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TIPS is an acronym for To Insure Prompt Service. That mostly works if you are a regular somewhere. When I was snowbirding in the Parker, AZ, area I used to go regularly to Pizza Hut. They would start cooking my pizza and bring my beverage as soon as I came in. After being gone all summer, when I returned for the winter they would say, "Welcome back." That's a place  that makes you glad to tip well.

Linda Sand

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9 minutes ago, sandsys said:

TIPS is an acronym for To Insure Prompt Service. That mostly works if you are a regular somewhere. When I was snowbirding in the Parker, AZ, area I used to go regularly to Pizza Hut. They would start cooking my pizza and bring my beverage as soon as I came in. After being gone all summer, when I returned for the winter they would say, "Welcome back." That's a place  that makes you glad to tip well.

Linda Sand

That's a place that deserves a decent tip . ;)

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How about the drive thru that has a tip jar at the drive up window. I have seen that at many drive thrus. Hell they didn't even come out of the building and they want a tip. I almost always tip 20% unless the service is really bad. But only when I am waited on. 

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I know this sucks in many ways but I can't hold it against someone making mostly minimum wage or thereabout on less than a 40hr schedule for trying to come up with enough money to take care of their family or buy gas to to get to work or bus fare.  I don't always tip in those situations but sometimes I will kick in the coin change. It always depends on the circumstance.  I was in a fast food place once that was so busy and the folks were really hustling and still getting complaints. I was so impressed I gave them $5. for each employee there and my meal was less than $5. Like I said, it depends on the circumstance.

 

Slightly off topic,  what is a fair tip for a cab. I have almost no experience with cabs. I think the only cab ride I ever took the driver refused even my fare as I was just getting home from Viet Nam.

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13 hours ago, Twotoes said:

I almost always tip 20% unless the service is really bad. But only when I am waited on. 

The term TIP  was invented from the phrase "to improve service" but it has become the key to many employees salaries today. When my sister was working as a waitress (by choice as she enjoyed the work) she was really upset at a change in the IRS rules that required some withholding tax from tip income. She believed that tips should be tax-free?  The last I knew, the employer had to withhold tax based upon an average of 8% of a waitperson's total receipts as a minimum. I don't know if that has changed but suspect that a reasonably good waitperson would make more than that. 

I find that tips are an item which makes budgeting much more difficult when traveling as the expected amount seems to vary wildly depending on who is being tipped and when. Like Jim, we are not sure what to tip a cab driver, a skycap, or similar service people. On our return from Australia, Pam was using a cane and the skycap that came to our assistance was outstanding! I gave him $20 as I believed it to have been well worth that and he seemed pleased, but................... ???   He was with us from the arrival gate all through customs and security and out to our waiting car.

When we visited Australia the practice there was not to tip but prices are more and so is minimum wage. I actually prefer it that way in most cases. Because the concierge at our Sidney hotel did so much for us, I went to him and offered a tip the night before we left. He declined, saying that he was very proud of his work and that if I wished to reward him to use his name in the customer survey that all departing guests receive. I did make sure that I had his full name and wrote about his service in the remarks as well. 

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I pay with my cc and tip in cash when/where I think it's appropriate (to the mechanic at the Harley shop, to the tech at the RV shop that actually did the work on my bike or RV and actual waitresses that have served us).  I don't tip where I'm providing my own service.

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15 hours ago, bigjim said:

Slightly off topic,  what is a fair tip for a cab. I have almost no experience with cabs. I think the only cab ride I ever took the driver refused even my fare as I was just getting home from Viet Nam.

Heck of a cab driver in those days.  Thank you for your service.

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21 hours ago, bigjim said:

Slightly off topic,  what is a fair tip for a cab. I have almost no experience with cabs. I think the only cab ride I ever took the driver refused even my fare as I was just getting home from Viet Nam.

