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I think North America really needs to re-evaluate this concept of tips. The rules of what to tip and when are intentionally vague because it's a sensitive subject.

We should move to "fair pay", that includes slightly increased prices, and do away with tips for most services.

It's so common that tips don't mean what the consumer thinks it means. Restaurants and bars that pool tips and share them with all staff.[1] Restaurant owners that try to keep some tips and only pay out a percentage to the staff.[2] Casinos pool tips too so the dealer doesn't get to keep the money you gave him directly.[3]

I get asked for tips at Starbucks. I get asked for tips when I do takeout food from the local restaurant. I get asked for tips at the buffet restaurant. The pizza driver gets a delivery charge AND a tip!

Let's clean it up and make it fair for the servers and the consumers.

[1] https://www.restaurantscanada.org/industry-news/aware-ontari... [2] https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/advice-guy/can-rest... [3] https://www.businessinsider.com/wynn-tip-sharing-2011-6




The thing that bothered me the most when I visited North America was that attitude that you absolutely have to tip or otherwise you are some gigantic asshole. We went to a completely average restaurant, had completely average food that was possibly microwaved, the staff was average or below average at best.....and we all added like 15-20% tip at the end. I was just like......why? "Oh because you are a massive dick if you don't tip". I do occasionally tip in the UK when the service is really extraordinary, but feeling like you have to tip, almost completely detached from the actual quality of what you're getting.....that's bizzaire to me. And don't get me started on the nonsense that is tipping delivery drivers for what is effectively 5 seconds long interaction.


Bear in mind that the food costs less at that restaurant _because_ the wait staff is paid less _because_ it is assumed you are tipping. As such, yes, you are a bad person for not tipping; you are getting the benefit of lower food prices in exchange for tipping.


Can you imagine if all stores worked this way?

Hey, the pricetag on the shirt at Walmart says $10, but you should really pay $13 because otherwise they'll just not pay their staff. But hey, your choice, you can (if you choose) cause their staff to have no money for food for their families.

The problem here isn't the person not tipping, it's the broken culture where ensuring a livable wage for the poorest in society is a choice the wealthy get to make based on how they feel today.


It's not that simple. In addition to that effect, you also have the dynamic that people can undertip [1] some amount without consequence. Meaning that price + customary tip will actually have to be higher than the average untipped price, since it doesn't have to make up for the defectors.

[1] specifically, that means tipping under the average and/or in accordance with a lower scale or tougher standards than is generally expected.


That doesn't make sense. You aren't getting lower food prices at all if you are obligated to tip. Rather, the actual prices of restaurant food items are just undermarked by 15-20% of their actual cost.


> the actual prices of restaurant food items are just undermarked by 15-20% of their actual cost.

Right, and it's undermarked because you are expected to tip.


But you said that you get the "benefit" of lower prices - but I just don't see that benefit if it's mandatory to then tip 15%. Whatever reduction in price you're getting you'll pay in tips, so as a customer you're getting shafted either way. No?


You're not getting shafted. If you tip, you're paying the same amount as if there weren't tips and the prices were raised to account for it. There's nothing "shafted" about "paying the same amount".

The only differences are - You can choose to pay less if things aren't good, or pay more if things are great. - If you're someone that is heavily impacted by other people's opinions, then you may feel bad tipping less. But all that means is that you don't get one of the benefits.

You get the "benefit" of lower prices... and you're expected to tip to balance the scales.


Usually the income isn’t being reported by the tip-earner/takers, and you’re not paying sales tax on the service received.


The former is only going to be true if you pay them in cash; I don't believe credit tips are so easy to hide. The latter is inconsequential.


Despite the paper trail, local details of audits I know of, indicated that workers still underreport.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjA...

Anecdotally, it remains true.

Tips don’t go on the official pay reports that go to the Canadian government since it isn’t actually employment income paid by the employer.

Why would sales taxes be inconsequential?


I guess because you're only not paying sales tax on the tip portion of the payment - so if the sales tax is say 10%, your bill was a $100 and you left a $10 tip, you're only saving $1 on the sales tax.


And if that mere dollar would influence you on whether or not you were going to go to the restaurant, you probably shouldn't have ever been going to the restaurant.


It still means an industry is paying ~85% of the sales taxes it should.

Overall, businesses will charge what they can. And if they don’t have to pay taxes, they can keep that $ for themselves.


Tipping is what sustains the practice of underpaying.


