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An2net
03-24-2010, 11:04 PM
hi there,

8 weeks to go and thanks to all you lovely's and your great tips...am almost ready to go!! One quick Q: when it comes to tipping, how much is expected from them in the U.S...and where do you draw the line? I mean, I'm more than happy to tip porters, staff at cafe's/restaurants etc, but what about when you're just buying stuff in a shop? Are you expected to leave tips there as well at the counter? Don't quite get it.

any advice??

Thx

An2net

aussiegirls
03-25-2010, 12:49 AM
Hi An2net :wave2:

Tipping was the thorn in my side whilst in the US :lmao::lmao:

I was a bit like you and was not sure how, when and who. So this is what I did. I tipped at restaurants, but usually not huge amounts. Mostly I just rounded the bill up to the nearest $10, unless service was amazing, then I added a little more. They say that you should tip porters that carry your bags, and I had intended to but to be honest I just forgot. I tipped taxi drivers and our chauffer and as far as I can remember that is all I tipped.

You are not expected to tip in shops, nor at counter service food outlets, eg Maccas or take away kind of places. There has been some discussion about tipping housekeeping but I never did.

To be completely honest, because it is not something that we normally do it was not foremost in my mind. I would therefore often forget and a bit later just think :headache: doh, I should have tipped!!!!! The only place I always remembered to tip was with a restaurant bill.

I am not sure how helpful that is. Maybe they think I am a bit of a stinge :confused3 but that's what I did.

xxxx

PrincessInOz
03-25-2010, 01:05 AM
This is the constant bane of our lives when in the State....but we've gotten used to tipping only because we hang out with our relatives and friends and have learnt from them.

When we're at hotels that provide the "dumb porter" (the trolley), we normally manage our own bags. It's also pretty obvious to the porters that we are self sufficient if we are wheeling the bags into the hotel by ourselves - by and large, if we've got our bags under control, they leave us alone. If we use the porters, we normally tip about $1 per bag or a maximum of $5.

At places with counter service e.g., McD, coffee shops, cafe's that have a tip jar near the counter, we normally leave about $1 or $2 in the jar; if the service at the counter is prompt and if the person was friendly and if we are buying lunch/food. If we're just buying drinks, snacks or coffee, then we leave nothing. My husband, who goes to the states 2 or 3 times a year for work, will drop some coins in for buying drinks. But when I travel with him, I normally break this habit within 2 days. :) I expect that most of the other Aussies reading this thread will probably provide their input as to whether they leave anything or not.

At sit down restaurants with wait staff, we normally check the bill and look out for the sales tax. California sales tax runs at about 8 - 9 % and the sales tax amount is based on the cost of the food only. If the service is good, we double the sales tax amount. This means that we are leaving about 18% tip. If the service was sub standard, we leave a minimum of about 15% tip. If the service was above average, we leave about 20%. Good service is when the waiter is charming, takes our order promptly, comes round to refill our water without being prompted, is patient with our child and generally comes round more than once AFTER taking our order (they normally stop by once to check - this is standard service).
We NEVER base our tips on the total amount of the bill, which includes the sales tax amount. Doing so will mean that they get tipped more than 20%.
I think NY sales tax is about 7.5%. So over there, the minimum is 15% if we double the tax amount. Be aware - that if you leave LESS than 15%, you may encounter sarcasm and outright rudeness.
I think FL sales tax is also in the 7's.
The bill should show what the % sales tax is - if not, we will ask the waiter and find out PDQ so that we can work the tipping out.

We have tipped housekeeping - generally about $1 a day - if they have been good and for longer stays. They normally leave their names and if we find we have consistently gotten the same housekeeper for more than 5 days, we leave a tip (usually at the front desk) at the end of the stay; rather than in the room). If we stay for 2 or 3 nights, we never tip housekeeping. We have occassionally bumped into our housekeeper doing the rounds and if we do so, we chat and then tip them personally. Remember - we tend to do long stays in the same hotel in Silicon Valley and are on first name basis with some of the housekeepers; so this may not be the norm for most Aussies travelling.