Similar cool story. When I got back I flew into Oakland, but the next flight I could get on coming east was 13 hours later out of Los Angeles. They stuck me on a commuter to LA where I landed at about noon, so I had 11 hours to kill. All I had with me was my uniform and records, so I popped into a little airport store and bought jeans, a shirt and sandals, stashed my stuff into a locker, and went out to get a cab. I hopped in and asked the guy how far I was from UCLA, USC, the Rose Bowl, etc... The guy laughed and said "Well, we are not close to ALL of those. Some aren't even in the same city." And I told him I had 11 hours before my flight home. A little more chit chat revealed that he was a Marine, and he drove me around for close to 4 hours with no meter. I tipped HIM a 20!! (In 1972 dollars!)

So good service does pay!

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Ok, here's my thoughts on the subject of tipping, (not that anybody asked🤣🤣).

Having spent 9 years in the food service industry, I definitely believe in tipping servers who actually serve me for a "sit down", meal or beverage.  I base my tip amount on the quality of both the service and food, (as a waiter, I would share a portion of my tips with the cooks).  I tip very well, (over 20%), for GREAT service, but not for lousy service.

 Back in the day, your table was actually cleared of everything you weren't using, (this is still done in Mexico), before a check was ever presented to you, and usually your requested it.  Now, your still taking your last bites of the meal and the check appears, or, worse yet, you have a machine, (I'd like to shoot theses things), that all supposedly put there for your convenience, (read "quicker table turnover")!🤔

I'm pretty sure that the software that some of the fast food/sandwich shops use is similar to full-service, (this term use very loosely), and this is why you see the tipping option.  I was at a burger joint ordering a meal and the girl gave me my receipt to sign after placing my order.  It had a place for a tip, so I mentioned to her that I thought that you were to tip AFTER the meal, but she educated me, (read, her tone of voice stank), that you actually tipped to ensure good service🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣, I told her that no, that would be called a bribe that, for example, you would slip to a host or hostess to get a better table in, for example, Las Vegas, not Manitou Springs, CO🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣, (not that I have ever done that).  

OK, end of rant👍🏼😎

 

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7 hours ago, Racquetballfreq said:

 Back in the day, your table was actually cleared of everything you weren't using, (this is still done in Mexico), before a check was ever presented to you, and usually your requested it.  Now, your still taking your last bites of the meal and the check appears, or, worse yet, you have a machine, (I'd like to shoot theses things), that all supposedly put there for your convenience, (read "quicker table turnover")!🤔

I suppose that everyone has their preferences, but I don't like sitting at a table while they clear the dishes, nor do I want to have to ask for the check. We don't tend to linger after meals, so I'd like the check without having the chase down my server, and I am happy for them to clear the table after we've departed. 

I guess this is one of the things that makes food service tricky. Different expectations...

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8 hours ago, Racquetballfreq said:

 I definitely believe in tipping servers who actually serve me for a "sit down", meal or beverage.

Correct. The current term of "wait staff" is the PC version of "server". And of you want a tip, "serve" me. 

Coming from the computer world, I know about the client and server relationship. When I sit at my computer, I am a client. When I ask for files from my storage computer, it serves them to me. Hence the name, server. A server delivers things to you, be it files or food. I reward a good waitress with a tip, and I award my file server with a weekly 1 hour shut down so it can rest and cool off...  :D

NEVER will I tip at a place like a buffet that is 99% self serve. Thought it is true they bring my drinks, I COULD go get them myself and would be happy to do that rather than have the place make me feel obligated.

Somewhere in this thread someone remarked about the wait staff, or servers if you are not PC, and tipping because "they are feeding their families". Was a career delivering food to people ever meant to be the way you buy a house, a car, and feed a family? This is the aspect of the demands for $15 an hour minimum that actually made me laugh. Flipping burgers at House of Whopper or Chez Mac was never intended to be the way someone raises a family. Those are jobs you work while you are going to school getting the education needed to work a "real" job (not that fast food is not work) with a real salary. 

If that burger flipper wage goes from minimum wage ($8.25 where I am) to $15, who do you think is going to absorb that increase? The corporation? Where is it that you live that a corporation says "Yeah, okay, we'll make less money so these people without education to work a higher scale job can plan their lives around 'Would you like fries with that?'"

Let's just say that $15 goes national.  What happens to that help desk agent who went to college for a computer related degree that is already making $15? Should that guy with the college degree make the same wage as a high school grad or dropout working in fast food?

