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Old 11-30-2007, 08:31 PM
Benholio Benholio is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

I wasn't able to find the full list (you have to buy the guide I guess), but Zagat's most recent data indicates that west coast diners are the most stingy in the nation:

From this press release:

Tipping: Among the nation's most generous tippers are Denver (19.5%),
Detroit and Philadelphia (19.4%), all exceeding Zagat's national average of
(19%). West coast diners in San Francisco and Los Angeles are among the
least generous at 18.4%, while Honolulu averages a desultory 18% tip.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:18 PM
MicroBob MicroBob is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

Not really sure WHY exactly but I do have some observations.

It's also in the nature of restaurant meals that they are often situations where people want to show how great they are (dates, business lunches, even meals with friends. eating by yourself where there's no one whose opinion you care about to witness the tip is a rarity).

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Is that really that much of a factor?
Most dine-out situations I've ever been involved in I very rarely have any idea how much the other person tips and they don't have any idea how much I tipped either.
This is true whether we are splitting the check or whether one or the other is paying for the whole thing.

People just don't share this type of info that often. And if you're on a date it's not like the girl is going to be eyeballing the check and receipt to see how much you tip. I mean, it could happen that they look at the number of bills left on the table and make an evaluation. But more often than not one party pays and the other is not going to know how much the tip was.

The societal norms have definitely changed. People of all generations believe that 20% is far more acceptable now whereas previously that would be considered a very generous tip.
I think somehow the service industry has pushed it that way just with talk/peer-pressure or something like that which ends up getting spread around.

I know that my 63-year-old Mom tips 20% because when we dine-out she has me double-check to make sure she is tipping enough because she ain't too hot at math. And she doesn't care at all really about giving to the needy or getting better service when she returns there because she doesn't frequent that many places often enough to become known. But she does know that 20% is considered appropriate now. Where she heard this I'm not sure.

My Dad is kind of slow to catch up to what is happening in the world around him sometimes and I believe he tips in the 12-15% range although I'm not positive. If so then he is completely oblivious to how horrible a tipper he is compared with most people.
But I think that's very much the case for a lot of the senior population in Florida. And for many it doesn't have a whole lot to do with being stingy because they can't afford to tip more or anything like that. It can be at a nice and expensive restaurant but they just haven't gotten the word that 12% is considered extremely low.

I'm pretty sure if you asked people in the service industry in Florida they would tell you that the more affluent seniors can be some of the worst tippers around even if they believe they got great service. Not true all the time of course. But some of them just seem to not have received the memo that 12% is kind of insult now and that 20% is more the norm.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:00 AM
mattsey9 mattsey9 is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

my g/f claims that in the parts of the midwest she's lived (Wis. & Indiana) 10% is pretty common. I suspect she's just cheap. Can anyone from a flyover state confirm this?

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I'm from Illinois (non-Chicago area) and I personally tip based off 20%. Sometimes more sometimes less. I don't know anyone who tips based off 10% in non-Chicago IL, which should be comparable to Indiana and Wisconsin.

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I grew up in rural Indiana and, after a ten year stint in Chicago, now live in downstate Illinois. My experience has been that when people here go to a nice restaurant, you'll see tips ranging from 15-20%. When you see people going to a local diner, or to dinner at the local lodge, you'll see a tip of roughly a dollar per person regardless of the cost of the meal. Older people definitely tip less than younger ones.
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:49 AM
Phildo Phildo is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

dean, not true. If you look at restaurant prices im pretty sure you'll find that they rose proportionally to the level of wealth. Things like that dont really change over time so much because people are willing to allocate x% of their income to eating out, so when incomes rise so does the amount they will spend on dinners and the restaurant owners raise their prices.

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in the US inflation has far outpaced the minimum wage over the last 40 years or so. tips are the not the only income servers receive
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:46 AM
Riverman Riverman is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

I am 24 with a ton of friends making $150k+. Two points:

1. The phenomenon is 100% confined to cities where young people make a ton of money

2. The rise in tipping is due to young people (under 40) for two reasons:

a) They have never experienced a real recession
b) They are (finally) being paid their market worth.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:54 AM
stinkypete stinkypete is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

b) They are (finally) being paid their market worth.

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o rly? how is their market worth determined, if not by what the market is willing to pay for them?
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:16 AM
JaredL JaredL is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?


I think it could have something to do with minimum wage or some other low-wage standard.

To keep it simple let's say you want your servers to make twice minimum wage. If the minimum wage goes up (or you just pay the lower-level staff more) then restaurant prices will go up, but not by as much as minimum wage/staff wage has increased. Therefore, for servers to continue to make the same relative to the lower guys they will have to get a higher percentage in tips.

Say you pay the dishwashers et al $10 and hour and can charge $100 for a meal. Customers tip 15 and the waiters earn 5 bucks more, or 150% of the wage of the dishwashers. If you increase the dishwasher salary to 15 and charge 104 for it then tipping 15 percent now means that the water gets $15.60, just barely more. Bump her up to 20% and she makes $20.80 which is again about 5 bucks more.

Obviously I'm simplifying here but you can see the point.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:21 AM
El Diablo El Diablo is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?


Lots of flaws w/ your explanation scenario. I'll let Mason or David elaborate.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:27 AM
bmxicle bmxicle is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?

Only read about half the posts so sorry if this has been covered.

I think it's quite reasonable to say that as wealth increases people will tend to tip more. This isn't a firm rule, but i think it is generally true. So the states has been continually prosperous for a long time, and thus an increase in tipping wouldn't be all that unreasonable. I also think this is partly your perception of it as when you were in college i'm guessing you were significantly poorer then you are now, and probably went out to dinner with poorer people and thus the "standard" tip was much lower like 10-15%. However, as you got older and you and your friends accumulated wealth you all would have started tipping more. So i think American prosperity has something to do with it, but i also think the increase in your wealth has even more to do with your perception of the incredibly important 2p2 issue of tipping. This is a rather extreme example but if you compare my wealthy poker playing friends, to my college friends you'll see an average tip of like 25% compared to like 5%, and it all has to do with wealth.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:41 AM
SlowHabit SlowHabit is offline
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Default Re: PDT 2/2 : Why has tipping increased?


The increase in tipping is due to a higher standard of living since the US economy has been prospering for past 10 years. While we the US did experience a recession after the dot com boom, those who could afford to go out then inevitably could afford to go out now, especially after the recent real estate boom where most thought they were set for life in terms of money. And as virtual net worth increases, so does spending.

Another point is the rich keeps getting richer. As the elites keep accumulating moneys and start balling at fancy restaurants with their standard 20%+ tips, I would feel kind of cheap if my tip percentage is too below that amount. Thus, I think the elites' generosity plays a big role in tip incrementation. I can just imagine going to a fancy restaurant and witnessing two hotshots out tipping each other just to feel good about themselves. If I was rich, I would probably do it [img]/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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