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Travel Forums General Talk TIPPING

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1. Posted by hugheen (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

As someone who has traveled extensively in the U.S. I have always been struck by the
fact that generally speaking travelers, while they will tip a waitress 15-20% for taking an order and carrying it
50 feet to their table or do the same for a bartender who pours them a shot of whiskey they do not tip

These are the people who clean up their toilet, make their beds, vacuum their room and contribute much more
to the comfort of their trip than anyone else. They are also people, who by virtue of their jobs, usually make less than
$10 an hour and often in more modest hotels and motels the minimum wage. We as travelers subsidize other
service people with tips but maids are overlooked.

I think this is sad and I think we should consider tipping if we do not do it now. $2 to $5 a day is a small percentage
of a daily hotel room charge.


Ps Leave it in the room daily, not at the desk, maids change at times

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5635 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I just came back from a trip of a month in the US, and als tipped maids. About 2-3 dollars a night which is the amount I have read somewhere.
Unlike most countries in the world, tipping in the US is almost mandatory. It's considered extremely rude to tip less than 10% and although many people are bothered with this, I couldn't care less about the money.
Unfortunately many Europeans and Asians are lousy tippers or don't tip at all. I guess that's why I noticed a few times that a graduity tax was added to the bill (usually 15 or 18%, once 20%). Although I would have paid the amount anyway, I think it shouldn't have come this far. At most places I noted a line that said that parties of 6 or more were added 18% gratuity tax on the bill.
Strange sometimes isn't it, that we as travellers are most willing to 'integrate' in the country where we travel, but when it comes down to tipping in a western country we hate it. I guess as long as it doesn't cost people money or too much trouble it's ok...but otherwise...

Thanks for the thread Hugheen and you are totally right.

3. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Utrecht

I noticed a few times that a graduity tax was added to the bill (usually 15 or 18%, once 20%). Although I would have paid the amount anyway, I think it shouldn't have come this far. At most places I noted a line that said that parties of 6 or more were added 18% gratuity tax on the bill.

Even though it might seem rude, I always ask the gratuity to be taken off the bill. Firstly, it annoys me that it's automatically added although by definition it is gratuity, but more so because I want to make sure the person actually serving me gets the cash. So I ask it to be taken off and leave the money in cash instead. At least in the UK the tip on the bill can count towards the person's basic salary, or they need to pay tax on it. Or both.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

We have a very strange "tipping" policy in the US. Most restaurants state they add the gratuity on automatically for parties of X people or more. Okay, can deal with that. But, most everyone who provides a service expects a tip. One of the reasons: they are paid less than minimum wage because the employer takes tipping into consideration when setting salaries. There is also the situation of wait staff having to share their tips with the "busboys" (clean-up personnel regardless of gender). No one tips them for clearing your dirty plates and they rarely earn minimum wage. If they work at a high-end establishment, they may receive shared tips - if not, then not.

I am one who will skip tipping wait staff for poor service but gladly slip a tip into the hands of the person who diligently clears the table. I feel the same about hairdressers and the person stuck shampooing your hair before the "professional" takes over. Granted, it's been awhile since I've been to a "professional" salon. Cab drivers - they rarely want to give me change when I've handed them a $20 bill for a $5 fare. Good luck there - give me my change and I'll decide the tip.

We're very good about tipping but also don't tip just out of expectation. Each situation is it's own. Percentage depends on service, not what is common practice. (We're old school.)

5. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I'll tip when it's deserved and I also make a habit of, if I see the chefs out the back - tipping them too if the food's good. Unless I see them smoking, in which case they've no chance.

6. Posted by Dave2525 (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Sadly, in North America, tipping is generally expected.

I would rather the employer pay the employee a living wage and not expect the customer to subsidize someone's pay.

The opening scene of the movie of Reservoir Dogs is a good example.

We don't tip the person at the fast food restaurant even though they work hard, serve us food and get minimal pay. Why not?

7. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Oh and regardless of what country I'm in and what the traditions are, if the food or service is not to my liking - then no tip 100%, for anyone. Same as if someone came into my place of work and I gave them a sloppy, 'don't give a hoot' service - I'd expect the same total lack of thanks.

8. Posted by joffre (Respected Member 157 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hiyas, as a minimum wage earner myself, I have a general problem with tipping on multiple levels, which in my definition of the word is a reward for exemplary service, which I applaud. I find it unfair that not all service workers are eligible for it, and irresponsible that it is mandatory in some sectors where the service is lousy in the first place. This really goes against the whole concept of rewarding excellence. Also the idea that tipping is there to make-up for substandard wages is ridiculous, change the minimum wage rates if you if feel that strongly about the inequity, consider the tax implications of whole sectors taking undeclared money, or the bonuses given to people after the GFC, it is a cancerous and slippery slope to a corrupt society. In my travel experiences the worst countries for this (not having travelled to the States or the Phillipines) are Bangladesh and Indonesia, hardly pinnacles of a modern society. In any case that's my 2 cents + GST worth...

9. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2009 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I am a very generous tipper when service I receive is above and beyond what is normal, however, when service stinks, I leave pennies! In general, I feel that accommodation pricing in the USA is way out of line for the quality. Honestly, I simply often forget to tip maids, and I think this is quite common.

10. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1115 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

1. If you give a Tip, the other travellers who don't tip gets bad service. The staff, don't they learn to have favorites? Are we training them to be kiss assers, who view us as ATM machines. The only difference between them and the touts or vendors that annoy travellers on the street, is that they are selling service. But its not the workers fault, a company should an innovative "NO TIPPING" policy. Tipping only makes some guest feel less comfortable. Imagine, you went to a SPA for a massage, and then you tip the theraphist, but you are not sure, if that was the same amount Gwyneth Palthrow paid last week. The therapist, who expects to get a tip, may also learn to say things to milk you. My friend to a Spa and the massues, talk to her for the entire hour, about how oppressive her job is and how life is so hard. It stressed her out so badly, that she ended up tipping the manipulative employee, who wasted her time and money.

2. If I go to a hotel, I don't people kissing my ass or worrying about every little thing in the name of excellent service. I'd rather tip them to be invisible.

3. Is there really such a thing as an excellent waitress or bartender. I think its either you are a waitress or a rude and slow waitress. I don't feel like evaluating the service of restaurant, when I just out to grab a pizza or pasta.

4. People will develope stereotypes about certain travellers, example: the Japanese, they'd be gullible and extravagant. Oh the Koreans, they are stingy.

What happens if a person is ignorant about this tipping culture in North America? I thought from this thread that tipping is essentially a choice.