Explain a valid reason for tipping wait staff

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I already have my thoughts on this, but was curious about others.

I can dig tipping someone in ANY role that goes above and beyond the normal.

But I don't understand this tipping for wait staff just because they are paid below min. wage. And many do not go above and beyond just to bring me my food, refill my drink, and bring me my check.

So I'm doing this little experiment here to find out if you give a valid reason for tipping for wait staff in restaurants.

 
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Logic for not tipping goes:
  • Why did they accept the job if it's only $3.50 an hour?
  • If we don't tip they'll either go get a better paying job and/or...
  • The bosses will have to pay them a fair wage.
  • Why should the customer have to subsidize their wages?
  • They tend to make way more money than is ever let on anyways.
Logic for tippings goes:
  • The system is set up how it is and they need to earn a living wage for now.
  • If we didn't tip, the price of restaurant food would go up anyways, so what's the difference?
I think the last bullet point right above is the valid reason you think doesn't exist, in cases where the wages are low already and it's not a true tip but a subsidization for the business.

I don't really care either way, but one thing I am for is not tipping someone who is mean or lazy, etc. I don't mean not tipping because of an accident or a mistake or a mixup. I mean when they're angry and take it out on the customer in some way. Yes, waiters and waitresses are allowed to have a bad day. No, they can't take it out on the customer without a consequence unless the customer is extra generous.
 

EyesExist

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You tip based on service.

Reasons for tipping:
1 - You never know, could be helping fund someone' Dreams/School/Family situaton
2 - In countries where people dont customarily tip, poverty usually continues to expand for some reason i've notice.. Be proud to be a part of such a tradition
3 - So people are miserable in their life and just spitting in your food
4 - Food will cost more if the bosses have to pay more and their service to you won't be motivated by the tip

If the service is trash. Don't tip. People like that , if nobody tips them, they'll quit.
 
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I worked in the restaurant business for 12 years so I always over tip with staff that are doing a very good job. I understand that any little money helps for people that work in restaurants so I try my best to help. But I don't really judge people that don't tip, I see it as their choice. People that did tip helped me start getting into marketing in 2010, it definitely made a difference.
 
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Thanks everyone!

Looking over responses so far, I still really don't see a valid reason to tip wait staff.

Logic for tippings goes:
  • The system is set up how it is and they need to earn a living wage for now.
  • If we didn't tip, the price of restaurant food would go up anyways, so what's the difference?

Good info @Samwise89 and thanks for sharing.

The issue I have with "The system is set up how it is and they need to earn a living wage for now" is that the "system" is set up like that for many others and those people don't get a tip. For one, just because a system is set up doesn't validate a reason, and 2 if someone needs to earn a livable wage they can quit and work somewhere that pays more like a cart pusher at Walmart or learn a new skill. In either case, I can't see it a valid reason to give someone more money because they choose to pick that career and live off other people who "might" give them more money.

On the "If we didn't tip, the price of restaurant food would go up anyways, so what's the difference?", all things being equal this is why I don't see the need in tipping wait staff. I'm paying the same amount in both events, possibly even more in just one of those events. But just like in any business, if the price of the item you buy ( food ) is too high for what you get, people will dine elsewhere. It shouldn't be the wait staff's responsibilty to keep the food prices down working for less and chancing getting a tip or not.

I'm just looking at the logic, not you. Thanks for sharing.

You tip based on service.

Reasons for tipping:
1 - You never know, could be helping fund someone' Dreams/School/Family situaton
2 - In countries where people dont customarily tip, poverty usually continues to expand for some reason i've notice.. Be proud to be a part of such a tradition
3 - So people are miserable in their life and just spitting in your food
4 - Food will cost more if the bosses have to pay more and their service to you won't be motivated by the tip

If the service is trash. Don't tip. People like that , if nobody tips them, they'll quit.

Thanks @EyesExist

If I tip on service, why isn't it expected to tip people who bag my groceries? Or the person that changes my oil at the quick lube. Or tip the mailman and garbage man every week?

I think the reasons you give in #1-#3 fall mostly under the "feely goody" emotions. Not really valid reasons to tip. #4 I covered above so I'm still hunting down a valid reason ( logically ).

When you say "If the service is trash. Don't tip. People like that , if nobody tips them, they'll quit." it really makes me feel that people suggest you don't tip when service is bad. But I ask, why tip when the service is "as expected" or normal?

Meaning, when I go somewhere I expect people do to something if I pay them. For wait staff, I expect in a resturant to be given the food I pay for, which included my drink and I expect to be able to pay my bill and change my order if wrong. No different than if I wanted to purchase a bike at a bike store.. I expect to be given my bike and any accessories I pay for, to be able to pay my bill, and to get a different product if the one I bought is defective.

