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Can Tipping Change a Waiter’s Behavior?

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A friend of mine once lamented publicly: “When did the standard restaurant tip change from 15 percent to 20?” Sure, I remember paying typically 15 percent for a tip when I first started dining out with my friends. That was when I gained my first sense of independence from my parents twenty years ago, as a teenager in high school. At some point within these intervening years, I recognized that social convention called for a 20 percent tip. I didn’t complain; if you can’t afford to participate in the social expectations for dining out like tipping exceptionally, you can’t afford to dine out.

Perhaps some time in the past, a long, long time ago, the purpose of tipping was “to insure prompt service,” but that’s not the case today in the United States. (Actually, the word “tip” or “tips” was not coined as an acronym; someone retrofitted the oft-cited phrase to the word after the word had been in use, and it caught on like a pre-internet meme.) I’m not complaining, just pointing out how providing a small bonus on top of a published price is customary and expected for a number of services.

According to an informal survey conducted by Tom Frank, one of the founders of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, 40 percent of restaurant-goers see tipping as an obligation and tip the same amount, 15 to 20 percent, regardless of their servers’ performance.

In other words, the waiters who don’t attend to your water glass and who don’t return your under-cooked meat generally earn the same tips that others do meet their patrons’ expectations.

In an article on Kiplinger, Frank suggests customers should reserve their best tips for when they receive the best service. The assumption here seems to be that by using tips as reward, ineffective waiters will determine what they need to do in order to warrant the best tips. Can you train your waiters with a monetary reward, like you might train a puppy with a treat?

I don’t think so. There are several problems with this theory.

What makes a tip a reward? In order to train someone using rewards, the reward must be recognized as such. If you leave a 20 percent tip to thank your waiter for performance, but many other customers also leave tips around the same amount, why would the waiter perceive this as a reward? He doesn’t know you normally tip 15 percent unless you’re a regular customer.

What exactly is the reward for? For a reward-based behavior modification system to be effective, the reward must come immediately after the behavior you wish to imprint. The last thing a waiter does before you tip is generally delivering the check. And many waiters seem to know that this is their chance to modify your behavior. Studies show that customers tip more when presented with a check with a hand-written “Thank you!” or a hand-drawn smiley face (the latter only if the waitress is female).

Because the tip is separated in time from the specific behavior, you can’t use a good tip to reinforce that positive behavior. The waiter doesn’t know what it was that inspired you to leave what you thought was a generous contribution.

Who really gets the tip? Although in the customer’s mind, a tip is reinforcement for the waiter’s behavior, in many restaurants the waiters pool their tips and must share their earnings with busing staff. The waiter may appreciate your extra five percentage points, but if that bonus gets spread among a group of people, he doesn’t benefit much from the reward. At the other end of the spectrum, under-tipping could punish more than just your own server.

The communal nature of tips in establishments managed with this method decreases the incentive for performing well unless the entire staff agrees to perform well.

Here is my tipping and restaurant behavior philosophy. I rarely receive what I perceive to be poor service, but I’m not saying I’m always a perfect customer.

  • I enter with a positive attitude. Being happy, inviting, friendly, and courteous are infectious. It starts a relationship, even one that will last no longer than two hours, on the right foot.
  • I know someone who used to treat waiters and waitresses as if they were house servants, using a tone of voice that subtly communicated that she was of a higher social standing than the lowly restaurant workers. It was a behavioral trait she inherited from her parents, but when she changed her behavior, she found that she received better service and her friends were no longer embarrassed to dine out with her. I always treat waiters with the respect I’d want in their position.
  • I admit I get frustrated sometimes, but I deal with it without taking my frustrations out on anyone else. For example, I generally choose to drink water rather than soda, and a lot of it. If my glass is empty for an extended period of time, I’m looking around. Usually, I see the server is busy with other tables so I leave him alone. I take a deep breath and relax.
  • If I want to leave feedback, I speak to the waiter. I don’t assume that he or she will know what I’m thinking based on the size of my tip. Now, I don’t like when people tell me how to do my job, so I assume that the same goes for anyone else. So any feedback I give is positive.
  • There’s only one way to make a statement with a tip, and that’s to leave one large enough to be recognized as a real bonus. Think 30 to 50 percent.
  • I didn’t realize this was “wrong” until I started seeing restaurant checks with suggested tips listed below the amount of the bill, but I always calculate my tip on the total price, not the pre-tax subtotal. And if I’ve received an item gratis from the waiter, I add the price of the item back in before calculating the tip.

