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(The Consumerist)   Need additional proof of inflation? Your 15% "minimum suggested tip" is now 18%   (consumerist.com) divider line 107
    More: Asinine, TGI, inflation  
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1347 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 Dec 2013 at 9:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-17 04:35:59 AM  
Wouldn't inflation have taken care of that already?

It's outrageous how expensive eating out has become.
 
2013-12-17 05:00:27 AM  
Said the serving industry.
 
2013-12-17 06:45:17 AM  
When I was a kid, tipping was 10%.  Yes, it's gone up.

My dad clung to 10% for far too long, and only increased his tipping when me, a teenager, started leaving my own money on the table in addition to his.
 
2013-12-17 06:55:14 AM  

Earguy: When I was a kid, tipping was 10%.  Yes, it's gone up.

My dad clung to 10% for far too long, and only increased his tipping when me, a teenager, started leaving my own money on the table in addition to his.


My wife's grandmother was the same way... She felt $2 was more than enough, because when she was waiting tables in the '60s. "Two bucks was a great tip!".

She was a stubborn old bird, so we just let her leave her two dollars and then I or my wife would wait until she was on her way out and slip the waiter/waitress a more appropriate tip.
 
2013-12-17 07:13:32 AM  
Tip your bartender %20

duh
 
2013-12-17 07:59:22 AM  
If a restaurant gives me a "tip suggestion", they get less.  And if I'm in one of the states that doesn't allow a tip credit, and I know the server is getting at least minimum wage, you get 10% unless the service was outstanding.
 
2013-12-17 08:10:22 AM  

devildog123: If a restaurant gives me a "tip suggestion", they get less.  And if I'm in one of the states that doesn't allow a tip credit, and I know the server is getting at least minimum wage, you get 10% unless the service was outstanding.


I could see it being useful in areas that are major tourist destinations, especially places that draw a lot of visitors from countries without a tipping culture.  Putting the suggested figures might even raise the average tips from American tourists, I know I tend to tip more for places that I regularly visit than places I know I'll likely never go to again.
 
2013-12-17 08:28:57 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Wouldn't inflation have taken care of that already?

It's outrageous how expensive eating out has become.


I dunno...  It all depends on whether guest checks have kept pace with inflation*.   I think the average guest check at a fast food joint was like $3-$5 in the mid-80s.  I think it's about $8-9 now.     But casual and formal meals haven't kept pace.  I recall the average guest check in the mid-80s to be about $12-$15 for a casual dining place.  I think without alcohol, it might still be $15.

Now, these numbers are just rectal plucks.  I have no idea what the average guest check inflation is beyond my own experience, because my quick googling turned up nothing helpful.

*Which is why a tipping culture is inherently bad - we shouldn't rely on guest check inflation to "take care" of servers.  Sub-minimum wage for servers is horrendous.  If casual dining restaurants can't pay their employees, then they should change their service model.
 
2013-12-17 08:33:30 AM  
15% is easy to calculate but 18%? Do I look like Archimedes to you?!

keylock71: She was a stubborn old bird, so we just let her leave her two dollars and then I or my wife would wait until she was on her way out and slip the waiter/waitress a more appropriate tip.


my favorite "get with the times" story is one of the ladies that works for me only tips on the pre tax amount.
 
2013-12-17 08:38:47 AM  
I hear your suggestion, restaurants. And now I have a suggestion for you:  pay your employees better.
 
2013-12-17 09:07:14 AM  
Here's food for thought.  One very effective way to force a living wage in the foodservice industry would be for everyone to just stop tipping altogether.  It would be a relatively short time before either the waitstaff got a pay increase or the restaurants were burnt to the ground.
 
2013-12-17 09:10:07 AM  
INFLATION DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!
 
2013-12-17 09:18:16 AM  
If the table service levels are acceptable I usually tip 20% just because math is too hard to fark with 18%..

If it's just someplace where you order at a counter and they call your number for food pickup, and there's a tip row on the receipt, I'll usually just line it through.
 
Zel
2013-12-17 09:18:58 AM  
How about I pay the number listed on the Menu? and you let your manager decide whatever that is.

I do math for my day job, you bring me food for yours.

/and anyone who tips less than 45% deserves spit in their diner!
 
2013-12-17 09:23:18 AM  
"Fark all that."

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-12-17 09:26:40 AM  
It's been 18% for something like 10 years now in NYC, maybe longer.
 
2013-12-17 09:31:04 AM  
It's reassuring to know that the serving industry doesn't have a math pre-requisite.  If the price of food goes up, it actually turns out that the tip goes up commensurately without needing to increase the percentage.  That said, I don't expect much from wait staff and boy do I get it.
 
