Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

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Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Starfish » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:50 pm

GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, usually.
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.

Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.

2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).

3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.

I grew up and traveled through Europe and spend way too much time in bars, pubs and clubs :) and IMHO your analysis is wrong.
Customers definitely don't lose anything. I don't want to be forced to buy a service I don't care for. The quality service is very similar with what you get in US, but, similar with US, it's lower in touristic traps. Quality of food is definitely higher.

I would happily wait couple of minutes more than pay a fuzzy amount of money that makes people happy or maybe unhappy, who knows. The reason to go in a place is to talk and spend time with people, not to get in, eat, run out. Few minutes are irrelevant. "Drinkers" don't go in pubs to drink fast, not most of them anyway, but to drink the least amount in the longest amount of time.
If the tip system was so good you would find it around the world. But you don't. Are people stupid?

oldfatguy
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:21 pm

GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm

Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.
I see this argument all the time, but why does it only apply to food service? How is it that everyone else is able to perform their jobs adequately without the motivation of tips?

Why don't grocery checkers need tips to work effectively? Parking lot attendants? Cooks? Anyone else?

Also, I've had lots of terrible service from tipped servers.
Last edited by oldfatguy on Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by RJC » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:21 pm

Starfish wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:50 pm
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, usually.
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.

Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.

2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).

3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.

I grew up and traveled through Europe and spend way too much time in bars, pubs and clubs :) and IMHO your analysis is wrong.
Customers definitely don't lose anything. I don't want to be forced to buy a service I don't care for. The quality service is very similar with what you get in US, but, similar with US, it's lower in touristic traps. Quality of food is definitely higher.

I would happily wait couple of minutes more than pay a fuzzy amount of money that makes people happy or maybe unhappy, who knows. The reason to go in a place is to talk and spend time with people, not to get in, eat, run out. Few minutes are irrelevant. "Drinkers" don't go in pubs to drink fast, not most of them anyway, but to drink the least amount in the longest amount of time.
If the tip system was so good you would find it around the world. But you don't. Are people stupid?
+1. The service in Europe and Asia is comparable to the US IMO.

BeanCity
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by BeanCity » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:30 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:01 pm
CoastalWinds wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:11 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:09 pm
Yes I tip. If I have enough to buy prepared food from a vendor I can afford at least 10% tip.
This is interesting logic. Not sure I agree.
It comes from feeling gratitude that I have enough.
Just because you have enough doesn't mean you should. That's like saying I am an NFL football player who has a million dollars, and because I have that money, I should give some of it away to my friends and family....see how well that works out

BeanCity
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by BeanCity » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:55 pm

RJC wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:38 pm
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/trav ... tuity.html

"Those customer-facing, touch-screen payment systems in restaurants are confounding customers in the U.S. and beyond."

I feel like it's getting out of control. What is the consensus here?
This has been on my mind for a long time now. I feel it is VERY hard to talk about this with friends, as they immediately jump to call me a cheap bastard. However, it is honestly not about being cheap. Some of the people in this thread hit the nail on the head. It is social engineering. It is a marketing ploy to make consumers feel more rich, and to feel like they can afford more, so they spend more. It is an avenue to justify paying employees little money and putting the burden on consumers.

I have worked as a waiter, as an employee at a men's clothing store, as a pizza delivery person, and mowed lawns. I feel that all of these require the same level of service yet the food industry is demands minimum 20%, otherwise you run the risk of being chastised in one way or another.

Ultimately, if I go buy a coffee, a beer, food, book a plane ticket, or go on a fishing trip, I would like to know the all-in cost so I can make the best decision for myself and my family. Yes, I understand I can just calculate it out to know the all-in cost. It reminds me of a completely different topic yet relates exactly to my point: people having to opt out of a 401k vs opting into a 401k. It is proven that the extra step of opting out of a 401k keeps people from doing it, and thereby improving peoples lives. My theory is that if people knew what their all-in cost was up front, the added step of calculation is removed, and they would show some restraint in purchasing decisions. This is a step towards helping people live within their means.

Many Americans have been engineered to think tipping is "the right thing to do" for a variety of reasons. I fully believe it needs to be thought about and addressed on a much deeper level.

The question is this: how do we change this culture?

BeanCity
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by BeanCity » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:02 pm

Pomegranate wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:39 am
yohac wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:03 pm
Nicolas wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:07 pm
Why don’t we tip grocery store baggers? They’re also providing a service and are low paid.
Many would say you should, and would in fact assert that anyone who provides any personal service whatsoever deserves a generous tip. And if you don't agree, and comply, you're simply a bad person.
Lolwhat :mrgreen:
I called Fidelity rep last week to figure out how to enroll in auto buy of T Bills. It was a personal service but I'm not going to tip 25% of transaction for that :oops:
What about a flight attendant? a phone service representative? a bus driver? laundry mat lady? the person I buy my grill from at Lowes?

Where does it freakin end?

student
Posts: 4133
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by student » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:04 pm

BeanCity wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:55 pm
RJC wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:38 pm
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/trav ... tuity.html

"Those customer-facing, touch-screen payment systems in restaurants are confounding customers in the U.S. and beyond."

I feel like it's getting out of control. What is the consensus here?
This has been on my mind for a long time now. I feel it is VERY hard to talk about this with friends, as they immediately jump to call me a cheap bastard. However, it is honestly not about being cheap. Some of the people in this thread hit the nail on the head. It is social engineering. It is a marketing ploy to make consumers feel more rich, and to feel like they can afford more, so they spend more. It is an avenue to justify paying employees little money and putting the burden on consumers.

I have worked as a waiter, as an employee at a men's clothing store, as a pizza delivery person, and mowed lawns. I feel that all of these require the same level of service yet the food industry is demands minimum 20%, otherwise you run the risk of being chastised in one way or another.

