in their drawers the books wouldn't balance. Nowadays there are enough of those donation cans scattered around that I'd assume they could drop it in one of those, I don't know, it's been years since I've been inside a bank.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:21 PM
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Here, in the tropics, the tips are divided to everyone. Dish washers, janitors, kitchen, waitstaff. And I like this idea. It takes a team for a successful dining experience.

If you are not there when the last tip of the day is divided up (day shift), it is saved for you.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:30 PM
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:04 PM
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Maybe the increase from 15 to 20% is due to the prevalence of electronic forms of tipping and different accounting, making it more difficult to hide the income from IRS and state tax boards.

If you pay cash for a pick up order, I have not experienced an expectation of 20% tip. Having a credit card payment offer 20% as an option to tip on a pick up order, is probably not an expectation, just an attempt because some people will go for it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:46 PM
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Almost no, rather than 'not many' restaurants pay at least minimum wage *in cash*, before tips, except in the 6 states that require that (see link). At the federal level the minimum cash wage is $2.13; if tips+cash don't sum to at least $7.25, the restaurant in theory makes up the difference with more cash. But also it's not 'some' states which have a higher min, it's 35 of 50 and a larger % of the population, counting the 6 which require min wage in cash.

So if you consider the predominant case, where the main source of the 'minimum' is actually the tips, you'd expect those tips to rise, at a given tip %, basically in line with costs/prices. So as the combined intake grew mainly with inflation on the 15% of bill, the $7.25 combined nominal min would become less relevant; even the higher nominal mins prevailing most places would. And in the 6 states requiring cash wage of standard min, it would be even more so.

So you've pointed out a fact: the fed min wage hasn't changed in a quite a while. You haven't IMO given strong logic to the tip custom changing from 15% to 20% in response to that fact.

The change in custom being a subjective impression rather than documented fact, but anecdotally that's definitely true where I live, inner NY area. When I was kid, same area, 15% was the custom and I believe like lots of customs was more uniform across social groups and econ strata than now. Now in predominantly upper middle/'yuppie' part of the area it's definitely 20%, at least: you're a cheap skate in that social strata if you insist 15% is standard. At least 20% is part of being 'up to date', like various other social views that are now expected in that group. Though like those other social views, the standard among 'yuppies' (of all ages) isn't necessarily followed among, for example, older working class people and some immigrants groups (from places where lower or no tipping was customary).

I don't see much practical connection between fed min wage law and tipping custom around here. In the big picture sure if you all along had a really high *cash* min wage relative to median wage, a tip culture might not develop in the first place. That's plausible. But the connection between a federal min wage still applying in Alabama and tip custom shifting from 15%>20%+ in this area is a much less direct relationship, if any, IMO. It's definitely not as simple as 'that answers the question for you'.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/sta...um-wage/tipped
...I'm not sure what any of this has to do with anything I said. If you want me to scientifically prove a direct relationship between a wild assertion made in the OP and the federally mandated minimum wage then I am unable to do so. But that's a problem with the wild assertion made in the OP, not with anything I've said.
  #40  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:50 PM
Doug K. is offline
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Originally Posted by Translucent Daydream View Post
In a lot of restaurants, the mandatory tip out by the waiter has gone up. When my wife was waiting tables, 14% of what her total sales were for the day. If you tipped her 15%, she got 1%, the kitchen and the bus guys got the other 14%. If you tipped her 10%, she paid 5% of the bill you paid to the kitchen and she got shanked on the deal. It was a high end restaurant, so lots of foreign born customers that tipped 5-10%. She paid to wait on all of those people.

She got paid 2.13 an hour and all of her paychecks said VOID on them.

If you ordered anything from the bar the mandatory tip out went up 3% to 17 in total.

