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  • Tipping

    G'day,
    I am curious about the culture of tipping in America...
    I have read various things on the net about what I should be doing, but would like to hear what you guys think about tipping.
    I understand that tipping is expected and want to know what guidelines I should follow.
    Thanks,

  • #2
    Re: Tipping

    Originally posted by punchy View Post
    G'day,
    I am curious about the culture of tipping in America...
    I have read various things on the net about what I should be doing, but would like to hear what you guys think about tipping.
    I understand that tipping is expected and want to know what guidelines I should follow.
    Thanks,
    Your profile doesn't say where you hail from, but I hope to be able to impart a brief thumbnail of rules.

    Food.
    If you have a waiter or waitress who takes you order, it's expected that you will tip. In most cases, their salary is predicated on the idea that they are also receiving tips. You should simply figure it in as part of the cost of the meal when you're ordering. A good rule of thumb is at least 10%, up to 15%. This percentage pertains to the bill presented to you at the close of the meal.

    Personal services.
    This covers everything from bell hops to taxi drivers. How do you know the appropriate amount to hand someone who's just lugged your massive amounts of luggage to your room? Personally, I just hand them money on some random basis (I tend to show up to defcon with a car full of random crap for Coffee Wars and other stuff). With taxi drivers and others, consider the 15% rule, or more if you've been difficult for some reason (such as having very heavy luggage).

    General rules.
    If you are paying with a credit card, and it is humanly possible, pay the tip in cash. Many establishments will insist that the staff take the percentage hit on the tip that they have to take when you use a card, which means that a ten dollar tip will actually be $9.60 (or less). In addition, federal law mandates that tips are reported and taxed as income, and the assumption is that all transactions generate a tip rate of 7.5% (no, I'm not making it up, that's really the stupid law). This means that when you tip someone ten, and they receive less, they still pay taxes on ten. When you leave cash, they can choose to report what their conscience suggests. Personally, I always hope they report the minimum.

    Just a general statement: If the business is small, I don't use a credit card. If it's local to me, I write a check, or pay cash. I don't use a debit card either, which also has a fee to the merchant (less than a credit card, but still a percentage). If it's a chain, I use a card. They can afford the 2%-6% hit on the transaction.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tipping

      Another quick tip. Sales Tax in Nevada is 7.5%. So consider the minimum tip to be double the tax you paid rounded up to the nearest dollar.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tipping

        All good points so far. When it comes to the baggage handling stuff, the rule of thumb is a buck a bag (two if its heavy). If the person is taking them up to my room, i usually throw another buck or two on top of that. If you are checking your car out of valet, tip the guy who brings it up a buck. If you end up using the concierge, slide the guy a buck or two for his help. If you have the front desk run anything up to your room, make sure to give the guy a who gets sent up a few bucks. If you make a mess of your room, leave a few bucks on the dresser for the maids. Few years back at Defcon I remember looking at my room that had gone uncleaned for days (I had the DnD sign up for my entire stay) and had been the site of nearly nonstop goon debauchery and left 40 dollars on the night stand and a note that said 'sorry...'. Also, my fiancee wants me to add (she works at a hotel) that while its not tipping related, if you really want to make the folks who work in the hotel happy, fill out a comment card (mentioning them by name). Tips are nice, raises are better, and thats how you get them..

        Also, to repeat what Shrdlu already said..tip in cash whenever possible. When I go to vegas I always make sure to keep a roll of singles in my pocket.

        Also, it may bear mentioning that its typically considered gauche to tip in change. Yes my kangaroo riding friend, you're coming to the last country on earth that refuses to adopt a decent dollar coin.

        Shrdlu - While he never stated where he was from, I'm assuming by the G'day he's an Aussie.
        Last edited by noid; July 25th, 2009, 10:51. Reason: Fiancee is in this industry, she had some thoughts too

        I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

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        • #5
          Re: Tipping

          For higher-class restaurants, the tip should be at least 15%-20%. Anything under 15% is considered gauche.

          Edit: Oh yeah, I generally tip $1 for washroom attendants. Although, I've not encountered them at any DC.
          Last edited by Thorn; July 25th, 2009, 10:52.
          Thorn
          "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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          • #6
            Re: Tipping

            But don't be afraid to be gauche if you receive sub-par service, even at higher end places. While I love America's culture of tipping, there is also a small subculture of complacency in the service industry. So, don't forget that while tips are the primary income of some of the people you will be dealing with, they are expected to earn them.

