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View Full Version : Do you tip on carry out food?



Ole Anderson
08-21-2014, 9:41 AM
Ok, we discussed tipping the oil change guy, but what about curbside carryout at Applebee's, or when you pick up at the local pizza joint, or you pick up Chinese for dinner? I always struggle with that. Usually I tip just under 20% on sit down (I round, usually down, to the nearest dollar from 20%), but on carry out from a sit down restaurant, I usually give half of that. Sometimes not. Pizza? Hit or miss on tipping for me. I feel more inclined to tip when they carry it out to the car for me with curbside carry out.

David Weaver
08-21-2014, 10:09 AM
I've never tipped on carryout food. Pizza person, yes. If the pizza place has a delivery charge more than a dollar, I pick up the pizza instead. If they have a small delivery charge, I still tip the driver or sometimes ask if they get part or all of the delivery charge. If they do, I adjust their tip accordingly.

Harold Burrell
08-21-2014, 10:15 AM
In a word...no. (I do, however, expect a tip for taking the time to answer your question.)

Dan Hintz
08-21-2014, 10:24 AM
If anything requires true service (taking my order, delivering food to the table, checking up on me from time to time, etc.), I tip. If it involves something simple (like clearing the table of my plates when I'm done, but no service beyond that), I will usually leave a buck or two at the table. If they are only walking a bag to my car 10' outside of the restaurant, no tip as they already make at least minimum wage and it's part of their job.

Mike Hollingsworth
08-21-2014, 10:34 AM
I tip well.
I'm welcome everywhere

at some point cheap becomes selfish

Harold Burrell
08-21-2014, 11:47 AM
I tip well.
I'm welcome everywhere

at some point cheap becomes selfish

Do you tip at McDonald's?

Duane Meadows
08-21-2014, 11:55 AM
Where I worked, if I accepted a tip, I was subject to being fired! Probably as it should be.

That said some folks(especially elderly) are highly insulted if you won't accept a tip... kind of between a rock and a hard place sometimes:rolleyes:

ray hampton
08-21-2014, 12:48 PM
I try to tip BUT do not offer to tip the policeman or policewoman , that are call bribing

Brian Elfert
08-21-2014, 12:57 PM
Where I worked, if I accepted a tip, I was subject to being fired! Probably as it should be.

The State Fair I worked at for many years does not allow employees to accepts tips. Employees also could not accept free or reduced price food from any vendor. They actually had folks who tested if employees would accept tips.

Pat Barry
08-21-2014, 1:38 PM
I've started tipping the folks at the carryout pizza place, just a couple bucks to let them know I appreciate their pizza.
Ed: and their hard work. I feel like I drove over to pick it up and watched while they worked on my order, so I saved on tipping the delivery driver, I'm going to give some of that back to the folks actually doing the work. I think they appreciate it too. Maybe they will even remember someday and throw on a couple extra pepperoni's. LOL

Kev Williams
08-21-2014, 5:27 PM
I'm amused when I see tip jars in places like an ice cream store. The employee's job is to scoop ice cream and place it in cone, cup or tub, hand it to you, then take your money. I should offer a gratuity for that?

And tipping at the carryout pizza joint for a good pizza? It's their JOB to make good pizza in the first place, so you'll come back for more. Which is job security. THAT should be their incentive to make a decent pizza.

I think it's going a bit too far when we start tipping people for no real reason other than they bothered to show up for work.

David Weaver
08-21-2014, 5:59 PM
I may sound like an old crank, but I generally don't tip anyone who doesn't have a necessity for it. Wait staff and delivery guys are about it.

Charles Wiggins
08-21-2014, 6:40 PM
when you pick up at the local pizza joint, or you pick up Chinese for dinner?
Never. I worked at a couple of pizza joints and I would have never expected a tip on a carry-out. These days, with the "everyone gets a trophy" attitudes, who knows what people would expect.


I feel more inclined to tip when they carry it out to the car for me with curbside carry out.
I don't do the "Curbside To Go" thing, mainly because I would feel obliged to tip and I'm cheap. On the rare occasions I have gotten take-out from a bar and grill type place I go in and wait by the register. However, if I go to a drive-in that has carhops like Sonic I will tip a token amount, usually 50 - $1.00 depending on how much of a pain the order was to carry and how friendly they are.

If I go in and sit down where there is a server 20% is my baseline for decent service: Be friendly, be knowledgeable, be attentive but not smothering. It can go up or down from there depending on the server's behavior. If the place is buffet, where they only fill your drink and clear your dishes I usually do $1.00 per person in my party, sometimes more if they are really attentive. Many years ago I used to frequent a pizza buffet place where the lunch waitress was a superstar (She worked Monday -Thursday lunch by herself). She was constantly moving and did everything with a smile and easy-going charm. If it was really busy and she still kept up with everything I would sometimes leave a tip larger than my bill.

Larry Frank
08-21-2014, 8:08 PM
I never tip at a carry out place.

At a restaurant, I tip really well for good service and you need to earn it. BUT, if I get bad service or bad attitude the tip is adjusted accordingly. I do not tip for just being there.

Bert Kemp
08-22-2014, 8:34 AM
At a sit down I'll tip pretty good 20% or better is the service is good, but pick up hardly ever, sometimes I'll throw the loose change in the tip jar. But what I really hate is tipping the post person or the barber they both get a good salary for there work and the barber probably pockets 30% or more tax free. My barber charges $14 bucks for 15 min work and I tip him 2 bucks I don't know why i guess because its expected so most people tip him a couple so he gets $16 bucks a cut lets say 20 cuts a day and I know most days he does more. That s $320 a day avg x 5= $1600 a week x48 weeks (say he takes a month vac)= $76800 a year and I'm tipping him. I made half that working full time before retirement.Oh and what does the post person make?
Ok OK I know the barber has expenses but mine works out of his house his shop is attached so its a write off.

