GraTRUEities™

The Truth Behind the Tip™

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Truth in Tipping!

Posted by gratrueities on October 17, 2008

The recent publication of Waiter Rant directs new attention to the role – or plight – of the service provider,specifically the food service provider. In this book, “the waiter” explores his life (and livelihood) as a food service professional – at the mercy of his customers, 20% of whom are identified as “socially maladjusted psychopaths.” Fortunately, that leaves 80% of us who are pretty nice people “just looking for something to eat.”

In any case, it is true – the server does depend to a large degree on the mindset of those they “serve.” Unreasonable demands and expectations, lack of knowledge regarding tipping etiquette or basic stinginess. can be a big problem for those who depend on tips for a living!

Often overlooked, however, is the fact that quality of service does play a part! There is another whole perspective to explore…that of the customer.

In today’s economy, not only is the service provider be more financially dependent upon the tips they receive, the customer is more aware of how they are spending their dollars. With 20% being the new 15 % and tip jars prominently displayed on every food service counter, people are more inclined to examine the level of service for which they are tipping. This can lead in different directions – it may make a customer much more appreciative of their service provider or it may lead to frustration with the concept of being expected to tip generously for sub-par service…or risk being labeled a cheapskate and worse (like appearing on the pages of Waiter Rant!)

Julie and I have long analyzed the practice of tipping. We have also long considered the idea that a literal tip – a piece of advice, a helpul hint – would be a valuable addition to a monetary gratuity. Over the years, each time we met and dined out, we would brainstorm about the “real tip” we would leave for that particular experience.

After years of engaging in this activity for our own amusement (and we were very amused!), we concluded that there is a need for the customer to have a voice in their gratuity. Thus, we came up with the concept of GraTRUEities – a way to tell the truth behind the tip…and a vehicle for the customer to “put their mouth where their money is.”

GraTRUEities can be instructive, complimentary or explanatory – or all. They provide the opportunity for the customer to offer a suggestion or to express appreciation…how much and why.  Obviously, a service provider’s first reaction to an “instructive” GraTRUEity may not be overwhelmingly positive! It goes without saying that offering advice, while gratifying for the customer, can have its down side for the person on the receiving end.

However, if used and taken in the spirit with which they are intended, GraTRUEities should be considered a communication tool that may actually increase tips! More importantly, in our experience, is the service provider’s reaction to the complimentary GraTRUEity which, without exception, have been received with great enthusiasm! When a service provider has a special quality or skill that makes them exceptional, acknowledgement of that is rewarding to all!

Our instructions say to “use GraTRUEities responsibly and always with a monetary gratuity.” When used as directed, GraTRUEities are not only fun, but mutually beneficial!

We have actually found that the use of GraTRUEities has made us more appreciative of the challenges faced by the service provider. GraTRUEities have heightened our awareness of ourselves as customers and made us more cognizant of our own tipping practices – to the benefit of the service provider.

We find ourselves leaving a more generous gratuity when we are also able to add an applicable message. We urge others to try GraTRUEities and see how they enhance your experience as a customer – or as a service provider.

We also invite you to share your stories, as a user or a recipient, with us here on this blog or, if your prefer, in private at info@gratrueities.com

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