The Tipping Point

Staring at the remains of what was an elaborate dish about half an hour earlier, i wonder what the bill will come upto. And how much i really would have to pay.

This uncertainty abounds in great revelry. The other uncertainty about which part of the body all the extra fat will settle down in, still is uncertain. The only certainty being, that it indeed will get implanted somewhere. For sure. Hopefully, not for life !

And i sit here. And twiddle my finger. The uncertainty that surrounds ‘how much to tip’, i notice, is unsettling me. Quiet a bit. I wonder why. Here was a restaurant which charged me a bomb, and provided me with average service and good food.

Now, how much do i tip ?

’10 % of the bill’, says my friend.
‘But Why’ asks his wife.

That sparked off an argument between them. And that perhaps will culminate ( last heard it still was on) with this post & your responses (hopefully) ! Read the tourists dilemma here

Many years ago, a professor taught me that TIPS was an acronym for ‘To Insure Prompt Service’. The web wasn’t around then, and his expounding sounded logical. Here is some recent read. Back then, that was the recipe for ‘belief’ ! So this acronym was promptly hoovered up and accorded a status of an aphorism !

This logic doesn’t bake in my oven anymore. Here are my reasons.

a. Tips are generally shared. So for every bloke who extends the extra arm length and gets tipped accordingly, there is the shirker in the background who slouches. Or perhaps the good guy having a bad day, who shouldnt be paid for the service ! Or is actually doing some disservice ! So, at some plane, this even distribution rewards the wrong ones too.

That is a valley of discord.

b. When there is a common fund, the ‘share holders’ become equally important. Friends from the hotel industry tell me that it is shared by all, including the chef ! (Unverified information). If that is the case, the tip should be based on what is on the plate, and not necessarily based how it was served !

And that ’10 % of whatever bill’ will definitely be a thick stick in my thin craw, and perhaps will help me perfect culinary skills at the home kitchen !

To read that there is a legislation that is being contemplated around this, makes me roll my eyes. When will the last be said on this ?

Will i ever walk out of a restaurant with just a full stomach or will it be always with a lurking feeling of having over tipped the wrong guy or with a sidle and shuffling feet to avoid probable dirty looks from an under tipped waiter !

I can do with some education ! Please.

Will help me have a peaceful meal. So !! And besides will help an effective closure to that raging argument.

7 thoughts on “The Tipping Point

  1. Aleta says:

    I think… hmm… this is a rather interesting topic! Not an easy one to determine either.

    I’ve seen it from both points of view. My Mom will tip based on service and food. If she does not think it is of quality, then the tip reflects it.

    Greg, who has worked in the restaurant industry, is a good tipper. And I follow suit, very often I will double the tax amount, as it makes it slightly more than what a tip is called for.

    Only one time did I see where Greg did not tip well. We went to a Chinese restaurant and the bill came out much more than was to be expected. We didn’t know and nowhere on the menu did it state, that if you substituted pork fried rice for shrimp friend rice (and shrimp being the more expensive item) that there was an extra charge. We were not informed of this in any way and the person serving us was an owner of the establishment!

    Greg refuses to go back to that restaurant, because he thinks it is underhanded and he left a tip minus the extra charge.

    For me, I would tip, because people do have bad days, maybe the food isn’t as good but the service was enjoyable. Either way, this is someone’s livelihood. Though, that said, if it the food or service is poor, I’m not likely to return either!

  2. Tips happened when the star culture happened in the hospitality industry.

    Remember the great thali places with wonderful food you could never fault, the excellent and prompt service, and how you paid up at the counter ? The tip was then in the pleased face of a well fed customer, perhaps suppressing a satisfied belch.

    Most folks tip because they think about what will the others say. This tip culture also pervades other types of service industry. But I doubt if anyone worries about how it is being shared, amongst the staff etc.

    I just like to visualize old style happenings where someone performed in front of the court of a king, and the king, casually took off a pearl necklace and awarded it to the artist, as a measure of his appreciation.

    Real tip, eh?

  3. manuscrypts says:

    the tip of the iceberg… for example, in how many other retail establishments do we tip? not many.. ever wonder why that is?

  4. Chandramoorthy says:

    As per my study of acronyms (Kavi – hate you, for making me research on these topics !!!) TIP had two relevent meanings:

    Temporary Investment Pool
    Time – Interaction – Performance pay

    If we critically consider the above two acronyms – tip actually is in synonym with the task executed by the person whos spends time, interaction & performace to create a temporary investment pool – to be shared later with people executing a similar task…

    Is this what you were expecting to be learn???

  5. nsiyer says:

    Nice one! Kavi.

    My experience has always been ‘if the service is good and if you go very often to this place, tip well’. The next time, you will be welcomed like somebody very important and your welfare enquired about. Further, the advantages that I have seen is you are also informed about which food is fresh and not so very fresh, and sometimes I have been successful, getting certain dishes made which are not in the menu.
    I hope you gain from the TIP I have given you.

  6. Kavi says:

    Aleta : Appreciate your thoughts and insights! Enjoyed them and they are useful too !! many thanks

    Ugich Konitari : Ah ! That peal necklace..that was some tipsy with desire now ! 🙂

    Manu : you make a brilliant point ! As usual ! Where else do you tip..??

    CM : You are a genius sir ! Genius is not the word @

    Iyer sir ! : Your tips are always useful ! And this one too would be. Would you leave a tip in a place where you are sure not to return in a long while ?

  7. nsiyer says:

    Yes, Kavi as long as the service is tip top.

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