Ole Anderson
08-22-2014, 9:54 AM
At a sit down I'll tip pretty good 20% or better is the service is good, but pick up hardly ever, sometimes I'll throw the loose change in the tip jar. But what I really hate is tipping the post person or the barber they both get a good salary for there work and the barber probably pockets 30% or more tax free. My barber charges $14 bucks for 15 min work and I tip him 2 bucks I don't know why i guess because its expected so most people tip him a couple so he gets $16 bucks a cut lets say 20 cuts a day and I know most days he does more. That s $320 a day avg x 5= $1600 a week x48 weeks (say he takes a month vac)= $76800 a year and I'm tipping him. I made half that working full time before retirement.Oh and what does the post person make?
Ok OK I know the barber has expenses but mine works out of his house his shop is attached so its a write off.

I tip my barber $3 on a $14 haircut, which is crazy as he owns the shop and has at least a dozen lady stylists working for him. But I get a nice relaxed 30 minute haircut and we get to talk golf and Jeeps. He owns two Jeeps, and at 70 years, just shot a 40 in his league, and shot a 38 first time out in the season.

Pat Barry
08-22-2014, 10:47 AM
I tip my barber $3 on a $14 haircut, which is crazy as he owns the shop and has at least a dozen lady stylists working for him. But I get a nice relaxed 30 minute haircut and we get to talk golf and Jeeps. He owns two Jeeps, and at 70 years, just shot a 40 in his league, and shot a 38 first time out in the season.
I give my barber a $20 bill for a $14 haircut and tell him to keep the change. I never thought this was really out of line even though he owns his own shop. I guess I really don't know what that has to do with giving him a tip anyway.

Kev Williams
08-22-2014, 11:28 AM
Tipping a $50 an hour barber is a little too much like tipping my dentist, or tipping the nurse at the doctors office for not having to stab me twice to find a vein.

And ironically, the nurse could likely use the extra money...

Brian Elfert
08-22-2014, 12:02 PM
Tipping a $50 an hour barber is a little too much like tipping my dentist, or tipping the nurse at the doctors office for not having to stab me twice to find a vein.


I want to know what barber is making $50 an hour unless they are doing $50 haircuts? The median barber salary in Anaheim, CA is only $32,000 a year. Yes, they might able to do four $15 haircuts an hour, but I have never been to a hair cutting place that is that busy all day long. Most service places will charge at least double what they pay the employees to cover overhead.

I don't know why people think deducting business expenses is some great thing. The business owner is only saving whatever taxes they might pay on that expense. It still costs real money for that expense. If a barber works from home they are legally allowed to only deduct the expenses of the space used for the business. The only time business deductions really help is if people deduct things they shouldn't which is called tax evasion. Small business owners do it all the time like using company vehicles as personal vehicle, or paying personal expenses and claiming it as a business expense. The IRS frowns on small business owners who have a business vehicle, but don't own a personal vehicle and don't list any personal use. It would probably be difficult to convince an auditor that you walk, bike, get a ride, or a take a bus for all personal transportation.

I worked for a small business where the owner was paying almost all personal expenses from the business. The business was pretty near broke because of it. An IRS auditor would have had a field day.

David Weaver
08-22-2014, 12:29 PM
I don't know any wealthy barbers, either. It's almost like a charity job if the barber works by themselves.

The downtown stylists around here make decent money, but they have to have their own book of business (and develop it) and each time they are promoted at their job, their price goes up. I cut my own hair, so no issue with that, but my wife wrestles with the issue of whether to pay ever increasing prices to a favorite stylist (who might charge $60 or more for a haircut and then expect a tip) or to take a risk and go to a place that has younger stylists who might not do as good of a job.

But barbers around here are all pretty much subsistence (and must really love their jobs) unless they've got several other barbers working for them.

John Coloccia
08-22-2014, 1:51 PM
Funny...this is the second forum where this exact topic has come up today.

Anyhow, generally NO, unless it's a particularly big order or something like that. I think the US is tip crazy. I'd love to see tips just go away. Charge what you need to charge, pay your staff an appropriate wage, and get on with it.

Scott Shepherd
08-22-2014, 1:57 PM
I'd love to see tips just go away. Charge what you need to charge, pay your staff an appropriate wage, and get on with it.

I've repeatedly said to family and friends if I ever open a restaurant, I'm going to pay the people a fair, decent wage, have signs on every table that say "NO TIPPING, PLEASE", and I'd hold my staff accountable for providing quality services to the customers. The way that industry works to me is crazy. How you can pay someone $2.00 per hour plus tips seems like an easy way for someone to skirt the minimum wage laws all other businesses have to deal with.

One restaurant we frequent goes through wait staff like mad. We probably eat there twice a week and in the last 3 years, I couldn't count the number of people that have worked there. It's a small Mom & Pop place. If I worked for $2.00 per hour plus tips, I wouldn't make it either. How's my pay (and time) relative to the food you cooked and the marketing you've done for your business? I didn't have anything to do with your marketing, so if you didn't spend money to get people in the door, I'm the one who gets punished. Makes no sense to me.

Rod Sheridan
08-22-2014, 2:10 PM
I tip.............Rod

Duane Meadows
08-22-2014, 6:58 PM
I've repeatedly said to family and friends if I ever open a restaurant, I'm going to pay the people a fair, decent wage, have signs on every table that say "NO TIPPING, PLEASE", and I'd hold my staff accountable for providing quality services to the customers. The way that industry works to me is crazy. How you can pay someone $2.00 per hour plus tips seems like an easy way for someone to skirt the minimum wage laws all other businesses have to deal with.

One restaurant we frequent goes through wait staff like mad. We probably eat there twice a week and in the last 3 years, I couldn't count the number of people that have worked there. It's a small Mom & Pop place. If I worked for $2.00 per hour plus tips, I wouldn't make it either. How's my pay (and time) relative to the food you cooked and the marketing you've done for your business? I didn't have anything to do with your marketing, so if you didn't spend money to get people in the door, I'm the one who gets punished. Makes no sense to me.

There was a restaurant in town here that did just that, Of course they are no longer in business. Not sure the 2 facts are related,but...

Chris Padilla
08-22-2014, 7:17 PM
I'm amused when I see tip jars in places like an ice cream store. The employee's job is to scoop ice cream and place it in cone, cup or tub, hand it to you, then take your money. I should offer a gratuity for that?

