The scam of restaurant tips
Monday, 09 June 2008 18:54

When you pay a £2 service charge at a Holiday Inn, £1.50 is pocketed by the company says Johann Hari commenting in "The Independent".

He describes how restaurants withhold money from tips to pay for broken crockery and meals when a diner absconds.

I have never understood tips and tipping at all. Why is it that some people think that when they have done the thing that they are paid for they should get a monetary gift? Have you ever tipped the checkout operator in Tesco, or your doctor? I really don't see what is different about waiters, car wash attendants and hairdressers.

What was the origin of this practice? If anyone knows do please tell me. 

There is a contract between me and the proprietor of the establishment, they provide the meal or haircut, I pay the price. All I expect is it brought to the table in a timely and civil manner.

Frankly I find the north american custom of tipping around 15% of the bill disgusting. On US operated cruise ships too there is often a scale charge, say 10$ per passenger per day. Needless to say I will not be going on an Alaskan cruise and shelling out and extra $140 in tips. Neither will I be going to the Galapagos Islands where a brochure the I sent for said that tipping was expected and the suggested rate was 10$ per day. My experience in the US has been that the staff are smarmy and ingratiating which I find offensive. They also abuse their employers by giving things that they should not so that the customer feels guilt.

In one hotel the waitress openly said she had a stock of breakfast vouchers and could sell me on for much less that the cost of breakfast. 

I expect the operator to pay the staff properly it's not up to me to make up their wages while the employer creams off lots of profit.

So, my future way will be to keep leaving nothing or a small amount if there was something truly exceptional. 

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