2013-12-17 09:34:07 AM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: my favorite "get with the times" story is one of the ladies that works for me only tips on the pre tax amount.


Isn't that how it's supposed to work?  I don't mind being generous, but tipping on the tax is stupid.
 
2013-12-17 09:36:32 AM  
It is either 15 or 20% and then round to the nearest dollar.  18% who has time to do that math when you can move the decimal on place and double or eyeball half of that.
 
2013-12-17 09:43:51 AM  
How about I just keep in mind that the person serving me is a farking human being working in a system with archaic laws s/he has zero control over.  There are servers in ultra-luxury four-star restaurants making $3/hour wage-wise yet they do much better than servers making full minimum wage at $5-a-meal diners because math.

As such my tips at diners tend to be rather ridiculous percentage-wise; $3 isn't much of a tip but it comes out to 60% for a $5 breakfast.
 
2013-12-17 09:47:42 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: INFLATION DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

 
2013-12-17 09:47:50 AM  
1. Tipping is BS. Pay your employees more and add it to the bill.
2. When tipping is culturally expected even for poor service it's no longer a supposed incentive for wait staff. Every tipping thread seems to have at least one person who says they "pay at least 20% unless the service is horrifically bad, then I might leave as low as 10%". No. Why on earth should you be expected to fork out an an additional 20% unless the waiter literally craps on your table, and even then you pay them 10% for the privilege.
3. Tipping pits waitstaff against each other and causes workplace politics, particularly when the waitstaff are expected to tip the kitchen staff.
4. Tipping randomizes your income - there is no guarantee at all you're going to get any more or less from a particular table regardless of how good the service is if the patrons are just cheap.
5. Being expected to tip a bartender for fetching a beer from the fridge behind them is obscene. At that point you're paying for priority over other customers, with the bar staff shaking customers down to avoid wait times.
6. Pay food service workers more.
 
2013-12-17 09:52:42 AM  
I usually tip 20% sometimes more unless service is terrible, then it's 15% and I never go back.
 
2013-12-17 10:00:22 AM  
Or you could just do the math, figure out 15% on your own, and stop being so farking goddamned butthurt.

Besides, it doesn't matter what they SUGGEST. Tip what you want. Personally, mine start at 20%, but if you don't WANT to tip, then don't go to the kind of restaurant where some poor slob is running back and forth for ranch dressing and ice water refills the entire time that you're there.

As for TFA, they're blaming it on Christmas, but there's no date on the receipt, and their SINGLE other example is from Oct 29 of last year. Fark The Consumerist.
 
2013-12-17 10:22:06 AM  
10% most places, 15% if I might be remembered, 20% where I'm a regular.  Tipping needs to be abolished and just pay your wait staff appropriately.  I'd vote with my feet and wallet on this subject, but the only nearby tip-free restaurants are fast food.  Why is a fast food worker worth so much less than a bar waitress?
 
2013-12-17 10:24:22 AM  
That's not inflation.
 
2013-12-17 10:24:38 AM  
Target Builder:
5. Being expected to tip a bartender for fetching a beer from the fridge behind them is obscene. At that point you're paying for priority over other customers, with the bar staff shaking customers down to avoid wait times.


5. always run a tab with the bartender.  If you don't think just fetching a beer is worth a 20% tip (which it clearly isn't) then you just tack on a couple bucks at the end of the night and he can't play the waiting game with you.
 
2013-12-17 10:32:04 AM  

markie_farkie: If it's just someplace where you order at a counter and they call your number for food pickup, and there's a tip row on the receipt, I'll usually just line it through.


I've always been curious about that, as there are a few places like that around here. They in no way ever provide table service, so who am I supposedly tipping if I fill in that line?  It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong when I x it out, but... even when I eat in the place, I pick up my own food, bring it to the table, and clear my own table, so I'm not sure who would even get that money.  Is it the restaurant getting a little extra on every check, or is there someone who legitimately is getting tipped, who should, because they're paid sub-minimum wage?
 
2013-12-17 10:40:56 AM  
I just go to buffet restaurants now, so I don't have to tip and get plenty of food.
 
hej
2013-12-17 10:53:15 AM  
The restaurants I go to don't bother feeding you, they just demand all the money in your wallet and tell you to leave.
 
2013-12-17 10:53:44 AM  

NewWorldDan: 10% most places, 15% if I might be remembered, 20% where I'm a regular.  Tipping needs to be abolished and just pay your wait staff appropriately.  I'd vote with my feet and wallet on this subject, but the only nearby tip-free restaurants are fast food.  Why is a fast food worker worth so much less than a bar waitress?


If that happens they would have to increase the price of the food by $0.10-0.50 an item and as you know that would cause the whole food industry to collapse.
 
