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Crosscultural Economics of Tipping:

In Argentina, where I am currently based, the custom is to tip restaurant waiters 10%, while cab drivers get no tip at all. Obviously, this is very different from American norms.Tipping customs in other countries diverge from both Argentina and the US.

What explains the variation? Is it just a result of chance? Are there deep cultural differences at work? If the latter, how does one explain differences between countries with similar cultures? Perhaps there is a good academic paper on this subject that I have missed. If so, comments are open.

Nate F (www):
I know that in some parts of Europe, the gratuity is figured into the bill.
6.11.2007 6:16pm
Blue (mail):
For the love of God, you know not what chaos you have started by bringing up a thread on tipping! These things regularly run hundreds of posts on Lonely Planet!
6.11.2007 6:17pm
Ilya Somin:
These things regularly run hundreds of posts on Lonely Planet!

I think our server can handle it!
6.11.2007 6:22pm
scote (mail):
Cross cultural issues? I think it is odd how we divide tipping just in the US.

Why tip baggage checkin counter skycaps but not airline baggage checkin people? (And why do I always feel like I should tip or I may never see my bag again?)

Why do hardworking people at cheap restaurants deserve less of a tip than waitstaff at high priced restaurants?

And when will we expurgate the oxymoron "Mandatory Gratuity?"
6.11.2007 6:29pm
Steven W (mail):
Economics and the market.

In cities of middle affluence, it's 18-20. In little America it's 12-15. In resorts and glitzy towns it can routinely hit 30. If your customers have (or are willing to spend) more money, you can (or will need to) suggest more.

Plus, a 10% tip likely goes further for an Argentinian than a 30% tip for a waiter who lives just outside the Hamptons.
6.11.2007 6:36pm
Rubber Goose (mail):

Why tip baggage checkin counter skycaps but not airline baggage checkin people? (And why do I always feel like I should tip or I may never see my bag again?)


I was once a quite naive 17, flying home for the first time from college. I checked my bags at the curbside checking, assuing, well, that's what the guys are there for. Didn't tip them. My luggage ended up in Pittsburgh and not Long Island/Islip.

Only time my luggage has ever been lost.
6.11.2007 6:37pm
Dan Simon (mail) (www):
In some places, apparently, tips are given to aspiring law professors.
6.11.2007 6:42pm
nf (mail):
the answer is prosaic and simple.

differing wage scales.

for example, waitstaff in the U.S. are paid well-below minimum wage. tips serve as the majority of their income.
cab-drivers make less up-front in the U.S. but can make up for that in tips etc.

restaurant servers are probably the most analyzed portion of this. in a nutshell, bartending and waitering in Europe is usually considered a career profession. its higher paid from the beginning (paid for both in higher menu prices and usually fewer service personnel than an American equivalent (your average European waiter covers more tables than his/her American equivalent).

as for the difference in income for wait-staff between fine-dining and lesser establishments....well, working at Per Se requires significantly more education and skill than working at Denny's. its compensated accordingly.
6.11.2007 6:44pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I think that there may well be a cultural aspect. Tipping is not done in Japan, with the exception of hotels and other institutions that cater to Western tourists. Japanese people will actually object to attempts to tip them because they consider that it insults them. It implies that they have to be bribed to do their job properly.
6.11.2007 7:08pm
Cato:
In Iceland a tall beautiful waitress chided me for trying to tip her. She said waitresses are trained in Iceland and are accordingly paid well enough not to need tips.

This after serving me horse as an appetizer.
6.11.2007 7:08pm
Mr. Pink:
I don't tip. I don't believe in it. I don't tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I'll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it's for the birds. As far as I'm concerned, they're just doing their job.
6.11.2007 7:14pm
e:
True that some service workers are paid less due to expected tips, but are cabbies and housekeepers really in this category? I'm disturbed that much of the advice we get on such things comes from people on expense accounts or is sourced from the various "service" industries. Also disturbing are the tip before service rackets like curbside baggage handlers.

