Tipping in Dim Sum restaurant

Old Sep 8th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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Tipping in Dim Sum restaurant

Any convention on this? The food is brought around in carts by various waitstaff and you point out what you would like. The service is more than that of a buffet but there is no waiter/waitress per se.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Tip like you do in a "normal" restaurant. The staff still refill water glasses and teapots-actually, it seems to me like they do MORE for you (especially if you are requesting items not on the cart, that they have to go and get) than other waitstaff, since they are always pushing the carts around and serving you multiple times per meal, rather than just dropping off an appetizer and an entree.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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Yes, christy1 has it right.

As well, the waitstaff come by multiple times to pick up from your table all the empty plates that the dim sum came on. And if the plate that you are eating off of becomes messy with sauces, bones, etc., they will exchange your plate for clean one.

Enjoy-la!
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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Another agreeing with the above. Tip on your bill like you normally would. I'm sure they have a system of splitting tips among all the staff.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Yes tip as you normally would. I also tip at buffets too. So many people are involved with the buffet procedure. Many people think it is ok just to leave a buck in this situation but there is a lot of work going on by people working with the buffet and dim sum restaurant.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Good thoughts and I agree. I hope that the waitstaff does get the money. My niece worked as a waitress while in school for a major hotel in their catering department. The hotel would add a hefty percentage to the bill as a tip but the waitstaff never saw a penny of it.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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I didn't realize that people tipped so generously at Dim Sum restaurants. I am Chinese and have gone to Dim Sum almost every other weekend growing up (less frequently now). Tipping 10% is the norm, as opposed to 15%.
 
Old Sep 8th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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tipping 10% at dimsum is certainly not the norm for all Chinese patrons... It might be the norm for your family, a particular generation of immigrants, etc. My father tips terribly, but not all his peers do the same... thank god.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Typically, these serving folks are woderfully helpful.
I tip a minimum of 15% including wine: 10% wine and 20% food seems rational.
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Old Sep 8th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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It has nothing to do with dim sum or not, but the type of Chinese restaurant you're in and where you are.

For example, here in Houston, if you go to a middle-brow Chinese restaurant in Chinatown where most patrons are Chinese, 10% is adequate for any type of food. It'd be the same in most other US cities.
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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When you say 10% is adequate, is that from the server's view?
Why would you tip any less in Chinese places? These servers have to make a living just like waitstaff at every other restaurant.
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Why? Because at a Chinese restaurant mostly frequented by local Chinese, everybody tips around 10% (maybe up to 15%, but rarely). If servers continue to work there, that means they're either getting enough tables or their base salaries are high enough. Otherwise, they could have gone working somewhere else, like an non-Chinese restaurant serving mostly non-Chinese.

But I am not saying you shouldn't tip more. You can definitely do so. Just saying it's not necessary at such eateries.
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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BTW, if you go to a large dim sum restaurants in N. America that caters mostly to Chinese, servers work as a group and share the tip. So, even if you find one person that gives you superior service, putting a big tip on the bill is not going to benefit that person exclusively.
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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rkkwan - that is exactly the situation I was asking about. I found a Dim Sum restaurant that I like very much and have been having lunch there about once a week for the past month. There is a large group of servers that circulate, never see the same one twice. Usually we are the only non Chinese in the place, most tables having good sized groups. I have never seen tips on other tables although they may be put on credit cards. I only want to do what is customary and proper in such a place - it is a new experience for me.
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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I go to dim sum houses all the time...tip as you would normally do. I usually may pay my bill at the cash register, but leave my tip on the table.

try the tofu skin rolls....they are heavenly! make sure they aren't just full of the thin noodles, though.
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