Tipping jars are where I dump the coins I get back in change as I hate carrying change around. Paper is fine...metal is not.

But otherwise, I tip at non fast-food sit-down restaurants and the pizza guy who delivers and that is about it.

Kent A Bathurst
08-22-2014, 7:49 PM
I tip at "sit-down" restaurants when I go to pick up a take-out order I phoned in. Understand - these are places where we also go for a sit-down meal.

The tips on the to-go orders end up in the pockets of the kitchen staff.

We both worked in restaurants while in college. Maybe I have a soft spot; but those people are not on easy street by any means..............

Bill Orbine
08-22-2014, 7:51 PM
I've said this before.....When I see a "tip jar", I tip the jar.....over!

Tim Boger
08-23-2014, 7:30 AM
T.I.P. To Insure Promptness / As in: handing the Maitre d" some cash to be seated quickly.

When did the original concept of tipping morph into it's current form and what entity or type of business does it now benefits most.

Why were / are restaurants ever allowed to pay less that minimum wage .... kind of defeats the intention.

Tim

Charles Wiggins
08-23-2014, 1:53 PM
I'd love to see tips just go away. Charge what you need to charge, pay your staff an appropriate wage, and get on with it.

There are problems with that approach. For most mom & pops, if they pay a great server in the same wage range as a so-so server then eventually they're not going to have any great servers. They'll go somewhere else where they can get compensated for their outstanding efforts.

If you're going to include all of the server's compensation in the cost of the meal should someone getting takeout pay the same price as someone getting the sit-down service?

By allowing tipping you allow the server to set their own wage. I've known outstanding servers who often made over $200 a night just in tips, and that was back in the 1980s. Who is going to pay someone $200 a day to serve food?

ray hampton
08-23-2014, 3:24 PM
By allowing tipping you allow the server to set their own wage. I've known outstanding servers who often made over $200 a night just in tips, and that was back in the 1980s. Who is going to pay someone $200 a day to serve food?

I doubt that the servers made $200 in a night because they were outstanding but they made $200 because the customers were willing to tip , 200 - 8 =$25 per hour, a busy restaurant [ every table occupied ] could bring more than this BUT if a server only wait on one table per hour then tips will not amount to much

Moses Yoder
08-23-2014, 3:39 PM
I remember when my dad complained because tips were now a dollar. They used to be a quarter, he said. I don't hand my wife a five dollar bill when she makes dinner. When my sisters were servers at Peddlers Village restaurant my dad always made sure they waited on him when he went there so he didn't have to leave them a tip. I once had exceptional service from a woman at Menards, finding and helping to load some materials and when we were done held out a five dollar bill. She refused it; honestly nobody would have known the difference, nobody was around. I will never forget that level of integrity.

My dad once talked to a server for 20 minutes while we were on a fishing trip in Wellston, MI and she stood there taking it. I left her a $6.50 tip, 50% of our bill. My dad left his normal dollar. Out in the van he said "Did you leave her A FIVE DOLLAR BILL?!!!!". He was silent the rest of the way to our hotel. The next evening at the same restaurant he started again and I said "Dad, the longer you talk to her the higher I tip." We left shortly after.

I don't get food to go, but if I ran into someone who went out of their way to solve a problem for me I would tip them.

Ole Anderson
08-23-2014, 5:52 PM
I tip half my normal inside tip for curbside carryout (like Applebee's, Olive Garden, etc.) assuming that the person bringing me and everyone else their food is just assigned carryout, and if I didn't tip, she goes home with the minimum pay. She or he is the one that has to bundle up for snow or rain or whatever, while the other servers are inside warm and dry, or cool and dry if you are south of the Mason-Dixon line.

ray hampton
08-23-2014, 6:45 PM
I tip half my normal inside tip for curbside carryout (like Applebee's, Olive Garden, etc.) assuming that the person bringing me and everyone else their food is just assigned carryout, and if I didn't tip, she goes home with the minimum pay. She or he is the one that has to bundle up for snow or rain or whatever, while the other servers are inside warm and dry, or cool and dry if you are south of the Mason-Dixon line.

I owe the fast-food worker some money, never thought about giving them tips

Myk Rian
08-23-2014, 9:35 PM
I tip my barber $3 on a $14 haircut, which is crazy as he owns the shop
Same here, but 2 bucks to round it to $15 and get a 5 back from a 20. Marcy owns the shop where she and her hubby work.

Kev Williams
08-24-2014, 12:38 AM
Ok, a couple of hours ago I stopped in to Little Caezar's pizza to pick up some dinner. Got a 3-meat deep dish, which I had to wait for (no problem, I like 'em fresh outta the oven!), cheese bread and Crazy bread. While waiting, this thread came to mind.

Ok, so who do I tip-- the guy who made the pizza, the guy who took it out of the oven, the gal who sliced it, the guy who boxed it, or the gal who took my order and handed it to me when I was done?

It would've been totally unfair to tip only one, splitting a 20% tip between the 5 of them would've made me look cheap, and 20% to all would've cost me $20!
http://www.engraver1.com/gifs/nilly.gif

Dan Hintz
08-24-2014, 9:14 AM
I tip half my normal inside tip for curbside carryout (like Applebee's, Olive Garden, etc.) assuming that the person bringing me and everyone else their food is just assigned carryout, and if I didn't tip, she goes home with the minimum pay. She or he is the one that has to bundle up for snow or rain or whatever, while the other servers are inside warm and dry, or cool and dry if you are south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Are the people who bring you curbside servers actually servers (i.e., they get paid the server's minimum wage)? If so, I believe a token tip is reasonable... if they're regular minimum wage employees, no tip should be necessary.

Ok, so who do I tip-- the guy who made the pizza, the guy who took it out of the oven, the gal who sliced it, the guy who boxed it, or the gal who took my order and handed it to me when I was done?

Just like in bars, when you tip one, you tip them all... all tip money is pooled at the end of the shift and split up according to percentages. I do NOT like that idea. For example, when I go on cruises that have sommeliers... what if I choose not to drink any wine? I have no tused their services, so why should they get a portion of the tip I leave the waitstaff? Luckily, on cruises you can specify in more detail where the tips should go.

