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Tipping, revisited

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cbavasi
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Postby cbavasi » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 8:35 pm

I always make a point of looking to see if the service charge is included b/c as mentioned by OP there are a few places that don't and the wait staff look hassled - so I make sure to leave some dosh. But I do wonder if the staff are paid more by the hour???

I was a waitress in the summers in NYC and can remember being warned that "foreign" people don't tip from the veteran staff ... it wasn't until I dated (and married) a foreigner that I realized it's not the "norm" to tip 15 - 20% at a restaurant.

My biggest question is always with grooming - hairdressers, beauticians... etc. In the past I've always held to my tipping standard - but found that no one else does - and asking my friends who are not American - it's unusual to tip... but after 11 years abroad I'm still always sort of stuck with what to do.

In re: to taxi drivers I always round up - and tip extra if they drop me off in an area that is full of traffic and they are not going to pick up another fare right away.

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Brah
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Postby Brah » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 8:40 pm

Good, I'm not alone....but we still don't know what to do collectively.....

cbavasi wrote:I always make a point of looking to see if the service charge is included b/c as mentioned by OP there are a few places that don't and the wait staff look hassled - so I make sure to leave some dosh. But I do wonder if the staff are paid more by the hour???

I was a waitress in the summers in NYC and can remember being warned that "foreign" people don't tip from the veteran staff ... it wasn't until I dated (and married) a foreigner that I realized it's not the "norm" to tip 15 - 20% at a restaurant.

My biggest question is always with grooming - hairdressers, beauticians... etc. In the past I've always held to my tipping standard - but found that no one else does - and asking my friends who are not American - it's unusual to tip... but after 11 years abroad I'm still always sort of stuck with what to do.

In re: to taxi drivers I always round up - and tip extra if they drop me off in an area that is full of traffic and they are not going to pick up another fare right away.

cbavasi
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Postby cbavasi » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 9:14 pm

Brah wrote:Good, I'm not alone....but we still don't know what to do collectively.....


Personally, at the places that don't have a service charge, I always tip - and make sure the people I'm with know that there is not service included (they usually are surprised to find that it's not) ... but I've found that these places are frequented by expats (i.e. Jones, Beviammo) so I wonder what the catch is for the owner? Do they pay the staff more? The places are always packed so it's not a question of lack of tables... but if the patrons don't know to tip then it's a lose/lose situation for the staff if they are not compensated through their paycheck.

I pretty much tip a little extra at a restaurant only b/c I remember how difficult it was being a waitress and at the mercy of the kitchen/bartender...etc.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Thu, 01 Sep 2011 11:23 pm

Strong Eagle wrote: In essence the service charge is a convenient way for restaurants to tag 17 percent onto the listed price (don't forget GST, which is inclusive for most everything else). I'd like to see the service charge stamped out.


It works differently in Berlin (perhaps all of Germany?). Service is included and it is illegal to represent that it is not. Though still a few places in the really touristy parts are reported to rubber stamp bills with 'Service not included' for the more obvious tourists.

So then you are left to tip staff directly if you think a tip is due. 5-10% would be considered normal for value-added service. It is customary to pay at the table so you have to tell your waiter to their face what you're paying and tipping them, rather than leave cash behind, or write it on a receipt.

p.s. I like the American way. What SMS says is right, the IRS tax on estimated tips extrapolated from a place's turnover, so if you don't tip you are costing a waitress or barman money. I've had some incredible bar and table service in the US... oh to see that anywhere else!


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