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Why do we tip waiters?

Loserboi
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9/12/2010 6:08:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I was just wondering why do most of us feel like we have a moral obligation to leave people a tip.

I probably sound like a jackass, but I for one do not like to tip a lot, i mainly just tip 10% but everyone tells me i need to tip like 20% which really angers me sometimes, like when i went to eat korean bbq buffet with my friends and basically how it worked was the food would be on the other side of the room and you would collect the raw food and cook it at your table. I wanted to tip very little at places like these because seriously... wtf? I cooked the freaking food but my friend demanded i tip 20%.

Irony is i work at a tiny restaurant too, and I make the burritoes, the salads, sandwiches, quesadillas, and the wraps but my place does not get tips or we get really little from those you know "Tips are greatly appreciated" jars.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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9/12/2010 8:23:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The idea of a tip is that betetr waiters get better tips, and thus it encourages waiters to perform better for extra money. Of course some restaurants pool the tips in a Communist fashion which kills incentive. Good example of Free Market vs. Socialist Market actually.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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9/12/2010 8:25:13 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Depending on the country, wait staff wages are usually low and employers offer tips as compensation for what is generally a crap job that nonetheless has more important ramifications than many other customer service oriented positions. As such tips are the bonus for what is generally a needed skill for those that employ those staff.
Puck
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9/12/2010 8:26:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:23:16 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Of course some restaurants pool the tips in a Communist fashion which kills incentive.

Really depends where you work. Some have table systems where tips are allocated purely to the waiter of those tables, or more commonly here, it goes into a pool which is then divided upon % of hours worked of the total for the night.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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9/12/2010 8:30:04 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Wow. That is so not true lol.

We tip waiters because it would be too expensive for a restaurant to pay their wait staff and still make a profit. Vi's family owns a restaurant; my cousin owns a restaurant. This is a fact.

By buying wholesale (and from other cheap vendors restaurants have contact with), they can get things for cheap. However suppose they ultimately pay $5 for a meal they charge $10 for. That 5$ profit goes toward paying the cooks, the hosts, the bus boys, the waiters (because they do make a wage -- just $3 shy of minimum wage) and of course all the bills: electric, gas, heat, water, insurance, and depending on the place - cable, phone, etc. Not to mention money for the owners.

If the restaurants had to pay waiters, they would have to jack up the price of food so high that patrons probably wouldn't attend thus crushing the business all-together.
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wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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9/12/2010 8:30:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Waiters are generally poorer than people that eat at restaurants. Tipping is a generosity. It's kind of like a charity, but for the waiter doing a good job.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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9/12/2010 8:33:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Oh - add mortgage and/or rent to the list of bills, and factor in that there may be more than 1 owner. You also have to remember that there are more than 1 host, cook, etc. so they're paying a lot of staff and a lot of bills on very little profit.

Also, wages have only gone up about 10% since the 70s but the price of food has gone up over 40% thanks to the food bubble and other fvcked up things capitalists do. So again, they're not making huge profits.
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Danielle
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9/12/2010 8:33:43 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:30:24 AM, wjmelements wrote:
Waiters are generally poorer than people that eat at restaurants. Tipping is a generosity. It's kind of like a charity, but for the waiter doing a good job.

Once again, this answer is wrong. See above.
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I-am-a-panda
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9/12/2010 8:37:44 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:30:04 AM, theLwerd wrote:
Wow. That is so not true lol.

We tip waiters because it would be too expensive for a restaurant to pay their wait staff and still make a profit. Vi's family owns a restaurant; my cousin owns a restaurant. This is a fact.

By buying wholesale (and from other cheap vendors restaurants have contact with), they can get things for cheap. However suppose they ultimately pay $5 for a meal they charge $10 for. That 5$ profit goes toward paying the cooks, the hosts, the bus boys, the waiters (because they do make a wage -- just $3 shy of minimum wage) and of course all the bills: electric, gas, heat, water, insurance, and depending on the place - cable, phone, etc. Not to mention money for the owners.

If the restaurants had to pay waiters, they would have to jack up the price of food so high that patrons probably wouldn't attend thus crushing the business all-together.

There wouldn't be much of a difference, just a 10% increase across the board. The tipping system as it stands is pretty ineffective as it is either:

A) Optional so it doesn't guarantee a wage increase.

B) Mandatory so there is no tipping, just taking 10% as a mandatory "tip".

Tipping is basically an incentive. Better customer service = Bigger tip.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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9/12/2010 8:45:06 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:30:04 AM, theLwerd wrote:
We tip waiters because it would be too expensive for a restaurant to pay their wait staff and still make a profit. Vi's family owns a restaurant; my cousin owns a restaurant. This is a fact.