Phil Thien
08-24-2014, 9:58 AM
I've never used curbside delivery, except at Culvers (which is a fast-good). I don't tip there.

But if I go to pickup my food at a restaurant, and I see a tip jar, I'll toss some money into it.

Many times when I see a tip jar, I look around and see college students working the place on Thursday through Saturday evenings. I realize they aren't there because they enjoy seeing my smiling face, they need the money.

Bert Kemp
08-24-2014, 12:02 PM
I've repeatedly said to family and friends if I ever open a restaurant, I'm going to pay the people a fair, decent wage, have signs on every table that say "NO TIPPING, PLEASE", and I'd hold my staff accountable for providing quality services to the customers. The way that industry works to me is crazy. How you can pay someone $2.00 per hour plus tips seems like an easy way for someone to skirt the minimum wage laws all other businesses have to deal with.

One restaurant we frequent goes through wait staff like mad. We probably eat there twice a week and in the last 3 years, I couldn't count the number of people that have worked there. It's a small Mom & Pop place. If I worked for $2.00 per hour plus tips, I wouldn't make it either. How's my pay (and time) relative to the food you cooked and the marketing you've done for your business? I didn't have anything to do with your marketing, so if you didn't spend money to get people in the door, I'm the one who gets punished. Makes no sense to me.
And if you pay a fair wage you'll be out of business in a week , because your food price's will be so high to cover the cost of paying your employee's that no one will eat there.
My daughters boy friend waits tables at a local breakfast restaurant he gets paid 2 bucks an hour and 200 a day in tips 5 days a week consistently during the summer season and winter ski seasons and about a 100 per day in the off season. So if your good at it and work at a decent place you make a good living on tips.

Tim Boger
08-24-2014, 12:31 PM
Perhaps I'm missing something obvious here ..... why should it be the customers responsibility to supplement the restaurants payroll to assist them staying in business?

Is it too difficult to find employees that will do a job well enough and don't expect tips? In it's purest form, all facets of receiving a tip is up to me, the consumer and not the government, the restaurant owner, the employee or my peers ..... if I feel compelled to tip I will, for no other reason.

Something about empowering those the see themselves as entitled.



And if you pay a fair wage you'll be out of business in a week , because your food price's will be so high to cover the cost of paying your employee's that no one will eat there.
My daughters boy friend waits tables at a local breakfast restaurant he gets paid 2 bucks an hour and 200 a day in tips 5 days a week consistently during the summer season and winter ski seasons and about a 100 per day in the off season. So if your good at it and work at a decent place you make a good living on tips.

Ole Anderson
08-24-2014, 12:49 PM
By allowing tipping you allow the server to set their own wage. I've known outstanding servers who often made over $200 a night just in tips, and that was back in the 1980s. Who is going to pay someone $200 a day to serve food?

I don't doubt it, but I bet that was just on the busiest nights of the week, probably Friday.

Dan Hintz
08-24-2014, 1:25 PM
Perhaps I'm missing something obvious here ..... why should it be the customers responsibility to supplement the restaurants payroll to assist them staying in business?

It seems everyone views tipping from one one viewpoint or another, but most seem to miss the bigger picture. Paying certain employees a lower minimum wage but allowing them to accept tips doesn't shift responsibility to the customers.. it shifts choice. You can either pay high prices for all products they sell if they pay everyone a higher wage (in which case you have no choice in how the payroll is distributed), or you can pay much smaller prices overall and choose where to give "bonuses" to the employees you feel deserve it. In fact, you can choose to give higher bonuses than they would normally make at a higher wage.

Changing from one method to another will "solve" one problem, but immediately open up a different one.

David Weaver
08-24-2014, 1:35 PM
One of the restaurants in the cultural district here shut down a couple of years ago. I was in it right before it closed, and I heard one server talking to another and he mentioned to her that he wasn't technically working there any longer, but he'd come back from time to time and work for tips ......because his best day there had been $500.

The cultural district is a spot in the city here that has a bunch of theaters around it. At night when the theaters have shows, people want to eat before and after and the restaurants can be packed. If you only walk by it during the day, sometimes you'd wonder how they stay in business (seeing it at night answers the question).

I've got relatives like moses describes of his dad - when it comes time to tip, they value their money more than they value anything the server could possibly do. A very "us vs. them" mentality when it came to money and there was any discretion.

And one last comment, one of my first jobs was a shoneys in a tourist town. I'd say if a place has turnover with wait staff, it's either because it doesn't generate enough traffic or the owners have a personality problem. Shoneys paid the min wage or a little more (which in PA for waitresses was only about $2 an hour back then, I made just short of $5 an hour washing dishes). During the summer when the town was full of tourists, there were a bunch of older ladies working there as waitresses, and I'll bet they made 5x as much as I did (given the stacks of tip money they'd pull out of their uniforms when they came back to the break room to smoke a cigarette). If a restaurant has good foot traffic and good food, the waitresses will make a ton of money.

Moses Yoder
08-24-2014, 2:10 PM
And if you pay a fair wage you'll be out of business in a week , because your food price's will be so high to cover the cost of paying your employee's that no one will eat there.
My daughters boy friend waits tables at a local breakfast restaurant he gets paid 2 bucks an hour and 200 a day in tips 5 days a week consistently during the summer season and winter ski seasons and about a 100 per day in the off season. So if your good at it and work at a decent place you make a good living on tips.

I agree with you. Most customers view themselves as being generous when they leave a good tip and they consider themselves to have power over the server. In other words, a restaurant would soon be out of business if they charged $80 for a meal and forbid tips and someone down the street opened up and charged $65 for the same meal and expected people to leave a $15 tip.

Kent A Bathurst
08-24-2014, 2:57 PM
I guess I simply view it like this: Reality check says the way the industry is structured uses low wages and tips to compensate the wait staff.

That includes, for me, the tip jar when I go in to pick up takeout.

