Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

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letsgobobby
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Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 pm

Historically waitstaff in many jurisdictions were earning something around $2.13 plus tips. This is the federal minimum wage for tipped waitstaff. Many states require a higher minimum wage than that, for example all the states on the West Coast require employers pay the full state minimum wage in addition to tips (no allowance for tip credit). States on the West Coast have higher minimum wages than the feds and than most of the rest of the country: currently $10.50-$11 per hour.

Now all three states on the West Coast have passed legislation which raises the minimum wage, in most circumstances, to around $15 per hour over several years. In Seattle and possibly other cities, it is already $15 per hour for many chain restaurant employees. It may be important for this discussion to note that the $15 minimum wage was widely advertised as a 'living wage.'

OK, now to my question.

Should I continue to tip 15% (or 20%) in these situations, or is the acceptable tip now something different (ie, lower)? Please discuss your rationale.

(This is both personal and actionable - I may change my behavior based on comments received)

I'll link one article about the matter, only because there is a quote in there by "etiquette expert Lizzie Post - great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post" - saying, "We’re giving that soft green light—a nice greenish-yellow hue to it, a very hipster color—to say we would not frown on someone going back to 15 percent or maybe a 10 percent tip."

http://archive.seattleweekly.com/food/9 ... age-change

And that is what I've been thinking of doing - around 10% if what I used to do was 15%, and 15% if what I used to do was 20%.

What say you?

(the only argument I will find utterly boring is the one that says waitstaff work hard and you can afford it, so keep tipping 20%. Booorrrring!)
Last edited by letsgobobby on Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

Dottie57
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:45 pm

Even better -what will you do? To make actionable.

I will tip when service is good. Probably not 25%. But 10 to 15%.

Mostly I tip because someone needs to do the work and I am hlad it is not me.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Y.A.Tittle
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Y.A.Tittle » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:47 pm

If the waitstaff is making $15 per hour then the tip equals $0, unless service is exemplary.

123
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by 123 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:48 pm

The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

racy
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by racy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:55 pm

I've always tipped between 10 and 15%, whatever rounds up to an even dollar on the tab. However, my DW, thinks 20% is a minimum....

denovo
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by denovo » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:58 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 pm
H
Should I continue to tip 15% (or 20% in these situations, or is the acceptable tip now something different (ie, lower)? Please discuss your rationale.

(This is both personal and actionable - I may change my behavior based on comments received)

You're not bound by any laws to tip. It's legally optional, I am ignoring restaurants that put in a gratuity. It's about social norms and what you consider to be proper behavior. Why are you asking the community about what norms you want to abide by?
Last edited by denovo on Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:07 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 pm
Historically waitstaff in many jurisdictions were earning something around $2.13 plus tips. This is the federal minimum wage for tipped waitstaff. Many states require a higher minimum wage than that, for example all the states on the West Coast require employers pay the full state minimum wage in addition to tips (no allowance for tip credit). States on the West Coast have higher minimum wages than the feds and than most of the rest of the country: currently $10.50-$11 per hour.
Now all three states on the West Coast have passed legislation which raises the minimum wage, in most circumstances, to around $15 per hour over several years. In Seattle and possibly other cities, it is already $15 per hour for many chain restaurant employees. It may be important for this discussion to note that the $15 minimum wage was widely advertised as a 'living wage.'
OK, now to my question.
Should I continue to tip 15% (or 20% in these situations, or is the acceptable tip now something different (ie, lower)? Please discuss your rationale.
(This is both personal and actionable - I may change my behavior based on comments received)
I'll link one article about the matter, only because there is a quote in there by "etiquette expert Lizzie Post - great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post" - saying, "We’re giving that soft green light—a nice greenish-yellow hue to it, a very hipster color—to say we would not frown on someone going back to 15 percent or maybe a 10 percent tip."
http://archive.seattleweekly.com/food/9 ... age-change
And that is what I've been thinking of doing - around 10% of what I used to do was 15%, and 15% if what I used to do was 20%.
What say you?
(the only argument I will find utterly boring is the one that says waitstaff work hard and you can afford it, so keep tipping 20%. Booorrrring!)
Not in any of these states, not any knowledge of the details --

