To tip or not to tip?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jul 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.nwitimes.com/business/lo...cle_270080d2-e0b5-5b7b-b7d7-6718efaadc9a.html

    t's probably not the first concern on travelers' minds when they set out on an international vacation, yet it's an issue that presents itself early and often.

    Taking a cab to the airport? Checking in luggage with the skycap? Dining at a brasserie in Belgium? Booking a guided tour of the Australian Outback? All are scenarios which, depending on local customs, may call for leaving a tip.

    Knowing to add a gratuity to the check at a restaurant or kick in a few extra dollars for the cabbie tends to come by a combination of osmosis and experience.

    Travel guides from Fodor's, Lonely Planet or Frommer's typically offer advice on tipping customs. Although it may be useful, ultimately there's no unquestioned Ministry of Tipping or tome from on high with the last word on the practice.

    And if you venture overseas, common U.S. tipping rules often don't apply.
    Read More: http://www.nwitimes.com/business/lo...cle_270080d2-e0b5-5b7b-b7d7-6718efaadc9a.html
     
  2. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I have never been a fan of tipping the way it's done these days. If it is expected, it isn't a tip, it's a charge. IMHO, a tip should only be something given out for exceptional service and is never expected.
     
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  3. aptraveler

    aptraveler Gold Member

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    Great article, thanks. I adhere to the original purpose of a 'TIP', which originated as a way To Improve Promptness. A simple quest really, for good and attentive service. So, if this has actually taken place, and by that I mean at least some level of attention was given during the meal service, that's when the % factor of recognition and appreciation on my part kicks in for me. At a minimum is at least 10%, GOOD 15%, GREAT 20-30%. I have experienced all sorts of services, from the rushed ones in which the meal arrives and as one is about to enjoy it, the check is placed on the table with a grin and a suggestion of not to worry about it, just to take care of it when one is done with the meal. To great service in which one was truly waited on and any need one could have, from more bread and/or wine, etc, was timely anticipated and promptly attended to. Now, the overall European attitude towards wait staff compensation is certainly not one that I care much for, where a 'charge' for service is already included in the bill. I believe that this way, there is no incentive to necessarily do a good attentive and timely job in waiting on you, and said attitude is at times reflected on the lack of care one experiences in many cases. At said sad times is when I wish for an 'American style of service', just friendly and prompt. ;)

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    On the other hand, I don't recall ever having received my check a minute after or even with the meal when dining in Europe. Going out for a meal is often more than just consuming food, it's an event. People sit around after the meal, have another drink, chat with their meal companions, ... The wait staff isn't interested in getting another customer into your seat for the next opportunity to earn a tip. And I can't say that I have received, on average, worse (or better) service in Europe than in "15% is expected" US dining establishments.
     
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  5. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Just to point out that that folk etymology is 100% bogus.
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I've heard that TIP = to insure (sic?) politeness.

    I don't necessarily mind the bill arriving before I've finished--in fact, sometimes I ask for the check early and then leave my credit card while I'm eating to save time at the end. What I hate is having the dessert menu thrust in my face while I'm still eating my main course. I also mind when some plates are removed from the table while others are still eating, sometimes then leading to part of the table getting the dessert menu or being served coffee then.
     
  7. aptraveler

    aptraveler Gold Member

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    This is what I like about this community, the ability for all of us to learn something new every day. :)

    Although the thread is primarily about one's attitude towards 'to tip or not to tip?', hence its title; I got curious about your allegation and decided to do some quick research so as to ascertain if my perception of the origin of the term 'TIP' was actually off or not, and it was.

    So here's what I found, on the etymology of "TIP" in Wikipedia:

    "There are common inaccurate claims[2] that "tip" (or "tips") is an acronym for a phrase such as "To Insure Prompt Service", "To Insure Proper Service", "To Improve Performance", "To Inspire Promptness" or "To Insure Promptness." These false backronyms contradict the verifiable etymology, as follows. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word tip originated as a slang term, and its etymology is unclear. The term in the sense of "to give a gratuity" first appeared in the 18th century. It derived from an earlier sense of tip, meaning "to give; to hand, pass", which originated in the rogues' cant in the 17th century. This sense may have derived from the 16th-century tip meaning "to strike or hit smartly but lightly" (which may have derived from the Low German tippen, "to tap"), but this derivation is "very uncertain".[3"

    And wiki.aswers.com had this to say on the subject:

    "The origin of the word English word "tip" is not clear. One popular theory says it's is an acronym of "to insure promptness." Jesse Sheidlower, Principal Editor in North America for the Oxford English Dictionary, says that's wrong, because acronyms weren't popular in English until the 1920s. "'Tip," says Sheidlower, "began as a verb in the seventeenth century, used in the language of thieves, meaning 'to give'." By the early eighteenth century, the meaning included "to give a gratuity to a servant or employee".

