Tipping tips needed

Sep 15th, 1999, 10:41 PM
  #21  
April
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If waiters/waitresses make only $2.13 per hour, what is the minimum wage in the US?

I was a chambermaid for a summer when I was a teenager. Rarely were tips left (but it was nice when they were). I didn't find much difference in cleaning a room whether used by 2 people or 4 - it probably only amounted to one more bed to make.

I disagree with leaving tips for really bad service.
 
Sep 15th, 1999, 10:54 PM
  #22  
Tara
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Sadly, restaurants are permitted to pay far less than minimum wage, the presumption being that tips will average 10% of the "take" over the course of an evening which is substantiated with records of "covers" collected. IRS has been known to audit on this basis. In fact, there have always been laws on the books that the "proprietor" must pay the difference if that is not the case. Agree with you completely re: not leaving ANY tip for horrible service.
 
Sep 15th, 1999, 11:19 PM
  #23  
rob
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Thanks to everyone who has replied. I feel fully armed and ready to enter the world of tipping!
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 04:42 AM
  #24  
judy
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I have a real problem with tipping maids. We were staying in a VERY expensive hotel in New Orleans, and after two nights...we had not left a tip...the towels were not replaced and we had to call housekeeping to get our room cleaned the last two days. I would say that is virtual blackmail. When you spend $300 a night, plus tax for a hotel room...I would like to think that they would pay their employees decently, and do not feel it is my responsibilty to make up the difference of a cheap employer!
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 05:10 AM
  #25  
Ann
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Not only are waitpersons allowed to be paid less than the minimum wage, they have taxes withheld at a rate which assumes they will make a certain percentage of the restaurant's income (I think it's something like 8%). So, if tips are low or absent, the waitperson is still paying taxes on them. Plus, the waitperson often shares tips with the busboys, etc.
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 06:33 AM
  #26  
Dick
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Ilisa,

Next time you are at a major airport..take 10 minutes and watch the curbside attendants. It is not uncommon for them to get $5, $10 or even $20 tips from people who think that wil insure that their bags go to the right destination.

Just watch them....with so many passengers it is not difficult, some hours, to generate well over a $100 an hour in tips (and probably not all reported to the IRS).

You NEVER see these job advertised, they go to family and friends. With airlines flying at such high capacity ...they do incredibly well..especially considering they don't need any education.
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 06:36 AM
  #27  
Dick
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I always tip the housekeeping staff..especially at the beginnning of my stay.

They are the most under tipped and most appreciative of any in the hotel..and I never have a problem getting extra towels or any other special requests fulfilled.
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 06:36 AM
  #28  
billbuckin
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As an Australian living in the States I can tell you that service and restaurants are a little different here. Australian restaurants are pleasantly slow, a good meal with friends should last 2-3 hours with several bottles of wine. US restaurants tend to be fast in, fast out. As a result the waitperson may seem pushy to some one used to slow easy servive. It took me a long time to used to the waitperson asking me "How was your meal?". In Oz, that would be intrusive, here in the US that is good service.
Another thing to watch out for is the ritual of clearing the dishes. In Australia the waitperson will wait until everyone at the table has finished their meals. It would be extremely impolite to take some dishes will others were still eating. I was quite shocked when it first happened to me. But now I see it is the norm here in the US and is considered good service.
Lastly I will make a general comment re American vrs Australian. You may find that American are a little more vocal, and will voice their concerns if a meal has not been prepared the way it was ordered. Australian tend to be a more easy going, and will just put up with small errors in their orders. The point I am trying to make is, When In Rome, do as the Americans do, voice your concern. Send back wrong orders. Talk to the manager if you have a problem. You may get a discount or a free meal.
Oh and one more thing, if you ever order a steak, try A1 sauce on it, it is awesome.
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 07:25 AM
  #29  
Frank
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Message: billbuckin

It's never good service to clear plates before everyone has finished eating, even here in the U.S. Although it is commonly done in many restaurants, it's a sign of a poorly trained wait staff or management who has instructed the staff to maximize the table turnover. In either case it is perfectly acceptable to inform the waiter who begins to clear the plates to come back when everyone has finished eating.

