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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Response to "Foreigners Don't Tip"

When I wrote about how many times foreigners don't tip, I expected plenty of response from other waiters who were like, "no shit, Sherlock." Sorry, foreigners, it's true. A few people from other countries wrote to tell me that the articled had schooled them and they would be sure to tip correctly the next time they visit these shores. What surprised me was the people who were like, "yep, I'm foreign and I don't tip. Deal with it." Oh , hell no.

A Finlandian writes: I'm from Europe and no we do not tip. The way we think: "The waiters get their salary, and hey, the drinks were expensive enough". When I'm in US, I'm aware of the tipping system. But I too would leave just 3 bucks (considering that I only bought some drinks). 15% is waaay too much! For instance, if I spend fairly much on a couple of meals in a restaurant, with the 15% tip, I could already by myself another dessert at least.

Sorry.


What the fuck? I mean, I like your vodka and everything, but you're telling me that you know you should be tipping but you don't do it anyway because we already get our salary and you could buy a dessert instead? 15% is way too much I guess because we are already getting that huge paycheck each week for $8.00. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I give you reasonable cause to hate it when anyone from Finland sits in your station. Had there been a photo of the reader attached to the comment, it would be plastered all over this page so everyone knows who to avoid.

Another reader comments: Sorry, tipping's difficult when it's not customary. I usually stick to $5 when I come over. Fuck working out 15% - if we're not from America, we're on holiday. Who does maths on holiday? Sorry bitchy waiter ... my family do tip ... just gotta hope we don't spend more than $50 at once, right?

Okay, so this person just claims math deficiency as the reason they don't tip? God forbid if he is on fucking holiday that he pulls out his iPhone with a calculator on it and figures out how to leave a decent tip. It's just a $5.00 blanket tip all around no matter what the bill is, is that it? Because math is too hard to. "Gee whiz, math is tough and I'm a cheapskate. Bloody good and cheers, mate." Fuck that shit. And ladies and gentleman, I give you reason number two to hate the tourists from other lands.

Attention tourists from other lands: please help break the stereotype. If you're on vacation, leave 15% to your server. It will only make it better for the next tourist from other lands who visit and maybe someday we can all love each other like one big happy family. World peace starts with a 15% tip. Remember that.

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59 comments:

Donda said...

Umm Exsqueeze me! Math is effin' universal! That's a pisspoor excuse!

Bread said...

Ive had people from the UK come over and actually leave pretty good tips...come to think of it, most foreign people I have dealt with left right around 15%, give or take the oddball who tipped $3 or some crap like that.

There are MANY more cheap asses here in America. If you ever get a customer who looks like they just walked off the set of Jerry Springer or Montel Williams' Who's your daddy episode, run for the hills...it wont be pretty :)

ps: checkout More Bread, Please over at http://morebreadplz.blogspot.com

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Or, maybe foreginers want the reputation of being cheap jerks? Don't the waiters in the UK get a salary as well? Granted their are price fixe meals there.. Maybe the U.S. should start that system? I do know some restaurants in California have an option at the bottom of the bill of 15%, 20%, etc... and they even give a total w/the percentage for dummies who can't do math in their head.

Micael Chadwick ("Rabbit") said...

Shit. You oughta try being a Drag Queen if you think tightasses don't tip. We, usually, don't even get a "salary" and it takes a lot of money to grab that pussy and twirl.

Sucker said...

There should totally be a world peace group with that slogan. I can see it now: "World peace starts with a 15% tip."

Kabamf said...

I don't like the fact that Mr. Finladnian generalises that the entire continent of Europe doesn't tip. I'm from the UK (part of Europe) and I don't really know anyone who doesn't tip. Maybe the British Isles are special compared to these magical Europeans who are all the same (apparently).

Anonymous said...

hahaha great post but sucker, world peace starts with 18% maybe 20%... not a fan of foreigners always 10% or less ><

Becoming Mommy said...

Perhaps it would be helpful to let people from other places know that waitstaff do not make minimum wage. They make far less, in fact. Some restaurants pay the minimum tipped wage which is only $2.13/hr. Thats pathetic. 12 year old girls make more babysitting.

