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Old 10th January 2011, 19:26   #91
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

Yes, mandatory Tips (Service Charge) is absurd.

Essene of the tip is to:
1. Reward good performers who provide decent service
2. Customer can express satisfaction (or not) by amount or absence of Tip

They should increase price of menu items to include these charges. Customers would be better informed in that case.
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Old 10th January 2011, 23:07   #92
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

BTW can someone tell me why a simple veg sandwich costing 225rs (on the menu) can't include the cost of raw materials, giving me a place to sit, pay for the cook to make the sandwich, pay for the waiter who brought it to my table, the person who cleans the table after I leave? If these costs (and a decent profit) wasn't accounted for when pricing the sandwich, then what am I being charged just for? 2 slices of bread and some vegetables? (I know these days vegetables are prohibitively expensive, I am talking of the times when onions were quite affordable). Tipping is OK only when I am really happy even after knowing that what I paid for in the bill had already covered all the costs (and some more). By no means it should be forced on the customer, especially in these times where the prices of food items in some restaurants knock me out of my senses.

PS: Can someone explain the rationale behind pricing food items in a restaurant? Or do they just use a pseudo-random number generator program? :P

Last edited by Ho0ligaN : 10th January 2011 at 23:09.
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Old 10th January 2011, 23:51   #93
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post

May be it shouldn't be a big component of the waiter's income. Did you tip the salesman 10% when you purchased your car?
No, you didn't because you assumed he would be paid by his employer & how much & what was no concern of yours. You didn't
think it was necessary to tip him because he was helpful & good when you bought the car, right?
You have no clue how the service industry works do you? This is not some hypothetical discussion- tipping is an accepted practice and including it in the bill as a mandatory charge is the only thing we're discussing here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by huntrz View Post
Nothing personal but I can't resist mentioning that we have a habit of accepting anything American/western way as a standard... One shouldn't generalize a habit picked from US for rest of the world. There are other countries who are equally advanced but tipping is not a part of their culture. I am sorry to say that we seem to be in a identity crisis.
I did not pick up the habit from the US- have never lived there for any significant period of time. So you shouldn't generalise either . Tipping *is* part of the culture in the service industry the world over. There are exceptions, sure, but they just prove the rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
For the guys insisting on tipping - a tip is no different from a bribe...

When you pay a 10% tip on a 4 member group's bill you have increased a waiter's daily income by approx. 25%. A waiter would be serving about 30-40 tables a day; and if even 5 people tip at that rate (ei., 10%), I am sure that he will be richer than the owners themselves in no time. And I am not joking.

I once read in a cinema magazine (a non-gossip one) that good hotels / lodges are refusing to provide accommodation to film stars and film crew - reason?? They paid unreasonably high tips that rest of the customers got very poor service.
Am biting back sarcastic responses here. Look, it's your prerogative: don't tip if you don't want to. If thinking about tips as a bribe and imagining it to contribute to a waiter's wealth helps you rationalise, go right ahead. The way I see it, if I frequent an establishment, reasonably healthy tipping (never in excess) helps establish a good relationship and almost certainly guarantees superior service in the future. Plus it's thoughtful and considerate. 'Nuff said.
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Old 11th January 2011, 05:27   #94
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
You have no clue how the service industry works do you? This is not some hypothetical discussion- tipping is an accepted practice and including it in the bill as a mandatory charge is the only thing we're discussing here.
May be that is the only thing you are discussing here. I am not.
I am discussing why the service industry should work in this ridiculous manner. Just because it's accepted doesn't mean it's good or that it shouldn't be discussed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
The way I see it, if I frequent an establishment, reasonably healthy tipping (never in excess) helps establish a good relationship and almost certainly guarantees superior service in the future. Plus it's thoughtful and considerate. 'Nuff said.
If you frequent an establishment, that means you are a source of income for the establishment. You shouldn't have to pay extra to establish a healthy relationship or get good service. It should come by default. The fact that it doesn't means that the service industry is screwed up.

Last edited by carboy : 11th January 2011 at 05:30.
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Old 11th January 2011, 06:38   #95
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

It is not fair to charge service charge as standard on the bill. I believe tip should be an incentive for providing customer satisfaction. It does not make sense to pay a hefty tip when the waiter does not even care to serve a glass of water. In many restaurants, the waiter needs to be reminded repeatedly to serve a glass of water. A tip should be a motivating factor for providing a better service.

I think 10% service charge is not entirely getting paid as tip to the waiter. Employer must be making money on the pretext of service charge. Instead of this, a better practice would be to increase the item price and provide a better pay to the waiter. Also, if all of us start paying 10% tip as standard waiters would be making a lot of money in premium restaurants. I think a waiter usually manages atleast 5 tables at a time.

Last edited by PatienceWins : 11th January 2011 at 06:40.
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Old 11th January 2011, 10:21   #96
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

To add to the myriad opinions floating about in this thread let my add mine as well.

I believe that it is my money, i have earned it and it should be me who decides where why how and when i decide to spend it. Not some restaurant who decides.

Do i tip? Oh yes. According to the standard of restaurant i am in, the bill i have run up and of course the service i have been accorded.

Tips should be generous and by generous i mean it should come from the heart. When something is done without your consent it sort of loses its charm and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
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Old 11th January 2011, 10:24   #97
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

A point in the case I remember now, in this whole tipping business.

