'If service is included why isn’t it in the bill?' blog discussion

edited 8 February 2010 at 10:37AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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  • Gorgeous_GeorgeGorgeous_George Forumite
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    I always tip but I'd support a move away from tipping. I usually tip in cash even if I pay for my dinner by card.

    I think there are wider issues other than whether or not the tips are passed on to the staff - or to those staff whom you wish to tip. Do all recipients of tips (not just restaurant staff) declare ALL of their tips as income for tax purposes? I have my doubts.

    There just seems to be something dishonest about tipping - a bit like paying cash to a tradesman. Tips should either be tax-free or properly accounted and part of the menu structure.

    Why does serving a £30 lobster deserve a £3 tip but a £5 cod just 50p? Is the service 6 x better? It's like paying 10 x more for an oil change on an expensive car than on a cheaper one - even when the oil is identical and the work the same.

    So many questions - but I won't lose sleep over it.

    GG
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  • glider3560glider3560 Forumite
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    One thing that really gets me is when restaurants only add service to your bill when you are in a group. The reason I have objections to this is:
    1. They are making more money out of your group than other groups
    2. It probably costs them less to service a table of 10 than 5 tables of 2 people each

    Personally, I never tip. Occasionally I'll say keep the change but that is more for my own convenience. My view is that it isn't my problem if their employer doesn't pay them enough money. Before anyone says that these people are on minimum wage and need to survive, I've worked previously on minimum wage dealing with shouting customers down the phone and never received any tips due to the nature of the work.
  • wildthing01wildthing01 Forumite
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    i would prefer to keep the service charge separate at the end of the bill, so i can put a big black line through it!!!!!!

    i always tip cash where poss, as i think it's the safest way to ensure the waiting staff actually get it. plus, if we've had rubbish service, i can leave it out all together.
  • I don't think this is a good proposal, because it allows for too much 'rounding' on each individual item, which creates an artificially-inflated cost.

    If you add 10% on to the whole bill, then you can round that up. But if you round up individual items it rounds up to a greater amount than the original tip, if that makes sense?

    I think keep it optional. Recently, I've become quite fluid with tipping. If the service is really good, I happily give 20% plus. But if the service is very poor, I won't tip at all, although I do bear in mind whether it's the waiter/waitress at fault or the kitchen (often, the kitchen is slow and the front-line staff end up suffering).

    What I do disagree with though is the tipping of certain professions who already earn plenty. For example, although I'll tip a restaurant, I don't like tipping taxi drivers, as I think their fares are already very high.
  • RadiantsoulRadiantsoul Forumite
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    I get quite frustrated when service charges are added on and it seems that it is just a way of inflating prices.
    I would generally like to chose what to tip and I would like to see it shared by front and back of house staff. But I would like to know up front what happens to any tips.
  • bylromarhabylromarha Forumite
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    glider3560 wrote: »
    One thing that really gets me is when restaurants only add service to your bill when you are in a group. The reason I have objections to this is:
    1. They are making more money out of your group than other groups
    2. It probably costs them less to service a table of 10 than 5 tables of 2 people each

    I was going to raise this - it happened to us this weekend. Table of 13 - service charge is added to parties over 8 people.

    I really hate it when restaurants add on the service charge - you feel there has to have been something extreme for you to ask it to be removed.

    Restaurants get more custom from me if there's an opt in on tipping - I know I'll never opt out.
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
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    Whether you tip based on the discounted price is a whole discussion in itself.

    If you know you are getting a real bargain, you can afford to be generous on the tip. If the deal just brings the price to the sort of amount you would normally expect to pay, then tip on the lower amount.
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  • Larger parties are more of a pain to restaurants to organise and the spend per head is less as well. I still dont think they should charge extra for it but that what happens.
  • Being on a tight budget I take with me what I can afford to pay for a meal & drinks and order accordingly. Can I afford a dessert? Can I really afford the extra onion rings etc? Better have a half instead of a pint. I can't afford to add on 10% afterwards just because someone did the job they're paid to do anyway. It's not that I'm tight, I just don't agree with all this tipping being taken for granted. It should be a reward for exceptional service not standard service, imho.
    The trouble with common sense is... it isn't really that common!
  • bylromarhabylromarha Forumite
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    taytay wrote: »
    Larger parties are more of a pain to restaurants to organise and the spend per head is less as well.

    Not in our case! It was a chinese buffet all you can eat, price per head. Service charge for groups. As there were so many of us, we had lots of beer. If it had just been me and OH it'd have been 1 beer each - instead we had 9 between just us :rotfl:Same thinking for everyone else in the group too - 34 bottles altogether.
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
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