April 6, 2008 11:08 pm

TIPS: Tipping for Services offered…

Filed under: Customer Service,Professional skills — ramsblog @ 11:08 pm

I was recently browsing few blogs I normally read, this post on Nita’s blog caught my attention.

I am confused about Tipping and computing the percentage. I didn’t know about the word tipping while I was in Bangalore although I was born and brought in Bangalore and lived most of my life there until I came to the United States. Although, I remember at times, in the smaller restaurants, the people with whom I went along, used to leave a rupee or so while getting out of the restaurant for the boys who used to wipe off the table after we left – but never knew the reason.

Anyways, after coming to the States, I left the place without tipping and one of my friends pointed me about that and provided me a list of guidelines for tipping – x% at restaurants, y% at salons, z% at so and so place for so and so service offered, etc etc… well, since then I have started 10 to 15% at the local salon I go to, but it varies between 5% – 15% when I go to the local restaurants.

Tip before or after?
        It is interesting that we usually tip for service offered and leave the place. We may never ever go to that place or even if I do the frequency is much longer and perhaps the individuals would not remember me at all. So, what is the purpose of Tipping? Is this to get a better service while we are there or pay for the service offered? It is a fine line, I think, from the customer point of view. However, thinking on the other end, ideally, the waiters at the restaurant need to do the duty to the best possible and the results come in much better way in some form from the Customers. Customers do observe the service being offered anyway. Two recent instances as I remember:

  • 7 of us from my team went to a lunch at Red Robins recently, when I was paying by credit card, I placed a question to the table as to what % of tip would be ideal for the service offered. There was a mixed opinion. (a)for the reason that they served us fairly quicker (though it could have faster) 10% is fine. (b) we weren’t even asked for water after the 1st cup they offered when we entered here, so 6% is fine. –> Although it is recommended (and at some restaurants they include 15% gratuity in the statement, but this restaurant did not include this time) 15% for a group of 6 or more, we made it 10%.
  • My wife, myself and my 3 year old were in local restaurant one night. We were there for 105 mins for 10 mins of eating time. hmm… my wife was hungry when we went in, but by the time we got our food, we couldn’t eat what we ordered. hmm… tip? we usually don’t see even a smile on the staff – it is probably their personality – but I am surprised pretty much each staff is like so. At times, the same staff replaced the choice if we didn’t like what was served.
  • I stayed a 5-star rated hotel for few weeks in Hyderabad, India several months ago. While I was checking out of the hotel, I came down to a lobby for a paper work. During the process, I mentioned that my bags were still in the room and had to be brought down to the car. A person who works there volunteered to go get them but did not return even after 10-15 minutes. So, I went back to the room, since it was getting late and I had to get to the airport in time. What I noticed was, my bags were still there and the TIP amount I had kept was gone. I brought my bags myself. This was in-spite of offering tips several times for the service offered during my stay at the hotel. However, the service during my stay was pleasant, the staff was very courteous, respectful, and few people went beyond their roles.

I think it is really a thin line as to when to TIP an individuals for their service.


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