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Subject: Tipping at restaurants makes whores and johns of us all? rss

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Xander Fulton
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Interesting article on a business owner who ran a 'no tips' restaurant, specifically commenting on some of the negative reactions

As a slightly longer 'tl;dr' than the stylized headline I ran with...

Quote:
I saw that, in a tipless environment our female servers had the potential to be perceived as whole persons. From that, it was easy to see that in a tipping environment, we push the job of waitressing into a realm that nestles alongside stripping and prostitution; a realm where any sexuality the woman shows is assumed to be solely because she wants to get paid.
...
Tipping, as we use it in America, allows our culture perpetuate the meme that women aren’t themselves sexual, but only pretend to like sex in order to make money — because a woman who isn’t sexual would never cuckold her man.

I’ve come to believe that propping up this meme is the more important role of tipping; and the suggestion that tips insure better service is just a ruse, misdirection.


...but the article is certainly worth a read, it's not THAT long, and quite interesting.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I just hate the custom of mandatory tipping because A) I don't like being told who to tip, that's my business and B) What makes the restaurant business so special that they get to make tipping mandatory where other service industries do not and C) I don't think it's fair to give me a guilt trip because their employer is too cheap to pay them a full wage.

Then you have situations where they expect tips for absolutely nothing, like at cafes where you order your food at the counter, serve your own drink, and bus your own table afterwards. I refuse to tip in those situations. I generally allow myself to be bullied into tipping the rest of the time.
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They call me....
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To quote one of your more recent utterings, "bully for you."
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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MisterCranky wrote:
To quote one of your more recent utterings, "bully for you."


There's a little something for your trouble.
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Pete Goch
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ejmowrer wrote:
I just hate the custom of mandatory tipping because A) I don't like being told who to tip, that's my business and B) What makes the restaurant business so special that they get to make tipping mandatory where other service industries do not and


Any occupation where tipping is assumed to form a large portion of the worker's income - typically we're talking about wait staff - can, by law, be paid as little as half minimum wage.

I just figure in a 20% tip as part of the cost of eating out at a restaurant.
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ejmowrer wrote:
MisterCranky wrote:
To quote one of your more recent utterings, "bully for you."


There's a little something for your trouble.


How were you able to tip 0.00 geekgold? That'a a neat trick.

Darilian
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いい竹やぶだ!

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Darilian wrote:

How were you able to tip 0.00 geekgold? That'a a neat trick.
Darilian

Tip "Other Amount" and enter 0.001 .
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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robigo wrote:
Darilian wrote:

How were you able to tip 0.00 geekgold? That'a a neat trick.
Darilian

Tip "Other Amount" and enter 0.001 .

You have released the ultra-cheap bastards.
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Blorb Plorbst
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robigo wrote:
Darilian wrote:

How were you able to tip 0.00 geekgold? That'a a neat trick.
Darilian

Tip "Other Amount" and enter 0.001 .


That is a good trick. And an excellent replacement for the "thumbs down".
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
I just hate the custom of mandatory tipping because A) I don't like being told who to tip, that's my business and B) What makes the restaurant business so special that they get to make tipping mandatory where other service industries do not and


Any occupation where tipping is assumed to form a large portion of the worker's income - typically we're talking about wait staff - can, by law, be paid as little as half minimum wage.


Which is just completely asinine. You hired a person. You pay them. You give me a service. I pay you for the service. I don't pay your employees for you. It's not my responsibility, it's yours.

The thought process that allowed this to happen pisses me off to no end. This is why I allow myself to be bullied into tipping, but I don't have to like it.
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Pete Goch
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ejmowrer wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
I just hate the custom of mandatory tipping because A) I don't like being told who to tip, that's my business and B) What makes the restaurant business so special that they get to make tipping mandatory where other service industries do not and


Any occupation where tipping is assumed to form a large portion of the worker's income - typically we're talking about wait staff - can, by law, be paid as little as half minimum wage.


Which is just completely asinine. You hired a person. You pay them. You give me a service. I pay you for the service. I don't pay your employees for you. It's not my responsibility, it's yours.

The thought process that allowed this to happen pisses me off to no end. This is why I allow myself to be bullied into tipping, but I don't have to like it.


So you'd be fine with restaurants raising prices 20% across the board to be able to pay their wait staff the difference?
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Darilian wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
MisterCranky wrote:
To quote one of your more recent utterings, "bully for you."


There's a little something for your trouble.


How were you able to tip 0.00 geekgold? That'a a neat trick.

Darilian


I discovered that trick here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/13195173#13195173
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
I just hate the custom of mandatory tipping because A) I don't like being told who to tip, that's my business and B) What makes the restaurant business so special that they get to make tipping mandatory where other service industries do not and


Any occupation where tipping is assumed to form a large portion of the worker's income - typically we're talking about wait staff - can, by law, be paid as little as half minimum wage.