We have also tipped taxi drivers/chauffers - but only after checking what the bill includes. Some of the hire cars include the tip in the total amount; so we always check to see if this is the case or not. With taxis, it is always easy to see if tip is included as you can check the meter. Certainly we found with the NY taxi that took us to the airport that the breakdown included meter amount, baggage portering and tip. We certainly weren't going to add an additional tip on top of this!!
You may also find a tip jar in the courtesy buses that the car hire companies operate that take you to their sites. Unless the bus driver helps us with bags, we don't leave any money.

When shopping for clothes or stuff in stores, there is no tipping. Just remember that the sales tax is added when they ring up your purchase at the counter (it's not included in the price tag).

One other thing about shopping for stuff in NYC - if your total purchase for that transaction is under $150, you won't be charged the sales tax. This was the case in 2007; so I waited till I was in NY before hitting Victoria Secrets, Gap, Banana Republic, Zara, H&M, department stores etc.

queenie82
03-25-2010, 04:43 AM
I despise tipping and avoid it where possible.
In NYC we round the taxi fare up. If the cost is say 8.50 we will round to 10. If it is 9.50 we will also round to 10 usually unless we have excess ones...just depends a bit on if we are in a rush and what cash we have...

As for Disney...sigh...you will constantly have to deal with tipping. :headache:

We dined at many many Disney restaurants and they always "suggest" 18-20% tip on the bill. EVEN in buffet restaurants where seriously...bringing our party of 4 a drink doesn't warrant you $20+
I do not understand why the % is off the bill and hence depends on the cost of the food? I mean a $10 plate of food is no harder to carry than a $30 plate of food :confused3
We decided to determine our own rates. We were on the dining plan..so we weren't paying the restaurant bill...we were paying a rate per day...
$5 was for average service. $10 for good service. We did pay the full $20 ONCE because he was a great server.
NOW...this did become interesting on 2 occasions.
1 - Le Cellier. The girl was sent out to EXPLAIN and EDUCATE us on tipping etiquette. Our meal had been a disaster as it was so the fact we tipped anything was simply because a bad tip sends a better message than nothing.
We just left...
2 - Le Chefs De France. Great food but average service warranted less than 'expected' and he was not a happy french man. We just took the tip back and left.

Of course at the Garden Grill which was somewhere we left one of our better tips but less than 'suggested' the server was genuinely appreciative.

**** REMEMBER - IF YOU ARE A PARTY OF SIX OR MORE YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY HAVE THE TIP ADDED TO THE BILL AT DISNEY RESTAURANTS!!!**** :eek:

I say do what you WANT.
Stuff the rules...
I know the sob stories about the servers being underpaid with the expectation of tips covering the rest of the wage...but if people accept this and pay these tips then they are perpetuating something I think should be illegal.
Trust me...it may be embedded in American culture...but not all Americans are happy about this situation and despite what you may read on here not all Americans pay a full tip.

We carry our own bags. We park our own car.
[although if you stay at Animal Kingdom or Boardwalk expect to be hassled by the valets and porters.]

DO tip if you are going on a cruise when you drop off your 'checked' baggage and want your bags to get on board safe and sound and earlier rather than later.

kylieh
03-25-2010, 04:56 AM
Arrggghh - tipping. Last trip I was like "well, you said hello to me, I guess I need to tip you too..." :lmao: well, not quite that bad, but it did feel like it.

Make sure when you get some cash before you leave home you get lots of small amounts - $1s and $5s. That will make it easier. Because although you can use visa/amex etc everywhere, you can't tip the bellhop that way IYKWIM.

This is Emily Post's Tipping Guide: http://www.emilypost.com/everyday/tips_on_tipping.htm

From research previously I believe she is a guru on tipping and ettitquite throughout the USA, and worldwide too I guess.

Kalice
03-25-2010, 08:20 AM
We chatted to a waitress during the early days of our trip, she advised that double the tax is usually the going rate. Definately not so much for a buffet. We normally added a couple of dollars onto cab fares, and gave porters $1 a case. We didn't tip housekeepers at any point, didn't even know it was a done thing until I read it here on the boards. It all gets a bit much though, and you begin to feel like you're just throwing money at people.

