Bad life experiences aside, the larger point here is that I came out of my time as a waiter as a really good tipper, like all people who have ever worked in a job that involves tipping.
I put on my Weird But Earnest Guy Doing a Survey About Something hat and hit the streets, interviewing 123 people working in New York jobs that involve tipping.
I supplemented my findings with the help of a bunch of readers who wrote to us with detailed information about their own experiences, and with a large amount of research, especially from the website of Wm. The most critical step in avoiding Ambiguous Tipping Situations is just knowing what you’re supposed to do.
Since tipping is such a large part of life, it seems like we should stop to actually understand what being a low, average, or high tipper means for our budget. Looking at it simply, you can do some quick math and figure out one portion of your budget. I got a little more comprehensive, and came up with three rough profiles: Low Spender, Mid Spender, and High Spender. Apparently no one tips flight attendants, and if you do, you’ll probably receive free drinks thereafter. Golf caddies say that golfers tip better when they play better, but they always tip the best when it’s happening in front of clients.
Tattoo artists expect $10-20 on a $100 job and $40-60 on a $400 job, but they get nothing from 30% of people.
A massage therapist expects a $15-20 tip and receives one 95% of the time—about half of a massage therapist’s income is tips.
A whitewater rafting guide said he always got the best tips after a raft flipped over or something happened where people felt in danger. 11) Celebrities should tip well, because the person they tip will tell everyone they know about it forever, and everyone they tell will tell everyone they know about it forever. For example: A friend of mine served Arnold Schwarzenegger and his family at a fancy lunch place in Santa Monica called Cafe Montana. Exactly you’re taking about the service you get from someone who is making less than the cost of living. Conversely, Japan pretty much has a no-tip culture (I’d love to know what the 4 occupations that get tips there), yet the service there is amazing.
People who think waitstaff should be underpaid and live on customer handouts are true misers. Last time I went to the doc (pediatrician for my 2 year old), I waited nearly 45 minutes past my appointment, he had to check the record to remember our names, and forgot to check his blood pressure. I’m pretty sure you felt ignored or rushed because the place you were in was very busy, and you assume the staff was assuming. I think the true reason is psychological: you purchase depending of the price you see in the menu.
Now, lets say you want to increase prices to account for that lost profitability and pass on the price to the consumer.
Do I think the model could work if a restaurant was absolutely up front about the fact that food costs more because they don’t accept tips?
Ok, if prices go up 10-12% because these hospitality companies decide to actually PAY their employees a fair wage like every other business does, I will take that 10-12% increase over the 18-20% tip ANY DAY – meaning that all consumers get to save 8% of their hard-earned cash. Doesn’t anybody find it disturbing that we live in a culture where people are somewhat deceived about what they’re spending?


I will even go so far as to say that even when we spend more per week than normal on our grocery bill, If I save 40% as opposed to 20-30, I’m elated. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. I believe that summer is our time, a time for the people, and that no politician should be allowed to speak to us during the summer. I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves.
Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
There are those who maintain that in this world women have no right to interfere in the affairs of state, in politics, in plots and counter-plots. When everyone at school is speaking one language, and a lot of your classmates' parents also speak it, and you go home and see that your community is different -there is a sense of shame attached to that.
It is just as cowardly to judge an absent person as it is wicked to strike a defenseless one. Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. But other times, I find myself in the dreaded Ambiguous Tipping Situation.[1]This whole post might sound somewhat psychotic to someone not from the US. I took all the stats that seem to have a broad consensus on them[3]My specific interviews came from Manhattan, but my research showed that the below info is pretty accurate in most places across the US. Most customers have their standard tip amount in mind and don’t really think about it much beyond that. Sometimes a bartender cracks open eight bottles of beer, which takes 12 seconds, and sometimes she makes eight multi-ingredient cocktails with olives and a whole umbrella scene on each, which takes four minutes, and those two orders should not be tipped equally, even though they might cost the same amount.
And as such, you have some real responsibility when being served by a tipped professional that you don’t have when being served by someone else. That number is 27 in Canada, 27 in India, 15 in the Netherlands, 5-10 throughout Scandinavia, 4 in Japan, and 0 in Iceland.
The theory is that the same norms that encourage tipping end up leaking over into other forms of exchange. If ur server made 7$ an hour like the staff at mcdonalds, where is the incentive to be pleasant or clean up after ur kids, or hurry for you or fill ur soda BeFORE u ask or bring u a soup spoon before ur soup arrives or ketchup WITH ur fries before u ask for it? If they can get the customer to pay part of their labor costs, of course they will do this. I have the same problem with all of the assorted charges and fees for airline tickets, rental cars, and so forth.
Others that are who, more chivalrous, are willing to admit that women have as much right to act, think, and speak as men. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.
The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become during the midst of your frustrations.


At some point, the US decided that customers, not employers, should pay the salaries of service employees, and it’s been this bizarre mess of a system ever since.
I covered a bunch of different areas in New York, including SoHo, the Lower East Side, Harlem, the Upper East Side, and the Financial District, and tried to capture a wide range, from the fanciest places to the diviest. High Spender goes to fancy restaurants and does so often, and Low Spender goes out to eat less often and goes to cheaper places.[4]More details here.
Determinants and consequences of female attractiveness and sexiness: Realistic tests with restaurant waitresses. The US doesn’t contribute to this general correlation, with relatively low corruption levels. Now, if you paid servers to work for a non-tip wage… you would have to pay them about 3x more than you do today. He wanted to stop deceiving the customers and let them know exactly what they were getting. I did this to cover the extremes and the middle—you’re probably somewhere in between. When the tip is unknown the server will put up w grouchy rude guests and over demanding ppl. Let’s say that paying your tipped employees full wage bumped up your labor costs to $1400 a day, your labor cost is now 42% of your sales. Not that I begrudge leaving a few extra dollars for the hardworking waiter, but why can’t the prices just be transparent in the first place? Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness that you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime! They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. For these reasons, it’s never acceptable to tip under 15%, even if you hate the service. It’s a psychological phenomenon that has been studied on the topic of pricing strategy.
Instead of something being perpetually on sale, sales would only come into play when prices were actually being reduced. The way to handle terrible service is to complain to the manager like you would in a non-tipping situation—you’re not allowed to stiff on the tip and make them work for free.
People, stupidly, would be more likely to buy a $20 steak then tip $5 at the end than they would to buy a $23 steak with no tip, because they always forget about the tip.
The largest reason for this failure is that these new changes didn’t feel good for the customer. However, when you buy a 75 dollar polo shirt for 40 dollars, you think that you got a nice shirt for a sweet price. While people could get paid a reasonable hourly wage, that doesn’t feel as good as making 20 dollars an hour because you are a good waiter or waitress. Although it is strictly better to get paid an hourly wage since there is a lot more stability, there would no longer be an incentive to work hard, since as long as you are doing well enough to not get fired, you will be getting the same amount of money as if you went above and beyond.



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