Someone mentioned the kiosks. Where did  you see that? I have read about them and seen reports but here (Ohio) I don't think we have them yet.

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In many states, the minimum wage for tipped food service workers is at least a couple of dollars an hour lower than the state minimum wage for other workers. In NY State for example, the current state minimum wage outside of the NYC area is $9.70/hr and the tipped food service worker minimum is $7.50. Oddly, the fast food worker minimum is $10.75. All of those will be increasing over the next few years per recent legislation though.

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2 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

All of those will be increasing over the next few years per recent legislation though.

How have the businesses handled it? Laying people off or raising prices? I don't eat fast food anyway, but I am sure I am not paying $9 for a Big Mac or $8 for a Whopper. I envision McDonald's across the country becoming one person cooking behind the Wizard's curtain, one moving food to the delivery line which will be chutes, and pay by kiosk. So those remaining workers will make more but 75% of them will be laid off. Who wins there? I can tell you who loses. You and I do when that food goes up 50%.

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I can tell you that as we've volunteered around the country we've noted that states with higher mandated minimum wages definitely have higher food and restaurant costs. We spent our summer in the Pacific NW and found prices overall to be quite high. It is always a pleasant surprise to return to Texas for the winter and pay less (often much less) for the same meals at a restaurant and foods at the market. 

We have seen ample evidence that the overall cost of living is higher in states with mandated higher wages. Chicken or egg?? Hard to say.

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58 minutes ago, eddie1261 said:

How have the businesses handled it? Laying people off or raising prices? I don't eat fast food anyway, but I am sure I am not paying $9 for a Big Mac or $8 for a Whopper. I envision McDonald's across the country becoming one person cooking behind the Wizard's curtain, one moving food to the delivery line which will be chutes, and pay by kiosk. So those remaining workers will make more but 75% of them will be laid off. Who wins there? I can tell you who loses. You and I do when that food goes up 50%.

The current NY state minimum wage rates have been in place for awhile now, and I haven't noticed any significant increases in meal prices, fast food or otherwise. As those rates increase over the next several years, I'm sure we'll see some increases of course. The Federal minimum wage for tipped food service workers is just $2.13/hr if the average tips at least make it equal the $7.25/hr standard minimum wage. In states that have a state minimum wage though, employees are paid whichever one benefits the employee the most. The highest basic minimum wage rate in the country by the way, is the District of Columbia at $12.50/hr as of July 1st.

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1 hour ago, mptjelgin said:

I can tell you that as we've volunteered around the country we've noted that states with higher mandated minimum wages definitely have higher food and restaurant costs. We spent our summer in the Pacific NW and found prices overall to be quite high. It is always a pleasant surprise to return to Texas for the winter and pay less (often much less) for the same meals at a restaurant and foods at the market. 

We have seen ample evidence that the overall cost of living is higher in states with mandated higher wages. Chicken or egg?? Hard to say.

My experience is that Seattle (not necessarily the entire Pacific Northwest) has been relatively expensive for a long time, well before they raised their minimum wage. 

 

56 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

The highest basic minimum wage rate in the country by the way, is the District of Columbia at $12.50/hr as of July 1st.

That may be the highest "state-wide" minimum wage, but DC is really only a city.  Seattle, for example, has a minimum wage of $15/hour for large employers who don't contribute toward employees' health insurance.  It's $13.50 for large employers who do contribute toward employees' health insurance.  (In 2018, it will be $15 for both groups (plus CPI adjustments).)

I looked at the prices for menu items at Five Guys, since they're easy to find through their online ordering site, and their employees aren't tipped so they make at least minimum wage.  The federal minimum wage is $7.25.  (And if you haven't been to Five Guys, don't die from sticker shock--a hamburger has two patties on it, and an order of regular fries is more than enough for two people.)