Ultimately, if I go buy a coffee, a beer, food, book a plane ticket, or go on a fishing trip, I would like to know the all-in cost so I can make the best decision for myself and my family. Yes, I understand I can just calculate it out to know the all-in cost. It reminds me of a completely different topic yet relates exactly to my point: people having to opt out of a 401k vs opting into a 401k. It is proven that the extra step of opting out of a 401k keeps people from doing it, and thereby improving peoples lives. My theory is that if people knew what their all-in cost was up front, the added step of calculation is removed, and they would show some restraint in purchasing decisions. This is a step towards helping people live within their means.

Many Americans have been engineered to think tipping is "the right thing to do" for a variety of reasons. I fully believe it needs to be thought about and addressed on a much deeper level.

The question is this: how do we change this culture?
I don't think there is anyway to change the culture. I continue to pay 18% but 20% at restaurants that are go often and receive great service. But I decrease the number of times going to sit-down restaurant, instead I do take-out (tipping not required as per Emily Post).

Buckeye Chuck
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:54 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Buckeye Chuck » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:25 pm

I don't like the tip jar when I get an ice cream. They hand me a cone and get a tip?

I just ate at Culver's. Order the food at counter and they bring it to table. No tip.

I think tipping at counter is absurd barring something unusual.

The screen is to guilt you. They chose the job. Get real.

Dottie57
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Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:25 pm

BeanCity wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:30 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:01 pm
CoastalWinds wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:11 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:09 pm
Yes I tip. If I have enough to buy prepared food from a vendor I can afford at least 10% tip.
This is interesting logic. Not sure I agree.
It comes from feeling gratitude that I have enough.
Just because you have enough doesn't mean you should. That's like saying I am an NFL football player who has a million dollars, and because I have that money, I should give some of it away to my friends and family....see how well that works out
There is nothing wrong with being generous or feeling gratitude.

student
Posts: 4133
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by student » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:37 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:25 pm
BeanCity wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:30 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:01 pm
CoastalWinds wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:11 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:09 pm
Yes I tip. If I have enough to buy prepared food from a vendor I can afford at least 10% tip.
This is interesting logic. Not sure I agree.
It comes from feeling gratitude that I have enough.
Just because you have enough doesn't mean you should. That's like saying I am an NFL football player who has a million dollars, and because I have that money, I should give some of it away to my friends and family....see how well that works out
There is nothing wrong with being generous or feeling gratitude.
Nothing wrong at all. I have reread your posts and you only stated your preference and you did not explicitly guilt anybody to tip as you do. Perfectly fine, just different approaches.

User avatar
tooluser
Posts: 465
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:04 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by tooluser » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:46 pm

I have no shame. I personally tip the entire gross product of every sentient endeavor to everyone in the multiverse on a continuum basis. I also reserve a defined and entangled quanta for those lurking in the most minuscule crevices defined at their upper limit by the Planck length and time, but who are outside of my ability to detect.

And yet they have never said "Thanks" even once!

protagonist
Posts: 6039
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by protagonist » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:38 pm

GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm


Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.
I've heard this from others but I have spent a lot of time living overseas and in Europe as well, and it has not been my personal experience. Part of it is cultural. For example in France (where I go every summer), I have been told by French friends that it is consider rude for servers to interrupt your meal or bring you your bill if you do not ask. It is tantamount to rushing you. That , I think , is interpreted by some Americans as inattentiveness. Personally I prefer it to "What will you have for dessert? What do you want to drink with that? Can I get you another drink?" and all those other interruptions designed to get you to spend more money.
Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate.
I imagine that is true in some establishments (like popular fancy restaurants) but not in others, depending on the clientele and how busy the establishment is.
2. Customers lose
If that were true, then the tipping model should extend to all retail establishments, not just restaurants. You want to buy a shirt? The store owner , by that argument, should not be required to pay the worker a decent wage. Your shirts would be cheaper and you could give the salesperson what you think he/she deserves. That is not a world in which I particularly want to live.

A decent wage provides security. Not to mention the well-documented incentive that the tipping culture has on abuse: https://www.eater.com/a/case-against-tipping
3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

Right. "Bad" owners would lose because they would have to treat their workers the same way owners of other businesses have to and pay them a decent wage. Whether that would translate into slower service and less drinking is highly debatable. Pop into any cafe in Paris at the end of a workday. People seem to be drinking and eating plenty.

I also don't think that an inequitable and potentially abusive system justifies better service, even if that were the result. You could use that argument to justify slavery.

EddyB
Posts: 1074
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by EddyB » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:59 pm

BeanCity wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:55 pm

Ultimately, if I go buy a coffee, a beer, food, book a plane ticket, or go on a fishing trip, I would like to know the all-in cost so I can make the best decision for myself and my family.
Prior to the widespread use of self-pay terminals with tipping buttons, I would have said that guides (not just fishing, but anything where a client who loves X has to make a lot of money to afford to hire someone who has decided to just do X full
time) were really the masters of socially-engineered tipping.

I’m with you—I want to make a decision based on a known cost and quality, without a fuzzy, social-pressure-driven mystery factor at the end of the arrangement, which often enough implies that the quality is unpredictable.
Last edited by EddyB on Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Starfish » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:22 am

student wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:04 pm
BeanCity wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:55 pm
RJC wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:38 pm
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/trav ... tuity.html

"Those customer-facing, touch-screen payment systems in restaurants are confounding customers in the U.S. and beyond."

I feel like it's getting out of control. What is the consensus here?
This has been on my mind for a long time now. I feel it is VERY hard to talk about this with friends, as they immediately jump to call me a cheap bastard. However, it is honestly not about being cheap. Some of the people in this thread hit the nail on the head. It is social engineering. It is a marketing ploy to make consumers feel more rich, and to feel like they can afford more, so they spend more. It is an avenue to justify paying employees little money and putting the burden on consumers.

