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Tips for "Service" Industry Workers

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ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Are fewer people tipping these days? Are they tipping less? Since tipping customs vary depending on local customs, and VI attracts global visitors either for land based visits or cruise, curious to know if you think VI should either impose automatic tips (service charge) or raise prices so higher salaries can be paid as some stateside restaurants are doing based on reports I've seen.

I hear so many complaints about cruisers not tipping, so am wondering how or if issue can be made better.

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Topic starter Posted : August 19, 2015 12:25 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

It's odd when "service industry" workers expect big tips for lousy and poor service. I know that's not always the case but it happens.

European and South American visitors expect the tip to be included in the bill. Americans don't expect the tip added and West Indians aren't known as great tippers, generally.

It is what it is when you work in that industry and I'm sure taxes aren't reported on all income gained from tips.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 12:46 am
RevFD
(@RevFD)
Advanced Member
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

If any restaurant that I frequent adds an automatic tip I will never eat there again.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 7:20 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

This isn't some new phenomenon and the debate has been around for donkey's years plus and thus will ever be. Different countries, different customs, different attitudes even within the country's customs.

To answer the questions - no, the number of people not tipping hasn't decreased and neither has there been a drop in the percentage tipped.

Any VI restaurateur who tries to impose an across the board gratuity added to the bill whether the party be comprised of one or 120 is only hurting himself.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 9:21 am
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Cities like San Francisco and Seattle which have raised minimum wage laws have definitely seen a decrease in tipping, mostly because people believe that servers are making $15/hr but they aren't.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 9:27 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

when did the standard tipping amount go from 15% to 20%. Just a curiosity .

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Posted : August 19, 2015 10:35 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

To me, 20% is for excellent service which unfortunately has been rare, in my dining out experiences.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 10:45 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I'm opposed to the tipping concept. It doesn't improve the service so what are we paying for?

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Topic starter Posted : August 19, 2015 10:46 am
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

To me, 20% is for excellent service which unfortunately has been rare, in my dining out experiences.

Restaurant owners rely on you to pay the wages of staff. It's that simple. Pay for the food and the labor, it's a great racket.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:01 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

So what happens if you refuse to pay a service charge listed on your bill because you feel you've had atrocious service?
Do the tipping police come and get you?

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:09 am
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

The tipping police, I can only assume, would be as effective as the regular police, so you needn't worry.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:10 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I get the best service at my house. But, there are other businesses that have employees who depend on tips.

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Topic starter Posted : August 19, 2015 11:15 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Not a racket at al. If I'd paid my waitstaff a "living wage" I would have had to raise my prices and would have seen a bunch of my regular patrons cutting down their visits by half, plus the additional accounting and paperwork would cost me money. I paid a decent shift pay, my waitstaff went home with a big dinner and between the shift pay and tips (my patrons were for the most part very generous tippers and I kept not one penny of those tips) they were well recompensed and content. Oh, and if the tip was added to the credit card, I didn't mess around deducting the percentage I was charged for the transaction - the employee got the total tip amount.

Not every piece of cloth is cut from the same bolt.

People tip what they want to tip and restaurant owners have no control over that. If someone is "opposed to the tipping concept" then they can opt not to tip ...

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:18 am
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

I'm just saying if you had an $80 bill and pay 20% there is no difference in a total bill of $100 with no tipping required. People feel extorted for tipping and guilty for not doing so. I personally do not care either way, but with talking with friends this is how they feel.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:22 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

So what happens if you refuse to pay a service charge listed on your bill because you feel you've had atrocious service?

As long as it's clearly stated on the menu and bill that a service charge of x% is automatically added to the bill (and I abhor the practice of putting this in an unreadable mini-size font on an obscure section of the menu) then you're legally bound to pay it and CAN be legally charged in court. Read the menu, read the small print, walk away if you don't like the terms.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:24 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

People feel extorted for tipping and guilty for not doing so. .

But thats' their problem. Just like the people who never politely ask to see a manager when things go askew but run to an anonymous review forum where they write a scathing review of the business.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:28 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

With the closing of Hovensa, most of the 15 - 20% tippers left the island. That leaves us with the local population who, as stated in a previous post, are not inclined to tip as generously, or at all.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:32 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

With the closing of Hovensa, most of the 15 - 20% tippers left the island. That leaves us with the local population who, as stated in a previous post, are not inclined to tip as generously, or at all.

Maybe true of STX but not of STT/STJ.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 11:34 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Patrons are going to pay for food and service (and WAPA) one way or the other. A restaurant is not a charity.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 12:06 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Certainly not at the prices I've seen many places charge.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 12:09 pm
Js
 Js
(@Js)
New Member

I'm opposed to the tipping concept. It doesn't improve the service so what are we paying for?

Servers rely on tips to pay bills as our hourly wage is only a fraction of minimum wage (normally 1/3 of it) and isn't enough to cover taxes so we never see a paycheck

You are paying for the service. You don't want to tip, eat at home. Servers aren't slaves and should not be bringing you food and drinks for free. If you regularly frequent an establishment all the servers there will know you don't tip as you walk in and the service you receive will reflect that. You get what you pay for. While in my 3 years of service industry I've never seen anybody spit in the food, do you think it's smart to piss off the people who are handling your food and drinks?

General tipping rule:
10%: everything made it out as expected, server didn't refill drinks promptly and was distant.

15%- serving experience was average. Everything went as well as it should. Nothing over the extra mile, but no mistakes.

20%. Everything made it out as expected. Server was informative and had a personality. You are leaving the establishment not just more full than when you walked in, but also happier. Or of you have a bunch of loony request that that server happy completed.

0% the server royally messed up. Always leave an explanation. Believe it or not servers like to learn how to better themselves so they can better their tips (read as: pay their bills). And a manager is generally not a needed middleman.

If you're one of the people that walks into a restaurant knowing you won't tip, man up and tell your server or bartender first chance you get. If you have the audacity to leave no tip "because it makes no difference on the service received" your server deserves to know

Also keep in mind that servers "tip out" a percentage of their sales (3% everywhere I've been) to the hosts, bussers, ect and if a table leaves no tip or an insanely small one, I lose money by taking care of you

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Posted : August 19, 2015 1:44 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

For the record, I tip every time, but I'm still opposed to the concept.

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Topic starter Posted : August 19, 2015 2:01 pm
Js
 Js
(@Js)
New Member

For the record, I tip every time, but I'm still opposed to the concept.

I mean you pay for your service one way or another. If a place got rid of tipping and they paid there servers a real wage they would have to raise their prices 20%. You're paying the server directly or indirectly, at least with tips you motivate us enough to receive too notch service, even if it doesn't work for all servers

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Posted : August 19, 2015 2:10 pm
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member

I noticed a big difference in my cruise passenger tips. First year it was higher income families and tipped $100 for a party of 4 on the regular. This yea seemed like lower income families and tipped $50 on the regular. Now there were still some good tippers but I noticed a difference between the last two years. I think for cruising - they've made it so cheap that lower income families can afford it but can't/don't afford to tip better.

Of course I got a couple people that didn't tip - because they don't tip in their country.... Or as I'm told.

I HATE the auto gratuity but unfortunately servers make such a crappy wage its necessary. I'd rather just see a regular wage and the option to tip based on work done. I know I've tipped WAY too much on servers who sucked.

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Posted : August 19, 2015 2:14 pm
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