Austin, TX minimum wage is $7.25            hamburger costs $7.29     regular fries cost $4.39

Fort Worth minimum wage is $7.25           hamburger costs $7.19     regular fries cost $4.29

Denver minimum wage is $8.25                  hamburger costs $6.99     regular fries cost $4.19

Wash, DC minimum wage is $12.50           hamburger costs $6.99     regular fries cost $4.19

Admittedly this is a small sample, but I don't see a correlation between minimum wage and cost of menu items.  In fact, the opposite could be argued since the food prices are higher in the city with the lowest minimum wage.  I'm sure other factors, like real estate costs, transportation costs to get the food to the restaurant, etc., enter into it. 

As for tipping, I wish tipping would go away forever.  Why am I responsible for paying a business's employees, and why do restaurants have their employees' pay based on the whims of customers?  It's just stupid, not to mention kind of mean.  I can't imagine any employees would prefer the uncertainty of tipping over a fixed wage.  How do you budget?  And should the kitchen staff suffer because of an incompetent server, and vice versa?  I don't think so.  And is it fair to put a tip jar out for an employee who IS paid at least minimum wage, and not the two bucks an hour "real" waiters make?   

And if your employees need to be tipped in order to perform their jobs well, you need different employees.

The show Adam Ruins Everything had a segment on tipping in restaurants.  Not sure if it's online somewhere (it broadcasts on TruTV), but here are his sources:

http://www.trutv.com/shows/adam-ruins-everything/blog/adams-sources/adam-ruins-restaurants.html

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1 hour ago, Blues said:

As for tipping, I wish tipping would go away forever.  Why am I responsible for paying a business's employees, and why do restaurants have their employees' pay based on the whims of customers?  It's just stupid, not to mention kind of mean.  I can't imagine any employees would prefer the uncertainty of tipping over a fixed wage.   

I believe that working for tips provides incentive for wait staff to work harder. This favors the lazy who take an attitude of "Why bust my butt working hard when I will earn the same as those fools who run around like maniacs?" As I cited in a previous post, if one server can handle 4 tables of 4 per hour, with potential for a $15-20 tip per table for 4 people, that is $60-80 per hour opposed to $14. If you take away that incentive, that great server who is willing to hustle for that $80 in tips may as well start slacking off because she is going to make that fixed wage if she tends to 4 tables or 1. That is going to breed slower and slower wait staff across the board  if they know that anywhere in town pays that hourly wage and no more. This is not the 50s and 60s anymore when people had pride. This breed of employee now expects life to be handed to them. I can only speak for me, but I would prefer the opportunity to work very hard and make more than anybody else opposed to being ordinary and being paid as such. I worked an hourly IT support job where there was a bonus for attendance, and a bonus based on a formula that factored in number of calls handled, length of handle time, first call resolution, and quality of call as judged by the in house call screeners. I routinely got every bonus and the full 4% raise. Those who were late, called off a lot, had bad call scores, they also complained about lack of raises and poor shift bid position. If we all got the same raises, what would be the benefit to working harder? That leads to unsatisfied customers. This is quite similar in concept. 

Ever worked in a shop that paid by piece work vs hourly? Those piece work guys REALLY scramble.

As I said though, I cook. I rarely eat in restaurants, and never fast food places, so I don't really care outside of having an opinion based on my work life. Good discussion!

Edited by eddie1261

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Sorry eddie but every honest job is a real job and bless anyone that does it especially the ones that are giving it their best.  A lot of time it has to do with location as to what the pay scale is for a given area.

For example my oldest daughter started just a checker at a full service grocery in a small rural town. She quickly rose to assistant manager and still made not much over minimum wage due to prevailing wage in the area. Sometimes that is just the way it is.  One reason food can be cheaper in rural TX like Livingston is due to the low pay scale in general and any job is better than no job.  The daughter is now some kind small wheel at FEDEX in Memphis now but she had  to give up small time life to do as well as she is now.

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I get the moral of the story Jim, but it is hard for me to relate on a personal level to the smaller town lifestyle. Having grown up in Cleveland, with a metro area of 1.5 million people and now living 30 miles south of there in a city of 200,000, I completely missed the smaller town vibe. I imagine I will become familiar with it next year when I hit the road. Just for sake of giving an idea of where I live, if I draw a circle with a 10 mile radius with my house as the center point,  I have 22 Walmart stores in that circle. And on various web sites where people speak of their town, they have to drive 40 miles to the nearest Walmart. I have places where I can actually see two McDonalds in the same line of sight. It is 1am right now, and if I wanted a meatball sub (I don't) I could jump in the car, drive 1.84 miles through 3 stoplights, and get one. Until 3am. That isn't to incite a debate of better or worse, it's just what I am used to.