Which would be a factor if the sole reason for picking a particular restaurant is lowest price. That's virtually never - if it is, go home and cook. It's cheaper.

The whole tipping system is insane: I'll allow you to provide services in my restaurant and if the customers like you, perhaps you'll earn some money.

I'm still waiting for the restaurant holders to come up with the idea of charging for this unique opportunity. "Don't think of it as paying to be allowed to work, think of it as investing in your revenue-generating activities! !"


> Which would be a factor if the sole reason for picking a particular restaurant is lowest price.

Actually, it wouldn't matter if lowest price was the sole factor for picking a particular restaurant. Because all restaurants would be lowering their prices by the same general percentage.

However, it does impact the choice of whether or not to go out to eat.

Unless you're talking about the case where some restaurants discourage tipping (and charge more) but others don't. In which case, there's many cases of that happening and the restaurants closing or switching back. Because price, which not the sole factor, can be a very important one. It certainly impacts my choice when I go out to eat.


Not just lower food prices, but a smaller tax base and possibly inflated student loans.


I've spent time in a lot of countries, and:

You tip in the US because the employees are paid a sum that assumes tips are coming. You can pay less than minimum wage because the actual compensation comes from tips.

Of course, this is different in other countries...

And yes, 15% is standard for "acceptable" service and food. You can tip less if you really have a complaint, but with the proliferation of Yelp and Google Reviews, it's easy enough to avoid bad places.

On a road trip, that can be a little different, but...


> You tip in the US because the employees are paid a sum that assumes tips are coming.

This type of justification has always seemed very Stockholm Syndrome-y to me. This is not a valid or acceptable reason.

You tip in the US because everyone is complicit in the horrendous industrial relation laws.


You tip in the US because your only other personal alternative is hurting people who are in vulnerable jobs. It's not Stockholm syndrome, it's a hostage situation.


Some of those vulnerable jobs pay incredibly well.

Part of their vulnerability does come from near worthless job-injury/termination/severance pay because, on paper, take-home pay is far less than actual.


I think more accurately, a business owner cannot pay less than minimum wage because actual compensation tips are coming, you MAY pay less than minimum wage IF wages + tips is at least minimum wage, otherwise employer is on the hook for the non-tipped amount.

However, even in the jurisdictions that don't have a minimum wage exemption for tipped positions (such as Oregon), you're still socially expected to tip.

At this point, the only thing tips are good for is letting business owners pay staff less than what they would normally have to, which the staff doesn't mind because they get to evade taxes on cash tips, and they sometimes make more money than if they were to be paid a wage and didn't get tipped. The customer gets the raw end of the deal as they frequently overpay.


> I think more accurately, a business owner cannot pay less than minimum wage

In food service, never say “cannot”!


I always hear this. It's blame shifting. Food service workers are the first to foist the burden, responsibility on to the customer for their inability or lack of willingness to protest / report their employers illegal behavior.

It's not my role as a customer to support workers at a paper mill with lax safety standards because the workers won't go to OSHA, why should it be my role to ensure you have a livable wage because you won't go to to L&I to report wage theft/other practices?


I’m in a left leaning jurisdiction, and the labour board doesn’t do a very good job of investigating these complaints.

And if they do award you back-pay, it may still be on you to follow through on collecting.

There is big structural barriers for the system to work in favour of employees that aren’t being paid properly.


France is like that too.

Once with my hosts, I took care of the dining bill myself. Just when I thought I figured it all out, they’re like “oh, that was the owner of the restaurant with the cheque at the end, you really don’t have to give him a tip”.

D’oh.


Despite how much I agree with you, this is never going to happen, because the real purpose of tips these days is to allow for variable pricing - the "base" price stays low, while people who can afford to tip more often do.

I've seen lots of restaurants implement "no tipping" policies, only to revert back to tipping within a year or two. The reasons:

1. The higher base prices do have a negative impact on sales. 2. The best servers usually want tips, because they can make more at a tipping establishment.

In the past 10/15 years I've changed my attitude around tipping now that pretty much every place I go to "flips around the iPad", asking for a tip. I no longer really think of it as a reward for good service. At the end of the day, I can't imagine trying to survive in a major city on barista wages, and I can afford it, so I tip.


2. The best servers usually want tips, because they can make more at a tipping establishment.

It’s not the “best” servers according to studies, it’s often the most attractive and non minority servers.

