Ignorant Tippers

Dear Clover,134 years ago

I manage part time a few restaurants and we have travelers from all over the world. Some of them are not familiar with our tipping or gratuity standards. Some of them don't tip anything. I'm not including any negative incidents where the patron intentionally doesn't want to give any tip. If you were a server in one of these situations, and you knew ahead of time a certain group of people will not tip based on your experience, would you include the tip as allowed by your point-of-sale computer system to print out on the tab, or wait until they finish paying and then ask them for more afterwards? Doing this is not possible when the restaurant becomes busy as you can not chase after all the customers who have not tipped or tipped enough. Btw, the good clients who are used to American standards know that one tips 20% for very good service, 15%, basic, and anything below 15% is for unsatisfactory service. If a place gets missed tips once in a while such as 1 in 100 customers, it's probably negligible but if the restaurant is in a very tourist centric place, the missed rate can go up as much as 20 customers in 100. So, again, what would you do if you were the server and the kitchen staff also is dependent on those tips?

anonymous

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Advice

Dear anonymous,134 years ago

I believe the worst thing you can do is embarrass or offend a customer by asking them for more money after they have paid. You need to either figure out a way to educate them before they pay or let it go. Printing suggested tip amounts on the bill might help, and I have liked this in the past, but if they don't understand the language that won't help. Maybe you can have something on the menu, bill or somewhere posted that explains in different languages the American customs. Make it fun, or artsy, something that fits the character of the restaurant but doesn't make people feel like they are being talked down to.

wiseoldman

Dear anonymous,132 years ago

One thing the cashier could do before ringing up the bill, is to ask the customer if they want to include a tip. When I go to restaurants and I pay by credit card, the cashier always asks me that. If I pay in cash, the cashier asks me the same question, especially if I'm due some change. It's a tactful way to ask for a tip.

I definitely don't think that the restaurant should demand a tip. That's rude and will only agitate the customer. But there are ways to ask that sound more gracious, and I think the above mentioned way, is a good one.

Of course, there will always be people who won't tip at all, because they just have no knowledge of how hard it is to be a waitress. Fortunately, those people are few and far between...

Diana