I don't think I or my family have ever tipped waiters with the intention of increasing the profit of the restaurant.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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9/12/2010 9:22:30 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 6:08:45 AM, Loserboi wrote:
I was just wondering why do most of us feel like we have a moral obligation to leave people a tip.:

It's an old custom (18th century) where people tipped as an added incentive to make sure the waiter or bar keep ensured great service. Somehow the custom affixed itself to the culture and became the norm; so much so, in fact, that the food and beverage industry stopped paying people a salary.

I probably sound like a jackass, but I for one do not like to tip a lot, i mainly just tip 10% but everyone tells me i need to tip like 20% which really angers me sometimes:

Being that my first jobs were in food and beverage, I tend to tip well, but I have no compunction with not tipping at all for extremely bad service.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
lovelife
Posts: 14,629
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9/12/2010 9:35:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
All I know is a personal experience on this but L seems to have facts and further personal experience to back this up.

When my mom worked as a waitress the idea of a tip was so she would at least actually make min wage. However what that resturant didn't tell costumers was that NONE of the employees ever saw the tip. If one was caught pocketting money from a table top they were fired.

The idea of tipping waiters was so they make enough money. Usually businesses think of them last in comparasin to the chefs, bills, and owners.
You put them last and see how much they would make. Waiters also come in different forms.
There are the ones that go above and beyond, and check on you every two mins. My stepdad had once recently, tipped her 25% if I remember correctly.
There are the ones that aren't that good, and rarely, if ever, check on you after the food is served, and even before, not often. They get tipped about 5%, if anything, we had one of those a couple nights ago.
Then there are the average ones that check up every 10 mins or so, ask if you need refills, all the things you'd expect, but not that much better or worse. These get tipped about 10-20%, often 15%.

The amount that you should tip should be a direct effect of how well the waiter does, however it seems that in this day and age, even that is not given to the waiters after all.

However that is the reasoning, whether or not its lost.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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9/12/2010 9:39:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 9:35:16 AM, lovelife wrote:
When my mom worked as a waitress the idea of a tip was so she would at least actually make min wage. However what that resturant didn't tell costumers was that NONE of the employees ever saw the tip. If one was caught pocketting money from a table top they were fired.

That's straight-up fraud.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
lovelife
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9/12/2010 10:13:38 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 9:39:51 AM, wjmelements wrote:
At 9/12/2010 9:35:16 AM, lovelife wrote:
When my mom worked as a waitress the idea of a tip was so she would at least actually make min wage. However what that resturant didn't tell costumers was that NONE of the employees ever saw the tip. If one was caught pocketting money from a table top they were fired.

That's straight-up fraud.

Yeah, I heard its not that uncommon tho.
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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9/12/2010 12:51:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Because they make less than minimum wage. I heard in some states they make like $2-4 per hour... And basically, you're supposed to tip for any service (eg. hotel staff, hair salon, etc.) because it encourages better service.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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9/12/2010 12:57:31 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 12:51:56 PM, TulleKrazy wrote:
Because they make less than minimum wage. I heard in some states they make like $2-4 per hour... And basically, you're supposed to tip for any service (eg. hotel staff, hair salon, etc.) because it encourages better service.

Yea, there wouldn't be much incentive to work hard if you're only making about $2 an hour.
nonentity
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9/12/2010 12:58:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:30:04 AM, theLwerd wrote:
Wow. That is so not true lol.

We tip waiters because it would be too expensive for a restaurant to pay their wait staff and still make a profit. Vi's family owns a restaurant; my cousin owns a restaurant. This is a fact.

By buying wholesale (and from other cheap vendors restaurants have contact with), they can get things for cheap. However suppose they ultimately pay $5 for a meal they charge $10 for. That 5$ profit goes toward paying the cooks, the hosts, the bus boys, the waiters (because they do make a wage -- just $3 shy of minimum wage) and of course all the bills: electric, gas, heat, water, insurance, and depending on the place - cable, phone, etc. Not to mention money for the owners.

If the restaurants had to pay waiters, they would have to jack up the price of food so high that patrons probably wouldn't attend thus crushing the business all-together.

