Social Question

Hazelina's avatar

Why don't people tip extra when there's an automatic gratuity included in their check?

Asked by Hazelina (33points) August 27th, 2009

I work as a server in a fine dining restaurant that automatically adds an 18% gratuity to every check. Here’s my issue: Aside from being pretty, charming, hospitable and knowledgable, I happen to be an extremely efficient and attentive server. So why is it that most people seldomly choose to give me additional gratuity when it comes to paying their check at the end of their meal?
I mean I can tell they loved the food, the service and the entire experience, and at the bottom of their check where there is a very visible spot that reads:
Additional Gratuity:________________
More often than not I will find a big slash occupying the spot where a dollar sign followed by series of digits should be.
Personally, I’m accustomed to tipping at least 20% even for unremarkable service, as long as nothing goes wrong, and I’m talking about when I just go to your typical T.G.I Friday’s. When I go out to a fine dining establishment, I automatically increase my standard 20% to at about 30% and this is me….a server, not some loaded black american express member.
Are people just plain cheap or do they purposely not tip extra as a way of capping the earning potential of a server?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

134 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I always tip, and I always tip more for good service. Mayhap they aren’t as impressed with you as you are, or mayhap they don’t like the chutzpah of an included gratuity. I wouldn’t.

MrItty's avatar

I don’t because I find the concept of “automatic gratuity” insulting and demeaning to the customer, and I feel no particular desire when I see that line on the bill to give anything I don’t have to at that point.

BTW, being “pretty” has nothing to do with how much of a tip you get. At least not from me.

syz's avatar

Automatic gratuities have negated the entire purpose of the tipping service – if my service sucks, I want to be able to reflect that in my tip.

In almost every case, I tip well over the recommended minimum. But having an arbitrary decision made for me offends me.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

the “Additional” part is what’s keeping you from getting the extra tip. People see that and go, oh, well I already paid those bastards their tip. Tell your boss to remove that, and just leave “Gratuity” and I promise you you’ll get more tips.

robmandu's avatar

It’s a risk/reward thing.

Your restaurant feels there’s too much risk leaving the entire tip to the whim of the customer. So they add 18% right off the bat and it’s known that most customers will not add beyond that. If nothing else, why should they jump through the mental arithmetic just to add another 2–3%

If you restaurant left the tip value blank altogether, you might only get 0%, 5%, 10%, or 15%... something folks feel is easy to calc. Perhaps often times, you might get 20% or more… but that’s typically more rare regardless of your personal proclivity.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Some people only want to tip 18% anyway, so why add more? I think 15% is still the expected minimum. Some people don’t like the fact that gratuity is already added, regardless of whether they were going to tip or not.

cyndyh's avatar

If the establishment is deciding what my minimum tip must be then they can settle for that to be my maximum as well.

robmandu's avatar

BTW, I agree with other sentiment expressed here… and might go further…

If it’s an automatic tip, then it should be added to the price of the food and the restaurant just total your receipts at the end of the shift and hand you your cut. And furthermore, they should then have a sign/notice saying that gratuities are not expected.

MrItty's avatar

Another possibility – one that doesn’t apply to me, but that others might use – is that people might figure “Well even though it was service worthy of 20%, I know another time I’m going to come here and get service worth of only 10%, but I’ll still be charged 18% then, so they’re making out”.

ninjacolin's avatar

i’m offended by this question at all.

Hazelina, the reason is because your service isn’t worth any more to your patrons and they’re likely offended that they have been forced to tip you despite your shoddy service. If your service skills were base-line acceptable, 15% is all i would tip anyway. If you do a splendid job, then we can start looking at 20% or more.

Whether we will tip or not is up to the server’s performance.

CMaz's avatar

Because there is an automatic gratuity.
Unless they are exceptional. It is enough.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

I’ll tip you when you serve me ;)

Facade's avatar

Because you’re already taking extra money on top of probably over-priced food and drink. Once I know a restaurant has “automatic gratuity,” I stop going there.

avvooooooo's avatar

People assume that servers are making the same minimum wage as everyone else which is why they feel comfortable not tipping much. There needs to be a sign or something up telling them different…

As it is, the “additional” is what you’re hung up on. Most people see the gratuitity that’s already there as sufficient. You’re lucky its added because if it wasn’t, you’d probably get less just because people don’t know any better.

sandystrachan's avatar

Better hope no1 here goes to your food place , they wont tip you for being a cheeky sod asking for more .

meganbrown1's avatar

I would be happy just knowing the in any case I would not be getting less than 18%.. No one can short change you a tip or not leave one at all this way. I dont think many people like haveing their tip added in already but I would look at it as its better than not getting one at all.

CMaz's avatar

When did tipping go to 20%?
15% seems good to me as standard.

Likeradar's avatar

I never tip extra when there’s automatic gratuity. I’m usually a decent tipper, leaving 15% for average service and 20+% for really great service.

But I decide how much to tip. When a restaurant takes that right away from me, I’m not going to reward the servers with more of my money. Fair or not, that’s what you get for working in a restaurant with automatic gratuity.

Also, you may think you’re charming and pretty (why does that even matter?) and attentive (maybe overly so to some) and a gem of a server, but you may be worth less than 18% to many people and they’re flat out annoyed that they have no choice in what to tip. Tipping should be seen as a “thank you” to a server- not a required tax on diners.

edit: @chaz- Good q. Who decided that suddenly 20% is an average tip?

avvooooooo's avatar

Waiters and waitresses are typically paid around $3.50 per hour because tips compensate for low wages.

The minimum wage for servers, when I was in the business, was $2.13 per hour. Gratuity is, in fact, a requirement and not a “thank you” to the server. I have been guilty of leaving no tip, but that was for absolutely horrible service where I was completely ignored and also had to complain to the manager because of the lack of anything resembeling the job the girl was supposed to be doing. There are very, very few times when people are justified in not tipping or in only tipping 10% or less due to the fact that servers are paid less in anticipation of being tipped.

robmandu's avatar

At some places, the employer automatically reports the server’s income as the hourly wage plus 15% of that server’s receipts to the IRS. Typically, it’s a law that requires it.

This means that the server, besides making way less than minimum wage per hour, is also possibly getting taxed on income that he hasn’t even received.

Because of that, I do try to default to 15% as a starting point.

Still, it’s a tip and I feel it’s up to my discretion how much should be left. I choose to believe that automatic gratuity of 18% for parties of six or more is the restaurant’s way of making my life easier (just one less calculation to make) and don’t fret it overmuch.

hug_of_war's avatar

Why would I tip more when I’m already being forced to tip a particular amount? It’s ludicrous.

tedibear's avatar

While this is rare, I have to disagree with you, avvooooooo. A gratuity is not a requirement. It may be desired, very needed and generally deserved by a server, but required? No. As the customer I make the decision as to how much to tip, if anything.

Where I do agree with you is that there are very, very few times when not tipping is justified. An average server gets 15% to 20% from me, usually closer to 20%. An excellent server will get 25% and if they are outstanding, I will take the time to tell the manager that we had great service. And the restaurant will get the ultimate compliment of any customer – repeat business. A poor server will get 10% if the service issues were in their control. (Some things just aren’t. What happens in the kitchen is rarely the servers fault.) A horrible server gets nothing and a complaint goes to the manager.

