All Articles Tagged "tipping"
“I Give God 10 Per Cent, Why Do You Get 18?” St. Louis Pastor Objects To Automatic Tip On Receipt, Waitress Gets Fired For Posting It Online
I think we’ve all been to a restaurant with a group before and felt some kind of way about the idea of automatic tips being added to our bills, but Pastor Alois Bell’s complaint of the 18 percent policy for her party took things to a whole new level of rude. And the end results of it all have her feeling regretful and sad, and has left a waitress too eager to entertain, without a job.
When dining at Applebees in St. Louis recently with members from her church, Truth in the Word Deliverance Ministries, Bell’s party included five adults and five children. Because their group was very big, an automatic gratuity of 18 percent for having to take care of such a large party was added to the adults’ tabs. However, Bell wasn’t feeling it, and decided to use her love of the Lord and the idea of tithing to contest the 18 percent, saying, “I give God 10% why do you get 18?” While Bell claims that she realized later that she was automatically charged the 18 percent, and that she willingly also left $6 on the table that evening, the receipt does have a 0 with a slash through it for the tip. She just so happened to sign her name as Pastor Alois Bell–much emphasis on “Pastor.”
But Bell wasn’t banking on the fact that her remarks were going to get blasted on the Internet and put a dent in her reputation really fast. After the original jilted server showed a co-worker, Chelsea Welch, the receipt, Welch went online and posted the receipt photo to Reddit.com. And once people saw the receipt, all hell broke loose. Bell said in an interview with KTVI-TV in St. Louis that people were so disgusted with her perceived slight of the waitress that they were not only calling her a hypocrite, but they claimed they weren’t going to church because of people like her. (Please…THIS is why you don’t go to church? Really? Riiiiiight.)
Bell wound up contacting the Applebee’s about the fact that her receipt had been posted, and to her surprise, according to The Smoking Gun, in a follow-up interview with the manager, Welch was fired for violating the right to privacy of Pastor Bell. Welch was of course upset about this, and thought that she did nothing wrong, telling The Consumerist that Bell’s name was covered on the receipt when she posted it online:
“When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light. In fact, I didn’t represent them at all. I did my best to protect the identity of all parties involved. I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook — I checked. But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.”
Sad about the firing, Pastor Bell has called her actions a “lapse in judgement” and says, “My heart is really broken. I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.” And Welch is still without a job (though a Facebook page to help get her re-hired has popped up). But I think what we can all learn from this is that if you’re not feeling an automatic tip because of a lack of service, you might want to complain to a manager. And if you don’t want to tip at all, you might want to stay at home and cook and serve yourself, but whatever you do, don’t drag God into your reasoning. C’mon sistas, we have to do better with this tipping thing because this type of story is getting old…
Manners don’t take a break for the holidays. Even if nonstop boozy holiday parties make you lose your composure, your lunch, even your pants once or twice, there are some formalities that we can never do away with.
For that, we turned to our friend Stephanie Hunt, director of Swan Noir, a company specializing in etiquette classes and programs. Below are Hunt’s five etiquette rules for making it through the holiday season. Have you broken any yet?
1- Say “Thank you”
If the gift is not handed to you personally, do not forget to send a thank you email, call, or, even better, send a handwritten note expressing appreciation and discussing how you will use the gift. The point being, please do not let someone have to seek you out to make sure that you received their gift.
It is OK to roll with technology, just be creative and expressive. A “thx” text is not creative nor expressive. Most people just want to feel appreciated for the things they do for others, whether the gift is big or small. So, got a bright red sweater from Grandma? Tweet a pic of yourself to your network and send a pic to Grannie. Your smiling face wearing that sweater can be sweeter than words to some.
2- Giving Cash
To some who may be traveling or extremely busy at holiday time, it may be downright convenient to give cash. Should you give cash to someone who is unemployed? It depends on the relationship. Not everyone who is unemployed is strapped for cash. But, if you know the person is really suffering and doesn’t have much savings, by all means give cash. Gracefully, of course, no strings attached. Privately give a card with a caring message and cash inside if you think giving the cash gift in front of others will cause any embarrassment. You could always give anonymously as well.