Ms. Shuttergirl
03-25-2010, 03:14 PM
I pretty much did what PrincessinOz did. And whilst I totally felt like I was handing over money every 5 seconds, :lmao:, I did accept that it was a part of the culture there and so I followed it. For restaurants, we generally tipped around 15% unless the service was exceptional. We definitely tipped housekeeping, cabs, porters on the few occasions that we used them. It was exhausting at first but eventually you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature. Oh and if you go on guided tours you are supposed to tip the bus driver and the guide, I believe it's something like $15ish?? We had an amazing guide in NYC, I can't rave enough so we gave him $25 because he totally made our day.

Ditto on the taking lots of $1 bills. It was a constant stress for me :rotfl2:

Willow25
03-25-2010, 06:39 PM
As an american I can tell you that we do not conform to the norms of tipping in the states when we go there for holidays. We always tip at sit down restaurants and we do the same as Queenie does which is determine what tip is warranted depending on the level of service we receive. Tipping is just that a tip for service well done. I also agree with Queenie that by following the said cultural rules of tipping we are just perpetuating something that has gotten out of hand.

Whilst I have seen a lot of americans state that they tip everyone and their dog on here my family and friends seriously only tip wait staff and maybe their hairdressers. A lot of times when you are tipping someone for a job well done only a small percentage of that goes into their pocket. It really is ridiculous that they are asking customers to top up paychecks because employers do not pay their employees a fair wage.

DVCAustralia
03-25-2010, 09:10 PM
Thank you Willow25 for your perspective as an American, it is good to hear that my approach to tipping on the basis of merit is not isolated.

aussietravellers
03-26-2010, 04:15 AM
I have to say that I don't like the tipping! I struggle with it and probably over tip because I don't want to do the wrong thing, I get confused on who to tip. We were on a bus tour to San Diego Zoo one day and took a bus there and back. The driver didn't do anything, just drove us there and back. I didn't know wether to tip him so asked some people in a restaurant we were eating at :rotfl: They said yes to tip him so we did. We always tip 15 to 20% (even more if they are exceptional) at a restaurant, always tip the bell services about $2 a bag, or if something is delivered to the room at the hotel, tip tour bus drivers, taxis or town car drivers, skycaps (think thats what they are called) at the airport if we use one (usually need that on the way home with all the luggage :worship: shopping) If you go to a spa or have your hair done you are expected to tip them too I believe ( tipping the hair washer and the cutter :confused3), the concierge at hotels for their services if I ask for something (although not allowed at Disney). I also usually leave a tip for housekeeping.

Anyway as much as I dislike tipping and do stuggle with it and I find the whole thing bizarre, how people accept employers paying their staff almost nothing, then expecting the customer to not only pay for their meal but then to pay the staff wages too :confused3 In saying that it is what is expected in the USA and as a visitor to their country I feel that I should conform to their customs and ways of life. Just as I do with every country I visit.

saffron1000
03-26-2010, 04:29 AM
I can understand the frustration with tipping. I am now a nurse, but worked for years as a waitress to pay my way through college. Servers earn only $3 an hour and do depend on a fair tip for their wage. Whether or not you agree with it or not it is a fact. Imagine someone coming to your work and saying we do not agree with your income therefore we are going to take away some of your salary. If you vacation in the states you should tip 15-20% for good service. If you have poor service it is understandable to tip accordingly. Just because you do not AGREE with tipping does not mean the poor server working hard for a wage should be penalized. In addition most servers must pay taxes on at least 15% of their sales.

Ms. Shuttergirl
03-26-2010, 03:45 PM
Anyway as much as I dislike tipping and do stuggle with it and I find the whole thing bizarre, how people accept employers paying their staff almost nothing, then expecting the customer to not only pay for their meal but then to pay the staff wages too :confused3 In saying that it is what is expected in the USA and as a visitor to their country I feel that I should conform to their customs and ways of life. Just as I do with every country I visit.

Exactly, I don't understand it, don't necessarily like it but as aussietravellers said, you follow the ways of life and customs in every country you visit.

PoohBear1988
03-28-2010, 09:42 AM
I'm quite happy to tip at restaurants, due to what pp have said about it being a way of life in the US, but I have also found that meals are cheaper, so with the tip included, I'm still spending less than I would for a meal back here in Australia, especially as most places i went to had free refills of soft drinks, I was getting great value for money.