I cannot speak of Argentina, but one of the luxuries of living with too much privilege in North America is not using reason against social norms. I'm not sure how the French have escaped this. While I try not to be stingy, I do weigh the amount of time and energy involved in a service, but am amazed by those who don't. Think tips to bartenders for a pour and waiters who serve 20 customers an hour vs. 5.
6.11.2007 7:23pm
e:
Mr. Pink, I'm somewhat sympathetic to that hard line, but I'd be worried if you're a repeat customer at some restaurants, and the minimum wage exceptions for waitstaff might trouble you a bit...
6.11.2007 7:26pm
Christopher (mail):
Mr. Pink,

The federal minimum wage for waiters is only slightly over $3.00/hr. Waiting is not an easy job, but it is one of the few jobs in which how much you get paid is proportional to the amount of work you do and how well you do it. If you don't tip your waiter, he makes less than a dollar for the service he gives you (if he has four tables, say, and you take an hour to eat). Therefore, if you don't tip him, you either a.) don't understand this, or b.) are not very nice and don't deserve service of any kind.
6.11.2007 7:38pm
Kathryn:
Mr. Pink,

Servers and others in the service sector who are normally tipped are taxed on their tips. That tax is assessed by the IRS as an estimate based on wage and income. They are taxed on your tip whether you have paid it or not. Therefore, not tipping is doubly unkind.
6.11.2007 8:02pm
Arvin (mail) (www):
Mr. Pink:

You don't have any idea what you're talking about. These people bust their ass. This is a hard job. Waitressing is the number one occupation for female non-college graduates in this country. It's the one jab basically any woman can get, and make a living on. The reason is because of tips.
6.11.2007 8:06pm
Joe Cabot:
Mr. Pink, Cough up a buck, you cheap bastard. I paid for your goddamn breakfast.
6.11.2007 8:17pm
Joe Cabot:
Also, I get shot at the end of this stupid movie, meanwhile you get to run off with all the diamonds. So throw in a buck for crisakes.
6.11.2007 8:20pm
Mr. Pink:
Well, at least some people got the joke.

And now more of the quote is apt, now that Kathryn has mentioned the tax thing.

"I'm very sorry the government taxes their tips, that's f***ed up. That ain't my fault. It would seem to me that waitresses are one of the many groups the government f***s in the a** on a regular basis. Look, if you ask me to sign something that says the government shouldn't do that, I'll sign it, put it to a vote, I'll vote for it, but what I won't do is play ball. And as for this non-college bulls*** I got two words for that: learn to f***in' type, 'cause if you're expecting me to help out with the rent you're in for a big f***in' surprise."
6.11.2007 8:34pm
A.C.:
From my sister, formerly a waitress in upstate New York:

What's the difference between a canoe and a Canadian?

Canoes tip.
6.11.2007 8:43pm
Tipping in Toronto:
Yeah upstate new york is a real hotbed of tipping, I'm sure.
6.11.2007 8:53pm
glangston (mail):
They say no tipping in Tahiti but the trend is changing. Some restaurants are even having this explained on their menus that yes, they will accept tips. Unlike in the US it seems wait staff are paid fairly much in line with other service jobs.
6.11.2007 9:37pm
ys:

Cato:
In Iceland a tall beautiful waitress chided me for trying to tip her. She said waitresses are trained in Iceland and are accordingly paid well enough not to need tips.

This after serving me horse as an appetizer.

I hope this was a nice cuddly hestur islenskur (aka Icelandic horse), rather than a run-of-the-mill horse from the French town of Oeuvre.
6.11.2007 9:43pm
DiverDan (mail):
There is a cultural difference not only in how much to tip, but also whom to tip -- I learned long ago on my first trip to Cozumel, Mexico that it was customary to leave 8-12 pesos on the table by the bed for the Hotel cleaning staff - I later learned that hotel maids are paid so poorly ($6.00 for an 8 hour day, or so I was told several years ago) in Mexican Resort towns that they rely upon these tips to live. I would never think of leaving a few bucks for a hotel maid in America.
6.11.2007 10:17pm
Mr. Brown:
Mr. Pink doesn't get away with the diamonds; he gets arrested.

You can hear it happening in the background.
6.11.2007 10:22pm
whit:
i spent a lot of time in hawaii surfing with people from various countries. australians (at least australian surfers ) DO NOT TIP.

frigging aussies!

gotta lay down the law with those guys. or you end up paying their ti

i was also amazed how many people didn't get the reservoir dogs reference.

sad, people... SAD!
6.11.2007 10:32pm
DiverDan (mail):
Here is one paper that does discuss comparisons of tipping customs in different countries -- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=465942
6.11.2007 10:35pm
TechieLaw (mail) (www):

I have traveled extensively outside the United States. As a result, I find the anti-tipping culture quite refreshing.