That may be true, but what about more expensive restaurants? If you're with 4 friends and you're each paying $20-30 a plate plus $6 for each alcoholic drink and the waitress is only making $7 for that hour you've sat down (not to mention the other tables she's serving for that hour), what's the excuse for that?
Loserboi
Posts: 1,232
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9/12/2010 1:20:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
What if a city like san francisco has a set minimum wage of $9.79? Would we still feel morally obligated to tip them if they make as much as say a retail sales associate, but make more than them because of tips?
nonentity
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9/12/2010 1:33:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 1:20:14 PM, Loserboi wrote:
What if a city like san francisco has a set minimum wage of $9.79? Would we still feel morally obligated to tip them if they make as much as say a retail sales associate, but make more than them because of tips?

Well, regardless of whether you tip or not waiters/waitresses still have to tip out to the cooks, dishwashers, and bartenders. So if you don't tip them, they're paying the other staff out of their own pockets. If they didn't have to tip out and they made minimum wage, then I guess we shouldn't be morally obligated to... But it all contributes to the experience of the restaurant. I'd rather have a good customer service experience and have a good time with my friends, than leave the restaurant thinking the service sucked. I mean, service should be good everywhere you go but it doesn't always happen.
GeoLaureate8
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9/12/2010 1:39:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:45:06 AM, wjmelements wrote:
At 9/12/2010 8:30:04 AM, theLwerd wrote:
We tip waiters because it would be too expensive for a restaurant to pay their wait staff and still make a profit. Vi's family owns a restaurant; my cousin owns a restaurant. This is a fact.

I don't think I or my family have ever tipped waiters with the intention of increasing the profit of the restaurant.

This.
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lovelife
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9/12/2010 1:43:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 1:33:32 PM, TulleKrazy wrote:
At 9/12/2010 1:20:14 PM, Loserboi wrote:
What if a city like san francisco has a set minimum wage of $9.79? Would we still feel morally obligated to tip them if they make as much as say a retail sales associate, but make more than them because of tips?

Well, regardless of whether you tip or not waiters/waitresses still have to tip out to the cooks, dishwashers, and bartenders. So if you don't tip them, they're paying the other staff out of their own pockets. If they didn't have to tip out and they made minimum wage, then I guess we shouldn't be morally obligated to... But it all contributes to the experience of the restaurant. I'd rather have a good customer service experience and have a good time with my friends, than leave the restaurant thinking the service sucked. I mean, service should be good everywhere you go but it doesn't always happen.

Exactly. The more you tip for better service the more likely you will get better service. If all they make is min wage, why would they bother working harder?
Without Royal there is a hole inside of me, I have no choice but to leave
Loserboi
Posts: 1,232
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9/12/2010 1:48:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 1:33:32 PM, TulleKrazy wrote:
At 9/12/2010 1:20:14 PM, Loserboi wrote:
What if a city like san francisco has a set minimum wage of $9.79? Would we still feel morally obligated to tip them if they make as much as say a retail sales associate, but make more than them because of tips?

Well, regardless of whether you tip or not waiters/waitresses still have to tip out to the cooks, dishwashers, and bartenders. So if you don't tip them, they're paying the other staff out of their own pockets. If they didn't have to tip out and they made minimum wage, then I guess we shouldn't be morally obligated to... But it all contributes to the experience of the restaurant. I'd rather have a good customer service experience and have a good time with my friends, than leave the restaurant thinking the service sucked. I mean, service should be good everywhere you go but it doesn't always happen.

Many restaurant owners have said that tipping can be detrimental to the waiting staff's teamwork. Gives a sense of superiority among the workers when someone gets tipped more. Also sometimes the worker is just a crappy worker who will give bad customer service regardless because most people always feel like they have to tip them regardless.
Loserboi
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9/12/2010 1:51:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 1:43:49 PM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/12/2010 1:33:32 PM, TulleKrazy wrote:
At 9/12/2010 1:20:14 PM, Loserboi wrote:
What if a city like san francisco has a set minimum wage of $9.79? Would we still feel morally obligated to tip them if they make as much as say a retail sales associate, but make more than them because of tips?

Well, regardless of whether you tip or not waiters/waitresses still have to tip out to the cooks, dishwashers, and bartenders. So if you don't tip them, they're paying the other staff out of their own pockets. If they didn't have to tip out and they made minimum wage, then I guess we shouldn't be morally obligated to... But it all contributes to the experience of the restaurant. I'd rather have a good customer service experience and have a good time with my friends, than leave the restaurant thinking the service sucked. I mean, service should be good everywhere you go but it doesn't always happen.

Exactly. The more you tip for better service the more likely you will get better service. If all they make is min wage, why would they bother working harder?