In places that run on younger people for those jobs, and in places that are low-cost, I generally "over-tip" in terms of a % - but that usually isn't much on an absolute $ scale. That group of people are working a very demanding job, and I am sympathetic. My now-wife and I worked out way through college with jobs as wait people and bartender.

Then there is the other end of the scale - for example, 1/4 mile from me is a very nice, old-line classic Italian restaurant. You kind of need to know where it is to find it. Staffed by professional waiters - generally men, in the 50+ age range. They have been there for decades. Excellent service, good conversationalists, this is how they support their families. With them, I use a % - which still adds up to big $$$. It is easy for selections from their excellent wine list to completely blow the food $ away. I will explain to the person that the tip is X% of the wine bill, and Y% of the food. They are fine with that.

Scott Shepherd
08-24-2014, 9:58 PM
And if you pay a fair wage you'll be out of business in a week , because your food price's will be so high to cover the cost of paying your employee's that no one will eat there.


That must be the "new math" I keep hearing about. The customers are already paying for the food and the wages. I'm not changing anything in the equation. What's the difference in a customer paying $50 for a family, then $7.50 in tip, and paying $57.50 for the meal with no tip? It's the exact same out of pocket expense to the customer. In that example, the bill was for 4 people, so the food price would go up, on average $1.87 each person. I'd pay $1.87 more to eat at a place that held their staff accountable for their actions rather than making me, the customer, responsible for deciding whether their employee did a good job or not. Keep in mind, the price isn't actually "going up" based on what you're spending anyway. It's just shifting the responsibility of managing the employees back to the company rather than the customers.

Pat Barry
08-25-2014, 7:36 AM
That must be the "new math" I keep hearing about. The customers are already paying for the food and the wages. I'm not changing anything in the equation. What's the difference in a customer paying $50 for a family, then $7.50 in tip, and paying $57.50 for the meal with no tip? It's the exact same out of pocket expense to the customer. In that example, the bill was for 4 people, so the food price would go up, on average $1.87 each person. I'd pay $1.87 more to eat at a place that held their staff accountable for their actions rather than making me, the customer, responsible for deciding whether their employee did a good job or not. Keep in mind, the price isn't actually "going up" based on what you're spending anyway. It's just shifting the responsibility of managing the employees back to the company rather than the customers.

This could work at a place without much competition or if they ALL did this I suppose, but if I'm a waiter and can get big tips elsewhere, then that's where I would be, so I would think the lesser motivated waiters would gravitate toward the sure thing of an extra few bucks an hour. Also, I suspect the tax advantages for the business need to be accounted for in this. I bet the result of the tipping process is beneficial to the business's bottom line and that's why they haven't changed it.


Perhaps I'm missing something obvious here ..... why should it be the customers responsibility to supplement the restaurants payroll to assist them staying in business?

This argument makes no sense - Either way, the customers are paying. It is the role of the customers to keep them in business! Without customers they are done

David Weaver
08-25-2014, 7:56 AM
Implementation wouldn't be quite so easy - that $7.50 would be absorbed partially by some restaurant owners, who would see it as an opportunity to limit wait staff a little bit more. Customers would see it as an option taken away (people always like choice, even if they spend the same), and it would present big problems on slow days at a restaurant because it would put the tip risk back on the owner.

The owner would probably also be responsible for more social security wages, medicare wages, more unemployment compensation, and the servers would have less incentive to try to do their best for each tip.

If it worked well, restaurants would already be doing it.

Scott Shepherd
08-25-2014, 8:02 AM
it would present big problems on slow days at a restaurant because it would put the tip risk back on the owner.


Gee, let's make the business owner responsible for their business. That's a novel concept. I think businesses don't do it, not because it doesn't work, but because they don't need to. If they can continue to pay people $2.00 per hour, why wouldn't they?

As for it making no sense, it makes a lot of sense. It's not my responsibility as your customer to make sure your employees get a paid. That's you job, as the owner. If I don't tip, your employees make $2.00 per hour, so yes, that does make me responsible for managing YOUR employees.

Pat Barry
08-25-2014, 8:56 AM
As for it making no sense, it makes a lot of sense. It's not my responsibility as your customer to make sure your employees get a paid. That's you job, as the owner. If I don't tip, your employees make $2.00 per hour, so yes, that does make me responsible for managing YOUR employees.

What I meant by making no sense is that if people are getting $2 per hour and no tips they won't be working there very long, therefore the business will need to increase the incetive for the employees by raising the wages and therefore the price they charge. There is no free lunch. Either way you work it the customer pays. If you are tipping, then the customer at least has some real-time say in the process.

David Weaver
08-25-2014, 9:03 AM
Gee, let's make the business owner responsible for their business. That's a novel concept. I think businesses don't do it, not because it doesn't work, but because they don't need to. If they can continue to pay people $2.00 per hour, why wouldn't they?

As for it making no sense, it makes a lot of sense. It's not my responsibility as your customer to make sure your employees get a paid. That's you job, as the owner. If I don't tip, your employees make $2.00 per hour, so yes, that does make me responsible for managing YOUR employees.

If you don't tip, the next person does. Nobody makes 2.00 an hour. You as the customer just have flexibility in determining how good your service was, and not obligation to pay in full for a bad server. In most states, if the tip-paid employee doesn't get to the full minimum wage, the restaurant owner is responsible and you have the freedom to do whatever you want as a customer.

One fundamental thing is almost always true, that if something is a good idea in practice, it will be done. I can't imagine this hasn't been tried before, which makes it a simple issue. If it was a good idea, it's what would be in practice already, and more common than tip-compensated service.

Scott Shepherd
08-25-2014, 9:38 AM
If you don't tip, the next person does. Nobody makes 2.00 an hour. You as the customer just have flexibility in determining how good your service was, and not obligation to pay in full for a bad server. In most states, if the tip-paid employee doesn't get to the full minimum wage, the restaurant owner is responsible and you have the freedom to do whatever you want as a customer.

One fundamental thing is almost always true, that if something is a good idea in practice, it will be done. I can't imagine this hasn't been tried before, which makes it a simple issue. If it was a good idea, it's what would be in practice already, and more common than tip-compensated service.