The whole point behind a tip is -- and should be -- to reward somebody for good service. The problem is that tipping has become so entrenched in American culture that the act of refusing a tip is almost unheard of, even for bad service. In fact, many restaurants now mandate an 18% "service" fee for parties larger than 3 or 5 people. Has anybody else noticed that the amount we tip has been creeping up recently and how every Starbucks has a tip jar? How long until it becomes "the norm" to tip supermarket cashiers?

Outside of the US, when an individual in a service industry went above and beyond the call of duty, I was able to give a tip which truly meant "thank you" and it was appreciated as such. In the US, I have refused a tip on only one occasion in the past 5 years -- when a taxi driver outright refused to help me with my luggage after he had piled other people's heavy junk on top of them -- and in that case, the taxi driver had the audacity to follow me into my building screaming about the fact that I had refused a tip.

Having experienced both, I much prefer the culture where tipping is something you do as a special "thank you" for above-the-norm service, where the price on the bill includes everything, and where the customer doesn't need to play mind games to figure out how much is appropriate.
6.11.2007 11:18pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
TechieLaw: Supermarket bagboys used to be tipped, en lieu of a salary. It was only when they became minimum wage slaves that the tipping expectation expired.

I consider tips to be part of the cost of getting services. If the service is good, then so's the tip. If the waiter screws up (not the kitchen), then he'll realize it come tip time.

Tips have certainly gone up 5% in the last 30 years, and as noted above, at very high-end establishments, the expected tip can come close to twice the average.

To not tip as a matter of principle, though, is to simply spread misery. Waiters and waitresses get far below minimum wage because it is anticipated that the happy customers will more than make up the difference. Stiffing a waiter for no cause is just niggardly.
6.11.2007 11:37pm
DiverDan (mail):
While the rants about never tipping or how the some businesses have moved to "mandatory tipping" are cathartic, I'm sure, I'd like to know more about the cultural differences in who gets tipped - we all agree that it is customary (even if you rebel against the custom) in America to tip restaurant waitstaff, taxi drivers, and Airport Redcaps - But what about others? I remember many years ago my parents always gave a christmas tip to the Mailman and Milkman - I haven't tipped a mailman in years, and I haven't SEEN a milkman in about 40 years -- is it still considered customary to leave something at Christmas for the Mailman? What about other occupations? Outside of Mexico, how common is it to tip Hotel Maids? I know I always tip Divemasters when Scuba diving in Mexico, but never in Grand Cayman -- Other experiences with national differences in who gets tipped?
6.11.2007 11:38pm
sognatrice (mail):
I love being a stupid American big tipper when traveling outside the country - it gives me quite a thrill. I think most people who complain about the upwards trend in tipping or who chafe at the idea that tipping is mandatory are cheapskates. Their complaints remind me of lazy laborers resenting their more conscientious colleagues for making them "look bad". Dining in restaurants, staying in hotels and traveling by plane mark you as a relatively priveleged person (likewise coffee at Starbucks). Pay up!
6.12.2007 12:26am
kimsch (mail) (www):
Diver Dan, I've received "Holiday" cards from my paper delivery person with his name and address on it. It is a blatant "hint" that one should tip him. He doesn't get an annual tip because he can't get the paper in the paper box that is placed near the street for his convenience and my dry paper...
6.12.2007 1:07am
Christopher (mail):
I think that the American system of tipping is superior, as it allows the customer to decide how much to pay based on the quality of service. What other service industries allow you to do that? Can you imagine being able to pay your mechanic less because he's rude and takes too long? That would be nice. Instead of balking at this system, we ought to appreciate it as customers because it gives us the right to pay what we believe the server deserves.

So-called "mandatory gratuities" on large tables, while absurd when placed on tables as small as three, make sense for larger tables where excellent service becomes more difficult. Part of the benefit for these mandatory service charges is that customers will tip a smaller percentage than they normally would under the impression that the rest of the table will make up the difference. That sounds silly, but it happens all the time, especially at lower-end restaurants.
6.12.2007 1:59am
Doc (in China) (mail):
Well, contrary to the signs, "Tipping" is not a city in China. Your tip will be refused.

Some restaurants do add a service charge.

