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A World Without Tipping?

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How do you mean? He has to decide well before the tip whether to serve you or not. Or are you suggesting (as I am) a revision of the custom?

I now see that I was assuming one of two scenarios. Either (1) you tipped the person before the service, or (2) you tipped the person after a previous encounter with the idea that in future encounters it would be remembered.

No, since I understand the notion of excellence contextually. . . .

Oh, that makes sense. So if you go into a busy restaurant, you adjust your service expectations accordingly.

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I just want to see the evidence that not tipping does lead to bad service.

Speaking for me, not tipping me will not lead to bad service.

However, if I'm not satisfied with my income in the aggregate, I may very well choose another establishment or another line of work. Therefore, if you value the above average service I provide, you should be inclined to tip so as to ensure that I keep working at a particular place. Assuming you go to that place with some degree of regularity.

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No david, not tipping Me would lead to No service...
I'm curious how you actually do that. I assume that you mean that you will simply refuse to serve a customer who you know will not give you a tip. How does that work out with your co-workers or boss, like, do you say "Boss, that guy's a non-tipper" so he assigns that table to Suzie?
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  • 9 months later...

Sorry to bring up an old post nearly a year old but I have many thoughts on this topic. I see some of Inspector's points. I hate people talking to me, and trying to give me what they feel is good service. But considering I used to be an owner of a Domino's Pizza franchise, and have worked within the pizza delivery industry for roughly 6 years, here are my thoughts...

To me tipping is applicable in any service-oriented industry. That is, any industry where the service is in and of itself a selling point. This includes obviously pizza, but also restaraunts, cabs, bellboys, messengers, etc. However, I strongly disagree with restaraunts that add tips automatically to the bill, and I strongly disagree with delivery shops that add delivery charges automatically to the bill (which by the way, usually does not go to the driver, but to the owner). Obviously no one is obligated to tip, it is an option. I personally tip depending on the level of service I get. To me, good service means different things within different contexts. In the case of a restaraunt, I hate running out of a drink and having to flag down a waiter. I usually inform the waiter upon my arrival that I drink a minimum of three to five refills during the course of my meal and that he could simply bring me five full glasses up front to get the refill thing out of the way. This seems to work in most restaraunts, the waiter will bring me five full glasses, and he gets the idea that I am there to eat with my wife and leave, and I don't want to be bothered much during my meal. If he/she meets my expectations I tip well.

But I stress that it is optional and up to each individual customer whether to tip or not. In theory, this aspect should guarantee the highest level of service to the highest tippers. In practice, it works in that aspect to an extent, but is not 100% efficient. I urge one to remember the scene in Goodfellas where the main character goes to a "hip" restaraunt that is packed with a long waiting line. He is able to enter through a backdoor, led through a series of corridors, through the kitchen where food is being made, and he literally has his own table brought out for him right in front of the band, and a waiter greeting him with a bottle of champagne. Along the way he hands a 20 dollar bill to every employee of the restaraunt that he sees. I have done similiar things. When I notice a long line, it often works to give a few 20's to the hostess, who will put you at the top of the list to be seated.

I say that it is not 100% efficient because in practice, tipping leads to a great amount of discrimination because employees are concered about the average. Typically Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian customers will get the worst service, followed by Africans, black Americans, and poor-white Americans, followed by middle-class, with the best service going to the upper-class. In pizza delivery, this typically works out to the drivers looking at the following:

a.) What address is one delivering to?

b.) What is the name of the person who ordered?

c.) What did the person order?

Drivers obviously want to deliver to the best customers possible. Public-housing complexes are low on the list. This can be overcome by the smarts of the owner of the business though. For those who don't know, drivers are typically paid a percentage of the delivery total as comission in addition to the tips they receive. 5% is normal, so for a $20 delivery the driver may receive $1 in addition to his tip. I operated a Domino's store in inner-city Washington, D.C which had a huge amount of public-housing complexes and apartments and very few single family homes. I was able to achieve success and hire a long-term crew by cutting the hourly wages of my drivers and increasing the amount they are paid in comission from 5% to nearly 20% and higher in some cases. The incentive provided me with drivers who were willing to work hard, and who made a good amount of money in a very poor neighborhood with residents who usually did not tip and oftentimes thought they could purchase pizza with foodstamps.

Now, there are exceptions to these generalizations, and when a driver notices that the guy with an Indian accent in apartment 104 in Public Housing Complex A tips 10 dollars, he will make note of that and the will hustle as hard as he can in order to take that delivery next time he sees it. So the system is not perfect, but in the long run it works more often than not.

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I think the problem with tipping is that it isn't as if the customer can choose the level of service they want. Nor is there any guarantee that if you tip X amount of dollars that there is an objective level of service you can expect. Add to that the fact that you don't tip until after the service has been performed, you end up with a pretty crappy system.

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