Don’t tip. Don’t ever tip


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  • Wallace Westland

    Yeah. Tipping is a hideous rort. First time I encountered it was the late 80’s in Surfers.
    Mates of mine travel a lot and often relate to me that bar staff here are lazy unmotivated and hopeless (which they are in our local sometimes) and that the bar staff in the USA are a fantastic (which I doubt)
    Perception is everything. With a kiwi accent in the USA they are exotic and interesting, here they are just a pain in the butt getting in the way of the bar staffs right to slack off, have a ciggy and be any where else but where a customer could use them.
    Such is life on min wage no matter how you get your min wage, via tip or a paycheque.
    Motivated well adjusted young people quickly move out of service industries to other occupations and take the things they have learned with them. Those that can’t get off their butt to serve you sure as heck aren’t going to make it anywhere else either and they sure as hell aren’t getting 10% of sod all!

    EDIT: Man there was some bad England in there!

    • Graham Pilgrim

      I disagree. I travel extensively throughout the North Island, often with English speaking guests from overseas. By and large, I find the staff in bars, cafes, and restaurants very friendly and helpful, and certainly giving the impression that they are enjoying their work. I did a tour from Paihia to Wellington in November with friends from the UK. They were extremely taken with Kiwi service, and I certainly had no reason to be embarrassed.
      Paying by Eftpos at the desk rather than being billed at the table helps no end in avoiding tipping.

      • Wallace Westland

        Absolutely. There are many many excellent hospitality staff in NZ. The industry actually puts a fair bit of effort into them from what I’ve seen and they are good because they make a reasonable (not great) living and are paid for what they do not hoping for the generosity of strangers.
        What I was attempting to imply was that a decent wage will give you the people we have and nothing can fix those that simply won’t pull their weight. I don’t believe my mates perception of the USA was my point.
        Many of the top young bar staff I have dealt with over the years are now in higher paid occupations but some have gone onto things like private yachts and management of venues etc.
        Totally agree with your comment.

        • Albert Root

          NZ minimum wage vs. $8 + tips in the US. But tax only paid on the $8, so balances out in favour of US waiters when 5-10% of the final bill becomes the “suggested’ (ie imposed if you want service at all) tip.

          • Bafacu

            Having spent a lot of time in the US on business and talking with people in the “service” industry I think you may be wrong as far as the IRS is concerned.

            My understanding is that they are taxed on an “industry assessed” value of tips regardless of whether they received them or not. So probably not as good as you assume.

  • Best example I have is, had a few drinks at a bar at L.A.X. while waiting for a flight a couple of years ago, between 2nd and 3rd drinks the tip jar was pushed into our part of the bar and order for 3rd drink not taken until tip was forthcoming.

    • dgrogan

      Doing a European river cruise later this year. Crew tips are included in the price.
      What the hell? I’m paying for something I’d have never agreed to voluntarily. The service had better be good!

      • One_step_beyond

        You got yourself a true-blue First World problem there mate :)

        • dgrogan

          Yeah. It exercised my mind for a while. But then drinks are also included in the price, so maybe I can make up for the tip losses. :)

          • One_step_beyond

            That’s the spirit!

    • Cowgirl

      On a bus trip to Vegas one time, we were extorted (each passenger, of which there must have been 50 or 60) to the tune of $2 each way. I might add that the most outrageous part of this whole thing is that we were told how much to tip (no negotiation), and that this rort happened part of the way through the journey – not even after the driver had got us there safely and in one piece. He could have crashed around the bend and we would have all paid him for the privilege. I might add we had all paid $50 per person too, just for the ride. Why don’t they just add it into the price?

      • Jas

        tax reasons

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Going to Alaska this year, boy are they in for some edumacation

    • Jas

      if you like drinking then you will be in the one in for a education. no tip no drink is the rule


        Fair do’s mate, that’s like red rag to a bull telling a Kiwi he can’t get what he’s paying for cause youse want more than the actual price of what he’s paying for! whew!

  • kiwisnab

    Had a boat (36 people) trip in the galapagos islands for 5 days a few years back, at the end, the lead guide stood up, did all the pleasantries then explained the tipping formula, for wife, 9 yo daughter and I, the bill, sorry tip, was $350 US. Brown envelopes were handed out to deposit money into. Being Kiwi’s, we EFTPOS everything….Including daughters spending money we had about $120 US on us to pay, sorry tip. We booked boat trip in Auckland as “all expenses paid” Travel agent in Auckland said there was “some” tipping in South America.

  • ex-JAFA

    Even on UK-based Contiki tours, there’s an expectation of a hat being passed around for the driver and tour manager on the last day. I never tipped because I’d already spent a king’s ransom getting them drunk every night.

  • EvoDriver

    I didnt get much from that video other than “we shouldn’t tip because it’s inconvenient and math is hard”. I expected something more substantial.

  • Mountie

    You do have to remember in the US a lot of waiters and bar staff pay a percentage of their tips to work in the place. Yes they pay for the privilege to work in the bar.
    In NY I watched a waiter and customer almost come to blows over the size of the tip.

  • Hughesy

    Strategic tipping can be useful. I did a winter in inland BC. First drink of the night – make a show of dropping a toonie ($2 CAD coin) in the jar/bucket. After that let them see you chuck what ever small change you have in there. Make it ring on the jar/bucket. Consistently served from 3 deep at the bar after that. After a few weeks that just give you good service and you end up chucking them a little more.

  • Jas

    When I was last in the USA i asked a person working at the bar about tipping and they said one of the main benefits out of tipping was that they didn’t have to pay tax on it and if they got a straight salary then the government would get 30% of their money etc.
    Also that a really good barman/women could make a massive amount which would be way more than a industry wide salary rate.
    Finally if you add 30% to the price and compare to NZ is it still way cheaper?

  • Michael

    …and the old chestnut of why a tip is a percentage of the cost of the meal when it is service you are tipping not the meal. Add that to the state sales tax…it is very difficult to know what anything costs in advance in the USA….plus they can’t cope with metric measures. What a country.