 
Sep 16th, 1999, 07:51 AM
  #30  
ilisa
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Dick, thanks for the suggestion, but when I am at an airport, I generally have to be somewhere and don't have the time to check out the tips skycaps receive (a tacky thing to do anyway). I was just relaying the information that I heard.
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 01:30 PM
  #31  
lisa
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Julie: I mentioned the pre-tax/post-tax distinction because on a bill for a family of 5, the difference between a tip on the bill pre-tax versus with tax can be pretty substantial. Many parts of the U.S. now have very high taxes on restaurant meals, so the distinction is not trivial to me, nor would it be to someone new to our country trying to calculate the tax for the first time. Plus, sometime the taxes come in handy in calculating the tip. In places where the tax rate is 7.5-10%, you can just double the tax and there's your tip.
 
Sep 16th, 1999, 02:14 PM
  #32  
julie
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lisa: sorry if my sarcasm offended you, you had it out there glaring in bold print and i just couldn't help myself. i don't think it makes that big of a difference. even if you tip 20% at a restaurant where the tax is 10%...the difference between a pre-tax and post-tax tip would be only 2% of the total bill...even on a VERY large tab this will amount to only a couple dollars. anyway, it was meant more lightly than it sounded i guess...sorry again!!!
 
Sep 17th, 1999, 06:50 AM
  #33  
stephanie
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Lisa, I was glad you mentioned figuring the tip BEFORE taxes. That's honestly something I've never thought of, and YES it can make a big difference especially if you are traveling for 7 days and eating out 3 meals each day with 5 people. It DOES add up very quickly.

When you're on a budget and already spending a fortune on airfare and lodging, it's nice to find ways to save a little here and there. It may seem frugal to some, but be very necessary and helpful for others. The amount I save on dining taxes could afford me t-shirts or other goodies for the kids, that I may not have otherwise felt I should spend money on.
 
Sep 17th, 1999, 07:40 PM
  #34  
Lauren
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I can't believe no one commented on the recommendation to tip taxi drivers only $1 or $2. They expect 15% just like waitstaff, and brotherr will you hear about it if you come up with less.

As to the people who don't tip chamber maids as a matter of principle -- I've worked in a number of places and the cleaning staff is the bottom of the pecking order, esp. from the point of view of income. Waitresses may only be paid a base rate of $2-$5/hour, but they can clear quite a bit more and usually do through tips. Maids may or may not get minimum wage, but they make a lot less than waitresses. I always tip the maid, especially if she does a favor (like extra towels, etc.), and consider $2./day a minimum.

Only the classier hotels will have concierges, but if they do, you had better tip them for whatever service they provide.

Finally, Rob -- depending on your inclinations regarding hair cuts: I'm not clear on tipping in barber shops (identified by spiral-striped barber pole outside), but if you go to a "salon" or "hair styling" shop, you will tip at least 15% -- and if someone other than the stylist shampoos your hair, they should be given a couple of bucks, too.
 
Sep 17th, 1999, 08:31 PM
  #35  
Karen
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Regarding Billbuckin and Frank's messages about clearing dishes while others are still eating --- I remember working in a few coffee shops while in college and I was always told by my bosses to clear plates as people were finished with them; that it was rude to let dirty plates sit in front of people and that they would feel more relaxed without having to stare at their dirty dishes. We were also told never to rush our customers (even if it was closing time), so I don't think the dish clearing was meant to be pushy. Of course that was a long time ago and maybe times have changed.

Rob, regarding Amtrack -- You didn't mention if you had booked any sleeper cars (or were planning to), but I remember being told that it is standard to tip your sleeper car attendant $5 per night, at the end of the trip. They do all sorts of things for you, kind of like the cabin steward on a cruise ship. Although I was told the $5 amount about 8-10 years ago back when I took an Amtrack trip across the USA. Does anyone out there know if the standard amount has gone up at all since then?
 
Sep 22nd, 1999, 05:46 PM
  #36  
larry
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I have rcvd mixed advice on whether to include a bar bill on the food total for calculating the 20%. I usually include it, but not at a full 20% rate if the result seems off (for example, add a nice bottle of wine to an otherwise inexpensive meal and you can double the amount of tip!).

Any thoughts?
 

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