However, I don't tip ( or, I am not expected to ) the guy that sold me the bike, right?

I understand I could tip him and also the grocery guy, oil change guy and the mailman.. but I think you know what I mean about the whole "expected" part of wait staff and tipping.

The bike guy has dreams and hopes and school and family too.

It just seems to come down to still "we only tip wait staff becuase they make less than min. wage" which isn't really a valid reason to tip as no one forced them into that position. But if you the buyer do not tip, you are looked down at and possibly made to eat someone's boogers and spit unknowingly sometime if you are remembered.

Again, just looking at it logically and not at you. Thanks for the info and sharing.

I worked in the restaurant business for 12 years so I always over tip with staff that are doing a very good job. I understand that any little money helps for people that work in restaurants so I try my best to help. But I don't really judge people that don't tip, I see it as their choice. People that did tip helped me start getting into marketing in 2010, it definitely made a difference.

Thanks @ItsYoBuddy,

Can I ask, what do you define as a very good job? I'm trying to find the milestones that make a difference in "as expected / normal" service and "very good job" with examples if possible. So I can understand.

Do you think other wait staff thought less of people that didn't tip? I know you said you didn't, but do you feel the normal is to think like this about those that don't?

When I start seeing tip jars everywhere now, at places that never had them before, I get a bit angry.

I recently purchased a sweat shirt and pants online and at the end of the checkout process, I was asked to give a tip to the employees. Really?

Tipping is now moving to online purchases where you never interact with anyone and are paying only for what is expected. Can you imagine if Amazon moved to this tactic?

I just feel tipping is either a "feely goody" thing or a way to justify someone's choices in life, both of which I really do not logically see UNLESS yes, I have been given fantastic service I didn't expect to get.

But honestly, I see fantastic service as what separates the winners from the losers. Doing things "fantasitcally" is what set me apart in all the jobs I had prior and moved me up to management and executive status. I wasn't tipped for it, I was rewarded with better positions. So in a way, I feel someone giving fantasic service ( or doing their job very well ) is the work you put in to get rewarded with a better job and moving up the ladder, not revenue from a 3rd party like a customer.

It's what makes winners. Winners get rewarded naturally. They shouldn't be handed money by the customer ( wait staff situation ). It's the risk you give to be rewarded later.

When I was a cart boy at Target I did my job 110% even in the cold snow and helped old ladys to their car. I didn't ask or get tips for that job, although I was providing a really great service. The management at Target rewarded me with a new position and higher pay 9 months later. I rinse and repeated the process until I was making great money as a 25 year old ( $100k+ a year ). That was my reward for doing great work.

My reward wasn't hoping someone would give me a tip to continue being a wait staff person. I had to put in the work, over time, with no thank you. It's a risk or a gamble. It's what gets you to the top.

Does anyone have any other insights?

Thanks for sharing so far everyone.
 
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EyesExist

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@ORMAgencyDude

In the US, bag boys are paid minimum wage. Before, they were tipped, when i was a kid.
Where i live now, they are tipped b/c they are paid little and dont' get benefits.

Guys who change oil, paid below minimum wage.

When you say "If the service is trash. Don't tip. People like that , if nobody tips them, they'll quit." it really makes me feel that people suggest you don't tip when service is bad. But I ask, why tip when the service is "as expected" or normal?

Again, read #4


Google stats, i'm not going deep on this.

https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/grocery-bagger-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Waiter/Waitress/Hourly_Rate


And yes. Im not a person afraid to share what i'm blessed to have. I feel good doing the right thing, knowing how tips work to help a person working. I also believe in Karma .

If that's feeling 'Goody' to you.. to leave a tip... Dont think anybody's going to change you. Just we're two different kinds of people.
 
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@ORMAgencyDude

In the US, bag boys are paid minimum wage. Before, they were tipped, when i was a kid.
Where i live now, they are tipped b/c they are paid little and dont' get benefits.

Guys who change oil, paid below minimum wage.



Again, read #4


Google stats, i'm not going deep on this.

https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/grocery-bagger-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Waiter/Waitress/Hourly_Rate


And yes. Im not a person afraid to share what i'm blessed to have. I feel good doing the right thing, knowing how tips work to help a person working. I also believe in Karma .

If that's feeling 'Goody' to you.. to leave a tip... Dont think anybody's going to change you. Just we're two different kinds of people.

Thanks for the background info @EyesExist

Not sure, but I think the original intent of what I was wanting to post might have been lost.

I'm trying to find a logical and valid reason to tip, especially wait staff. That would be anything apart from emotion, karma, feel good, trying to help out, etc.

About the closest thing to that would be the "they are paid less because of XYZ" reason, which in turns ultimately rounds out to emotion, karma, feel good, trying to help out as it's perceived that you need to do it out of goodness.