Tips are expected to make up the difference. Please tip your service staff. They rely on it to party down and do things like, oh, eat.

signed,
A Former waitress/bartender

mainiac said...

"World peace starts with a 15% tip"- love it! I think you should run for office. We need ppl like you running this country.

Alexa O said...

OK, So obviously it's not EVERY SINGLE foreigner. However, I worked for 4 years in a tourist trap in NC and I can tell you that Bitchy Waiter is (as usual) dead-on-balls accurate. They aren't as bad as the Red Hat Ladies (don't even get me STARTED on those loons), but there are enough foreigners out there who don't tip that they give the rest of y'all a bad name.

Oh, and if you're British, please, please, please, I am begging you: Don't order hot tea (especially on a 100 degree afternoon) and expect it to come the way you want it. Most restaurants have a token number of tea pots and a few tea bags floating around the back of the drink station. We're not going to heat up the tea pot for you (assuming we can FIND the tea pot), it's not going to be as hot as you want it, we won't have the high quality tea you expect, and all in all the experience is going to fail to meet your expectations.

Order coffee. We're REALLY good at coffee.

The Drunken Housewife said...

Is it really hard to calculate 10%? All you do is move a decimal. If you can figure that out, it can't be hard to figure out 15% from there. Maybe, it would be easier to figure 20% if you're really that hung up on the math. You should have pointed out to the guy that if he's only leaving a $5.00 tip, he should hope his bill isn't over $25-not $50.

In a green frock eating spinach from a bamboo bowl said...

I don't go over the the US very often, but I was over twice last year and I've actually been known to overtip. Man, everyone knows waiters in the US (and Canada) get paid fuck all...most of my friends in Toronto worked their way through uni as waiters or bartenders.

On the flip side, I've got friends here in the UK who love it when American tourists come into their pubs, as they tip REALLY WELL as a general rule (and bar and wait staff here get paid at least minimum wage, so they don't live off their tips).

My dad always tips in cash as he's paranoid the lovely waiter who served his table won't get the full amount he's tipped. He reckons the majority goes to the management, and that they can go fuck themselves. He's been known to subtly stick a note into the occasional pocket, which I've told him may not go over well as one day someone's liable to think he's coming on to them.

♥mily said...

I am from the US, and I have to admit that I don't tip the proper amount. But then again I don't go to "proper" restaraunts either. Mostly just Applebees, lol. So the check usually is not that much. I try to do 10 to 15 percent, but I am broke. I am 18. Really, when a group of teenagers sits down, do they really expect an awesome tip? I think not. They are getting our pocket change and they know it. Plus if my entire meal was like $12 and the waiter was rude and got my order wrong, they pretty much lose the dollar and change that I would have left.

Anonymous said...

I probably tip too much because I have a mental block when it comes to math and I'm afraid I won't leave enough. Honestly, though, I think they should just pay waitstaff a good wage like everyone else and tipping could go back to being something you get for great service.

Anonymous said...

Just pay the staff more and we wouldn't have this shitty problem. The bar has been set to low for service staff to expect tips in order to make a living wage. Just pay waitstaff a good wage like everyone else and tipping could go back to being something you get for great service.

Anonymous said...

i don't think the foreigners understand that waitstaff earns a couple bucks an hour....they should get a handy guide that waitstaff in the US is not treated as well in their foreign lands.....

miss tia

trippingtiffies said...

I always tip at least 20%. Always. Shit, I tip the carhops at Sonic. I've been a server, and those who haven't don't know or seem to understand that TIPS ARE THE PAYCHECK. I remember working over 40 hours a week and my actual paycheck was around $30. Tips MAKE the fill in the part where the paycheck stiffs you.

Mary A. said...

I thought Europe was so far ahead of us in Math & Science.

Guess I won't believe that propaganda anymore.

tipsfortips said...

When I go on vacation in Europe it is very difficult to remember to drive on the other side of the road. In America we drive on the right side. When I go on vacation so does my brain. I don't have time to remember things like local laws and customs. Besides if I hit anyone, it isn't like I will ever come back.

zeebee said...

