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Should You Tip For Bad Service At A Restaurant?


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#1 MikeGillis58

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:38 PM

I recently had lunch at a Chinese-owned sushi restaurant and the waitress who served me had the worst atittude. Her facial expression indicates that she doesn't want to be there. This waitress rolls her eyes while taking orders, doesn't respond to customers calls for more tea or napkins. Plus the restaurant was only half full. After the meal, I paid the bill upfront but didn't leave a tip. She gave me a dirty look afterwards. I feel that a tip should be earned, not expected. If the service is bad enough, no tip should be given. I've tipped 20% for excellent service before. Your thoughts?
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#2 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:40 PM

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Tips should be earned, not expected. Bad service = no tip. Excellent service = great tip.

A group of about 15 of us were in a pub in Horseshoe Bay prior to catching the ferry and the major number of the group left before the last 4 of us, having paid their own bills. As we paid the bill, the server said that we hadn't tipped her enough. We were a little taken aback and she went on to say that the other parties hadn't tipped her and that we were expected to make up the difference. She was a lousy server to start with, in a pub with only our party in it, but we felt we should leave something. She then went on to say that what we were leaving as a tip wasn't even worth her time to have served us. One of the women in our group asked for the cash tip back and the server gave it back, thinking that we were going to dig out more cash but this woman in our party just divvied the money back up between us and we walked out. We could still hear the server swearing at us through the open door to the sidewalk.

I had never heard of such a thing in a pub or restaurant ever before and there were no signs saying that a gratuity was being added to our bill anywhere in sight. I am still amazed that this server had the temerity to ask the last people at the table to give her a tip in the amount of her own choosing and to make up what the other parties had not.

This server needed to learn that tips are earned for good service, they are not to be asked for or expected. If you can't be bothered to be polite or efficient, then don't be expecting a gratuity in return.

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 01 April 2012 - 08:52 PM.

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#3 Grapefruits

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

I never do.

crappy Service = crappy Tip

I've tipped well over 20% if the service warrants it.


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Edited by zero-ONE-three, 01 April 2012 - 08:43 PM.

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#4 Stark

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

For me, it really depends on the severity of the situation. I don't give tip only in extreme cases. Usually, I leave very little just to get my message across.
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#5 Lillooet_Hillbilly

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:44 PM

a tip is not automatic, it is earned. helps if your a bubbly person and good with public. WHEN i was a waiter i wasn't bubbly but i did my job and i would get destroyed by the perky girls in tips! :(
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#6 Lups

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:45 PM

When I have bad service, I usually leave like a dime for fun
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#7 Duodenum

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:47 PM

I'm leaning towards not giving tips anymore. I don't see why waiters/waitresses deserve it over other workers.
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#8 Alex Edler 23

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:58 PM

Every time I get bad service, I usually leave at least 50 cents to be nice :lol:
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#9 Magikal

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:07 PM

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As someone who works in the industry and has been in the industry for over 8 years I beg you all to NOT tip when the service is poor. it's the only way to get it through to many service staff that they are not doing their job up to par. I also encourage telling the manager or writing why you didn't tip on the bill. Just remember to be tasteful when choosing your words. Explain your frustration and why you left the tip that you did maybe after it happens tot hose arrogant servers a few times, they might just change their attitude at work, or maybe the find a new type of job all together. We are in the business of making you the customer happy. If you want things to improve you NEED to tell us about inadequate service you receive every time it happens.

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#10 susraiders

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:15 PM

My family owns a restaurant and I have heard on many occasions servers complain that they only got a 50 cent tip and they wonder why. This really bugs me because it is so simple. You got a bad tip because you gave bad service. I have yet to not leave a tip, but if the service is TERRIBLE I won't leave a tip at all!
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#11 Common sense

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:16 PM

It's earned. if I get horrible service, I let the manager know, and then I'll see what happens. I do understand that not all tip goes into the waitresses' hands - some goes to the kitchen staff, some to busboys, etc, so it's unfair to the waitress to have to pay out of her own wallet to "tip" the other staff.

I've tipped upwards of 20% for excellent service, and if we're regulars at that establishment (this helps ensure we get excellent service and even free drinks on occasions).

Edited by Common sense, 01 April 2012 - 09:17 PM.

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#12 pimpcurtly

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:20 PM

Tips should be earned, not expected. Bad service = no tip. Excellent service = great tip.