In Carlton Towers (now closed), there was this restaurant - Bombay Post. I had been a regular here for almost half a decade.

Initially they didn't have the service charge and everything was good. The food, service, ambiance.

I used to tip quite generously and enjoyed my time there.

Then they introduced the 10% service charge. I used to still tip. But the service, food and ambiance took a nose dive. The service used to get delayed, the fish used to smell and to top it all the guy taking the order. One particular attitude laden guy was the most nauseating to deal with.

The last straw was when he said we don't have a particular dish and asked us to order something else. I said I am ready to wait. He said, either change your order or we have more people waiting outside. That was the last straw. He then got the bill with 10% service charge. I wasn't happy but had to pay as I was there with some seniors from office.
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Old 11th January 2011, 10:31   #98
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
By and large we Indians are seriously El Cheapos when it comes to leaving tips for service. Generosity is very low on the list of "things to do and live by".the accepted norm is usually atleast 10% if one is happy with the service one has received.
+1 on that.

I usually tend to tip them at least 10% of the bill amount if i am happy with the service and quality of food.

I usually have tiffs with my family members over this, they feel that i am spoiling the waiters by paying them 10% or a round off figure.

Its actually nice to see few restaurants levying 5% service charge.
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Old 11th January 2011, 11:20   #99
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service ???

A lot has been said already here. Just a few points to add to this:

1. Why does the charge has to be fixed by the restaurant? Shouldn't the customer be a judge to the level of service offered and then tip?
2. Wouldn't the level of service drop if the waiters know they would get the 10% tip anyway?
3. Is there a guarantee that it would all reach the people we wanted to tip?
4. How fair is it to have service charge in a self service food court???!!! (I was charged 3.5% just yesterday)
5. On the whole I'm not for the concept of tipping. Its a salaried job, they get paid for what they do, the customer shouldn't be paying extra for what they are already getting paid for. This concept of tipping is a mostly western trait and now spreading all over.
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Old 11th January 2011, 11:54   #100
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

One more question on what amount exactly the restaurant people levy service tax , I am talking of service tax which goes to the government. I feel this amount is arbitrarily levied and never remitted fully to tax authorities.

As per the government notification
Service Tax Act - CBEC


Service tax is applicable where an element of service is involved as in outdoor catering and supply of food in restaurant is deemed as sale and sales tax levied by state government is applicable.

In case a restaurent is providing a service and applying 10% service charge it should include 12.36% Service tax of this service charge and not on the total bill value.


This should change once Pranab Mukharjee is able to enforce common GST but till then it is simply illegal to include 12.36% service tax as restaurent owner is pocketing it , A 10% service charge and 12.36% tax on total amount instead of service charge is a double whammy .

Check this thread
Service tax on food item - Page 2
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Old 11th January 2011, 12:04   #101
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
In case a restaurent is providing a service and applying 10% service charge it should include 12.36% Service tax of this service charge and not on the total bill value.
A 10% service charge and 12.36% tax on total amount instead of service charge is a double whammy .
I quoted exactly this double cheat in my previous post.

If hotelwala is charging service charge, then the tax in the bill should be

1] VAT--[ sales tax on billed food item ]
+
2] service tax----tax on service charge shown in the bill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
I have not noticed yet carefully the bill but do anyone observed the vat portion which should be strictly for materials and not for service charge.
If vat is shown for service charge also, then its double cheat.
It vat is not shown for service charge, then hotelwala can be in trouble if anyone decide so.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 11th January 2011 at 12:08.
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Old 11th January 2011, 12:41   #102
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

A good example of the present discussion are Kolkata restaurants. Most restaurants on Park Street clearly mention that the prices on menu include cost of service as well as ambience and waiters should not be tipped.

However, in my opinion as long as it is mentioned clearly in the menu cards, there is no issue.
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Old 11th January 2011, 13:38   #103
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
After I returned from abroad, I automatically started doing the 10% calculation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I did not pick up the habit from the US- have never lived there for any ...
Well. Then may be I read it wrong. Apologies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
You have no clue how the service industry works do you? This is not some hypothetical discussion- tipping is an accepted practice and including it in the bill as a mandatory charge is the only thing we're discussing here.
Banking, Insurance and Advertising too belong to "service industry" category. Maybe you meant hospitality industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Tipping *is* part of the culture in the service industry the world over.
There is no tipping practice in Japan.

Last edited by huntrz : 11th January 2011 at 13:39.
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Old 11th January 2011, 15:31   #104
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

1947 - an average restaurant with an excessive pricing also adds an additional 10% service charge. It is left to the customer whether to go there or not. I have decided not to go to that place till they change their price structure. I think in India 5% TIP is more than enough for the service offered. 10% is a western norm not in India. A waiter gets 8000Rs. amonth and a car driver who is supposed to be more skillful gets 6000 to 7000 Rs. a month. Now over and above 8000Rs. if waiters expect a fat tip then I do believe there is a problem somewhere. How many of us TIP our drivers on a daily basis?
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Old 11th January 2011, 15:36   #105
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

As a past owner of a restaurant, I am against service charge being levied. It is my prerogative if I want to pay or not based on how I feel about the service. And it is the hotels responsibility to take care that good service is provided.

Tipping in some countries is considered rude & at some places it is rude not to tip. To generalize and say we are cheap is not right.

Last edited by indian21r : 11th January 2011 at 15:52.
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