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Casually Explained: Tipping

Casually Explained: Tipping


Tipping is the practice of customers
voluntarily leaving additional payment at a restaurant or for a service as a way of appreciating
someone doing a great job. The waiter or waitress is particularly
attentive, thoughtful, and has genuinely made
your experience more memorable. It can be nice to give them
a few extra bucks for their effort. And for solid, but not outstanding, service, it’s both nice and convenient
to at least round up the bill. At least that’s how it works
in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France, the rest of Europe,
Japan, India, Asia in general, Latin America,
Africa (if they had extra money), and pretty much every country
in the world. There’s one notable exception, the United States of America. And one less notable exception,
Canada. Because here in North America, not only do we tip
on just about everything, in a restaurant, it’s standard
to tip 15 to 20 percent– unless the food
literally kills you, in which case, you would put 14%
in your will to make a statement. And a big reason for
our tipping culture is because of how much
wait staff are paid, which is often below minimum wage. The idea being that when you
combine tips with their pay, it will be above minimum wage. And if it’s not by the end
of the month, then the restaurant
will make up the difference. So ultimately you end up
with a game of chicken whereby a restaurant says, “We’re gonna underpay our staff
because the customer will make up for it.” And the customer says, “if we don’t make up for it, the restaurant
will have to stop underpaying their staff.” This is of course the reason
why I always tip zero percent, because I’m not a coward. But it doesn’t stop there, because, well, pretty much everyone knows
that you should tip 15 to 20% at restaurants, bars,
taxis, and at the hairdresser. There are situations
that get niche enough that none of us even know
what you’re expected to tip. Movers, I don’t know.
Cleaning lady, I don’t know. Grocery delivery, I don’t know.
Massage therapists, I don’t know… depends what ending you want :~) Even the other day I was getting
some furniture delivered and so I googled if you’re supposed
to tip the delivery guys and one person said,
“they assemble it, I’ll tip them “But if they just drop
it all off at my place, “then I’ll just give them
a six-pack of beer or something.” So now, not only do we have to
worry about how much to tip people, we’ve actually completely regressed
to the barter system. One of the strange things
I find about tipping is that it’s almost always done
as a percentage. Meaning that, oftentimes,
you’re not even paying for better service, you’re paying more as a function
of how expensive your food is. If you come in and buy $100 bottle of wine
and leave a $5 tip that would be considered
being a bit cheap. But, if me and my friends
go into the same restaurant, order two happy hour house wines,
minutes before happy hour’s over, and sip on them until
late night happy hour starts again, when we tip five dollars, that’s like
twice as much as our entire bill. So to the untrained eye
we seem generous, even though we’re actually bankrupting
Cactus Club from the inside out. Now, given the fact that tipping
is so prevalent in North America, there must be some logic behind it. And while one reason in restaurants
is that it leads to lower menu prices, giving the illusion of a better deal, the argument for tips being
a big part of servers income is that, by having a large percentage
of their wage coming from tips, it incentivizes them
to do a better job. This is of course why it was
such a shocker when George Washington
went with the constitution and not the iron backbone
of the restaurant model. What frustrates me even more
is that in Canada if we pay by card
we’re immediately prompted to tip either 15, 20, or 25 percent
by the machine– and that tip is on top of tax. So not only do you panic
trying to figure out if you’re supposed to tip
when you’re just getting takeout coffee, if you don’t have the balls
to press other tip and manually enter zero percent, the government then
charges you interest for being polite
and conflict avoidant, the very base values on which
all of Canada was founded. Using this tipping logic as part
of my own personal protest, when I do my taxes each year,
I like to overestimate by 15% and then say keep the change. Just kidding, obviously; I don’t declare my income tax. And while we have to
deal with confrontations, something us Canadians
are not good at, the worst part of
non electronic tipping in America is that it requires you to do
basic mental arithmetic, something I thought had
been abolished years ago. And while you might think
that you’re good at simple multiplication
and division, the moment you have
the spotlight on you you’ll realize that you might as well
be doing matrix algebra, because not only
do you have NA education, it’s also been three months
since your last Amazon delivery and you’ve forgotten
how to hold a pen. Now the ultimate question is what do we do about the whole
tipping situation in North America? Do we discourage tipping and pay employees
a reasonable living wage and then let the
small business landscape settle at a new equilibrium
like every other country? Most certainly yes, But that would be quite difficult. And in the grand scheme of things we have much more serious issues
to worry about than tipping in restaurants. For example, take a look
at student loans. Here, that’s at least $10,000 a year
for school and another $1,500 for textbooks. That means you’re literally
tipping 15% to your professors so they can find a new stock photo
for last year’s material Or did you know that in almost all
first world countries you have serious medical expenses
paid for by the government, but in America,
not only do you have to pay for potentially life-saving surgery, the surgeon is legally allowed
to keep 15% of your appendix for his collection. Ultimately though, while North America
might be a little behind when it comes to tipping practices, we can be grateful it’s not the worst. Take China for example: where as a newly married couple you’re given a punch card
after your ceremony, and then for every
three kids you have, the government gets to take one.