A group of about 15 of us were in a pub in Horseshoe Bay prior to catching the ferry and the major number of the group left before the last 4 of us, having paid their own bills. As we paid the bill, the server said that we hadn't tipped her enough. We were a little taken aback and she went on to say that the other parties hadn't tipped her and that we were expected to make up the difference. She was a lousy server to start with, in a pub with only our party in it, but we felt we should leave something. She then went on to say that what we were leaving as a tip wasn't even worth her time to have served us. One of the women in our group asked for the cash tip back and the server gave it back, thinking that we were going to dig out more cash but this woman in our party just divvied the money back up between us and we walked out. We could still hear the server swearing at us through the open door to the sidewalk.

I had never heard of such a thing in a pub or restaurant ever before and there were no signs saying that a gratuity was being added to our bill anywhere in sight. I am still amazed that this server had the temerity to ask the last people at the table to give her a tip in the amount of her own choosing and to make up what the other parties had not.

This server needed to learn that tips are earned for good service, they are not to be asked for or expected. If you can't be bothered to be polite or efficient, then don't be expecting a gratuity in return.


Was that at trolls?? I have had really bad service in that place myself.
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#13 KING ALBERTS

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:24 PM

i won't leave a tip for bad service... they make an hourly wage, if they are relying on tips to get by - then they should be doing everything they can to be a good server...

i have ran into something like the poster above... me and like 5 friends were in vancouver and looking to drink before the maiden concert, we went to that place downtown (the cambie or something like that?) and ordered a couple pitchers, planning on ordering quite a few more.... anyhow, the server asked us to pay for our beer right away (which was odd to me) and once she took the bills she looks at us and goes "thats it? come on guys, theres 5 of you here"

now i was flabberghasted - i mean, we probly would have stayed for at least 4 more pitchers, but after that garbage we finished our drinks and left... and loudly laughed about her rudeness as we walked out the door. she basically screwed herself out of probably a big tip, because you know what happens when 5 people get drunk.

anyhow... tips are earned, not handed out - restaurant food and drink is already expensive enough.
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#14 Aleksandr Pistoletov

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:26 PM

No I will not, and because it's becoming mandatory in Toronto that we MUST tip people, I go elsewhere. Since when does a service-based job not have service-based tipping? frack that.

Edited by zaibatsu, 01 April 2012 - 09:27 PM.

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#15 lx Birdie xl

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:09 PM

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One thing I hate is when they come to your table every 2-3 min asking how everything is.. Let me eat ffs.. Wait till later to ask how everything was.. We have food in our mouths and want to enjoy our meal.
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#16 theo5789

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:21 PM

Another thing to wonder though is if your food was good but the waiter/waitress was bad, do you punish the cooks as well? They get a share of the tips as well.
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#17 moz

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:27 PM

One thing I hate is when they come to your table every 2-3 min asking how everything is.. Let me eat ffs.. Wait till later to ask how everything was.. We have food in our mouths and want to enjoy our meal.


Absolutely this, it annoys the hell out of me. Notice it so much more here rather than in England, back home it's not expected where-as here it seems like the opposite. I know they're only doing their job but let me enjoy my meal and ask me at the end how it was. Another thing too, I'll be in the middle of a conversation and they just whisk on by and butt in. It's rude.

I only tip for good service, and if it's not enough or someone actually had the cheek to suggest it was too little I'd take it back.
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#18 DoItForRaymond

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:57 PM

Tips should be earned, not expected. Bad service = no tip. Excellent service = great tip.

A group of about 15 of us were in a pub in Horseshoe Bay prior to catching the ferry and the major number of the group left before the last 4 of us, having paid their own bills. As we paid the bill, the server said that we hadn't tipped her enough. We were a little taken aback and she went on to say that the other parties hadn't tipped her and that we were expected to make up the difference. She was a lousy server to start with, in a pub with only our party in it, but we felt we should leave something. She then went on to say that what we were leaving as a tip wasn't even worth her time to have served us. One of the women in our group asked for the cash tip back and the server gave it back, thinking that we were going to dig out more cash but this woman in our party just divvied the money back up between us and we walked out. We could still hear the server swearing at us through the open door to the sidewalk.

I had never heard of such a thing in a pub or restaurant ever before and there were no signs saying that a gratuity was being added to our bill anywhere in sight. I am still amazed that this server had the temerity to ask the last people at the table to give her a tip in the amount of her own choosing and to make up what the other parties had not.