As for the original question of why don’t people tip when there’s already a gratuity, I have to answer with a question of my own: Why would I when you’ve already gotten your tip? The restaurant chose to make the decision for me. I don’t like it and if you are a great server, I can only say that I’m sorry for the tips that you’re missing out on.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

I’m on board with most the people here. People have an automatic rebellious nature. If you TELL them to do something, they’re not gonna want to. The reason people tip is because they want to do you a favor. If you’re DEMANDING a tip, they can’t feel that way. It IS insulting to the costumer. On another note, I (personally) am less likely to tip the more the food costs. Seeing as.. The more it costs = the less I HAVE AVAILABLE. If I order a pizza, and the pizza costs 15 dollars, I’m probably gonna give the guy 20 and say keep the change. If I order a pizza and it costs 19.49… I’m gonna give the guy 20 and say keep the change… People have budgets, and they don’t always know what they’re gonna order and how much it’s gonna cost the moment they decide on a restaurant.

MrItty's avatar

@Piper_Brianmind Ooph. Got to disagree there. If you only have a $20 on you, you shouldn’t be ordering something that costs $19.49. The price is not a surprise that comes on the check. It’s listed on the menu.

cwilbur's avatar

When I’m left to my own devices, I tip at least 15%, often closer to 20%. I’ve tipped 25% before, if the service is excellent or it makes the math easier.

But if you tell me that I’m tipping you 18%, well, that’s what you’re getting.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

@MrItty Well the thing is, I’m generally a very generous tipper, and I order out alot. Once you’re a regular, people are pretty quick to forgive if you miss a tip occassionally. And I know the price is not a surprise on the check. But it IS on the menu. If it’s your first time at a restaurant, and you see only a couple things on the menu you feel comfortable orderig, and they’re a little more expensive than what you planned on.. I mean, whaddya gonna do? Just say “I know we made reservations and everything, but this isn’t what I had in mind. Bye.” ? I think it’d be MORE insulting (and time-wasting) to LEAVE after all that, then to just go ahead and order then tip the best you can.

MrItty's avatar

No, the correct thing to do is to use your credit card and give the tip that should be given, not to stiff the waitstaff because you 1) didn’t bring enough money and 2) didn’t adjust your order appropriately.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

@MrItty Another smart thing to do is to stay away from credit cards.
Really. They’re bad news.

MrItty's avatar

@Piper_Brianmind False. Credit cards are perfectly fine tools to use, if you’re not an idiot about them. If you don’t consider them an ability to buy more than you can afford.

Stiffing a waiter or waitress because you 1) refuse to use a credit card, 2) didn’t bring enough cash, and 3) didn’t adjust your menu selection accordingly; is a pretty vile thing to do, IMHO.

Darbio16's avatar

We have been brain washed into thinking that it is o.k. to pay waitresses less and that the public is responsible for providing a tip. What other industry is good service rewarded in such a fashion? Welcome to the wonderful world of fascism. I always tip the waitress, don’t get me wrong, but the average person is already under enough financial burden. Why should it be ok for corporations to make very generous profits, pay so little in payroll, and then craft all sorts of laws that give them ‘human’ status in the eyes of the courts. Then the get bailed out.

Most CEO’s probably laugh at the general public. “You know Bob, those dumb bastards save us billions” . “I know Jim, hope they don’t ever get wise to our scheme”. “No Bob, I’m certain that our media counterparts spin it well enough to keep them in the dark”. I can just imagine them saying something like that.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

Well your intentions are good, MrItty. But I still think things are alot less rewarding when they are forced. I understand that alot of people might not tip much at all if that gratuity line wasn’t there, but the job of the waitstaff is to connect to the customer and make them want to. If they still don’t tip, hey, what can ya do. Most people are pretty aware that if they tip bad, they might get their food spit in. It’s no one’s responsibility to give good tips. It’s no one’s responsibility to pick a job that RELIES on tips, either.
@Darbio16 Completely agreed. I always thought it was pretty f**ked up to give someone those kinds of wages, and although I sort of understand the system’s goal into making waitstaff nicer, they could certainly balance it out a LITTLE bit more. The way things are now doesn’t seem good for the customer OR the staff.

MrItty's avatar

@Piper_Brianmind at what point did I say I believe tips are a requirement, or should be forced? To the contrary, I think that tips are 100% up to the customer.

What I did say is that ordering a menu item that leaves you UNABLE to provide a tip, before you know whether or not a tip will be deserved, is a vile thing to do.

Judi's avatar

Some servers do pretty well. My daughter worked in a steak house through college and had to take a pay cut when she became a teacher.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

@MrItty I guess I agree with that.

Darbio16's avatar

@Hazelina You waitresses need to unite. It is no coincidence that the retail food industry does not have a union. The same reason they don’t conduct urine tests for drugs. Anyone can get your job., no offense. You are settling for less. True, some waitresses make a good living, but on the backs of the patrons that are already paying way to much for some grub.

If you really gave a shit, you would start organizing a group in your community. Put up posters all over town. Talk to waitresses from restaurants all over your city. That is how it is going to start. Once you start getting some attention, communities all over the country will join with you. Or sadly, you will get your head blown off for interfering.

Make sure that no restaurant in your area can even hire waitstaff until they decide to pay you a decent wage. Stand up for yourself instead of passing the buck to the American people, who do you think you are…the government?

Evan's avatar

I think it’s important to take a step back and consider your question in light of some of the answers being thrown around here. The first and most observable thing relates to your assumption about tipping: clearly, as evidenced by the variety of answers, there is still a WIDE range of opinions about a) how to tip b) how much is standard and c) why it is justified.

This alone technically answers your question, though it’s certainly worth more exploration.

1. Most people who have never worked in the service industry just don’t understand how important the “tip” part of the income is. It’s a perception issue: since it’s portrayed as an ambiguous “extra”, many people view the decision as a personal “right” – there are too many people above who’ve said something like “I’ll decide how much to tip” to quote, but the point is still the same: people view it as some sort of personal right.

On the flip side, the employer gets away with paying his/her employee a much lower rate, because s/he can justify it since it’s a position that typically gets tips. Again: a basic perception problem. People who have worked in the service industry (especially in states where service employees can make far below minimum wage) understand that tips are an integral part of the income.

If people didn’t tip, those employees would not be able to afford to work there and thus the employer would have to pay them a higher base rate, and then raise the prices for the service to make up the difference, and people would bitch just the same, but at the employer, instead of grumbling about the tip.

It’s Perception.

2. As it relates to the automatically added gratuity. Almost always, it is a) listed on the menu before hand, and b) only for large groups of people. When it comes to large groups, it’s really in the server’s best interest to have an auto-grat, because a) you have to spend more of your time and effort on the table, and b) It’s a lot harder to to get 15, 20, or especially 25 percent on larger tickets, because the tip amount looks that much more outrageous to people, and c) when checks are split among people, the tip is usually what’s overlooked. So really, you shouldn’t complain about having large groups auto-grat’d, but if for some awful reason it’s a universal thing, you should complain to your manager.

3. Why don’t people tip extra, on an auto gratuity? Because people already perceive (wrongly or rightly) the tip itself as extra, so you’re asking people to give extra to the extra: certainly more of a stretch, no matter how cute you may be.

4. I’ve come to believe that NO ONE agrees about what “standard” tipping should be. People in the service industry, or have worked in service, almost always tip higher, because they understand that it’s realy NOT an extra, but it’s hard to hold it against people who haven’t worked in service, because how are they supposed to know that it isn’t really some crazy “extra” part of your income? How would they know that it’s just one rather large part of your already entirely too shitty income?

The last time I worked in service was around 4 years ago, and service people viewed the standard as being 20 percent. Most other people still thought 15 or 18 percent.. maybe. But then i had another friend who wanted to leave a HUGE tip, cause he wanted the girl’s phone number (yes, he was a moron) and in order to woo her over he left her a 10 percent tip.. he thought he was the cat’s freeking meow. The point is, people just don’t have the same standards, because they view it as their personal choice to make, and everyone has their own opinion about the how, the how much, and the why, as we established in the beginning.

robmandu's avatar

@Darbio16, as completely unskilled labor, a proficient server (especially young, pretty females in establishments with a bar) can, relatively speaking, easily pull down over $100 hour.