3- Should we say Grace at the meal?
If you know that you will have a few guests of different faiths or some that are nonbelievers then you can preface Grace with, “If you wish to share in grace, please join me if you feel comfortable.” You can skip Grace and your guests can say what they are grateful for, or you can make a nonreligious statement thanking them for their friendship, love, or generosity.
4- Give a gift or a Tip? Here is the short list for who to tip and who should receive a gift during the holidays:
Tip- Doorman, Building super, Handyman, Paperboy ($10-$50 dollars)
Gift- Assistant, Teachers, Home health aide, Nanny, Day care staff (Stay away from intimate gifts. Gift cards are best. Or gifts made from your children are great for nanny’s and teachers)
Either a Gift or a Tip- Hair dresser, Dog walker, Trainer, Cleaning lady, Babysitter (One week’s pay or amount of one visit)
Keep the gift in its original packaging. The packaging shouldn’t be worn or torn, faded from sunlight, etc.
Never re-gift something broken, used, has a part missing or doesn’t work.
Never re-gift to the person who gave it to you.
Never re-gift something personal or intimate.
Never re-gift an item that is out of style or off the market.
Zagat, the restaurant rating guide, finds that Americans are tipping more than they used to. In 2000, the average tip was 18.2 percent. In 2011, that figure is 19.2 percent.
However, Americans are also dining out for fewer meals, on average; from 3.3 per week in 2006 to 3.1 in 2011.
A Wake Forest business school professor, Sherry Jarrell, tells Business Insider that sympathy is to blame. More people feel bad for a hard-working server. And with the bill for eating out on the decline, tips increase. There could be some empathy mixed in as well. Former servers may feel they should tip a little more.
The story goes into further detail about tipping practices according to where you live and economic status. For African Americans, tipping has become one more topic of cultural significance: Do black people tip less? It’s a topic we’ve covered here on Madame Noire. Our writer talked about her days as a waitress, being run ragged and then stiffed by a table of four African Americans.
Over on The Root, the author suspects that her African-American customers simply didn’t know that 20 percent is standard. Moreover, the writer thinks that frustrations about racism are to blame.
“I found that the tables that demanded the most tipped the worst,” the author says. “It became painfully clear that I gave my distressed guest an opportunity to feel superior.”
Not tipping because service was poor is justified. But not tipping just because is not. If you’re going out to dinner, budget a tip into what you expect to spend.
Are you a decent tipper? And if not, why?
This incident is why black folks can’t get out from under the stereotype of being bad tippers. Jasmine Marks claims that she and her family were locked inside a Houston restaurant when they refused to tip the servers after the bill came. And though that sounds ridiculous and all types of wrong, Marks wasn’t totally innocent in this situation.
The thing is, Marks and her family made up a party of five, which meant that an automatic 17% gratuity would be added to the bill, as clearly stated on La Fisherman’s menu. When the bill came though, Marks felt the waitress didn’t earn that much of a tip due to missed orders and poor customer service and asked how the gratuity could be removed. The manager told her there was nothing they could do and when Marks refused to pay the tip, the restaurant’s doors were locked and the police were called.
“She said, ‘That’s fine. If you don’t want to pay the gratuity we have HPD outside,’” Marks told KPRC. “I asked the police officer twice, maybe three times, is it against the law if we don’t pay the gratuity and he never gave me a straight answer.”
Eventually Marks and her family paid the 17% to avoid any further problems—like being arrested—but the situation has attracted the attention of the Better Business Bureau, who is now looking into the incident and insists costumers need to be made aware of a restaurant’s policies before they sit down for a meal. Did someone forget this policy was right on the menu?
I can understand not wanting to pay for bad service, but you don’t handle that situation by attempting to only partially pay. You ask to speak to a manager, get an entrée comped, or something like that. This little incident has me thinking someone didn’t read the fine print.
What do you think about this situation? Who was wrong, the restaurant or the family?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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That bad service you received last time you dined out may not have been an optical illusion. A new survey of waiters in North Carolina revealed that nearly two-fifths of the respondents admitted to treating customers differently based on their race. About 53 percent of servers reported seeing other servers discriminate against African American customers by giving them poor service at least some of the time, and as much as 90 percent of the respondents also said they engaged in or overheard racially-charged conversations among co-workers.
