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Tipping - is it time to abolish it and pay staff a better wage?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Morninglover, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Saw this letter in today's paper - commonsense surely?

    An idea for a revolutionary new approach to tipping (Bad gratuity?, G2, 19 October). Pay all restaurant staff a decent wage for the work they do and adjust the prices charged accordingly. That would save all the embarrassment of what or what not to do. I have just returned from the US, where the whole business of tipping in restaurants is completely out of hand, with calculations helpfully placed on the bill showing what varying amounts of largesse should be added to the bill already swollen by local taxes, exorbitantly priced local wines and even local charitable donations. Astonishingly, at one restaurant, the bill also explained that tipping was so important as the waiters’ wages were so low.
    Graham Bennett
  2. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Yes! I hate tipping. It's a ridiculous practice. I actually won't go to a hairdresser because I don't know whether I'm supposed to tip or not. It should just be made illegal across the baord. It's a sharp practice to make prices look lower than they are. It doesn't reward good service, because it's often expected, or even added to your bill, and in what other areas do wortkers need extra bribes in order to do their job properly? Imagine if a teacher hinted that they'd only teach your child properly if you slipped them a fiver every week!
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    One of my offspring currently waits table for a national restaurant chain that is generally considered to be a good employer. She makes more from basic wage plus tips than she would if she was promoted to a salaried post within the same organisation. The problem with that is there's no financial incentive for her to try and move up the organisation at a time when money is short and contracts are insecure. She's toying with the idea of teacher training and as ex-teachers we're gently trying to dissuade her, although ultimately the choice will be hers. If she's working for an organisation that values her contribution, develops her strengths, provides a positive work culture and regular training opportunities, and doesn't run her into the ground with ridiculous hours why the Hell become a teacher?
    yfel_endwerce likes this.
  4. Pink_Loveliness

    Pink_Loveliness Occasional commenter

    You should have had a poll on your thread.

    Get rid of tipping. Hate it.
  5. BobbyPhilips

    BobbyPhilips Established commenter

    If you don't like it don't pay it. I generally refuse and prefer to leave tips in cash.
    If you get to wait in a good place, you can receive a similar amount in tips to wage and cash tips are tax free.
    Are you generally a tightwad?
  6. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I'm not a tight wad, I just want to pay the advertised price and not be expected to add something on top. There is no reason why this should happen in one or two selected industries. Everyone else manages to their job without a bribe for doing it properly.
  7. Pink_Loveliness

    Pink_Loveliness Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't eat out if I was, would I?
  8. BobbyPhilips

    BobbyPhilips Established commenter

    Then don't tip or pay the service charge. It's simple.
    Tipping is not a bribe. A tip is optional, post-service.
    I don't see why not. There is a difference between having/spending money and being a tightwad.
  9. Pink_Loveliness

    Pink_Loveliness Occasional commenter

    If I was a tightwad I'd stay in and eat cold baked beans straight out of a can. When I eat out I can already expect to pay £30+ per head. I don't expect to have to supplement that cost with a service charge - and never do. If a service charge is already added to my bill I ask for it to be removed if the service was not exceptional.
  10. BobbyPhilips

    BobbyPhilips Established commenter

    OK, then why are you complaining? It doesn't cost you.
  11. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Tipping is optional in theory but plenty of places make it difficult and embarrassing for you to avoid paying a tip. You even get those eveil establishments that add on an automatic service charge and then leave the amount unfilled on their credit card machine, hoping you'll add even more.
    I really hate being out with a group when some unthinkoing idiot says we must all put in a pund for a tip when the service has been diabolical. Lots of people think they have to tip, that it's more or less part of the charge. It should be illegal. The price you pay should be the price advertised, just like in a shop. Everyone seems to manage that ok. I've never had a shop assistant who gave me bad service because they weren't expecting a bribe to do it properly. It is a bribe. Nothing less. And it has no relationship to 'service', nor should it. There is not, after all, the option to providde your own service. It's part of the price.
  12. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I have a particular hatred for the card machines which after you've entered your details ask you if you'd like to leave a tip "yes / no".

    I'd like to ask if I can have a discount from the advertised price but of course don't as it would leave a sour taste after the dining experience, then if no discount is offered say that I'll assume you gave me a discount if you assume I left you a tip.
  13. BobbyPhilips

    BobbyPhilips Established commenter

    Just say no and why. Don't be shy.
    People are afraid to speak up in restaurants. I have known people afraid to send food back when it is not up to scratch.
  14. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Some people are adverse to looking like a bit of a git, especially after a pleasant dining experience. The last time I went out as one of a group the service was pretty rubbish, at the end someone said loudly "shall we put a pound or two in each as a tip?" there were about 14 of us, it must have doubled or more the two waitresses wages for the time we were there. With no expectation of tipping the whole awkwardness of the situation wouldn't exist. You might not feel it does anyway, but many do.

    I do agree though, don't tip if you don't think it's deserved.
  15. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I always pay in cash and if the service is excellent I will tip, otherwise I do not. It is not complicated or awkward and if asked for a tip (I have not been so far) I would explain that I only tip for excellent service.
  16. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I tip for good service and add a little extra for excellent service. I would prefer service to be included in the price. At least the system here isn't as ridiculous as in America. I didn't find the service there any better.
  17. BobbyPhilips

    BobbyPhilips Established commenter

    The downsides to that is 1) you pay the same poor service 2) The staff get to pay tax and NI, unlike a cash tip
  18. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Tips are NOT tax-free!
    Cash tips paid directly to you
    If you get cash tips directly from a customer, you have to pay tax on them but not National Insurance.
    Tips included in card or cheque payments
    If your employer pays these to you directly, they’re responsible for making sure Income Tax is paid through PAYE.

    damnant quod non intellegunt
  19. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    This is the answer as far as I am concerned. I tip around 10% because I am aware that the staffs wages are low and that they are expected to make it up in tips. They are even taxed on the expected amount of tips they should get, for Goodness sake! However, I always separate my card payment from the tips by making sure I have a suitable amount of cash when I go out, and hope it goes directly to all the staff involved.

    Completely agree that it is way out of hand there. When I worry about USA culture it is that it sooner or later has ended up here. I remember tipping in the 60's in the UK but less than 5% was expected. Now it is 10%.Going back a few years on the continent and New Zealand where I have been, I found tipping unheard of. Not the case nowadays

    I think it is demeaning to the staff to feel they have to skivvy about for us, to elicit part of their wages. Why cannot all of us simply be expected to, and to do, our job in a professional manner and get paid the going rate?
    bombaysapphire likes this.
  20. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    I believe this topic has been fully debated already...



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