If there is a minimum wage why do we tip if they are not making a hell of a lot less than any other working citizen? I mean why do you not tip the person who waits outside your dressing room to take your clothes back when you don't want them? Why do you not tip the mall security every time you walk past them? Why not tip the guy at the ballpark who lugs around a giant coffee machine on his back all day up flights of stairs to give you coffee?
mattrodstrom
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9/12/2010 9:18:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I park cars for a restaurant and I make 3.50 an hour before tips...

if you don't tip me... I'll give you a dirty look for free!

...

So far as what Lwerd was saying... I think You're Wrong... ;P

Succesful restaurants COULD pay their employees a regular wage if everyone STOPPED the Tipping deal... As panda said... it'd just get added in the bill, and the food OVERALL would be the same price.

the only reason for it is that it's incentive to work good w/o the boss looking over your shoulder.

THOUGH... really Tipping does encourage Cheapskate Scumbags to eat out, as they get cheap service (cheap restaurant food) since they don't feel the compulsion to tip normally...

When people "stiff" me or give me like a buck... it's not too big a deal as on decent days I have roughly 40-60 cars a night of my own... BUT at the restaurant I work at people Fck over the waitstaff all the time.

Usually they just follow the person out of the restaurant and try to return the couple dollars that the jerks left.

(now... I know some waiters can be bad... but at the restaurant I work at, the customers are about 40% complete jackasses)
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innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/13/2010 6:06:55 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm actually one of the best tippers you would get. However, i take that into consideration before i go to a place to eat, and figure it up front as a consideration of how much the dinner will cost, and that is factored into the worth of the restaurant.

Having said that, i think it's just a paradigm that we're stuck in. We don't reward good service anywhere else, that's what people get paid for. I didn't give the cable guy a tip because he did an exceptional job, or the lady that bags my groceries. We do it because it's a social custom and there is no way out now. Christmas is coming, and i tip the mailman, and i don't even know why. I give my secretary a giant Christmas present, but that's an investment to make sure she gives my work priority over the other rep's work.
Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
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9/13/2010 6:22:12 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:23:16 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
The idea of a tip is that betetr waiters get better tips, and thus it encourages waiters to perform better for extra money. Of course some restaurants pool the tips in a Communist fashion which kills incentive. Good example of Free Market vs. Socialist Market actually.

LMFAO! WTF are you talking about?
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Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
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9/13/2010 6:24:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 8:45:06 AM, wjmelements wrote:
At 9/12/2010 8:30:04 AM, theLwerd wrote:
We tip waiters because it would be too expensive for a restaurant to pay their wait staff and still make a profit. Vi's family owns a restaurant; my cousin owns a restaurant. This is a fact.

I don't think I or my family have ever tipped waiters with the intention of increasing the profit of the restaurant.

Doesn't mean that's not how the system actually works.
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Vi_Veri
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9/13/2010 6:26:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 10:13:38 AM, lovelife wrote:
At 9/12/2010 9:39:51 AM, wjmelements wrote:
At 9/12/2010 9:35:16 AM, lovelife wrote:
When my mom worked as a waitress the idea of a tip was so she would at least actually make min wage. However what that resturant didn't tell costumers was that NONE of the employees ever saw the tip. If one was caught pocketting money from a table top they were fired.

That's straight-up fraud.

Yeah, I heard its not that uncommon tho.

Never heard of this happening - nor has it ever happened to me and I've been a server for 5 years.
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Vi_Veri
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9/13/2010 6:27:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/12/2010 12:58:41 PM, TulleKrazy wrote:
At 9/12/2010 8:30:04 AM, theLwerd wrote:
Wow. That is so not true lol.

We tip waiters because it would be too expensive for a restaurant to pay their wait staff and still make a profit. Vi's family owns a restaurant; my cousin owns a restaurant. This is a fact.

By buying wholesale (and from other cheap vendors restaurants have contact with), they can get things for cheap. However suppose they ultimately pay $5 for a meal they charge $10 for. That 5$ profit goes toward paying the cooks, the hosts, the bus boys, the waiters (because they do make a wage -- just $3 shy of minimum wage) and of course all the bills: electric, gas, heat, water, insurance, and depending on the place - cable, phone, etc. Not to mention money for the owners.

If the restaurants had to pay waiters, they would have to jack up the price of food so high that patrons probably wouldn't attend thus crushing the business all-together.

That may be true, but what about more expensive restaurants? If you're with 4 friends and you're each paying $20-30 a plate plus $6 for each alcoholic drink and the waitress is only making $7 for that hour you've sat down (not to mention the other tables she's serving for that hour), what's the excuse for that?

The waitress is only actually making $4.95, before tax, that hour you sat down.
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.