Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tip Etiquett

Some people may know from reading my blog that English is my second language. Pretty bad grammer here and there and I apologize. Anyways, I was driving my daughter yesterday morning as usual and doing the morning ritual; listening to "Morning Mash" on Sirius. The topic was how much is too much to tip for the food delivery guys or on take order food. Their conversation was when Rich (one of the dj's) tipped the delivery guy from Chinese restaurant across the street only $2 when the guy brought their lunch over, which sparked the debate with the other dj's Ryan. Ryan thinks Rich should've paid more than $2 for tip. Rich thinks he tipped the guy accordingly where the delivery guy just walked across the street and brought food. Lunch was about $16. I thought $2 for $16 is kind of steep. But Rich's point was that it's delivery. The delivery guy walked only 20seconds from his restaurant to the studio and brought food; he didn't serve the food nor took care of Rich's table.

I am from Japan where there is no tipping culture. Therefore, I sometimes don't know when to tip or how much to tip. For instance, when I go to Starbucks, I put change in their jar or maybe $1 if I order more than $10. But do we really need to? Or I order takeout from my favorite Japanese restaurant time to time and pick them up for myself. In this case how much should I tip? I usually end up tipping a lot because I read somewhere online that take out be considered full service where people prepare food and take time to box them. But do we really need to tip 15% - 18% for take out order?

But really, I'm so confused.. I know when I go to a restaurant I ought to pay at least 20%, depends on the service, of course. I know I should tip the guys from car wash place. I know how to tip in general circumstances. But there are times when I actually froze up and don't know how much to tip or tip at all. Can you help me understand, in which case I don't need to tip people???


Alev said...

We don't really have the tipping thing here either, so I really don't know.. But I think it's ridiculous that they turn this into some mandatory thing, you don't have to tip anyone, you just do it because you appretiate the servant's attention towards you when in restaurant or somewhere else. You shouldn't feel the need to do that I think, at least in my humble opinion.

MJ said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your layout is quite lovely :)

American tipping is a pain. For a full-service sit down restaurant, I will tip 15% to the waiter for average service, 20% if it's really good, much less (or nothing) if it's bad. For delivery (like pizza or takeout), I think $2 is sufficient, especially if they aren't going very far. But if I have to pick it up, I usually don't tip. I almost never tip at Starbucks, unless, like you said, I order a lot.

I always tip my hairdresser $10, but she always does a great job, works me into her schedule on my time, and takes her time doing the job right. I have been going to her for years though, and she gives me huge discounts because I send her clients. I tip a lot to help make up the difference in her discount to me.

Sometimes I will give someone a really good tip if I see they are working extra hard or if they are working alone.

It really has become almost a "mandatory" act, like you said. But for me, tips are earned NOT expected.

Great blog!

Maki said...

Alev: I am totally agree with you. I come from a country where there is no tipping thingy and I still don't understand the point sometimes. Some people think they deserve tips even when they do rousy job. I should be able to choose to tip, not be forced to tip, but in this county if we don't, we're cheap and shallow. Weird, huh?

mj: Oh my! Hello! Thank you so much for your comment - I didn't expect to hear from you. Your blog is really lovely and I enjoy it very much. You're right, tip shouldn't be expected. I feel like though, people in any type of business that get tip nowadays stop working to earn it, but they all expect it - I feel pressured to leave good tip regardless of their service. Thanks for the tipping advise! See you soon:)

RiverMist said...

omg I have the same problem!!! I'm peruvian and we usually don't tip in restauranst cuz it always comes included in the check, I totally with you, I like your blog very much.
you are going under my fav. list

Maki said...

rivermist: aww thanks so much for stopping by and leaving me the comment. i really appreciate it - it means a lot to me when I meet new people online and knowing that someone is reading my stories. anyway, yep, tipping is so tricky here. i get frustrated sometimes... i hope to stay in touch and hopefully that you'll check my blog out from time to time :)

RiverMist said...

of course you can.
I'm a blog addict and I know how much readership means, I'm just starting out and since i check my blog daily I'll meake sure to stop by yours eveyday ..or as much as I can, cuz one day i might be sick and not check it, you know, lol.

Maki said...

rivermist: awesome! thanks so much! i just linked your cool blog:)

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