BUT are you saying that a waiter/waitress in a restaurant is actually earning (and receiving) $15.00 per hour BEFORE any TIP income? I suppose that is possible, but I wonder if it is actually working this way.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:14 pm

To me, a tip is a gratuity for service above the norm, because just bringing me a plate and putting it on the table is something that should be done anyway. And, go to a low priced restaurant and I get a reasonably priced meal. Maybe 6 plates. Go to a high end restaurant, same 6 plates, yet the bill is huge. So to tip % on both is unfair. The waitress at Denny's worked just as hard. So, I tip based on the service regardless of the price of the meal. The waitress at Denny's may get a tip that's larger than my bill.
And, like "Denovo", I avoid places that force a gratuity on the bill. To me, that's an automatic employee raise that every customer is paying for and not the employer. It breeds an atmosphere of entitlement vs service. As a businessman, I think this is poor business practice. When the government gets into regulating gratuities, that's something altogether. In the end, the customer pays and pays and pays.
Tipping is such an individual thing that invites opinions toward entitlement and toward merit based compensation/reward.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MP123
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by MP123 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:15 pm

I usually tip 20% assuming that the sever is making $2.x something as a base.

But you're right that in Seattle at least the minimum wage is $15 so adding an additional 20% to that seems a bit over the top.

Hard to tell though if you travel what the local minimum wage is.

J295
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by J295 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:17 pm

Tip the same as you always have.

Prediction: this will be like all the other tipping threads. Those that tip well will continue to do so. Those that don’t will state the reasons why they don’t and maybe add a living wage to their arsenal of arguments, and they will likewise maintain their same behavior.
Last edited by J295 on Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:17 pm

Not just states, but cities have their own laws - and those in the Los Angeles area are on a faster track to $15 than the state is.

https://www.govdocs.com/santa-monica-mi ... ick-leave/

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-m ... story.html

This is being paid for with price increases, which amounts to hands in both pockets of the customer. My action is to tip 5-10% at most, and to eat cheaper items on the menu. I have to live, too.

iamlucky13
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:27 pm

My wife used to work in a fairly typical mid-level restaurant in the Portland area. Pay was officially the state minimum wage of something like $9/hour, but I think her average gross was $20-25/hour, including tips that were usually 15-20%.

Based on that, I think in $15/hour base pay context, ~10% is a reasonable level to reward good service, leaving you room to disincentivize poor service, and ensure the server is able to make decent pay.

Keep in mind I'm talking about $20-25/hour in a relatively high cost of living area. I expect that will sound rather high to some folks. It obviously varies by location, and while that can be a comfortable income level for a single person, it's not for a family.
denovo wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:58 pm
You're not bound by any laws to tip. It's legally optional, I am ignoring restaurants that put in a gratuity. It's about social norms and what you consider to be proper behavior. Why are you asking the community about what your norms are?


I would say most people's norm is to pay a reasonable amount for a full time worker to live off of in exchange for the service they provide. However, most people also don't know what exactly that means in the context of restaurant service.

I'm not a fan of tipping as a norm instead of an incentive, but it's where things are in the US right now, and it's not going to change overnight.

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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Slacker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:33 pm

Thank you for this information.

I am typically a "big" tipper, in part because of the low wages. Next time I am in California or Washington, I will certainly be modifying my tipping behavior to leave a smaller tip (5-10% sounds like a good start).

J295
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by J295 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:42 pm

Slacker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:33 pm

Thank you for this information.

I am typically a "big" tipper, in part because of the low wages. Next time I am in California or Washington, I will certainly be modifying my tipping behavior to leave a smaller tip (5-10% sounds like a good start).
In our LCOL area a decent one bedroom is $700. Comparable in San Francisco is around $3,000+. I'm not convinced the "living wage" differential or more expensive meal puts the server ahead when the tips are reduced anywhere from 50% to 75% (from a 20% tip down to a 5 or 10% tip).

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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by stoptothink » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:58 pm

J295 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:42 pm
Slacker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:33 pm

Thank you for this information.

