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View Poll Results: Would you like automatic tipping?
Yes 18 11.11%
No 144 88.89%
Voters: 162. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-09-2009, 02:36 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by FFR View Post
Just a question for those who are opposed to this idea - or to tipping in general really...would you support it if it was built into the price of the food instead? Like if the restaraunt was declared a tip-free place because they bumped the prices of their food up 20% to cover the tips?

I'm also interested in this concept as I was a server for many years and know a couple people in the restaurant industry as managers who have been thinking of similar ideas.
I'd probaby not go to the restaurant if I thought that it was too expensive. When I go to a restaurant I don't determine the potential tip when I determine if I can afford to eat there. Just adding a 20% tip built into the prices would make me less likely to go if I thought I could get a similar meal for 20% cheaper somewhere else. I'd still tip 10-15% at the cheaper place and be ahead of the game.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #42
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Tips are built-in in Europe, and the service is terrible. The waiters have no incentive to do a good job.
I can't say I've really noticed a difference.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:08 PM   #43
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I'm totally opposed to auto-gratuity on a couple levels.

1. I don't like the all-or-nothing method, but if I didn't like my service, I would be likely to take the manager up on that "why I am paying nothing" spiel, and then proceed to not go back. Going out for dinner is supposed to be fun, if I have lousy service, and then have to explain why I'm refusing to auto-grat (which in itself is rather presumptuous), and risk doing it all over again, its not fun anymore. At least normally, if the service sucks, one can shrug it off, take it out on the tip, walk away and enjoy the rest of the evening.

2. I don't tip on beer/wine. The markup on beer and especially wine is so exploitative ($20 wine bottle going for $80, $1.50 beer going for $5.25, etc.), I don't feel I need to reward them any further just for pouring a beer or uncorking some wine. I don't tip the guy at Wendy's for pouring my soda, why would I do it for beer. As far as I'm concerned, the cost of service is included in the exorbitant cost of alcohol. I don't believe I should be coerced into tipping another $14 (18%) on an $80 bottle of wine readily available at Superstore for $19.99+tax just for someone to open it. After all, service is supposed to be included in the price. Tipping is supposed to be a discretionary reward for exemplary service.

Food requires a lot of work from more than a couple people, so if its all good, its typically in the 20% range, I guess it sort of balances out since I typically don't drink much at restaurants.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:08 PM   #44
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I hate the idea. I dislike the expectations around tipping in the first place. The percent that is "expected" for a tip keeps going higher and higher - it used to be 10%, now, I'm not sure what it is. I also hate that if I don't tip up to 15-20%, I'm considered cheap - regardless of how good the service was. If the tip is supposed to be a reflection of the service, then why is it a percentage of the bill? Why should the fact that I ordered a lobster mean that the server gets more money? The worst is when you go to places like Earls or Boston Pizza. There you see pretty girls standing around being pretty, not doing anything, and they expect a bigger tip at the end of the meal than when I go to Denny's or Humpty's and order a coffee and sit there for a few hours studying. At those places, the girls there come by often, make sure the coffee is hot and full, and generally WORK. I try to tip them appropriately (once, for exceptional service, I tipped $25 for a $2.50 coffee, but I don't usually do that). Why does the lazy "pretty" girl at Jack Astors expect more for less, and why am I cheap if I don't deliver it? Boston Pizza is even worse, tho. They have a mandatory tip-out - the waitress is forced to pay the back (cooks, busboy's) a portion of the tip. I can understand the principal - they are a large part of what makes a tip happen. What I hate is the fact that the tip-out is a mandatory percentage of the bill, not a percentage of the received tip. This is just wrong, and should be an illegal business practice in my book.

My problem with your idea is that it once again solidify's the price of the tip as being non-optional, and not a reflection of the server's skills, but as a mandatory percentage of the bill. A server should get paid for his or her service, regardless of how much money I decide to spend on my meal - not something the server has (or should have) any control over. You want to make a system that would make me happy? Pay your servers a decent wage based on their abilities/work ethic, mark up your food a porportional amount (10% would make sense to me), then place the term "Tipping completely optional" on your bill. It would be nice to finally have the tipping system back to the way it used to be, and not just automatic and compulsory anymore.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:16 PM   #45
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Although, OP should keep in mind that communities like this are for self-aggrandizing wisecrackers. The standard resturanteer probably doesn't have the same hatred of the idea, and I presume many CPers wouldn't have this same train of thought at an actual restaurant.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:25 PM   #46
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I havent read many of the replies, so I might be repeating whats already been said.

