To Tip or Not to Tip: Is it a Must in Restaurants and Hotels?

  • Thread starter Medicol
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In summary: The general consensus is to always tip your waitstaff, bartenders, and hairdressers. However, there is variation depending on the quality of service. For example, you would not generally tip a cab driver, but you might tip a hotel porter. If you're not sure, it's always polite to leave a small tip, especially if the service was good.
  • #1
Medicol
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If you go into a good restaurant or check in some luxurious 5 star hotel, do you have to tip the bellboys, any waiters or waitresses etc ?
What if you do and act like Mr.Bean or Ms.Swan ?
 
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  • #2
Medicol said:
If you go into a good restaurant or check in some luxurious 5 star hotel, do you have to tip the bellboys, any waiters or waitresses etc ?
What if you do and act like Mr.Bean or Ms.Swan ?
In the United States tipping is a must unless the person has done something really wrong, that's how they make their money. It doesn't matter if it's a nice place or a dive, you tip. In a hotel, at the end of your stay, you also leave a tip for the people that clean your room, or if you're smart you tip them some the first day. Because I traveled a lot for my job, I was actually given instructions on who to tip, when, and how much. I was surprised at how many people I was supposed to tip, I never would have guessed.

Oh dear, this says tip the room cleaner daily since the person can change.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/06/24/hotel.housekeeping.tipping/
 
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  • #3
Medicol said:
If you go into a good restaurant or check in some luxurious 5 star hotel, do you have to tip the bellboys, any waiters or waitresses etc ?
What if you do and act like Mr.Bean or Ms.Swan ?

As Evo said, it is expected in the US and it is extremely disrespectful of service people who depend on tips for most of their wages if you do not tip. It is especially bad manners to not tip if the service is good.
 
  • #4
Evo said:
Because I traveled a lot for my job, I was actually given instructions on who to tip, when, and how much. I was surprised at how many people I was supposed to tip, I never would have guessed.

Could you share on who to tip, when and how much if you are staying at a rather nice hotel?
(Background: Grad student attending a conference, room is being paid for but I guess I need to factor tips into my expenses)
 
  • #5
I'm never sure who to tip. I've been to lots of restaurants, so I know to tip the servers. I'm going to get my first professional massage soon. Do I tip them? I have no idea. I pay a bunch of money for the massage itself... so why would I tip? And haircuts. Do I tip them? I've done my own haircuts ever since I was old enough to do it myself, so I don't know if I tip hair stylists. Never heard of tipping barbers, and that's what I went to as a kid, but I've never went to a stylist. I want to, but I don't know if I'm supposed to tip them. Seems like it might be awkward. "And here's some extra money..."
I guess it comes down to if the person providing the service makes less money because they're expected to get tips. And... I would know this information how?
 
  • #6
I read once that you tip the hair stylist if they are an employee, but not if they are the owner. Of course this was decades ago, but it makes sense, the employee only gets to keep part of what you pay, the owner keeps all, or the employee may rent space from the owner and keep the fee, but they still don't get to keep as much as the owner in the end. I will try to do some research tonight and try to find out what the current tip etiquette is.
 
  • #7
I always tip my barber. Unless you frequent the art of shaving, barbershop prices are low so giving another 5 bucks doesn't hurt. Plus you never know how much a few extra bucks means to someone. My dad always tipped barbers so I started doing it out of habit. My usual barber certainly doesn't mind.

And as evo mentioned when it comes to servers in the US tips are their source of income so you have to tip them. In my opinion if you can't afford to tip a server then you shouldn't be eating at a restaurant. It is messed up that the servers have to mainly live off of tips but the US isn't exactly known for it's fair treatment of these kinds of employees.
 
  • #8
I tip:

* waiters: 15% for good/normal service, 20% for exceptional service, 0-10% for substandard service, depending on how bad
* bartenders: a buck (if male) or two (if female) per drink
* woman who cuts my hair: $5
* cab driver: 10% or so
* guy who carries my bags at a hotel if I'm too lazy: $5
 
  • #9
leroyjenkens said:
I'm never sure who to tip. I've been to lots of restaurants, so I know to tip the servers. I'm going to get my first professional massage soon. Do I tip them? I have no idea. I pay a bunch of money for the massage itself... so why would I tip? And haircuts. Do I tip them? I've done my own haircuts ever since I was old enough to do it myself, so I don't know if I tip hair stylists. Never heard of tipping barbers, and that's what I went to as a kid, but I've never went to a stylist. I want to, but I don't know if I'm supposed to tip them. Seems like it might be awkward. "And here's some extra money..."
I guess it comes down to if the person providing the service makes less money because they're expected to get tips. And... I would know this information how?