When you tip, the restaurant makes most waitstaff pay the back of the house with it too. Keep that in mind. The lowest mandatory tip out I was ever exposed to was 11% when I was in the industry.
Mandatory tip pools are only legal if the server takes home at least minimum wage. If your wife was getting "shanked" on a 10% tip her employer was breaking federal law big time. Also depending on what kitchen people were getting part of it, that may have been illegal:

Quote:
Tip Pool: The requirement that an employee must retain all tips does not preclude a valid tip pooling or sharing arrangement among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips, such as waiters, waitresses, bellhops, counter personnel (who serve customers), bussers, and service bartenders. A valid tip pool may not include employees who do not customarily and regularly received tips, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors.
(My bold)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
Almost no, rather than 'not many' restaurants pay at least minimum wage *in cash*, before tips, except in the 6 states that require that (see link). At the federal level the minimum cash wage is $2.13; if tips+cash don't sum to at least $7.25, the restaurant in theory makes up the difference with more cash.
It's not "in theory". To pay less than minimum wage, the employer has to claim a tip credit. It's not a matter of "we'll pay you $2.13/hr but if you don't get enough tips we'll give you a little more." They have to start at minimum wage and can declare a tip credit of up to $5.12/hr IF the employee actually retains that much in tips. If, say, the server worked 40 hours and got $40 in tips the employer can declare a $1.00/hr tip credit. To legally pay only $2.13/hr the employee would have to have made (and kept) at least $204.80 in tips. If they don't get any tips, the employer isn't allowed to declare a tip credit at all.

From my link:
Quote:
Only tips actually received by the employee may be counted in determining whether the employee is a tipped employee and in applying the tip credit.
  #41  
Old 02-15-2020, 06:09 PM
Manda JO is offline
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But remember that that is averaged across the week, or possibly the pay period. So while a person may make minimum wage on average, there might be many days when they make less than minimum wage. So when you see a server running several tables, it may appear that their tips must be well in excess of minimum wage, but you don't see the down time when they are losing money by being at work.
  #42  
Old 02-15-2020, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
But remember that that is averaged across the week, or possibly the pay period. So while a person may make minimum wage on average, there might be many days when they make less than minimum wage. So when you see a server running several tables, it may appear that their tips must be well in excess of minimum wage, but you don't see the down time when they are losing money by being at work.
Yes, that's averaged over the pay period, but so what? It doesn't change the fact that if a server ends up paying to work the employer is in violation of FLSA, and possibly state laws as well.

Last edited by Doug K.; 02-15-2020 at 06:41 PM. Reason: EmploYER, not YEE
  #43  
Old 02-15-2020, 06:48 PM
Manda JO is offline
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It matters because a lot of people don't know that. They think servers have to make minimum wage each hour, not averaged out.
  #44  
Old 02-15-2020, 07:08 PM
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I wonder where the breaking point is down the road - say, 40 percent being the "default minimum tip" - where customers will throw up their hands and say "Enough is enough, we're done with this BS."
  #45  
Old 02-15-2020, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
It hasn't.
Except, as you see from the responses, it has. Type in "what is the standard tip" in Google and see what answer you get.
  #46  
Old 02-15-2020, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
It matters because a lot of people don't know that. They think servers have to make minimum wage each hour, not averaged out.
I've never seen anyone make that claim. What I see is people claiming (or at least implying) that restaurants only pay $2.13 per hour period and if they don't get enough tips they make less than minimum wage. Or as in this thread that if they don't get enough tips they'll actually pay to work. And that my be true in some cases. I've seen how some unscrupulous restaurant owners can take advantage of young people by underpaying them or even having them work off the clock for tips only, as we found out a local Sonic franchisee was doing (he lost his franchise not long after we heard what he was doing) in a small town we used to live in. But when that happens, it's not the fault or responsibility of the customers. That's all on the employer.
  #47  
Old 02-15-2020, 08:01 PM
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Many many moons ago we stopped in a classy winery for dinner. We were seated just before a party of 25 arrived. Waiters tended them and ignored us except to refill our water once. The bill with tax was for a nickle under an even multiple of $20. We left those twenties and nothing else. Tip: five cents, and well deserved.

A couple days ago we went for lunch at the county's finest brewpub which previously combined excellent service with yummy food built from fresh local.ingredients. Alas, our waitress was mostly absent this time. We left an even 15% tip even though paltry service because we'll want to return.

I've left a 25% tip for a $20 haircut. I don't know how a food server could deserve that much.
  #48  
Old 02-15-2020, 08:31 PM
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I don't know if this was a function of the sales tax or just an easy way to figure the tip. But I remember a lot of people doing 3 times the sales tax (which was 5%) when I was a kid. I don't live in that state anymore, but I know the sales tax was raised to at least 6-7% and I wonder if people still do the same thing.

