I'd say I tip 98% of the time and I don't tip when service is really bad. My tips rates are the average of what the expected tip percentages are at the time. So, a while back ago, that average was about 10%, now it is 15%.
Why do I tip? Because I can. And I understand that the servers are making poverty wages in the most expensive city to live in... Vancouver/Metro Vancouver area. In many cases these servers are also students. Having to study and work at the same time is tough as I found out personally during my schooling years. My thinking is that these tips I give are really my charity donations. Rather than give money to some charity organization and rely on them to distribute it as they see fit (sometimes a certain percentage of that goes to administration, AKA, executive compensation), I'd rather give the money directly to people myself. As I am Canadian, I help Canadians first. Recently, in the news, it was said that 48% of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency! That is a sad and sobering state of affairs and I'm sure lucky that I'm not in that situation. I cannot fathom the stress and worry that a sudden and unexpected turn of events, such as car maintenance, could put you into a sitation where you will not be able to cover your monthly expenses.
Good points...I don't think it's just the customary tips to servers in the hospitality sector that is the issue but it seems like tipping is more and more expected at every turn (tipping creep) that maybe what is becoming frustrating. As others here have stated, tips seem to be expected just about almost everywhere these days, ie: picking up a pizza, oil change services etc along with the traditional hotel services, hairdresser/barber, it just feels like it's expanding exponentially (a bit of a hyperbole I know), but sometimes it feels like that!
Here's what I think:
Free market is the best way to run any business. Therefore, customers should be free to tip generously or not at all (likely based on service, or on whatever value is being offered to the customer). Mandatory tips are ludicrous. Tips are a self-policing service that allows customers to "rate" their experience. If a server isn't making enough money, they should increase service or find another job. That's how a free market operates. If a facility isn't paying their staff well enough, they will end up with lower quality workers and lose customers because of it. Again, self-policing. So I'm all for discretionary tipping! And I have both tipped generously and left without tipping on various occasions.
Tipping someone to walk you to a table, take an order or deliver food is just jokes
IF you tip you tip because someone gave you good service
I just found the coolest restaurant in Toronto area (open over a year so yes late)
Showing just how simple the average waitresses job is, they have replaced them with ROBOTS
You meet a Robo Hostess who takes you to your table
You place your order with a Robo Waitress (plus bonus of interactive menu, pictures, etc on the screen)
And then your food gets delivered to your table via a Robo Waitress (only funny thing is they wait for a tap from you to let them know you have unloaded all your food, they stand there waiting otherwise)
Give taps not tips!
There was a great episode of the X-Files that was all about tech going wrong and ominous. It was in the last season of the rebooted version. Episode 215.
Well, well,well isn't this an interesting discussion and one from what I can tell has not had an actual server (that's what were called nowadays it's gender neutral.) Now you've got one and I will try to comment on the topics brought up. First of all pay as in minimum wage and in Vancouver B.C. servers get paid $12.70 per hour a$1.15 less than other minimum wage workers. Those who say we should just be working for the wage because we know what were getting into have perhaps forgotten a few things...i get paid the same amount as someone with no experience. We've all had that server or just a bad one. There is a significant amount of skill involved in serving and I am very good at my job. I can and have done every job in a restaurant...from bartender to chef to even an owner but serving is what is best for me. I can tell you how your food is prepared, advise on allergies or dietary needs, make almost any drink you can think of, explain vintages and pair wines to your meal. I've hat to clean messes in bathrooms and scrape gum from under tables. I remember regular customers orders and what like and and don't want...no onions or 3 limes with their diet coke even when they don't remember. I deal with rude or drunk or highly demanding customers with a smile on my face and make a snappy comment or some humour to change a customers mood and give them a laugh. I've done this thru the most horrifying of personal problems...like the death of 2 spouses and no one is the wiser. I treat everyone equally...the Hollywood superstar and the crazy cat lady get the same service from me. I've been doing this for over 30 years would you expect to be paid below the standard minimum wage 30 years into your career? That's how communism works everyone gets paid the same regardless of skill or talent or experience. Tipping gives you the ability to recognize and "reward" the person serving you for their abilities and hard work. So absolutely if you get bad service your tip should reflect that as does good or excellent service. I have tipped 1 penny but only once and it was a statement. The standard for good service is 15% and really....on the after tax amount. 18 to 20 % for very good and higher for excellent service. A reminder 95% of servers tip out....mandatory so if you tip nothing on a $100 bill I pay that amount out of my $12.70 an hour. Tip outs range from 2%-6% depending on several factors. Where I work that solely goes to the kitchen (but I know the owners are skimming a minimum of half of that) to subsidize kitchen labour costs...but that's another discussion. I pay out 4% just for the cook and the dishwasher to do their job. They are paid well dishwashers start at $17 plus tips and a free meal. All other positions that you would normally tip out for which is why it can 6% i do myself. So I am the server first...then hostess, bartender, barista, busser, take out order taker, cleaner and handle managerial duties as well as train inexperienced workers. Yes I occasionally forget something or mess up an order but unlike other jobs when they mess up they don't have their mistakes deducted from their wages. That 4% Is on my after tax sales...so if I work an average lunch a 4 hour shift....not all serving there's cleaning etc...involved and I sell $400 and average 10% in tips because all the cheap people out there came in I have to tip out $16. That leaves me with $24 or an extra $6 per hour. So I make $18.70 an hour and the dishwasher who gets an extra $2 Tip out on top of their $17 Is making $19 plus a free meal. There is no need to have experience don't have to speak the language can be as miserable as they want to be. They don't have to worry about allergic reactions or over serving liquor or dealing with an unhappy customer because the cook sent out the wrong order for delivery. Cooks and back of house staff get their wages and tips regardless of their job performance but servers can directly suffer in the pocketbook despite their job performance if you choose to tip poorly or not at all despite getting good service. I've had meals in many countries and by far the worst service I've gotten is places where the wage is higher, the prices higher and the gratuity included and mandatory. There is no incentive to give good service.
Posting cut off....now I must remember the rest of this post.
In conclusion: the next time you are paying your bill and give a tip (to insure prompt service-TIPS).
Consider how long you have worked at your profession. I've been doing mine for over 30 years. Do you deserve only $12.70 an hour. Do you have a college or university degree...i do just not in customer service or hospitality. Are you a red seal/journeyman at your trade? I certainly fit in that category. Tipping is not a city in China but yes it is entirely voluntary. Should salespeople be denied their commissions and only work for their base pay? Trust me servers have great memories for good tippers and bad tippers. While I give everyone the same service per se I will go out of my way to save your favourite special, squeeze in your reservation, return a forgotten item when you're a good customer but if your cheap I'm not going out of my way to help you out. You'll still get good service and a pleasant smile and a thank you when you walk out the door. Just remember this...like public mobile if you demand and expect customer service you have to pay a lot more for it. If your happy to do most of the work yourself to save money you get up a little earlier and brown bag your lunch or eat at the cafeteria. It's your choice: Telus, Koodo or Public Mobile?