New trend: self-undertipping?

My wife and I ate out dinner tonight and an odd thing happened: the waitress tipped herself. That’s right. She filled out the credit card receipt herself. It’s just the two of us, mind you—we’re not a party of eight or more. And the weird thing is that she undertipped herself. The receipt was one of those that include recommended tips (telling you what 15% is, what 18% is, what 20% is, so you don’t have to do the calculations yourself), and she gave herself less than 15%. No, it wasn’t a round number. It was a completely mysterious tip.

The service wasn’t bad, actually. My wife and I were probably going to give her closer to 18%, but she chose to give herself 14%, so we just signed the receipt and gave her the self-induced under-tip. Weird. We’ve never experienced anything like that before.

8 replies on “New trend: self-undertipping?”

Practices vary in different countries, I suppose. I think the whole business of “tipping” has become a norm rather than something to reward good service.

Nevertheless, undertipped or overtipped, I don’t think any waiter should tip himself/herself. That just doesn’t feel right.

I have really mixed feelings about that. For good service, I want to tip well too. But that is so off putting I would be tempted to ask for a manager or a new receipt and leave no tip. I’d have to really weigh how much I enjoyed the visit against how annoyed I was, because this is the sort of thing I go off on, that really gets under my skin. If I went agian, I’d pay in cash so *I* decide what the tip will be, thank you very much.

Thanks for the responses. I think we were so in shock we didn’t know quite what to do. We honestly were inclined to tip her more (she was a good server otherwise), but she just docked herself about 4% of the bill.

I’ve not come across that yet, but I don’t go out to eat much. I prefer to tip in cash so that they can choose to do what they want with it (tax-wise – the Canadian government wants waitstaff to declare 15% of their wage as tips, which is far less than their actual tips, by far). I also insist that the cook be tipped if the food was of exceptional quality, as the only thing that the waiter/ress did to help with that part was to not drop it on the floor. The cooks rarely get part of the grats and without them, the food would be crap.

Never saw that happen myself, of course, I’ve never seen the whole “15% is such and such”. If the service was alright, and generally is, I give the amount I paid for the tax (14% here) rounded up or down depending on little things that occured.

Sometimes I don’t give a tip, sometimes I give a bigger one. But I don’t like the whole “Well it’s sous-entendu that you need to leave a tip.” vibe I get lately. =/

As hari said, practices vary from country to country but one thing I like about life in Japan (and most of Asia I think) is that there’s no tipping at all. I hate tipping- it’s demeaning to both sides, and a hangover from the feudal system. Restaurant staff should just be paid a reasonable wage in the first place, like anyone else.

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