I have worked as a waiter, as an employee at a men's clothing store, as a pizza delivery person, and mowed lawns. I feel that all of these require the same level of service yet the food industry is demands minimum 20%, otherwise you run the risk of being chastised in one way or another.

Ultimately, if I go buy a coffee, a beer, food, book a plane ticket, or go on a fishing trip, I would like to know the all-in cost so I can make the best decision for myself and my family. Yes, I understand I can just calculate it out to know the all-in cost. It reminds me of a completely different topic yet relates exactly to my point: people having to opt out of a 401k vs opting into a 401k. It is proven that the extra step of opting out of a 401k keeps people from doing it, and thereby improving peoples lives. My theory is that if people knew what their all-in cost was up front, the added step of calculation is removed, and they would show some restraint in purchasing decisions. This is a step towards helping people live within their means.

Many Americans have been engineered to think tipping is "the right thing to do" for a variety of reasons. I fully believe it needs to be thought about and addressed on a much deeper level.

The question is this: how do we change this culture?
I don't think there is anyway to change the culture. I continue to pay 18% but 20% at restaurants that are go often and receive great service. But I decrease the number of times going to sit-down restaurant, instead I do take-out (tipping not required as per Emily Post).

There is a Freakonomics episode that advocates that tipping should be illegal and it will be probably made illegal at some point. From the studies it turns out that tipping is racists and sexist and other "ists", as such in disagreement with the labor laws.

Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Starfish » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 am

protagonist wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:38 pm
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm


Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.
I've heard this from others but I have spent a lot of time living overseas and in Europe as well, and it has not been my personal experience. Part of it is cultural. For example in France (where I go every summer), I have been told by French friends that it is consider rude for servers to interrupt your meal or bring you your bill if you do not ask. It is tantamount to rushing you. That , I think , is interpreted by some Americans as inattentiveness. Personally I prefer it to "What will you have for dessert? What do you want to drink with that? Can I get you another drink?" and all those other interruptions designed to get you to spend more money.
Exactly, many people don't seem to understand that Europeans use restaurants and bars for very different things than Americans. They are first and foremost social places where everybody goes all the time to spend time with friends and chat, not a dark dirty place for alcoholics or a place where you eat as fast as possible or where you get smashed.
As such the requirement for service is different and what people want is different.
We are excluding crowded touristic spots.

On the other hand Asia has very good service without any tips. How come?

stoptothink
Posts: 6495
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:46 am

RJC wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:21 pm
Starfish wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:50 pm
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, usually.
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.

Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.

2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).

3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.

I grew up and traveled through Europe and spend way too much time in bars, pubs and clubs :) and IMHO your analysis is wrong.
Customers definitely don't lose anything. I don't want to be forced to buy a service I don't care for. The quality service is very similar with what you get in US, but, similar with US, it's lower in touristic traps. Quality of food is definitely higher.

I would happily wait couple of minutes more than pay a fuzzy amount of money that makes people happy or maybe unhappy, who knows. The reason to go in a place is to talk and spend time with people, not to get in, eat, run out. Few minutes are irrelevant. "Drinkers" don't go in pubs to drink fast, not most of them anyway, but to drink the least amount in the longest amount of time.
If the tip system was so good you would find it around the world. But you don't. Are people stupid?
+1. The service in Europe and Asia is comparable to the US IMO.
+2. I travel quite a bit internationally with work, specifically to Europe. Granted, I rarely eat out (even when traveling), but never once have I experienced this at all.

student
Posts: 4133
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by student » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:56 am

Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 am
On the other hand Asia has very good service without any tips. How come?
I think Hong Kong is an exception. My understanding is that 10% service charge will automatically be added and people usually tip extra. https://www.tripsavvy.com/hong-kong-tips-1535849

User avatar
sunny_socal
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:22 am

I do not

GT99
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by GT99 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:42 am

Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:38 pm
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm


Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.
I've heard this from others but I have spent a lot of time living overseas and in Europe as well, and it has not been my personal experience. Part of it is cultural. For example in France (where I go every summer), I have been told by French friends that it is consider rude for servers to interrupt your meal or bring you your bill if you do not ask. It is tantamount to rushing you. That , I think , is interpreted by some Americans as inattentiveness. Personally I prefer it to "What will you have for dessert? What do you want to drink with that? Can I get you another drink?" and all those other interruptions designed to get you to spend more money.
Exactly, many people don't seem to understand that Europeans use restaurants and bars for very different things than Americans. They are first and foremost social places where everybody goes all the time to spend time with friends and chat, not a dark dirty place for alcoholics or a place where you eat as fast as possible or where you get smashed.
As such the requirement for service is different and what people want is different.
We are excluding crowded touristic spots.

On the other hand Asia has very good service without any tips. How come?
You are both using gross oversimplifications in your arguments. In the US restaurants and bars are only places for alcoholics or places to eat as fast as possible? Really? I use restaurants predominantly the same way as Europeans. Although there are times I am on a schedule - I'm quite sure this is true at times for some europeans as well. I'm well aware that they won't bring a check until asked - the problem is often getting the attention of a server to ask.
I truly can't fathom not noticing the difference. Before I understood that's just the way it is over there I got very frustrated with it. But that's also when I started noticing that what would be considered "short-staffed" in the US is normal there.

Re: Asia, and other aspects, this gets into a much longer conversation of culture and motivation (motivational factors vary greatly from culture to culture, and Asia is vastly different than the US and Europe in this regard).

GT99
Posts: 271
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by GT99 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:54 am

protagonist wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:38 pm

2. Customers lose
If that were true, then the tipping model should extend to all retail establishments, not just restaurants. You want to buy a shirt? The store owner , by that argument, should not be required to pay the worker a decent wage. Your shirts would be cheaper and you could give the salesperson what you think he/she deserves. That is not a world in which I particularly want to live.

