NZ Hotel 10% gratuity???

Nov 18th, 2004, 07:26 PM
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Hi Neil

Sorry, I do not agree with the "do in Rome" or "do in the US" principle of tipping.

I know many employers in the US expect their customers to pay part of the staff's wages as well as buy their business' service or products. I don't want to be part of that scam! We never tip as a matter of course. It is a matter of principle. I think all those people who feel obliged to tip have been conditioned and may as well start bleeting, if you get my drift.

I'm surprised, you as an Aussie, would feel obliged to tip just because it is expected! Travelled to the US twice now and have enjoyed some mighty fine service which we decided was worth a tip. We just don't tip automatically!

Happy days!
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 05:54 PM
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Disagreement always wecome, Lyndie. As mentioned, I don't like the tipping culture either, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to impose my views on American workers, especially when it's their main source of income. If it were otherwise, presumably the price of a meal, say, would increase by about 15%. Personally I'd prefer that, but Americans are entitled to run things how they like.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 07:03 PM
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Hi Neil

Agree to disagree! Happy days!
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 07:08 PM
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Lyndie, for a whole new slant on the matter, check out the "How much should I tip the pilot?" thread on the Europe forum.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 08:56 PM
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Okey Dokey, Roger, Wilco! Over & out!
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:38 PM
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I posted a reply to you. Not sure what happened. That thread is sure the funniest stuff. Some sick minds lurk in that Europe forum. Tks a lot for the laughs!
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Neil, American's are not thrilled about the tipping policy either. But we have it and we live with it. Thank you for trying to explain "when in Rome" etc.

LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 10:41 PM
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LoveItaly, great to see that you've hopped the Pacific! See if you can bring some more Europhiles to this board - we could do with a little more repartee, this board has been pretty tame lately. hansikday and Budman would fix that.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 10:57 PM
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I like the fact that Aussie and Kiwi workers are paid decent wages, and I'm not expected to tip them.

However, in some countries tipping is part of a widely understood social contract. For example, kids hover outside of Mexican grocery stores, ready to carry shoppers' bags to their cars for them. There is an implicit understanding that, if one lets one of these kids carry one's bags to one's car, one will tip him. I don't know anyone who would hand his/her shopping bags to one of these kids and fail to give the kid a few coins after he has delivered the bags to the car.

Sitting down in a full service restaurant in a country in which a tip is widely understood to be a legitimate part of the cost of a meal (provided the service is competent) is like allowing a Mexican kid to carry one's bags and refraining from paying him.

If you don't want to tip, then I think it's fairer to eat at a buffet-style restaurant where tipping is not expected.

The average cost of a meal in a full service restaurant in the U.S. (before tip) is about 2/3 the cost of a meal in a full service restaurant in Australia (and that was BEFORE the recent decline of the U.S. dollar -- I have not worked out the comparison since the U.S. dollar's demise).

I think it would be pretty mean spirited of me, if I could afford to travel abroad, to deny tips to lowly paid local workers who depended on tips for part of their compensation (unless I was a back packer on the most stringent of budgets -- but then I in any case would eat in cafeteria style restaurants).

I also don't believe that my withholding tips from poorly paid local workers would be effective in sending a message that would have the power to improve the attitudes of local employers.

My two cents' worth.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 07:04 PM
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Hi judy
On a final note (for me, that is) the more one encourages the expectation of a tip, the more one does to propagate the problem. I agree to disagree with you. Of course you are very much entitled to your opinion, however social engineering & conditioning is something I attempt to avoid, where possible. I was taught to think for myself and not follow the herd. (so to speak). BTW what a magic part of the world you live in. Also I must mention when my partner & I had dinner in Tribeca at an expensive Italian restaurant and the waiter served us the wrong wine, bottle opened, ignored us all night then expected a tip, I asked my fellow diners for their learned opinion. Their response was "hell no, we only tip when the service is great!" That said it all for me.
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 12:31 PM
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About 100 or so years ago there was something called the Industrial Revolution which saw England and other like countries bought screaming out of the Dickensian period of abuse of the rights of workers. Following on from that came the power of Unionism which made sure that workers had rights and got a fair pay for a fair days work.
If in the USA this has not continued then I do not think of it as my problem. I have worked for many years and have always negotiated my conditions and if I did not like them I did not work for that person. I now, and always have done, leave a tip if the service was very good BUT I will not be forced into leaving a tip for just any old service just because Americans and Canadians think that they can employ someone and get others to pay the employees wages.
I have lived in Canada and the USA and I have waited on tables in both countries so I am speaking from a different view point than perhaps others here. I made sure that the service I gave when waiting on someone was the highlight of their night out, I did not expect that they would just leave me a tip because it was my right!
lizF is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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To compare Mexico's children with the adult population of the USA now is absolutely ridiculous. There is 100% education for Americans, therefore anyone can speak for themselves and get a job where there is a proper wage. If no one worked in the system i.e. waiters because there was not a paid salary then things would soon change.
But while the big hotels can get away without paying wages they sure will but I am not going to help them out.
Then of course there are those people in Vancouver, Canada ( I mention this because I know this to be the case) where the job of door-man dressed up in some Old English garb, actually pays $130,000 for his job because the tips are so good that the job is bought just like a business and from the previous door-man with a cut to the hotel itself. So much for down-trodden workers!
Further Judy I think when you talk about the cost of table service restaurants in Australia and compare them with the USA you must be comparing Dennys with Doyles because I am yet to find a restaurant of quality in the USA that is anywhere as cheap as any of the quality table service restaurants on the Gold Coast for instance. Perhaps the fact that Australia does not have places like Wendy's and Denny's etc is a factor but we do have wonderful pub food which is a fair comparison in quality and price to those establishments.
lizF is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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I think someone else mentioned that tipping was a world-wide thing. Not so - unless of course you think that North America is the "world". In Asian countries it is considered an insult or just plain stupid, in a lot of European countries it is either not done at all or only in a very few places. As mentioned it is not expected in Australia or New Zealand but if it is for the "service quality" as some have said then why is it that people from North America do not tip when that situation is the case? If you say then that the tip is because the person working there is relient on the tip for their wages then you are coming from a very unstable point of view because of all the reasons mentioned above.
Actually if I was in Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter and a child offered to carry my parcels I would give them something for doing it just because they were enterprising and to encourage that. Finally can someone please explain to me why cab drivers and hair dressers in the USA expect a tip. Why not doctors and nursers, teachers and dentists?
Begging is begging wherever it is and the USA - the last time I was there - is not 3rd world ( well at least most of it)
lizF is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 01:56 PM
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"in a lot of European countries it is either not done at all or only in a very few places."

