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Old Jan 14th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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I would like to understand something regarding tipping (I am not American):

I know that American use to tip more than European do. In my understanding this is because in many places in USA the workers (like waiters) have no salaries. I am correct?

My question is about drivers / guides, when they have their own business, they asked for a specific price for the service, and they serve you. Why have you to tip in this case? They received the requested price, and I received the requested service. I waited for a good service, so I will not be surprised if it will be good !!! Why to tip ?
For instance, I shall tip a driver of Ratt, but if Ratt will be my driver, why to tip her ? She takes all money she asked for, while her driver probably will receive from her a minimal salary, so I would want to thank him specially.

To explain more: if you take an organized tour, you tip the guide and the drivers and this is normally for me also (they are employees). But you do not send some extra money to the company who organized this very good tour!

I would like to receive your opinion about this.
valtor is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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As for myself, being an American tightwad, if I know that I am being served by the owner/operator of a business, I don't tip.

In the US tips by wait staff is expected as you said. I tend to be a light tiper in the US by the standards of 15% or 20% as some expect, but then on the other hand I have gotten the idea that I tip too much in Europe and other places where much less is expected.

My feeling about tips is that you give what you want to give. It is a gift. If I am happy with the service I feel good about leaving a tip.

valtor, may I ask; in what country do you live?
tatersalad is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Tatersalad didn't answer one of your questions about waiters NOT getting a salary. Not true!! They do get a salary, but it is low, because they make money with tips. I have been a waitress many years ago (before graduating college and teaching for 33 years) and if I was working in a very nice restaurant, I could do very well on my tips. Typically, the nicer the restaurant, the better the tips because the people dining there have more money to spend.

A tip is for service and it is up to the tipper how much to give. Some places add a tip into the price in a restaurant, and especially if the table has a lot of people (more than 5). You pay for what you get. If service is good, your tip should reflect that.

No, you should not have to tip the owner of a business!! I agree with that one!! The employees should get the tip.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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you are partially the usa most service staff like waiters in particular receive a very small hourly wage---not one that could support them in any they rely on their tips...the thinking i believe is that you are rewarding individuals for better than average service....actually in many cases it does not work anymore....but it is the standard...

i tip my hair cutter, even though he owns the business....i tip drivers and i tip every service employee who should be tipped....i am also generous with my thanks yous and smiles, which is also appreciated....

in europe i tip the same way but not usually as much as i know the service workers receive a decent wage....

many people do not tip well who have never had to do this kind of work...if they had done it they would tip more....if i receive bad service, the worker will know it because i will leave a very poor tip and also make a comment to a manager or hostess as i leave...
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Old Jan 14th, 2006, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Another point that I should like to make is that I tip for the service and sincere friendliness, not the expectation that I should tip.

I am very much turned off with being patronized by staff. I sense a difference between genuine friendliness and being sucked-up-to. I appreciate someone who enjoys their work and has a genuine good attitude.
tatersalad is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Tipping (or not tipping) is a custom practiced in some societies. In the USA, it is customary to tip. In Japan, it is customary to NOT tip. There are certain exceptions in both cases (Joe at Joe's bar; okami-san at a high end ryokan).

When you visit a foreign country (or your own) you should learn the local customs and follow them. If you are visiting the USA then you should follow the customs and leave tips. Whether you like it or not, it is the way that things are done, and it is expected and it is your obligation. When you are visiting Japan, you don't tip even if you "feel funny" by not doing so because it is the custom back home in the USA. If you are going to Germany or Thailand or wherever you should find out what the local custom is for tipping and follow it, just like other customs.

People enjoy their work because they can make money doing it. That is why they call it work. Ok, that might not be universally true but have you ever met someone who said: "on my day off from work I am going to wait tables for free" ?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 11:32 PM
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Thank you very much to all who answered me.
Tater salad: I live in Israel and I am born in Romania.
valtor is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2006, 12:48 AM
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In China people take the view that once you have agreed on a price for something you'd be literally mad to pay more. Of course, that doesn't mean that tour guides won't try to extract tips from foreign tourists, even though they do pretty well out of kickbacks from the shops and restaurants they deliver their human cargo to.

To take another example, Australians don't usually tip, as waiters and bar staff must by law be paid a living wage. This rule may be relaxed if (a) the patron is well into his second bottle of red and the waitress is unusually attractive and personable (reverse the genders if you will), (b) the patron is spending his or her employers's money, (c) both of the above. Tips ARE more common in expensive restaurants, but I suspect that this is because their patrons are wealthier and don't want to appear "tight" in front of their friends or colleagues - and/or because they're on an expense account.

This is an exception to the general rule that the rich don't get rich by spending more than they have to, and in many respects are the most appalling tightwads.
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Old Jan 15th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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So, Neil_Oz, what you are saying is that the customs in China and Australia are different. Some wait-staff in the USA do earn a living income through wages and (if they are good at it) tips. Tips are incentive. Do you really think that the attractive waitress would be so personable all the time if it wasn't the tips? Maybe. But you (or not you, but somebody you know) weren't the first Aussie to throw money in the direction of an attractive waitress. Maybe being personable was a conditioned response or maybe your friend was being manipulated. In either case the tip was to your friend's benefit as the tipped waitress is more likely to stay at the job than the one that doesn't get tipped.
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Old Jan 15th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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mrwunrfl, what I was trying to say (not in an overly serious way) is that this is a cultural thing and one should follow the "do in Rome" principle when travelling. Tipping in a no-tips country may be just as boorish as refusing to tip in the USA.

"Do you really think...?" I don't just think, I know. As a rule Australian (and NZ) waitstaff don't hustle for tips yet are indeed personable and friendly. Service may not be as fast as in the US, which suits us - we don't like being rushed anyway.

The idea that it's necessary to dangle the bait of a tip to get someone to do a good job is not universally accepted.
Neil_Oz is offline  
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