Which is just completely asinine. You hired a person. You pay them. You give me a service. I pay you for the service. I don't pay your employees for you. It's not my responsibility, it's yours.

The thought process that allowed this to happen pisses me off to no end. This is why I allow myself to be bullied into tipping, but I don't have to like it.


So you'd be fine with restaurants raising prices 20% across the board to be able to pay their wait staff the difference?


Yes, of course! Then I don't have to play games with the bill and I can tip whatever I want, when I want. Most of the time, that would be zero, BTW (only given that they're getting paid a full wage now). Do you know how sick I am of calculating 15% in my head?
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Pete Goch
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ejmowrer wrote:


Yes, of course! Then I don't have to play games with the bill and I can tip whatever I want, when I want. Most of the time, that would be zero, BTW (only given that they're getting paid a full wage now). Do you know how sick I am of calculating 15% in my head?


What? 10% plus half again. How hard is that?

C'mon man, you play board games you should be able to do basic math like that in your sleep

Seriously, though, as awkward as it can be to have an "employee" every time you go out to eat at a restaurant I think many people would balk at the sudden change in menu prices if we changed the system so to speak. A kind of sticker shock if you will even if the overall prices still comes out the same.

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Xander Fulton
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ejmowrer wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
I just hate the custom of mandatory tipping because A) I don't like being told who to tip, that's my business and B) What makes the restaurant business so special that they get to make tipping mandatory where other service industries do not and


Any occupation where tipping is assumed to form a large portion of the worker's income - typically we're talking about wait staff - can, by law, be paid as little as half minimum wage.


Which is just completely asinine. You hired a person. You pay them. You give me a service. I pay you for the service. I don't pay your employees for you. It's not my responsibility, it's yours.

The thought process that allowed this to happen pisses me off to no end. This is why I allow myself to be bullied into tipping, but I don't have to like it.


So you'd be fine with restaurants raising prices 20% across the board to be able to pay their wait staff the difference?


Yes, of course! Then I don't have to play games with the bill and I can tip whatever I want, when I want. Most of the time, that would be zero, BTW (only given that they're getting paid a full wage now). Do you know how sick I am of calculating 15% in my head?


Although, as that article notes (the restauranteur who did exactly that), while you may be okay with it - they DID get a lot of complaints from people who were NOT okay with it, as they felt betrayed by the lack of control.

He noted a few ways that manifest - from the "middle-age-white-guy" who didn't like the loss of a feeling of power over the 20/30-something-females waiting tables, to the food critic who complained about the inability to directly punish waitstaff for poor service (rather than taking the more logical approach, that every other industry and occupation everywhere uses, of letting the manager know and deal with it).

IMHO, I'm with you, though - I find the whole master/servant dance ludicrous. I'd be perfectly happy with an 18% 'service charge' added to every bill (which is the number he was using), and let things stand like that. If service is unbelievably good - let the manager know. If it's bad - let the manager know. I have no interest in personally evaluating the service of everyone on his staff - it's not my restaurant, and it's not my job. (And I think a system where people get better or worse service based on their humanity in interacting with waitstaff, rather than how much money they throw around, is a better system anyway)
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Xander Fulton
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Koldfoot wrote:
Not.

What it is is a load of crap from a self absorbed pig who assumes A) all men are as self absorbed as he is and B) his personal shortcomings can be absolved if he spouts the crazy-leftist-feminist nonsense about human nature and the reality of human relations within society.



Ah, right, of course - because the whole "tipping" model has nothing remotely power/control to it at all, and it's really just about getting the 'better service' you would surely get if they 'have to work harder for their pay' each time.

Because research on that matter TOTALLY supports that dated theory. (Spoiler warning: no, it doesn't!)
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Gary Tanner
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I've never thought of a waitress as being a sexy person, nor fantasized about them. Maybe it's because in most restaurants I go to, they're not. I'd pay to get out of having sex with them, if that were a necessity.

Tipping, for me, is something I do for good service. It's not a power thing, a flirting thing, or a sexual thing. I don't care about the wage the poor waitress is supposedly making, I care about whether or not my needs are met when I go out to eat. When I hear about how wait staff are paid half min wage or some such, I laugh. The majority of wait staff I know (and I know quite a lot, from family, and from being in accounting in a corporation that runs 3 restaurants) make far, far, far more than I do. Hourly, they're usually bringing in 2-3 times my income (often without reporting and paying taxes on it), and providing mediocre service. But because people are convinced they're cheating the wait staff out of a living if they don't tip high, they fall for it.

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ejmowrer wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
I just hate the custom of mandatory tipping because A) I don't like being told who to tip, that's my business and B) What makes the restaurant business so special that they get to make tipping mandatory where other service industries do not and


Any occupation where tipping is assumed to form a large portion of the worker's income - typically we're talking about wait staff - can, by law, be paid as little as half minimum wage.


