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  #31 (permalink)  
Old June 8th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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On cruise ships the waiters and room stewards are on a tip system so their cruise ship wage is proportionately lower.

I don't understand why this is a big deal since here in America wwe are used to this system in restaurants.

In fact, while you may not realize it, restaurant tipping in Europe is almost unheard of, and I have asked locals and it turns out that it is because they pay their waiters a normal (not tip-adjusted) wage.

As a result restaurants in Europe generally cost about 20% more than similar places in the States - because the service is included whether or not they itemize it separately on the bill or not.

In fact -many restaurants in Europe have started a "system" of not itemizing the service charge just so unsuspecting American tourists will still leave a generous tip. Yeah, those cute Europeans with their adorable accents are not always as altruistic as we tend to see them. In fact, most of the big cities in Europe have pretty much a New York attitude when it comes to watching out for yourself.

If you ask a waiter in Europe if tipping is expected they always say yes to Americans. Europeans just don't ask, and they also don't tip.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old June 8th, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Just a question buttons: You own a car service, do your drivers get tips? I know here we tip limos & taxis.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old June 8th, 2012, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
, Buttons, this topic has been hashed and rehashed on so many cruising boards so many times. Perhaps this is your first time through a thread like this. It is about my 20th! So here we go again ...



You see, that is the principal point, and the principal advantage, of the tipping system. A restaurant server, more than almost any other employee, is DIRECTLY responsible to the customer and has a MAJOR impact on the entire dining experience. Now the restaurant owner could simply increase server's wages across the board, and the good and bad servers would get the money, and the customers would likely get less service and pay a higher price. ECONOMICS 101 -- if the owner's cost goes up, the price he charges HAS to go up.

Instead, the long tradition in the restaurant business, which works very well, is that WE, the customers, get to "rate" our service by the tips we give. We know that the price shown on the menu is "PLUS TIP" and figure that into our thinking. Then we decide what the server should receive based on the actual service we receive.

Most of the time I will tip the server the standard 15-20% provided they get the order right, serve the right plates to the right person, keep my ice tea refilled, check back to make sure everything is right, and promptly clear the table and bring the check. That is minimum good service. They have earned their "salary" from me.

If the server goes beyond that, brings me extra dressing and lemon for my tea, brightens my meal with a friendly attitude, get stuff where it belongs when it belongs there every time, is efficient and accurate, then their tip goes up to 25% or more. That server should then feel rewarded, make a good income, and stay in the business to serve me again.

If the server can't come up to the minimum, forgets who gets which plate, doesn't fill my beverage, wanders around and can't be found, is surly, or otherwise does not enhance my dining experience, their tip goes down. When it has fallen to 5% or so, I also write a note on the tab detailing why they are not getting a good tip.

On occasion I have been known to pointedly leave a quarter next to my plate to be sure the server gets the message. Hopefully they will complain about lousy tippers and get a job at Home Depot or something where they won't bother my enjoyment of the meal.

I love this system. It puts ME in control and demands that servers work hard to earn their tips.

The worst service I have ever had on a cruise ship was on the Matson Monterrey, years ago, where the servers were union members. They positively did not care.

With this "automatic" tipping now on so many cruise ships, it has been my observation that service is slipping. The ships where I have continued to get outstanding service have been those where I noticed that the headwaiters were doing their job and training and supervising constantly. Those where the headwaiters just stood around, or schmoozed the customers, were the ones with the worst service. Remove the incentive of tipping, and you have to replace it with supervision. I prefer the tipping, myself.

PS -- sometimes Capital Letters are for EMPHASIS and not for YELLING!
Excellent point of view, but what do you think about alot of restaurants now adding 18% gratuity before you even sit down.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old June 8th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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Just a question buttons: You own a car service, do your drivers get tips? I know here we tip limos & taxis.
Yes Aerogirl they do get tips...and probaly if they did'nt then I would have to re-equate the split of gross earned per driver and fuel costs and probaly raise fares...
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old June 8th, 2012, 06:37 PM
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I am guessing drivers also get stiffed more than most poeple just because cars are already pretty expensive, and you know you'lll never see the driver again.

Plus - I hate to say it but there are some shady taxi drivers out there who take the long way on purpose (in a taxi with a meter, not a car service) and if you are from out of town no never really know.

That's why I hate when a cabbie asks me where Im from. I have also "turned in" some cabbies who I know ripped me off. One guy here in my hometown took the far away ebtrabce to our airport - off course I knew better. He made a lie that the city had asked all cabs to use that entrance (pure BS).

I called his company after the ride (I paid the full fare, but no tip so he made no money from me) and told them what he did. The company sent me back my cab fare and told ne they put the driver into a weel-long training session - no income.

I used to catch cabbies in NY because I knew how much a ride from laGuardia to my door cost - and if it was $10 over and regular traffic I owuld look at their wheels - they would be underinflated. So I would tell them "either charge me the right amount or I'm calling your company" and I never had a problem.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old June 8th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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I am guessing drivers also get stiffed more than most poeple just because cars are already pretty expensive, and you know you'lll never see the driver again.