We should tip just about everyone anymore. The person who will make the most money from your massage is the massage parlor, or spa owner, not the massage therapist.

If the actual service provider doesn't own the place, they usually depend on tips.
 
  • #10
edward said:
The person who will make the most money from your massage is the massage parlor, or spa owner, not the massage therapist.

Do you really think that is true? I don't. The owner makes more money overall, but not per massage.

I work as a pizza delivery driver. I make more off an order than anybody else in the organization, even if I get stiffed. The catch is that I also work with less orders than most anybody else does.
 
  • #11
jbunniii said:
I tip:
* bartenders: a buck (if male) or two (if female) per drink

Why would you tip the bartender as a function of their gender?
 
  • #12
ModusPwnd said:
Do you really think that is true? I don't. The owner makes more money overall, but not per massage.

I work as a pizza delivery driver. I make more off an order than anybody else in the organization, even if I get stiffed. The catch is that I also work with less orders than most anybody else does.

My daughter in law works as a massage therapist at a spa. Their standard charge is $95. She gets 45% the owner gets 55%. This can vary, some locals place have a 50/50 split. My daughter in law stays where she is because the location has a lot of big tippers.
 
  • #13
But the owner does "make" that 55%... Surely some of the cost has to go to utilities, rent, taxes, etc. I bet that comes out of the owner's 55%, not the masseuse's 45%. So only if utilities, rent, taxes, etc are less than 10% of the total take does your statement hold true. I doubt that is the case. Do you think that makes sense? The building and electricity have to cost something...
 
  • #14
As a pizza delivery driver myself, I'd like to know by what logic you make "more than anyone else in your organization" does from an order. When I'm driving, I make $4.25 an hour, have to spend the money on gas to drive to the location (which can be as much as 10 miles away), and the company only compensates me $1.07 for each drive. I've done the math, and I need to get about $3 in tips, every drive, simply in order to be making close to minimum wage. Anything below $3 is simply telling your delivery driver that your pizza or their best efforts aren't important to you, and giving no tip at all marks you as an ungrateful wretch.

Stiffers, the people who don't tip your drive at all, are the main reason pizza delivery has such a high turnover rate.
 
  • #15
ModusPwnd said:
But the owner does "make" that 55%... Surely some of the cost has to go to utilities, rent, taxes, etc. I bet that comes out of the owner's 55%, not the masseuse's 45%. So only if utilities, rent, taxes, etc are less than 10% of the total take does your statement hold true. I doubt that is the case. Do you think that makes sense? The building and electricity have to cost something...
But the masseuse is the one working, not the owner, so the cut the owner is getting is covering their expenses and then some. The more people working and paying the more the owner makes for doing nothing, so to speak.
 
  • #16
Tipping also depends heavily on the country and culture.

Refer to previous posts in this thread for standard tipping for U.S. If you don't tip for services in the U.S., it is a big deal. Waiters, bartenders, taxi-drivers, in the U.S. are paid next to nothing (often well below the minimum wage [and yes, that's legal in these cases]) because there is an understanding that they will earn the bulk of their money from tips.

In the U.K./Ireland, you can tip your waiter/bartender, but if you tip as much as you would in the U.S., you'd be perceived as going overboard (and may even be perceived with suspicion thereafter). Tipping amounts and frequency of tipping is a fraction of what it is in the U.S (maybe 1/3 as a rough guess).

In many Asian countries there is little to no tipping. I've tipped taxi-cab drivers a little, and they didn't seem to mind. But once after I left a tip for a waitress at a restaurant in Japan, she chased me for blocks thinking that I had left some money behind. When I explained that I left it as a tip she looked noticeably dejected and possibly offended. Coming from an American mentality, sometimes it's an effort not to tip. But sometimes it's a necessary effort, depending on the region and culture. (Assuming you don't wish to needlessly offend the people offering you service.)
 