Which is just completely asinine. You hired a person. You pay them. You give me a service. I pay you for the service. I don't pay your employees for you. It's not my responsibility, it's yours.

The thought process that allowed this to happen pisses me off to no end. This is why I allow myself to be bullied into tipping, but I don't have to like it.


So you'd be fine with restaurants raising prices 20% across the board to be able to pay their wait staff the difference?


Yes, of course! Then I don't have to play games with the bill and I can tip whatever I want, when I want. Most of the time, that would be zero, BTW (only given that they're getting paid a full wage now). Do you know how sick I am of calculating 15% in my head?


I agree but in the meantime I'll look down my nose at people that undertip. Collecting a $2 per hour wage sucked, when you got idiots running out on the bill. It's amusing if you go read stories about stories raising the minimum wage in cities and the effect on restaurants. They are more concerned about the dishwashers than the wait staff. The sky is falling! We don't pay half of our staff a working wage, but it's horrible!
 
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Xander Fulton
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MilesF wrote:
Tipping, for me, is something I do for good service.


So you'd be surprised, then, to read the above statistics which point out that whether a waitress provides good service or not does not make a significant impact in the tips they receive (the article notes it is generally 1-5% of the impact on tips) so much as other things they do?

I mean, sure, everyone SAYS they tip based on service, but when you actually go to measure that impact, it turns out to not be the case. More consistent increases in tips are had by large smiles, physical contact with the customers (touching their arms, etc), or even wearing a flower in their hair (17% improvement in tips for wearing a flower in their hair!)

MilesF wrote:
When I hear about how wait staff are paid half min wage or some such, I laugh.


Beeeecause...you don't get around much? Wait staff say they are paid half min wage because they are paid half min wage (in most states, anyway) outside of their tips.
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Gary Tanner
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Nope, wouldn't be surprised that someone could take that view. It's not accurate, mind you, but I can see that for some people it is.

I tip on service. That's just the way I am. A big smile doesn't do much for me. A waitress touching me is probably going to get less of a tip (I didn't ask her to invade my personal space), if she's efficient, she'll get a tip.

As to them making less, yes, they do typically (not always) get paid less than min wage. I never said they didn't. But that doesn't include the tips. With the tips, they make a hell of a lot more than I do, and I'm fairly well paid.

If a person can leave their job making $50 in wages, and $100-200 in tips for an 8 hour shift, I'm not feeling sorry for them.
 
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Many of the things he recommends in his article to boost tips are things that will actively make me want to tip less.

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Also, I think his methodology has a lot to be desired - but I need to track down his original articles to say for certain.
 
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Xander Fulton
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MilesF wrote:
Nope, wouldn't be surprised that someone could take that view. It's not accurate, mind you, but I can see that for some people it is.


The point is that it isn't "for some people", the data was collected from thousands of experiences over dozens of restaurants in the US and a few other countries.
 
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XanderF wrote:
MilesF wrote:
Nope, wouldn't be surprised that someone could take that view. It's not accurate, mind you, but I can see that for some people it is.


The point is that it isn't "for some people", the data was collected from thousands of experiences over dozens of restaurants in the US and a few other countries.


Yes, that is exactly the point -- for some people. Basic statistics and all that.
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Yep. I have simple expectations.

When I sit down, come to the table. Don't stand around talking with your friends and ignoring the fact that you have a customer for 5-10 minutes.

Be polite. You don't have to kiss my butt, just have basic manners. Remember that a person usually goes out to eat for the experience, and you're part of making that experience a good one. You're the face of the company.

Ask me if I'd like something to drink. Then bring it to the table in a reasonable amount of time. If I have to sit for 15 minutes in an empty restaurant to get something to drink, it's not going to make me happy.

Take my order (if I'm with a lady or someone older than me, be sure to take theirs first).

Bring my food.

Come by one time shortly after the start of the meal to ask if everything is okay.

If you see my drink is empty, ask if I'd like a refill.

Wait until I'm done or nearly done, then ask if I want anything else. If not, leave the check.

Simple.

I don't want to be flirted with. I don't want to be touched. I don't want to be ignored. I don't want to be seen as an inconvenience. A customer is the reason you have a job, in any industry.

If you're male, female, young, old, disabled, doesn't matter to me. Just provide standard service and I'll provide a standard tip.

Some don'ts:

Don't push me out of the restaurant. If I've taken 2 bites, don't ask me if I want a box. Don't gripe to me about your co-workers. Don't tell me how much you hate your boss. Don't ignore me, then get ticked off if I don't tip as much as you want.

Again, simple.

The flirting, touching, dressing up, leaning over to show cleavage, all that stuff, save it for someone else. It's not going to get you an extra penny from me.
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