Plus - I hate to say it but there are some shady taxi drivers out there who take the long way on purpose (in a taxi with a meter, not a car service) and if you are from out of town no never really know.

That's why I hate when a cabbie asks me where Im from. I have also "turned in" some cabbies who I know ripped me off. One guy here in my hometown took the far away ebtrabce to our airport - off course I knew better. He made a lie that the city had asked all cabs to use that entrance (pure BS).

I called his company after the ride (I paid the full fare, but no tip so he made no money from me) and told them what he did. The company sent me back my cab fare and told ne they put the driver into a weel-long training session - no income.

I used to catch cabbies in NY because I knew how much a ride from laGuardia to my door cost - and if it was $10 over and regular traffic I owuld look at their wheels - they would be underinflated. So I would tell them "either charge me the right amount or I'm calling your company" and I never had a problem.
Paul, the cars have meters. First to be honest, the complaints for my company anyway are not common. However If I do receive a complaint I first fill out a form with all important info documented, it is then placed in the drivers folder if the complaint sounds legit. I then determine what the problem was. If it had anything to do with taking the long way, or milking the meter then the money is refunded without question. If the complaint has to do with the way the driver served the passenger such as rudeness then a credit for a local ride in the future is givin, that is my policy. My belief is if you run a shady company then your clients become your competitions clients.

If the driver has a good record then I would just talk to the driver and ask him what happened at the close of business day, if it is serious then I would instruct him to go off duty and return to base. If the drivers record is running its course with complaints then that driver is fired...and trust me the other car service will not hire that driver...trust me we communicate.

If I determine that the driver is bordering on being fired, close to the point of no return then his calls are restricted...meaning he does'nt get the long distance calls or the regular clients and he is monitored through out the day, making sure he is completing his trips on a timely basis. If he is taking extended unreasonable time he is dealt with then immediately.

I hope I did'nt run on with my answer, but its not as cut and dry as you think..alot has tobe takin into account when you deal with complaints.

P.S...The average call in my area of Pennsylvania is approx $15.00 and up due to everything being far apart....and lots of times to get form one place to another you have to travel over mountains...sure their are calls far less...but were talking on average.

Last edited by buttons16; June 8th, 2012 at 07:30 PM.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by buttons16 View Post
Excellent point of view, but what do you think about alot of restaurants now adding 18% gratuity before you even sit down.
I hate it! Not too many restaurants do that for small parties. A whole lot do it for larger groups. It essentially is exactly what I said, raising the price of the food.

As I posted above I usually tip 15-20%, and up to 25% for good service. If the restaurant chooses to set the amount of the tip, then that is what they get but NEVER A PENNY MORE! Most servers will, in fact, lose money from me if they set the tip at 18%.

Another thing that really annoys me on cruise ships that have "automatic tipping" -- frequently in his disembarkation talk the CD will suggest that is a "minimum" and we should add something to it! I guarantee you I will never ever do that either. The management gets to decide on the size of the tip (add it to the cost) OR I decide on the tip and reward good service. But NOT both ways!

And incidentally, regarding Paul's comments, the thing to do in Europe is look for the tiny little words "servis compris" on the menu. It means "Service included."
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by buttons16 View Post
Excellent point of view, but what do you think about alot of restaurants now adding 18% gratuity before you even sit down.
I know of zero restaurants that add gratuity for parties of 7 or less, it’s on 8 or more. I'm more than familiar with the restaurant business and it must be stated on the menu or contract if your adding a service charge on any size party.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 03:56 PM
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I know of zero restaurants that add gratuity for parties of 7 or less, it’s on 8 or more. I'm more than familiar with the restaurant business and it must be stated on the menu or contract if your adding a service charge on any size party.
I have been to a number of restaurants that add 18% before you sit down...in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York...check the desaki restaurant in Pennsylvania for starters. Not only do they charge 18 % but when they give you the check they have a space for a added tip when you use your credit card..Most people don't see the extra fine print on the menu at the very bottom on the last page....in Desaki it states "a 18% gratuity will be added per table"...many more restaurants I can name.

I do understand that a majority are 7 or 8 people or more for the 18%..but lots of restaurants around the country are starting this very annoying practice.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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I have now heard that fast food chains are starting to put tip jars on the counter...ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 04:02 PM
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That's just wrong for them to do. I thinking it's an east coast thing at this point? I can understand doing it on parties but just to sit ...... just wrong!
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by buttons16 View Post
I have now heard that fast food chains are starting to put tip jars on the counter...ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
Starbucks does as long as it's a free standing store and not inside another store like Target.....
I don't mind throwing in some change but I don't feel like I have to if I don't.
I expect to tip wait staff and cab/limo drivers but I think some are pushing it a little too much.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 04:17 PM
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I too have seen the tip jars in Starbucks, what is with that??
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Right Donna?
Ok not to sound like a jerk but the topic has gone off course of ďAll Things Cruising"
"As they say it is what it is"
p/s I hate that saying!


Now I want an iced vanilla latte
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