I don’t have any opinion either way about his conclusion/opinion but this is the first article I could find. I first heard about this on Freakonomics

http://www.opportunityinstitute.org/blog/post/im-going-to-ti...


[flagged]


It’s not about self maintenance == attractive. It’s about that pretty 25 year old blond girl vs the overweight 55 year old Black Guy - I’m just trying to go to the opposite ends of what society finds attractive.


I'm not saying self-maintenance == attractiveness, I'm saying that no matter what industry you're in there's some minimum level of something you need to maintain to be acceptable for work.

For me as a syseng that's getting enough sleep, staying ahead of my field and basic hygiene. I'm not in the best health but I'm also not in a position where I can get a lot of people sick.

I'm overweight and as a result my skin is terrible. Not so much that people notice but I certainly don't think that I should have my hands in anyone's food.


Unless you're giving each customer's meals a nice massage before serving them, your skin condition means nothing from a hygiene POV if you're acting as a server or a host.


That is only true to a point.


I'm reminded of the time I waited 90 minutes on line for Shake Shack (original location, when it first opened) and as I got closer to the front saw that the cashier had a visible and severe herpes outbreak that looked like it wasn't being treated. She kept scratching at her face and then touching peoples' money.

I noped on out of there. No thank you.


Evidentally, I am a hypocrite.


I think there has to be a cultural shift. There are many past behaviors that were once normal, that are now considered rude or socially unacceptable.

It starts with minimum wage laws changing so that waiters and bartenders are not exempt from normal minimum wages. Start there.

[1] https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standa...


Seattle increased the minimum wage to $15 and didn't exempt wait staff.

There was some talk about if people would stop tipping. Nope, people still tip!


This is not exactly accurate.

Most places in the US require businesses to "make up" the delta between minimum wage and what the employee receives through wage+tips. Seattle just codified this more clearly by having a "minimum wage" and a separate (higher) "minimum compensation". So while wait staff have a minimum compensation of $15/hr, that number is inclusive of tips they receive. Their minimum wage (what the business has to pay regardless of tip) is lower at $12/hr.

People may have considered no longer tipping because of the publicity behind the new-to-them-but-not-actually-new concept of minimum compensation but it's effectively the same system at a higher number.


I have lived in countries where there is no tipping and it works just fine. Better yet, there's no stress around general tip etiquette or simply "did I tip enough".

I find it frustrating to read time and time again "but it will never work". Having lived the reality, where employees are paid a decent living wage with no tipping, I say to you that such a response is simply untrue.


I'm not saying it's impossible in the cosmological sense, but I'd easily bet it will never happen, broadly, in the US in my lifetime.

If anything, the US has moved 180 degrees in the opposite direction in the past 15 years. This is largely a result of the growing inequality and huge increase in expense in major US cities. Up until about 20-25 years ago, 15% was the "standard" tip amount at restaurants, now it's more like 20%. Virtually every place I go asks for a tip now (even places like a bodega where the person behind the counter does practically nothing - I pick out my food myself, I don't need a bag, and I pay with my phone) as a result of the Square/iPad tip phenomenon, and tipping in many of these places was unheard of just 10 years ago.


I see tipping as a form of profit sharing. If a server or barista gets more volume for the restaurant, they get a cut. Often times, servers leave at the end of the night with $200+. I used to be a valet and was paid $5/hour but would make easily over $100 in tips.


I see it as a way for business owners and successful tipped employees to get away with tax evasion at the expense of customers who overpay on their share of the purchase and the rest of society which loses taxes. Unsuccessful tipped employees who don't get a fair share of tips are also losers.


The issue is the solution needs to be all or nothing. Either everyone abolishes tipping or nobody can, because appearing to have higher prices isn’t good business. Just like we dont include taxes in prices here either. Who in their right mind would chose to do that and deal with explaining how the taxes are included to every new customer.

Flipping to fair wages will only happen after a massive publicity campaign and coordinated change.


In Europe, tipping is not necessary to make a living wage. Yet tipping is still quite common. But it's more in the nature of rounding up than the US' approach.

those parts that I've been to or lived in.


This approach makes no sense to me. It seems the "base" prices are fiction, just like the airline fares have become recently. They do not correspond to reality and do not allow for a sustainable business.

Choosing where you will buy based on those fictional "base" prices and then tipping just supports that world which is detached from reality.

If people stopped tipping, eventually things would right themselves: workers would stop working for establishments that do not pay enough, businesses would need to raise prices, people would need to start accepting the realistic pricing.