A total of 200 servers at 18 full-service chain restaurants in the state were surveyed; 86 percent of the respondents were white. Among the 38.5 percent of servers who reported providing inferior service to African-American customers, many expressed views that African American customers are impolite and/or poor tippers, and suggested that black patrons, especially, are likely targets of servers’ self-professed discriminatory actions.
Sarah Rusche, a PhD candidate in sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper, says “tableside racism is yet another example in which African Americans are stereotyped and subsequently treated poorly in everyday situations.” I’ve been on both sides of the coin. Sometimes I’ve been out with people who didn’t see the responsibility to properly tip servers or who were very rude for no reason, but I’ve also been on the side of not receiving the service I deserve from the get-go and reflecting that in a server’s tip.
What do you think? Are black folks genuinely bad tippers or is this an unfair stereotype?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(Bankrate) — Tipping can be daunting. While most of us know that it’s appropriate to tip our server at a restaurant, it’s not always clear whether to tip the hotel concierge, funeral chaplain or dog groomer. If you leave a tip, how large should it be? Is 20 percent an across-the-board solution? Will your tip leave you looking like Donald Trump or Ebenezer Scrooge? Are there situations where tipping isn’t necessary? This list from Bankrate should help you answer these questions as well as give you specific.
So yesterday I was reading a Shadow & Act post about a new web series called “Black People Don’t…” a satirical yet candid discussion with black folks around stereotypical things we, as a people, supposedly don’t do. Anyway, there was one episode that really caught my attention on the subject of blacks not tipping. Now I know what you’re saying — ”That is a racist untruth that does not dignify an answer, blah, blah, and blah….” — but before folks get all indignant I have a story to tell.
All through high school and pretty much through college, I worked as a waitress. In fact, my very first on-the-books job was as a waitress at Friendly’s – you know, the place that makes those SuperMelt sandwiches and ice cream sundaes. Anyway, my first few weeks of work was spent as a waitress-in-training, which meant that I had to follow around a tenured waitress, whose job it was to ready me for waiting tables of my own. She took kindly to me, showing me the ropes on how to hold one of those large trays without dropping it, how to handle multiple tables at one time and dropping other pearls of wisdom to make my experience at Friendly’s more friendly. On my first day on the floor my mentor pulled me aside and gave me one last tidbit of advice: “Whatever you do, don’t take it personal. Black folks just don’t tip.” Huh? I was stunned, short of offended, not only because she was brazen enough to say that to me but also because she was a black lady. Surely, this lady was suffering from some sort of self-hatred issues. Boy was I wrong.
One of my very first tables of the night was a four-top of two black women, one black guy and a black baby. Before I could get the customary “Welcome Friendly’s may I take your order” out my mouth, I was already besieged with demands for appetizers, soda, more crayons and a gazillion questions about what could and could not be substituted on the menu. After finally taking their orders I was summoned to the table a total of 12 times for more soda, a glass of water, another box of crayons, more napkins and ranch dressing. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they had asked me for everything at one time, but these people were determined to work me hard. But through it all, I gritted my teeth and smiled because I knew that my due-diligence in providing the very best in Friendly’s service was going to be rewarded with a big fat tip. Boy, was I batting 0-2. Not only did the bothersome-foursome not leave a tip, they had the nerve to leave $2 less than the bill.
At first I thought it was a Philly-thing, until I started waitressing my way through college, this time at Red Lobster, and noticed that the poor to no tipping policy by black folks seemed to be universal. It was so bad that most of the waitstaff – regardless of color – would moan and groan when they saw a table of black customers in their section. Honestly, I would do it too. I know it sounds ignorant, but as a poor college student, hustling through classes and 40 hours (or more) a week at work, I could not afford to be pro-Black. That was until one day I began to reflect on my and my co-workers’ treatment of our black customers and thought, maybe it was us. Maybe I had been so scared by the first bad experience with the black table of four and the words of my black mentor that I had just internalized this black folks don’t tip meme and began to treat them accordingly.
