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McGroarty

Do Objectivists Tip?

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Just for fun --

In the US, the customary tip in a restaurant is 15-20%. Though the tip is rarely required for groups of six or fewer, it's generally expected. Tipping is a bit unusual in that it's payment made where the service has already been delivered and can't be revoked, and one party completely controls the price.

How generously do you suppose Ayn Rand would have tipped? How about you?

I like to reward the waiter when I receive good service. If I haven't had to wait for much and I've received good suggestions without being hounded, I enjoy paying a bit more. I have trouble rationalizing it, but it makes me feel more a part of a good exchange.

On the flip side, I've completely stiffed a few waiters who couldn't be troubled to give a damn. And when the gratuity is figured into the bill, I feel a bit insulted by the implicit demand. It takes an exceptional waiter to make me want to put more on top of that.

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Generally speaking, tipping in Australia is far less widespread than in the US - mainly because our minimum wage laws are a lot higher for waiters than in the US.

My rule of thumb in regard to tipping is:

- Tip around 10% if my expectations are met.

- Tip less than 10% if my expectations are met.

- Tip more than 10% if my expecations are surpassed.

I like tipping because it allows me to seperate the service that the waiter offers from the more general product/service that the restaurant as a whole offers. I know from experience that you can get some excellent waiters at mediocre restaurants, and I like to reward such staff, without rewarding the whole establishment.

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Tipping is a bit unusual in that it's payment made where the service has already been delivered and can't be revoked, and one party completely controls the price.

True, but the tip is considered incentive for the server to do a good job, so it is only fair to reward them (or not) accordingly. I do tip: 15% for OK average service, less for bad service, very rarely more.

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I tip quite a bit actually. For bad service, I usually leave a small tip obviously. But for good or exceptional service..I leave a rather high amount. For one waitress I left her $60 extra. She was pretty good. My usual amount though is close to $20. I never usually get bad waiters/waitresses, so it's not often that I feel as if I'm overdoing it.

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Having been in the business for 19 years now, and having worked every position there is, I know what it takes to do those jobs.

If you get good service, tip well. 10% is flimsy for good service 20% or above is better. I cook now, but was a waiter for a time. There are few more stressful and thankless jobs out there. The balance that a waiter has to do between the customers (and there are kinds of interesting (ie, bothersome) people out there), and the perogatives of a kitchen (some run by maniacal sadists I assure you) , not to mention mass multi-tasking, is certainly not worth the subminimum wage they make.

It is also fair to learn what is and is not under the servers control. Bad service is not always their fault. Although attitude will always speak for itself.

Bartenders get the most because they have to deal with people whose personalities are greased with alcohol.

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Yeah, of course I tip.

The best service I've ever had was in Japan. EVERY restaurant I went to (thank you, corporate expense accounts!) had excellent service. Without exception. And there's no tipping in Japan.

It's interesting going to a restaurant with a band of merry Objectivists. Many times there'll be the one guy who insists on paying exactly 15%, to the penny, and will sit at the table calculating exactly how much that is. Everybody else kicks in enough to cover their share and then some. It's a penny wise, pound foolish situation, because he's willing to alienate people for the sake of a few pennies.

Good grief! :rolleyes:

Being cheap can be an expensive proposition.

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I generally tip very well for good/great service because I had a tipping job and really worked hard to get that extra dollar or two. Even for things like breakfast when the bill is $6-7 at a diner, i'll give a $2 tip because an extra 50 cents isn't going to break my back.

There was a diner I'd go to 2-3 times a week for breakfast and I was able to special order stuff and got great service (also had a huge crush on the waitress I had, but nevermind :rolleyes: ). I always tipped more than I should because I appriciated their work for me, and they always gave me great service in return. It's nice when they rush your food out and give you a break on drinks every now and then on the bill.

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For me going to a restuarant is always a win-win situation.

If I receive good service, I leave a large tip. Recognizing good service with a proper reward is an act of justice. I always feel good after a good trade.

If I receive bad service, I leave a tip proportional to the service I received. Of course, I take into consideration the aspects of being a waiter that Thoyd Loki mentioned (for example, if the management is incompetent and understaffs the waiting staff). My girlfriend finds it comical how upbeat I am when I receive poor service - being an incredibly frugal student, I welcome having bad or non-existent service so that I don't have to pay the tip. :rolleyes:

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My girlfriend finds it comical how upbeat I am when I receive poor service - being an incredibly frugal student, I welcome having bad or non-existent service so that I don't have to pay the tip.  :rolleyes:

The logic is utterly sound -- I laughed!

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I and my wife usually tip 20% or more if good service and 15% for poor. If I get really bad service which is rare I usually end up with free food.

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Perhaps someone in the industry can answer a simple question: It used to be that 10 percent was considered an "average" tip. In my youth, 15 percent became the "normal" amount.

Now I hear some people say that anything under 20 percent is reserved for poor service!

What could possibly explain this? Waiting tables is no harder than it used to be, and since the tip is a percentage, it should cover inflation. So why is being waited on becoming more expensive?

Or are my friends just nuts?

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What could possibly explain this? Waiting tables is no harder than it used to be, and since the tip is a percentage, it should cover inflation. So why is being waited on becoming more expensive?

Theory: Perhaps the general rise in real income over the past two decades has changed the perceived marginal value of a dollar in a way that makes people more willing to tip generously? I know that I've become willing to "raise the bar" for tips as my own income has increased.

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It's just not customary to tip that much here. I usually tip only when there's excellent service (about 20%), or if I'm at a fancy restaurant I tip even for average service as it's fairly expected. No tips for average service at a regular restaurant from me.