Here's some speculation: anti-American sentiment is compounded around the world by our practice of tipping. We're ruining it for the rest of the world.
6.12.2007 2:09am
Jay Porter (mail) (www):
Check out Michael Lynn, referenced in an above comment, who has several papers on this topic; and also Ofer Azar in Israel, who also has written extensively on it.
6.12.2007 2:24am
jallgor (mail):
DiverDan,
I have always understood it to be the norm to tip maid service in a US hotel. Someone mentioned tipping a housekeeper which is new to me. In my experience, you pay them an agreed upon rate in cash and that's it. Maybe if it was some kind of housekeeping service and I knew the person who actually came to do the cleaning was only seeing a portion of the actual rate I might tip but in NYC all the housekeepers I know seem to be solo practitioners.
Doc (in China) - If tipping is considered rude in a particular country then I can see your point but I certainly don't think that tipping compounds anti-american sentiment in most cultures. Quite the contrary, most service providers foreign or domestic love it (and why wouldn't they?)
6.12.2007 10:07am
A.C.:
I always tip hotel chambermaids in the US. In a very basic hotel in a rural area, my starting rate is a dollar per person in the room per night. If I am on an expense account, in a posh place with an elaborate housekeeping routine, in a big city, or if I have made more of a mess than usual, then I leave more. I used to leave it all when I checked out, but now I do it day-by-day in case different people work different days.

What do other people do? The rules don't seem to be very clear.

Also, does it change if you stay in one of those eco-hotels and agree to reuse your sheets and towels (the way people do at home) rather than having them changed every day?
6.12.2007 10:25am
nickjuneau24 (mail):
History of Tipping 101

Tipping began for good reason, but eventually, took on a life of its own. Now, tipping is just a part of doing business in a lot of industries.

Why did tipping begin? I'm less sure on this one. Maybe for rich people to show off, maybe to hope for extra special treatment next time, or maybe just as a genuine "thank you."

How did tipping get to where it is today? In richer areas, people started competing with each other to show off more, or to become better customers (in hopes of better future service). In richer areas of the world, tipping is more common, and is at higher rates. In less rich areas, tipping is rare, and for lower rates (based on my unscientific study of my travels in pacific rim countries).

I know people will yell "Europe"! My explanation for Europe not being in line with rich tipping culture is either (a) they are not as informed by U.S. notions of capitalism, or (b) they had too many massive interruptions to the "development of tipping" where money was tight, and so a savings-mentality set in and displaced the motive to tip (for example, WWI and WWII -- saving money was more valued than the motivation for tipping).

In short, I guess it is this: In countries with tipping, there is a motive for tipping that outweighs the cost of tipping. In places where tipping does not occur, the motive for tipping is not worth as much as keeping that money in your pocket.
6.12.2007 10:35am
markm (mail):

Supermarket bagboys used to be tipped, en lieu of a salary. It was only when they became minimum wage slaves that the tipping expectation expired.

When I was in the Air Force twenty years ago, in the AF Commissaries (supermarkets for service members), bagboys received only tips. You could wave them off and bag and carry your groceries yourself if you were feeling strapped - a condition most enlisted families are in sometimes - but overall I think the bagboys made a pretty good income.
6.12.2007 11:14am
Justin (mail):
The movie its based on (its based on, oddly, both a book and a movie, one having nothing to do with the other) The Taking of Pelham 123, is such a great movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072251/
6.12.2007 11:20am
John McG (mail) (www):
I wonder if it has to do with social mobility.

In the US, many of those receiving service were once in the service industry, and thus have some sympathy for the service worker, and thus tip generously.

And even in a group of 6 or 8, chances are there will be one person who used to be a server, who will try to nudge the tip upward.

In other countries, where service jobs are careers rather than rites of passage, there might not be that ingrained empathy.
6.12.2007 11:24am
Guy:
"Plus, a 10% tip likely goes further for an Argentinian than a 30% tip for a waiter who lives just outside the Hamptons."

This is what I don't get. Isn't 'cost of living' reflected in the (over)prices of the Hampton's restaurant? Wait staff (and the expense-account-big-spenders) find their way onto threads like this and claim that 20-25% (30%!) is the new norm and we'd better all get our acts together. An Argentine serving 4$ steaks gets 40 cents per, while a Hamptonian serving 80$ steaks (same slab of meat though) can't get by on 12$? He needs 24$?

Restaurant prices have gone up just as quickly as everything else, right? Sure staff are paying higher rents, more for fuel, and so on, but isn't the restaurant owner doing the same? Shouldn't menu prices be keeping up with inflation?
6.12.2007 11:32am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

Interesting discussion.

