Two Plus Two Newer Archives

Two Plus Two Newer Archives (
-   EDF (
-   -   PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased? (

El Diablo 11-30-2007 04:54 AM

PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?
OK, so here's the deal. I was pondering two questions today. I thought there was a slight chance these threads might make for decent EDF threads, but a good chance that they quickly result in just pretty retarded discussion. But, whatev, I can lock threads, so here goes.

Don't answer this question unless you have an economic/business/sociological aspect to your post. PEOPLE TIP TOO MUCH!! or PEOPLE ARE CHEAP!!! or F TIP JARS AT SUBWAY! or whatever are all idiotic responses, so don't make them. Thanks. If you think the thread sucks, just ignore it, it'll get locked soon enough if it sucks.

Also, if you don't agree with the premise of this question, DON'T RESPOND IN THIS THREAD, thanks.

So, having said all that, here's the question.

Why have standard tipping amounts/expectations increased over time?

When I was growing up, pretty much through college, 15% was relatively standard, but it was not uncommon for people to tip 10% and it was very rare for people to tip over 15%. Friends who waited tables would be very surprised to get tips over 15%. And tipping pretty much just existed at sit-down restaurants.

Nowadays, 15% is like a baseline tip. That's pretty much expected. Especially at nicer places, 18%+ is often the norm. Friend who wait tables at places like that often expect 20%. Also, tip jars now exist at all sorts of low-service places.

So, the question is, why has this happened? Tips rise proportionately as prices increase, and eating out is definitely more expensive, so it's not to keep up w/ inflation or anything like that. But the societal norms of tip percentages have crept up.

Why is that?

Ship Ship McGipp 11-30-2007 05:01 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?
I don't think it's gone up as much as you think- you state that it's gone up from 10-15% to 15-18% since you were in college; that doesn't seem like that substantial of an increase for a 60-70 year time period.

El Diablo 11-30-2007 05:13 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?


Seriously, though, why should it go up at all? It tracks the increase in prices at restaurants, so it's already increasing at the same rate as that.

WhoIam 11-30-2007 05:22 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?
I think the tip cup one is easy. Tip cups have become more common, which leads to greater acceptance, which leads to more tip cups. If your employer allows you to put out a tip cup, you will. Tip cups allow employers to keep wages low because the increased income, even if it only works out to $1/hr. There's variance associated with tipping so it gives employees something to talk about.

El Diablo 11-30-2007 05:25 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

OK, I'll buy that. Some dude put a tip cup out where none ever existed before, some people put money in there ... now tip jars are f'ing everywhere. Makes sense.

OK, people, we're done w/ the tip jar part of the question.

hanster 11-30-2007 05:27 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?
Inflation? Move to other countries where tipping is not part of the culture? /end troll

I believe a part is due to the increase of people's spending power and the constant preaching of tipping more than the norm if you're a true gent. I have no idea why that is but more often than I can count I have heard/read that being a rule: "don't be stingy with tip because it gives the girl the wrong impression etc etc".

FWIW I always tip twice the tax dollar amount in restaurants, and in California that'd be ~16%

Benholio 11-30-2007 05:54 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?
Lets imagine there is some combination of economic and social factors that control how much the average tipper can afford/is willing to tip. We'll call this the 'tipping environment'.

Lets say the previous standard was 15%, but now there is a rise in the 'tipping environment'. Suddenly your average tippers feel good about tipping 15-18%. They feel good putting down that tip that is bigger than the previous standard. Your big tippers now need to tip even higher to retain their big tipper status. Everyone except the bad tippers has started to tip more, so the standard is raised.

Now lets say that the next year is a bad one for the tipping environment. Your average tippers are tipping 17% based on the previous standard, but who is going to be the one to start tipping 15% again? Average tippers don't like tipping below the standard, thats why they are average tippers. It was fun to be the early adopter that started tipping 17% and feel generous, but nobody wants to be the jerk that starts tipping below standard all of the sudden. Since the average tippers haven't lowered their standard, the big tippers can't either, or they won't be big tippers anymore.

So the standard can really only go up or stay the same. The average tipper doesn't want to tip below the standard, so it never goes down.

Its kind of like blackjack. Once you start raising your bet, you can't go back down.

haakee 11-30-2007 06:04 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?
Home equity loans?

The economy essentially has been booming for 25 years so maybe people feel a little freer with their money now. A prolonged economic downswing might cause tips to shrink again.

Ship Ship McGipp 11-30-2007 06:06 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?


[/ QUOTE ]

Even when I win, you win.


Seriously, though, why should it go up at all? It tracks the increase in prices at restaurants, so it's already increasing at the same rate as that.

[/ QUOTE ]

I just feel like society is migrating toward generosity becoming increasingly accepted. Tips allow people to 'set their own price' if you ask me. That is, I can pay 10% tip on a cheeseburger because my drink didn't get filled enough, but I can leave a dollar on a 4 dollar sno-cone because the lady is smiling and I have been looking forward to this all day.

It's just a chance to show what you appreciate. In this case, I really appreciate good service; sometimes someone who adds just a little bit of conversation, without going too far (although I usually prefer my wait-people to be prompt and silent), or someone who can answer a question about the area, or something of the sort.

I guess tipping makes people feel in control, to some extent.

RoundTower 11-30-2007 06:15 AM

Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?
Tipping in Ireland has, as far as I can tell, gone way up over the last 10-20 years. Not to US levels, but to more than almost anywhere else in the world. I think this is because the country has become more Americanized, and much more prosperous with an economic boom beginning in the early 90s and still felt today.

I doubt this helps explain an increase in tipping in the US, but I thought another data point would be useful.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.