2013-12-17 11:24:26 AM  

Arkanaut: It's been 18% for something like 10 years now in NYC, maybe longer.


No, no it has not. Servers have been pushing for 18%-20% now for 20 years, but 18% is not the norm.
 
2013-12-17 11:26:20 AM  

serpent_sky: markie_farkie: If it's just someplace where you order at a counter and they call your number for food pickup, and there's a tip row on the receipt, I'll usually just line it through.

I've always been curious about that, as there are a few places like that around here. They in no way ever provide table service, so who am I supposedly tipping if I fill in that line?  It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong when I x it out, but... even when I eat in the place, I pick up my own food, bring it to the table, and clear my own table, so I'm not sure who would even get that money.  Is it the restaurant getting a little extra on every check, or is there someone who legitimately is getting tipped, who should, because they're paid sub-minimum wage?


The restaurant just request a restaurant setup on the CC machine. There is no tipping for counter service, that goes for bartenders too, because really they are just counter service.
 
2013-12-17 11:33:27 AM  
That bartender better have big juggs and sucking my balls dry for 20% tip for fetching some drinks.
 
2013-12-17 11:34:56 AM  

Slaves2Darkness: Arkanaut: It's been 18% for something like 10 years now in NYC, maybe longer.

No, no it has not. Servers have been pushing for 18%-20% now for 20 years, but 18% is not the norm.


Some restaurants will add an automatic 18% service charge, and have been doing so for a while now.  Sure, me and my cheap friends will still generally only tip 15% when not so obligated, but it looks bad when the total's right there on the receipt.
 
2013-12-17 11:38:16 AM  
I give full service restaurant waiters 15-20%, bartenders and delivery drivers ~10%.  The one I don't understand is if you ride in a taxi, the suggested tip is 20%.  How the fark do they earn that as a default?
 
2013-12-17 11:38:50 AM  

limeyfellow: NewWorldDan: 10% most places, 15% if I might be remembered, 20% where I'm a regular.  Tipping needs to be abolished and just pay your wait staff appropriately.  I'd vote with my feet and wallet on this subject, but the only nearby tip-free restaurants are fast food.  Why is a fast food worker worth so much less than a bar waitress?

If that happens they would have to increase the price of the food by $0.10-0.50 an item and as you know that would cause the whole food industry to collapse.


Not necessarily. Having the burden of salary fall on the patrons frees up management to adjust the number of servers to more closely match how busy the restaurant is without it hurting their pocket too much if they over-staff.  This also allows for, hopefully, ample enough servers to provide quality service to all patrons.  If the burden falls back to the the restaurant, which it probably should, the more reasonable adjustment to keep customers coming would be to just employ and use fewer servers.  This would, however, diminish the quality of service the patrons would receive due to understaffing, but we're getting used to that as a country anyways...
 
2013-12-17 11:56:23 AM  
I think of tipping as your big chance to tell the server how well they did in your mind.  So the minimum is 0% and there is no maximum.  15% is just what I've always used as the metric for the service was neither good nor bad, it merely met my requirements.
 
2013-12-17 12:05:33 PM  
Percentages: How do they work?!

Meal costs have gone up.  15% of $15 is already more than 15% of $10.  50% more, in fact.  Excluding the patrons who stiff their server, tips have already increased.

That's ignoring the fact that you don't get to demand any tip at all.  Tips are compensation for performance.  The 10%-15%-20% tip bases are informal guidelines.  You don't get to dictate how much any given patron tips.  Some people are generous, others are stingy, and you don't get to review your own performance in their eyes.

That being said, I like to at least tip enough for the server to buy a beer, no matter how small the ticket.  Unless they suck, in which case they get $1 flat.  Bad servers get the "fark you" dollar.  Typical tip is 15% plus the change it takes to round-off the total.  Good service gets 20% plus change.

That being said, I'm sick of tipping.  I'd rather they build the wages into the cost of the meal and pay their damn employees properly.  This hew and cry over "but then food would be too expensive" is bullshiat, because unless you stiff your servers, the price is still the goddamn same overall.  The price of the meal does not change.

Pay your damn servers, and get rid of tipping (exception: when someone gives exceptional service and the patron would like to give them a little something extra).
 
2013-12-17 12:10:17 PM  

Slaves2Darkness: The restaurant just request a restaurant setup on the CC machine. There is no tipping for counter service, that goes for bartenders too, because really they are just counter service.


I bet the restaurant makes a not insignificant amount of money off it, though. no?

I have always tipped bartenders, though. I am pretty sure that they are paid sub-minimum wage like waitstaff is. My general rule is $1 per drink, or a decent amount if I open a tab (though I'd say I have no hard and fast rule on that. Whatever my drunk ass thinks is appropriate when I settle up.)

