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Ok, I want to sit and read the 150 LJ entries that I've missed. A… - Sally's Journal
September 20th, 2004
10:55 am

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Ok, I want to sit and read the 150 LJ entries that I've missed. A quick skim seems to indicate that, like always, everything happens when I'm away, so if anyone cares enough about my existence to notice the lack of happy supportive *hug*-like comments, they'd have been there if I'd had an internet connection. Honest.

I will write up Oxenmoot, and I'd love anyone who knows to introduce me to the LJs of all the lovely people I met there who I didn't know already.

But for now, a quick question for anyone who's ever been a waitor (this has been bugging me for ages, and I really want to know) Tips. Before I came to Cambridge, I didn't tip. Mainly because we didn't eat out, at least not at places above the pizza-hut cut off line*. Eventually I got the idea, and even accepted the reasoning that it was because the waiting staff were horridly underpaid and rely on the norm of tipping. But (here finally comes the question) if you tip on credit / debit card, does the money really go to the people who you are supposed to be tipping?

Anyway, I should Do Stuff. The current plan is to alternate Doing Stuff with Reading LJ, in the hope that I manage to get a pleasent and productive day out of it. But given it's 11 already I'm starting to doubt this...

*you obviously don't tip at places less posh than pizza hut, ie mc donalds etc, because no one actually serves you. So do you tip at pizza hut? It seems to me to be right at the bottom end of the "places where you'd start feeling you should"

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From:mobbsy
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:08 am (UTC)
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I was once told by a waiter in an Indian restaurant not to bother tipping because it just went straight to the management. I've no idea if this is a common thing. I suspect big chains like Pizza Hut are less unethical in that regard.
From:ex_robhu
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:16 am (UTC)
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At Pizza Hut they bring the bill out on one of those little bowls with mints in it, which suggests that they expect you to tip.

I'm not sure its a good idea to tip someone unless they provided good service, otherwise you're supporting the idea that they should be underpaid.
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From:megamole
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:19 am (UTC)
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try pellegrina, na_lon and the_marquis for starters.
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From:emperor
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:42 am (UTC)
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who is pellegrina IRL? I'm sure I must have met them...
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From:atreic
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:45 am (UTC)
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While you're at it, who are the other two?
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From:megamole
Date:September 20th, 2004 04:02 am (UTC)
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Replied by email (they're concerned about their anonymity online).
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From:na_lon
Date:September 20th, 2004 04:41 am (UTC)
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Not too concerned, but one of my friends is. *Shrugs*

*waves to Sally*
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From:megamole
Date:September 20th, 2004 04:51 am (UTC)
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... which has resulted in some editing of my write-up. (fx: LARTs self for not remembering in time).
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From:the_marquis
Date:September 20th, 2004 01:48 pm (UTC)
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I do beg your pardon, but when one is often on the cover of CentauriFair, anonymity is of least concern ;)
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From:sphyg
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:29 am (UTC)
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I usually get rid of my change instead of tipping on my card. If the service has been particularly good, I tend to tip more, e.g. at the Hotpot (and vice versa). But I don't understand people, usually well-paid, e.g. at geek pizza, who calculate their tip to the exact half penny or whatever.
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From:atreic
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:32 am (UTC)
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But there are times when I don't have change, or want to use change for bus fare, parking tickets etc. Does the money you tip on card actually go to the people it's supposed to?

The geek pizza thing is more that Pizza Express add on an exact 10% service charge, and everyone likes making the bill add up.
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From:ewx
Date:September 20th, 2004 04:18 am (UTC)

go to the people it's supposed to?

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Presumably varies from place to place.
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From:senji
Date:September 20th, 2004 03:59 am (UTC)
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Consider it anal-retentivity; or something :)
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From:megamole
Date:September 20th, 2004 04:03 am (UTC)
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I just tend to tip on a "there or thereabouts" basis - to bring the bill to the nearest £ or half-£. And more or less money goes in depending on whether or not the waitron (har har) deserves it.
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From:sphyg
Date:September 20th, 2004 12:02 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I do ;P
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From:feanelwa
Date:September 20th, 2004 05:03 am (UTC)
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You could ask about this in customers_suck - but point out you're asking about UK restaurants esp. chains, as most of the community are in the US.
From:mtbc100
Date:September 20th, 2004 05:29 am (UTC)
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I don't usually tip in UK restaurants; I'm not aware that it's expected. If people are badly paid than it seems odd to me to think that random charity is the way to fix it. After all, I also don't sprinkle a few quid here and there to other strangers who are in professions I see as too poorly paid, and if I did I'd probably only want to do so in a way I thought would be plausibly declared to the IR. I'd be much happier giving the money to some waiting-people's union that lobbies for better salaries in the industry!
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From:robert_jones
Date:September 20th, 2004 07:43 am (UTC)
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The norm has always been that one's waiter (which, by the way, is a genderless noun) provides one with a service, for which one renumerates them on the basis of their performance. They also provide the restaurant with a service, for which they are paid a wage (although I believe that this was once not universal). So one pays the restaurants for the food and the waiters for waiting. The tip is not "random charity"; it is a payment for services rendered. If the restaurant charges a service charge, one should not also tip, because one would be paying for the same thing twice, unless perhaps the service was so wonderful that it deserved a bonus on top of what one would normally tip.