You know, when you do your research on tipping in America, all the guide books and pamphlets and websites say '10-20%'. That's a blanket. It doesn't individualise profession. Does that mean in new york, on a $10 taxi ride, I'm meant to give the guy $12? Or $11? So yeah, I do the $5 rule. When you're only paying for one meal, that's pretty good going.

And actually, I'm brilliant at maths, but a holiday's a holiday. You were avoiding shit like crazy on yours. I do the same on mine.

But I don't agree with the Finnish guy. Over here, if you have a meal, there's a service charge, normally 20%. That's optional. You pay your bill, with or without it, then you leave cash for how well you think your waiter/waitress did. I'm not against tipping - like I said, I do it. I just don't like how everyone assumes foreigners are automatically meant to know exactly how much to tip per service. And like someone commented on the other post - we stretch it to tipping the maid at our hotel.

Anonymous said...

Come on, Finnish dude! If Americans can do the math, anyone can.

Jacks said...

This reminds me of when I lived in England and traveled throughout Europe. The waiters and bartenders (and taxi drivers, come to think of it) were always stunned when I would leave a tip. And I would always, ALWAYS tip, poor student that I was.

Terra said...

one comment from " in a green frock eating spinach from a bamboo" says that american waiters get paid enough to put them through a university. yeah if they're also selling sex. it's a lot cheaper for europeans to visit america than americans to visit europe. not only with the euro being worth double US dollars, but the plane fairs are only %30 of what an american would pay to go to europe.

and for the math on vacation. most cell phones have an EZ-Tip calculator. or buy an app.

Foreigners you have no reason to complain about expenses.

Lauren said...

It's 20%. 15% is okay, but if you have a busser, food runner, bartender and sometimes a host or dishwasher to tip out, it should really be 20%. It doesn't matter if you're poor (you're not that poor, or else you wouldn't be enjoying the luxury of eating out), young, old, foreign, bad at math, on vacation or whatever. It's still 20% for good service and if you don't leave that for your server, you're being a douche.

FrothyGirlzCJ said...

Close the borders! Forget education, health care and jobs - America needs to protect its waiters from 5% tips!

Mark W said...

First off, ♥mily needs to lick Bitchy Waiter's feet. No server worth anything ever wants a table full of teenagers, because we DO know they aren't going to tip. That's probably why they get shitty service, because people like ♥mily have ruined it for the few good teens out there. What ♥mily needs to get through her childish head is that no one wants to work for free, and if she can't afford to tip, she needs to stay out of the fucking restaurant. Bitch can go to McDonalds and stuff FOUR double cheese burgers in her throat for the price of a drink at Applebee's and not have to tip at all.

And I wonder if the Finlandian knows that most servers make $2.13 an hour? If I send an hour and a half waiting on his cheap ass, I will have earned a salary of $3.20. That's not even enough to buy a glass of tea in the same restaurant he's eating in. If you posted his picture, I'd definitely spit in his drink if I saw him at my table.

I once received a $5 tip from a foreigner on an $85 check. I chased him down and said "You forgot your change." When he told me that was the tip, I said "No, it's not. A tip would have been at least $12. What this is is an insult and tells me you think I gave you poor service. So, no, I don't want it, thank you any way. Have a great night, and welcome to the US!"

The hostess later brought me a $10 bill and told me it was from that guy. He really didn't understand, and I felt like a jerk, but at least I wasn't rude about it lol

Clear thinking said...

Bitchy waiter you rock. Bitchy waiter for president... Although I am Canadian. But in Canada we still get super jipped. Once upon a time in a hotel I worked. Serving in the bar. You drank all afternoon in your room and I spent hours on the elevator running drinks to you from the bar. I went to bill it to your room and you left me with ZERO. 0 $ 0cents. Clearly after I got shafted the dining room waitress that night got shafted. Thank god your AC broke and we had a full house and you were forced to check out. Hope you enjoyed that blasting heat that night.