Willow25
03-28-2010, 04:35 PM
Just to clarify we of course always do tip even with bad service. While I do not agree with the way it has gotten out of hand it is certainly not servers fault that this is the current custom in the states. We always tip a minimum of %15 unless we get really rude service which has only happened once and even then we tipped %10.

What I wanted to convey which I did not do well was that even americans debate what is customary in terms of percentage and who you tip. We all do it differently. Also what is customary in one area or with one group is not with another.

So we make our own rules that we feel comfortable with which I explained above.

DisCopper
03-28-2010, 05:39 PM
I'm an American, and stumbled onto this thread. Never been to Australia, but I'd love to go.

Here are the standards for tipping that are pretty much accepted in the US:

Counter service restaurants: No tip. There are often jars for various charities on the counters. This isn't for tips: the money is supposed to go to whatever charity is listed. Coffee houses (like Starbucks, etc...), may have a tip jar. If you feel like it, you can put a dollar in, but it's not necessarily expected.

Table service restaurants: If the service is acceptable, tip 15 to 20 percent. You can go higher for exceptional service. You can also reduce the tip for poor service. If it's terrible, you can certainly feel free to tip nothing, but I'd speak to the manager and explain what the problem was. If it's that bad, the point is to correct the problem.

Bell Service (where they take your bags to the room): About a dollar a bag. More if you've got big items (like golf clubs). Someone said something about maxing out at $5.00... it may be reasonable to "round down" if you've got maybe 7 or 8 bags... but if you've got a huge amount of items, and multiple carts, $5.00 is not going to be acceptable.

Hotel rooms (for maid service): This can be a bit of a debate. For inexpensive hotels, you probably don't need to tip at all. For more expensive places, you might want to leave a couple dollars a day. At Disney, I personally don't leave a tip unless they seem to be going out of their way to make things nice for me. Examples of that would be the "towel animals," or if I asked them to come to clean at a specific time (and they did).

Shopping: No tip. Unless you're on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and getting OUTSTANDING service, it's not expected. Certainly not at Disney.

Bus service: If the driver is just getting you there and back, I wouldn't bother with a tip. If you've got an actual tour guide, who points things out, then a tip is probably appropriate. The amount can vary dramatically. For an 8 hour tour, I might tip 10 dollars. For a 2 hour tour, I might tip 5 dollars. In those situations, you should probably ask someone else what they think.

Taxi cabs: Tip about 15 percent. It can be difficult to deal with change in a cab, so rounding up or down a little is acceptable.

I'm sort of shocked at the people who say they are just "rounding up" to the nearest 5 or 10 dollars. While this may work out sometimes, in many cases, it would be unacceptable. Especially for restaurant servers. In the US, their pay rate is substantially lower because they receive tips (I don't necessarily agree with this, but that's the way it is). Note that they're supposed to also claim their tips as income and pay income tax on them.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should do, but I do believe that if you're traveling to another country, you should at least be making an attempt to "play by their rules." I've traveled extensively in Europe and been to Japan once. Before traveling, I made sure I knew what I was doing so that I could fit in and not be the "ugly American."

DVCAustralia
03-28-2010, 06:50 PM
It is interesting reading the various views on this thread.
I have a real issue with the 'automatic' nature of tipping generally. If staff who provide average or bad service are paid a full or almost full tip, then what does that say to the staff who actually bother to provide good or excellent service and yet get a similar amount. There has to be proper differentiation, and this should be by way of a significantly reduced tip that will be noted by the staff member, not by way of a much higher percentage tip each time you happen to get better service. Unless tipping is compulsory it should remain at its core a discretionary payment based on the level of service.
However this is a DISBoards thread and so the focus should be on Disney. As far as Disney is concerned no one is forced to work there and in particular no one is forced to work at the restaurants as apposed to the many other roles. Many workers at Disney are on minimum wage but put up with that for the perks, atmosphere, prestige or other intangible benefits that each person may attach to such a job. I do not see why staff in one particular division should be entitled to much higher pay than those in other roles, all other staff provide you service once you pay for accomodation, tickets without extra payment. Further whilst the compulsory tip for groups is higher than average at 18%, Disney specifically state 'Optional' tip on each of the normal dining receipts so the staff are on notice of this each time they hand one over to the guest.
Also, an issue specific to WDW is that many people only dine at the restaurants in WDW as a result of purchasing the dining plan and so would have no intention of paying the very high prices at these restaurants. Given this, to calculate the tip as 18% of the 'bill' could result in the guest paying up to 50% or more of the actual cost as a 'tip', an outrageous situation. If Disney want to market dining plans without tips included then that is their choice, but the guest should not be expected to stump up another large sum of money simply for using it.