I am typically a "big" tipper, in part because of the low wages. Next time I am in California or Washington, I will certainly be modifying my tipping behavior to leave a smaller tip (5-10% sounds like a good start).
In our LCOL area a decent one bedroom is $700. Comparable in San Francisco is around $3,000+. I'm not convinced the "living wage" differential or more expensive meal puts the server ahead when the tips are reduced anywhere from 50% to 75% (from a 20% tip down to a 5 or 10% tip).
The question is, should that be a concern of the consumer? Realize that others, not servers who work just as hard and make the same wage before tips also face the same issue. My belief is absolutely not and I am married to a former (long-time) server, who feels the same way. The tipping culture in this country is completely irrational and one of (not the only) reason why I simply don't eat out, literally ever.

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dm200
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:09 pm

If, in fact, the server at a restaurant I frequent had his/her actual wages increased from $2.13 per hour to $15.00 per hour, I might reconsider my tipping percentage. Let's see what the actual changes are and how they are interpreted by employers and whether such employers make any changes to tipping at the restaurants.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:18 pm

J295 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:42 pm

In our LCOL area a decent one bedroom is $700. Comparable in San Francisco is around $3,000+. I'm not convinced the "living wage" differential or more expensive meal puts the server ahead when the tips are reduced anywhere from 50% to 75% (from a 20% tip down to a 5 or 10% tip).
No one is forced to live in San Francisco, or any other HCOL area, and the customer certainly shouldn't be expected to help subsidize such a decision.

EddyB
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by EddyB » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:25 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:18 pm
J295 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:42 pm

In our LCOL area a decent one bedroom is $700. Comparable in San Francisco is around $3,000+. I'm not convinced the "living wage" differential or more expensive meal puts the server ahead when the tips are reduced anywhere from 50% to 75% (from a 20% tip down to a 5 or 10% tip).
No one is forced to live in San Francisco, or any other HCOL area, and the customer certainly shouldn't be expected to help subsidize such a decision.
I don't think that's exactly the right conclusion; although nothing's to stop restaurateurs in SF from charging the prices they need to charge to pay for the waitstaff they want to hire (and I'd prefer that over the tipping model), I'm pretty sure the customer ends up paying for the cost of labor one way or another.

student
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by student » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:28 pm

When I visited such a state before, I told myself that there is no need to tip but I just can't do it. At the end, I think I tipped between 10% and 15%.

Slacker
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Slacker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:42 pm

J295 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:42 pm
Slacker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:33 pm

Thank you for this information.

I am typically a "big" tipper, in part because of the low wages. Next time I am in California or Washington, I will certainly be modifying my tipping behavior to leave a smaller tip (5-10% sounds like a good start).
In our LCOL area a decent one bedroom is $700. Comparable in San Francisco is around $3,000+. I'm not convinced the "living wage" differential or more expensive meal puts the server ahead when the tips are reduced anywhere from 50% to 75% (from a 20% tip down to a 5 or 10% tip).
When considering an area that pays $2.13 plus tips for waitstaff, $8 for dishwashers and $12 for linecooks - I completely agree with giving decent tips.

When now looking at the hypothetical San Francisco restaurant with the waitstaff now making $15/hr along with the dishwashers making $15/hr and whatever they may pay linecooks -> I don't think it is out of line to reduce the tips. You can't tip the cooks and other behind the counter staff who work just as hard (sometimes much, much harder in my experience working at a restaurant many many years ago) but they have essentially the same wages now, as the waitstaff.

If the waitstaff wages seem too low/unethical - a person has to re-evaluate whether or not it is ethical to go to an establishment that pays everyone you don't see such low wages with no additional compensation as well.

tanstaafl
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by tanstaafl » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:46 pm

My $0.02: If you are financially secure and patronize the local restaurants, tip what you always used to. Why punish the service for policy choices beyond their control? To feel sanctimonious?

iamlucky13
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:54 pm

Slacker wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:33 pm
Thank you for this information.

I am typically a "big" tipper, in part because of the low wages. Next time I am in California or Washington, I will certainly be modifying my tipping behavior to leave a smaller tip (5-10% sounds like a good start).
FYI, Seattle has a different minimum wage than the rest of Washington. Seattle is $15 now. Washington is increasing from $9.47 in 2016, is currently at $11, and will be $13.50 in 2020. Both will adjust based on the CPI.