I don’t believe my tips, or anyone’s for that matter, have a direct impact on the behavior of waiters and waitresses. Perhaps some waiters will give some thought to what they’re doing if they consistently receive lower tips than everyone else they work with, but if tips are pooled, the only incentive to perform better would come from peer pressure. Tipping within social norms is customary, therefore necessary for anyone wishing to dine out. Under-tipping at restaurants hurts customers more than anything else, so I agree with Tom Frank’s statement regarding that. If you’re looking for good service, be a good customer.

How do you tip at restaurants? Do you try to influence your waiters or waitresses with your tip?

Photo: Flickr

Updated June 18, 2014 and originally published April 30, 2013. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jim

I don’t like the tipping system we have but it is the system we have so I go along with it.

I also don’t like tip inflation. I recall when the standard tip was 10%. Then it was 15% then 20%… next we’ll hear its 25%. There is no call for that inflation and I’ll stop at 20, thanks.

I think tipping has minimal direct impact on server behavior but it should have some. They have to see trends and recognize that a low tip is related to their performance. Indirectly a pattern of high tips will reward and encourage good servers and consistent low tips will dissuade poor servers.

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avatar SteveDH

The server’s behavior influences my behavior which may influence their behavior and on and on. I was a busboy while in high school and although the waitresses didn’t share their tips with each other they each gave15% to us that we shared. Now this was in the 60′s so waitresses were paid $8 per SHIFT and busboys got $4 per SHIFT from the restaurant. Tips weren’t a plus – they were your earnings. Simply put, my 15% tip is automatic but more can be earned by bright, cheerful, and efficient service. Even the worst service, which would entail a talk with management, doesn’t decrease my 15%. Right or wrong, it’s what my experiences led to.

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avatar My Frugal Miser

I go into a restaurant planning to leave a 20% tip. What I end up leaving goes up or down based on the service I receive, but I always leave at least 15%. I have left 50% or even more on a few rare occasions where service was incredible.

I do my best to determine the tip based on what the server can control. I hate it when I see someone leave little to no tip because their meal took too long. Usually that is the kitchen’s fault, as an expediter will usually deliver your finished meal if the server is tied up when it becomes ready.

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avatar LR

I generally tip 15-20%, but not more unless the service was exceptional. I do that because I know that most servers rely on tips as the majority of their wage. I have never understood why that is, however.

Why do we let the restaurant industry get away with paying substandard wages while they expect the customer to make up the difference to their employees? The restaurants should pay a living wage and factor it into their menu prices like any other business. Then tipping would truly be optional and be a reward for exceptional service.

Instead, restaurant owners pay lower wages, translating into lower ss/medicare/workers comp/dbl, etc. In essence, they get a tax break just for being in that industry, but still pass the cost on to the customer. What a deal.

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avatar Apex

I agree.

Whatever the intention was for tipping it seems to have devolved to the point where very little of the supposed effect actually works anymore. I have had multiple servers tell me that they have given great service and gotten horrible tips and given horrible service (because they were short staffed or whatever reason) and received great tips. They have said that it is the rare occasion that they see direct correlation between their overall service and their tip level.

Tip inflation is causing this because it is now because of exactly what LR was pointing out. It’s just a way for restaurants to underpay their workers. Furthermore it lets cheap skates get their meal for an under priced amount by refusing to participate in the social tip contract and that requires the rest of us to make up the difference for the moochers. That also caused tip inflation because when they tell you the standard tip is 20% that has to make up for those that tip 5% or 0%. So they server probably really only gets 15% because some people drastically under tip because they simply refuse to pay such a high tip.

The tip system seems quite broken to me. I am not sure how you change it but it has always baffled my why some things are supposed to be tipped for an others are not. Every job has to do with service at some level. Why do you tip your barber but not your mechanic? They both do a job that provides you service. Well the barber personally interacts with you. Ok, why don’t you tip your dentist? The whole concept just seems goofy to me.