Sorry, but I have little or no sympathy for their supposed “plight” that you’re interested in addressing.

It’s good money made in short time that often as not is tax-free (regardless of local code).

That’s why there is no shortage of people willing to accept less than minimum hourly wage from the restaurant. They often pull down way more.

limeaide's avatar

I tip 15% I didn’t know that was the minimum expected nor will it affect my tips in the future. If the service sucks I give less. If the service is among the best I’ve ever had it could go to 20%+, this is very rare.

I do think having “additional” on the receipt does hurt you here. If “Gratuity” was the only thing it said lot of people wouldn’t even pay attention and probably give you another 15%+. This would also be unethical in my book.

Darbio16's avatar

Believe me, I don’t think that waitresses are deprived. She’s the one whining so i just urged her to do something about it. I hate fascism. Any chance i get at taking a stab at corporate greed i take it.

“Boo hoo, someone didn’t give me money” From the question, sounds like she’s pretty ungrateful. That could be one reason for not receiving a tip.

mowens's avatar

I don’t tip extra on those receipts becuase it pisses me off. I normally tip 20+ percent.

When I see a receipt that has 15% already figured in, I take that as them saying “Oh, you are either to cheap to tip, or not smart enough to tip.” I laugh, and say they lost money from me.

If the waiter or waitress is suprb, I would consider tipping extra… but I don’t know what that would require to be honest with you.

Darwin's avatar

I generally choose to tip anywhere from 10% to 20% depending on the service. The girl who served me lunch today got 10% because she would ask if I needed something, I would say yes and tell her what I needed, and then she would wander off and never bring anything back to the table. This is a restaurant we frequent often, and I have discussed this with her before but she still leaves me with an empty glass or no silverware.

The lowest I have ever tipped was one penny because the service was beyond bad. It was abusive. The highest was 35% because the server went well beyond what was expected.

However, if the restaurant decides that I must tip 18% and proceeds to calculate it out for me, then that is the most that I will leave. By insisting that I tip 18% the restaurant has neatly excised my ability to reward good service or penalize poor service. I see no point in arguing since the owner has decided to on his/her own what my opinion of the service is. I do, however, retain the right to vote with my feet and never return.

I can possibly see doing it with a very large group, where people may be splitting the check, but one local restaurant does it for as few as four diners. I discovered on close inspection of the bill, that their cash register automatically doubled the number of diners so they were counting the four of us as 8 and thus imposing the “required” tip calculation. We no longer go to that restaurant or recommend it to anyone.

Evan's avatar


It’s totally misleading, and borderline outright lies, to throw out numbers about how much servers can supposedly “easily pull down”. Not only did you just VASTLY narrow down the serving population to a small minority, but there is also such an immense difference among region and sector in terms of how much money servers can make, that you should probably check yourself before throwing hard numbers around as a way to justify your misguided ambivalence toward servers’ wages.


1. certainly it would be preferable if servers could, as you seem to be suggesting, unionize. but it’s a mistake to see the lack of unionization as a personal fault of the servers. you were just above railing against corporate monoliths, so one would think you’d understand the massively overwhelming inhibitions and barriers to unionization that wait staff everywhere face.

2. it is a complete and utter fallacy to blame servers for “placing the burden on the american public” when it comes to the tipping system. if anything, it is a holdover from an earlier age, that slowly developed over time.

also, just and FYI – fascism has NOTHING to do with this question, or this issue. I don’t know if maybe you just hate it, or hate whatever you think it is, so you like to talk about it a lot, which is fine, but really: nothing to do with this. just FYI.

Darbio16's avatar

Fasism = merger between corporations and government.

you said “massively overwhelming inhibitions and barriers to unionization that wait staff everywhere face.”

Massively overwhelming inhibitions like laws?

robmandu's avatar

@Evan, I worked for years as a waiter… at one point holding down three such jobs at the same time while attending college full time.

What’s your perspective on this?

On the face of your quip though, I do agree with you and the idea that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

ragingloli's avatar

i am generally opposed to the entire concept of “tipping”. pay your employees more and add it to the price of the meal. and while you’re at it, include the tax, so customers know what they are going to really pay.

Facade's avatar

@ragingloli I’m not a tipper either. Luckily for the servers, I’m normally with my man when I go out to a restaurant, and he’s generous with tips.

cwilbur's avatar

I knew someone who paid for his own college by being a waiter in a high end steakhouse. He could easily come home from a shift with $700 to $800 in cash, and quite a bit of that was tips.

He also pointed out that one of his favorite tip-increasing tactics was to wear flattering pants (he had an, um, athletic build) and then drop silverware.

Evan's avatar

@Darwin – I would agree with you that there are limitations on when a tip should be automatically included.. and in your example the restaurant was especially bad. But most restaurants set the bar at 6, 8, or even 10 people.

I think it’s a mistake to think the owner or manager is making a choice to pre-judge the quality of service. I think it far more likely that the owners and managers are making a choice, based on extensive experience, that large groups often don’t tip a standard percentage because the dollar amount is usually so much higher that it becomes difficult to justify that much as “extra” which is what many perceive (perhaps wrongly) a tip to be. Owners and managers know this, and they know that more often than not, an automated tip on large groups will keep their servers from getting shorted, helping it to work out in the long run.

@robmandu – I think that if you’re going to partake in a conversation, that it’s only fair to expect someone to read the whole conversation first. I already stated above that I, too, worked in the industry. But to clarify, it was for a number of years in both restaurants and bars.

But, and I don’t say this maliciously, our personal experience is almost entirely irrelevant to the point your trying to make. You made a statement about a very large group of people, whereas our personal experiences are nothing but anecdotal. My only point was that to take such a small anecdotal observation about the amount it’s possible for one small part of the group to make, in one particular area, and think that it somehow applies to the larger group, is, in and of itself, a fallacy.

@ragingloli – i agree that servers should just be paid more, but keep in mind that not only would that ultimately raise the price of the food and service, but it also reduces the motivation of the server overall. Also, just because they should do it, doesn’t mean that they do. and do you really think it’s justified to not tip, just because you blame the restaurant owner? or is it just passing the buck?

@Darbio16 – Italy’s interpretation of fascism to include a strong government involvement in business is not only a small component of what fascism was in Italy, but it is also only vaguely shared with other countries such as Germany or Spain who adopted fascist governments. Fascism is in fact so much more than just those governments hazy justification of their economic practices, that to simply use it to describe a merger between corporations and governments is basically flat out wrong. While I agree with you that the increasingly corporate structure of capitalism in the west is an overall detriment to our society, I think that you do yourself a disservice by using the term fascist to describe what it is that you’re unhappy with.

as per the barriers to unionization, i think that’s far to large an issue for this topic, and warrants a separate question. if you truly are upset with corporate capitalism, i think you would find union history in this country to be something you’re definitely interested in, and i would recommend you look into it.

robmandu's avatar

@Evan, I agree with your point. But then I also think that Fluther is acceptable for the anecdotal perspective… especially in questions asking for individual perspective.

Darwin's avatar

@Evan – I do not consider 6 or even 8 people to be a large party. Sure, it’s bigger than a four-top, but when our family goes out to eat that is the size of the group, and we get one check. I resent a restaurant owner thinking that I can’t calculate 10 or 15 or 20% of a tip on my own, especially since we are getting one check, not having a check split between different people.

Darbio16's avatar

Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology and a corporatist economic ideology.- Wiki

jca's avatar

There are probably also times when people don’t notice the “automatic gratuity” and just glance at the check and pay the bill, plus add on a tip (in other words, not knowing they just paid a tip already). you don’t mention those people.

i find this question offensive. a tip is optional, the amount is optional, and if i knew where you worked i would not go there just knowing someone expects more than i’m already being strong armed into paying.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

@Darwin It’s pretty clear where I stand on the issue itself, but… 8 people is a large party. Let’s just be honest here.
“When our family goes out to eat that is the size of the group”.
Then you have a large family.
Large = large. Family = group. Large family = large group.