For all those who work in hotels. We did not comp that room that night. The duty manager had enough when we had run 1000$ of F&B with no tip. We were a little upset!!!

FYI to all the readers that have never worked in a restaurant. When you kick out 3% of your sales out of your tips and ppl tip either shitty or not at all.. Were losing big time.

Decubitus said...

I would tip at least 10% but only if the service and food was good. I've worked as a waitress and the most I ever got tipped at once was £5 for a small party of people (though per shift I got about £10 of tips).
Most people don't tip over here so think yourself lucky you only have the odd foreigner.

bridgette said...

if people think we get a paycheck..think again! my pay is 2.13 and hour and I never see that, it goes to the taxes and the social security I will never see! so next time you go out to eat and think you dont want or dont have to tip because you already spent to much money: FUCKING STAY HOME AND COOK YOURSELF YOU LAZY PIECE OF SHIT!

SL said...

Dear Finland dude,

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

It's not rocket science.

Betty said...

I have a table of semi-regulars from Europe that I just love, because they know how to tip. One's English and two are Czech, but they leave ~50% every time. Thank god for people who know servers do not get "salaries", we get $2 an hour (even less in euros).

Bagel Fairy said...

@Emily: Amen to Mark W. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out. I find it really hard to believe that you can go out to a restaurant more than once but can't spare the extra cash for a tip.

Servers' low expectations of teenagers coupled with your admission you don't go to "proper" restaurants (whatever that means) are the most appalling excuses I've seen for low tipping in a long time.

You're 18. You're an adult. Grow up, get a job, and quit using the "ohhh I'm under 20 and poor" excuse.

Betty said...

P.S. - <3mily,
If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. Waiters expect the pocket change of teenagers, but that doesn't make it acceptable. And if you think you're broke now, wait until you have a job in food service where you depend on teenagers to tip 15% to survive.

Anonymous said...

On the rare occasion that I don't have enough to properly tip (as in, I only have around 10% to tip), I let my server know up front, so they know not to bust their ass. It rarely happens, and I'll normally ask when they're working again and bring them a proper tip later in the week. They always seem surprised to see me again, but when I come in the next time (with money to spare and tip properly) they always take the best care of me. I feel like a douche the first time, but I know I'll make up for it.

Clear thinking said...

@ On the rare occasion that I don't have enough to properly tip (as in, I only have around 10% to tip), I let my server know up front, so they know not to bust their ass. It rarely happens, and I'll normally ask when they're working again and bring them a proper tip later in the week. They always seem surprised to see me again, but when I come in the next time (with money to spare and tip properly) they always take the best care of me. I feel like a douche the first time, but I know I'll make up for it.


THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO EAT OUT STUPID!!!

Simone E. said...

From the "Finlandian":

First of all, excuse me if the tone of my comment appeared arrogant. I certainly did not write in that mind-set. In the morning rush, I wanted to add my 2 cents into the discussion.

I did not mean to generalize, of course some Europeans are used to leaving a generous tip. Having read my comment once again, I see that unfortunately, some may take it as a hasty generalization.

I simply wanted to show what's the average foreigner's stance on tips. We may often fall into thinking that waiters get a somewhat proper salary (perhaps because we are used to that in our own country) and regard tip as something additional. Also, with high price tags in the menu, you would expect that you partly pay for the service as well, hence the "hey, the drinks were expensive enough".

I will not comment on how it's in other European countries, but at least in Finland it is NOT customary to tip (now, by this, I do not mean that we have an excuse to ignore the US customs, but I'm rather trying to explain why some are not used to doing the math and do not take it dead seriously, but rather tip based on the thickness of their wallet and what they feel is appropriate). In Finland you might sometimes leave a couple of euros as a compliment if you were pleased with the service. You would leave the restaurant with a good conscience, knowing that the waiter will not swear at you behind your back. In the case that I only buy some drinks, and not a meal, it would seem to me that 3 dollars is sufficient amount to pay for taking and bringing my order. Perhaps it just feels so with a student's wallet...