At the same time, cost of living varies widely across Washington. Earning $13.50/hour in Bellevue, where the cost of living is heavily affected by the large number of tech jobs, is very different from earning $13.50/hour in Walla Walla.
tanstaafl wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:46 pm
My $0.02: If you are financially secure and patronize the local restaurants, tip what you always used to. Why punish the service for policy choices beyond their control? To feel sanctimonious?
I don't think anybody said anything about punishing servers? I think most people are looking at this with the expectation that their servers should earn similar total pay, not be punished with lower pay.

Thinking about this from a financial perspective, it's more like the same nominal pay, but still a better risk-adjusted pay.

letsgobobby
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:57 pm

J295 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:17 pm
Tip the same as you always have.

Prediction: this will be like all the other tipping threads. Those that tip well will continue to do so. Those that don’t will state the reasons why they don’t and maybe add a living wage to their arsenal of arguments, and they will likewise maintain their same behavior.
Why should tipping not change when wages are increased 50%?

I consider myself a better than average but not exceptional tipper. Traditionally 17%, occasionally more.

However I am struggling with the idea that I should continue to tip the same when the express purpose of the new higher wage is to create a living wage and to protect waitstaff who were previously getting stiffed when people did not tip. The higher wage is supposed to address that. Avoiding discussing the details to avoid politics however that basic fact is not in question.

Regarding my personal custom, all such customs are based on cultural expectations, so having a sense how others might handle this is relevant. Right now I have transitioned from 17% to 14-15% as wages have risen. I am tentatively planning a glide to 10% in these jurisdictions but could be talked out of it.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:09 pm

So you've been going to the same restaurants but now they are forced to pay their workers a higher minimum wage? Do you know for a fact they weren't already paying a higher than minimum wage? If they were not - did you see them suddenly raise all their food prices as a result (in which case may be it would make sense to drop your tip to make up the difference)?
I don't sweat the small stuff so would continue to tip as normal.

tanstaafl
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by tanstaafl » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:12 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:54 pm
I don't think anybody said anything about punishing servers? I think most people are looking at this with the expectation that their servers should earn similar total pay, not be punished with lower pay.

Thinking about this from a financial perspective, it's more like the same nominal pay, but still a better risk-adjusted pay.
That's what economists would call "partial equilibrium thinking." A rise in the minimum wage will mean a rise in consumer prices (modest, but discernible, based on past research). More to the point, employers will look to cut benefits elsewhere, so the increased wage that servers see will be offset to some extent by these adjustment channels. So if you want them to earn the same nominal pay, tip the same as you always have.

But like J295 said upthread: this is largely going to devolve into post-hoc rationalizing for people to tip less. If tipping for the service, then the hourly wage is a sunk cost and your tip should take no notice of it.

I also agree with what DaftInvestor just said as I was typing this.

Ragnoth
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Ragnoth » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:14 pm

I never worked in a restaurant myself, but several friends and family members have worked as servers.

I tip around ~20% on the post-tax amount, (and round up to make the bill an even dollar amount). At fancy restaurants the tip winds up being more in terms of absolute dollars, but I think you normally are getting more service (e.g., several waiters and a sommelier). Also keep in mind that some places are pooling tips and splitting money with the bus-boys and back staff.

I would probably be a little less generous if I knew ahead of time that the waiters were making a living wage (particularly in something like a more modest chain restaurant like Denny's or Applebee's), but I don't know if I could ever bring myself to go below the 10-15% range. I have a similar problem when travelling abroad, visiting countries where generous tipping is not the norm since waitstaff make a living wage.

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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm

OP,

1) I do not change my tipping behavior just because some state claimed that they are paying a living wage. If I cannot afford to tip at certain places, I just do not go to that locations/places.

2) Our tips will not make anybody rich. I make and save enough money so that I can be generous to others when I want to. This is one of the luxuries of life that I can afford.

KlangFool

tanstaafl
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by tanstaafl » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:20 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm
OP,

I do not change my tipping behavior just because some state claimed that they are paying a living wage. If I cannot afford to tip at certain places, I just do not go to that locations/places.

KlangFool
Thank you Klangfool for stating this better than I. I agree completely.

