Boys of Tech 294: Mexico are known for their online tipping

Episode 294

Sunday, 7 September 2014

YouTube introduces a feature that allows viewers to leave tips, iTunes Festival throughout September 2014, game development competition Pixel Jam to be held at Victoria University of Wellington.

Duration: 23:17

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Comments (3)

Edwin

Thanks @Alex for the insight into the tipping culture in the US. I think it's one of those things that unless you grew up with that culture, it takes some getting used to. I think I only figured out when to tip and when not to tip toward the end of my one-week stay in the US! Thanks for listening to the podcast.

Alex

In this episode you requested additional information from your American listeners about tipping in this country. Here is an additional take on the concept: A “standard” tip is 15% and for larger parties (6 or more) the restaurant adds an 18% gratuity to the bill. If you receive very bad service then you can leave no tip, but that gets confused with forgetting to tip. If you want to communicate that the service was horrible, then you can tip 1 penny. A living wage is considered approximately $12 USD to $15 USD per hour for most locales. The minimum wage in this country for non-server employees is $7.25 USD per hour. For servers the minimum direct wage is $2.13 USD per hour. The employer keeps track of the server’s tips and if direct wages + tips do not equal $7.25 USD per hour, then the employer has to increase the server’s direct wages to that point and only for those pay periods. So the servers have to work very hard to get to a living wage standard. The best servers employ psychological tricks to increase their tips: servers will flirt, touch the patron's arm or back, lower themselves (squat) when taking the order to give the patron a superior feeling, etc. The general trend that I have seen is that the more affluent a person’s upbringing the more they feel entitled to be served and the less they tend to tip … unless they are trying to impress their date or something. The people who have worked in the service industry and know how hard servers work for their money tend to tip more if they have the extra income available. All-in-all is gets very confusing and you often see people struggling with math unless they know how to use the calculator feature on their smart phone. When I visited New Zealand a couple years ago I really enjoyed the simplicity of the GST. Everywhere I went I knew how much my bill was and I didn’t feel like I had to evaluate the performance of our server at every restaurant. Thank you for your delightful podcast.

Alex

In this episode you requested additional information from your American listeners about tipping in this country. Here is an additional take on the concept:

A "standard" tip is usually considered 15% and for larger parties (6 or more) the restaurant usually applies an 18% tip to the bill.
If you receive very bad service then you can leave no tip, but the server could assume that you forgot. Another option that communicates "I didn't forget and the service was horrible" is to tip one penny.

A living wage in this country varies between $12 USD to $15 USD for most locales. The national minimum wage for non-tip-based employees is $7.25 USD per hour.
The national minimum wage for tip-based employees is $2.13 USD per hour in direct wages. The employer keeps track of the employee's tips and if direct wages+tips is less than $7.25 USD per hr, then the employer is required to raise the direct wages (for that pay period only) to the $7.25 USD per hour point. So a server has to work hard to get their wage+tips to a living wage standard.
The best servers employ psychological tricks to increase their tips: servers will flirt, touch the patron's arm or back, lower themselves (squat) when taking the order to give the patron a superior feeling, etc.
The general trend that I have seen is that the more affluent your upbringing the more entitled you feel and the less you tip. If you have first-hand experience working in a service job, then you know how hard they work and tend to tip more (if you have the funds to spare).
All-in-all it is very confusing and there is often people struggling to do math unless they know how to use the calculator on their smart phones.
When I visited New Zealand a few years ago I really enjoyed the simplicity of the GST. I knew how much my bill would be everywhere I went and I didn't have to evaluate the performance of our server at every restaurant.

Thank you for doing what you do. I thoroughly enjoy your podcast.

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