A decent wage provides security. Not to mention the well-documented incentive that the tipping culture has on abuse: https://www.eater.com/a/case-against-tipping
3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

Right. "Bad" owners would lose because they would have to treat their workers the same way owners of other businesses have to and pay them a decent wage. Whether that would translate into slower service and less drinking is highly debatable. Pop into any cafe in Paris at the end of a workday. People seem to be drinking and eating plenty.

I also don't think that an inequitable and potentially abusive system justifies better service, even if that were the result. You could use that argument to justify slavery.
Your point on 2 is absurd. Sit down restaurants have completely different levels of customer engagement than typical retail. It's a silly comparison.
Also - how often do you get great service at a typical retail place? In my experience it's far less common than at a restaurant. If a grocery store cashier is moving fast and/or is super friendly I notice it because it's not the norm. Frankly, if grocery stores implemented incentive pay for cashiers based on customer throughput at peak times, they'd require fewer staff. But it's probably not worth the effort to reduce headcount by a couple of low wage employees. That's why you don't see that kind of thing in low wage jobs. But performance pay incentives are the norm in higher paying jobs. Waiting tables is a higher skill job than a cashier - and they make a lot more money because of it. Restaurants could change to a customer survey model where a server gets rated by customers and then gets bonuses, etc based on the response. But that's certainly more complicated. The current system is far from perfect. But in my experience, it works far better.


Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Starfish » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:40 pm

GT99 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:42 am
Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:30 am
protagonist wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:38 pm
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm


Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.
I've heard this from others but I have spent a lot of time living overseas and in Europe as well, and it has not been my personal experience. Part of it is cultural. For example in France (where I go every summer), I have been told by French friends that it is consider rude for servers to interrupt your meal or bring you your bill if you do not ask. It is tantamount to rushing you. That , I think , is interpreted by some Americans as inattentiveness. Personally I prefer it to "What will you have for dessert? What do you want to drink with that? Can I get you another drink?" and all those other interruptions designed to get you to spend more money.
Exactly, many people don't seem to understand that Europeans use restaurants and bars for very different things than Americans. They are first and foremost social places where everybody goes all the time to spend time with friends and chat, not a dark dirty place for alcoholics or a place where you eat as fast as possible or where you get smashed.
As such the requirement for service is different and what people want is different.
We are excluding crowded touristic spots.

On the other hand Asia has very good service without any tips. How come?
You are both using gross oversimplifications in your arguments. In the US restaurants and bars are only places for alcoholics or places to eat as fast as possible? Really? I use restaurants predominantly the same way as Europeans.
You, maybe, but there a reason why fast food is an American invention.
And how many people do you know who go to bars often say 1-2-3 times a week? Because that is common in Europe (more or less, depending on country), and very uncommon in US.

Starfish
Posts: 1458
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Starfish » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:43 pm


Abou 80% of the forum can be compressed in several topics:
1. Can I afford this house?
2. Can I retire?
3. Corrola vs Camry.
4. Backdoor Roth.
5. Do we spend to much?
6. Tip or no tip?
7. Lexus SUV?
8. Where should I go for vacation?
9. Costa Rica.

....

ddurrett896
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by ddurrett896 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:47 pm

Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:43 pm
Abou 80% of the forum can be compressed in several topics:
1. Can I afford this house?
2. Can I retire?
3. Corrola vs Camry.
4. Backdoor Roth.
5. Do we spend to much?
6. Tip or no tip?
7. Lexus SUV?
8. Where should I go for vacation?
9. Costa Rica.

....

I think TESLA needs to be on the list!

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by RJC » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:04 pm

The 1st one is somewhat recent but the rest are dated. The article was what prompted me to ask what the current consensus is. :beer

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by RJC » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:05 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:47 pm
Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:43 pm
Abou 80% of the forum can be compressed in several topics:
1. Can I afford this house?
2. Can I retire?
3. Corrola vs Camry.
4. Backdoor Roth.
5. Do we spend to much?
6. Tip or no tip?
7. Lexus SUV?
8. Where should I go for vacation?
9. Costa Rica.

....

I think TESLA needs to be on the list!
and US vs INTL!

oldfatguy
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by oldfatguy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:07 pm

Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:40 pm

And how many people do you know who go to bars often say 1-2-3 times a week? Because that is common in Europe (more or less, depending on country), and very uncommon in US.
I'm guessing you haven't spent a lot of time in Wisconsin? :P

RebelMaster
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:27 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by RebelMaster » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:29 pm

oops I posted in reverse so I am editing the post to put original post uptop
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, usually.
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.

Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.

2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).

3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.
Sorry for the long post, my mind just kept bringing up all my experiences into the post.

I really believe you are highly misunderstanding or misrepresenting the restaurant service industry in Europe(as is the case you mention) I go to Europe often. I have been to almost every country in western Europe and also have been to a couple in Eastern Europe. I have not found these issues you speak of. Overall, service is no different in Europe than it is in the US. Dont confuse over the top friendly waitstaff in the US with service quality. But there is a difference that you have to understand. In Europe, eating out is supposed to be a relaxing stress free experience and service in Europe is performed on demand, not by having waitstaff on your back thru the entire meal by pretending to be your friend asking you questions about the food(always when I have barely even tried it).
When I go out to eat, I want to have an experience enjoying the company of friends and family. I dont need an additonal "friend" join in. Yes it can seem very friendly, but the reality is that the server feels forced to be overly friendly with you because of the tip factor. That also creates anxiety on both parties. That comes to a point that it is just fake. Personally annoys me. I go to a restaurant as a means to enjoy a meal, not to fake make friends with my server. That can happen if I go to that establishment often, but that will happen naturally vs this fake one time deal.