The price should cover the cost of service plus needed profit. If you produce horrible service, I will consider your price too high relative the person who provides better service and I won’t use you anymore. Why is that not just as good as tipping?

I don’t expect any change in the system. Old systems don’t change easily. But the tipping system appears to be for an era long since past. I see no reason for it to exist, especially in it’s current form. But its here and I try to tip a fair amount based on what the expected tip is to provide a fair wage. I would sooner just see my food prices raised 15-20%. At least then I wouldn’t be paying for part of grandpa grumpy’s food sitting at the table next to me (I personally know of a grandpa grumpy from a sibling’s in-laws that tipped zero every time, which is terrible, but it happens. And actually what happens then is that if others are at the table with the person they tip for him after he leaves because of how terrible they feel about it and how wrong they think it is which is another way that higher food prices would just fix that problem. if you don’t want to pay the higher price you can stay home).

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avatar jim

“It’s just a way for restaurants to underpay their workers.”

Yep. Plus the increase in tip pooling is just an expansion of that. When they add bartenders and busboys into the tip pool, the employers can justify lower wages because those employees now benefit from tips too.

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avatar krantcents

I think most people tip because the waiter/waitress depends on the tips for income. In other words, unless the waiter really screws up we tip. I tend to adjust my tip with the service. If the service is really bad, I will talk to the manager. If the service is ordinary, I give 15%. If the service is extraordinary I give 20%.

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avatar jim

Whenever the topic of tipping comes up I like to point out that there are 7 states in the nation where servers get FULL minimum wage. So in those states (mostly Western states) the tips are on top of full minimum. On top of that the West coast has the highest minimum wages in the nation at $8-9 /hr. Check your state laws and don’t assume that servers “aren’t getting paid anything” for their work since many of them get full minimum of 7.25 or more. Of course minimum isn’t a ton of money but its a lot better than what servers get in wages in most states.

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avatar Apex

My state of MN is one of those 7 states.

But yet the social expectation is still the same 15-20% tips.

The expectation seems to get set based on the typical situation not the one that is unique to the state you are in.

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avatar Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide

I just left a $1 tip on a family meal. Service was horrendous. The server spent 10+ minutes chatting before even putting our order in, and she argued with us when we asked for more chips and dip after waiting 30 minutes for our food, among other things. A LOT of other stuff she got wrong, too, and she never, ever apologized.

It you’re paying 15% for terrible service, you’re encouraging the waiter to continue being a waiter. If enough people leave her crappy tips, she’ll find another job.

I leave 15% for adequate service, 20% for good service, and a bit more for knock-my-socks-off service. It can go down to $.05 for terrible service.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

That all depends. If the waitress doesn’t understand that she’s the problem, she might just think people are cheap. It all depends on her understanding of the world, so you’re assuming that she makes the connection between a behavior that she may not even know is bad and the $1 tip. If you tell her or tell her manager what the problem is — and maybe you did this — you have a much better chance of changing her behavior. If enough people give her 15% tips despite her incompetence — and the informal survey in the linked article says that chances are good that is the case — the low tippers look like the problem, not her, from her perspective.

But then again, either way, she might quit. But I suspect that incompetence as a server correlates to incompetence in other areas of life and work.

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avatar Apex

It may be considered rude but how about leaving a note on your receipt that says something to the effect that your tip is reflective of what I consider to be unacceptably poor service?

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avatar qixx ♦1,895 (Half-Dollar)

If i am leaving essentially no tip i make mention of why. I have left a note before. Most places have a comment card so if service did not even warrant a 10% tip i make sure to fill it out. I usually try to make mention to the server of any problem because they deserve a chance to correct the issue(s).

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avatar Ivan

I agree that leaving a small (or no) tip would only send a message if the server connects his/her bad service with the dollar amount. To make that connection, you’ll typically have to talk to the manager and/or the server directly. At the very least, a note explaining your reasons would be better than nothing.

Conversely, it’s worth making an effort to let the server know if they did something well. Any behavior that gets (clearly) rewarded will be repeated. It’s far more effective to tell someone what they should do rather than tell them what they should stop doing.

From my own experience in the restaurant industry, I know it doesn’t take long for servers to tune out complains after a while. But these same servers NEVER get tired of genuine compliments from a satisfied customer. And they’ll always go out of their way to keep these customers happy after that.