PrincessInOz
03-28-2010, 07:13 PM
...Bell Service (where they take your bags to the room): About a dollar a bag. More if you've got big items (like golf clubs). Someone said something about maxing out at $5.00... it may be reasonable to "round down" if you've got maybe 7 or 8 bags... but if you've got a huge amount of items, and multiple carts, $5.00 is not going to be acceptable....

I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should do, but I do believe that if you're traveling to another country, you should at least be making an attempt to "play by their rules." I've traveled extensively in Europe and been to Japan once. Before traveling, I made sure I knew what I was doing so that I could fit in and not be the "ugly American."
Thanks DisCopper. Just to clarify...we never round down. We have not travelled with more than 4 bags to date when we use Bell Service; so for us $5 would be rounding up.
And yes, we know we are visitors in someone else's country and wouldn't dream of not "playing by their rules" irrespective of how we might personally feel about it. Thanks for the reminder.

DisCopper
03-29-2010, 06:48 PM
It is interesting reading the various views on this thread.
I have a real issue with the 'automatic' nature of tipping generally. If staff who provide average or bad service are paid a full or almost full tip, then what does that say to the staff who actually bother to provide good or excellent service and yet get a similar amount. There has to be proper differentiation, and this should be by way of a significantly reduced tip that will be noted by the staff member, not by way of a much higher percentage tip each time you happen to get better service. Unless tipping is compulsory it should remain at its core a discretionary payment based on the level of service.
However this is a DISBoards thread and so the focus should be on Disney. As far as Disney is concerned no one is forced to work there and in particular no one is forced to work at the restaurants as apposed to the many other roles. Many workers at Disney are on minimum wage but put up with that for the perks, atmosphere, prestige or other intangible benefits that each person may attach to such a job. I do not see why staff in one particular division should be entitled to much higher pay than those in other roles, all other staff provide you service once you pay for accomodation, tickets without extra payment. Further whilst the compulsory tip for groups is higher than average at 18%, Disney specifically state 'Optional' tip on each of the normal dining receipts so the staff are on notice of this each time they hand one over to the guest.
Also, an issue specific to WDW is that many people only dine at the restaurants in WDW as a result of purchasing the dining plan and so would have no intention of paying the very high prices at these restaurants. Given this, to calculate the tip as 18% of the 'bill' could result in the guest paying up to 50% or more of the actual cost as a 'tip', an outrageous situation. If Disney want to market dining plans without tips included then that is their choice, but the guest should not be expected to stump up another large sum of money simply for using it.

I agree with your dislike for the "automatic" nature of tipping. If someone provides bad service, you probably shouldn't tip. As I said before, you should also speak to the manager and explain the problem.

If someone provides acceptable service, then in the US, you are expected to tip (whether you like the concept or not).

Waiters and waitresses generally make significantly below the US minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour ($7.91 AUD) in Florida.

Paying a tip of 18% may be an "outrageous situation" in Australia, but it is 100%, absolutely, positively, NOT outrageous in the US.

I'm not sure how you're coming up with that equaling 50%. If you're on the dining plan, and eat a meal that costs $100.00, an 18% tip would be $18.00.

If you're calculating it as to overall cost of the dining plan, I just checked online. To add two nights in November 2010, you will pay $146.00 extra. If you eat two, $100.00 meals, your total tip for both meals would be $36.00... certainly not 50%.

As for the staff who who do exceptionally well, you are expected to tip more.

Although there are definitely Americans who don't like tipping, they generally do it. If they don't, they're behaving inappropriately.

If you travel to Disney, and you aren't tipping at least close to accepted standards, then you should consider yourself rude.