Bartending in a busy bar seems like a far too demanding job (with the added bonus of drunks sometimes being even bigger assholes than sober people) to not show some respect with a fair tip.
 
2013-12-17 12:12:43 PM  

bhcompy: I give full service restaurant waiters 15-20%, bartenders and delivery drivers ~10%.  The one I don't understand is if you ride in a taxi, the suggested tip is 20%.  How the fark do they earn that as a default?


Driving a taxi is similar to making coffee at Starbucks. A tip is now required, otherwise they may lose their motivation to perform their job.
 
2013-12-17 12:13:29 PM  

Earguy: When I was a kid, tipping was 10%.  Yes, it's gone up.


Ditto
 
2013-12-17 12:16:52 PM  

hej: The restaurants I go to don't bother feeding you, they just demand all the money in your wallet and tell you to leave.


But only if you made them think you were about to put on a hat.
 
2013-12-17 12:18:22 PM  

bhcompy: I give full service restaurant waiters 15-20%, bartenders and delivery drivers ~10%.  The one I don't understand is if you ride in a taxi, the suggested tip is 20%.  How the fark do they earn that as a default?


If you don't tip the driver, they take you to an alley and rape you over and over again.
 
2013-12-17 12:19:10 PM  
How about we raise the minimum wage tip earners get by 2 dollars? In an hour of waiting tables, does that work out to 15 cents per patron?
 
2013-12-17 12:20:06 PM  
Just paid a 14% tip at lunch. And that's where it's staying.
 
2013-12-17 12:20:41 PM  

GoodyearPimp: The Stealth Hippopotamus: my favorite "get with the times" story is one of the ladies that works for me only tips on the pre tax amount.

Isn't that how it's supposed to work?  I don't mind being generous, but tipping on the tax is stupid.


Seconded.
 
2013-12-17 12:22:03 PM  

Kuroshin: Percentages: How do they work?!

Meal costs have gone up.  15% of $15 is already more than 15% of $10.  50% more, in fact.  Excluding the patrons who stiff their server, tips have already increased.

That's ignoring the fact that you don't get to demand any tip at all.  Tips are compensation for performance.  The 10%-15%-20% tip bases are informal guidelines.  You don't get to dictate how much any given patron tips.  Some people are generous, others are stingy, and you don't get to review your own performance in their eyes.

That being said, I like to at least tip enough for the server to buy a beer, no matter how small the ticket.  Unless they suck, in which case they get $1 flat.  Bad servers get the "fark you" dollar.  Typical tip is 15% plus the change it takes to round-off the total.  Good service gets 20% plus change.

That being said, I'm sick of tipping.  I'd rather they build the wages into the cost of the meal and pay their damn employees properly.  This hew and cry over "but then food would be too expensive" is bullshiat, because unless you stiff your servers, the price is still the goddamn same overall.  The price of the meal does not change.

Pay your damn servers, and get rid of tipping (exception: when someone gives exceptional service and the patron would like to give them a little something extra).


Even the 'fark you' amount has inflated! Didn't people used to leave a penny to show dissatisfaction? If a server provides really crappy service, I don't tip them at all. Why would you provide anything for shiatty service when its discretionary?

/incorrect answer would be 'to show them you hadn't merely forgotten about the tip'.
 
2013-12-17 12:33:57 PM  

stellarossa: Even the 'fark you' amount has inflated! Didn't people used to leave a penny to show dissatisfaction? If a server provides really crappy service, I don't tip them at all. Why would you provide anything for shiatty service when its discretionary?


Where do you all go that you get such terrible service? I honestly can't think of any time in my life that I had an unpleasant experience in a restaurant due to the wait staff.  The one thing that can be said in favor of tipping, at least from a customer's perspective, is it's good incentive to provide good service.
 
2013-12-17 12:37:21 PM  

Kuroshin: That being said, I'm sick of tipping. I'd rather they build the wages into the cost of the meal and pay their damn employees properly. This hew and cry over "but then food would be too expensive" is bullshiat, because unless you stiff your servers, the price is still the goddamn same overall. The price of the meal does not change.


Kuroshin: That being said, I like to at least tip enough for the server to buy a beer, no matter how small the ticket. Unless they suck, in which case they get $1 flat. Bad servers get the "fark you" dollar. Typical tip is 15% plus the change it takes to round-off the total. Good service gets 20% plus change.


Right, so the price of the meal does actually change.  It changes directly in response to how well you feel your waiter/waitress performed.  If you pay all waiters/waitresses a flat wage with no tips built in, what incentive do they have to do a spectacular job rather than just a good enough to not get fired job?

Like you said, the price of the meal doesn't change for most waitresses.  But I do kinda like the ability to send a message to the shiatty ones by writing in "zero" to the tip line.
 
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