Maybe the solution is a truth in advertising law: the headline price always has to be the complete total, unless you intentionally add unusual extras.

Restaurants are in one physical place, taxes aren't a mystery, there's no real excuse for the price printed on the menu not to be the actual price. Encouraging your employees to make side-deals with customers for cash... maybe we should start treating that as tax-evasion on the part of the restaurant. Putting a guess down in the books isn't OK for any other transaction.


This is why you need to change it across the board, all at once. If joe the asshole can keep charging his customers "less" by hiding the real cost of labor in his tip column, then bill the coolguy looks like he's being an asshole by including that cost in the price of the food.

Don't even get me started on the idea that FOH employees are often making 2 or 3X what the kitchen staff is bringing home. Sure the servers want the tips, but why wouldn't cooks want that money to be in the pool of money that can be allocated to them as well (since most servers aren't required to tip the back of house, and any money that isn't guaranteed can't be counted as part of your pay rate).

Eliminate the tipped employee rate entirely. Give the culture 10 years, and everything will be fine. It will be a long painful 10 years, but fixing omelettes and breaking eggs.


This is just naive thinking, that there is some grand purpose behind the laws of the USA. Step back, we all know it's because money is power in this country. Restaurant industries will kill any change that forces them to pay their employees a living wage.

You think this is based on logic and sensibility? That's not how government works in the USA. The null hypothesis is that capitalism rules; all else, democracy and logic and truth, come a distant second.


Its funny because other countries manage to pay staff a living wage, and not need tips.


One problem is that the restaurant lobby is surprisingly powerful. In DC, voters approved an initiative eliminating the tipped minimum wage, but the restaurant lobby succeeded in getting the city council to overturn it (after failing to persuade voters against it via lots of astroturfing.)


The problem is that removal of tipping, pretty much just hurts the employees. Customers will probably pay less. Employers will be a bigger cut of the customers actual spending.

Very few restaurants would pay an hourly wage that is equivalent to what waiters are getting tipped now. So the waiter will just get less. Just look at what non-tipped restaurant workers get paid, not well.


The rest of the world's solution is fewer, higher paid, and better trained waiters.

Restaurants in the US are run like a factory assembly line, with every person manning a portion of the line being incentivized to get the table out of the door as fast as possible in order to maximize the amount of scraps they get out of tips. In a fixed system, you might sometimes have to flag down a waiter rather than have your glass endlessly refilled even when you're done drinking, and folks might stop walking by asking (if you're lucky) to take your plates away before you're ready.

If you're a person who travels, count the amount of visible staff at an average German restaurant, and compare that to what you see in the US. It's drastic. Orders of magnitude drastic.


What are you talking about? Tipping makes servers actually care about doing a good job. Servers in Europe in my experience almost never care about you or the service they're providing you, because it doesn't matter how good a job they do. I've been flatly refused service at a restaurant because they were "too busy" - the three people working were overwhelmed with waiting on 10 tables and didn't even have a wait list because that was too much to manage. If that's what you mean by "fewer and better trained" then, well, I'd rather eat at the restaurant I choose than get turned away because they can't afford enough employees to run it.


> Tipping makes servers actually care about doing a good job.

Tipping incentivizes servers to care about getting more tips. This is why there is a stereotype of American servers rushing you out of your table to seat the next party, upselling on more drinks/food, and constantly interrupting the setting by "checking on" the party.

A good waiter gets the main plates on the table after appetizers are finished and responds when I flag them. They are a queuing manager that synchronize orders to the kitchen to optimize delivery to the table. Tipping does not inherently incentivize this, and I'd say it actually incentivizes the worse service in the form of clearing the table as fast as possible in order to acquire the next table's round of tips, or as is often the case, crowding a table up with every appetizer, side dish, entree, and drink the table wanted throughout the dinner.


If anything, I've noticed services in many of the larger European countries do a better job than in the US. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, but I'm not aware of any widespread stereotype of American waiters to be better than non tipped waiters.


Since tips are "expected", your average server doesn't think they have to work for them. Service quality is basically random, just like most jobs


> Tipping makes servers actually care about doing a good job.

I find tipping makes many customers treat "servers" like faceless servants, making them feel like prostitutes forcing fake smiles and gritted teeth at bad behaviour.

In a non-tipping culture you learn to treat waiting staff as more human. Arseholes get kicked out, not "smiled" at.