Darwin's avatar

@Piper_Brianmind – But one check with an easily calculated tip.

cyndyh's avatar

I’ve waited tables before -many years ago. But the issue isn’t the one check. It’s more the coordination it takes to get 8 dishes out at once versus 2 or 4.

Darwin's avatar

And if the server does a good job coordinating 6 or 8 meals, they get a bigger tip. Unless the restaurant pre-ordains it to be 18%.

cyndyh's avatar

I hear what you’re saying. I’m just stating why that’s considered a “large party”. Trying to coordinate meals is exponentially more difficult not linearly so. I knew I could turn this into a geek moment. :^>

ragingloli's avatar

“but keep in mind that not only would that ultimately raise the price of the food and service,”
but then you don’t need to tip. the final sum to pay would essentially be the same for the customer.
“but it also reduces the motivation of the server overall. ”
motivation could easily be raised by having a small booklet near the entrance where the guests would give their waiter/waitress a rating from 1 to 6, where 1 is the best and 6 is the worst, and if a waitresses monthly average is not good enough you give her a warning. another bad month a final warning, and the next: fired. Not wanting to get fired should be motivation enough, coupled with a sense of loyalty to the employer, especially since he would pay her reasonably well.
But to add to that, you could also give a monthly bonus (let’s say, 200 quid) for the waitress with the best score, so that the waitresses would compete among each other for the best service.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

That’s a pretty good idea.
But let’s try the traditional 1–10 rating system.

ragingloli's avatar

the 1–6 scale is used in germany for school grades until the 10th year. after that it switches to a 0–15 points scale where 15 is the best.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

Ah okay. Sorry for the mixup. I thought you were American.

Jeruba's avatar

@cyndyh, lurve for “geek moment.”

Supacase's avatar

I almost always tip 20% or more; however if you have already decided that you are only worth 18% then I will take your word for it.

What I really dislike is the automatic gratuity tucked in there as a service fee or something along those lines. People know to look for the word “gratuity” but may pass over less common wording.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Personally, I wouldn’t ever tip 20% as a basic tip, that’s for exemplary service. I have worked for catering companies and various types of restaurants in the past and tipping over 20% for great service is nice but usually the realm of those with more money than the average fine diner. 10% for minimal service and 15% for average are still what most of us mortals are familiar with.

Judi's avatar

When my daughter first started working at the steak house we went in and left her a $100.00 tip :-)

cyndyh's avatar

@Jeruba: Thank you. I usually only think those instead of sharing them with others. :^>

Hazelina's avatar

Wow…so many responses! Didn’t expect so many people to write back.
Ok…after reading everyone’s responses, I feel I should include some “additional” info to both clarify and justify my question and why I feel the way I do about it.
To those people who wrote that they don’t like/appreciate when there’s an automatic gratuity included in their check, and that’s why they wouldn’t leave more than 18%. Here’s the thing with that…I work on Miami Beach…a very touristy destination. The majority of restaurants here (fine dining or not) will automatically add the gratuity simply because our patrons are mainly foreigners who are not accustomed to tipping in their countries (yes, they actually come from places where servers are paid real wages or salaries) and would not leave you a penny if the gratuity weren’t already included.
As for the locals, they are beyond being shocked by automatic gratuities. All the restaurants here do it and they are used to it by now.
A few people called me ungrateful, whiny, demanding…and some other things I can’t remember. But here’s the thing those people probably don’t know. You think I shouldn’t complain because 18% is either fair or more than I should be getting. Are you ready for this….I don’t even get the entire tip you think I’m getting. I only get 60% of all gratuities. Where does the rest go? I in turn have to tip out my bussers, food runners, baristas, bar tender, back back, sommalier, hostesses and the valet! (ok I’m just joking….I don’t actually tip out the valet) If the 18% gratuity were not included, guess what? I would STILL have to tip out all those people. And what’s more is…. it would come out of my own pocket.
Another thing most people may not know is that at many restaurants they use the pooling system. This means that whatever tips are earned during a shift are then divided equally among the # of servers who worked that particular shift. What does this mean for me? Even If I have a great night (like the night Matt Damon came in and tipped me $1,500 on top of the automatic 18% gratuity) I had to share that tip with the rest of the 12 servers working that shift with me. Yes, it was still a fantastic night. But was it really fair that I personally brought in over $2,600 to the pool, and still only walked away with $450 for the night? Now I know some of you will start spewing venom because I wrote “only $450 for the night” before you do that, consider that that amount of earning for a night’s work is definitely the exception NOT the rule!
One more thing that is annoying is that most people pay with credit cards rather than cash. If more people were to pay with cash and then choose leave that “additional” gratuity, I would actually get to keep the cash without having to share it with the rest of the staff. Nice huh? (almost never happens) Cash tips people! That’s what I’m talking about! Tip your servers in cash always, even if you pay with credit card!
To those of you who responded empathetically to my question, thank you! To those who didn’t, thank you anyway, I still had a good time reading over your responses.

cyndyh's avatar

So, people should tip you with cash so you can cheat your coworkers out of their share?

Facade's avatar

Yea, that doesn’t make you sound greedy at all~

Hazelina's avatar

It’s not cheating my coworkers out of their share. We are allowed to keep any extra cash tips. Not just me, all the servers. It’s just how it’s set up. Stop calling me greedy. When I get extra cash, I even throw in a little something for the dishwashers who work like dogs with no glory whatsoever.
Try working 1 day in the service industry and you’ll understand.

casheroo's avatar

I make sure to tip 20% always, so I’d pay the difference of the tip….usually automatic gratuity is 18%. I think it’s rude not to tip more.

Likeradar's avatar

@Hazelina I know I’m going to get flack for saying this, but here goes.

You chose to be a server. You know that standard tipping is between 15–20 percent and that you don’t keep all of it, and I assume you knew that going into the job. So you’re whining that you usually get 18% then have to share it with your hard-working co-workers.

Fine, it’s ok to not think you get paid enough. Have you considered that the customers you want to finance your life are fulfilling their share of the eating-out bargain by tipping 18%? Your customers who tip you 18% are likely also on a budget and work hard for their money. Don’t like the salary, get out of the business. I know servers work hard. But you’re sounding selfish and whiney at this point.

cwilbur's avatar

@Hazelina: If your employer informs me that I am to tip you 18%, that’s what I tip. If you don’t like that, well, them’s the breaks. You asked why people don’t tip extra, and you’ve gotten an answer; if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have asked the question.

It’s standard practice everywhere for some part of the tips to go to kitchen and dishwashing staff, and tip pooling is done in many restaurants, so it’s not like you’re experiencing anything special there.

If you don’t like tip pooling, get a job at a restaurant that doesn’t do it. If you don’t like the wages in the service industries, find a way to get out of them.

Evan's avatar

@robmandu – i agree that if anywhere, Fluther is s perfect place for anecdotal answers.. i just think that while it’s good to share our stories, it’s also important not to draw out implications from those stories beyond what’s reasonable. I think we probably agree on this, though, in the end.

@Darwin – I understand that you feel your family shouldn’t qualify as a large group, but as @Piper_Brianmind‘s comment points out: what defines “large” is again just a matter of perception. If that wasn’t the case, then every restaurant might have the same definition of large. But as we all know, they just don’t.

