Everyone today—from cashiers to robot kiosks—expects a big gratuity for ringing up an order. Olivia Reingold asks: Can you refuse without looking like a jerk?
Well written--worthy of a $25 tip if you’d just asked!
One thing I can appreciate about going places not-America is that you just pay what it says. A lot of places have VAT too, meaning the tax is in the price. There's nothing hidden - if the menu says it's 1200 yen for your food, you're paying 1200 yen.
The company that employs the folks that need the tip is asking you to subsidize the wages that are just barely above subsistence level. Instead of asking "Would you like to add a tip?" it should say "Would you like to contribute to our CEO's annual bonus?" As a senior I rarely go anywhere that requires tipping. When I do add a tip, I do it a little differently. I always tap the "No Tip" option. If the person providing the service is deserving, I tip generously in cash. That keeps the employer from even knowing about it, and it can make the day for the service provider, who is clearly doing her (usually it's a woman) best to do a good job in a very challenging time. I worked in food service in my college years, and I know how hard a job it can be. In my first job as a dishwasher I was paid 90 cents an hour, half of which came from the tips the waitresses received.
My New Yorker cartoon idea:
A patient being wheeled into an operating room where he sees not only several surgeons holding scalpels but also tip jar.
As someone from Germany, this is an insane system to us. We only tip over here if we have received good service and we expect the company to pay their employees well enough so that they can actually live from their monthly wage. I'm here to receive a service, it's not my job to directly pay your employees.
Also tax is already included in the price over here, so what you see on the price tag is what you pay.
I went to the States this year and was shocked by the inflation, I remember seeing in a supermarket cherry tomatoes that were three times as expensive as in Germany. I'm not sure how people manage to feed their families.
Tipping once was appreciation for good service, not just for presence. I reject tipping for counter service or self-service where I have to do the major work of carrying tray. In some of the newer "convenience" stores, you order your food on a kiosk, wait in lie to receive your order, and check out at an automated register where you are asked on the screen if you want to add a tip (for what? I ask). Where service is provided, I will tailor my tip to the appearance, performance, and friendliness of the server, and I have left notes of complaint.
I took my wife out for a nice dinner at an expensive seafood restaurant at the Seattle waterfront a few months ago and saw their very small print that stated they add a 20% charge to EVERY bill and the charge goes to the "company" to help pay for overhead. It also stated that the 20% was NOT a tip for the service staff! So basically they're charging 40(+) % more than the listed prices of food & drinks.
(assuming you give a 20% tip, which I ALWAYS d
I'll never set foot in a restaurant like that again.
My own solution is to cook for myself and make my own coffee. I can't afford to pay others to do that for me.
I swear our contemporary society runs on guilt - ‘white guilt’, ‘tipping guilt’ etc. - the best advice would be to grow a spine. : )
I would also draw your attention to the “round-up” question at the end of an automated transaction, purportedly for some emotionally disarming cause. First, they make the request look like you are being asked for permission to share information or something else not involving money, and secondly, you really have no idea where that money will go. Generally you realize what you spent after the transaction is complete and you can’t wait to get out of there. I say, fight back. Give less until they stop pushing.
I’ve had it with tipping. I tip servers only. Everyone else can be paid by their employer.
The take-out coffee prices have gotten out of control! I will die on this hill!
As guy who used to wait tables in high school and college, this stuff is offensive. Jobs where tips were expected were legally paid well BELOW minimum wage - I recall $2 an hour or so because tips would make up the difference. Now people get paid minimum wage or more and expect tips. This is not at all how it was supposed to work. I decline to tip outside of restaurants consistently and consciously avoid going to places that require an awkward encounter with a demanding tip screen.
Darling Olivia, thank you for this terrific article. Next time, take an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it up once you pass security. And pack your own snacks too.
I have long agreed with Miss Manners' comment: “Tipping advice is often given out by the people who expect to receive it,” she adds, “and they're very generous with themselves.”
They've also gotten help from friendly media types.
That's the reason the standard tip has gone from 10% in the 1980's to 15% in the 2000's to 20% today. And why, apparently, it will be 100% in a few years.
These corporations leading the charge are making hand over fist and exploiting the consumer. Look at Chipotle’s share price. A little over 10 years ago after graduating college I finally felt that I “made it” because I could afford to pay the extra $$$ for Guacamole. I remember it coming out to between $9.50-$10 for the burrito (after guac)
I received an email the other day for a BOGO burrito only w/ using their mobile app delivery service.
After tax BEFORE tip w/ the coupon (of course guac on both) it came out to $33.75.
My wife and I live in Orange County CA.