Tapped Out on Tipping? We’ve Got 5 Tips to Help You For Your Next Dinner OutOctober 23, 2018
- Diana CamachoWords
Who doesn’t love eating out? Who doesn’t love getting free bread rolls, asking for lemon or mint in your water, and pestering that cute waiter just because? But having a personal butler, albeit only for a couple of hours at most, has its consequences. Consequences that make itself known at the end of the meal when that fancy leather bound bill folder arrives.
Philippine law states that eighty-five percent of the service charge is supposed to go to all entitled employees (wait staff, cooks, bus boys, etc.) and the remaining fifteen percent is left to the management to cover losses and breakage. Technically, if you break something, you shouldn’t be charged for it unless it’s something really expensive or really rare; in which case, congratulations! You just bought a new bottle of wine.
However, the law is silent when it comes to tipping; which means that technically, we’re not obliged to leave a tip. I believe this to be an oversight because unlike maids and the Kasambahay Law, restaurant employees have no Magna Carta of Waiters or something to protect them. This is against what we in the legal profession like to call equal protection.
While it is supposedly proper to leave another ten percent tip on top of the service charge, most of us rarely comply with this unspoken rule. It’s not like we’ll get hauled to jail if we don’t. We’ve all left funky bills and coins as a tip regardless if it adds up to ten percent or not. When there’s service charge, we sometimes don’t leave anything at all. But do you know that the tip you give doesn’t go to the waiter that served you? It goes to a centralized tip pool that is distributed equally to all the staff at the end of the day.
If you don’t want your generosity going to people who don’t deserve it (i.e. that snooty hostess who gave you judgemental looks because you were dining by yourself) here are some guidelines that may help you decide whether you should leave a tip or not.
1. Is there service charge?
For many of the metro’s dining establishments, the service charge can range from as low as five percent to as high as twelve percent. Those that charge a lower figure reason that it’s to offset the price of their food. Those that don’t have service charge say it’s completely up to the customer whether they leave a tip or not depending on how much the service was worth to them. But according to this website, we’re known to be a place where a tip is always expected.
Even if there is service charge, it is polite to leave a couple of bills on the table. If there is none, a five to eight percent tip is perfectly acceptable.
2. Let the tip reflect the service.
If you can’t decide on which iced tea to get and your server offers to give you a taste of each to help you decide or if they had to practically rearrange the whole dining area just to accommodate you and your entire football team, then it is only right to leave a bigger tip. If you can’t spare any more change because of a limited budget, compliment the waiter for his/her hospitality. Never underestimate the power of good manners and sincere gratitude.
3. Don’t be a cheapskate.
If you’re eating at place where a single order costs 500PHP, then there’s no reason to be stingy with your tip. But if you’re dining at a more laidback place where you’re a regular customer, then you can stop stressing about your tipping conundrum. I’m sure the restaurant appreciates your continued patronage more than any tip you can give them.
4. Tips are for the service and nothing else.
We usually don’t give any tips at all when we’re not happy with a restaurant’s service. But it is important to keep in mind that tips are for servers and not the restaurant. If you’re not happy with the food, ambience, or anything else other than how your waiter treated you, then do not take it out on the server by not leaving a tip. Talk to the manager instead or write a review somewhere.
I have a friend who wrote about a restaurant’s horrible service on her blog and she was invited back to eat for free as an apology. Needless to say, service has gotten better and my friend was happy as well.
5. Tips don’t have to be just about the money.
Most of the restaurants I’ve spoken to say that it is perfectly fine to hand the tip directly to the manager to give to the server who waited on your table. It is important to let the manager know that the tip you are giving is specifically for a certain employee otherwise, he/she may become liable for “tip pocketing.” That’s grounds for termination of employment, so be careful. This way, you’re not only letting the manager know who’s doing a good job but also making the server know you appreciate his/her good service.
We can talk about minimum wage, sales percentages, and taxes but the end of the day, there is no hard and fast rule on tipping. These are just a few tips (no pun intended) to keep in mind when dining out.
Do you have any more useful tips on tipping? Let us know!
[Thumnbail via: Commoncents]