KlangFool
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:25 pm

tanstaafl wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:20 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm
OP,

I do not change my tipping behavior just because some state claimed that they are paying a living wage. If I cannot afford to tip at certain places, I just do not go to that locations/places.

KlangFool
Thank you Klangfool for stating this better than I. I agree completely.
tanstaafl,

I had worked at minimum wage jobs. It is not an easy life. I tend to take better care of people at the lower income level. I brought gifts and souvenier for our custodians, administrative assistants, and mail room clerks. They are overworked and under-appreciated.

KlangFool

letsgobobby
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:28 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:25 pm
tanstaafl wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:20 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm
OP,

I do not change my tipping behavior just because some state claimed that they are paying a living wage. If I cannot afford to tip at certain places, I just do not go to that locations/places.

KlangFool
Thank you Klangfool for stating this better than I. I agree completely.
tanstaafl,

I had worked at minimum wage jobs. It is not an easy life. I tend to take better care of people at the lower income level. I brought gifts and souvenier for our custodians, administrative assistants, and mail room clerks. They are overworked and under-appreciated.

KlangFool
You’re not the only one; but I don’t associate those experiences with how much I tip. Anyway, this isn’t about tipping, generally, but about whether a change in pay structure (from a wage with a tip credit to a full minimm wage to a living wage) should change my tipping practice. I don’t see how it could possibly remain the same, to be honest. I do tip differently (less) in Europe and in Asia than I do in the US, and many of their waitstaff are at least as overworked, underappreciated, and outright exploited than their colleagues in the states. So their efforts or nobility don’t do much to justify the right tip.

KlangFool
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:39 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:28 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:25 pm
tanstaafl wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:20 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm
OP,

I do not change my tipping behavior just because some state claimed that they are paying a living wage. If I cannot afford to tip at certain places, I just do not go to that locations/places.

KlangFool
Thank you Klangfool for stating this better than I. I agree completely.
tanstaafl,

I had worked at minimum wage jobs. It is not an easy life. I tend to take better care of people at the lower income level. I brought gifts and souvenier for our custodians, administrative assistants, and mail room clerks. They are overworked and under-appreciated.

KlangFool
You’re not the only one; but I don’t associate those experiences with how much I tip. Anyway, this isn’t about tipping, generally, but about whether a change in pay structure (from a wage with a tip credit to a full minimm wage to a living wage) should change my tipping practice. I don’t see how it could possibly remain the same, to be honest. I do tip differently (less) in Europe and in Asia than I do in the US, and many of their waitstaff are at least as overworked, underappreciated, and outright exploited than their colleagues in the states. So their efforts or nobility don’t do much to justify the right tip.
letsgobobby,

To each its own.

<< I don’t associate those experiences with how much I tip. >>

I do.

<< I do tip differently (less) in Europe and in Asia than I do in the US, and many of their waitstaff are at least as overworked, underappreciated, and outright exploited than their colleagues in the states. So their efforts or nobility don’t do much to justify the right tip.>>

I don't. Except in the case where tipping is prohibited.

This is my general philosophy in life. Be as generous as possible to those that earn less than I do. To each its own. You do not have to agree with me.

I am a blue collar aka working class culture type of person. I know where I came from. And, I know many others are not as lucky as I am.

KlangFool

denovo
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by denovo » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:42 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:28 pm
tip. Anyway, this isn’t about tipping, generally, but about whether a change in pay structure (from a wage with a tip credit to a full minimm wage to a living wage) should change my tipping practice. I don’t see how it could possibly remain the same, to be honest.


Bad logic. Why do you assume that even before the change in law, that the restaurants you frequented paid the absolute minimum anyway. They may have been paid more to begin with.

Lawyered.

letsgobobby
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:28 pm

denovo wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:42 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:28 pm
tip. Anyway, this isn’t about tipping, generally, but about whether a change in pay structure (from a wage with a tip credit to a full minimm wage to a living wage) should change my tipping practice. I don’t see how it could possibly remain the same, to be honest.


Bad logic. Why do you assume that even before the change in law, that the restaurants you frequented paid the absolute minimum anyway. They may have been paid more to begin with.

Lawyered.
That is a good point.

letsgobobby
Posts: 10628
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:31 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:39 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:28 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:25 pm
tanstaafl wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:20 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm
OP,

I do not change my tipping behavior just because some state claimed that they are paying a living wage. If I cannot afford to tip at certain places, I just do not go to that locations/places.