How's it my job to police your employees behavior? It doesn't raise the cost of the food one single penny to do this. The customer would pay the exact same thing. In fact, probably less.

It's not done because it's a bad idea, it's not done because then it's a fixed payroll and the business can't schlep off their losses on the backs of their employees, the one's that can least afford it. It so many cases, the servers are barely making it, while the owner is driving around in their BMW.

Like I said earlier, if the employer decides they want to spend zero dollars in marketing and do nothing to try and get business in the door, who suffers? The servers. So the people that had no input into it, are the ones that suffer. I just don't think that's right. I'd rather have people that know they will make decent money when they walk in the door. They'd also know if they didn't treat the customers like gold, they'd be back at the competition making $2.00 per hour plus tips.

David Weaver
08-25-2014, 10:37 AM
How's it my job to police your employees behavior? It doesn't raise the cost of the food one single penny to do this. The customer would pay the exact same thing. In fact, probably less.

It's not done because it's a bad idea, it's not done because then it's a fixed payroll and the business can't schlep off their losses on the backs of their employees, the one's that can least afford it. It so many cases, the servers are barely making it, while the owner is driving around in their BMW.

Like I said earlier, if the employer decides they want to spend zero dollars in marketing and do nothing to try and get business in the door, who suffers? The servers. So the people that had no input into it, are the ones that suffer. I just don't think that's right. I'd rather have people that know they will make decent money when they walk in the door. They'd also know if they didn't treat the customers like gold, they'd be back at the competition making $2.00 per hour plus tips.

How many restaurant owners do you know? I've known a few, and some are tough on their employees, but most are looking to get by (and are good to their employees - especially if they aren't some sort of chain or franchise environment), or are in the process of going out of business. Framing it as if the restaurant owners are sitting on a large pile of cash dealing bad business moves that are held only by the backs of their servers isn't accurate.

I stand by my comment that your idea is idealism. All you have to do is show me a large group of restaurants doing what you're suggesting. There seems to be no shortage of servers around here, and at the restaurants I've worked at, the servers were the highest paid people in the restaurant, and the first to leave. At close they vacuumed the carpets and wrapped some silverware for the next day and left. If you want to find people working for very little in a restaurant, look to the short order cooks and the dishwashers. How much experience did you have working in or owning restaurants in the last 25 years?

Scott Shepherd
08-25-2014, 10:43 AM
All you have to do is show me a large group of restaurants doing what you're suggesting.

Why would they? They'd getting people to work for them, essentially for zero cost out of their pocket. Why in the world would you expect someone to put people on the payroll when they can keep them off the payroll? That's exactly my point.

I have zero experience running a restaurant, but from the things I've seen in many restaurants over my lifetime, there's no doubt why many of them go out of business. Not because they can't make it because of paying wages, but because they can't run a business because they are clueless. I don't think you have to worry about it, I have no intention of opening a restaurant. If I did, it would be a tip free zone and the wait staff would be paid quite well. That model works for every other business type out there. I find it hard to believe that the food business is this magical, special, can't be run like a normal business kind of place.

Chuck Wintle
08-25-2014, 10:54 AM
Do you tip at McDonald's?

i would never tip at mcdonalds or any other fast food place. When its not served to your table or brought to your front door, then IMHO, then no tip is necessary.

Pat Barry
08-25-2014, 11:21 AM
Why would they? They'd getting people to work for them, essentially for zero cost out of their pocket. Why in the world would you expect someone to put people on the payroll when they can keep them off the payroll? That's exactly my point.

I have zero experience running a restaurant, but from the things I've seen in many restaurants over my lifetime, there's no doubt why many of them go out of business. Not because they can't make it because of paying wages, but because they can't run a business because they are clueless. I don't think you have to worry about it, I have no intention of opening a restaurant. If I did, it would be a tip free zone and the wait staff would be paid quite well. That model works for every other business type out there. I find it hard to believe that the food business is this magical, special, can't be run like a normal business kind of place.

It would be great if everyone was paid for their performance and incentivized to do better, like getting a commission for example, or bonus's for individual or group performance. That motivates people to do better. Wait staff have this going for them and in the end for us customers it provides a better service because of the incentive. Take it away and you can be assured of a reduction in service quality.

Brian Elfert
08-25-2014, 11:31 AM
Why would they? They'd getting people to work for them, essentially for zero cost out of their pocket. Why in the world would you expect someone to put people on the payroll when they can keep them off the payroll? That's exactly my point.

I have zero experience running a restaurant, but from the things I've seen in many restaurants over my lifetime, there's no doubt why many of them go out of business. Not because they can't make it because of paying wages, but because they can't run a business because they are clueless. I don't think you have to worry about it, I have no intention of opening a restaurant. If I did, it would be a tip free zone and the wait staff would be paid quite well. That model works for every other business type out there. I find it hard to believe that the food business is this magical, special, can't be run like a normal business kind of place.

You would be bucking the norm of the last 50 to 100 years. I suspect we would be reading about your bankruptcy filing after the first year or two. People are going to see your high prices and naturally assume the cost will be about 25% more with tax and tip. A lot of people won't notice that your servers don't take tips. How much will you pay your servers: The $8 an hour they make on a bad night, or the $20+ an hour they make on a good night? The best servers are going to gravitate to the places where they can make $20+ an hour in tips.

Regardless if one thinks tipping is good or bad it will be hard to change current convention. A friend of mine refuses to tip even though he can easily afford the tip. If he dines with others someone else inevitably ends up paying the tip.

Howard Garner
08-25-2014, 11:48 AM
One thing nobody has mention is the the owner is responsible for making sure the wait staff earns at least the minimum wage.
Employees are required to report tips, if tips plus base to not make minimum wage, the owner is required to make the difference.
Now the questions is, how many report ALL their tips, or just enough to cover the minimum?

David Weaver
08-25-2014, 12:09 PM
I mentioned that above. Having worked in a lot of restaurants through high school and college, I sat in the break room and listened to the servers (and saw them pull out their wads) talking about how much they might report, or might not. The min wage sheet in my state (that has to be hung in a prominent place - it's always been in the break room everywhere I've worked) made it clear right on the sheet that the employer has to cover the difference between tip and minimum wage if there is a discrepancy.