Bottom line: If I know a restaurant is doing this, I'm not going there. Sounds like a restaurant trying to further shunt the cost of staffing onto the customers.

It's not that I don't want to tip, as I pretty much always will, but your tip is never guaranteed, nor should it be. It's entirely contigent upon the service I receive.

If you get a low/zero tip from me, it's because you screwed up, and its for you to reflect on why. I shouldnt have to prolong an already unenjoyable experience explaining to you, what you likely already know. I'm there as a customer, not to train your staff.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:35 PM   #47
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My first thought was I hate it like I hate places which auto charge for tables over a certain number of people. I'm not sure why a table of 8 is harder than 4 tables of 2. Based on my experience most of the time the larger tables seem to tip a higher percentage anyway as everyone tosses in their yuppie bucks and walks away...although there are times where someone walks away without paying a dime (I'm thinking of a certain CP poster who did this a couple of years ago).

On second thought if it's 14% it sounds ok as I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've made a statement and left without dropping a tip. If there is a problem it's frequently cold food or undercooked food which isn't the servers fault...and often when this is brought up a manager will be informed and something on the bill is comped.

I'd like to have the option to select who I want to give the tip to or select percentages for each area. In the case where my chicken is undercooked or some other issue with the kitchen where the waiting staff deals with it efficiently I would want to ensure they get the bulk of the tip, some of it goes to the bartender, the dishwasher, etc but the cooks don't see a dime. Include a card with the bill where you fill in the amount of the tip and % for each area of the restaurant. If I don't fill anything in, the standard % gets paid out. To me this would show a restaurant manager where they need to focus their attention.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:36 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knalus View Post
They have a mandatory tip-out - the waitress is forced to pay the back (cooks, busboy's) a portion of the tip. I can understand the principal - they are a large part of what makes a tip happen. What I hate is the fact that the tip-out is a mandatory percentage of the bill, not a percentage of the received tip. This is just wrong, and should be an illegal business practice in my book.
I thanked your post as it was well thought out, but a couple of points I'd like to add:

- Making tipping out illegal; who is to say that the server is allowed to keep the tip? A tip is essentially a customer saying "let me pay more." What you are saying is it is automatic that it belongs to the server. What BPs would be saying to their servers is this: the tip belongs to all of the staff. Having an X percent tip out ensures the people don't have to keep track of their total tips.

- What I like is with a place like that; if the server does a bad job she knows it's not a matter of her not making as much; she might lose more. If she knows by doing 1/2 a job she will get 12% tips on the night, but busting her butt she gets 17% (on average of course), she might not bother one night. But once she loses say 5% off the top, that takes her cut even further without the kitchen staff having to suffer.

I'm not saying it's the best policy, but I do understand the thinking behind it.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:39 PM   #49
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I picked yes. But its more of: it really wouldn't bother me, and I could care less either way.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:40 PM   #50
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Question for the OP: What do the waiters/waitresses at your place think of the idea?

I was just out with a few people that work in restaurants for lunch and they hate the idea because it limits the amount they can make. If they can flirt with the men and give good service they are going to get way more than 14%.

I also tipped 25% to our server when I was just out. So I don't understand who would benefit from this automatic tipping except for people that have horrible people and service skills. And do you really want them working for you?
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:42 PM   #51
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Okay, thank you everyone for your feedback. So far this doesn't seem like a very popular idea, and a lot of people have some good reasons to not like it.

I'm not prepared to give out the name or location of the restaurant yet, as this policy hasn't been implemented and is still in the planning stage.

Here's some more information though:

1. Our service is almost always excellent. We are a small place and we have very, very good servers.

2. We are not a normal restaurant. No one else in the city does what we do. Considering that we are the only people who do what we do, would people be more or less willing to see automatic gratuities? Knowing that you can't simply go elsewhere and get anything similar to our food - would you feel trapped into paying the gratuity?

Also, I should mention that if people feel their service deserves more than our included gratuity, they would be welcome to tip more.

Ultimately our reasons for implementing this policy are as follows, in order of importance to us:

- We want the best servers working for us and we don't want our servers thinking about 'working for tips'. Guaranteed tips, we think, will take our servers minds off money and onto making our place a fabulous one to visit.