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avatar DonnaFreedman ♦90 (Newbie)

Did you ask to speak to the manager about your experience? As they say, when people have a bad experience they’ll stop coming to the restaurant and badmouth the place to friends. If the managers doesn’t know that a particular server is fouling up, s/he can’t fix the problem — nor will s/he know why business is down.
That server’s behavior was inexcusable. I would politely but firmly ask to speak to the manager and if I didn’t get any kind of resolution I’d speak to the owner — and if it’s a franchise, definitely talk to corporate. (One way to get attention is to write about it on Facebook and Twitter — not snarkily, mind you, but with a clear and specific statement about what went wrong and why you’re frustrated by what hasn’t happened so far.)
Seriously: Managers need to know. And if managers blow you off, owners need to know. And if owners don’t care? Never go back, and make sure your friends know why.

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avatar Eric

In the restaurant I once worked in, our “tip out” (tips that went to bussers, other behind the scenes help) was a percent of sales. I had two bad tips that were below my tip out percentage, so I essentially subsidized their meal from my own pocket.

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avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

I was told long ago that a restaurant with cloth table linens called for a 20% tip, others 15%. I don’t really go by this. I usually tip 15 to 20%, just rounding off to the nearest dollar. Definitely 20% or a little extra if we have lingered at the table awhile. It is often difficult to tell if slow service is the fault of the waitperson or the kitchen or someone else. I would probably only lower the tip if they were rude…..and I’ve also heard that leaving one penny with your tip is an insult to the waitperson, letting them know you weren’t happy with the service.

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avatar Skint in the City

Here in the UK our tipping ettiquette is quite different from in the US – ie our tips are lower really. Waiters and waitresses tend overall to be paid better here and rely less on tips. Of course we tip but the average- in fact a good tip – is 10%. In mainland Europe it’s lower still. Leave 10% in France and that’s considered great.
That’s partly because waiting tables is a proper profession there, with good pay and status so tips aren’t relied upon so much.

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avatar jim

Skint, What is the average/ typical wage for a waiter or waitress in U.K.? I see reports online of people making ~5£ per hour. Thats not exactly “good pay” considering its barely above your minimum wage. One site says the average wage for a waitress is £15,278 which is better and works out to around 7.64£ /hr ($11.82 USD) if you work 2000 hr/yr. Wait staff in America average $9.95 /hr. (though I assume thats under reported since most of the tips are in cash and wait staff rarely report their full cash income so they can evade taxes).
Waiters in Washington state make $9/hr (5.8£) as the state MINIMUM wage PLUS the tips at 15-20%.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦162 (Cent)

I tip 20-25% of the bill. I try to be a good tipper because many workers are surviving on these tips which many have to share with other waiters & kitchen staff.

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avatar Mrs. 1500

As a young woman in college, I waited tables for many years. It is a tough job, dealing with many different people, standing on your feet for hours at a time. On top of the work you see them do, there is work behind the scenes, such as restocking items like salad dressing and soup, preparing single-serving items like sour cream and tartar sauce, and the list goes on and on.

There are customers who are just plain rude, and it does affect your disposition, when you go up to a table and they already are angry with you.

As a waitress, your tip amount really doesn’t reinforce anything to me. It is given after the fact, and if you haven’t said anything, in fact been pleasant throughout, but leave a tiny tip, I will assume you just don’t know how to tip or you are cheap. If you leave a big tip, again I will assume you are just being nice, or don’t know how to tip and erred on the side of caution.

If you receive bad service, tell management. But don’t complain about every little thing. If you are at a restaurant where you had to wait a significant amount of time before being seated, your waitress might not be waiting at your table for you to arrive. She has other tables to serve as well and she might not be there for a minute.

But the management needs to know about problem waitresses. So many people don’t complain, they just don’t come back. The owners of that restaurant want you to come back, and they want to know when you are having bad service. If your waitress consistently gets complaints, perhaps she will be let go. Not everyone is a good waitress.

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avatar DonnaFreedman ♦90 (Newbie)

I leave 20% as a minimum. In a local family-owned restaurant that my friend and I visit fairly often I tip at least 25% because the waitress who usually serves us is a single mom going to school. She’s also very good at what she does.
But as Luke does, I strive to be courteous and friendly and almost never have problems with service. If there’s an issue I frame it as succinctly and politely as possible: “I ordered medium well but I’m afraid the kitchen sent this out super-rare. Would you please have them cook it a couple of minutes longer?”
And if the problem isn’t fixed? As noted above, I ask to the speak to the manager. Hardly ever happens, though.

