No, not the fly variety, or any other form of refuse dumpage, but gratuities paid to waiting/kitchen staff at bars/restaurants.

I stumbled upon this blog today, where the protagonist -a relatively witty, dry humoured Waiter somewhere in the States- complains when a couple who are currently freaking about their tax return don’t tip enough. I’ve always known about tipping being a lot more frequent in the US, but the way this blogger describes it, along with the 220+ commentors, you would not only think that tipping is compulsory, but at least a certain percentage of your bill:

Holy Crap – that’s like barely even 8%. Bastards.

Now, I will happily leave a 5 – 10% tip after a meal if, and only if a number of criteria are met. The food has to be good, as well as the service. I begrudgingly tip a good waiter/waitress sometimes as their service has been outstanding, yet the food has been mediocre. It peeves me to know that the kitchen staff, who did not perform, will take a proportion of the tip. The speed at which the order is delivered, as well as the timings between courses. There is nothing I hate more than having to rush my starter, just because someone else has finished their’s and the waiting staff have brought out the main courses. Value for money comes into it also. I have no reason to tip a restaurant if I don’t feel I’ve had the best value for the money I’ve spent.

I’ll probably get stick for being a tight arsed bastard about this, but don’t get me wrong, if I feel someone deserves a decent tip, then they’ll get it, but when it gets to the point that not paying a gratuity means you’re branded an “asshole” I think society is crossing the line.

  • http://www.andrewblackburn.co.uk Ben

    I’m with you Andy. I firmly believe that people from the US (not to mention the US film industry) has somehow deceived the world into thinking that you should tip them for even the most mediocre of service. When I was doing my 3 week tour of California and Nevada, the prices were comparable to the UK which, when you add the supposedly minimum $5 tip, makes your waffle and coffee at breakfast about the only thing you can aford for the rest of the day!

  • brooklynfox

    I have to comment on this and completely understand all the setiments about over tipping for what may be poor service and/or food.

    However when i was 25 i was introduced to my uncle’s millionaire fiends, in South spain, for the first time. Most shared the view that if they had struggled hard to make their money then why should they give a tip, they had to work long and hard hours so why didn’t the waiter/waitress.

    So, after suffering the total embarassment of being literally forced to not leave a tip on several occasions and having on most occasions to wait until they had moved on to another place before running back and apologising whilst handing the poor guy/girl a tip, i became a little obsessed with the tipping thing.

    I think my hatred for these sort of people now forces me to tip whetever happens, i even gave the waitress a tip in latinos in gibraltar when my lasagne came out cold in the middle and instead stuck my finger in the middle of the dish and flicked off the chef who was watching!

    Being a waiter/waitress sucks and, even if the rest of the monkeys get some of the dosh, as I am certain they have to deal with wanker clients much more than we have ever had to suffer them on an off day.