From Too Many Chefs -

June 29, 2004
Tipping is not the Name of a City in China

Found this via Chicagoist and FARK, among others. Zagat's released its 2004/2005 Chicago Restaurants Survey today and among the revelations - Chicagoans tip well. On average, a waiter at a Chicago restaurant will receive a tip of 18.8%, above the U.S. 18.5% average. While we don't tip as well as those free-spending 19.1% tipping Atlantans, we do much better than the 18.0% cheapskate Los Angeleans give aspiring actors/waiters.

That Chicago 18.8% is on an average tab of $31.64, up 4% from last year.

Meanwhile, Morsels at Chicago Magazine nominates Heat for the "Dubious Business Practice of the Week". When you get the check at Heat, they ask you to write in the tip before they run your credit card. The problem is the slip comes back with the tip now added in and a line for "additional tip"! I've got a tip for you - don't eat at Heat until they stop this practice. How many people have been tricked into double tipping?

I wonder what would have happened if Humphrey Bogart had eaten at Heat? Bogie once not only tipped a waiter, he toppled him. Bogart asked a waiter from Club 21 in New York who'd given him particularly bad service into the men's room, where he knocked him unconscious. The waiter got the last laugh, however, successfully suing Bogart for $15,000. That story and more can be found here.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at June 29, 2004 11:25 AM | TrackBack

I don't agree with tipping, because it mainly is about the owners of restaurants being so cheeky that they get away with paying low salaries to the waiters... asking us, not to only pay for the food at high prices, but also pay their staff! If nobody ever tipped, then they'd have to pay decent salaries...

I really dislike when I go to US and I am told by my friends that I HAVE to tip.. I only tip if I consider that the service deserved it, tipping is VOLUNTARY and it depends entirely on the budget and discretion of the customer.. not an obligation.. RIDICULOUS!!

Does anybody ever tip me for doing my job as I am supposed to?

I really don't get it...

Posted by Mercedes on August 3, 2005 at 8:12 AM

You're right my friend - you don't get it, and obviously have never had to depend on tips to make a living.

Tipping is what permits people who are relative equals under our social system in the US to instead behave in the roles of master and servant. The unspoken contract is that in return for allowing one person to have their whims catered to unquestioningly, the other person will reap financial reward for assuming the subserviant role. That's why waiters hate cheap tippers - it's not (just) the money, it's the violation of the contract. Servers (good ones) have held up their end and feel personally abused when the customer doesn't hold up theirs.

I suggest that if your policy is to tip poorly, that you continually find new restaurants to dine in, because servers have long and precise memories of those who've abused them. And if you think that withholding tips will make the restaurant owners suffer, you are woefully misguided - they will shrug off the servers' complaints and point them to the door - they got their money when you paid for their food.

Posted by Kevin on September 15, 2005 at 8:03 AM