1. Servers overall would actually make a decent living with a wage and not have to worry about tipping. Will some lose out? yes especially those that work in very popular hotspots.(but overall most people would benefit) However, their wage should also be appropriate to the place and location. a place that makes 10M a year, should pay its waitstaff based on that vs a restaurant that makes 1M a year. A high end restaurant should pay its waitstaff way more than those at applebees.. that stuff would still be appropriate to the location. Overall though most people prefer knowing how much they will have a week.
We are always talking about how bad they have it because they are in the tipping industry with their income. So make their income be predictable so that they dont have to worry about it. Cant have it both ways. Where I live, some places of town, servers and bartenders make 100k a year. Is that fair to those that have to really work their butt off to even make half of that. teachers, firemen, police, construction workers, etc. Yeah these servers would lose out but they probably should stil make 60k(I think most people would be incredibly happy making that for serving drinks and food), for having few skills, thats well above the average family income.
I am down to pay 15% more for my food and include it in the price for sit down restaurants. After all, everyone tips way more regardless of quality service. So that is pretty much a myth, that tipping is meant to create quality service. It only creates fake interactions(not all are like that of course, some people really enjoy it)

2. I do not know the staffing levels in bars or restaurant differences between the US and Europe, but i can tell you I have never felt that I was under serviced if that is true. Could it seem slower? yeah.. but there is a reason for that, the patron is expected to be left alone enjoying their meal. If you need something, you raise your hand at the waiter(s) who usually is looking from their corner to all tables to see if someone needs something. That is my usual experience over decades of going and being in Europe. So maybe is not understanding that custom, that may seem like the service is not as engaged but if you are aware of that, your experience will be incredibly different and enjoyable.

3. Owners dont lose anything other than paying decent wages and they can increase prices accordingly. I dont know what restaurants in Europe you are comparing it to, but if the owners of all these bars and restaurants that I have been to in Europe are losing... they would need a restaurant the size of a walmart in order to acommodate the patrons if they were winning just a bit. This "slow service" you speak of, surely does not deter the place from being packed to the rim where you can barely walk in. And I have been to hundreds of restaurants and bars in the US where I am waiting forever to get service from either a bartender or a server, so not sure that tip really is making much of a difference.

Like I said, I have been to countless restaurants and bars in Europe.. I dont see much of a difference to the US when ordering drinks or food. Well, yes there is a difference, here, I have to start calculating tax and tips and how much and where and when, and was the server sucky? was he she over the top? was her help more than appropriate? did he roll his eyes at me, was my drink not filled at all times? did they not kiss my ass enough? (whenever I order a meal here(USA), coincidentally, it is always also the servers favorite dish and I have incredible taste to have chosen the same way my server would have, I am amazing wow). Of course should be a given that I am making a point exagerating the circumstance. Oh and lets not start talking about discrimination tips. Clearly more attractive servers will get higher tips, nothing to do with service. Did I fall for that when I was younger? yes I did... overly friendly lady server with low cuts.. you would think it is a different kind of tipping establishment. How is that related to your food service.. not at all. Now of course, I dont give a crap, you get what you deserve based on tips customs. Or.. the other way would be, just charge me the total, here is my credit card, good bye. Keep me out of trying to figure out your pay and subsidizing your business. After seeing both systems in place and in action for more years that I want to admit, I much prefer the European system by a long shot, And I see no issues at any of these european establishments because of it.

At the end though, Food is provided to patrons in the same way in both continents. you order it and the server brings it to you when it is ready. Done. No more needed. Thats the key factor. If the table is dirty, both will clean it for you and so on. The only real difference i see in the European and US waitstaff, is the amount of small talk and visits to the table. In the US is non stop. In Europe small talk is basically non existant and visits to the table only happens on demand. Which could be why as you said, they dont need as much waitstaff to keep the same quality of service. They dont have to interact with the customer about trivial and menial things the ENTIRE time they are there, so therefore the amount of time wasted with customers requires less people to serve and they are able to focus on the actual needs of each table as requested. I think most of the US servers become overly stressed and anxious having to go with over the top friendliness with people they dont know. Next time you are in Europe, check out the waitstaff.. and once they have nothing to do assisting tables, they sort of stay in one place looking over their tables. If a hand is raised, they will come over to you right away. In the US you constantly have to try to chase your server when you actually need something because, you have no idea where they are since they are constantly interacting with all their tables 100% of the time and you only see them when they come by your table.
This is my experience overall, but you always risk bad apples anywhere regardless.

A_Bond
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:07 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by A_Bond » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:52 pm

For me, it completely depends on the establishment and the situation. I feel no compunction to do so, but I leave a tip every now and then.

Topic Author
RJC
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by RJC » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:15 pm

RebelMaster wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:29 pm
oops I posted in reverse so I am editing the post to put original post uptop
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, usually.
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.

Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.

2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).

3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.
Sorry for the long post, my mind just kept bringing up all my experiences into the post.

I really believe you are highly misunderstanding or misrepresenting the restaurant service industry in Europe(as is the case you mention) I go to Europe often. I have been to almost every country in western Europe and also have been to a couple in Eastern Europe. I have not found these issues you speak of. Overall, service is no different in Europe than it is in the US. Dont confuse over the top friendly waitstaff in the US with service quality. But there is a difference that you have to understand. In Europe, eating out is supposed to be a relaxing stress free experience and service in Europe is performed on demand, not by having waitstaff on your back thru the entire meal by pretending to be your friend asking you questions about the food(always when I have barely even tried it).
When I go out to eat, I want to have an experience enjoying the company of friends and family. I dont need an additonal "friend" join in. Yes it can seem very friendly, but the reality is that the server feels forced to be overly friendly with you because of the tip factor. That also creates anxiety on both parties. That comes to a point that it is just fake. Personally annoys me. I go to a restaurant as a means to enjoy a meal, not to fake make friends with my server. That can happen if I go to that establishment often, but that will happen naturally vs this fake one time deal.