So for one shift, I instructed the hostess to make my section the unofficial “colored” section of the restaurant. This sent shockwaves through the Red Lobster kitchen, especially among the waitstaff, who thought I was foolish, but were okay with it as my foolishness gave them an opportunity to make some real dough that night. Anyway, all night I hustled through my tables, delivering trays and trays of ranch dressing, ketchup and a plethora of napkins. I also smiled and engaged the customers more, even offering suggestions for substitutes, which I felt might be more to their liking. At the end of the night, I counted up my tips and lo and behold, I still made less than what I normally did. However, each one of my tables tipped me something, even if it was just a dollar per person.
So yeah, part of it is the attitude of servers themselves, however I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other factors, including misinformation and the flat-out, “I’m just not doing it” rationale. To those, who are misinformed or feel they shouldn’t have to tip, remember that it is customary to tip your server between 15 to 20 percent of your bill. Sounds like a lot but not really, especially when you consider that the average server typically makes 2-3 bucks an hour. That’s right, the person who has been on his or her feet for the past 6 hours, bustling from table to table, filling endless requests for water, napkins and more ketchup, makes less per hour than the guy who greets you at the nearby Walmart. This is because waitstaff employers are by law allowed to pay individuals engaged in occupations in which regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips, less than minimum wage. This unfortunate reality means that wait staff must rely on the finicky, and sometimes abusive, demands of a public, who uses individual criteria of “good” service for their sole source of income. In other words, you can have one table which is only interested in the bare minimum of food, water and bill and call that good service, while another table feels that they are entitled to work and berate you because you have a plastic nametag in the shape of a Halibut pinned to your shirt. So whatever the reason, leave your waitress/waiter something because, unless they work at “Chez You Fancy, Huh?” on Beverly Hills Blvd, many of them are working-class folks, just like some of you, hustling and scrapping to get by.
But I will say that I’m not so sure if the reputation is ours to bear alone. After my little social-experiment that day I started really monitoring who would and would not leave a tip. I found that foreigners from countries where a livable wage is customary of service people, single white women with children and poor folks of all colors, did not tip regularly or appropriately. The latter too was of course for economic reasons. And despite their inability to tip me appropriately, they were always really nice and thankful for the service, which in the end, made my job much more pleasant.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
(Daily Finance) — Where do you fall on the tipping spectrum? Do you hand the pizza delivery guy a $20 for your $14 pizza and declare with a grin, “Keep the change,” or are you the type who slips the bartender a folded-up $1 bill and hopes he won’t notice until after you’ve downed your $16 martini and skedaddled? In honor ofLarry Fox, the New York City deli delivery guy who outs bad tippers on his website,15percent.tumblr.com, (and got fired for it),DailyFinanceoffers a guide to avoid winding up among Larry’s gaggle of gratuity grinches. We turned to Jacqueline Whitmore, the founder ofetiquetteexpert.com, for advice on how much to tip.
Food server:”I know it’s hard to believe, but 18% is the new norm — 15% is the absolute lowest,” she said. “These people work very hard. They’re even bussing tables now. This is their livelihood.”
Do you know everything there is know about tipping? Paying the bill when you take a vacation, dine in at a restaurant, or receive a manicure only accounts for half of what establishments expect. It’s also customary to leave gratuities or tips as appreciation that you (the customer) valued their service. Here’s a short list of some careers that heavily rely on tips and how you can redeem them:
(New York Times) — To find out what to do when service is bad, we asked Peter Post, an etiquette expert at the Emily Post Institute whom we featured in an Ask an Expert series last year. According to Mr. Post, the time to show your disappointment with bad service is not when you’re giving a tip. Instead, you should complain before. “The time to complain about it is the time when the service is poor,” he said. The tip, Mr. Post said, is part of what makes a waiter’s income livable and is often shared by many people. So, for instance, if you are at a restaurant and service is slow, or the waiter or kitchen messes up your order, Mr. Post recommends talking to the offending person and the manager and expressing your dissatisfaction. Often, you’ll even get a free meal or at least a discount as consolation, much more than you would save by cutting the tip.