KlangFool
Thank you Klangfool for stating this better than I. I agree completely.
tanstaafl,

I had worked at minimum wage jobs. It is not an easy life. I tend to take better care of people at the lower income level. I brought gifts and souvenier for our custodians, administrative assistants, and mail room clerks. They are overworked and under-appreciated.

KlangFool
You’re not the only one; but I don’t associate those experiences with how much I tip. Anyway, this isn’t about tipping, generally, but about whether a change in pay structure (from a wage with a tip credit to a full minimm wage to a living wage) should change my tipping practice. I don’t see how it could possibly remain the same, to be honest. I do tip differently (less) in Europe and in Asia than I do in the US, and many of their waitstaff are at least as overworked, underappreciated, and outright exploited than their colleagues in the states. So their efforts or nobility don’t do much to justify the right tip.
letsgobobby,

To each its own.

<< I don’t associate those experiences with how much I tip. >>

I do.

<< I do tip differently (less) in Europe and in Asia than I do in the US, and many of their waitstaff are at least as overworked, underappreciated, and outright exploited than their colleagues in the states. So their efforts or nobility don’t do much to justify the right tip.>>

I don't. Except in the case where tipping is prohibited.

This is my general philosophy in life. Be as generous as possible to those that earn less than I do. To each its own. You do not have to agree with me.

I am a blue collar aka working class culture type of person. I know where I came from. And, I know many others are not as lucky as I am.

KlangFool
i’m not sure i believe you. i’ve been taught that tipping 20% in japan would be considered extremely rude.

KlangFool
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by KlangFool » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:31 pm

i’m not sure i believe you. i’ve been taught that tipping 20% in japan would be considered extremely rude.
letsgobobby,

1) I have not ever been in Japan long enough to know. In any case, I couldn't care less how Japanese think and believe anyhow. It is their choice to suffer from their culture. I do not have to join them.

2) You do not have to believe me. Ditto, I do not have to believe you.

3) I do not believe in letting others decide what I should do.

KlangFool

InMyDreams
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by InMyDreams » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:50 pm

Years ago I was visiting in Santa Fe, after they had raised their minimum wage within the city. The restaurant made sure its customers knew that servers were being paid that minimum wage, and, I think I even remember the server announcing that at the beginning of the meal.

ssquared87
Posts: 345
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by ssquared87 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:07 pm

If I were dining in a living wage area, I would not tip by default. If the service was above and beyond, I'd leave a tip depending on how much better than average the service is in my view. But for just average service in a living wage area, $0 is sufficient as far as I'm concerned.

There are many who will disagree with this, but that is what I feel comfortable with. A tip is intended to reward excellent service. If service is average and they're already getting $15/hr then there's no reason to give more.

I've gone to restaurants and had exceptional service and have given 50% tips when staff was truly exceptional. And I've had other experiences which were truly awful and I left a 50 cent tip on a $75 meal...one quarter for the server who gave the wrong order then refused to correct it, and another for the manager who tried to charge me extra to change the order that they screwed up in the first place. I'm not just going to give 15% to someone if they don't earn it.

EddyB
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by EddyB » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:18 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:28 pm
denovo wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:42 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:28 pm
tip. Anyway, this isn’t about tipping, generally, but about whether a change in pay structure (from a wage with a tip credit to a full minimm wage to a living wage) should change my tipping practice. I don’t see how it could possibly remain the same, to be honest.


Bad logic. Why do you assume that even before the change in law, that the restaurants you frequented paid the absolute minimum anyway. They may have been paid more to begin with.

Lawyered.
That is a good point.
It’s an illustration of the frustration of being asked, as a customer, to be a direct participant in the compensatory arrangements for waitstaff without having much of the relevant information.

RustyShackleford
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Location: NC

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by RustyShackleford » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:41 pm

denovo wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:58 pm
It's about social norms and what you consider to be proper behavior. Why are you asking the community about what norms you want to abide by?
Uh, social norms are defined by what a community thinks. I guess the people on this thread aren't the same community as where the OP lives, but still ...