100 comments on “Casually Explained: Tipping

  1. Act it's considered rude to give tips in Japan it's like going to the waiter or waitress and saying you look poor and I believe you don't make enough money to care for yourself if family here's money "

  2. me: tips 0% because there's a legal requirement for these fuckers to pay minimum wage plus lol you think i can afford to tip i'm a student

  3. Flashback to the first time I found out tipping was mandatory and the face I imagine I made. Luckily, my waiter was a Cuban girl so she understood my shock and didn't take it as an offense. Can't believe some people get offended. Like chill out, it's called cultural shock, maybe leave your country once in a while and don't be so rude at foreigners

  4. I worked at a takeout place in toronto and people were always asking me how to skip the tipping option but i was just like yeah that’s fair bc i dont get the tips anyways 🙁

  5. In New Zealand we DO NOT tip. in some tourist destinations they may have a tipping jar, but otherwise I was really confused when you mentioned us in the list of countries that tip.

  6. Auto Parts Stores: If the employee goes outside and works on your car, even if its replacing a headlight bulb, battery wiper blades or installing your new license plates, etc. you should tip them, and you should tip them on how much time it takes them.

    0-3Min – $5
    3-7Min – $5-$10
    *7-10Min – $10 Excluding Batteries
    10-15Min – $10-$15
    15-30Min – $20-$35
    30-45Min – $40
    45Min+ $50 Minimum, if they did a lot, you should ask them if they want to charge you labor.

  7. we don't tend to tip in australia unless there's a tip jar, we have fair payment (at least unless you're in that one restaurant that famous guy works at). i genuinely thought it was just an american thing

  8. A meal that costs $12 in the US costs $20 in Europe. I don’t mind giving the waiter $3-5 tip for it. Personally I live off tips. It’s tax free cash that gets added to my hourly pay. People that don’t tip at sit down restaurants, bars, or bellmen really are hurting the workers and obviously have never worked for tips.

  9. In Italy we tip rarely and only if the service was REALLY good or if you feel like it.
    I can't even remember when was the last time i tipped here in Italy tbh

  10. If I don't like the food, or the service, I have the right to not tip, RIGHT??? Tipping is become such a norm that it's ridiculous. I once ate at a restaurant and the bill was like $11. Gave the guy a $20, and 3x $1 dollar bills. I obviously wanted to give a tip, and keep a $10 bill, not wanting them to give me 9x $1 dollar bills in change. I waited and waited, and waited… then I asked, where is my change? I've waited for a long time. The guy simply thought I'd give him $12 in tips for a $11 meal.

  11. That's why I got dirty looks when I went to America I was so confused, I still don't wanna tip tho

  12. The thing about tipping is that it lowers unemployment. If the restaurant is paying their workers less then they’re able to hire more people.

  13. "It incentivizes them to do a better job."
    Your incentive is to stay employed! If they can't/won't do their best they should be fired.

  14. i didn’t about this. so, north Americans shouldn’t be bragging about their tips when they’re literally underpaying their employees. weird.

  15. As a consumer i hate tipping. As a delivery driver i love it, id much rather keep making a lower wage and get tips, than not get tipped and get more in my pay check.

  16. I live in Aus and I don't recall ever being expected to tip. You could if you wanted to but fuck that – prices are high enough

  17. I live in Canada and that is absolutely right. In a Montreal steakhouse the bill gets salty very quickly because of the tip. Sometimes you end up paying 150$-200$ only in tips on a 1K$ bill just to be granted the possibility to eat orgasmic steaks and drink superb wines again at this place, let alone not being shot or beaten with a rubber hose in the backstreet because you are cheap enough to just give a hundred. After 15% taxes.

  18. One thing to remember about tipped work in America, most of the jobs that are tipped would not be worth working at minimum wage. They are high stress jobs that require a higher level of effort then your average minimum wage job. Think waiting 20 minutes for your food is bad? Try an hour if you had servers working at a minimum wage level output. Not to mention companies would be chronically short of workers because the turnover would be insane. So companies would have to raise their prices so they could pay more in wages. So it would even out.

    Which leads me to believe the reason tipping is big in America is because Americans hate taxes. Tipping is a way for both the company to dodge payroll taxes. While the worker is required to report tipped income to the IRS, hey, there is no paper trail and no proof. So effectively impossible to enforce. It is shitty that the law breaking part is foisted on the worker, and the company gets to avoid taxes scott free.

  19. Tips (to insure prompt service)
    I have the beauty of seeing if the customer tipped because they pay up front… I can tell you this, if they didn't, they aren't gonna get prompt service. The ones that do have a better all around experience, like not having to wait 10 mins to get a coffee refill. I also guarentee that the +20%ers are walking out the door with "free" cookies, pastries, smoothies ect…
    But of course, I'm in a special predicament, getting paid up front…

  20. If your a foreigner to the US here, just tip us in your home currency… nothin like a 5000 Ugandan bill to make us feel special, & to squash out the stereotype that foreigners are cheapasses & ungrateful….
    See, it's a win win!!!

  21. Tip self working people like taxis or haircuts they only make money off you. No one will pay them but at a restaurant they get paid

  22. Fyi server minimum wage in the US is $2.13, and after taxes (most of the time) you get a $0 paycheck. So for a lot of servers their entire wage is based off of what people decide to tip them. This has been my PSA on please tip your servers in the US

  23. Fuck percentages. I generally tip $2- $5 on a regular meal (like Denny's or pizza), or for housekeepers at motels, $1 per drink at a bar, and $10-$20 for an expensive meal depending how much it costs.

  24. There are restaurants in the US that do pay at least a minimum wage and don't allow tipping. It's nice not having to toss some extra cash.

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