Anyway, as the comments were prevailingly negative, with other waiters complaining bitterly about the lack of tips from foreigners, my intention was to show why it may be so - how we think.

And by the way, the amount or absence of a tip does not always correlate with the degree of "assholeness", excuse me for the lexicon (not the worse thing said over here anyway). Some are financially strained and cannot afford being generous, while others are simply not aware of the extent to which the waiters are dependent on the tip. I was not aware myself of the 2 dollars/hr wage. Whatever the case, waiters out there: you shouldn't condemn people so hastily, especially if the client did not give you a hard time. There are just different customs, different situations.

I have enjoyed reading your posts, Bitchy Waiter, and I will continue reading them in the future despite your new proclaimed attitude towards Finns :) After all, that kind of response was to be expected from your alter ego - The Bitchy Waiter.

Wishing you lots of local customers!

Cheers from Finland (the country of good vodka, no tip obligations, and friendly people :)

Btw I'm Ms and here's my face.

Luke Cloherty said...

Surely you're angst should be aimed towards your low-paying employers, not customers who are probably paying too much for 'service'. How's about you stop lambasting all non-Americans for their choices - tipping is fucking optional remember, one would be obliged to tip at best - and start lambasting your arse-hole boss. Or even better, get a job that does pay minimum wage. If a company were found to be paying somebody under the age of 18 less than minimum wage in the U.K. there would be repercussions. Through naivety I thought the U.S. was the same, but clearly not, which is pretty bloody shocking!

Luke Cloherty said...

I meant over 18 before anybody says it btw.

G said...

Okay, I'm gonna get some static on this one, but a 15% gratuity is not, repeat, is not automatic.

If the service is fine (all the way around, not just the waiter) then by all means, tip 15%.

But if it isn't, don't.

Tipping less than 15%, or not at all in rare cases, is the only way you can show your displeasure with the service you received.

Shannon Hilson said...

Um... fuck that noise. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Other countries are constantly complaining about Americans who go there expecting everyone to speak to them in English, cater to them in the way they're used to, and so forth. You have no right to complain unless you're willing to give the same adaptability you expect. As far as I'm concerned, if you go to a foreign country, you act as is expected of you or stay the fuck home.

Elise-Lucie said...

From what I know, it is common for restaurants in some countries to include the tip in the bill, which can explain why tourists may not tip all the time. Those are probably not cheap, but just assuming you've already been paid for the service you gave...However, when I travel, I tend to do some researches on that kind of stuff, to make sure my "behavior" is the right one, and that I don't look too much of a bitch...or a tourist!

The Bartender said...

@ heart-mily: stay the fuck home.

@ various anonimi: Not that I'm EVER defending the owners, but if they paid all us bartenders and servers etc. a full-on salary, do you have any idea how expensive eating out would be? Where do you think they would pull all this magical money from? Do any of you have any idea the operating costs involved in running a restaurant? Do you want to pay $30 for a drink? Or $40 for a hamburger? I didn't think so. That is why you tip. Or at least why you're supposed to. YOU pay me to wait on you. I'm not waiting on the owner. I'm waiting on YOU. The owner only pays me a token wage to work in his restaurant because it's against the law not to.

承王蓁 said...

及時行樂-快樂不需要理由............................................................

Phreddy said...

How is it that other countries pay their waiters a wage, making tipping related to the quality of service? This does not make it prohibitive to eat out - in Australia for example.

The waiting I have done, 30 years ago, at a prepaid function establishment in Melbourne for weddings etc., was hard work but quite good fun, we didn't expect a tip so what we got we really appreciated.

Of course $2.13 an hour is unlivable and it obviously creates a lot of ill feeling, going by The bitchy waiters articles and many of the comment responses. There must be a better way to earn a crust.

Islander Supe said...

In some foreign countries, particularly in South East Asia, Tips are associated with Bribery. At least that is how my family described the situation in the Philippines. A place where corruption runs so rampant compared to America attempting to "bribe" when in the U.S.A would be wrong. I mean I don't think most of them even realize it, especially when you've grown up like that.

astonished parker said...