What's the difference between a Canadian and a canoe?

Canoes tip.

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I think there's a book on the subject called The Tipping Point, since tipping is more than just resturants. I tip the guy at the car stereo shop $10 or so whenever he puts something in, so he remembers me and works on my car right away if I bring a problem over to him. Tipping is a cheap way to buy better service. It also saves time!

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Perhaps someone in the industry can answer a simple question: It used to be that 10 percent was considered an "average" tip. In my youth, 15 percent became the "normal" amount.

Now I hear some people say that anything under 20 percent is reserved for poor service!

What could possibly explain this?

Rising taxes. How else is a waiter going to pay the federal and state excise taxes on gasoline? Nobody but the customer can pay him more.

It seems to me that one of the first things to deteriorate in a heavily taxed and regulated economy is service, because people will tolerate bad or no service if the product is still good, and many services are simply optional values for which people don't want to pay.

If you want good service in such a society as we have today, you'd better be prepared to tip well, otherwise say goodbye to good service. As regulations get tighter and taxes get higher on the food and restaurant industries, and taxes elsewhere continue to rise, I can only imagine that the tip percentage requested will go up.

Anyway, that's my theory.

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When I visited New York last summer with a friend, we spent one day visiting the (very haughty) town of Montauk. We ate at the least snooty restaraunt we could find (within walking distance of the beach), and apparently the presence of our backpacks indicated to the staff that we would be leaving a small tip. Well, with that attitude they were right.

After paying about twice the price of normal food, receiving food that tasted worse than any other on my trip, and getting horrible service, I (and my reluctantly convinced friend) left him no tip. The highlight of the evening was the waiter "refilling" my half-filled sprite glass with water (on accident)--then claiming that there are no refills on soda.

My friend even left him a poem:

You ignored us

you acted like an ass

you poured water

down a sprite glass.

so here's what you get

more than just a dollar bill,

but our warmest affections,

and as for tip? nill

But usually, I leave slightly above 20% tips for about average service. Since I mainly only eat at two specific restaraunts, I've found I often get better service the next time around. If the cook happens to do something wrong (and the waittress thinks she's getting a small tip), leaving a good tip is especially helpful for future service.

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The late entertainer Jackie Gleason was expected to be a generous tipper. When he got the restaurant bill, it was his practice to hand it to the waiter and tell him to write in whatever tip he thought he deserved.

He saved a lot of money that way.

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It's just not customary to tip that much here.

I grew up in Canada and have noticed that too. Part of the reason I think is that servers are paid more to begin with due to minumum wage laws. Another reason is Canadians are more egalitarian and don't believe as strongly in rewarding people for making extra effort. I really saw this when I visited Icelend recently. It's even more egalitarian and tipping is pretty rare. As a result, service, although generally good, is rarely exceptional.

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Here in Belgium, tipping is not customary.. Bills mention taxes and tips included. The law says it's the boss who has to pay the waiter decent wages, not the customer. If we do give tips, it 's more to express we are pleased with service above standard, a kind of sign of apreciation.

I think the people running my favorite Greek restaurant are closet Objectivists. Whenever I give a tip for the fine quality of the food and the service, they come back to my table and offer me a brandy on the house before I leave. :D

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I think there's a book on the subject called The Tipping Point, since tipping is more than just resturants.  I tip the guy at the car stereo shop $10 or so whenever he puts something in, so he remembers me and works on my car right away if I bring a problem over to him.  Tipping is a cheap way to buy better service.  It also saves time!

I've read The Tipping Point. It's about applying the study of epidemics to social phenomena like the spread of fashion trends or the feeling of insecurity in a city. The Tipping point is the critical mass when things tip over and everything gets out of control.

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I've read The Tipping Point. It's about applying the study of epidemics to social phenomena like the spread of fashion trends or the feeling of insecurity in a city. The Tipping point is the critical mass when things tip over and everything gets out of control.

Bah, got it confused with something else. I work parttime in a bookstore, so I see literally thousands of books a week. There is a book, though, that has a study on tipping.

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When one goes into a restaurant (or any business for that matter) you are the customer and the business is the vendor. They set a price for the "product" and you either buy it or don't.

In a restaurant, the product is the food+the waiter's services. Therefore, the prices on the menu should include tip. If the waiter does not provide good service, so what. If the food sucks, is it the waiter's fault? If the waiter is a jerk, that reflects poorly on the establishment and a complaint should be submitted. The waiter could get low tips and be on the job performing mediocre service for years without the owners knowing. I think ratings, not tips are in order. The ratings should determine the profit share of the waiters.

What if an airline gate agent did not perform good customer service? Does the price of the airline ticket go down? No way!

And... is it expected to give the gate agent a tip for helping you get you a better seat? No. Some services never get tipped, but some do.

I guess what I'm getting at is: Why does any "service" need to be tipable?

From doormans to bag-boys, limo-drivers to public bus-drivers... Who really "deserves" a tip?

(BTW: I'm not a cheapskate, I tip 20% on avg. for decent service)

Edited by chuckster

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I tip on a simple system. I usually only like to work with dollars and not change so if I get an average looking waitress with average service I usually tip a dollar for a meal that's 7 or 8 dollars. If I get a hot waitress the tip can increase exponentially depending on several variables. Including-- degree of beauty, general attitude, did she quickly bring me another soft drink, etc. If I get a male waiter he's only getting a dollar max in the above situation period unless, there is some extrordinary circumstance I can't think of right now. Poor service and especially not refilling my drink in a timely manner results in no tip.

In other words, I reward generously what I see as added value, and ignore what I see as possessing no additional value to me.

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