Frankly my rule for tipping is that I tip people who do a job well that I definitely wouldn't want to be doing myself. I also tip in places where I expect to be a repeat customer because I get better service. Is this a bad thing? Not to me. I generally have some fairly established habits when it comes to restaurants. I show up, get seated and the wait staff have taken the effort to remember my preferences.

Is that worth a tip? Oh yeah, definitely.
6.12.2007 1:26pm
nickjuneau24 (mail):
ed,

Do you tip your urologist due to your inability to pulverize your own kidney stones? See, The Office, Dwight's view on tipping.

The point humoursly made there is that Dwight refuses to tip a person who delivers sandwiches, b/c he doesn't tip somebody who can do something he can (get a sandwich, or give a haircut), but that he does tip somebody who does something he cannot do (pulverize his kidney stones).

I think this shows that people do not tip based on whether or not they can actually do the task. Interesting that the things we tend to tip for are the things we could do ourselves.
6.12.2007 2:06pm
SteveA (mail):
Don't have a reference handy, but it was once considered downright rude for an American to attempt to tip another American. The attitude was, aristocrats tip servants (presumably in Europe), but in America we're all equal. If you're trying to tip me, you're implying that I'm your social inferior.

This attitude was virtually universal from the founding of the country up 'til about 1900. By the end of WWII, the current practice was established. Leading theories to explain the change include:

-- WWI soldiers returning from Europe and importing the custom;

-- small acts of genuine charity during the Depression;

-- side effects of New Deal polices, particularly the minimum wage laws (as mentioned above);

-- domestic labor shortages during WWII (which also brought us "health insurance").

I was not aware that the IRS taxes assumed tip income which may not actually exist. I find that reprehensible. OTOH, I have a snowball's chance of personally affecting tax policy.
6.12.2007 2:32pm
e:
I've never worked in a restaurant, but one thing not yet discussed here is that some places force tips to be pooled among all staff members. Maybe that's good for teamwork or bad incentive for individual efforts, I'm not sure.
6.12.2007 2:51pm
Aleks:
No one has mentioned tipping barbers. I never encountered this before moving to Florida few years ago, but here's it's de rigeur. Anywhere else in the country this is true?

Re: IRS taxing tips. Yes, it's bad when the waiter doesn't make what the IRS assumes and is taxed anyway. But the opposite is more common: many waitpersons make a godo deal more than the IRS assumes and still get away without reporting it.


Finally, beware dating (or having a relationship) with someone in the resturant industry. You will never hear the end of it if you fail to leave a munificent tip for even mediocre service.
6.12.2007 2:53pm
luagha:

I will add that the tipping rules for wealthy public celebrities are different - if they give an 'average' tip they will be publically accused of being chintzy. It'll become a news story on the society papers if, even once, they give a poor tip.

Howard Stern, for example, has mentioned that he religiously tips forty percent to forestall exactly this.
6.12.2007 2:57pm
TechieLaw (mail) (www):
Let's be honest:

How many people really *choose* to tip less than 15% when faced with below-average-but-not-awful service? Simply because you know the person is not getting a real minimum wage, I'll bet most people will tip the standard amount rather than potentially short the server out of a living wage, unless the service is so awful you don't mind making a scene.

Quite honestly, when getting out of a taxi, my tip is more affected by the nearest whole dollar amount to 15% above the fare than by a comparison to the friendliness of other cab drivers. It's simply not worth my time to decide between a tip of $2.00 or $2.30 and look for change in my wallet when I'm in a rush.

Regarding barbers: I do tip and always have. This is one of the few cases where I usually use the same person and he remembers me each time.

Regarding regional differences: In Australia and New Zealand, tipping is almost unknown. In Thailand, I don't think people tip for most services, but "beer girls" would get annoyed if you didn't give them a few extra baht after they served your beer. Locals in Great Britain told me that they never, ever tipped taxi drivers, but a taxi driver once screamed at me with a "do I tip you in YOUR country!?" after I didn't tip; a second cab driver in GB told me that he never expected tips. In the Netherlands, a restaurant server told me that tips were not expected, and I got the impression that I overtipped a cab driver when I gave him an extra 10%.
6.12.2007 3:42pm
DiverDan (mail):
I have been tipping my "hair stylist" for as long as she insisted on being called a "stylist" -- about 25 years. I don't know what is "normal", but $2-3 seems about right for a $22 cut. I never remember tipping a barber (ah, for the good old days when $1.25 would get you a quick buzzcut, and for an extra $0.50, a shave with astraight razor!).