I am not in any type of service industry, but I have a story about an American who apparently hadn't heard of tipping.

I picked up my boyfriend from the airport one night, and as we paid for parking at the automatic machine, a 20-something girl with a terrible attitude rambled loudly to her very bored-looking, mouth-hanging-open-and-eyes-glazed boyfriend about the last night of the trip she had just returned from. I believe her and her girlfriends had gone out the night before, and were at some point expected to leave a tip. For the door man? Waiter? Bartender? Cabbie? I don't know. This is what she said (phonetic spelling in parentheses):
"So I (ahhy) said (saaahhud) TIP (TEEYYUP)???!?!?!?!!! I ain' NEVA tip! So ahhy gave him (hiiyumm) a DOLLA."
Really Lady? Did you? How very kind. I hope whoever it was appreciated your tip very much, seeing as it was the first one you'd ever left in your young adult life.

teleburst said...

Aussie Phreddy wrote:

"How is it that other countries pay their waiters a wage, making tipping related to the quality of service"?

Here's how. The price of a "Blooming' Onion" in Australia is $8.90 based on today's conversion rate. the price of a "Bloomin' Onion" in Nashville today is $7.59 (including tax). That's an increase of...wait for it...15%! And you don't pay less if the service is awful.

I used a Bloomin' Onion as an example because it's the same product in the same restaurant. You have to compare apples with apples (or, in this case, onions with onions).

European countries mostly have a 15% service charge already included in the price. so, basically, you're being forced to tip regardless of how poor you find the service. And in Japan, if you compare prices between there and the US (once again, comparing like items), you'll find an add on 10% service charge on top of 15 - 25% increases in price.

Hope this clarifies the issue.

"So You Want To Be A Waiter" blog

http://teleburst.wordpress.com/

Keda said...

In South Africa we tip. We also tip about 15%, but me and my husband are both excellent tippers because we have both been on the serving side.

Problem is that when we go overseas, the exchange rate is massive on the Rand ($1 = R8 / 1 Euro = R15 / 1 Pound = R10). Just eating is expensive and it's not like you can go ahead and make yourself something if you don't want to eat out.

We try. We tip our best. But sometimes we just don't have the cash eventhough we need to eat.

Anonymous said...

In my Country TIP is a shame. after all we are recognized by our boss. If you are not happy with your salary complain to your boss, or go study to get a better job.

Anonymous said...

To the teenagers who say, 'We're poor teens under 18 and we can't afford to tip.' -- BULLSHIT. I'm in the food service industry and am always getting stiffed by fucking teenagers. Eating out is a luxury, not a necessity. Those few times I ate out when I was a teen, I made sure I had enough money to tip 15%. If you can't afford to tip, you probably shouldn't be eating out. Stay home and eat mac 'n cheese. Fuckwads.

Anonymous said...

Fuckin Americans complaining about money again. You live in the richest country in the history of the earth. More than a third of the world live on less than 2 dollars a day. You are making yourself look greedy as usual.

Elian C. said...

"15% is way too much I guess because we are already getting that huge paycheck each week for $8.00."

LOL, logic has failed on this one...honey, it's not my fucking problem that your salary is ony 8 bucks a week, I didn't force you to become a waiter, you CHOSE this job, OK??? is it my fault you weren't able to get a degree and find a job that pays better? Of course not...

Stupid Americans!

Anonymous said...

Of course we should protect our servers from 5% tips. How is education, health care, more important than anything else? Severs fall under the jobs category! But apparently you think servers matter less then whatever the hell pays your bills you fucking cunt.

Y'all better tip 20% atleast said...

Eat at McDonald's slut

Y'all better tip 20% atleast said...

Spot on

Y'all better tip 20% atleast said...

IF YOURE FINANCIALLY STRAINED YOU DONT HAVE THE MONEY TO EAT OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE

Y'all better tip 20% atleast said...

Revolutionary War. Faggot.

Y'all better tip 20% atleast said...

Get off our American forum you damn foreign ass bitch I bet you're a dirty Frenchy you fuckin frog

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