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  • #17
leroyjenkens said:
I'm never sure who to tip.

In the US you tip the people who are paid an otherwise substandard wage.

For example, PF mentors are paid zero. We should be heavily tipped.

Reminder to self: Set up a bitcoin account!
 
  • #18
Char. Limit said:
As a pizza delivery driver myself, I'd like to know by what logic you make "more than anyone else in your organization" does from an order. When I'm driving, I make $4.25 an hour, have to spend the money on gas to drive to the location (which can be as much as 10 miles away), and the company only compensates me $1.07 for each drive. I've done the math, and I need to get about $3 in tips, every drive, simply in order to be making close to minimum wage. Anything below $3 is simply telling your delivery driver that your pizza or their best efforts aren't important to you, and giving no tip at all marks you as an ungrateful wretch.

Stiffers, the people who don't tip your drive at all, are the main reason pizza delivery has such a high turnover rate.
I assume that you also use your own car so there is a cost for wear and tear on your car?
 
  • #19
Evo said:
I assume that you also use your own car so there is a cost for wear and tear on your car?

But of course. In fact, I'm actually having to get my tires replaced tomorrow, primarily because I'm driving a hundred miles a day.
 
  • #20
I make minimum wage and take between 2 and 3 deliveries an hour. That comes to 3.2 dollars per order. Orders usually cost between 10 and 15 dollars. Managers make 12-15 dollars per hour and produce 40-50 orders over an 8 hour shift. Thats at best, 3 dollars per order. And this is assuming I get stiffed on every delivery, which I don't.

If you are doing 20 mile round trips at 4.25 an hour I am not surprised people quit your place a lot... I average 2.5 miles one way. Vehicles cost about 55 cents per mile to operate so I calculate that I need to bring in about 2.50 per delivery to be equal to minimum wage. Of course this doesn't count any compensation for having one the most dangerous jobs there is... If I didn't average $4 per delivery I would quit driving and work inside. I average about $5 per delivery with the delivery fee and tip combined.
 
  • #21
ModusPwnd said:
I make minimum wage

There's your problem, then. Most people who work jobs that recommend tipping don't.
 
  • #22
I have a friend that bartends in northern UK where there are no American tourists and tips are unheard of. Perhaps they have gained some acceptance in larger cities with more Americans?
 
  • #23
ModusPwnd said:
But the owner does "make" that 55%... Surely some of the cost has to go to utilities, rent, taxes, etc. I bet that comes out of the owner's 55%, not the masseuse's 45%. So only if utilities, rent, taxes, etc are less than 10% of the total take does your statement hold true. I doubt that is the case. Do you think that makes sense? The building and electricity have to cost something...

Wow if splitting hairs pays well you should do great in life. I only mentioned where most of the money goes and it isn't to the massage therapist. The OP is about tips and it is tips that allow a massage therapist and a lot of others to make a living wage.
 
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  • #24
ModusPwnd said:
He said per massage. He didn't make any claim on who "deserves" more or makes more overall. The owner's 55% cut does not all go to the owner's pay. It goes to the owner's pay and expenses.

Also, the claim that the owner does no work is kind of silly... Surely the owner must do something?
That's why I said "so to speak" they manage the place. Also, you're forgetting that it's unlikely they have only one employee, so the owner is getting many times more than the individual at one time.

Quit dragging this thread off topic.
 
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  • #25
Oddly, I've actually had some inside exposure to how the massage therapy industry works in the U.S.

ModusPwnd said:
But the owner does "make" that 55%... Surely some of the cost has to go to utilities, rent, taxes, etc. I bet that comes out of the owner's 55%, not the masseuse's 45%. So only if utilities, rent, taxes, etc are less than 10% of the total take does your statement hold true. I doubt that is the case. Do you think that makes sense? The building and electricity have to cost something...

There are a lot of expenses, some of them hidden expenses. No argument from me there. But more often it's the massage therapist who faces a good chunk of some of these expenses.

Mostly though, who pays for what varies quite a lot from one business to the next.