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avatar jim

Donna, why are you leaving “20% as a minimum”? 20% is the standard for a good tip. Why are you giving more than the standard? I understand a rare exception when you get exceptional service and give a generous tip that exceeds 20%. But you seem to have redeffined the ‘good’ tip as the ‘minimum’ tip which implies you really tip 20-25% rather than 15-20%.

Why add 5%?

I’m really just curious about your reasoning.

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avatar DonnaFreedman ♦90 (Newbie)

I give 20% in part because it’s a hard job and also because some people leave 10%, or 5%, or nothing at all. Just my personal choice.

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avatar Suzanne

I am not fond of the tipping concept. My husband generally insists on tipping 20% even if the service wasn’t that great. This annoys me because I feel the best feedback you can give is in the size of the tip. On the other hand, your point is well taken that the server can’t know what you generally tip, so you’re really not making that much of an impact by the size of your gratuity.

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avatar Ian

Tipping food servers is a social custom in the US whose time has passed. As Luke points out, tipping almost certainly does not affect serving performance. If there is poor service, I talk with the manager or leave a complaint. Some people do not tip, either because they are not aware of the custom or, more commonly, because they choose not to do so. This results in the same food and the same service costing differently. This is illogical. NPR did a piece a while back showing there are racial differences in tipping. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1329241 Really? Any place else we have different prices based on race?

There is also a difference in cost of food, both within the same restaurant and an even greater difference between restaurants. So in one restaurant, a similar amount of service work results in a different amount of the bill. Why should similar work result in different pay? Are restaurants with less expensive fare more difficult to serve?

Then you have the issue of under reporting of tips as income. Why should food servers not pay their fair share in taxes when there is a perfectly feasible alternative?

The amount of tipping is slippery. When I was young, the amount of the tip was 10%. Then 15%, now 15-20%. There are some news reports saying 25%, post-tax.

I try not to use any type of dining establishment that expects customer-determined tipping of servers. I prefer to see the total cost displayed before buying, regardless of whether I am buying airplane tickets or food. I expect employers to pay THEIR employees a living wage regardless of a nebulous social custom. Needless to say, I eat at home often and socialize mostly at homes of friends and family where I know my being a good guest is appreciated.

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avatar Sandi @ Spring Personal Finance

If tipping offers no positive or negative incentive to the person being tipped, and – presumably – the server is working of their own free will, why are we obligated to offer them money over and above the already agreed upon cost of the food and service?

Refusing to participate in an illogical – nonsensical, even – system isn’t being a cheapskate.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

Isn’t the custom of tipping is included in the “already agreed upon cost?” When you go out to a restaurant, aren’t you expecting to participate in the social convention, and thus add the cost of the tip to your planned expense? Sometimes social conventions seem to be illogical or nonsensical to some. Meet a stranger, shake hands and share germs of unidentified origin. But people do it anyway. Answer the phone by saying, “Hello.” Not walking around your yard without any clothing on. I’ve never met anyone who refused to participate in tipping before, but I’m familiar with the customs in Canada, so I’d like to hear more.

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avatar Sandi @ Spring Personal Finance

There’s no virtue in participating in social conventions just for the sake of participating in social conventions, just like there’s no virtue in being frugal just for the sake of being frugal.

A social convention like shaking hands doesn’t protect an inefficient and unfair (to taxpayers as well, as Ian so keenly pointed out) system because everyone is too polite to change it.

If I refuse to shake someone’s hand because I don’t like touching hands with strangers, are you going to shake his hand twice to make up for it?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

I’m afraid you’ve lost me. I don’t know what you’re getting at. To refuse to conform to an accepted social behavior would show a lack of understanding of that social behavior. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the merits of that particular behavior, or even if, like we agree, that behavior doesn’t really have the effect that may have been the original purpose (to encourage quality service).