            I've generally been impressed with the service I have received everywhere I have eaten or drank in Vegas, and I expect you will be too, the entire city is based on service & entertainment, so they know how to do it right. Just worth remembering about America on the whole. When I worked in a restaurant I knew a few servers who would immediately give up on trying to please a table once they realized they were foreign, because so often foreigners didn't understand the nature of tipping, they just assumed the worst and acted accordingly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tipping

              Originally posted by Schuyler View Post
              But don't be afraid to be gauche if you receive sub-par service, even at higher end places. While I love America's culture of tipping, there is also a small subculture of complacency in the service industry. So, don't forget that while tips are the primary income of some of the people you will be dealing with, they are expected to earn them.
              This is correct. In every case where the service has been poor enough that I would normally not leave a tip, I leave a few pennies. I do not want the server to think that I'd forgotten. I want the message to be clear. In some cases, the service was so poor that I spoke to the manager, but I usually don't like to bother. If they don't know that the staff is that bad, they deserve what they get.

              Originally posted by Schuyler View Post
              I've generally been impressed with the service I have received everywhere I have eaten or drank in Vegas, and I expect you will be too, the entire city is based on service & entertainment, so they know how to do it right. Just worth remembering about America on the whole. When I worked in a restaurant I knew a few servers who would immediately give up on trying to please a table once they realized they were foreign, because so often foreigners didn't understand the nature of tipping, they just assumed the worst and acted accordingly.
              Depends on the country, and on the class (sorry, but there is absolutely no such thing as a classless society). This is actually a poor choice for servers, since others diners will notice.

              Kudos to the original poster by the way.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tipping

                I disagree on the following:

                Taxi cabs are leased, so you have an owner operator situation most of the the time, and therefore get 100% of the meter.

                If deserved, tips for food should be 20%; specially the pizza delivery folks. Worked in food service many years ago, and tips are the best part of a really sucky job.

                While in the pasture always tip cows from the side, if that's the tipping you were referring to my outback mate.

                xor
                Last edited by xor; July 25th, 2009, 15:22.
                Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

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                • #9
                  Re: Tipping

                  Just watch Resevoir Dogs before you come out. Mr. Pink has the right idea.
                  perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tipping

                    Originally posted by jackassplus View Post
                    Another quick tip. Sales Tax in Nevada is 7.5%. So consider the minimum tip to be double the tax you paid rounded up to the nearest dollar.
                    It doesn't change your rule of thumb, much, but it recently got bumped up to 8.1%. Le sigh . . .
                    It's not stupid, it's advanced.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tipping

                      Originally posted by YenTheFirst View Post
                      It doesn't change your rule of thumb, much, but it recently got bumped up to 8.1%. Le sigh . . .
                      I had to go look at a receipt and check, shows how much I pay attention... meh.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tipping

                        Originally posted by Chris View Post
                        Just watch Resevoir Dogs before you come out. Mr. Pink has the right idea.
                        Awesome movie, just re-watched that recently.

                        xor
                        Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tipping

                          Wow, thanks for all the advice...
                          I come from Australia where tipping is an extra for exemplary service.
                          I guess I better stock up on dollar bills!

                          Resevoir Dogs kicks ass.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tipping

                            when tipping for food, 15% should be the minimum unless the service was really bad. if you got great service, tip more.

                            as for tipping the maid, we always leave 10% of the room cost per night and a little note saying thanks for the hard work.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tipping

                              <rant>
                              I agree with Chris 100%. As a Las Vegas resident for 7 years, I came to the following conclusions:

                              1.) If they treat you like crap because they _expect_ you to tip cause "Hey it's Vegas everyone is suppose to tip" DON'T Tip them (at least well if you feel guilty)

                              2.) Don't tip for simple stuff like coffee you waited 5min in line to order and 5min in another line to get

                              3.) Always tip at buffets, staff gets paid 6.15 /hour to bus the mess you leave behind

                              4.) Taxes on credit card tips a problem? Pahleese, sorry I'm not helping them side step income taxes in which I pay their entire years earning just in my personal income taxes alone. We all need to do our share.

                              5.) It's a recession, this is the time service needs to step up and earn MY dollars. If I return from DEF CON with a pink slip waiting due to bad economic times, I am going to reflect on all that extra cash I blew and think "Did they really earn a $5 tip on a $15 mean?" If they did, I don't feel as bad that now I'M in the poor house for a while, wish some drunk hacker over tipped me at security convention.

                              Kind of blunt honesty, but, seeing how crappy service really is in Las Vegas, it is my feeling that if people don't step up and push for good service (via complains and tipping style) things will never change.

                              </rant>
                              "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

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