DVCAustralia
03-29-2010, 08:22 PM
[edited]

Originally posted by DisCopper
Waiters and waitresses generally make significantly below the US minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour ($7.91 AUD) in Florida.
If you travel to Disney, and you aren't tipping at least close to accepted standards, then you should consider yourself rude.

Thank you for the supportive introduction to your post.
In regard to the above points waiters and waitresses may have a lower 'base' pay than the minimum wage, but as I said that is their choice. However even if they received no pay from Disney, which is not the case, they would only need tips of US$7.25 per hour to receive the minimum wage. Thus if they were to receive tips of 18% they would only need to serve an average of US$40 in meals per hour, often one meal per person or one and a half to two buffets, to get the minimum wage. Further any tables of six or more must pay the tip so this is about six hours of minimum pay in one table at a restaurant. Clearly they are generally well ahead of the minimum wage even adding in their actual pay from Disney and taking out any sharing of tips with the manager etc. Given this I do not understand your point aboout the minimum wage, many other Disney workers are stuck on the minimum wage and have no such upside and yet they provide service to the guest.
By the way I do not consider myself rude at all, if anything taking part in this discussion has solidified my approach to tipping.

Willow25
03-29-2010, 09:46 PM
I just wanted to say that when you tip at sit down meals in the states you are not just tipping the server. Servers usually have to give a certain percentage of their tips to the host/hostess, bussers, cooks etc.

DizOz
03-30-2010, 03:39 PM
I have to agree tipping in the US can become a bit of a chore.

I recently returned from 5 days in the states on business. During that time i calculated I tipped in excess of $400.

I generally work on the rule of
Bell hops etc $1-$2 a bag
Restaurants 15%-20% depends on service
Taxi/Car Service 15%

I had a business partner who was tight with his money and would literally fight off bell hop and door men from his bags. A few times almost coming to blows to save a few bucks. Me, I consider it their job and the only way they are going to make a decent dollar is through tips.

One good thing it helps with the maths skills calulcating those percentages. A little harder after a night out and a few red wines.

shushh
03-30-2010, 03:43 PM
Discopper, I think everyone here is sensitive enough to the nature of respecting the culture and customs of the countries that we visit and will tip even if we don't like it or agree with it. The discussion of how much to tip is helpful becuase honestly, as Willow25 has pointed out, different American friends have suggested different things. Your input has certainly been appreciated (by me at least!). My parents tried to do the "right thing" and tipped a taxi driver 15% only to be chased down and abused. And so now they overtip because of fear. The question I guess is then what is truely the accepted standard.

queenie82
03-30-2010, 04:48 PM
I have to agree tipping in the US can become a bit of a chore.

I recently returned from 5 days in the states on business. During that time i calculated I tipped in excess of $400.

I generally work on the rule of
Bell hops etc $1-$2 a bag
Restaurants 15%-20% depends on service
Taxi/Car Service 15%

I had a business partner who was tight with his money and would literally fight off bell hop and door men from his bags. A few times almost coming to blows to save a few bucks. Me, I consider it their job and the only way they are going to make a decent dollar is through tips.

One good thing it helps with the maths skills calulcating those percentages. A little harder after a night out and a few red wines.I think your comment about you business partner is rude.

If he can carry his own bags he should not be hassled by someone.
The bellhop's actions if he attempted to force himself upon your business partner should have been reprimanded.

A bellhop's job is to help those who REQUEST assistance. Not force people to have their bags carried by someone else.

I have had my carry on luggage dropped by bellhops so there is no way I will TRUST them with my luggage. I am not an invalid so I should NOT be hassled for wanting to do this

DVCAustralia
03-30-2010, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Discopper

I'm not sure how you're coming up with that equaling 50%. If you're on the
dining plan, and eat a meal that costs $100.00, an 18% tip would be $18.00.

If you're calculating it as to overall cost of the dining plan, I just checked online. To add two nights in November 2010, you will pay $146.00 extra. If you eat two, $100.00 meals, your total tip for both meals would be $36.00... certainly not 50%.

Briefly, if you have a 'bill' for a TS meal at a restaurant of US$55.00 before tax an 18% tip of this 'bill' would be US$10.00. If the cost of TS meals on the dining plan equate to about US$20.00 (even less with free dining) tipping US$10.00 would be 50% of the actual cost you paid.

