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Tourists who insist on tipping regardless of the custom

Travel Forums General Talk Tourists who insist on tipping regardless of the custom


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51. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 8y

Yes, they should get paid for it, but a person goes to the restaurant already paid, so he is free and clear. He is not required to pay again for the service, this is just something that sprang up and was clung to by the people who were getting the free dough. I know I already said this, but since you feel the need to reiterate your point, I feel I am behooved to reiterate the opposite side. Tipping is NOT N: O: T: mandatory, which means that it´s up to the individual. SO they can exercise their right not to do it. And I applaud these people. This is MY opinion. This counteracts YOUR opinion, which you are, I am sure accidentally, putting forth as gospel


52. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Quoting c.butler

All of this boils down to this: if you want to be culturally appropriate in the US tip your server, your bartender, your cab driver, and your hairstylist according to the following scale:

10% for bad service (not bad food, because the server can't control that. the kitchen does.)
15%-18% for average service, according to your generosity
20% for good service

Shouldn't this then change depending on the states minimum wage?

Actually the point I want to make is about being culturally aware in the USA, re tipping. It's a big country. So's India. So's Russia and so on. For the average backpacker, or traveler for that matter. Studying the in's and out's of each state in the USA's minimum wage and calculating the percentage to then tip is utter tripe. That said, tripe can be tasty and useful. But it's not to everyone's taste.

An average guide book to a county will have a small section about tipping. It usually covers the country as a whole. Breaking the USA up into per state tipping frenzy will not do. It's a USA problem if people get confused over it. Tourists are tourists, not economics majors.

I don't get why the McDonald's workers are not getting tipped? Why not? They are minimum wage? How do I know they are getting paid less/more before or after. Wait, I'll pack the caterers book of economics with my guide book too.

Like Hien mentioned, no one tips him! Or the customer service agent at a call center? Nor the police person giving you directions. It's not there job, don't they deserve a tip. Nope you will probably get arrested these days.

As I think I mentioned before, I really avoid eating out with US citizens outside the USA. Every time I do, aside from broke backpackers, they start working out the percentages before even asking if it's acceptable. Okay, this is just my personal observation. Canadian's seem a bit more in tune with things.

It would be interesting if a list could be drawn up of counties that tip and don't tip? (without taking exceptional service into play)

USA - Its not mandatory to tip, but if you don't someone will not be paid. So therefore you should, or have to. But learn the minimum wage act per state first, and then the percentages of good versus bad service. (sorry couldn't help the tirade on that one)
Iran - nope everyone gets paid for the job they do.
Nepal - just introduced 10% service charge no tipping.

53. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 8y

Quoting C.Butler

Quoting Utrecht

But basically: why tip those persons, it is their job. I don't tip any other persons either. And that's not talking about my home country alone, also about other countries.

Yes, it's their job. That's why they expect to get paid for it. (and they don't in some other countries if you don't tip. See my post above for further explanation.)

Agree, I should have added that thing. But that's not the case in my home country. So in some countries, where I certainly know they live from tips, I will certainly do that. In general though, most countries actually do pay their workers. Or at least the countries I have been to

Netherlands: they do get paid, tipping is NOT mandatory and as a general rule it is about 10%, but only when service is at least just good. Small amounts, just round it of.

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 15, 2008, at 1:28 AM by Utrecht ]

54. Posted by Lilibellil (Inactive 16 posts) 8y

Personally, I hate the practice of obligatory tipping; and in countries where tipping is not generally practiced, I find it a bit immoral. In India, for example, because American and European tourists tend to tip, Indian waitstaff and hotel staff treat white people far better than others--including other Indians. Similarly, American/European tourists' willingness to pay more artificially inflates prices for everyone.

There was an interesting article on the subject of tipping in the NYTimes a few days back called "Why Tip?"

55. Posted by Ladymacwil (Full Member 170 posts) 8y

Interesting subject.

Growing up in the USA the norm was to tip 10% for bar service and 15% for dining if the service and food were relatively good.

Having just returned from France and Italy I found that many of the restaurants we ate at had a built in gratuity whereas most the bars did not. We did not tip those with the gratuity and most bars we did not tip with the exception of Our Assie bartender at the Irish Pub in Paris, (go figure...) and our bartender next door to our hotel in Venice. That being said, these two gentlemen were very friendly and offered great service. We would return almost every night to each of these establishmnets and felt very welcomed and I know they did appreciate the tip. That by no means, made me think the locals, or anyone else for that matter, should do likewise. We also chose to tip the narrator on the bateaux boat tour in Paris as she did stand right next to a box suggesting tips. What the heck, one Euro for an hour and a half long cruise costing 18 Euros for the both of us. To me, it was worth it.

I have tipped in the UK before but usually when someone offers a personal service like carrying your luggage up three flights of stairs. We also took a motorcoach tour in Irleand once where it was highly suggested that your tour guide be tipped. Also, I would add that on cruise ships most have a daily gratuity, but again, if we find that bartender we really like to hang out with for a few days, they will get our tip. (Note: And I tip them in cash because if it's on the credit card it goes in the "pool" on most cruise ships.)