- We want to make things easier for the customers.

-We want feedback.

Last edited by driveway; 03-09-2009 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:44 PM   #52
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I find that people who have never worked in the industry have a much different view on tipping than people that have. A lot of things to consider, but I voted no.

Tips work just fine without a mandatory requirement from everybody. It all evens out for the servers in the end, and they make VERY good money in most places. If you have a server that isn't making money, maybe it's time to take a look at WHY they're not making tips. Guaranteed it's not the clientele.

If your customers aren't already tipping an average of 14%, then you're not in the type of restaurant that would survive a "mandatory tip" policy anyway.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:51 PM   #53
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Tips are built-in in Europe, and the service is terrible. The waiters have no incentive to do a good job.
I had awesome service while I was in Italy. Far better than I've received 95% of the time in Canada.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:54 PM   #54
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- We want the best servers working for us and we don't want our servers thinking about 'working for tips'. Guaranteed tips, we think, will take our servers minds off money and onto making our place a fabulous one to visit.
If you're good at what you do and have great people skills, working for tips should never be a thought. You will be rewarded regardless of wether a tip is manditory or not. IMO the only ones that think about working for tips are probably the ones not giving good service.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:59 PM   #55
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A bit off topic but the new Debit Card Machines have a button for 15% tip built in automatically as well. If you're lazy you can just click it when you pay! Obviously works for Credit Cards too, but you'd have to ask the server to click the button when running it through.

(And no this is not the screen saying "Tip Required." It is an actual button on the pad)
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #56
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A bit off topic but the new Debit Card Machines have a button for 15% tip built in automatically as well. If you're lazy you can just click it when you pay! Obviously works for Credit Cards too, but you'd have to ask the server to click the button when running it through.

(And no this is not the screen saying "Tip Required." It is an actual button on the pad)
I've only had this once and thought it was an excellent idea.
In fact, they brought the little wireless handheld thingie to my table when I was paying on credit so I could put my own tip on there or push their nifty 15% button easily while not having to worry about the math or doing something stupid like accidentally pocketing the wrong (or both) slips...

This, IMO, is the best system for tipping i've experienced.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #57
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If you're good at what you do and have great people skills, working for tips should never be a thought.
This is a nice thought, but isn't at all the reality of the serving industry.

A good server should make around $20 an hour, a great or fine-dining server should be making well over $40 and hour. I've worked in places where I can make $80+ an hour, easy. Yes, there are certain expectations when you're making that kind of money. You need to be a professional and really, really know what you're doing.

Now, the rule in restaurants is that servers are paid minimum wage. That's the way it is. So, when I'm a low-end server making 20/hr and more than half of that is going to come from tips, that's going to be on my mind, whether I want it to or not.

The more money you make, the more things you have to think about, so the tip gets pused further and further from your mind, but it's still there.


To respond to some other concerns:
- We don't tip-out the kitchen. Almost all places do this, but we pay our kitchen staff a living wage and let the servers keep all the tips, again in an effort to attract the best servers.

- 14% is almost always the size of the tip-pool compared to the gross sales at the end of the night. We pool our tips and then split it evenly between the servers.

-Our alcohol mark-up is minimal. We have amazing wines and we want people to drink them, not wish they could drink them.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:05 PM   #58
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Automatic gratuity on anything less then 8 people is what I would say... rude.

A tip is "To Insure Prompt Service". Making it automatic makes it part of the price and not a tip at all.

If you want to do this, just add 14% to your base price and hand that out to your service staff as gratuity. Don't treat the customer like a cheap jackass and expect them to come back a second time.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:08 PM   #59
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- 14% is almost always the size of the tip-pool compared to the gross sales at the end of the night. We pool our tips and then split it evenly between the servers.
My point exactly. It all works out to 14% in the end, because you get some customers that don't tip, and some that do.

So why would you piss off say 25% of your customer base and make them tip if the benefit to your servers is minimal.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:10 PM   #60
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My point exactly. It all works out to 14% in the end, because you get some customers that don't tip, and some that do.

So why would you piss off say 25% of your customer base and make them tip if the benefit to your servers is minimal.
Judging by the thread and the poll, you'd be pissing off a lot more than 25%. Closer to 90%
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