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Author Topic: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)  (Read 3419 times)

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Kenny Wisdom

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We covered some details of the tipping etiquette in America on the previous board - here:

http://theshadowbox.net/ddbb/viewtopic.php?t=6352&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=tip&start=20

but one thing I would like to ask is what the etiquette is in bars?

Someone said in the blog linked below you should tip the bar a dollar a drink - is that right? In the UK it is usual to pay-as-you-go in a bar. Do you still do that thing in American bars where you pay at the end? What then of the tip? Tip as you go, or at the end?

And for American servers, what do you think of British diners? Are we terrible tippers?

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/food/2008/07/oh_no_british_people.html#comments

Please form an orderly queue to post your responses.

Thank you.

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Re: Service Charges / Tipping
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 07:29:43 AM »

I usually pay at the end, leaving an additional 15-20% of the actual sum as the tip.
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Rob

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Re: Service Charges / Tipping
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 09:32:16 AM »

Yeah, I'll leave an open tab if I'm gonna be there awhile.  15%-20% is the usual tip.  If I'm paying cash, I'll tip a few bucks for the first round, and then again every couple rounds after that.  A dollar a drink will get you by, but a couple more, especially up front, will improve your position.
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Kenny Wisdom

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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2008, 10:21:31 AM »

Okay! It's always good to know.

It's different over here. It's customary to buy in "rounds" if you're with a group, obviously, and every so often if you feel convivial you may say to the barkeeper to "have one yourself", which they may or may not do and no offence is intended if they decline. They may actually take a drink with you, or put the money in the tip jar.

Also, if you're an American, lost, and you walk into a rural bar and a strange silence descends upon the place and everyone looks at you, and you ask for directions, you may hear a sharp intake of breath and someone may mutter quietly, "Oi, people who go thar don't awften come back, oi" in a country bumpkin accent, then you will probably not see the morning.
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2008, 11:02:37 AM »

That happens here too, if you're any type of for'ner.  Except you will hear," Boy, you have a perty mouf."  Followed by a series of events that will make you wish you never lived to see the morning
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 11:53:25 AM »

Also, if you're an American, lost, and you walk into a rural bar and a strange silence descends upon the place and everyone looks at you, and you ask for directions, you may hear a sharp intake of breath and someone may mutter quietly, "Oi, people who go thar don't awften come back, oi" in a country bumpkin accent, then you will probably not see the morning.
Really?  I thought it was customary to find bits and pieces strewn over the moors...
...eventually to be identified by some random button or bit of jewelry or the shreds
of that ugly sweater one's aunt made years ago...



Oh, and on those rare occasions when I'm out buying drinks separate from a meal,
I'll usually drop a dollar in the jar with every purchase.  The sorts of places I might
go, the tip jar is probably all the "bar staff" (which is to say, they guy who owns
the joint's friends who wanted to see the band) will get paid.
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2008, 08:17:49 PM »

20% is the usual tip, i give a tip per drink otherwise the barman would give me nothing.
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2008, 10:55:14 PM »

The book of etiquette would say 15-20%. I tend to do 20% and round up to the next dollar plus change. I like to think I brighten a moment on occasion. If the server is at all exceptional, I'll probably add a little more. Disappointing service might, in some cases, drop me to 15%, and abyssmal service, two or three times, has prompted me to leave less than a dollar.
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2008, 03:03:25 AM »

I leave 20%, minimum. Sometimes I leave more, but probably only because I've worked as a bartender / waiter, and I know how fucking shit those jobs are. Back in 2002, I was getting paid $2.20 an hour for working as a waiter, when the minimum wage was somewhere around $5 something. It was all legal, though, because the tips make up for what you lose, and the employers and the feds know that. But, in reality, the tips don't really mean shit.

On another topic entirely: I read the other thread, and kenny, I need to mail you some reese's cups. The way you described them was the most amazing thing ever, and reese's are my favorite candy.
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Kenny Wisdom

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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2008, 04:06:25 AM »

They started doing selling Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (RPBC, from now on) over here. Maybe they always did. Maybe I just discovered them. Well, actually, one shop I go in seems to alternate between RPBC = excellent, &  something else Reeses but I can't remember what. Some kind of peanut bar (SKoPB, from now on). When they have RPBC out, it's a good day. Great for sharing, as they come in threes. That's one for me and one for you and oh, look! One for me again.

Anyway, back on point - what's your experiences of British tippers?
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2008, 01:33:57 AM »

Depends on the bar.
If I'm at my local dive bar, no tip, and I pay per beer as I go.

Otherwise, open tab, and 10-15% tip at the end.
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Kenny Wisdom

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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2008, 04:54:19 AM »

Waiters win battle to safeguard tips

By Gerri Peev
Political Correspondent

A LOOPHOLE allowing restaurateurs to pay waiting staff less than the minimum wage by topping up their pay using tips is to be closed.

John Hutton, the business secretary, said regulations around minimum wage laws will be tightened up.

He said: "I am really pleased to announce we have decided to change the law so tips received by staff must be paid on top of the national minimum ADVERTISEMENT wage, not as part of it. Customers who leave a tip want it to go to staff. They don't expect it to be used to subsidise owners paying the minimum wage."

The government expects to make a formal announcement of the change on Thursday to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the National Minimum Wage Act.

The change will effect some of the UK's biggest restaurant chains which use tips to make up wages.

The regulations attached to the 1998 Act left a loophole which allows tips processed through the payroll to count towards the minimum wage, which currently stands at £5.52.

Campaigners have also called for action around the 12.5 per cent optional "service charge" that is often destined for the coffers of the proprietors, rather than low-paid waiters, chefs and kitchen hands. Ministers revealed they would change the law over minimum wage top-ups during Labour's national policy forum in Warwick last weekend.

Other policies agreed include extending the national minimum wage to 21-year-olds, who currently get a minimum of just £4.60 an hour.

Ministers stopped short of meeting campaigners' demands to legislate for a transparent tips and service charge policy, which would have forced restaurants to display their policy on the menu.

Michael Connarty, the Labour MP for Linlithgow and Falkirk East, has led a campaign for tips to be paid in addition to the minimum wage.

He and Scots MPs Jim Sheridan and Anne Moffat had met Gordon Brown to press him to change the law.

Yesterday he congratulated the Prime Minister and Mr Hutton for being quick to act. "I could not get Tony Blair to even look at this," Mr Connarty said.

"It has got to be done quickly. I would also like to see service charges taken off bills. They are often a sneaky way for proprietors to rip customers off, with none of the tips going to staff."

http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Waiters-win-battle-to-safeguard.4332724.jp

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CeeGBee

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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2008, 12:07:04 AM »

We actually have an alternate minimum wage for tipped employees (or we did last time I read one of
the mandatory "Employees Rights" posters that are supposed to be posted in any workplace), but if
the employee's tips don't make that equal the standard minimum wage, the empoyer is required to pay
up the difference.

While I've never worked in such a situation, an employee who can't make that much in tips should
probably look for a different line of work...  and an employer who's planning to pay just the lower
rate will probably help him/her on the way...  [boot out the door]
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2008, 12:10:37 AM »

I've waited tables, bartended, delivered food and danced for tips. Two of them paid less than minimum wage. Waiting tables paid less than half minimum wage.
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Re: Service Charges / Tipping (& other local customs & practices)
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2008, 12:50:16 AM »

Here it is, from the Department of Labor (that's dol.gov...  ;D )
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