About a month ago, we brought you the story of overpriced NYC hotel bars that were adding automatic 18-20% gratuities to tabs, claiming that they had to do so because so many of their patrons were from Europe and other parts of the world where tipping isn’t part of the culture. Now we hear from a waiter who proves they might have a point.
Over at ServerNotServant, they have the tale of a waiter at a Boston restaurant who was stiffed by a table of seven non-American women.
The tab for the septet totaled $590.11 and they only paid $600, leaving a less than 2% tip for the restaurant staff.
While the waiter didn’t make a fuss about the chintzy tip, he wanted to know how viable of an excuse is the whole “foreign customers don’t tip” thing, especially in a day when it’s incredibly easy for travelers to learn these things:
Most people have instant access to all types of information, and that includes the customs of the countries we visit. If I went to London, I would already know how popular soccer is and would not ask to change the TV channel to baseball. I would also know the custom for tipping at a restaurant in London to respect local protocol.
He does have a point — A group of adults savvy enough to dine out at a restaurant that costs them $84/person (pre-tip) is probably aware that it’s customary to leave a tip. So do they think that 2% is substantial enough or do you think they’re just using the “we’re not from here” line as a way to be skinflints?
Foreign Policy [ServerNotServant]