    So, thanks for mentioning it. ;)
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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  9. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    My wife and I will often disagree on the amount of the tip given. ( she is the more generous one) I try to be fair and when a tip is deserved I will always leave a tip as long as the service is average or better. If the service is atrocious, we will leave a penny tip as a message of what we thought the service was worth. We do this so the server does not merely think that we are cheap, but gets the message.
    The one area that I find offensive is when you go to a fast food restaruant or other establishment and the only thing they do is repeat your order and hand it to you, but they have a tip jar in front of your nose asking for tips.
    When I go to the department store and pay for something they don't expect a tip and I don't understand why anyone who just takes order and your money expects a tip. they are doing what they are paid to do. If they do not earn enough, they should take it up with their boss or find another job.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I haven't left a penny yet, but certainly 10% or less. Fortunately I very rarely experience atrocious service. It's also important to differentiate between bad service and bad food. It would be wrong to punish the "messenger" if I don't like the food.

    That's one of my pet peeves, too. At Starbucks I always use my Starbucks card or a credit card, so I don't even handle cash to throw into the bucket. At my favorite little independent coffee shop I do throw the change or sometimes a dollar into the jar. They not only take my order, but also bring the drink or snack to the table.
     
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  11. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    I tip when I receive good service that is above job description. I always leave a tip for housekeeping as maids perform a whole lot more for me than the guy opening the lobby door. I judge each & every "service" experience & tip accordingly & have a friend who has provided me with a restaurant "tip" chart for meals & fairly certain many other's have Pat's cards too!
     
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  12. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    This is one of those topics which will never get resolved ( and I did manage to cringe yet again when I saw it posted here:rolleyes:)
    Most of the points made and will be made here over again will involve a great deal of rationalization and I suppose the most annoying aspects of the discussion will centered around mostly non NA members who fail to realise the tipping at least in NA is partially cultural and partially a recongnition of the economic circumstances of the individual providing the services... they certainly will not pass up an opportunity to tell us that we are all idiots to tip:).

    Two of the things in this whole discussion that will remain a mystery to ( please do yourself a favour and spare yourself the trouble of even trying to explain them to me) are:
    1) Why people feel so intimidated when they see a tip jar at say a fast food establishment???
    Do want leave a few cents ....dont.. really there are others who dont mind... or who actually get some satisfaction
    in doing so.
    2) How do some of you live with yourself..... after flying First Class to your distination, taking a limosine to your
    $400/night hotel room... guzzling down a few $20.00 glasses of wine and yet are too cheap to leave a few dollars
    for the hotel chambermaid???
     
  13. myskyconnections

    myskyconnections Active Member

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    isn't there an app for this? :)
     
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    And the answer is...

    T.I.P: Thanks In Payment.

    Much of it is cultural. Several years ago on my first trip to PRC (China), we finished a meal in a restaurant in Shanghai and I did the American thing and left tip on the table, as I was extremely happy with the service. Then just before we left the restaurant, the young man who had been our waiter showed up with every bill of the tip money and wanted us to take it back. My companion, a local person, then explained to me that tipping is generally not allowed in China and waiters can even be fired for taking tip money. Rules have been relaxed a bit since, but one has to be careful about tipping in China -- unless you are in a bar or other "entertainment" places where they will gladly take your tip and then some...
     
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  15. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    A point that seems to be eternally missed when discussing tips in restaurants is that US establishments can and do pay less than minimum wage while their counterparts in Europe pay a wage that does not require them to depend on tips for survival. If you truly don't like tipping at restaurants, petition laws to be changed, that will work far better than "teaching" your Chili's waiter by not leaving a tip.
     
  16. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    This is why I usually tip 20% at restaurants, unless service has been atrocious.
     
  17. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    I think dirty plates should be cleared, without rushing people still eating. I don't think people like wallowing in their dirty dishes.
     
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  18. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    That one always struck me as odd. They punch a few keys on the register, hand you your food, get your order wrong and then it's "tip please".:confused:
     
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  19. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    last night we went to a mexican restaurant and the gentleman that prepared our guacamole ( not our waiter ) had a tip jar on the table he used to prepare the guacamole. My wife gave him a dollar and when he left I asked her if perhaps we should go to the kitchen and tip the dishwasher also. While she didn't appreciate my sarcasm, I truly found it offensive that someone who probably gets a share of the waiter tips is also asking for a tip to prepare one appetizer.
     
  20. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Is it possible the jar was for trash? Try putting a used napkin in there next time. :D
     
  21. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    I am all for taking care of people who serve us, and for sure I am for living wages for all workers including hospitality and restaurant workers ... but in recent years this has gotten out of hand. Up until about 1970, 10% was the standard for the USA restaurants, but the American Restaurant Association has been pushing this up to an obscene 18% by 2007. In order to avoid paying employees living wages, the ARA has been shifting "the burden" of paying its workers to the customers which effectively raised restaurant food prices by around 10%.
     
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  22. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Absolutely.

    In the past year, I have actually seen top jars at such places as countryside vegetable stands and dry cleaners.

    Even worse, guilty industries are not shifting the burden of paying living wages to the customer; rather, they are shifting that burden to the generous customers, allowing stingy customers to free ride.

    It just is not right.
     
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  23. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    While you make a fine point, this ever-increasing practice is considered by some to be uncouth.
     
  24. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    Agreed. The rare occasion where we've been served inedible food, we simply spoke to the manager and had it removed from the bill. However, we still tipped as if the food item was on the bill since it was not the server's fault that the kitchen couldn't cook the dish.
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    was not, right? ;)
     

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