How small is the tip, how “small” is it?

  According to research, the culture of tipping first originated in the upper class of England in the 16th century. Owners of private castles sometimes gave servants some silver coins to encourage and commend their thoughtful service. Later, the guests who came to visit would also give some small money to the servants with excellent service after the banquet. The custom then spread to commercial establishments.
  From the 18th century, bowls with the words “to insure prompt service” can be seen on the dining tables of London hotels. Customers drop their change into the bowl and receive prompt and attentive service from the host. And combining the first letters of the above English words, it becomes the abbreviation “tips”, which is translated as tip.
  Gradually, tips evolved into a fixed word in people’s mouths, and giving tips after receiving services also began to develop into a specific consumer culture in Western countries.
Why tip?

  Tips, the reason why this hidden and mysterious consumption originated in the West has its social soil.
  After the Renaissance, the consumption concept of Westerners began to change, and “consumption first” gradually became popular. Theoretically, Westerners’ consumption preferences pay more attention to “intangible” services, that is, the pursuit of spiritual and psychological satisfaction, comfort and high-quality service environment. Tipping, as an extra expense voluntarily given to service personnel, is a direct reflection of Westerners’ preference for intangible high-quality services.
  However, although tipping originated in Europe, the “tipping capital” in the world today is none other than the United States.
  When the 20th century came, European countries where tipping was popular at that time transformed into high-welfare countries one after another, and tipping was far more casual than in the United States. In most cases, workers in the service industry in Europe can get a suitable salary; in the worst case, they will also get the minimum wage, and tips are only regarded as thanks and recognition for quality service.
  America is different. The basic wages of personnel engaged in the service industry are very low, and the meager monthly wage income is completely unable to support their basic living needs. Some waiters in some states do not even have a basic salary, and the income from tips has become a proportion of the income of these personnel. the vast majority of.
  So tipping in the U.S. is not a legal requirement, but it is ingrained in people’s hearts, unless the customer suffers from extremely poor service.
  Not only that, if you forget to tip in the United States, or if the tip is lower than the general standard, the waiter may give the customer a bad look, and even chase them out to “question” whether they are not doing well enough. After all, from the server’s point of view, unpaid labor feels the same way that anyone who works hard doesn’t get paid.
  Many researchers believe that the ultimate goal of tipping is to give customers a satisfactory experience, which is equivalent to an evaluation mechanism given by customers to the service of waiters. The better the service attitude of the waiter, the more satisfied the customer is, and they will naturally choose to tip more. In order to get more tips, the waiter will try to provide the best service to the customer.
How much?

  According to statistics, there are about 33 kinds of service industry practitioners in the United States today who have the habit of charging tips. Typically, tips are given only to service workers whose employers pay less than minimum wage.
  Taking restaurants as an example, waiters in restaurants across the United States receive at least $26 billion in tips a year. Customers are used to tipping 15% to 20% of the meal price after consumption (usually 15% for breakfast and lunch, 18% to 20% for dinner, and 20% if the number of people in the dinner party exceeds 4).
  Some restaurants in scenic spots, afraid that customers don’t know how to tip, will directly add the tip and write it as “service charge (service charge)”. If the service fee of about 15% is already included on the receipt, then there is no need to pay a tip.
  Most of the other service industries are 1 to 2 dollars or one time, such as one-off services such as handling and parking. When taking a taxi and paying with a credit card, the tip percentage will be given on the display screen of the card reader on the car to choose from. Some minimum tip percentages start at 18%, and some even start at 20%.
  In order to get more tips, the service staff can say that they will do everything possible. Some scholars have calculated that a simple smile, or drawing a smiley face on the bill, and asking customers to pay with a credit card can greatly increase the proportion of tips. The shape of the tipped plate also played a role: Heart-shaped plates generated more tips for waiters than round or rectangular ones.
  It should be noted that when receiving the services of any government personnel, it is not possible to tip. Tips can be misleading and even be seen as bribes of public officials, leading to legal troubles.
Hundred Years of Controversy

  The controversy over tipping culture has never stopped since it came out.
  In 1900, a reporter pointed out that the tipping culture and the freedom, equality and democracy of the U.S. Constitution are in violation, and if it must be given, it must be given to those who are really low-status and low-income. If a working-class person goes to a restaurant to eat, there is no reason to tip.
  Many people also questioned that the American tipping system has also caused a series of social problems. For example, the tipping system has created and exacerbated inequality in the catering industry. Female waiters usually receive higher tips than men, and hard-working chefs in the back kitchen receive lower tips than waiters serving outside.
  Consumption also indirectly exacerbates the prejudices of some consumer groups, and the most affected are disadvantaged groups, such as blacks and Latinos. There was also a stark disparity in the tips received by white and black servers at the same restaurant. This has led to many people jumping out to propose that this ridiculous law that has been in place for a century should be repealed, and organizations such as the “Anti-Tipping League” have also been established.
  Likewise, there are many who insist that the high and low wages of an occupation really reflect only its market value. Professional-level service isn’t for everyone, so tipping is still seen as an encouragement for good service.
  After all, tipping is also a service industry culture that has been passed down over a long period of time in the service industry. For consumers, paying a tip not only gets the value of consumption, but also reaps the service and gratitude from the other party. This is also the value of the service recipient’s own contribution to social consumption.
  Under the growing controversy, a small number of restaurants in the United States have also begun to switch methods, trying to raise wages and prohibit tipping. The main reason is that they believe that giving employees reasonable and stable remuneration can not only prevent unnecessary competition among employees, but also improve the overall quality of the restaurant. service and catering quality.
  However, some practitioners were not happy with the reduced tip income after the reform, and instead decided to find another job. It can be seen that the tipping system is not only quite controversial, but also the way of reform is inconsistent.
  The century-old dispute between consumers, tipped workers and employers will continue into the future. Reforming the tipping culture or system involves taking great risks. Of course, what we would prefer to see is that the tipping culture returns to its origin—as an encouragement of additional service value, rather than as part of the product cost or even additional benefits directly passed on to consumers by merchants, let alone as a basic obligation to kidnap consumers .

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