If you remove the "need to do it" out of emotion, karma, feel good, trying to help part becuase someone might feel bad they are paid less, it really comes down to if someone is unhappy about their job or life choice, they can change that and work elsewhere or look for alternatives.

If it was normal to pay wait staff $75k a year and they provided you good service, would you still be inclined to tip them? If the answer is no, then it really comes back down to we are tipping them because we feel bad they make less than X rate and that falls right back to emotion and not logic.

My main goal is to find the logic in it. However, there might not be any and it might all be emotion.
 

bernard

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As someone living in a country with no tipping culture and high minimum wage, I would say you tip, because it gives an incentive to provide good service.

Service here is really poor, something that is even noticed by many tourists.

I would hate to tip a bartender like 1 dollar pr. drink or something like that though.
 

EyesExist

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I think this guy's just used to trying to ignore informatino of others, if it's not in the favor of what he wishes to do

If you read how he's dodging all logical responses; says it all.

"The cost of your food would go way higher because restaurants would have to pay waiters like a high valued job, to service you well, and not give you trash service like most 2nd and 3rd world countries"
 
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I think this guy's just used to trying to ignore informatino of others, if it's not in the favor of what he wishes to do

If you read how he's dodging all logical responses; says it all.

"The cost of your food would go way higher because restaurants would have to pay waiters like a high valued job, to service you well, and not give you trash service like most 2nd and 3rd world countries"

Not ignoring anything.

You keep harping back to your #4, but I not only addressed that in my response to @Samwise89... I also pointed it out in my response to you.

It's not a logically valid point to tip now for "normal" service because prices "might increase" and equal out later. An even if it did, when price doesn't meet expectations and value, consumers will vote with their feet and another business will win out. But to make the wait staff shoulder this burden is not logical.

That is the point you are missing. It seems like when someone disagrees with you, you are ignoring the information presented to you.

If anyone is dodging and ignoring when it doesn't agree, it's you. But we have seen you do this in the crypto thread as well, right?

I'm searching for valid logical reasons and willing to listen if they are in fact logical. You haven't done the same in this post or others on this forum.

From your point of view, I guess it takes one to know one?
 
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EyesExist

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Hey, sorry if i rubbed you wrong there. Just an opinion of mine.

It feels like you're ignoring the feedback and just parroting off your original point.

Tipping isn't automatically a 'feel good' thing to me.. it's saying 'thanks for good service and keep doing your job well"

I've left a few $100 tips for college students in Airports that really had a charismatic personality.

Ironically enough, met a guy one time at a Vegas bar during a basketball game... where I had an incredible night and i was just being 'cool' .... and some guy randomly covered my plate ($$$) and dropped me a stack of cash, saying 'enjoy the night its on me" ... after we had a convo about women spending money. He told me how a chick he was trying to 'knock' wanted to shop for heels .. the girl int he store said they were "4" and he thought she meant $400.. turned out to be $4000 and she got like 3 pair LO

I think it was John travolta til this day.. but who knows.....

Courtesy is appreciated by most people. I sure do.
 
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As a European with no tipping culture it blows my mind. Why the state don't increase the minimum wage? Why when you go out to eat you need even to pay for the service when you are already paying for the food? The food cost should already include everyone wages like in many countries. Where i am if you try to tip a waitress it sounds like you are bribing them or have an additional "reason" to give them money.
 
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Of course, it depends on where you are in the world and what profession the person supplying the service is in.
As a former cocktail barman, I worked for a while in the States. There (at least at that time) the business had to declare a certain percentage of turnover as tips and that amount then had to be distributed amongst staff and deductions taken from it. The deductions were a substantial proportion of what you would earn as a standard wage (but nowhere near what you would be earning in tips, if you were halfway competent and personable).
Where I live now, you are expected to tip but, in the case of drinks, it would just be to round it up. (Say a drink was 3.45, you would say 'Four is good'. Meals are however pretty much 10%.)
When I was living in the UK (and this may well have changed now) you would never tip for a drink. At the most, you would buy the barman or barmaid a drink but in that case it was normal practice for whoever it was to pour the drink and then toast with you. If they already had a drink they would pour it at a later point and then catch your eye when they were drinking it. It was not 'done' to take the money and not drink with it. And they would quite often say "No worries, another time, John has already got one in for me."
 
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Tipping is simply a power scheme to force even more business expenses onto consumers. It is inherently racist and classist. In America tipping itself was birthed from a feudal state as a way keep newly freed slaves flocking to cities to find work in continual servitude, despite being legally "freed".

Similarly, today, one could surmise low/stagnant minimum wages and encouraged debt as working to reach similar ends; the servitude of those which societies elites deem "inferior".

In a perfect world everyone would be paid a fair rate and the cost of living would be reasonable for all stratums of a much flatter society, if not via balanced and transparent economic policy then by progressive taxation of the highest earners, i.e UBI.