This server needed to learn that tips are earned for good service, they are not to be asked for or expected. If you can't be bothered to be polite or efficient, then don't be expecting a gratuity in return.

Yeah well, do you know that most places the owner/manager will pay them minimum wage and then say "plus tips". I also saw an ad where the place was only giving a free meal with a shift to the kitchen staff, and not the servers. That is kind of disgusting if you ask me....Maybe if they weren't treated like crap, it wouldn't trickle down to the customers.
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#19 D-Money

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:18 AM

Aren't tips usually divided between the server and the kitchen staff?

If the service was poor, but the food was good, I'll still usually tip. But there have been times when both were bad and I did not.
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#20 ckamo

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:20 AM

Tips should be earned, not expected. Bad service = no tip. Excellent service = great tip.

A group of about 15 of us were in a pub in Horseshoe Bay prior to catching the ferry and the major number of the group left before the last 4 of us, having paid their own bills. As we paid the bill, the server said that we hadn't tipped her enough. We were a little taken aback and she went on to say that the other parties hadn't tipped her and that we were expected to make up the difference. She was a lousy server to start with, in a pub with only our party in it, but we felt we should leave something. She then went on to say that what we were leaving as a tip wasn't even worth her time to have served us. One of the women in our group asked for the cash tip back and the server gave it back, thinking that we were going to dig out more cash but this woman in our party just divvied the money back up between us and we walked out. We could still hear the server swearing at us through the open door to the sidewalk.

I had never heard of such a thing in a pub or restaurant ever before and there were no signs saying that a gratuity was being added to our bill anywhere in sight. I am still amazed that this server had the temerity to ask the last people at the table to give her a tip in the amount of her own choosing and to make up what the other parties had not.

This server needed to learn that tips are earned for good service, they are not to be asked for or expected. If you can't be bothered to be polite or efficient, then don't be expecting a gratuity in return.

While I completely agree that tips should be earned, and if I had the cojones I probably would have done exactly what you did..... Perhaps the server expected a certain amount in tips because of the size of the group? They need to have it in writing, which you said they didn't and that's their fault, but a lot of places expect like...15% or something when the group is 6+.

With that said, no server should expect a good tip...especially if they're assholes (no matter the size of the group, I hate that policy.

Yeah well, do you know that most places the owner/manager will pay them minimum wage and then say "plus tips". I also saw an ad where the place was only giving a free meal with a shift to the kitchen staff, and not the servers. That is kind of disgusting if you ask me....Maybe if they weren't treated like crap, it wouldn't trickle down to the customers.

Well then it's just a cycle isn't it? If the server has a poor attitude, they don't get money, they get upset and we start over.
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#21 silverpig

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:43 AM

There's a restaurant downstairs from my work that has a cool market style feel to it with a lot of fresh food etc. You go in, get a plastic card, and then walk around and get all your food on your tray. Soup, sausage and mashed potatoes, pho... they have tons of stuff.

You then go sit down and eat it, then give the cashier your card on your way out. The card says what you bought, and you pay and then leave.

They have a mandatory 18% tip.

WTF am I paying a tip for? I got all my own food myself!?!?!
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#22 nucklehead

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:25 AM

When I have bad service, I usually leave like a dime for fun


It used to be 1 cent and 2 for good service. That is two cents in addition to what ever tip amount. I'm sure no one would know that now and besides the penny is leaving. :0=( So a nickel or dime or two should get the message through. As to BBs comments the only time I heard anything like that was also in a pub/club. But it was Banff and it was the seventies! We all had a good laugh.
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#23 Heretic

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:09 AM

When I have bad service, I usually leave like a dime for fun


That makes you no better than the poor service - actualy, maybe even worse...

When I was young, I was a Pizza driver and then a waiter for several years.
I'd rather see no tip then some paltry tip of like 8 cents - that's insulting.
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#24 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:30 AM

Yeah well, do you know that most places the owner/manager will pay them minimum wage and then say "plus tips". I also saw an ad where the place was only giving a free meal with a shift to the kitchen staff, and not the servers. That is kind of disgusting if you ask me....Maybe if they weren't treated like crap, it wouldn't trickle down to the customers.


And your point is?