Having been a music major and wanting a career in music, I pretty much had to be in bigger cities where there are a lot of venues to play. After music I went back to college for a second degree in computer studies and then worked in IT for 20 years. Again, in a small town you have "the computer guy". So beyond being born in a big city, life then dictated that I had to stay in one.

Next year though, I am looking forward to parking by a river somewhere and just being alone with myself, maybe finding inspiration to write another CD's worth of music, and I will have a portable recording studio with me so I can record right there. (Computers make SO much possible these days!!)

So, different, but not better or worse. "Faster" cities will likely have higher prices due to higher wages to pay higher rents, etc....

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I don't see the tip issue as one that is right or wrong. While there are times that tips do improve service there are also many examples of situations where they do not. I worked in customer service as an electrical/mechanical tech for 32 years and we did not receive or expect tips and the file is still that way today. But most major companies who are successful in the field do have merit pay systems and techs are not all paid the same rate. At the time that I retired, each service manager would get a percentage of his salary budget that he could then distribute to his technicians. In most cases, the best techs would get the majority of those pay raises. We never go a pay increase just because we had been working there longer. For that, we might get a nice plaque or some prize and at 25 years, a watch. Like most such companies, there was a minimum and maximum pay for each position level and some of us would reach that maximum in 2 or 3 years while others took 10 years or perhaps never reached the top. Of course, those who reached the max in a short time were the same ones who were promoted to more senior positions, while the guy barely making the grade would stay in that position forever and was always the first guy out the door if there was any sort of employment cutback. I happen to like that system.

Since retiring we have done many volunteer positions where tips were at times offered, such as leading tours and such. For most government agencies, you are not allowed to accept tips, and I happen to prefer that as well because I am a volunteer. The main issue that I have is my lack of knowledge of what amount of tip is proper in some situations other than food service. And I also dislike the feeling one sometimes gets of being under pressure to tip. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk Wood said:

the feeling one sometimes gets of being under pressure to tip. 

Then , no one gets a tip , other than an hardened attitude and maybe a 'good luck' as I walk away .

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Where we live now tipping is not allowed. Not for housekeeping nor for restaurant servers--not anyone. The theory is they want all the residents to be served equally--no better service because you tip more. Once a year we are encouraged to contribute anonymously to an associate appreciation fund. That fund is distributed based on length of service. I consider it a retention bonus since it has NOTHING to do with quality of service. So the good workers move on to places they can make more money and we get stuck with those who could not get jobs elsewhere. Now, the company is having trouble hiring enough workers--the restaurant has gone to a buffet service twice a week on days they tend to be understaffed. Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

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What I don't understand is the standard 20% for food service that is based on the cost of the meal. A server at a breakfast/lunch diner works just as hard (maybe harder??) as a server at a dinner place. The breakfast server gets 20% of a bill totaling $10.00 whereas the dinner server gets 20% of $30.00. Neither worked harder nor gave better service than the other. Basing it on the cost of the food doesn't make sense..

Edited by Dance Chick

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 eddie I appreciate the look to a different side than you are used to. 

One of my daughters helped pay here way through college working as waitstaff at Chili's.  They had a policy of pooling tips and then dividing them equally at the end of shift,  at least the location she worked at. Needless to say this wasn't highly popular with a lot of the staff but that was the way it was.  According to  her most of the staff continued to do the best they could but of course there were always a slacker here and there.  One thing she said was that while she considered herself to be very good that there were at least a couple that were better but were not as good interacting with customers.  She felt dividing did help even it out for some that were better in technique but didn't get as many good tips as some others.  I find this interesting and slightly enlightening.

Dance chick,  really a valid point that I have thought before and also from the point of serving me as a solo versus a large table.

 

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