SirRunsabit
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Location: Earth

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by SirRunsabit » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:05 am

Wow, judging by this forum, few have waited tables in the US. The server pays tax based on a percentage of sales. That minimum wage is eaten. In my day, we got the full minimum wage ($4) and I usually took home ($1). Should I have had federal minimum tipped wage ($2), my check would have been $0. Double my wage, it goes to the government. Yippee. Maybe you can open a tip free, full service restaurant.

Bottom line, the cash at the table is the real take home, so go ahead and hit people where it hurts so you can save a buck or two.
Hi!

KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by KlangFool » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:51 am

OP,

I do not believe over-tipping to be a problem. I believe that people with lowered income have a tough life even with a living wage. There are plenty of starving and homeless people. The capital area food bank helps 540K people per year. This is about 12% of DC area population.

https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/about-cafb/

Many folks in our country are not doing well at all. So, if I could contribute a bit more by tipping to people with lowered income, it is a good thing.

KlangFool

stoptothink
Posts: 3746
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by stoptothink » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:44 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:28 pm
denovo wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:42 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:28 pm
tip. Anyway, this isn’t about tipping, generally, but about whether a change in pay structure (from a wage with a tip credit to a full minimm wage to a living wage) should change my tipping practice. I don’t see how it could possibly remain the same, to be honest.


Bad logic. Why do you assume that even before the change in law, that the restaurants you frequented paid the absolute minimum anyway. They may have been paid more to begin with.

Lawyered.
That is a good point.
FWIW, my step-sister is a server at a popular local Brazillian churrascaria, they pay all their servers above minimum wage and as it is buffet style, the "servers" responsibilities are limited to seating, taking orders on alcoholic drinks only, and handling the bill. I bet the huge majority of the patrons have no idea that the servers are not paid $2.13/hr, and that my sister is generally making $30-35/hr when tips are included. She has managed to pay her way through school debt free and buy a car in cash working weekends there the last 3yrs. I say good for her, but it is paints a clear picture of how irrational the system is.

goingup
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:02 pm

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by goingup » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:24 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 pm
Should I continue to tip 15% (or 20%) in these situations, or is the acceptable tip now something different (ie, lower)? Please discuss your rationale.
I tip 15-20% because it is customary. I live in greater Seattle and realize many servers make now or will make $15/hour hourly wage. It is quite expensive to eat out now-a-days. Lunch (without alcohol) for 2 at a sit-down Mexican is typically $35-$40 including tip. Dinner for 2 at a neighborhood restaurant (including a couple drinks each) easily tops $100. Sales tax is also 10%.

So, yes. I tip what is customary, but now seem to eat out less in our living-wage jurisdiction because the experience is more expensive. Maybe we'll get used to the new normal. I do support the changes but the impact is noticeable.

User avatar
dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:51 am

SirRunsabit wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:05 am
Wow, judging by this forum, few have waited tables in the US. The server pays tax based on a percentage of sales. That minimum wage is eaten. In my day, we got the full minimum wage ($4) and I usually took home ($1). Should I have had federal minimum tipped wage ($2), my check would have been $0. Double my wage, it goes to the government. Yippee. Maybe you can open a tip free, full service restaurant.
Bottom line, the cash at the table is the real take home, so go ahead and hit people where it hurts so you can save a buck or two.
It does not matter, in my opinion, the amount of the server's "check"; what matters is how much, total, the server takes home.

As long as the percentage of sales taxed is equal to the amiunt of tips received, this is fair/legal.

Your math Double my wage, it goes to the government is severaly flawed.

While I really do care about fairness, equity, etc. for those who are on the front lines of such service, flawed math and logic like this does not help the cause.

It is also the case that some folks who earn the vast majority of their income from TIPs do quite well. These folks would NOT want tipping eliminated.

Bmac
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:58 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Bmac » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:59 am

goingup wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:24 am
letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:44 pm
Should I continue to tip 15% (or 20%) in these situations, or is the acceptable tip now something different (ie, lower)? Please discuss your rationale.
I tip 15-20% because it is customary. I live in greater Seattle and realize many servers make now or will make $15/hour hourly wage. It is quite expensive to eat out now-a-days. Lunch (without alcohol) for 2 at a sit-down Mexican is typically $35-$40 including tip. Dinner for 2 at a neighborhood restaurant (including a couple drinks each) easily tops $100. Sales tax is also 10%.