1. Servers overall would actually make a decent living with a wage and not have to worry about tipping. Will some lose out? yes especially those that work in very popular hotspots.(but overall most people would benefit) However, their wage should also be appropriate to the place and location. a place that makes 10M a year, should pay its waitstaff based on that vs a restaurant that makes 1M a year. A high end restaurant should pay its waitstaff way more than those at applebees.. that stuff would still be appropriate to the location. Overall though most people prefer knowing how much they will have a week.
We are always talking about how bad they have it because they are in the tipping industry with their income. So make their income be predictable so that they dont have to worry about it. Cant have it both ways. Where I live, some places of town, servers and bartenders make 100k a year. Is that fair to those that have to really work their butt off to even make half of that. teachers, firemen, police, construction workers, etc. Yeah these servers would lose out but they probably should stil make 60k(I think most people would be incredibly happy making that for serving drinks and food), for having few skills, thats well above the average family income.
I am down to pay 15% more for my food and include it in the price for sit down restaurants. After all, everyone tips way more regardless of quality service. So that is pretty much a myth, that tipping is meant to create quality service. It only creates fake interactions(not all are like that of course, some people really enjoy it)

2. I do not know the staffing levels in bars or restaurant differences between the US and Europe, but i can tell you I have never felt that I was under serviced if that is true. Could it seem slower? yeah.. but there is a reason for that, the patron is expected to be left alone enjoying their meal. If you need something, you raise your hand at the waiter(s) who usually is looking from their corner to all tables to see if someone needs something. That is my usual experience over decades of going and being in Europe. So maybe is not understanding that custom, that may seem like the service is not as engaged but if you are aware of that, your experience will be incredibly different and enjoyable.

3. Owners dont lose anything other than paying decent wages and they can increase prices accordingly. I dont know what restaurants in Europe you are comparing it to, but if the owners of all these bars and restaurants that I have been to in Europe are losing... they would need a restaurant the size of a walmart in order to acommodate the patrons if they were winning just a bit. This "slow service" you speak of, surely does not deter the place from being packed to the rim where you can barely walk in. And I have been to hundreds of restaurants and bars in the US where I am waiting forever to get service from either a bartender or a server, so not sure that tip really is making much of a difference.

Like I said, I have been to countless restaurants and bars in Europe.. I dont see much of a difference to the US when ordering drinks or food. Well, yes there is a difference, here, I have to start calculating tax and tips and how much and where and when, and was the server sucky? was he she over the top? was her help more than appropriate? did he roll his eyes at me, was my drink not filled at all times? did they not kiss my ass enough? (whenever I order a meal here(USA), coincidentally, it is always also the servers favorite dish and I have incredible taste to have chosen the same way my server would have, I am amazing wow). Of course should be a given that I am making a point exagerating the circumstance. Oh and lets not start talking about discrimination tips. Clearly more attractive servers will get higher tips, nothing to do with service. Did I fall for that when I was younger? yes I did... overly friendly lady server with low cuts.. you would think it is a different kind of tipping establishment. How is that related to your food service.. not at all. Now of course, I dont give a crap, you get what you deserve based on tips customs. Or.. the other way would be, just charge me the total, here is my credit card, good bye. Keep me out of trying to figure out your pay and subsidizing your business. After seeing both systems in place and in action for more years that I want to admit, I much prefer the European system by a long shot, And I see no issues at any of these european establishments because of it.

At the end though, Food is provided to patrons in the same way in both continents. you order it and the server brings it to you when it is ready. Done. No more needed. Thats the key factor. If the table is dirty, both will clean it for you and so on. The only real difference i see in the European and US waitstaff, is the amount of small talk and visits to the table. In the US is non stop. In Europe small talk is basically non existant and visits to the table only happens on demand. Which could be why as you said, they dont need as much waitstaff to keep the same quality of service. They dont have to interact with the customer about trivial and menial things the ENTIRE time they are there, so therefore the amount of time wasted with customers requires less people to serve and they are able to focus on the actual needs of each table as requested. I think most of the US servers become overly stressed and anxious having to go with over the top friendliness with people they dont know. Next time you are in Europe, check out the waitstaff.. and once they have nothing to do assisting tables, they sort of stay in one place looking over their tables. If a hand is raised, they will come over to you right away. In the US you constantly have to try to chase your server when you actually need something because, you have no idea where they are since they are constantly interacting with all their tables 100% of the time and you only see them when they come by your table.
This is my experience overall, but you always risk bad apples anywhere regardless.
+1. This has been my experience as well.

criticalmass
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by criticalmass » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:36 pm

RebelMaster wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:29 pm
oops I posted in reverse so I am editing the post to put original post uptop
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, usually.
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.

Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.

2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).

3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.
Sorry for the long post, my mind just kept bringing up all my experiences into the post.

I really believe you are highly misunderstanding or misrepresenting the restaurant service industry in Europe(as is the case you mention) I go to Europe often. I have been to almost every country in western Europe and also have been to a couple in Eastern Europe. I have not found these issues you speak of. Overall, service is no different in Europe than it is in the US. Dont confuse over the top friendly waitstaff in the US with service quality. But there is a difference that you have to understand. In Europe, eating out is supposed to be a relaxing stress free experience and service in Europe is performed on demand, not by having waitstaff on your back thru the entire meal by pretending to be your friend asking you questions about the food(always when I have barely even tried it).
When I go out to eat, I want to have an experience enjoying the company of friends and family. I dont need an additonal "friend" join in. Yes it can seem very friendly, but the reality is that the server feels forced to be overly friendly with you because of the tip factor. That also creates anxiety on both parties. That comes to a point that it is just fake. Personally annoys me. I go to a restaurant as a means to enjoy a meal, not to fake make friends with my server. That can happen if I go to that establishment often, but that will happen naturally vs this fake one time deal.