In every restaurant I've worked, that took tips at least, the servers were the highest paid workers in the restaurant (I've never worked at a place that had a chef - I'd imagine some lead chefs could do better). It used to drive me up the wall when I was in high school that my GF was working as a server making $20 an hour in tips back then (in the 90s - that was her average rate for a given day - I lived in a tourist area and there was always a lot of traffic, weekday or not) and I was making $4.75 an hour, but I had to pay for everything on dates. I hope that's changed!!! Our local restaurants were very sexist about wait staff.

I later worked in a cabinet factory, and they were also very sexist about how they split up the job assignments.

Scott Shepherd
08-25-2014, 12:15 PM
You would be bucking the norm of the last 50 to 100 years.

You're right. Let's not try anything new. We'll just always do what we've always done and live with it. Because if it's always been done that way, it must be right, right?

Duane Meadows
08-25-2014, 12:58 PM
You're right. Let's not try anything new. We'll just always do what we've always done and live with it. Because if it's always been done that way, it must be right, right?

If it works, why not! Change for change sake isn't usually a good thing.

daniel lane
08-27-2014, 12:19 AM
Wow. A lot of opinion and a lot of aggression in this thread. I took the time to read through the whole thing, and I have to say - there are some real misconceptions flying around here, at least with regards to 'typical' format restaurants (with tip, and no pun intended). I've seen that at least one person has pointed out that tipping waiters is not the only way they will make minimum wage (the law requires that management make up the difference if tips aren't enough), so no need to go there. However, I will suggest that those of you that insist tipping is the only way to make restaurants work read the blog of Jay Porter, part owner of the Linkery - a restaurant in San Diego that ran for 7 years with a 'no tips allowed' policy. The relevant entry:

http://jayporter.com/dispatches/observations-from-a-tipless-restaurant-part-1-overview/

I did my time in the service industry, and my brother spent far longer in the industry, working as everything from publican to manager of F&B at a large tourist destination hotel. He worked his way from busboy to front waiter at a 4-diamond restaurant, and everything he and I both saw in the industry is well presented in Jay's blog. I'd suggest folks take the time to read it with an open mind, it's quite illuminating.


daniel

John Lifer
08-27-2014, 5:55 AM
Up front, I'm a cheap tipper. You work for WAGES not tips. At least that is my opinion. Anyway, I NEVER tip takeout, I will tip delivery pizza. Cheap yes, they didn't do anything but bring it to me. BTW, if you get 10% from me you are doing GOOD! 20% Bull!

Pat Barry
08-27-2014, 7:38 AM
Wow. A lot of opinion and a lot of aggression in this thread. I took the time to read through the whole thing, and I have to say - there are some real misconceptions flying around here, at least with regards to 'typical' format restaurants (with tip, and no pun intended). I've seen that at least one person has pointed out that tipping waiters is not the only way they will make minimum wage (the law requires that management make up the difference if tips aren't enough), so no need to go there. However, I will suggest that those of you that insist tipping is the only way to make restaurants work read the blog of Jay Porter, part owner of the Linkery - a restaurant in San Diego that ran for 7 years with a 'no tips allowed' policy. The relevant entry:

http://jayporter.com/dispatches/observations-from-a-tipless-restaurant-part-1-overview/

I did my time in the service industry, and my brother spent far longer in the industry, working as everything from publican to manager of F&B at a large tourist destination hotel. He worked his way from busboy to front waiter at a 4-diamond restaurant, and everything he and I both saw in the industry is well presented in Jay's blog. I'd suggest folks take the time to read it with an open mind, it's quite illuminating.
daniel

To me the relevant entry is very early in the blog "we had turned the Linkery into a fairly interesting experiment: a table-service restaurant, serious about the quality of its food and service, that would not accept tips and instead charged a fixed percentage of the bill to cover the cost of table service.". I stopped reading after that. They eliminated the tip with a fixed percentage charge to cover the cost. Wow! what an enlightened approach.

Brian Elfert
08-27-2014, 1:16 PM
A bunch of golf clubs and country clubs locally charge a 15% service charge on all meals in their restaurants. None of the service charge goes to the wait staff and there is no tipping as I understand it. The wait staff are paid a little higher than minimum wage. There was a lawsuit against the clubs claiming some or all of that fee should go to the wait staff, but I have no idea how the courts ruled.

John Lifer
08-27-2014, 6:04 PM
There are problems with that approach. For most mom & pops, if they pay a great server in the same wage range as a so-so server then eventually they're not going to have any great servers. They'll go somewhere else where they can get compensated for their outstanding efforts.

If you're going to include all of the server's compensation in the cost of the meal should someone getting takeout pay the same price as someone getting the sit-down service?

By allowing tipping you allow the server to set their own wage. I've known outstanding servers who often made over $200 a night just in tips, and that was back in the 1980s. Who is going to pay someone $200 a day to serve food?
There is only one problem with this.... If you tip, as a LOT of you guys say, 20% for good service and, what? 10% for poor? You STILL are tipping! and REWARDING marginal performance. If you left NOTHING for poor service you are thought of as cheap or reprobate by the server. The mentality of the wait staff is that they DESERVE tips if they bring you the order and maybe fill your glass once. Sorry for the rant, but what I HATE is a waiter/tress, walk up to me with the fork in my mouth and ask me if I need anything. Yeah, let me chew and swallow that last bite first. Can't you walk up and WAIT a second before you ask your STUPID question?

John Lifer
08-27-2014, 6:13 PM
Why would they? They'd getting people to work for them, essentially for zero cost out of their pocket. Why in the world would you expect someone to put people on the payroll when they can keep them off the payroll? That's exactly my point.

I have zero experience running a restaurant, but from the things I've seen in many restaurants over my lifetime, there's no doubt why many of them go out of business. Not because they can't make it because of paying wages, but because they can't run a business because they are clueless. I don't think you have to worry about it, I have no intention of opening a restaurant. If I did, it would be a tip free zone and the wait staff would be paid quite well. That model works for every other business type out there. I find it hard to believe that the food business is this magical, special, can't be run like a normal business kind of place.