So, yes. I tip what is customary, but now seem to eat out less in our living-wage jurisdiction because the experience is more expensive. Maybe we'll get used to the new normal. I do support the changes but the impact is noticeable.
+1. Also in the Seattle area. I generally continue to tip 18-20%. The amazing power of anchoring. Also, the difference between 15% and 18% is only $3 for a $100 meal, which likely means much more to someone working as waitstaff than me financially.

Actually, some of the high end restaurants now have an automatic 20% tip/surcharge, not only for large parties, which at least removes any “tip anxiety.” And they typically let you know upfront.

I don’t really like the concept of a “living wage” in that I think most of these jobs should be part of the journey, not the destination, but certainly living in Seattle is expensive

Slacker
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Slacker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:51 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:54 pm
Slacker wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:33 pm
Thank you for this information.

I am typically a "big" tipper, in part because of the low wages. Next time I am in California or Washington, I will certainly be modifying my tipping behavior to leave a smaller tip (5-10% sounds like a good start).
FYI, Seattle has a different minimum wage than the rest of Washington. Seattle is $15 now. Washington is increasing from $9.47 in 2016, is currently at $11, and will be $13.50 in 2020. Both will adjust based on the CPI.

At the same time, cost of living varies widely across Washington. Earning $13.50/hour in Bellevue, where the cost of living is heavily affected by the large number of tech jobs, is very different from earning $13.50/hour in Walla Walla.
I've lived in Bellevue. I don't see how any waitstaff other than kids living with their parents would be able to afford living there.

When I lived in Washington state, I tended to tip closer to the 15% amounts people talk about. When I moved to states where the minimum wage for servers is much less I tended to tip closer to 20-25%. Now, I somewhat uncouple my tips from strict dollar amounts and try to consider better the quality of service and amount of work the server had to do. If I ordered a 16oz ribeye at an establishment one day and a chicken salad on the following day, it seems a bit odd to tip strictly on a % basis as the amount of work is basically identical.

If restaurants increase their prices (I don't believe restaurants have huge margins that they can decrease to make up for the wage increase), and you get the exact same food and service - why should your tip increase? (increase is based on the idea that the food is now more expensive to compensate for the wage increases but you hold your tips static). Why didn't you increase your tips more, previously when the base wage before tip was lower based on the discussion of cost of living?

Slacker
Posts: 397
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by Slacker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:56 am

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:31 pm

i’m not sure i believe you. i’ve been taught that tipping 20% in japan would be considered extremely rude.
letsgobobby,

1) I have not ever been in Japan long enough to know. In any case, I couldn't care less how Japanese think and believe anyhow. It is their choice to suffer from their culture. I do not have to join them.

2) You do not have to believe me. Ditto, I do not have to believe you.

3) I do not believe in letting others decide what I should do.

KlangFool
Letsgobobby is pretty much spot on wrt Japan. Japanese people have to be told to include a tip when they visit the US because it is a very foreign concept to them.

" It is their choice to suffer from their culture. I do not have to join them."
Sorry bud, you have this absolutely backwards. Our culture is the one suffering from the prevalence of tipping.

Harvard study on link between tipping and corruption

Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry

chevca
Posts: 463
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by chevca » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:10 pm

Man, leave it to Bogleheads to make even tipping a massively complicated issue... :happy

Some Seattle restaurants have a no tip 'rule'. Go to those places.

This has been around a fair amount of time now, at least in Seattle. Have folks, OP, not adjusted yet?

User avatar
dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:31 pm

chevca wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:10 pm
Man, leave it to Bogleheads to make even tipping a massively complicated issue... :happy

Some Seattle restaurants have a no tip 'rule'. Go to those places.

This has been around a fair amount of time now, at least in Seattle. Have folks, OP, not adjusted yet?
Hope some here adopt that rule :)

DanMahowny
Posts: 75
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Re: Tipping in living wage state. Redux.

Post by DanMahowny » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:45 pm

If wait staff is earning $15 p/hr, I would employ the following formula to determine the appropriate tip.

Amount of my check x 0 = tip amount

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