Crap restaurants certainly exist everywhere. But it's hard to argue that service is overall dramatically worse in Europe. There is generally less fawning & begging, which some people prefer.


There's an awful lot of "we can't do it, and if we did it'd definitely be bad" in American political discourse that can be pretty conclusively proven false by just looking at a few other OECD states.


If you're a person who travels, count the amount of visible staff at an average German restaurant

The last German restaurant I went, I was in a party of five. Four of us got our orders somewhat promptly while the fifth waited nearly half an hour… for a frankfurter. Between that and the trains I got this sense that German efficiency was overrated.


There are restaurants that just tack on a 20% surcharge, do staff get paid less at those establishments?


Apparently, yes, they take home less money, counterintuitively. The no-tipping 20% surcharge model was tried at many Seattle restaurants a few years ago and now it is all but gone. I've asked employees about it and they all tell me they hated it because they made less money, hence why most restaurants got rid of the 20% surcharge policy and went back to tipping.

One bartender I talked to made the (astute) observation that people feel more generosity toward individuals than to restaurants -- it de-personalized the transaction from the customer perspective, which turned the service charge into a food tax.


> The no-tipping 20% surcharge model was tried at many Seattle restaurants a few years ago and now it is all but gone. I've asked employees about it and they all tell me they hated it because they made less money

In other words, someone's being dishonest.

In most cases, still, the model I seem to see (and I live in the PNW) was a 15/18/20 tip model, and for personal services (nails, hair, etc.) 25.

Food servers would have us believe that poor tipping and other practices have them one shift away from being homeless, or "I have to pay the IRS to serve you, because they assume I'm getting tips I'm not"...

... and yet, when a 20% "tip"/surcharge (which would be on the high end, I feel, most of the time) is added on to every order...

"This sucks, we're making less money".


I agree that tipping is stupid. Tipping incentivizes me to spend less and eat at restaraunts less, because I only want to spend a dollar tipping, at most, and so seek to spend around ten dollars, at most.

The only reason I tip at all is because some restaraunts will remember me and you tip or get to wonder if they spit in your food. What a wonderful system.

I tip nowhere else and, since I'm not remembered, I face no negative consequences of this.


In Seattle, there was a push a few years ago to eliminate tipping in many restaurants. A 20% service charge was automatically added to the bill instead, on the theory that it would result in fairer and higher compensation for restaurant workers. Several of the places I frequent made this change at around the same time. Only a few years later, most restaurants seem to have reverted to the old policy of tipping.

I've been told by several waiters and bartenders that worked in these restaurants that there was an employee revolt. People earned noticeably less money under the mandatory 20% service charge than with tipping. Consequently, no one wanted to work for restaurants that didn't have tipping. It was seen as a socially conscious move but it backfired for the people it was supposed to help.

The behavioral and economic dynamics with tipping in the US seem to be more complex than people account for.


I flat do not tip if there's a delivery charge.

I've seen people make moral arguments about it, but I will not pay twice.


What about when the receipt/order slip explicitly says "any delivery charge is not paid to the driver"? many if not most national pizza chains have this disclaimer. I get around the tipping issue by ordering my pizza for pickup.


I wouldn't repeatedly not tip just to avoid having my food tampered with, but if it's a one time order and you won't be dealing with the same person again, I see nothing wrong with not paying some nebulous amount you never agreed or were asked to pay.


Agreed with this but you have to wonder: if the “delivery fee” is not paid to the driver, and there is truly no additional work to prepare a delivery order than a pickup or dine in order, then .... ??


exactly.


> The pizza driver gets a delivery charge AND a tip!

I think some places don't give the delivery charge to the driver (I hear Papa John's pockets it, but maybe I heard incorrectly).

I agree in that I think tipping in general needs to change. But I was reading the other day where a bar owner was saying he could pay $X. But with tips, his employees were bringing home more than he was. It's hard for me to say this is wrong. What I find wrong, as you point out, is that everyone is asking for tips now. What I don't know is where to draw the line on who can ask for a tip and who can't.


Yeah, there's a little corner place near here that has pre-made (not by them), pre-packaged sandwiches and lunch rolls in an open fridge/display in front of the register. You walk in, you pick out your sandwich, you put it on the counter and you pay for it. The cashier is literally that, someone who presses a button picture of your meal on an ipad, inserts a card, and returns card to you...

... and gives you a dirty look when you don't tip for "service".


I agree but it doesn’t matter. It’s about eighteen billion times easier to shame a shitty company into confirming to cultural norms than it is to get hundreds of millions of people to change those norms.


