Give me some tips on tips

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by sureshs, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I got back from Honolulu after staying at an upscale "village." The buffet breakfast starting at 5:30 am was the only option for those planning activities in the morning. It came to be more than $83 for the three of us (every morning).

    Now, I had anticipated this beforehand, and decided I will not leave my customary 15% tip (which I calculate after all taxes are already added, so it is more like 18% I think). For the first two days, I left only a $6 tip, figuring that $2 per head was more than enough for someone who just fetches coffee. I used to plan it in such a way that I would not make eye contact with the waiter/waitress, and then my family was instructed to quickly march out of the place as soon as we got up from the table. Idea was that I would be thought of as an eccentric man, and in any case, probably a new waiter will be around the next morning.

    However, from the third day, the waiter/waitresses were extra friendly. I mean, just keep the coffee in a machine somewhere and we could get it ourselves. Instead of that, they tried to chat us up, kept asking a dozen times if we wanted more coffee, etc. So I ended up upping the tip to $10, but still avoiding eye contact and running out after eating.

    What is the proper tip amount in such a situation? Remember that there was no room service at that time (and it would be the same cost or more if it was) and so the hotel was basically holding us to ransom. Also, the net cost of what we ate was probably less than a third of what we paid for.
     
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  2. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    What is the proper tip in a hotel restaurant?? You answered it yourself -- the "customary 15% tip" (some would say 15-20) applies here. What's the mystery? You describe the place as upscale, so upscale prices are to be expected. Your odd instructions to your family (I imagine that can't have made them very comfortable going to breakfast) indicate you yourself felt you were leaving too little.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Well, my 15% is based on the final amount after taxes, so it is more than the 15% of those who calculate it on the base amount.

    The issue here is why should I tip more than a nominal amount if it is not full service? I don't tip at fast food places, even though I sit down and eat there, and the workers pack the stuff and put it on a tray for me. Why should I tip the regular percentage if only coffee service is provided?
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think of it as exploitation. There were cheaper places inside the "village" for lunch and dinner, along with the expensive ones, because the hotel knows that people will go out if there are no cheaper options, and then that means the fancy shops and the expensive restaurants could all suffer. They have calculated that breakfast is a captive audience for those going on travel tours, catching flights out, etc. and jacked up the prices. Almost $30 per head (including taxes) is just not justifiable. I don't see why I should just bend over and be exploited.
     
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  5. Douggo

    Douggo Semi-Pro

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    If they just get you coffee, tip on the cost of the coffee.

    Okay, probably not really. Anybody know if servers share tips with cooking staff?
     
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  6. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    My wife can teach you how to make those buffet breakfasts count --- grab a bunch of rolls and a variety of cheeses, roll it up in a napkin, now you've got lunch as well!!
     
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    We usually skipped lunch or had it as part of a packaged tour or had very little. That is the way we made breakfast count.
     
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  8. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    No offense, but your first post makes you sound like a pretty weird dude.

    My rule of thumb: leave what you think it fair. That will vary tremendously from person to person. In the situation you describe above, I would have left 20% on the total cost of the bill. I'm not saying that's what you should have done, just giving you a data point.
     
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  9. PureAlph4

    PureAlph4 Semi-Pro

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    Scares the life out of me just thinking about the range of considerations involved in a tip-based service sector!

    Having said that, the fact that the whole restaurant industry in the UK seems to have adopted the 'already included, but notionally optional' tip (usually 12.5%+) to their bills, as well as then leaving space for unsuspecting punters to tip further ('Add gratuity?' etc on Chip & Pin machines when paying), is in many ways worse.

    It's a difficult balance: either being able to punish sub-standard service at every opportunity, but only by creating a complex, sometimes pressurised environment (i.e US); or, being within a system where probably only the worst incidences of sub-standard service are punished, but which largely excludes a situation where public judgments are being made by every actor at every turn (i.e UK, most of Europe, Japan).

    The 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Christmas tip episode is great, though!
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Um . . .

    It is a resort. Everything is wildly expensive and overpriced. That is no excuse to nickel and dime the staff.

    If you do not wish to be ripped off or cannot afford it, do not stay in a resort. If you choose to stay there, you need to follow all of the tipping conventions. At the buffet breakfast, I would tip 10-15% on the entire bill.

    Cindy -- who doesn't do resort vacations
     
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  11. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    :mrgreen: No words. I had so much fun reading this. If you really did this, I wish I was a fly on the wall to see the act every morning. :)

    Agree with that.
     
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  12. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    what kind of vacation do you do? (a serious question, just interested in options)

    btw - a while, while back you had a thread on how few girls were going on a trip, rented a car, than somehow one needed to go one way, the rest another way - and there was a question on how to split the rental charges. How did that end?
     
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  13. President

    President Legend

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    Don't go to an expensive resort and eat an expensive breakfast if you cannot tip the servers. This thread is embarrassing..:oops:
     
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  14. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. Look up how little servers get paid on an hourly basis. You'll feel pretty sheepish for cheaping out on them
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    When I go on vacation, I like to rent a house or apartment or something and live more like the locals. When that isn't practical, I like a cheap, safe hotel room. I am one of those people who launch themselves out of bed while on vacation and run themselves ragged exploring. As I am only in my hotel room long enough to change and shower, I don't wish to pay for resort features I won't use.

    I don't do beaches and fancy pools and lying in the sun, so I rarely choose beach/island vacations where you find most resorts.

    Ah, you remember my trip to IW for the BNP Paribas Open. :) All went well. The one with the rental car drove herself around, and the rest of us took a cab. No drama, thank goodness.

    We are all going again (although not one of us can afford it!). We just couldn't say no because it was such a blast last time.
     
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  16. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    You remind me of my aunt,who does the same..:)
     
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  17. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    Here you can get a whole lunch for 15$,difference in standard of living i Guess..
     
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  18. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    I didn't know it was a trip to IW for the BNP Paribas Open. I'm talking about this thread here:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=362905
    so you are saying she did not give you guys a free ride to the airport?
     
    #18
  19. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

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    Noob.

    $10Tips
     
    #19
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Here you can get a whole lunch for under $5
     
    #20
  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    When? I will be there for the opening weekend. I can waive my appearance fees and spend some time on the courts with you.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah years of being exploited have made me like this.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Correct. We just shared cabs. I can't remember why; there must have been some conflict where she left early or something.
     
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  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I go for M/T/W, so I won't be there opening weekend.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Trying to be cheap? You unsubscribed from Tennis Channel to save $15, and now there is a thread in the Pro section asking whether the channel is in financial trouble. Soon, IW will be gone if you keep on saving money by not going on weekends.
     
    #25
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    #26
  27. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    They knew what to expect when they saw you suresh. Don't sweat it:)
     
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  28. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    whoa nelly. can o' worms
     
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  29. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    My tips on tips:

    The often mentioned 15% is a great staring point for full table service at a moderate restaurant. I do 20% but that is a personal preference as we are usually repeat customers/regulars.

    For buffet service move down a click (Cindy mentioned: 10-15%)

    For inexpensive restaurants move up a click, to compensate for the fact that it takes similar effort to serve underpriced as overpriced food, say 20%.

    Keep in mind the percenatge is for the price of the food (not taxes etc)

    Also keep in mind for many places the tip is included (usually 18%) if your party is 6 or larger, that is: don't double tip.

    Lastly, why would anyone stiff people who handle your food, behind closed doors? (You probably don't want to know what you have put in your mouth over the years... eew...)
     
    #29
  30. Janne

    Janne Semi-Pro

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    So true! Wouldn't want this to happen to you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-F5IPl1WOU

    I'm glad we don't have the tipping system here. Seems awfully annoying.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    #30
  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OK, 10/80 = 12.5% (last few days), 6/80 = 7.5% (first few days), average is 10% exactly!

    So I have met (but not exceeded) Cindy's standards for buffet. The joke is on you guys now.

    Re: stiffing the waiters: they brought only coffee from a common pot they carried around, it was a buffet. Unless they took it out on everybody, no fear there :)
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah it seems they knew to expect an average 10% tip, like Cindy recommended
     
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  33. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Cleavage typically is a factor to be 100% honest
     
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  34. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Wow, people tip 20% on the total bill???

    I always tip 15% on the pre-tax bill, regardless of poor/good service.

    When we dine at Hometown buffet or chinese buffet (all you can eat), we leave $1 per person.
     
    #34
  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    When we dine at Soup Plantation, I don't leave any tip.

    But by now you must have guessed that about me.
     
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  36. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    It's alright. Even Pistol Pete didn't leave a tip, according to Agassi :) .
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Me and Pete have that in common (or is it Pete and I, Cindy?) and also the serve.
     
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  38. TahoeTennis

    TahoeTennis Professional

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    Don't be cheap,
    good karma = tip big

    I've been in the service industry for a long time (waiter/manager/bartender) and it's good to always tip huge, like 20-25% (if the service is good or great)
     
    #38
  39. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    $83 for breakfast for 3?

    Unless they are spoon feeding you lobster that was raised on kobe beef, why would you voluntarily fork over that much for breakfast and then worry about the tip?

    Denny's is open at 5:30am go there or the local diner. The eggs, pancakes, toast and coffee are the same and the prices aren't obscene.
     
    #39
  40. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    PS was sort of notorious for not carrying cash. I read an article some years back by a writer who met him for breakfast once in Tampa. It was at a franchise, a pancake place, Waffle House? After Pete finished, he had to go out to his car to look for spare change to pay the bill.

    Found the article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/26/s...t-like-maple-syrup.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    On the old TT board, pre-2004, there was a guy who claimed to work as a concierge at a resort where PS stayed one weekend in the 1990's. PS knew no one in town so he asked the concierge to show him around. The guy spent his whole weekend driving PS around and catering to his whims. On Monday morning when PS checked out, he gave the concierge like $5 for a tip.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    #40
  41. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Like some others here, I avoid packaged deals, so hardly an informed opinion here. I suppose the easiest thing is to leave the customary tip (I suppose 15% rounded up) and then there is nothing to deal with.

    Then again, if you want to explore the issue and make a statement, I see nothing wrong with doing what you did ($6). In that case though I see no reason to avoid eyecontact with the waitstaff. If you choose to make an issue out of the charges and tipping, you might as well stand by your decision.

    On a different note, does anyone have fresh opinions to offer on the New Jersey gas stations tipping custom? I am still confused about what to do there...
     
    #41
  42. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have answered the question partially - early morning commitments like tours or tennis clinic.

    To elaborate on that, it involves complex factors like: not having a car, having a car but getting it out of a lot in a big resort may take a while, stomach condition in the morning prone to certain demands at embarrassing times, all of us need to use the single bathroom sequentially, heavy coffee loading due to a desire to have full evacuation before activities but also causing the abrupt situations ............
     
    #42
  43. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I agree that there wasn't anything in your coffee... that time. But watch yourself in the future...
     
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  44. jhhachamp

    jhhachamp Hall of Fame

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    I grew up in NJ and never once heard of anyone ever tipping a gas attendant nor did I ever think of doing so myself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
    #44
  45. jhhachamp

    jhhachamp Hall of Fame

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    10% tip is fine for a buffet. I don't think you had any reason to avoid eye contact or act weird about it though. The only reason the situation might have become uncomfortable is because you were acting as though you were doing something wrong. I doubt the staff would have made a big deal about a 10% buffet tip.
     
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