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Tipping theory

New York City, New...
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Tipping theory

I'm noticing a lot of places (restaurants, taxis, etc.) are adding on an automatic tip or calculating it for "you" and suggesting it.

Now I know that NYC runs on tipping, and that it is not as common in, say, Europe.

But my question is, If it is added on, or even "suggested" is it really a surcharge, and not a "tip"?

In that case I resent it, because I felt the tip amount is at my discretion. While it may seem more "convenient" to have it calculated for you, I personally feel manipulated by this.

What do others think?

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Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Tipping theory

"I'm noticing a lot of places (restaurants, taxis, etc.) are adding on an automatic tip or calculating it for "you" and suggesting it."

"Suggesting" an amount is fine. Most people have cell phones with tip calculators, but for those that don't, I see no problem with business using the software that automatically populates a suggested 15 or 20% tip. Same with the screens in the taxi doing the same thing. It might be helping some people out who can't be bothered to use the calculator or are otherwise challenged by the concept of figurnig out a tip. No harm no foul as far as i see.

Ive never had an 'automatic' tip added to my bill unless I were part of a large group, where it's expected that the tip would be added and usually stated on the menu.

Outside of that I have never had a tip added on except in one little corner Thai restaurant here in DC. There were only 4 of us and they added 18% without telling us. Once we noticed, we left the 18% and not a penny more, and have never been back.

Montreal
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2. Re: Tipping theory

On my recent trip to NYC, I noticed at a couple of restaurants that an automatic 18% tip was added to the bill. At first I was a bit insulted, as I felt it was assumed I would not tip, or if I tipped, not enough. After speaking with a few managers/waiters, I was informed that the waiter's salary is only $3 or $4/hr, which in my mind is extremely low, so adding on tips especially in a city that deals with so many tourists is understandable. Many tourists do not agree or understand the tipping system. However, I usually tip higher than that anyway(unless the service was non-existent).

I had a few waiters come back to the table after I paid the bill, and was ready to leave, and thanked me enthusiastically. Considering, how hard a waiter has to work, and often has to share his tips with other staff like busboys, I think the idea or suggestion of tips on the bill is fine. There really is no excuse at this point.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Tipping theory

I had the same experience on some bills - it didnt really concern me but can understand why it could offend/insult others

Greenwich...
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4. Re: Tipping theory

I like when they include the 18% - saves me from having to do the math. I would have rounded up to the nearest dollar so they're actually losing a few cents in most cases, but if they want to add it on, that's fine.

Adding 20% seems presumptuous but I wouldn't raise hell over 2% unless the service was atrocious, and with only one exception that I can think of, it never has been.

New York City, New...
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for New York City
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5. Re: Tipping theory

I do resent that in a taxi, the lowest amount they calculate for you is 20% if you pay by card, but then you can leave whatever you want.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Tipping theory

A few of my observations in addition to what has been said.

Yes, NYC (and American) waitpersons depend on tips, due to low base salary. But this has been the case for years.We understand that the structure is not like Europe, etc.

I am noticing in the new app called "Uber" which will be for "calling" taxis in NYC (see my other post on "Hailing a cab in NY") they will automatically add 20% tip to your credit card bill.

In taxis the "suggested" tip (where you push a button to choose) is 20%, 25%, 30%. It is implying that 20% is "low" thereby pushing it up to 25-30% You can manually change it, of course, but still.

Anyway all I am saying is that I am seeing a trend. We feel free (well except with apps that pre-charge it) to use personal discretion, but, as a curmudgeonette...

.'just sayin'

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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7. Re: Tipping theory

The problem of having it added to the bill is that with time it will go to the owner to share between all workers, which is not fair given that a Chef or the people that cook earn much more.

Havind it in a way said is good. Here where I live they add it to the bill very often, that´s why I know what happens after.

By other hand, here 10% is the classical tip. Travelling usually I would give the same. Now, I may change my tipping in USA.

I believe the owners should pay better salaries to the waiters.

Manchester, UK
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8. Re: Tipping theory

I don't know why there is such tip inflation.

Well, obviously I do, it's in the short term interest of the receiver, but why, whenever there's a post on this forum do you get people coming on saying you must tip at least 18%??? And then - showing off - say that they of course tip more.

Just leave all these tipping discussions alone. Just like I've not done!

New York City
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9. Re: Tipping theory

clco, if you have been in the habit of tipping 10% in the United States, you should be aware that while you may not have meant to do this, what you were doing by tipping at a rate so much lower than the 15% standard for merely acceptable service was to tell the server that his or her service was not acceptable, and deserved a rebuke because it was so bad!

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New York City, New...
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10. Re: Tipping theory

The first time I used a credit card in a taxi and saw their suggested percentage for tips, I just laughed - really, how ridiculous. My usual taxi tip is 20% but the fact that that was the lowest amount was (is) just silly.

20% is such an easy percentage to figure out and is what i usually leave. I have not yet had a restaurant automatically add in a tip of any amount though the check will show various levels of tipping amount suggestions.

My guess is that we will see the automatic inclusion more and more - for various reasons, which would be fine with me. I figure it into what I plan to pay for my meal anyway, so why not make it easy?