The usual explanation for tipping is that the minimum wage for tipped employees is lower than the non-tipped minimum wage (sometimes as low as $2.13).

If you knew everyone was getting paid the minimum wage, would you still tip on a regular basis?

I recently learned that in states like Washington, California, Oregon this is the case [1], and have been tipping less as a result, but still feel slightly bad about it (societal conditioning is strong!).

[1]https://www.minimum-wage.org/tipped


>The usual explanation for tipping is that the minimum wage for tipped employees is lower than the non-tipped minimum wage (sometimes as low as $2.13).

People get the cause and effect backwards on that. The minimum wage is lower because lawmakers knew they were already getting compensated by tips. It's a social custom, not charity.


No, that's not the explanation for tipping.

Those reduced minimum wages are justified because the jobs include tipping.

The reason you tip your waiter is (ostensibly) because it creates a direct incentive for better service, by leaving some of the compensation up to the customer.

Let's not have a bunch of replies that ignore my caveat please.


>The reason you tip your waiter is (ostensibly) because it creates a direct incentive for better service, by leaving some of the compensation up to the customer.

Funny how service is as good if not better in the vast majority of the rest of the world, despite a lack of tipping culture.


Is that true though? "service with a smile" and "The customer is always right" are notions I've seen far far more in the US.

I think its more of a cultural thing than an effect of tipping, but service in the US is usually pretty high quality.


From what I can tell (traveled to US, EU, live in non-tipping culture), it is often:

"service with a FORCED smile" which I find far worse than service without a smile.

and

"PRETEND the customer is always right" which happens in non-tipping culture too (do whatever makes the least trouble for yourself at work).


Yes, it's absolutely true.

Any Asian country I've been to had much better service than the US. France (Paris) had excellent service. Greece had extremely nice service. These are all low- or no- tipping places.


I would say the opposite, service in most other countries is better than the US.


It's all hidden by intention. For example the delivery driver usually doesn't get the delivery charge, so if you don't tip they likely are loosing money to bring you food.


That's not the customer's problem.


Tipping is a form of price discrimination, which generally makes things more efficient and has been a staple of capitalism since forever. A business actively wants to extract more money from customers who can afford more, and still sell to customers who are more price sensitive. Coupons are the more normal way to do this, but tipping serves this exact purpose. This is in theory good for customers (except in monopolies, where the business extracts all the value), but in practice, sure, I agree tipping is obnoxious as a customer and possibly even worse for those whose pay involves tips.


If I am unhappy with my service or quality of food, I don't tip.

If the server is unhappy with the lack of a tip, and accosts me verbally (which has happened), I will explain my reasoning.

Vote with your wallet, and all that jazz.

If enough people stop tipping for crappy or non-existence services... perhaps eventually it will become more and more difficult for businesses to hire people to work for less than minimum wage... and the world will change.

One short tip at a time.

I am fine with other people thinking I am an asshole, they're free to do so. Most do not.

I have worked in restaurants for years, and I worked my ass off for every tip I received.

If you're serving me a microwaved burger, I don't care if that's the way they do it at this restaurant, I'm not tipping.

To the downvoters... what solution do you propose?

Legislation to be enacted to force restaurant employers the continent-over to start paying their employees more than twice what they're currently getting paid by the company, and increase food prices?

That's never going to happen imho, we tip in North America, and the restaurants pay their employees less than minimum wage, that's just the way it is now.


If you are unhappy with the quality of your food, you don't tip your server?

Here's how that results in a lose-lose for both you and the server.

Normally, if your food does not meet expectations, the best recourse is to let the server know what the problem is. The server can then either have the kitchen resolve the problem or talk to a manager, who can intervene to make things right. The end result is that you end up with food that meets expectations, or perhaps get a portion of the meal comped, and you walk out satisfied.

By being passive aggressive and expressing your displeasure with a zero tip, you don't give the restaurant an opportunity to make things right, so you walk out unsatisfied.

You also punish the wrong person, because it's not the server who is preparing the food. And keep in mind that the server is working a low-paying, often high-stress job, and your withholding of a tip might hit hard.

And perhaps the reason why you've been accosted by servers is that nobody knows the reason why you're refusing to tip unless you tell them. If someone works hard but you stiff them because you didn't like the texture of your burger and didn't bother to raise the issue during your meal, it's not unreasonable for them to assume you thought there was something wrong with their service.