As for bad service, three of us were at a pub in Santa Fe where the server was horrible. He took forever to bring us three drinks, (We saw him outside smoking a cigarette), brought the beer when it was warm, left again, so we ordered our food from the bartender, never saw our waiter long after we had finished and paid the bartender. We left one dollar as a tip. The waiter actually came running out of the pub and yelled at us across the street asking sarcastically if we had a problem with the service. I told him considering that this was the fastest he seemed to attend to us thusfar the tip spoke for itself. I should have given him no tip, the other two people I were with did not, but rather than have him think we simply forgot, I really wanted him to "get it", if that makes any sense at all.

BTW, I also tip musicians if I'm sitting around somewhere really enjoying their "free" music. One last note, I don't know why, but whenever I see someone take a photo of a "human statue" or some other personality dressed up specifically for photo ops, It seems to me that many Americans uncharacteristicly take a snapshot and don't tip. Just our last trip in Venice there was a man dressed up and on stilts. An American woman stopped him and asked to pose with him while her boyfriend took a photo. After the shot he smiled and held out his hand for a tip. She claimed she didn't understand and shuffled off. This I do not get.

Ladymacwilly ^..^ ~

56. Posted by Sunniebgi (Full Member 67 posts) 8y

[quote=outcastI don't get why the McDonald's workers are not getting tipped? Why not? They are minimum wage? How do I know they are getting paid less/more before or after. Wait, I'll pack the caterers book of economics with my guide book too.


I don't like getting into arguments about things like this.. and in the US, no one ever has an argument about tipping.. and if they do, it's how much, or if they should (due to the service) ..

there is a difference between counter service and table service. The employees at McDonalds and other fast food restaurants (including your favorite food cart vendor in Central Park) stand at a counter, take the orders, maybe sometimes cook the food and hand to you.. and you go away. in the fast food places, they get the average minimum wage, whatever that may be at this time. Table side service, like at your favorite steak restaurant with the fine china, the wait staff is trained to servce you at your table, comeing back again and again.. (or they should) to make sure you dining experience is a pleasant one. Those people are usually paid less than minimum, which is allowed by law, with the remainder being made up of TIPS.. it also means they could make more a night if they really did a great job or less if not.

Now.. I do not profess to say that it is right to TIP in the US.. and as I said in a much earler post, it is a purely North American thing.. but it is the thing that is done if proper service is given. but if it's not done in Israel, or England or Japan.. than it's not done and know one should be trying to change it or force it on another culture.

it's not just in Restaurants.. there are several service industries were the workers make the bulk of their income in tips.

I konw of one place where the tour guides are being asked to do a tour for free, but work for the tips.. but what if people felt (without actually knowing) that the tour guide was being paid, so they wouldn't give them tips.. how would that tour guide make a living??

questions for thought.

57. Posted by Ladymacwil (Full Member 170 posts) 8y

This has been so mch fun!

Our bill inVenice, (Sorry, last night there and really rather tired) They asked if we wanted water, WATER! with dinner...I guess I must be a stupid American, as water is pretty much expected. 3 Euros for a glass of water, but they don't tell you that...(never on the menu) Also the charge for .....whatever..I was told the surcharge was for the "ambiance",another 3 Euros each at the table.
Granted, I should have known this. On the other hand, .....Yow! Not going here again....

I would gladly tip, (YOU asked me for water, .you crack open the botttle AFTER you get to the table?) Honestly,....To be charged for Water??? When you are not honest about your restaurant....ther is a problem.

Anyone going to Venice; Avoid all the "Tourist" eateries and focus on the local delights!

58. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Yea the old water bottle trick. I can't remember the last time I dared to ask for a water. If I do I just ask for table water, and then if it's a touristy place I question the waiter. If they act dumb. I say never mind.

Quoting Sunniebgi

and in the US, no one ever has an argument about tipping.. and if they do, it's how much, or if they should (due to the service) ..

Maybe that's one of the problems. No one questions the in's and out's of it there.:)

BTW in certain parts of Asia you get table service at McDonalds and fast food places, no tipping.

Be it tips, or service charge or this ambiance charge I dislike them all. Extra charges for a service you are already paying for ticks me off no end. Just wipe the board and up the price of the meal. Then we know the real cost.

It's seems from the majority of post here most people prefer to tip only if the service is good. I agree with this.

59. Posted by Sunniebgi (Full Member 67 posts) 8y

I haven't gone back to check what the majority has said, but when I'm in a restaurant where I am sitting down at a table, being served, I'm assuming (maybe wrongly so) that it is proper to tip. If it's excellent service, I tip more than the suggested amount, and if it's bad, likely not so much or none. but if it's regular average everday service, I tip the norm of 15pct..

So now what.. do I ask ever restaurant in the world I go into whether or not I'm supposed to tip??

and I agree about the water thing. wouldn't go back there again.. or at least now I know to ask the price, if I don't see it on the menu..

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 16, 2008, at 2:46 AM by Sunniebgi ]

60. Posted by Goks (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

I can't say that I'm all against tipping, but I do object to "mandatory" tipping - when the server relies on tips for his livelihood. It is better and more honest and deserved if the servers pay was calculated in the price of the meal, both for the server and the guest, since you know that with your bill you get, and pay, the whole cost, and that anything extra you decide to leave for the waiter should be deserved not expected. That is how it is in my country, and I agree that local customs should be taken in consideration when tipping is in question. If you do decide to tip when it is not expected, got great service, had a nice time, just round the bill up, don't over tip.

I find the US tipping custom annoying, since you are expected(!) to leave some pretty decent tips (even at 10%, let alone 20%) even if the service was not particularly good, but I would respect it or avoid eating out.