There are some massage therapy businesses where massage therapists are like employees. But this is more the exception than the rule.

Commonly early on, when the massage therapist is learning the business, the massage therapist works for the school for essentially no cut at all until he or she completes training and can get his or her massage therapy license.

Once licensed, and working at a business, the massage therapist is usually (at least from my exposure) treated as an independent contractor. That's a subtle yet important difference for this conversation. Because in this situation, the proprietor of the business does not need to contribute anything that most employers do like health care, unemployment benefits, social security, tax withholding, retirement benefits, etc. It's completely up to the massage therapist to keep a handle on these things. And at the end of the year when doing taxes, it's not a simple matter of submitting a W2 form, rather the massage therapist must file taxes as if he or she is running his or her own business.

The proprietor owns the building (or takes care of its lease), decor, and probably owns the massage tables. The proprietor might also own the sheets/bedding and take care of the laundry too, but that's not universal. Sometimes it's up to the massage therapists to wash their own sheets,even if that means taking them to the laundromat [Edit: and trust me, there are a lot of sheets. Every single massage equates to another set of sheets to wash]. And then there are the oils, possibly incense, maybe stones (some massage techniques use stones), and such, and who pays for such things depends on the business. But it often falls on the shoulders of the therapist.

So I agree that that there are a lot of overhead expenses, and the business proprietor takes care of quite a lot of them, but the therapist has his or her own expenses too (except in very rare cases).
 
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  • #26
We're completely off topic here, let's get back to tipping.
 
  • #27
Evo said:
We're completely off topic here, let's get back to tipping.

Sorry for rambling. :redface:

Perhaps my point was that in the U.S., tips are not always just given for a little extra disposable income. Sometimes tips are a/the major contributor to a person's basic healthcare coverage, etc.
 
  • #28
collinsmark said:
Sorry for rambling. :redface:

Perhaps my point was that in the U.S., tips are not always just given for a little extra disposable income. Sometimes tips are a/the major contributor to a person's basic healthcare coverage, etc.
Sometimes, it's basically their sole income and they do not have any insurance etc...
 
  • #29
OMG, I just lost a huge post. Damn. you chrome!
 
  • #30
Back on track, I like the idea of tipping. Some service personnel don't give a whatever, or worse. They put things in your food, toss your luggage around, or when you say "careful around my T12, I pancaked it 25 years ago" they go right for it in the worst way.

Others take extra special care of you in a restaurant, lift your luggage with care, or are very careful around the T12.

I worked those low end service jobs to help get me through college. You just don't take it out in John Doe because Jane Smith just stiffed you for good service and good food. Who knows? John Doe might well be a decent tipper. On the other hand, there's no problem with remembering Jane Smith. She doesn't deserve spit in her food (no one does), but she doesn't deserve good service.BTW, I just took my wife out for a birthday dinner this week. The tip was a well-earned >25%. If you're ever in Galveston TX, go to Rudy & Pacos. My first plan was a long-time favorite but was closed for repairs. My second choice was the place we held my son's wedding rehearsal dinner but had changed hands. Third choice? I asked people on the street. "Go to Rudy & Pacos! It's the bomb!" And it was. A rather expensive bomb, but very, very, very good.
 
  • #31
And if you can, tip in cash, since management may take a cut of employees' tips (specially waiters) if you leave the tip in your credit card. It is a pain, since it means more trips to the ATM, but it is worth it.
 
  • #32
Don't let anyone clean your room if you're in a hotel in US.:biggrin:
 
  • #33
The only people I tip are the following:

waiters (usually for 15%; 20% if I get excellent service)
bartenders (same rule as for waiters -- 15-20%)
barbers/hairstylists (15%)

I don't tip cab drivers typically, since cab fares in Toronto are already quite expensive (I have tipped limo drivers when taking me to the airport in the past, however). And I have never tipped the cleaning staff in hotels (I honestly don't see any reason to do so, since I never see them -- I only prefer to tip people who I actually see their work).
 
  • #34
Please stay on topic. Off topic posts will be deleted.
 
  • #35
The US tipping system sounds quite ludicrous to me...

I'm not fond of the idea of tipping myself, and happy to live a place where it's not legal to have your employers salary depend on tipping.
 

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