For example, the deluxe dining plan is US$71.99 per night and gives you three TS meals including "appetizer", two snacks and the refillable mug. The consensus on these boards seems to be that a snack should be US$3.50 or above so using this I take US$6.99 off for the two snacks and get US$65.00. Assigning US$5.00 for the mug (actual cost US$12.99 + tax) takes you down to US$60.00. So each TS meal purchased as part of this dining plan is US$20.00. 18% of US$20.00 is US$3.60, 50% of US$20.00 is US$10.00. So if you tip 18% of the 'bill' for a meal that is US$55.00 or more before tax then you are paying "50% or more of the actual cost as a 'tip'".
Getting a 'bill' for US$55.00 before tax using a TS credit at many WDW restaurants is not hard, a couple of examples being: -
Tutto Italia dinner (many combinations)
Coral Reef dinner with Shrimp and Lobster Cake ($11.49), Grilled New York Strip Steak ($30.99), Dessert ($7.99) = $50.47 + Drink.
Le Cellier dinner with Duck Three-Ways ($12.99), Veal T-Bone ($36.99), Chocolate on Chocolate Whiskey Cake ($7.99) = $57.97 + Drink.
Obviously breakdown of the dining plan can be done in many different ways depending on the circumstances, but this is one way of doing it.
The numerous free dining promotions, in which the guest does not even pay this much for the dining plan when it is extracted from the package price, means getting to "50% or more of the actual cost" is even more likely for them.

DisCopper
03-30-2010, 06:35 PM
[edited]



Thank you for the supportive introduction to your post.
In regard to the above points waiters and waitresses may have a lower 'base' pay than the minimum wage, but as I said that is their choice. However even if they received no pay from Disney, which is not the case, they would only need tips of US$7.25 per hour to receive the minimum wage. Thus if they were to receive tips of 18% they would only need to serve an average of US$40 in meals per hour, often one meal per person or one and a half to two buffets, to get the minimum wage. Further any tables of six or more must pay the tip so this is about six hours of minimum pay in one table at a restaurant. Clearly they are generally well ahead of the minimum wage even adding in their actual pay from Disney and taking out any sharing of tips with the manager etc. Given this I do not understand your point aboout the minimum wage, many other Disney workers are stuck on the minimum wage and have no such upside and yet they provide service to the guest.
By the way I do not consider myself rude at all, if anything taking part in this discussion has solidified my approach to tipping.

Well, let me first clarify that I do not consider your behavior on the boards rude at all. Taking part in discussions is fun and we learn about others through it. If you took what I said about rudeness to mean that you were being rude on the boards, I apologize. Not what I meant at all.

Also let me again say that I don't entirely disagree with you on the concept of tipping. If we could get rid of it entirely, I'd be very happy!

I don't work at Disney, so I'm not entirely sure about this, but I know that many Disney cast members have no choice about where they work. They get what they're assigned. With the poor economy, people often don't have any other choice. I have a friend who wanted to work at Disney. She ended up picking up trash at EPCOT.... she could have put her college degree in the bin with it. But she had to work, so there she stayed. Disney didn't care what she wanted to do.

I'd be interested to hear the opinions of wait staff from Disney... how much the average tip is, etc... I can tell you though that just under 30% of our income goes to taxes. For wait staff, that includes tips. There are ways to get away with not claiming the money, but I'll be Disney keeps a close eye on this sort of thing.

What I do know is that tipping is an accepted part of American culture. Wrong or right, it's here. When I traveled to Japan, I didn't tip because I was told it was considered rude. I was also told that it was considered rude to talk on your cell phone on the train and while walking. I'm not someone who spends a whole train trip talking on the phone, but it would seem to be an appropriate time to make a quiet, polite call. But I didn't. A friend in Japan told me that if I did, I'd likely be confronted and told to stop because it's rude. So...... I did what the Japanese did and kept the phone stowed away.

So ultimately, what I'm saying is that if you travel to Disney, and don't tip, you'll be considered rude by the wait staff. I also wouldn't recommend that you return to the same restaurant any time during your trip. I would HOPE that no one is going to spit in your food, or anything equally disgusting... but you can bet your life that the service you receive is going to be far worse than the first visit.