The thing is, you’re still writing as though you think restaurant owners are doing it out of some spite, or judgement about the inabilities of large groups to make rational, responsible decisions. As i was saying before, I very strongly believe that this is not the case. Owners had those auto-grats for a host of different reasons, but the end reason as that they know, that on average, it will help their servers get treated more fairly in the end. Even if it loses the server some extra here and there, overall it helps. This in turn lets the employer keep their experienced staff, instead of losing them to other restaurants that might do things differently.

@Darbio16 – you pulled a single line out of a paragraph long definition of fascism that, ironically, ended with the strong statement that really, no one agrees on a concise definition of fascism. and again, the corporatist link of fascism was only strongest in Italy, less so in Spain, and less so in Germany. and corporatism is espoused by a great many more ideologies than simply fascism. if you want to rail against corporatism, then fine, but you’re purpose is still ultimately hurt by using the word “fascism”. even railing against corporatism would be an odd tactic, because you’d have to spend most of your time trying to argue that the united states was, indeed, corporatist. which it isn’t, really. The thing is, i don’t really disagree with you, but i think it hurts the message to try to label our current system with mid-century political ideologies that don’t do it any justice.

@jca – tell you what, when you make $3.25/hour.. i’ll remember to be offended when you ask for “extra” that’s “optional”.

@ragingloli – those are a lot of great ideas about how it could work, and i’d be all for supporting a restaurant that tried to start the trend. but in the meantime, my main point was that i don’t think it justifies not tipping, in our current system, just because we think the system should change. Not tipping wouldn’t change the system, but instead would only hurt the employee who depends on tipping. The comparison would be like trying to change the way we vote, by refusing outright to vote. It doesn’t change anything, it just locks you out of the discussion.

@Supacase – i actually think that the idea of applying a “service charge” of such and such percent.. say 10%, for example, for large groups, would actually be preferable. Say you only do it with genuinely large groups (10+, maybe) but that it’s not portrayed as a “tip” at all. Why doesn’t the restaurant have the right to charge you for the extra work that you’re placing on the establishment? It’s their establishment, so they can charge it. Then leave it up to the group to (hopefully) tip at least 8% to the server, to make up the difference, and who knows? maybe they’d even tip more than 8% if the service was good. The point is that, as people have said, large groups put more stress on the ENTIRE restaurant, not just on the server. Seems standard to me that when you’re getting more, you should expect to have to pay more for it.

LASTLY – i think that a lot of people in this discussion are unfairly criticizing @Hazelina. I think it, again, comes back to perspective. Until you’ve spent time working in the service industry, it’s hard to accept that tips are not viewed as something “extra”. They’re just not. And that’s because they aren’t something extra. When you’re getting paid $3.25/hour, or even if you make full minimum wage, or a bit more, the tips are still are HUGE part of your income.

When a person in another industry takes a job, they often do so after being offered a given salary, or a given pay rate, and they use that information to make their decision. Why should service industry workers be held to some magically different standard? Don’t they too have a right to make economic decisions based on economic information?

Like it or not, tipping is an integral part of our service industry’s economic system. It’s an unfortunate part of the system, because it leaves the system open to a great many people, tempted to cheat the system by stiffing the service employees of their tip. It’s also an insidious part of the system, because the perception that it’s “extra” provides ample justification for those would cheat the system.

jca's avatar

if i don’t like the pay i get at my job, guess what? it’s time to look for a new job or go into a new field. period. end of story.

jca's avatar

and you are not responding to what i said about people who don’t even look at the bill (like men out on dates) they just open the folder and throw in their card, then when they get the thing that needs to be signed, they write in a tip, (on top of the 18% you just got) therefore, the waitress gets a double tip.

Evan's avatar

@jca – it’s not about choosing another job. it’s perfectly reasonable (and i would say fundamentally American, and rightly so) to want to keep doing what you like doing, and to want to get paid more for what you do. Or at the very least, to not get paid shit-rates for what you do. It’s what built this country during the industrial revolution.

and as for men (or women for that matter) opening up their bills and tossing in the card, the inattentiveness of those people is really NOT the responsibility of the wait staff. They do that because they either a) don’t care about the bill, or b) want to give the impression that they don’t care, or c) are just careless. Either way, it’s really just their own fault. They’ve sewn those seeds themselves; they’re not being strong armed by anyone but themselves.

Darwin's avatar

I always tip in cash, even when paying by credit card.

And if you don’t like the way the system is at that restaurant, switch to another. That is what my nephew does. He didn’t like the way things were at Papadoux’s so he went to work for McCormick and Schmick.

Also consider this: if service gets to be too unpleasant or tips are too onerous, we will just start eating at home more. Then where will wait staff be? Because of this current recession there are a lot of restaurants hurting locally because it simply isn’t worth it to patrons to go out to eat.

jca's avatar

@evan: I’m not saying people who pay the bill without looking at it are being strong armed, i am saying the person asking the question does not mention that in addition to those who just pay the 18%, there are those who pay the 18% + more tip (no doubt it’s their own fault) but my point is that the waitress gets a “double” tip for those customers.

my previous comment using the word “strong armed” refers to the whole idea of having to pay what is usually and should be an optional amount, not a standard, predetermined amount.

again, part of the evaluation process for anyone working in any industry/field is the pay. If i love doing crafts all day and am a great crafter but nobody is willing to buy them, then maybe this is not a field i should rely on to survive. if i were to be a great waitress, but could not survive on the money i would make, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate my skills and decide what i can do with them or need to do to get more skills and go into another field of work that is more lucrative.

Likeradar's avatar

@Hazelina So Matt Damon came in, you happened to be his server, and he left a big tip. You had to share it with your co-workers.
I have a feeling you would be bitching if someone else got his table and got to walk away with a $1000 tip just because he sat in their section instead of yours.
I re-read this thread, and really, you sound silly. If you think tipping doesn’t pay a charming, pretty, knowledgeable girl like yourself enough when people are forced to tip more than average at your place of work, find a new career. Jeesh.

Judi's avatar

I went to Olive garden with a large group shortly after my daughter started working in the resteraunt. And to defend the questioner (just a bit) I got into an embarrassing moment with my friends who paid the bill. They made a big point of telling everyone that the tip was included, but I also realized that we had “camped out” and chatted for some time after our meal was done. They caught me putting an extra $20.00 bill on the table. They again said, “the tip is included!” I just said, yeah, but we sort of camped out here for a while. Very awkward.

cwilbur's avatar

@Evan: @Hazelina isn’t talking about people not tipping at all, she’s talking about how she doesn’t consider an 18% tip adequate, and complaining that people should voluntarily leave her extra cash that she can pocket under the table.

She’s not getting flak because we think $3.25 is a living wage; she’s getting flak because she’s complaining that $3.25 plus almost 11% of the food bill (18% for the tip, times 60% that she gets to keep) is not enough. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. But her workplace is already requiring people to tip more than the standard 15%, and I think expecting people to pay more, and to do so in cash so that she can pocket it and not share it with the other staff, is ludicrous.

Hazelina's avatar

Goodness people….I feel like some of you would crucify me if you could. And what for? I never said anyone should be obligated to leave me any specific amount. It just bothers me when I get to the check and I see a big slash. To me it’s like a slap in the face. Even $1 extra would tell me my customer appreciated me at some level, and that feels nice to know you are appreciated a little bit “extra” after having spent 2 hours of doing everything I can to make sure my guest’s experience is extra special.
I wasn’t always a server you know….but one thing I have always been is a generous tipper. I like walking out a restaurant knowing I put a big smile on a server’s face. It makes them feel good. It makes me feel good.
Go ahead and flack me a bit more for what I’m about to say, but here it goes anyway….Matt Damon didn’t just “happen” to sit in my section. It was a decision made by the GM of the restaurant based on server performance.
I have to go now….I have a very busy friday night ahead of me at the restaurant, with the hope that won’t get any customers who share the same mentality as some of you.