I'm really surprised that some of you think that tipping hotel maids is customary in America -- I've really never heard of that, and a quick survey of friends tells me they've never considered it necessary either. So how many of you out there leave a tip for the maid? At ALL hotels/motels, or only the more expensive ones? I cannot imagine that the incidence of tipping the maid is high at Motel 8 or Holiday Inn; Is it quite normal at a Ritz Carlton? What about a Hyatt or Marriot?
6.12.2007 4:03pm
DiverDan (mail):
Well, to my (not very great) surprise, Wikipedia has an entry on tipping -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip -- that actually lists tipping customs by country. Don't knowhow reliable this is, but it says tipping the hotel housekeeping staff in America is "discretionary" -- I think I'll continue to exercise my discretion not to tip the maids in America.
6.12.2007 4:10pm
ys:

nickjuneau24 :
History of Tipping 101

Tipping began for good reason, but eventually, took on a life of its own. Now, tipping is just a part of doing business in a lot of industries.

Why did tipping begin? I'm less sure on this one. Maybe for rich people to show off, maybe to hope for extra special treatment next time, or maybe just as a genuine "thank you."

You can start by saying that tipping was originally for a bit of extra luxury, namely drinking for lower classes. Consider the name for it in French: pourboire. In Russia, it's called "tea money" but only since political correctness eliminated the original expression "vodka money". So you can see where this is going: "opium for the masses"
6.12.2007 4:16pm
Shake-N-Bake:
I almost always tip 20%, sometimes more. I also try to watch if the server has a lot of tables or only a small number. If they only have a small number, and the service still sucks, they get docked big time, because they obviously aren't doing their job. On the other hand I can recognize when a server is overworked and is really trying -- a smile and an apology go a long way -- and always tip them as if the service was fine. I don't want to penalize the server because the management of the restaurant didn't have enough people working, or because some coworker didn't bother to show up for work. It's not hard to tell if the person is trying their best.

I also rarely leave a tip of less than $5 when my wife and I eat out, regardless of the percent, assuming the service is good. This usually comes into effect for a lunch at a cheap place. If the server is coming over as much as one would at dinner, I don't see a reason to dock them just because it's lunch. They're still doing the work.
6.12.2007 8:47pm
tzvifl (mail):
As an American turned Australian, can I just say not having to tip is FANTASTIC! We also don't have to try to figure out sales tax, because its factored into prices already. I know tipping it not the end of the world, and it gives you some control over being able to offer a reward for good service, but IMHO, it's not worth the additional headache in our already too complex lives. I find having to tip and getting used to sales taxes again when I go back to the states a real pain in the bum, and I think most people would feel a bit less burdened and freer if service people were simply paid a decent wage, as they are here in Australia, and the additional worry of tipping was lifted.
6.13.2007 3:05am
John McG (mail) (www):

I don't want to penalize the server because the management of the restaurant didn't have enough people working, or because some coworker didn't bother to show up for work. It's not hard to tell if the person is trying their best.


But you're not the server make more money having 4 tables each tip 15% is better than having 2 table tip 25%.

Indeed, it would be better to overtip when the server's workload is light, so as not to punish the server for either the restaurant overstaffing or not being successful.
6.13.2007 12:19pm
John McG (mail) (www):
I was once out to eat at a popular chain restaurant with, and a former server was in our group trying to get us to give a 30% tip when, among other problems, the entrees arrived about 3 minutes after our appetizers (for which I wouldn't dock, because it's not entirely the server's fault, but for me, the 30% level includes being my advocate to ensure that I have ample time to enjoy each course).

The response I got was, "you've got to turn over the tables," which may be true, but as a diner, is not my problem, and should be transparent to me, especially at a 30% tip level.
6.13.2007 12:22pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.


Do you tip your urologist due to your inability to pulverize your own kidney stones? See, The Office, Dwight's view on tipping.


If my urologist pulverized my kidney stones and made passing them far less painful than they usually are then you bet. Though I wouldn't be so crass as to stuff a couple $20 bills into his pocket. But I would find out the person's taste in wine perhaps and then go get a bottle or two.
6.13.2007 1:10pm