Thursday, May 15, 2008

Do You Tip No Matter What?

I sure don't. I'm very concerned with good customer service and do not feel that tips are "required" or automatic. My brother is a waiter at a Sushi restaurant and I know how important tips are. But you know what? He works his A*S off. And unfortunately is required to share his tips with the other waiters who are total slackers. He's picking up their slack and it's really too bad. He doesn't mind sharing his tips with the cooks but definitely doesn't like the fact that his tips, for his hard work, help the slackers who don't get the best tips.

Anyway, I started thinking about this because of another blog I read about Dining Out Frugally Without Stiffing on the Tip.

I admit, we eat out too much. We both work full time and sometimes it's just too much effort to cook at home. Though we've really cut down on the number of times we eat out - it used to be three or four times a week and now it's more like 2 or 3 times a month. Okay...maybe 4 or 5 times. And until recently we've never used coupons or tried to be frugal.

Most of the time we order food to go and eat at home. Hubby is not super social and doesn't really like to stay out in public any more than necessary (part of the downside of being a cop I guess).

I never know if we're supposed to tip when picking up food. Sometimes it just depends on my mood. And when I do tip when picking up it usually isn't a big tip. Is that bad? Seriously. Tell me because I honestly just never know.

The few times we go out to eat and stay at the restaurant I expect good service. That includes a friendly wait staff but not annoyingly friendly. I don't want their life story. I expect our drink order to be taken quickly and filled quickly (or within a reasonable time if it's busy). If our food is going to be awhile I don't blame the wait staff but I expect communication as to when we might expect our meal. As well as refills on our drinks if it is going to be that long.

Sometimes our food arrives and then we are abandoned. The wait person doesn't check back and seems to expect us to eat and leave. That is not good service. Don't hover, but check in on us to see if we need anything else and refill our drinks. Offer us dessert and then bring us the check.

I don't think my expectations are unreasonably high. If service meets my basic requirements I generally tip around 15-16% (because it's really easy to just double the tax which is around 8%). If service is really great, like the waiter at my birthday celebration, I'll tip more than 25%. Because good service should be rewarded.

I really hate when restaurants automatically add on a mandatory tip. While I understand their logic (big parties require more attention) I disagree with it. Big parties to me are no different than several smaller parties. Rather than servicing four different parties, the waiter gets to focus on one big table. I don't think it's fair to require a tip amount. What if the service sucked? I've actually argued with management when the service was sub-par to have the required tip removed.

Not only that, I don't like to be told how much to tip. What if I wanted to tip a lot more? I generally will tip over the 15% if the service was fabulous. But let ME decide that.

What do you think? Do you always tip? Even if service is horrible?


Monique said...

I do always tip... the worst you are, the lower your tip will be. When we lived in Milwaukee, I actually had these little tip cards explaining how we figured out their tip.

The lowest tip we ever left was a quarter and the waitress chased after us and threw it at us. How ungrateful. lol.

CyberCelt said...

TIPS = To Insure Prompt Service

I always tip, I cannot help it. Usually 15% though I may adjust up or down. If the service stinks, I talk to the waitperson or the manager.

You may leave one penny as a tip. This is an insult that says, "I know how to tip, but you did not deserve one."

The only time I tip for takeout is if the manager pulls a wait person over to take my order and deliver it.

Diane Brixey said...

This isn't about your blog but that I looked at your creations they are great.

Bunny B said...

I don't. I leave tipping to my hubby :P

Roxy said...

I do always tip, but the amount is definitely service dependent. Last night, my friends and I went out to eat and waited almost 15 mins before someone even greeted our table. I got up and asked the manager to send someone over. The manager brought the wrong wine. The food took forever. A meal that shouldn't have been more than 45 minutes, ended up taking almost 2 hours.

But our server apologized and explained that the kitchen was backed up with a big wedding party in their private room. Our drinks were not comped or anything, but I appreciated the explanation.

I just hope the restaurant learns to manage things better in the future.