Monday, June 20, 2011

Do You Tip For A Job Well Done Or Out Of Guilt?

Terry's Coffee Shop in Brooklyn close to Marcy...Image via WikipediaWhen you leave a tip are you doing it for good service? Do you leave the same amount of tip even for bad service? I know I have. I have been told servers are paid a meager wage and the bulk of their income is depending on tips. I know it makes me feel a little guilty that I may be, short changing my server.

Even if I have gotten lousy service I can never work up the notion to stiff someone or leave a small tip. I guess some people are neurotic and need approval by leaving a decent tip. We don't want to be thought of as cheap. So out comes the cash.

Cornell professor Michael Lynn has found in 20 years of research, the main reason people tip is to avoid social disapproval.

What was a shocking fact was that the level of service has little to do with the amount of tip. He found out that the level of satisfaction was influencing only four percent on the decision of how much to tip. Also that our willingness to tip regardless of service was because of a sense that the customer is in a better position financially than the server and wishes to avoid the servers envy. Thus a tip is a payment to reduce that envy, says Professor Lynn. Also that the tip is a way to say, sorry that you have to serve me.

Tipping is a cost of being served

If you think about the pay structure of service people, you will see that tipping is sometimes their only payment for services. Tipping is expected. If restaurants paid the servers a living wage, then the restaurant owner would pass that expense down to you. You would be paying the tip in another form.

Tipping experts say that you should pay a server 15 percent for adequate service and 20 percent for very good service. For poor service you still pay ten percent. Remember that the servers have to pass on some of their tips to the busboys, bartenders, and hostess. Punishing the server, only punishes the others to.

You might think of the waitress, too. It's possible, just possible, the poor service you received was not really her fault. Maybe the kitchen was backed up or she was given too many tables to cover.

If you want to help cure bad service, rather than skip the tip, speak to the manager about the server's behavior or about what was wrong with your dinner.

What about the tip jar?

When you see a tip jar you can feel free not put anything in it. The tip jar is just a way to make you feel guilty by putting it in the open and everyone watch what you put in it. Starbucks, day care, convenience stores, and ice cream stands are not supposed to be tipped. It is optional, if you feel so motivated, put something in.

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