1. Servers overall would actually make a decent living with a wage and not have to worry about tipping. Will some lose out? yes especially those that work in very popular hotspots.(but overall most people would benefit) However, their wage should also be appropriate to the place and location. a place that makes 10M a year, should pay its waitstaff based on that vs a restaurant that makes 1M a year. A high end restaurant should pay its waitstaff way more than those at applebees.. that stuff would still be appropriate to the location. Overall though most people prefer knowing how much they will have a week.
We are always talking about how bad they have it because they are in the tipping industry with their income. So make their income be predictable so that they dont have to worry about it. Cant have it both ways. Where I live, some places of town, servers and bartenders make 100k a year. Is that fair to those that have to really work their butt off to even make half of that. teachers, firemen, police, construction workers, etc. Yeah these servers would lose out but they probably should stil make 60k(I think most people would be incredibly happy making that for serving drinks and food), for having few skills, thats well above the average family income.
I am down to pay 15% more for my food and include it in the price for sit down restaurants. After all, everyone tips way more regardless of quality service. So that is pretty much a myth, that tipping is meant to create quality service. It only creates fake interactions(not all are like that of course, some people really enjoy it)

2. I do not know the staffing levels in bars or restaurant differences between the US and Europe, but i can tell you I have never felt that I was under serviced if that is true. Could it seem slower? yeah.. but there is a reason for that, the patron is expected to be left alone enjoying their meal. If you need something, you raise your hand at the waiter(s) who usually is looking from their corner to all tables to see if someone needs something. That is my usual experience over decades of going and being in Europe. So maybe is not understanding that custom, that may seem like the service is not as engaged but if you are aware of that, your experience will be incredibly different and enjoyable.

3. Owners dont lose anything other than paying decent wages and they can increase prices accordingly. I dont know what restaurants in Europe you are comparing it to, but if the owners of all these bars and restaurants that I have been to in Europe are losing... they would need a restaurant the size of a walmart in order to acommodate the patrons if they were winning just a bit. This "slow service" you speak of, surely does not deter the place from being packed to the rim where you can barely walk in. And I have been to hundreds of restaurants and bars in the US where I am waiting forever to get service from either a bartender or a server, so not sure that tip really is making much of a difference.

Like I said, I have been to countless restaurants and bars in Europe.. I dont see much of a difference to the US when ordering drinks or food. Well, yes there is a difference, here, I have to start calculating tax and tips and how much and where and when, and was the server sucky? was he she over the top? was her help more than appropriate? did he roll his eyes at me, was my drink not filled at all times? did they not kiss my ass enough? (whenever I order a meal here(USA), coincidentally, it is always also the servers favorite dish and I have incredible taste to have chosen the same way my server would have, I am amazing wow). Of course should be a given that I am making a point exagerating the circumstance. Oh and lets not start talking about discrimination tips. Clearly more attractive servers will get higher tips, nothing to do with service. Did I fall for that when I was younger? yes I did... overly friendly lady server with low cuts.. you would think it is a different kind of tipping establishment. How is that related to your food service.. not at all. Now of course, I dont give a crap, you get what you deserve based on tips customs. Or.. the other way would be, just charge me the total, here is my credit card, good bye. Keep me out of trying to figure out your pay and subsidizing your business. After seeing both systems in place and in action for more years that I want to admit, I much prefer the European system by a long shot, And I see no issues at any of these european establishments because of it.

At the end though, Food is provided to patrons in the same way in both continents. you order it and the server brings it to you when it is ready. Done. No more needed. Thats the key factor. If the table is dirty, both will clean it for you and so on. The only real difference i see in the European and US waitstaff, is the amount of small talk and visits to the table. In the US is non stop. In Europe small talk is basically non existant and visits to the table only happens on demand. Which could be why as you said, they dont need as much waitstaff to keep the same quality of service. They dont have to interact with the customer about trivial and menial things the ENTIRE time they are there, so therefore the amount of time wasted with customers requires less people to serve and they are able to focus on the actual needs of each table as requested. I think most of the US servers become overly stressed and anxious having to go with over the top friendliness with people they dont know. Next time you are in Europe, check out the waitstaff.. and once they have nothing to do assisting tables, they sort of stay in one place looking over their tables. If a hand is raised, they will come over to you right away. In the US you constantly have to try to chase your server when you actually need something because, you have no idea where they are since they are constantly interacting with all their tables 100% of the time and you only see them when they come by your table.
This is my experience overall, but you always risk bad apples anywhere regardless.
Since the discussion is about counter service restaurants, why are there wait staff at all chatting and making friends at tables? I’m curious where you’ve experienced that. I haven’t even had that happen at table service restaurants, let alone counter service.

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:39 am

Nicolas wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:22 pm
ssquared87 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:47 pm
I just click $0. I feel no shame
Me too.
#METOO

Starfish
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Starfish » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:49 am

Why do you tip in a bar for simply pouring/opening a beer but not in a restaurant where it is work involved (cooking, plating, washing dishes etc)?

stoptothink
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:46 am

tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:39 am
Nicolas wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:22 pm
ssquared87 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:47 pm
I just click $0. I feel no shame
Me too.
#METOO


:thumbsup This is so easy for me, I just don't eat out and therefore don't worry about it, but the discussion is fascinating.

stoptothink
Posts: 6495
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:46 am

tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:39 am
Nicolas wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:22 pm
ssquared87 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:47 pm
I just click $0. I feel no shame
Me too.
#METOO


:thumbsup This is so easy for me, I just don't eat out and therefore don't worry about it, but the discussion is fascinating.