One could refuse to participate in tipping, whether on principle or not, but that’s not going to change society’s accepted behavior, it’s just going to identify oneself as a non-conformist. And possibly turn friends away from dining with you, embarrassed by the behavior and the need to cover for you. And possibly frustrate other people, like servers, who work under the impression that patrons are expected to tip a certain amount.

If one feels strongly about not tipping, he or she could start a movement to change behavior in society, but in the mean time, he or she shouldn’t eat out at locations where tipping is part of the social contract. If you don’t want to tip because you don’t agree with the accepted cultural behavior, even if the reasons are valid, don’t put yourself in that situation. At least, that’s the culture where I live. It certainly doesn’t apply in other places where tipping is not culturally expected.

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avatar Sandi @ Spring Personal Finance

Based on your argument, you shouldn’t go outside in the United States unless you’re willing to wear a hat AND tip it to every female that walks by.

Social conventions change, Luke, and you don’t have to start a movement to change them. You just stop doing them, if they’re illogical and inefficient.

Repeatedly not getting tips – if your research is correct – shouldn’t result in worse service for everyone, it should make un-tipped servers question the fairness of the restaurant model and maybe decide to not participate in it anymore.

avatar DonnaFreedman ♦90 (Newbie)

I agree. When you participate in a system (dining out) you are accepting that a tip is part of the cost of activity. Not tipping will, as you say, either embarrass your friends or cause them to quit wanting to dine with you.
I had this discussion/argument with a friend who said that no one was going to tell her how much of a tip to leave. In fact, she said it should be up to her whether or not to tip. We went round and round and I finally got through to her (a little) by saying, “You’re a single mom. Suppose you were a waiter and somebody decided to leave 5% or stiff you entirely. What would that do to your paycheck? It doesn’t matter whether you think it’s ‘fair’ that restaurants don’t pay better. When you don’t tip, you aren’t hurting the restaurant — you’re hurting the person who works for the restaurant, someone who has bills and maybe a kid just like you do.”
She grumbled a bit more, and then dropped it.
I’m not nuts about the system, frankly. But it’s the system we currently have, and until the U.S. goes the way of Europe et al., going out to eat means agreeing to play by the current rules.

avatar Sandi @ Spring Personal Finance

So what group of upright citizens banded together and started a movement to end hat tipping? That’s what must have happened for a social convention to have changed, right?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

Still not an apt analogy. Fashions and fads change often, and the fashion industry generally controls that by communicating what it wants to sell via the media, such as product placement in movies, magazines, theater, etc. Something like wearing a hat can go out of style. Without a hat to wear, having gone out of style, men have nothing to tip to the ladies passing by.

And even in some day in the past when all men wore hats, it was not a social *requirement* that men tip it to a lady, unlike tipping on a restaurant check, which is a social requirement whether someone likes it or not. Hat-tipping may have been a sign of respect, but no one would be frowned upon for not doing it, nor would anyone be concerned enough with society’s “pointless” hat-tipping exercise so much that they must speak out against hat-tipping and try to convince all men they shouldn’t tip their hats. Maybe there’s a better analogy out there, somewhere.

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avatar qixx ♦1,895 (Half-Dollar)

Another take on the matter. The last podcast i got from Freakonomics Radio was on tipping. They usually have a different take than most other outlets. For those interested – http://www.freakonomics.com/radio/

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avatar Ben @ The Wealth Gospel

VERY interesting article. I’ve always tipped based on service…if a waiter or waitress is rude or is never around, I leave a small tip. If they’re great, I leave a bigger one, generally more than 20%. But I never thought about the pooling bit. If that’s the case, there’s no incentive for the waiters and waitresses to do their job well at all if they can freeload off of the others.

Something’s got to change, but I have no idea what it is. Many younger waiters and waitresses are from a generation where they don’t recognize the relationship between their behavior and the size of their tip. They’ll just think people are cheap and they deserve better.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

Well, it’s an interesting approach, but I don’t think it’ll ultimately be successful.

Where in the United States is it an accepted convention these days for men to wear a hat and tip it to every female? I’ve never seen that occur in my lifetime. The analogy is false; you can’t compare the two behaviors today. Tipping a waitress — today — completely penetrates social behavior when dining out in the United States. Tipping a hat does not. Will it change over time? It’s possible, but not by a lone wolf ignoring the custom. One person not tipping won’t be enough to repeatedly affect servers en masse.

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