TIPPING/SERVICE CHARGE – why a % and not fixed – should they be capped??

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This topic contains 41 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  AlanOrton1 7 Nov 2019
at 09:35
.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 42 total)

  • SwissExPat
    Participant

    @ K1, I certainly have no qualms with reducing or eliminating a 15-20% tip if the service level is poor especially when in the USA. However, the reduction would never just be a payment of a smaller amount, it would always be with a comment on what had gone wrong. Usually I would have already made a comment during the meal service so it would never be a surprise. I believe that you should always give a company or a server a chance to rescue the situation.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Slightly off-topic but of interest to all of us concerned at the anonymity of those who work in frontline services (hotels, airports, restaurants), these images are, in my view, brilliant

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2019/oct/26/the-invisible-female-workers-of-london-in-pictures?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other


    cwoodward
    Participant

    In Hong Kong there has been a 10% ‘service charge’ for many years.
    The restaurant food and wine charges are very reasonable on the whole and I never give a thought to the ‘service charge’ A tip above this is not expected. If the service is good I sometimes give the waiter a tip but in cash.
    When in the UK I pay the bill plus a tip appropriate to the service which very often is zero.
    On mandatory tips added to the bill I will argue the toss if the food and or the service has been below parr as my understanding is that in many cases it is not a legal obligation to pay this charge and I have never been challenged. Am I correct?
    In the UK I mainly stay in Hotels and if they add a service charge I seldom quible as it is a business rather than a personal expense and I am normally entertaining business people
    In New Zealand other than 5 star hotels there is seldom a mandatory ‘tip’ added. For good service I normally give a tip in cash to the waiter.
    Australia is a mixed bag.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I can’t believe it’s exactly 2 years ago I commented on this!!

    I usually tip the room maid if I see her. In the US it’s $10 and in Europe €10, usually given once the first night, and if I see her again when i leave, the same again if she’s left me extra towels, chocolates etc.

    In South Africa 10% is normal on the pre-tax amount and excluding the drinks. I’m not sure why as with the amount they drink in S. Africa, this usually come to more than the food!

    Off to the USA next week, but one dinner is included, one i’M invited to and then I come back with lunch in the lounge, so will not need to pay for a meal. Great. The tips are then someone else’s problem 😉


    LondonViking
    Participant

    I prefer the tipping system in the US. You have the option to tip what you feel the service was worth when you get the bill.

    Living in the UK I am given a bill with a set service charge added to it. If I want to reduce or get rid of this charge I then need to go through the hassle of telling the server to take it off the bill.

    Then I’ll have to wait for who knows how long for them to do this.

    After that there is the awkward minute where you are paying for the bill to the server who underperformed and waiting for the transaction to go through.

    Plus I find overall service in the US to be better than here in the UK or in Europe. I find service in Asia to be quite good.

    I’ll take the US tipping system every time.


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    What about the insidious practice of adding a “service charge” and then leaving a space for a further “gratuity” on the credit card or room charge slip?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I prefer the tipping system in the US. You have the option to tip what you feel the service was worth when you get the bill.

    …and dare you not to tip at a level that the server feels appropriate!!!!

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    If I recall correctly albeit many years ago there was a restaurant in London called “Just Around The Corner” where there were no prices on the menu , people paid what they thought the meal was worth. Ok it was in a “nice part ” of London, alcohol was not included in the deal, the clientle was primarily business for lunch , local residents for dinner. The owner estimated the average bill was 10% higher than a priced menu. It worked for him!!


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    CathayLoyalist2 said “….people paid what they thought the meal was worth….”

    That reminds me of my university teaching days. One semester one lecturer had the very radical (not to say daft) idea of letting his students grade their own assignments, i.e. giving themselves a grade “A”, “B”,”C”, or “D”. Why he did that, I have no idea. The grades were duly recorded, and left to stand. To our amazement the better students almost exclusively gave themselves low grades, while the less able students almost exclusively gave themselves high grades. The daft experiment thus failed and was never repeated.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Swissdiver
    Participant

    In Switzerland, bills come with service included. And this surcharge does not go in the pockets of the waiters but they were given a decent salary instead when the measure was adopted in 1974. As a result, tipping became customary (yes, a second layer), with some just rounding and others going beyond. I tend to give between 5% and 10% to the waiter who served me, with a cap at about CHF 100. In the UK, I was told by relatives to only round up when an “optional” tip is taken and would try to match this amount when it is not. Elsewhere, it is all about trying to adapt. But the bottom line is always the same: the tip depends on the service I got and the likelihood I’d go back.


    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    For me, given decent service, 10% service (but to the person serving) is fine… more is excessive. BUT there is a huge plus in the USA where, if the service is not good, a tip of a few cents (25 say) makes it extremely clear you were not impressed…I’ve had a horror waiter (esse to be correct) in tears over that!


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Sadly the most depressing part of the USA. You can’t wipe your nose without someone hanging around expecting a tip.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    nevereconomy
    Participant

    In the US, waiters generally do not get paid a wage and there are even laws that employers do not have to pay them the minimum wage, so their tips are their livelihood.
    If the idea of paying 15-20% of the bill in the US worries anyone, perhaps they need to buy something from the convenience store rather then eating is restaurants while there. The rest of us will make sure that waiters can eat and pay their rent.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    In the US, waiters generally do not get paid a wage and there are even laws that employers do not have to pay them the minimum wage, so their tips are their livelihood.
    If the idea of paying 15-20% of the bill in the US worries anyone, perhaps they need to buy something from the convenience store rather then eating is restaurants while there.

    Restaurant prices in the states, pre tip, are expensive regardless. Adding the current weakness of sterling into the equation plus an expected 20 – 25% discretionary tip, does make you wonder, would these same restaurants survive if their menu prices did include a built in tip.

    Same with cabs… increase the fares (I know they are regulated) to include the expected discretionary tip – and cabbies will see why more and more customers are transferring to Uber.

    Last year, I had colleagues, who due to a medical situation, were being transferred back to the UK courtesy of their insurers. They had notes confirming all car transfers, airport wheelchairs and porters were being paid including tips. Did not stop any of the providers insisting they NEEDED to be tipped…and when they handed over $’s in no uncertain terms were they told how much to hand over.


    esselle
    Participant

    MartynSinclair

    It’s an interesting point but restaurants in the States don’t think too much about exchange rates when setting their prices, in the same way that those in London don’t either. Local customs for service charges are also local, so how a non-local views them is slightly academic.

    If an Italian goes to Finland and buys a coffee they will find the prices extraordinarily high, but if a Finn goes to Italy they won’t believe how cheap it is.

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