Likeradar's avatar

Enjoy your busy Friday night. I plan on eating out tonight, and I hope I don’t get any servers who would bitch about getting an 18% tip.

jca's avatar

i still don’t understand the ungrateful attitude of the Hazelina. 18% and she wants more? wow.

cwilbur's avatar

@Hazelina: You get the slash because you are already getting 18%. That’s 3% more than is standard for tipping. People are already obligated to leave you 18%, and you’re complaining that they don’t leave you more.

You’re getting flak for your ugly sense of entitlement. It’s as simple as that.

Likeradar's avatar

@cwilbur I wonder if she would have the nerve to bitch if everyone chose to give her an 18% tip without it being required. Does she think she’s such a special snowflake she should always get more than average, or is she simply not understanding that she is already getting an above average tip?

cyndyh's avatar

@Judi: We always tip extra if we camp a bit. You want it to be worth the server’s while even though they aren’t getting to seat that table again for a while.

Judi's avatar

@cyndyh; I do too. I wish my friends felt that way!

cyndyh's avatar

@Judi: I hear you on that. I’ve been through worse though. There was one guy in our group that we discovered was getting to the check last, counting the total cash everyone put in (party of 10–15 people), and throwing in the rest of “what we need” to make the check instead of what his portion with tip would be. So he was effectively shorting the wait staff while getting next-to-free dinner and drinks. After that I would refuse to let him see the check and tell him what his portion with tip was. Cheapass bastard.

avvooooooo's avatar

@jca Do you have any idea how rare the people you’re talking about are? There are people who don’t look and might tip twice, but you’re talking about probably 1% of diners, if that. It doesn’t happen that often. To some servers, it might never happen at all. Your assumption that a lot of people do this is faulty. That’s why you’re not getting what others are saying, because you’re sticking to your faulty assumption that some people will end up tipping twice. It just doesn’t happen often enough to make any kind of difference.

You have obviously never worked in a restaurant. If you had, you might not have so many misconceptions and notions about the profession and tipping.

@Hazelina You’re already getting paid. “Extra” is just that. Extra. Optional. Not required. The reason you’re getting slammed is because you do sound greedy, both for wanting people to tip more than required when, if there wasn’t that requirement, you would still be having to pay other staff a percentage and would have a legitimate gripe. You’re getting more than average, even with tipping out. Also, your ideas about everyone giving cash so that you can pocket it sound both selfish and greedy. You might not see it, but your “charming” manner, if its the same we’ve seen here, might have to do with your lack of “extra.”

avvooooooo's avatar

@Hazelina You might find this conversation interesting.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

This topic should be unfollowed by now, IMHO. She got more than enough answers to go on. She even made it clear that the purpose has been fulfilled, and politely thanked everyone for their input. At this point, we’re beating a dead horse. People are simply reinstating emphasis on the same points over and over, insulting her. It’s already over. She might’ve come off a certain way in the initial question just out of being upset. Not necessarily over just that, either. Who knows. But let’s face the bare facts; The system by which she works is not a system that most people are accustomed to. From the sounds of it… on average? It’s probably a real pain in the ass. Whether she’s greedy of selfish for asking, it’s all been explored to the practical limit. Point is, she asked. We told. The end. It’s useless to keep throwing insults about.

jca's avatar

@avvooooooo : i do get what others are saying, and i disagree, as do over half the people replying here.

avvooooooo's avatar

@jca The specific thing that you seem to be convinced of is that there are a lot of people who would double tip without looking. That simply doesn’t happen that often. That’s my point.

jca's avatar

@avvooooooo : i did mention that several times because she never addressed that i mentioned it. my main premise was and still is if someone does not like how much a job pays, even if they like that job, they need to evaluate whether or not they need to switch careers. evan said it’s fundamentally American to want to be paid more for what people do. i have said several times if a job does not pay well, you need to switch jobs or careers. i made that point several times also. if i want to smell daisies for a living and that pays minimum wage, maybe smelling daisies is not a good career for me. period, end of story as i said before.

Darwin's avatar

@Hazelina – You get the slash because it has been known to happen that someone in the restaurant has put in something there not intended by the card owner. Hence, their bill becomes higher than they intended. This someone is not necessarily the server but is never the customer.

scamp's avatar

I offer this article for your perusal. I tip very well when I go out, but if I see the gratuity is written into the check, I would only add more money if the service was exceptional.

I always put a slash on my reciept. I tip in cash, and have had money written in by someone else before, so to protect my funds, I always draw a line through the tip area, then re-write the total.

Hazelina's avatar

I’m done being upset over people’s personal attacks on me. I’ve come to the understanding that unless you’re in the industry or have been in the past, it’s just impossible to get it.
How can I even begin to argue with someone who is convinced 15% is standard? Standard in whose opinion anyway? Also consider this: Not all restaurants are created equally. 7 years ago when I lived in a small, conservative town in Michigan, and worked in a mom and pop Italian restaurant, 10% tip was standard. 15% was good. 18% was amazing. 20% was such a rare and magical occurance, the entire staff was sure to talk about it for days.
This is 2009. I’m no longer working in a small mom and pop owned restaurant in the suburbs of the midwest. I’m in Miami Beach, one of the top U.S vacation destinations. A playground for the rich and famous. I believe location deserves special consideration in this matter.
I work in a highly acclaimed restaurant that cost millions to build. The sort of establishment where people go to see and be seen. Where a single appetizer item on the menu costs $200! Where the manager’s suits were custom made in London and the waitresses’ cocktail dresses came with a price tag of $850!
Surely you can understand how adding an automatic 18% gratuity to every check is not only justified, but appropriate in an establishment of this caliber.
You see our clientele is not your average blue collar worker. One of our regular guests owns the Palm Islands in Dubai. Owns them! Can you even fathom that?
Maybe now in light of what I’ve just said, people will start to see the full picture and stop abusing me.

scamp's avatar

@Hazelina Take a deep breath. In your own words from another thread: Try sitting next to a plant and touch the leaves. As you’re touching it, imagine that you are transfering all those sad feelings, pain, panic and anxiety to the plant. Litterally imagine those feelings escaping from your body, flowing down your arm and finger tips and going into the plant. Do this until you feel better.

You asked for opinions on this subject, and you got several answers. They may not be the answers you were hoping to find, but they were honest answers nonetheless. Sometimes debates can get a bit heated around here, but I doubt anyone meant for you to feel abused.

Just take the opinions stated with a grain of salt, and continue to enjoy your time at fluther. Try growing a thicker skin if you want to debate a subject, because the internet can be a snarky place at times. Welcome to fluther. Don’t give up on us. It’s really a great community. Stick around and you’ll see for yourself!!

jca's avatar

@Hazelina :’re already getting 18%. on the $200 appetizer you’re referring to, you get $36 just for bringing it to the table. stop whining about it.

2. if it’s so bad, get a job somewhere else. that is the bottom line.

3. you asked for people’s opinions, did you want them all to feel the way you do? then don’t ask, there’s no point. if you want people to agree with you 100% then only ask your co-workers – they’re sure to all agree it’s terrible to have to settle for 18%.

Piper_Brianmind's avatar

@jca I’m hearing more and more these days that right now isn’t the time for people to be picky with their jobs, and that if you manage to get one, you should hang onto it for dear life. That’s what I’m hearing, anyway.

Darwin's avatar

“Surely you can understand how adding an automatic 18% gratuity to every check is not only justified, but appropriate in an establishment of this caliber.”

No, I cannot understand that at all. If this is such a high caliber place with high caliber customers one would think they would tip on their own so no one would have to apply an automatic gratuity.

$36 for bringing one appetizer to the table and you are complaining?!

ragingloli's avatar

so what she is complaining about is basically “why don’t customers tip me twice?” ?