Yes, I do know. I also DO NOT believe in rewarding bad service with a gratuity just to make up for a wage decision by the owner. Nor will I reward an obnoxious, bad server with a gratuity when they ask for one. Tips are a reward for good service, not a part of the pay scale that the customer should be expected to pick up over and above their bill when service doesn't warrant it.
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#25 TheSnowy1

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:39 AM

Tipping is not mandatory, it's earned.
If service is poor, I'd rather not leave anything, then a joke of a tip.
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#26 goalie13

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:43 AM

Aren't tips usually divided between the server and the kitchen staff?

If the service was poor, but the food was good, I'll still usually tip. But there have been times when both were bad and I did not.


They're part of the same team. If the server needs to share the tips with the kitchen then he/she has more than just the customer to answer to when the service is bad.

If that server gets consistently lower tips than everyone else, I am sure the kitchen will take notice.
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#27 SukhKular

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:44 AM

That makes you no better than the poor service - actualy, maybe even worse...

When I was young, I was a Pizza driver and then a waiter for several years.
I'd rather see no tip then some paltry tip of like 8 cents - that's insulting.


It's one thing when their bill is like $19.90 and they give you a $20 bill and tell you to keep the cash. Suck when they go out of their way to leave a tiny tip. But like previously mentioned, tips must be earned.
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#28 iwtl

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:08 AM

Ahhh yes tips - a really big pet peeve of mine. I do try to tip when and what I can but it really isn't a choice anymore. Over the last few years a few nightmare stores

- In our local paper a few years back a waitress wrote a letter trashing people who have to gall to come to a restaurant and not leave a ful 15% + tip every time. A follow up response in the letters to the editor section was a letter from a senior couple who ate at the same estabilishment and had for many years. Their once weekly date meal was a tradition and with rising prices they no longer had money for tips. The letters back where clear - if you can't afford a tip order less expensive items or don't have a dessert or bevarage so you can pay the tip - or they should go to fast food. Was suprised at the venomous responses and figured atleast the owner would have stepped up ( the name of the restaurant was never published but the name of the writer was )

- Recently on a visit to Vancouver a group of 12 of us went to a downtown restaurant. Not to fancy but a nice pub style joint that has a manditory 18% fee added to all parties of 10 or more. The service was good and so was the food. When the individual bills arrived and people started paying up - one by one the staff asked if change was needed and folks where giving 18% tips. One of the ladies of the group who works as a waitress spoke up and said " folks you have already have 18% tip added - if you tipping again your leaving 36% tips". Talk about "the fight was on" lol - the waitress slammed her heels out of there and made us line up at the bar to pay. One of our crew stated on paying that it should be identifed that the tip has been added already and was rudly told that tips where still expected.

- During the stay at vancouver we stayed at a downtown hotel ( not the best but a good one ). After the first night of 3 we noticed our room was only very lightly touched up - we discovered that the expected tip is $5 per day per person per room and that leaving that tip would ensure great service.

- also on the same trip at a food fair self serve salad joint we noticed the ATM machine was automatically set to run customers through the tip process. At a fast food self serve food joint? wow

- And just so it's not all anti tip - at one place we ate I had less cash left then I wanted to leave as a tip ( I had enough for 10% but the service was very good so wanted to leave 18% ) and told her I would put the tip on debit as I wanted to leave more. She quitely asked if it would be ok to leave the smaller cash tip instead as tips paid on debit seldom get paid to staff....

So all of this brings up my pet peeves on tips - Tipping should be a voluntairy jesture that is at the consumers descrecion. I'm ok with having appropriate amounts expected ( for example 15% ) so people know what a good tip amount should be. I also don't think that any person who has no money for a tip but wants a special night out should be treated anything but properly ( see the bullet point #1 about the senior couple on limited budget ). And to me - if the tip is added to the bill it should be made clear to the customer that the tip has been applied "on the bill ".

Today's province ran a story about tips being skimmed by owners - This also is wrong - the tip the owner gets is customers returnign any paying the price to eat there - I can see sharing the tips among all working staff though as the quality of the food is just as important to your visit as the server.

/rant off
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#29 Peter Pantsless

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

No, one should never tip for bad service. That's just crazy.

If people put in the effort though, they definitely should be rewarded with a good tip.
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#30 Rhinogator

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:26 AM

Just 2 months ago on Valentines day, after I've dined with my girlfriend at a restaurant where the service was from below average to poor, the waiter called us back to the cashier saying I didn't leave enough tips(10% ish). It was really unexpected, needless to say I'm never going back to that restaurant.
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