Time for a rant, the last two restaurants I’ve been to have left a really bad taste in my mouth and not because of the food. When I’ve been paying the bill, up on the credit card machine flashes the message “Do you want to add a Tip?” It’s got my blood boiling each time, as the waitress has been watching me like a hawk, checking that I did and how much I would tip them. Pressure wasn’t in it! The first time I caved, mainly because I hit the wrong button, the second time I refused to do it.
I understand that in America tipping is expected, because the wages people are paid in restaurants are so low, that they need the tip to make up their wage; but in the UK there is a minimum wage and I believe that tipping should be discretionary. If I get great service then I am very happy to leave some money on the table, which won’t be taxed and I have more faith it will go straight to the person who served us. That’s my choice and something I can do at my own discretion, without being watched and judged. I want to give, out of a sense of generosity and gratitude, not out of emotional blackmail.
I find that it ruins the whole experience and leaves me with a negative opinion of the restaurant. If I like a restaurant I will tell people I know, I’ll blog about it and post it to my various social media pages. If I’m really moved I’ll even send an email or leave a review on Google places. I’m giving them free publicity, testimonials are so much more beneficial than paid for advertising, because consumers trust it. If I’ve had a bad experience, it makes it even worse to feel like I’m being forced to tip on top of the meal.
I will tip if I have good service; but the more pressured I feel, the more likely I am to refuse – I’m contrary like that!