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Sat Aug 31, 2019, 01:05 PM

How much to tip when the service is bad

There are few financial topics that can ignite a fiercer debate than the American practice of tipping.


I’ve been hearing from a lot of readers following a recent column on splitting the check when dining out with a large group, and whether it’s right to berate someone for leaving a tiny tip.

Not surprisingly, comments from readers turned into a discussion about tipping itself.

One reader asked: “Do you think we in the U.S. will ever move away from the tipping culture?”

“I think it has gotten out of hand,” the person wrote. “Two glasses of wine for $20 gets a $4 (20 percent) tip. Two beers for $6 gets a $1.25 tip. Who came up with this system? Just pay the people what the market will bear while complying with minimum wage laws like every other job where folks do not work for tips.”

With so many in the American workforce depending on gratuities to make a living, it’s hard to stand your ground and not tip when you get subpar service. You don’t want to be called a “jerk” for withholding an important part of someone’s pay.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/how-much-to-tip-when-the-service-is-bad/ar-AAGvlwD?li=BBnb4R7&ocid=mailsignout

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 01:32 PM

1. I just wish they were paid a living wage that would preempt all this and tips could be only for

exceptional service as a bonus and not expected.

I remember taking a cruise years ago and being relieved that tipping at every turn was not appropriate/encouraged, but rather a sum at the end. Of course, my travel companions were all but broke at that point and I ended up shouldering much of the burden. Still, it did make for a less complicated vacation.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 01:37 PM

2. Sometimes sub-par service is caused by the owners/manager of the kitchen.

They will understaff and overwork the waitresses. Could be the cook is slow or new. There are many reasons for sub-par service.
Maybe the waitress is learning and needs a little time to learn the job.
Cut them some slack. It's what gives them a (hopefully) living wage.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 01:37 PM

3. Of the service is bad, I leave a penny

That way they know I did not forget the tip. The message gets across.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 02:28 PM

4. It's a stupid custom.

I've been out to eat with too many people who focus on finding fault with the waitstaff for the sole purpose of stiffing them on a tip so they can save a few bucks.

If you want to be in business, pay your employees a living wage. What is this shit having your customers pay them? They are shredding the safety net at the same time they are setting up a gig economy. The message is clear: Your On Your Own. YOYO economy vs We're In It Together, a WITT economy. Americans need to be wake up to exactly who is profiting & who is being exploited so we can enjoy low prices.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 02:51 PM

5. Unfortunately the custom for tipping will be here for a while...

I disagree w/ the custom as I do believe that a living wage should be paid to these workers (like all of us would want too). Why is tipping discussed so much and why is it debated so much? I never could understand this. If the service is good, then it should be no debate, at least a min. of 15% (and of course more if the service warrants it)...remember, these people are living on these very minimum wages and tips.

Thus tipping is very important to these people. However, there are people in this country that know this and despite this, will NOT tip regardless if the service is good/excellent. There are way too many people like this (my cheap a&& uncle is like this, would only and always tip a quarter, regardless of the service). Thus, remember this, not everyone tips these workers even thought they deserved the tip(s) via working their a&& off during the service.

All I can further say is that I'm glad my other half no longer works in the service industry where tipping is so prevalent and important. Too many a&&holes out there that wouldn't tip regardless of the high quality service provided (and by the way, the bad service (and people who provided it) don't hang around for very long, they are not making any money and thus, don't hang around very long). The ones who do hang around are old pros at what they are doing and know their business, and more than likely, deserve every bit of the tip they earned.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 03:04 PM

6. A tipping story.

I have a relative who is a "self-made man". Came from a poor family, worked his way through school and college, and became pretty wealthy. I visited him and his family in the city and he took us all to a nice restaurant.

When we sat at the table, he pulled out a pile of dollar bills and put it on the table. He explained to the waitress that this was her tip. If she performed to his satisfaction, she would get the whole tip. However, if she did anything he didn't like, he would remove a dollar from the pile and reduce her tip. As she worked, he would occasionally remove a bill or two, lecturing her each time on the reason. For example, she lost two dollars because she reached in front of him to refill a drink. Lost a buck because he saw her handle a plate with her thumb on the top edge. Lost a buck because she was slow removing an empty plate. He seemed to really enjoy his little power trip, while I, for one, was mortified at this rich guy expecting the waitress to perform for treats like a trained pet.

At the end of the meal, he left an $8 dollar tip on a bill of $120. I lingered and slipped a twenty under the edge of my plate.

I've always had a good relationship since childhood with this overbearing prick, but I will never eat at a restaurant with him again.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 04:04 PM

7. I have friends I will not go to a restaurant with because they do not tip well. They have even

taken the tip I have left at the table off the table because it was too generous. Even bad service get a tip from me cuz I don't know what's going on in their life and maybe the tip I leave will make it more bearable.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 04:59 PM

8. Yes, even bad service gets a tip. Always!!! Part of the cost of going to a restaurant.

About tips...? When I was growing up, I was a delivery boy for a drug store. I delivered prescriptions. Sometimes I got a tip, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I road a very long distance on my bike, and got nothing, and sometimes it was a short distance and got a quarter. In the early 60s a quarter was a dollar, so that was a lot. (maybe even $1.50 in today's money) It really didn't depend on the distance, but the person I was delivering to. I always tip now, no matter what kind of service. It is that simple. Part of the cost of going to a restaurant. Don't want to tip? ... go to McDonalds.

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 1, 2019, 12:17 AM

10. I once had a lady friend who would pick up my tip money, count it, and then give some back to me.

Told me I was an idiot giving these people more than they deserved. She also loved asking to speak to "The Chef", so she could criticize aspects of the meal step by step.

I haven't seen her in 40 years.

I hope she is doing well.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 08:49 PM

9. $0.00 for BAD service. Not bad food,

Bad service.

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