It is commonly said that tipping by credit or debit card will not always result in a tip being paid to the waiter individually, and this may well be true, but I would tend to regard it as an internal matter. I mean to say that I pay for the service and I don't worry too much about how exactly that payment is distributed.
From:mtbc100
Date:September 20th, 2004 08:29 am (UTC)
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I should have mentioned that I do tip where the menu mentions that the service charge isn't included — am I wrong in thinking that there's a legal requirement to mention that in cases where it's not so?
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From:teleute
Date:September 20th, 2004 07:39 am (UTC)
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In US its worse because waitstaff are taxed on earning 15% of what people have ordered from them (15% being standard tipping here) whether or not they got all those tips. Although that does mean that when you get truely bad service you are actually making a statement by refusing to tip.
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From:robert_jones
Date:September 20th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
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This is because, when asked to estimate their tips for tax purposes, people invariably produce an implausibly small sum. This in turn results from the bizarrely common belief that stealing from the Revenue is some how more acceptable than other forms of theft.
From:mtbc100
Date:September 20th, 2004 08:23 am (UTC)
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Reference? I thought that you could keep a daily tip record and report that instead of the allocated tips, and the allocation is normally more like 8% anyway.
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From:teleute
Date:September 24th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC)
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its 15% here in WA. It may be different in other parts of the country.
From:mtbc100
Date:September 20th, 2004 08:24 am (UTC)
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I think what's even worse is how there's a different minimum wage for tipped employees.
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From:lisekit
Date:September 20th, 2004 09:13 am (UTC)
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I was told that waiting staff don't directly get tips that go through the till (ie, on a credit or debit card), so if you want to make sure somebody gets their tip, you should make it in cash.
Some restaurants do pool the cash tips to be divided among staff, which I think makes it difficult if you want to really show your appreciation for good service from an individual. (I guess the pool system relies on honesty from the waiting staff anyway!)

I understand that the system in the US is to pay staff below minimum waga, so they really need tips to make a living wage. This, I think, is entirely the fault of sucky proprietors and an idiotic system, so I'm often in two minds about whether to support it. (No offence to the waiting staff themeselves - I still tip for good service,, but I think the notion of demanding tips from customers to make up the wage that the employer should be paying is outrageous!)

I definitely only tip for good service in the UK - in the vast majority of cases, this means I do tip. But if the service is not good, I don't tip merely out of convention. I've had people bring me the wrong meal (and I don't mean get my order mixed up with another person's, I mean get my order wrong), or not bring bits of it I ordered, or fail to take notice of an instruction (like "no anchovies"), or keep me waiting for service, and still expect a tip. Er, no.

I refer everyone to Mr Pink's eloquent dissertation on tipping in Reservoir Dogs for further details!
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From:theinquisitor
Date:September 20th, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)
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I generally tip 10%, and always try to do it in cash - even on the (rare) occasions I pay by card. I'm more likely to not tip if the waitron was grumpy than if they* made a mistake, but were decent about it.

* - 'he or she', technically - but if I'm going to use 'waitron', I may as well mutilate the rest of the language, too.
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From:claroscuro
Date:September 20th, 2004 01:55 pm (UTC)
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Bearing in mind that little of my waiting experience is in the UK...

I've worked places where all tips go into the big-tip-pot... I've worked places where cash tips were for you, but plastic tips went into a tip-pot... I've worked places where plastic tips went to the Head Waiter... Most places have a standard policy, and you know what it is.

I used to appreciate being tipped, because it ought to be an indication of how good your service was. Like tipping a guide for a particularly good tour, or a lad for fetching back your golf balls, if we do it well, it is nice to be appreciated.

So, I am quite fussy about tips. Poor service will get no tip. Adequate service will get about 5%, depending on why. Good service gets about 10%-12.5%, depending. Something special will get more. (Tipping coppers to the tune of ten pence or so is reserved as a deadly insult!)

This might be more or less affected by where I'm eating - I note that I would never tip if there isn't waiter service, and almost always at least a little if there is.

I also tip, becuase when I was doing waiting, it was one thing that made up for the rude people shouting at you because the kitchen has mucked up, etc ad nauseam... it made me think some people, at least, had appreciated the service I had provided.
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From:emperor
Date:October 7th, 2004 11:40 pm (UTC)
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This has been discussed recently in cam.misc. You can read the thread with a real newsreader or with google groups

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