Willow25
03-30-2010, 06:49 PM
My parents tried to do the "right thing" and tipped a taxi driver 15% only to be chased down and abused. And so now they overtip because of fear. The question I guess is then what is truely the accepted standard.

Shush that is terrible, your poor parents. I really feel bad for the Aussie's who come to the states and experience this. Most of us americans know that while customary it is still at the customers discretion. I have found that most australian's want to do the "right thing" while traveling to another country but we have really made tipping too ambiguous for people to get their heads around.

I come from a middle class family in the states and I would absolutely agree that Discopper's post accurately describes the norm in the states of tipping. Some will do more or less but his post is what most would deem appropriate.

queenie82
03-30-2010, 07:54 PM
I was also told that it was considered rude to talk on your cell phone on the train and while walking. I'm not someone who spends a whole train trip talking on the phone, but it would seem to be an appropriate time to make a quiet, polite call. But I didn't. A friend in Japan told me that if I did, I'd likely be confronted and told to stop because it's rude. So...... I did what the Japanese did and kept the phone stowed away.
I consider it rude to talk on a mobile phone while on a train with the exception of a 10sec call.

kazbar
03-31-2010, 08:43 PM
DIScopper

It is very nice of you to give your points on this discussion, thank you :)

However, I would like to say that Australians also pay income taxes (many people pay way in excess of 30%) and we are also a very well travelled people.

It is not unusual for Australians to travel overseas annually and many of us have had the joy of experiencing many different countries and cultures, including yours.

We are, on the most part, respectful of abiding by the customs and cultures of the lands we are visiting but there is nothing wrong with openly discussing those cultures in an attempt to understand them better. :)

1rocky
04-01-2010, 03:52 PM
In regards to tipping we will be getting a private car transfer from La airport to La and then to Disneyland. Do we still tip the driver everytime we use the transfer also do we need to tip for day tours. Thanks just a bit confused on when to tip.

aussietravellers
04-01-2010, 05:18 PM
In regards to tipping we will be getting a private car transfer from La airport to La and then to Disneyland. Do we still tip the driver everytime we use the transfer also do we need to tip for day tours. Thanks just a bit confused on when to tip.

If it were me, then yes, tip the private car transfer. He will probably help you with your bags too so I would definately tip him/her and everytime you use the transfer as it will may be a different driver.

Yes you also do tip the day tour driver. We did a few grayline tours and adjusted the tip depending on the type of tour. The daytour of LA where we had the driver all day getting on and off, him telling us lots of great info we gave a good tip to as he was fantastic and really did a great job. The driver who took us to San Diego Zoo where he just drove us there and drove us straight back, we didn't see him throughout the day as it was just a transfer not a tour as such, we gave a smaller tip.

DizOz
04-05-2010, 04:02 PM
I think your comment about you business partner is rude.

If he can carry his own bags he should not be hassled by someone.
The bellhop's actions if he attempted to force himself upon your business partner should have been reprimanded.

A bellhop's job is to help those who REQUEST assistance. Not force people to have their bags carried by someone else.

I have had my carry on luggage dropped by bellhops so there is no way I will TRUST them with my luggage. I am not an invalid so I should NOT be hassled for wanting to do this

Queenie

It was half said tongue in cheek. But travelling with someone who treats other people with disdain is a little embarrassing.

If you do not want a bell hop to carry your bags that is fine. But there is a way to and not to relay that message. You do not need to be rude or speak down to them. They are there to make a living. A simple no thank you with a smile is all it takes.

Any way lighten up this is a Disney website.

:cool1::cool1::cool1:

disneylove69
04-16-2010, 02:13 AM
Bell hop service is $1-$2 a bag. Restaraunts just double the tax. 20% of the bill would be for excellent service. We don't tip at clothing shops. If you do a walk-up (fast food) type of restaraunt no tip (even if you see a jar). Hair salons $5-$10 depending on the amount of the bill. Taxi drivers a few bucks. Tip are based on the service so if it's really bad leave at least a penny. This lets them know you didn't forget. Some places automatically add a tip if a certain number of people are seated at one table. This will be posted on the menu.