Supacase's avatar

@Evan Why should you charge me extra for having a large group? Why shouldn’t I get a 10% discount for giving your restaurant the business of a large group?

@Hazelina Wow. I wasn’t dissing you, but you really hurt your case when you said your appetizers are $200. With the automatic 18%, even after tipping out, you are making bank.

Judi's avatar

@Hazelina ; any sympathy you may have had before was just thrown out the window. You make bank. The girl at Denny’s or Black Angus would trade places with you in a heart beat.

Likeradar's avatar

Boo f’in hoo. You get an automatic 18% on a $200 appetizer and complain about having to share the tip with others? You really have the nerve to complain about this and the ignorance to expect people to pity you? I agree with @Jeruba even if I had been thinking about things from your side, now I fully realize that you are a greedy little whiner. I don’t think most people on this thread had a real issue with the automatic 18%, even if it seems foreign and unappealing to most of us. The issue was you complaining about not making more. And who cares where the owner’s suits were made?

By the way, I’m not a mean person. I don’t go around insulting people on this website or others. You have introduced me to a whole new disgusting level of entitlement and greediness.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Funny, i’m the sort of person to argue the included tip (which is something you can do, btw) if i got a smug, arrogant, self-important server.

where do you work? i’ve got an itch to complain about my service.

commonsense's avatar

I just happened to see Hazelina`s question and took my time to read all the answers thrown around here. Well, I`m a restaurant manager myself and here is how I see this matter : I think you are right Haselina. Unless people have already been through any kind of experience( in this case in restaurant business , dealing with people that think they should be the one to decide how much your service is worth ) they will never be able to tell nontheless to understand you.
The word ” TIP ” means : To Insure Proper Service
This being said, and considering that in this country ( like in the rest of this planet ) nothing comes for free, what makes people think that they should decide how much a server`s service is worth. Unfortunately this is the only industry that the customer can decide, and I don`t think is fare for all the servers around the globe. As a manager a feel bad for my staff if a customer doesn`t tip properly or is not generous with excellent service. People don`t understand this simple thing: It is a service that should be paid and shouldn`t be up to the customer. Period. Why would anyone find the ” automatic gratuity ” insulting ? Why should people think they should be the one to decide ?
Try call the plumber and tell him that you should be the one to decide how much he should be paid see what`s gonna happen. I`ll tell you people what`s gonna happen. You won`t be showing on Fluther for some time cause you`ll be too busy taking off the water from your floor, that`s what is going to happen.
Again, unfortunately all this because is left up to people to decide. Nothing should be left up to people to decide ( including myself ). That`s why laws, rules and regulation exists , otherwise its a caos. So if the gratuity was to be a law ( like taxes ) no one would have nothing to say, in the contrary people will leave extra, which is what Hazelina`s refering. Say if you ask the plumber to fix your tub ASAP wouldn`t` you throw an extra $50.00 for the service on the top of what he already cherged you. I think you would , simply because you consider it as an extremely efficient service.
And one more thing people. Remember that:” We all make a leaving with what we get, But we make a life with what we give ” so I think is much better to give and to recive rother than be CHEAP

jca's avatar

@commonsense : is the issue not that people don’t want to tip, the issue is that she wants more than 18%, which is already a decent amount. she seems to feel 18% is not enough. she states it’s a very expensive restaurant, i know the type of restaurant she works in – people order many bottles of wine, etc. and the bill can easily be 1 or 2 thousand – 18% on one or two thousand for one table and she dares complain?

i wonder if you work with her and she recruited you, since you just signed on….

Likeradar's avatar

edit: I meant @Judi in my last post, not @Jeruba.

Judi's avatar

@Likeradar ; ? Didn’t you mean @Hazelina ? I don’t think I’m “A greedy little whiner?” I’ve never even worked in food service unless you count taco bell 35 years ago.

Likeradar's avatar

@Judi Of course I didn’t mean you with the greedy little whiner portion. :) I meant you instead of Jeruba where I wrote “I agree with @Jeruba even if I had been thinking about things from your side” You had written what I agreed with, and I clicked the wrong J in the @ drop-down list. Sorry for the confusion. :)

Judi's avatar

Thank goodness. I thought I had an alter ego I wasn’t aware of! I haven’t had enough coffee yet to read clearly.

cwilbur's avatar

@Hazelina: The standard tip at a fine-dining restaurant is 15 to 20%; anything above that is a bonus for better service.

Also, do you understand percentages? If you’re working at a high-end restaurant where the average bill for a table is close to $1000, you’re going to make more with a 15% tip than you would if you were at a diner where the average bill is $40. What you’re suggesting here—that because it’s a high-end restaurant, the tip percentage should be higher, is just double-dipping.

@commonsense: At @Hazelina‘s restaurant, the management has decided that the tip is 18%. This is precisely what you want, since you’re complaining that the customer should never decide how much to pay, and yet @Hazelina is still bellyaching because her overdeveloped sense of entitlement makes her think she deserves more than that.

Hazelina's avatar

Over and over I continue to receive insults from those who feel they are in a position to judge me. And I have been judged, rather severely I would say. Yet, I’m the one who not once in this debate has reduced herself to personally attacking or insulting anyone else in here.. That alone speaks volumes on the kind of person I am and the sort of upbringing I have had compared to some others in here.
Say for instance that instead of being I server I were an administrative assistant whose salary was already above average compared to others in the same field. Would that then mean that because I started at a higher earning bracket then most, I am never allowed to aspire to earn more, lest I be accused of being greedy? Of course not! You see….once the profession of server is substituted with one belonging to the executive world, everything changes. It suddenly goes from the server being considered greedy for wanting to make extra tips, to the administrative assistant simply being good old fashion ambitious for aspiring to a raise.
It’s a matter of perception.
I don’t think it’s fair that in order for me NOT to be associated with one of the seven deadly sins, I need to change profession. I work very hard and feel extremely passionate about what I do. Now, in the normal world, hard work and passion are usually rewarded with a raise, bonuses, attractive benefit package and paid vacations. In my world, this is not the case. I could continue working for the next 20 years and never accrue a single day of paid vacation. I could save up all my tips to plan for my retirement and I would never get a match on my contribution. Being the top seller won’t ever earn me the incentive of a bonus.
If I ever want to earn more than the pre fixe 18% I can only rely on my additional tips. I’m not asking people leave me more for doing nothing. On the contrary, I know that the only way to supass the 18% is to step up my service from good to excellent, and I do do that. The problem however, still lies in perception.
I’d like to end by saying this: Although I don’t in any way consider myself to be a greedy person, those of you who like making reference to that need to remember that while Greed indeed makes up for 1 of the seven deadly sins, Wrath and Envy make up for 2. And passing judgement onto others (especially when you don’t know anything about them) is the cardinal sin. Only God can judge and I highly doubt God goes on Fluther.

Judi's avatar

In the normal world, when you cap out at a salary range you seek a promotion, not ask your customers to personally pay you more. If you want to make more, aspire to management or open your own restaurant. What we’re saying is that you have capped out for your current profession. I think everyone here works hard and thinks they’re probably worth more than they get paid.

ragingloli's avatar

You ARE already earning more because of the high price class of your restaurant.
A 1000 dollar bill will give you 180 dollars.
A 100 dollar bill at a normal restaurant would give another waitress just 18 dollars.
You are already making 10 times as much in tips as a normal waitress, so I can not understand how you can complain about that.

Likeradar's avatar

And I assume getting job at an expensive restaurant counts as a bonus or raise. You probably did well at a less expe… ugh, you know what. Nevermind. You’re not getting it.

cwilbur's avatar

@Hazelina: it’s not your work that’s associated with greed. It’s your attitude.