Clueless is the key. You want to know where there are no tips that works? Europe. Now, there are places that are Americanized and tips are somewhat expected, but they are NOT the norm. Wait staff get decent wages and the service is on par with ANY service I have ever received in the US.

Dan Hintz
08-27-2014, 9:19 PM
They eliminated the tip with a fixed percentage charge to cover the cost. Wow! what an enlightened approach.

Read the entire article (6 regular posts, 4 postscripts, and a couple of afterthoughts). It was a great (albeit long) read, and they made a number of very interesting observations... the main one that sticks in my mind is the amount of tip had no correlation to quality of service. Read it, you'll understand why.

David Weaver
08-27-2014, 10:01 PM
Can't you walk up and WAIT a second before you ask your STUPID question?

If it bothered me that much, I think I'd just get take out.

Frank Drew
09-08-2014, 4:05 PM
A bunch of golf clubs and country clubs locally charge a 15% service charge on all meals in their restaurants. None of the service charge goes to the wait staff and there is no tipping as I understand it.

Illegal, and restaurants are getting assessed major fines for just this sort of wage theft.

Frank Drew
09-08-2014, 4:07 PM
Up front, I'm a cheap tipper. You work for WAGES not tips. At least that is my opinion.

You do understand what the typical wait staff wage is, right?

Frank Drew
09-08-2014, 4:10 PM
I tip well.
I'm welcome everywhere

at some point cheap becomes selfish

+1; such a bunch of skinflints, here!

Greg Portland
09-08-2014, 4:14 PM
You do understand what the typical wait staff wage is, right?
+1. Below minimum wage hourly wage is typical... if their tips fall short then the restaurant makes up the difference.

Frank Drew
09-08-2014, 4:40 PM
I agree with Scott that a better system than tipping would be simply to pay the servers a normal wage. How many of us here would tolerate how much we got paid being totally up to the whim of our customers? You do your job you should get paid, period, not hope you smiled enough at the businessmen at table 3.

For what it's worth, wait staff cheating the tax man on actual tipped income is much less common than it used to be since credit card payment became the norm.

Fred Chan
09-09-2014, 3:14 AM
First time I ate at a restaurant in China I left a tip. The waitress chased me down outside the restaurant to return the tip because she was afraid of being accused of stealing the change. She would not accept the money.

Brian Elfert
09-09-2014, 11:12 AM
Illegal, and restaurants are getting assessed major fines for just this sort of wage theft.

Is there a law that says a service charge on a restaurant bill has to go to the servers? They did get sued, but I don't recall the outcome. This wasn't an automatic gratuity for large groups like some restaurants, but something that was on every bill.

Frank Drew
09-10-2014, 9:10 AM
Is there a law that says a service charge on a restaurant bill has to go to the servers? They did get sued, but I don't recall the outcome. This wasn't an automatic gratuity for large groups like some restaurants, but something that was on every bill.

Brian, as far as I can tell, it's complicated and seems to vary a bit state by state. In some states, the service charge must go to those who provided the service; in others, it can go into general restaurant revenue but in that case the restaurant must pay their servers the federal minimum wage ($7.50?), not the tip-exception rate of $2.13/hr.

IRS regulations that went into final effect this year require that the service charge that goes to employees be considered wages, and taxed accordingly; meaning, the server gets the money but it's taxed as ordinary wage income.

Brian Elfert
09-10-2014, 11:28 AM
I wonder if a club could call it something besides a service charge so it doesn't have to be paid to employees? Of course, clubs should just be honest about it and raise the prices by 15% if they want that money to go to the club and not to the wait staff.

Jim Becker
09-11-2014, 3:57 PM
If there is an actual service provided, then giving a gratuity is appropriate, IMHO. For things like curb-side, it certainly would be just a token tip. I generally do 20% for sit down service. For places that I pick up at the counter and the folks behind it are just taking orders and "delivering" to me at the counter, I don't generally tip.

Bill Cunningham
09-11-2014, 8:30 PM
Apparently my wife loses more money at the casino than I do. As a result they sent her a 'gold card'. Now the gold card comes with the perk of 'free' valet parking. In other words, they want me to pay some car jockey a $5-$10??? Tip Because they think I might be too lazy to park my own car(truck)? Nahh I'll park for free in the lot. I have to walk in anyway. I always tip in sitdown restaurants, usually 15% of the pretax total, but servers in Ontario have a much higher minimum wage ($8-$10). I'm the only one that works for $2.00 an hour it seems sometimes.

daniel lane
09-11-2014, 11:16 PM
Now the gold card comes with the perk of 'free' valet parking. In other words, they want me to pay some car jockey a $5-$10??? Tip Because they think I might be too lazy to park my own car(truck)?

That's one thing I love about Vegas. Free valet just about everywhere. We meet visiting family at nice restaurants at casinos on the strip, and I valet and carry the kids in on my shoulders. If you live here, you see everything, but I like to think the valet are amused/confused by my acting like a whale while carrying my kids everywhere.

Also, just FYI, here in the US, valet tipping is typically $2-$5, depending on how hard it is to get the car. Real whales (i.e. not me!) and people with money to burn often tip more, but I've never received glares for tipping $2-$5. Some people don't tip at all, assuming the valets are earning a wage! Most I've ever tipped a valet was $20 to keep the motor running and leave it in the registration lane - I had an urgent errand to run prior to a (very) upcoming wedding, and didn't need to mess with parking/etc. We were BOTH happy with the outcome of that particular interchange.


daniel

Ole Anderson
09-12-2014, 9:49 AM
I would suggest that folks that are cheap tippers never worked food service or had someone close who did. I always tipped 15% until my son's ex worked as a waitress during college. Now it's generally 20% unless I feel they weren't doing their job. Funny, I picked up carry out ribs the other night and the usual tip jar said something about college fund, but the only folks I could see working there didn't look like college age folks. Their kids maybe...