Van
Posts: 622
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:24 am

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Van » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:10 am

NO. It's out of control.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:40 am

Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:40 pm
And how many people do you know who go to bars often say 1-2-3 times a week? Because that is common in Europe (more or less, depending on country), and very uncommon in US.
Do you have a citation or data to back this up?

msheald
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by msheald » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:55 am

Hello! I used to tip zero when I pick up the meal and do not expect table service.

However, I read a piece by a food critic that has caused me to rethink what I do.

His point was that these types of restaurants have low margins and can easily go out of business. He suggested tipping up to 10% at such a restaurant that I might want to frequent in order to show support and to help keep them afloat.

I had not thought of such a rationale before, and it is different than tipping waiters who are not covered by minimum wage laws, so I am tipping more frequently at such restaurants. Best regards.

Mike

Topic Author
RJC
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by RJC » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:43 am

msheald wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:55 am
Hello! I used to tip zero when I pick up the meal and do not expect table service.

However, I read a piece by a food critic that has caused me to rethink what I do.

His point was that these types of restaurants have low margins and can easily go out of business. He suggested tipping up to 10% at such a restaurant that I might want to frequent in order to show support and to help keep them afloat.

I had not thought of such a rationale before, and it is different than tipping waiters who are not covered by minimum wage laws, so I am tipping more frequently at such restaurants. Best regards.

Mike
Low margins on a $5 coffee and $15 rice bowl? From my experience, most of these counter service restaurants are overpriced.

psteinx
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by psteinx » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:05 am

msheald wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:55 am
Hello! I used to tip zero when I pick up the meal and do not expect table service.

However, I read a piece by a food critic that has caused me to rethink what I do.

His point was that these types of restaurants have low margins and can easily go out of business. He suggested tipping up to 10% at such a restaurant that I might want to frequent in order to show support and to help keep them afloat.
It's not generally the customer's responsibility to internalize a business's margins and try to boost them for favored businesses, whether by tipping or other means.

Businesses determine a reasonable price to charge for their product, customers pay it or don't, the business survives or doesn't.

Yes, of course tip in instances of social custom/obligation (i.e. tipping a server in a sitdown restaurant). But that's because the prices are artificially lowered with the expectation that the customers will tip. And of course, there are instances where the social custom/obligation is debateable (hence the intense debate on this forum). But, as a customer it's not my obligation, outside of these customs, to prop up a favored business's margins by paying more than their asking price. Rare exceptions for this or that reason? Perhaps.

To me, paying anything as a tip at a standard counter service restaurant, while not unheard of, is far from a social custom/obligation. I'm not a big proponent of tipping culture, so I choose not to expand it by tipping in very marginal situations such as these. (Perhaps with rare exceptions.)

michaeljc70
Posts: 5780
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:49 am

msheald wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:55 am
Hello! I used to tip zero when I pick up the meal and do not expect table service.

However, I read a piece by a food critic that has caused me to rethink what I do.

His point was that these types of restaurants have low margins and can easily go out of business. He suggested tipping up to 10% at such a restaurant that I might want to frequent in order to show support and to help keep them afloat.

I had not thought of such a rationale before, and it is different than tipping waiters who are not covered by minimum wage laws, so I am tipping more frequently at such restaurants. Best regards.

Mike
I'm not sure how a tip to the employees keeps a business from going under. Shouldn't they just raise their prices to stay afloat?

Godot
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Godot » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:00 pm

Starfish wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:50 pm
GT99 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
Yes, usually.
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.

Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.

2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).

3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.

To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.

I grew up and traveled through Europe and spend way too much time in bars, pubs and clubs :) and IMHO your analysis is wrong.
Customers definitely don't lose anything. I don't want to be forced to buy a service I don't care for. The quality service is very similar with what you get in US, but, similar with US, it's lower in touristic traps. Quality of food is definitely higher.

I would happily wait couple of minutes more than pay a fuzzy amount of money that makes people happy or maybe unhappy, who knows. The reason to go in a place is to talk and spend time with people, not to get in, eat, run out. Few minutes are irrelevant. "Drinkers" don't go in pubs to drink fast, not most of them anyway, but to drink the least amount in the longest amount of time.
If the tip system was so good you would find it around the world. But you don't. Are people stupid?
Sounds like a rhetorical question. However, I agree. The tip model in the US does little but subsidize businesses and create entitlement (in both owners and workers), in most cases. Tipping in the US has a specific history, and for a number of reasons it stuck. That doesn't mean it has to continue sticking.
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Godot
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Godot » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:04 pm

msheald wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:55 am


His point was that these types of restaurants have low margins and can easily go out of business. He suggested tipping up to 10% at such a restaurant that I might want to frequent in order to show support and to help keep them afloat.


Mike
Numerous businesses have low margins. Do you tip at grocery stores as well?
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

RollTide31457
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by RollTide31457 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:25 pm

Tipping is reserved for fancy restaurants (e.g., Chili’s). Tipping amount is usually $1 to $2, often left in coins on the table.

Starfish
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by Starfish » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:38 pm

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:40 am
Starfish wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:40 pm
And how many people do you know who go to bars often say 1-2-3 times a week? Because that is common in Europe (more or less, depending on country), and very uncommon in US.
Do you have a citation or data to back this up?
Do you need data for the obvious?
OK, although you could google yourself:

http://www.worldcitiescultureforum.com/ ... population

The only city that comes close to the driest places in Europe is SF.

Anyway the numbers are way inflated, as most poeple live in suburbs not cities.
Everywhere I lived in Europe I could walk in about 5 minutes to 3-4 bars. How common is this in US?

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prudent
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Re: Do You Tip At Counter Service Restaurants?

Post by prudent » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:33 pm

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