Several years ago, after dinner in Brussels, I looked at the check and saw that there was a service charge and below it was a line for "Tip". I asked the waiter if the service charge included the tip, and he said yes, but that some people added an extra tip. I declined, and I felt resentment.

I sensed that Americans, which he figured we were, are so used to tipping that some restaurants and waiters were taking advantage. I don't mind paying a fair amount, but automatic, over-the-top tipping by these Americans is making it more difficult for others.

"Actually if I was in Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter and a child offered to carry my parcels I would give them something for doing it just because they were enterprising and to encourage that."

Can you imagine being in a foreign country and being mobbed by a group of children grabbing at your parcels for the expectation of a tip? I shudder at that being encouraged.
Jed is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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I get your point Jed about giving kids money for doing things and I have been guilty of it but I have also been guilty of giving them a can of drink and a sandwich too - probably a better reward.
I was recently in France and I took particular notice in restaurants and no-one left tips expect in one place in Paris.
I do remember the old days in Bankock when you could buy really cheap leather goods and nice clothes. I recall being in a shop and hearing some people saying in a loud voice " Gee Muriel if these were in the States they would cost 10 times this amount" naturally enough the Thais cottoned on and the prices went up considerably and there are not too many bargains anymore.
Political correctness is more of a way of life in the US than say in Australia, perhaps that is because we are less likely to swallow bu.....t or because we are just plain 'ornary!
lizF is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 09:06 PM
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Neil et al: "When in Rome..." is probably the wrong cliche as one wouldn't normally tip in a Roman restaurant. Not sure of Roman hoel bell hops as we never can afford hotels that have them. We hump our own bags; usually tip ourselves w/ a cappucino if before 11 AM; if after dose ourselves w/ a vino rosso.

ciao a tutti

AndrewDavid is offline  
Nov 26th, 2004, 12:28 AM
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A/D, thanks for that. I prefer to avoid hotels with bellhops anyway - way too sybaritic for my tastes. Blame my working-class upbringing. If my dad had ever met a bellhop he'd have shaken hands with him, like Albert Einstein did in NY.

Liz, I'd love to cling to our comforting national "no bullshit" myth, but I fear that's all it is - a self-serving myth, perpetuated to help us avoid facing the truth about ourselves. Refer talkback radio ratings, sales of Murdoch papers and recent election results. Not to mention the audience figures for "Australian Idol". Agh.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 26th, 2004, 01:08 AM
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Its still killing me with laughter thinking of AD humping his suitcase. Here was I thinking that anyone from New Mexico would be a good God-fearing creature without those kind of kinky querks.
Now Neil you are going to get me off on another of my "specialities" which is the death of the Aussie kulture due in part to the sort of people we are allowing into this country of late. I personally know of 3 young child bearing couples, 2 in Scotland and 1 in UK who have been waiting to get here for neally 3 years now. Seeing that Australians have been told that the Government wants them to breed more to counteract the aging of we rotten little free-loading baby boomers one would think that any half way fertile couple would be grabbed and brought screaming into the country to populate or the place or perish! So on that note I am off to the big US of A for 10 days and no doubt I will give a thought or 2 to the picture in my mind of AD and his humped suitcase. Perhaps we could conjure up a slogan like " Hurry up, Help Australia and Hump heartily"
lizF is offline  

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