>Normally, if your food does not meet expectations, the best recourse is to let the server know what the problem is. The server can then either have the kitchen resolve the problem or talk to a manager, who can intervene to make things right.

Have you eaten in many low-quality restaurants lately? And complained about the food to the server?

The last time I had a problem with my food (the vegetarian pasta that my partner ordered... who has been vegetarian for decades because of strong personal beliefs against harming animals... had chicken in it which she ended up eating and feeling terrible about)...

I brought that to the attention of our server, who just said "oh sorry, I'll bring out another one".

There's one example of a server who didn't get a tip.

Another time we were eating pizza with olives on it and the olive had a pit in it that almost broke my tooth... am I supposed to ask that the server please inspect every olive on my pizza and make me a new one?

Or ask the server to take back my stir fry that has almost as many ants in it as there is rice, and ask them for another one?

No, I wouldn't think so...

A restaurant is a team (who typically share tips amongst everybody in the restaurant in my experience), and if the team screws up, the team doesn't get tipped.

When I worked at a restaurant and served food, it was on me to make sure that everything that was served to the customers was perfect. If it wasn't, I would send it back to the kitchen.

I don't care what people think of me and my levels of compassion for restaurant staff.

If I am not enjoying my time in your restaurant, I am not going to submit to the gauntlet and tip on the way out the door.


The problem with the pit in the olive or the chicken in the vegetarian dish really don't have anything to do with the waiter. You should have tipped the waiter and simply have refused to pay for the meal. And tipping the waiter is not because the service was good but because without your tip they can't pay their rent. They're really at your mercy. On the other hand I do think the whole tipping culture in the US is broken and something should be done about it.


>The problem with the pit in the olive or the chicken in the vegetarian dish really don't have anything to do with the waiter.

If the waiter isn't checking that they got your order correct, then who is?

Should I be double checking with the manager that everything I ordered is exactly as it should be before I put it into my mouth?


You say you "worked in restaurants for years". If a customer stiffed you on a tip would that encourage YOU to give them better service next time they come in?


>You say you "worked in restaurants for years".

Yes, I did.

>If a customer stiffed you on a tip would that encourage YOU to give them better service next time they come in?

You shouldn't need any encouragement to do your job properly and professionally the first time imho.

And I wouldn't consider it being stiffed.

The couple who I poured an entire pitcher of water onto just as they sat down to dinner one night didn't tip me, and I am not confused or upset as to why.


The tip can be variable to reflect your perception of the service, so leaving no tip just makes you the jerk. Also, you chose the restaurant that microwaves burgers, so you knew what you were getting into.


>Also, you chose the restaurant that microwaves burgers, so you knew what you were getting into.

Likewise, the sever chose to work at that restaurant, so they knew what they were getting into as well.


The server doesn't cook the food. If you're tipping on the quality of the food instead of the service, then you're doing it wrong to begin with.


The pizza driver does not get the delivery charge. Generally that goes to the pizza shop itself. It's covering the overhead of maintaining a delivery program.


Oh no doubt the pizza shop keeps the "delivery charge".

But pizza is a delivery food. Dominos doesn't even have seats. 90% of what it does is delivery. So the "overhead of running a delivery program" is just a business expense that should come out of their revenues.


What overhead? The employees generally use their own car.


I will say that during my short stint as a delivery driver for a small non-chain pizza shop, I got a flat rate (less than the delivery charge, mind you) for each delivery I took.

Not sure if that happens in all cases, but I can see the case for charging a delivery fee. Baking it in to the cost of a pizza in general would unfairly charge people eating in or picking up. With delivery, you are paying for the pizza, and then an additional service.

I still think tips should be eliminated from the equation, though.


Pizza chains already have “carry out only” specials. I don’t have a problem with the delivery fee - but the driver should get it.


I generally don't tip, except for:

- the establishment that I frequent (they remember)

- uber (they affect your rating)

- I knew for sure that it will give me extra service.

In most situation I didn't experience negative affect.


As far as I'm aware, Uber drivers don't see whether you tipped or not until after they have rated you.

I suspect it is true since I never tip on Uber and I have a 4.96 out of 5 star rating.

They initially billed themselves as no tipping necessary. I refuse to subsidize driver wages on behalf of Uber. There is no way Uber is not benefitting from tipping by being able to keep wages lower as a result.


Sucks for the server who has to pay tax on the imputed tip income you pocketed.




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