For me, and others in the restaurant industry, 20% was already the norm back in the '90s. 15% was like the "minimum acceptable" tip for people who understood how the system worked and chose to participate in the whole going out to eat and being served social economic deal. For a lot of people 15% was like if the service wasn't great but since you chose to go out to eat and participate in that pricing scheme, you were going to leave the minimum. If you really wanted to comment on how terrible the service was (and it not being the fault of the kitchen or owners or something but due to bad service) you might leave 10%, maybe. If it was really good service, you wouldn't want to just leave 15% since that would indicate it was adequate/fine. An attentive server who filled drinks fast and did everything well and maybe provided some sort of extra friendly conversation or help (good with recommendations including other places to go and things to do, etc), might get the 20-25%.

People who actually worked for tips would tip the most. I rarely went out to eat with anyone (I cooked and mostly dated and socialized with tipped employees) who tipped less than 25-33% or at least a pure dollar minimum (like if your bill was $60, you were going to tip at least a $20 or maybe even leave $100 total, regardless of the percentage). Personally, I got out a lot by myself and I have a pure dollar minimum. Like if I go out and take up a table and have someone serving me and I get a check for $8 or something, I'm not leaving a dollar and some change. If I wanted to do that I would get carryout or go to any number of fast food or fast casual places without table service. It's just part of the deal. That said, if someone else left a buck and some change that would be more than acceptable, I just have a different thing.

Also, the minimum wage for tipped employees in a lot of places has not increased with the minimum wage increase, even at the 50% rate. What I mean is when minimum wage was $4.25, minimum wage for servers was $2.13. I'm pretty sure it is still $2.13 or maybe $2.38 (50% of minimum wage when it was increased to $4.75 around 20 years ago) in some places. Technically, employees have to be guaranteed minimum wage including tips and the employer has to make it up but either that doesn't happen or it's never really an issue.

Last edited by actualliberalnotoneofthose; 02-15-2020 at 08:35 PM.
  #49  
Old 02-15-2020, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug K. View Post
Mandatory tip pools are only legal if the server takes home at least minimum wage. If your wife was getting "shanked" on a 10% tip her employer was breaking federal law big time. Also depending on what kitchen people were getting part of it, that may have been illegal:

(My bold)


It's not "in theory". To pay less than minimum wage, the employer has to claim a tip credit. It's not a matter of "we'll pay you $2.13/hr but if you don't get enough tips we'll give you a little more." They have to start at minimum wage and can declare a tip credit of up to $5.12/hr IF the employee actually retains that much in tips. If, say, the server worked 40 hours and got $40 in tips the employer can declare a $1.00/hr tip credit. To legally pay only $2.13/hr the employee would have to have made (and kept) at least $204.80 in tips. If they don't get any tips, the employer isn't allowed to declare a tip credit at all.

From my link:
We all know it’s illegal, but it happens everywhere. You turn in one place and you are black balled from working anywhere else.

In the real world, it works how it works.
__________________
I promise it’s not as bad or as good as you think it is.
  #50  
Old 02-16-2020, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
This is why tipping culture can such a problem. What you're saying here is that restaurants are misrepresenting their true pricing. The are underpaying kitchen staff (who customers have no interaction with), taking money from waitstaff to make up for it, and expecting customers to make up the difference with a larger tip. They are effectively expecting customers to make a discretionary payment to staff that they never even see on top of the prices displayed on the menu.

Tipping for customer-facing staff can be justified. But it seems to me that we'd much better served if the law prevent restaurants taking or redistributing any of the money a customer chooses to tip. How can it possibly make sense for customers to be making discretionary optional payments to staff they never interact with? Just like all other business, payment for kitchen staff etc. should be entirely the responsibility of the restaurant as part of its cost structure, and should be reflected in menu prices, not taken out of discretionary tips.
If someone's tipping decisions are based entirely on the waitstaff's performance, then you have a point. However, many people, me included when I'm in the US or other tipping countries, base their tipping decision on their overall restaurant experience. It's probably not your server's fault if the meal you order is slow to come out. It might be because the guy manning the dishwasher was out back sneaking a smoke when he should have been cleaning the knives. If there's going to be a reward system, which is what tipping is meant to be, then the entire delivery chain needs to benefit from that system and not just the person interacting with the customer.
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