That said, any one of us, or ALL of BoSu not tipping won't change any of that. We'll just make it harder for that person to get by during their short lifespan. The business owner feels zero responsibility to their minimum wagers and won't pick up the slack. Neither will our government. Our economic system and the politics it finances won't be changed anytime soon (given current trends) and UBI will never be anything more than a fringe pipe dream in America.

Moral of the story: the cards are stacked against you so that you have no choice but to tip if you are a compassionate and empathetic individual. The cards are even more stacked against you if you happen to be born poor or into a low class where service work is just about your only option. (U.S currently ranks 27th in social mobility, right behind Estonia, Portugal, South Korea, Lithuania and just ahead of Spain, Cyprus, Poland and Latvia)

Personally, I tip minimally, a dollar for a drink, maybe two for a great cocktail, three for a meal. I do feel bad for the workers, but I also don't feel particularly responsible for creating or supporting the extreme levels of inequality we have in America today. (I stopped supporting plutocrats decades ago)

I'm also very quick to not tip if the service is shit, which I honestly think is not common. Tipping has become so ingrained people do it even when they're treated like shit, which blows my mind. Ultimately though I think it's compassion for the fellow American that drives the automated tipping, even when those doing the tipping have quite thin wallets already..
 
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Why the state don't increase the minimum wage?
When minimum wage increases, costs of living for everyone increases. The minimum wage where I live is $15.00 an hour- it used to be $9.65. Minimum wage workers at $15.00 an hour still have the exact same issues they were having when minimum wage was $9.65 an hour. Makes you wonder if part the problem is the workers themselves... Of course, personal responsibility isn't a thing anymore- the state is supposed to fix the problems of every person, dog, gerbil, ant...
 
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If enough waiters would refuse to work for minimum wage, their wages would go up.

Imho minimum wage has nothing to do with the discussion. As long as waiters are willing to work for minimum wage, people will be pressured into tipping. Imho you don't need to tip them. But I'm from a European country where you only tip when you are really happy with the service.

But I feel like the USA has it wrong there. Imho you can't blame the government or the business owners.
When I want to earn more money, I ask for more. If my boss refuses to pay it, I look for employment elsewhere.

If you are a waiter that gets tipped a lot, you are worth more. (You are good at your job, or your tips would suck)
So you can go get a better job.

At least that's how it should work. I guess there might be too many people willing to take your place.

Maybe I'm missing something, but honestly, most people underestimate their negotiation power.

At myy previous job I asked for a raise. Got denied. Send my resignation letter, and all of a sudden I could get everything I wanted. Too bad, I'm gone. If I had negotiated harder, I could have gotten it all. I think this happens way more often than people realize.

A boss doesn't want to let a good waiter go. Even if they don't know how valuable the waiter is exactly, they know how the business is doing with that waiter. New waiters are an unknown, and that means risk. Most people don't like risks.

OBVIOUSLY the situation isn't as black and white as I paint it there. There are always examples where it doesn't work quite like this.
 
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The only valid reason you need is "because I want to and can afford it" even though I tip when I can't afford it some times. I can't tell you how many times I've over-drafted my debit card doing this. I just feel like if the government isn't going to do it then I need to redistribute my income myself, you know. Be the change you want to see, yada yada yada.

It's not just wait staff. I guess that includes not only restaurant waiters but door staff like the greeters at Walmart's entrance. I tip people like that too. But I'll also tip people like gas station clerks, my landlord, the pizza delivery person, and cashiers (only if they have a tip jar out though, otherwise I don't want to insult them).
 
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When I start seeing tip jars everywhere now, at places that never had them before, I get a bit angry.

Square and other payment processors include the optional tip prompt on their checkout process because, if you tip an extra $1, it'll be an extra 3 cents for them, or so. The payment processor gets some money, the merchant or staff gets some money (I've heard rumors that not all tip goes to the staff...) and the customer had a feeling of guilt, when seeing the prompt, and then relieved his or her feeling of guilt, by tipping.

It's a scam. There's etiquette for who to tip and who to not tip. Don't tip just because a prompt asks if you'd like to tip.

For me, I tip out of etiquette. Also, depending on the company, I tip because I know I'm judged by my company. By that, I really mean, if you tip bad on a first date, it's not a good situation. Also, if you tip good at a restaurant where you frequent, the wait staff will be more than willing to help you out on the date. Haha!

So, yeah, I tip for the atmosphere :wink:

Also, I just have to mention this here, I know of a bar where, if you don't tip, the bartenders will call you out and shame you to the rest of the bar. They're brutal. There, you need to tip or else you get publicly shammed. Holy shit!
 

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This discussion reminds of the Misc bodybuilding forum.