You’re working at a restaurant where the cheapest appetizer costs $200, and where the minimum tip is 18%, and you’re bellyaching about how little you make and how people should donate more to you because you’re pretty and smile a lot?

Hazelina's avatar

As a matter of fact I do aspire to own my own restaurant. But where do you think my profits will come from as a restaurant owner? Customers! It will still be you providing my income, only in a different form. Don’t you understand that?
Fine dining restaurants will mark up their wine 5 times the retail value. Yet that doesn’t stop people from still going out and ordering bottles of wine. They find it acceptable to pay $120 for the same bottle they could be getting at the store for $20 and don’t complain about it because they know that in the end they’re not paying for the wine, they are paying for the ambiance in which they choose to drink the wine. Same goes for the service. Why should that be any different?
I am as entitled to desiring to increase my earning potential as is ANYONE else in ANY position. Who are you to say I have already maxed out? You don’t have that right.
Why are people angry about what I earn? When I know someone is earining well I can’t but be happy for them. If they tell me they would still like to earn more, I would wish them well in that endeavor. Anything else would make me an envious person, unable to feel joy for other people’s success.
I think the problem here is not that you’re not ok with me making as much as I make, it’s that you’re not ok that what I make comes from your pocket. If the restaurant were to pay me my current wages or even more, you probably wouldn’t have any qualms about that. But because my services are payed by you, you seem to think there should be a limit to what I should earn. Let me restate: The money would STILL come from the consumer but you would be ok with it because you feel that paying for expensive goods is more acceptable than paying for expensive services. ie. The bottle of wine that you are paying 50% more for is alright, but the server who helps you select it, opens the bottle and pours it for you is not worth even 18% of that. Absurd!

cwilbur's avatar

@Hazelina: People are not angry about what you earn. People are reacting in shock because, for the most part, we find your attitude of entitlement repugnant.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to increase your earnings. But acting as if somehow you deserve to make more and that the only reason you aren’t is because people are too selfish or stupid to realize that they are supposed to pay you more than the 18% your restaurant requires—well, that’s just ugly.

You’ve probably maxed out your earning potential in that role, at that restaurant. Bellyaching about how people are just too ignorant or too selfish to pay you more than an 18% tip won’t make you any more money; your attitude has pretty much lost you any sympathy you’re likely to get from your interlocutors here; and the “why are you all being so nasty to me?” card didn’t work the first time it was played.

If you want more money, you’re probably going to have to find a different job.

Hazelina's avatar

Whoa, whoa….please don’t put words in my mouth. I NEVER said people are too selfish, stupid or ignorant. You said that NOT me. I have not ONCE insulted a single one of you on here. It’s been the other way around. Go back and read the threads

Judi's avatar

Then the real answer to your question is, “That’s all your worth.” The market determines the price and that is all your customer sees your value at. Simple as that. You asked Why, we have given you honest answers.

Darwin's avatar

@Hazelina – Your original question included “Are people just plain cheap or do they purposely not tip extra as a way of capping the earning potential of a server?”

Very few people would view being called cheap as a compliment.

jca's avatar

@Hazelina: you do get a raise – when food and wine prices are increased, your tip amounts increase.

scamp's avatar

@Hazelina I’m curious. What did you mean when you said you are not some loaded black american express member. What does that mean?

After reading through this thread, I’m wondering if your personality is not as charming as you think it is. That could be the reason why you aren’t recieving what you’d like.

Someone who owns the Palm Islands in Dubai, doesn’t have to give you extra just because he has it. You do come across as someone who needs an attitude adjustment .

You said :Now, in the normal world, hard work and passion are usually rewarded with a raise, bonuses, attractive benefit package and paid vacations. In my world, this is not the case. I could continue working for the next 20 years and never accrue a single day of paid vacation.

What world do you live in? Why do you see it as not the normal world?

Out of this whole long mess of a thread, the thing that stands out the most for me is when @jca says:’re already getting 18%. on the $200 appetizer you’re referring to, you get $36 just for bringing it to the table. stop whining about it. I think you should heed those words.

Judi's avatar

@scamp; the Black American Express has huge benefits and is an instant status symbol. You have to charge $300,000.00 per year to get invited to join.

cwilbur's avatar

@scamp: It sounds like Hazelina has a really skewed vision of how things work outside the service industry. Especially if she thinks that hard work and passion are automatically rewarded.

And as @Judi says—you need to parse that phrase as (loaded) (Black American Express) (member)—it’s about the black American Express card. A friend of mine was offered one, and he turned it down, mainly because of the fees and the usage requirement.

scamp's avatar

@Judi and @cwilbur thanks for clearing that up. I’ve never heard of a black Amex, so the terminology was greek to me. I agree with you on how Hazelina seems to see things. I worked for a number of years in the restaurant industry in my youth, and I quickly learned that tips were somthing earned, not something I deserved.

I think once Hazelina truly realizes this, she may see her tips increase. If not, she probably never will. Once again, just because someone has* alot of money, it doesn’t mean he has to give it to you because you expect it. But we are pretty much beating a dead horse, so I’ll stop here.

avvooooooo's avatar


Its not your job that anyone has a problem with.

Its your attitude. Maybe if you adjust that here, there, and everywhere, you might get the tips you’re looking for.

sscarllet's avatar

I work as a server at a pretty low end place. This is just a temporary job for me as I had been working in private equity prior to the current economic problems. When I made a sizable income I always gave tips in the 17 to 25 percent range, depending on service. I despised it when a tip was automatically added on and often left less than the required amount and never returned to those restaurants. I left less because I didn’t think that the service was as good as it was at the places where I could make my own mind up about the tip. People simply give better service when they are working for a larger tip than a preset one.

Now that I am a server I usually come home with an average of 25 percent tips. I think that part of this is because I work the night shift as the only server and I rarely have more than three tables at a time and it is very easy to be attentive to all of them. When I do actually get busy most people are very understanding and as long as I get their orders correct and keep their sodas full.

What has been annoying me to no end is that I’ll get a table of 7 or 8 who will run me ragged over an hour or so and have a $70 bill and then leave me $4 for no reason I can ascertain. The cooks I work with have been at the restaurant for several years and I asked their honest opinions about my serving abilities and they have all told me that I have done nothing wrong. The food was correct, hot and delivered as soon as it was cooked. The customers can actually watch everything as it is cooked so they see that it’s not just sitting around. I just don’t know how to react to these people.

Also, I have a couple that comes in every night and orders about $30 worth of food, always the same thing and they don’t eat half of it. They never leave a tip. I’ve decided from now on that I just can’t be bothered to serve them any longer. I’ll bring them their drinks but never take a food order. Not only do I serve, but I also bus and wash dishes. I just can’t be bothered to pay taxes and clean up after people who don’t tip. I’m just not sure what I’m going to say to them when they try and order food. Any suggestions. I should also point out that the cooks I work with are willing to say that nothing happened if this couple complains and my manager adores me. They don’t get many college educated people who show up for work on time and keep the place clean at such a low end place.

mrouss22's avatar

At least you get 18% on every check. I work in a restaurant that doesn’t add it to any table unless they ask for it to be added. On top of that my restaurant is family style dining so every table is a large party. Several times I have served 20 to 30 people with checks over $500 and have been stiffed or left $10. Consider yourself lucky. I would do anything for my restaurant to assure me that I got the %18 I deserved.

kelsomm's avatar

I love how most of you think that bc some big wig sitting in an office decided on automatic grat you should punish the sever. Who, most often, is a college student just trying to make ends meet. Im a server and u know what my paycheck was last week? Seven dollars. Yup thats right. Plain ol seven. My table and that service your getting is my buisness and when you choose to not tip, ur saying that service i provided you was unworthy its almost 2011 people twenty is minimum!

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther