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Tipping inflation?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Tipping inflation?

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  • #308315

    jackoh
    Participant

    Snarf wrote >>
    Seven pages later and I feel less informed with every post.

    Well, its now 13 pages and you’re still right!

    #308328

    Cookie
    Member

    jackoh wrote >>

    Snarf wrote >>
    Seven pages later and I feel less informed with every post.

    Well, its now 13 pages and you’re still right!

    How the fuck am I supposed to get my limes?

    #308225
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Time for a reminder:

    Terms of Service

    Stay on topic. Keep insults to yourself.

    Thanks,
    Walker

    #308226

    Lorence
    Participant

    jennyw wrote >>

    Ha, yes. Or her name is George Glass.

    Ha! Love the Jan Brady reference!

    #308227

    Wow, this has become a very emotional thread. We’re all good people here, and I don’t think any of us is bitter about leaving a great tip for a hard working server! Let’s agree on that.

    By starting this conversation, I hoped to point out that our economy is interconnected. Eating out is a huge deal to my family; every extra dollar I spend on meal & tip is a dollar less that I spend on something else. That’s why it’s really important for me to get good feedback and diverse opinions on just how many dollars should go in whose pockets when it comes to dining out. Now I know that the expectation in Columbus is 20% tip, minimum. Good. I’ll continue to tip at that level for standard service.

    For anyone who agrees that it’s important to be aware of these things, the USDA reported that “Spending on food away from home was 48.5 percent of the $1,165.3 billion in total food expenditures in 2008.” That makes this topic pretty darn important to all of us, and personally I want to find a way to balance my expenditures within the context of our economy. If it makes no economic or ethical sense to invest my resources on a tip that is out of proportion with what would be fair given the server’s cost of living, etc., then why do so? It is superficially generous to tip ridiculously high for no good reason, but no act exists in a vacuum.

    For anyone who thinks I’m a penny-pincher, please do keep in mind that this is an online conversation, not a real-life situation. If by posting this question you feel like I just personally stiffed you, I apologize that I’m coming across that way online! I promise that if you have ever waited on me in Cbus, I have been a super nice diner who has given you at least a 20% tip :)

    I strive to understand the expectations of local business I deal with, and their employees – in this case, the restaurant industry. This has been a valuable conversation in that regard and I hope we can keep it up civilly and on topic!

    #308228

    DavidF
    Participant

    Umm, sorry for the off topic stuff. My bad.

    #308229

    Bear
    Participant

    sugarplumclarey wrote >>
    Today on WOSU’s “All Sides” I had the opportunity to ask this question: How much should I tip my server? The reply was 20% minimum. Here’s my beef with that. Food prices have already risen out of pace with income, so over the last few years that 15% of my meal price has gotten higher without any corresponding increase in server duties

    This, right here, I think is where things started to get a little off topic — shouldn’t it be “my meal price has gotten higher without any corresponding increase in income”? (Or “income or server duties”?) As worded it invited a referendum on servers rather than a discussion of income vs. the price of food.

    And on that point:

    Median US income

    US GDP per capita

    CPI for food

    Eyeballing the data, it looks to me as though there’s actually a pretty substantial difference between the two. Depending on the metric you use, there’s been maybe a about a 20% increase in median household income or at most a doubling of per-capita GDP, compared to about a fivefold increase in the price of food during the same period.

    So one question is, does that translate out to a fivefold increase in the price of a restaurant meal and therefore servers’ salaries? Hard to say without looking at actual menus from restaurants from that era. Fortunately, we can.

    Miller’s Cafe, Chicago

    Sirloin steaks for $2, a double martini for under $1… even accounting for variations in quality, at least fivefold. So it’s not a bad bet that servers today, relative to servers back then, are better compensated.

    Does that mean they shouldn’t be? I’d resist that conclusion, personally. As we discovered in the Haiku tragedy, health care coverage is all too rare with restaurant workers even now, and a lot of professions used to pay a lot more poorly than they do now. We’ve decided that we value them more, and rightly so. While I think the answer to the question of changing rates of income vs. cost of food is an interesting one, I actually don’t think it’s particularly relevant to the question of 15% vs. 20%, which is a question that should be settled on its own merits, not because we want servers today to have the same standard of living that Flo, Vera, and Alice once did.

    #308230

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    Bear wrote >> lots of good stuff

    One thing that you didn’t cite, but is relevant, even assuming a five fold increase in the total bill within that time period the difference in tip would be (lets assume 20% tip to make the math easy) only a 1 fold increase (20% of 500% is 100%) in the amount of take-home tip to the server.

    So, really…

    Even If the total bill went up 10% this year (I don’t think it did since most restaurants are facing a downward pressure on pricing) your tip went up by 2% (IF you tip 20%).

    If the original poster really wants to complain about the difference between a $5 tip and a $5.10 cent tip on a $25 meal then that is his right to bitch and moan about those 10 cents all he wants, but it certainly doesn’t seem rational to me. More rational perhaps would be to complain about that 10% increase if you’re going to complain about something. The tip is a straw man.

    No…The crux of his argument (reading between the lines) seems to be that “SOME people didn’t get a raise this year, why should THEY get a 2% raise without any increase in work”. (to use my 10% total increase from the previous example)

    REALLY?! This is just small and petty. Lots of folks get raises every year.

    Whatever.

    Yes, we DO want to allow these folks to maintain the same standard of living our beloved Alice, Vera, and Flo had (I loved that show back in the day). Anyone who puts in a fair days work should get fair pay for it.

    That 15% vs 20% thing is another issue. I’m not even gonna go there except to say that if you feel people will judge you poorly because of your tip then that *may* be your sense of fairness nagging at you. Tip what you want.

    (by way of disclosure, I do not work nor have I ever worked in food service… I just eat out a lot and appreciate good service.)

    #308231

    Rockmastermike wrote >>

    Bear wrote >> lots of good stuff

    If the original poster really wants to complain about the difference between a $5 tip and a $5.10 cent tip on a $25 meal then that is his right to bitch and moan about those 10 cents all he wants, but it certainly doesn’t seem rational to me. More rational perhaps would be to complain about that 10% increase if you’re going to complain about something. The tip is a straw man.
    No…The crux of his argument (reading between the lines) seems to be that “SOME people didn’t get a raise this year, why should THEY get a 2% raise without any increase in work”.
    REALLY?! This is just small and petty. Lots of folks get raises every year.
    Whatever.

    Hi Mike, thanks for weighing in. I’m trying to ask questions, not complain. Please know that I’m not trying to stir resentment for the fact that my personal salary is not in keeping with my server’s, or anyone else’s for that matter; it is what it is. Servers deserve a raise like anybody else; my concern is whether dining out is going to become unmanageable for those who can’t afford super high tips on super high priced meals (the cost of both tips and meals, of course, being on the rise). Not sure how the tip is a straw man, but I have no background in philosophy or logic so maybe it’s above my head.

    Bear, that was some great data and I’m glad that someone else is digging deeper into all of this. Thanks for posting it. Of course servers should be well compensated; everyone should be well compensated. It’s just really bad for the health of our economy for one sector to get out of whack with the others (cf., mortgage crisis). I’m not running around thinking servers are drowning in wads of cash while the rest of us starve or anything. Just for the record :)

    #308232

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    sugarplumclarey wrote >> my concern is whether dining out is going to become unmanageable for those who can’t afford super high tips on super high priced meals (the cost of both tips and meals, of course, being on the rise). Not sure how the tip is a straw man, but I have no background in philosophy or logic so maybe it’s above my head.

    What I wrote was mearly amplification of Bear’s data. A “straw man” is something that is easy to attack instead of the much harder questions involved in the issue.

    In this case the tip really is a very small part of the equation. A much better question would be something like: “Have energy prices, credit/loan rates, agricultural subsidy shifts, and other related expenses driven food and dining costs unreasonably higher than the rate of inflation?”

    My answer to that is: I don’t think they have. Americans have been blessed or spoiled by cheap food, in part because of unusually cheap energy, for a very long time now and that is going to be subject to adjustment from changing conditions.

    No… compared to those issues, pointing to the tip as an issue is mere distraction because it is mathematically only a very small portion of any increase in your bill.

    #308233

    Points well taken. Yes, the bigger issue is food cost, and starting with agricultural subsidies after WWII our country got very, very good at lowering it. But that cost is back on the rise for many reasons that deserve their own thread. The specific issue of tipping is important because given our dining system, it’s the one part of the bill that I directly control (while I do choose what to order, the prices on those items are fixed). That’s why I think it’s worth addressing, and that’s why I stand by the value of my question.

    So I’ll take your Straw Man and raise you a contextomy. And then I’ll go hire myself a lawyer, because this conversation seems to have reached that point :)

    #308234

    I agree that tipping has gotten out of hand.
    Everyone expects a tip these days. And, I still think 15% is standard, and if it’s good service you go to 20%, and if it’s poor you go lower. Servers are not entitled to tips, they are earned!

    Plus, talking to some of my older friends, they think our younger generation over-tips excessively.

    Maybe I’m just cheap… but I also refuse to tip people who try to hand me paper towels in a bar or restaurant bathroom. Then they get offended when you go around them. No thanks, I can get my own paper towel…

    Also, I feel like some of my friends tip too much for people doing their jobs. Do you really need to tip a cab driver $5 for driving you from one end of downtown to other? Why don’t we tip everyone? The receptionist who signs you in? Your nurse who draws your blood? The cable guy? The guy who lets you merge into his lane on the highway? etc.

    #308235

    blammo
    Participant

    downtownguy81 wrote >>
    Maybe I’m just cheap… but I also refuse to tip people who try to hand me paper towels in a bar or restaurant bathroom. Then they get offended when you go around them. No thanks, I can get my own paper towel…

    I’m pro-tipping, but yeah, that always feels like an ambush. I’m not interested in walking into the kitchen of a restaurant & getting my order from the cook, but I have the whole “going to the restroom” procedure down on my own, thanks.

    #308236

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    downtownguy81 wrote >>
    I agree that tipping has gotten out of hand.
    Everyone expects a tip these days. And, I still think 15% is standard, and if it’s good service you go to 20%, and if it’s poor you go lower. Servers are not entitled to tips, they are earned!
    Plus, talking to some of my older friends, they think our younger generation over-tips excessively.
    Maybe I’m just cheap… but I also refuse to tip people who try to hand me paper towels in a bar or restaurant bathroom. Then they get offended when you go around them. No thanks, I can get my own paper towel…
    Also, I feel like some of my friends tip too much for people doing their jobs. Do you really need to tip a cab driver $5 for driving you from one end of downtown to other? Why don’t we tip everyone? The receptionist who signs you in? Your nurse who draws your blood? The cable guy? The guy who lets you merge into his lane on the highway? etc.

    So tip how you want. Who cares how others do it?

    #308237

    Core_Models
    Member

    BTW, I’d highly recommend tipping the cable guy, if you get the right cable guy.

Viewing 15 posts - 256 through 270 (of 321 total)

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