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The Truth Behind the Tip™

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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

15% Tipper and Proud of It?

Posted by gratrueities on April 1, 2010

Well…that is the impression one gets when scrolling to the bottom of the recent New York Times City Room blog post by David Sax. The disclaimer at the end of the post states that he is a “journalist and the author of “Save the Deli” (Houghton Mifflin), lives in Park Slope and always tips 15 percent.”

Note – Mr. Sax does not claim to tip “at least” 15% – but, rather, “15 percent,” period. Hmmm…is that really what he means to say? If so, that is curious, considering he has written a book on dining (even if it is deli dining) from which he has, in theory, profited! See him in action doing research at right!

That said, the post, titled Hey, Waiter! Just How Much Extra Do You Really Expect? raises some valid points and, despite the title and surly tone, does not truly take an anti-server stance. For instance, Mr. Sax takes issue with the less-than-minimum wages servers are paid. He challenges the gratuitous tip, but supports rewarding a job well done. Not surprisingly, the article incited both the ire and support of many NYT readers and has, to date, generated well over 1200 comments.

Obviously, tipping remains a controversial subject  – who, when, how much and for what? Interestingly, the comments generated from the article did not divide straight down the line between customers and servers. Some of the most intriguing comments are featured in a follow-up piece – Readers Split the Difference on Tipping.

We’re always interested in the many points of view that surround the custom of the tip and these are particularly insightful comments.

Also, it makes us wonder what GraTRUEity might be appropriate for someone such as Mr. Sax: “I always tip 15% no matter what…so read nothing into this tip.”  “Underpaid workers unite!” ?? We’re open to suggestions!

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Posted in Etiquette, GraTRUEities, Pet Peeves, Pop Culture, Service, Tipping, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New York Times 2009 Holiday Gift Guide!

Posted by gratrueities on December 11, 2009

OK…it appears that GraTRUEities, didn’t make the list this year. Perhaps we missed the deadline, since the guide was published in November – just as we launched. In fact, we will assume that to be the reason! There’s always 2010! And…we’re still pleased with the mention by the New York Post.

In the meantime, this year’s NYT list seems to have stirred some controversy…delayed as it is! Even though it took almost a month, the “Of Color/Stylish Gifts” list has now come to attention of critics. Gawker claims that the NYT’s Racially Segregated Gift Guide Offends, Not Least of All Because the Gifts Are Lame. Hmmm…

We are not ones to disdain the creations of others, or gift choices. Just take a look at these lists, and form your own opinion.

Posted in Gifts, GraTRUEities, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

’tis the Season (continued)…

Posted by gratrueities on December 7, 2009

to be jolly…and to spread some holiday cheer!  The question, as usual, is how much “cheer?”

As we get further into the season, there is more concern about appropriate tipping for the holidays. We want to be vigilant about keeping up to date on the subject so, in addition to the links on Holiday Tipping, are referencing some other recent discussions we’ve come across.

From publications such as Consumer Reports to The New York Times, from Yelp to blogs such as Bargaineering, holiday tipping is a hot topic.

Consumer Reports publishes results from a survey on tipping during an economic downturn. Not the most complete list, in our opinon, but possibly a view of what is most relevant to many!

The New York Times presents a three-part series with questions and answers about holiday tipping etiquette from expert, Peter Post, director of the Emily Post Institute: Part IPart IIPart III

A Reuters article puts a positive spin on the current economic challenges, suggesting that cutting back on holiday tips provides the opportunity to really say “thank you” – a concept undoubtedly met with mixed reactions!

Bargaineering, a personal finance blog, looks as tipping as an investment – The Best Investment Ever – rather than as simply a matter of etiquette, but also includes a holiday tipping guide compiled from many of the sources we have also referenced.

Yelp also has perplexed consumers looking for advice about how much to tip for the holidays – with questions about the appropriate amounts to give – from doormen to hair stylists.

Posted in Economy, Etiquette, Holiday tipping, Tipping | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More: Coat Check Tales

Posted by gratrueities on March 1, 2009

A few weeks ago we posted about coat-check tipping.

This past Wednesday, the NYT had a story about how coat-check tipping is holding up (or not) in the tough economy. Check it our here.

Posted in Economy, Tipping | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gender Roles and Dining Out

Posted by gratrueities on October 17, 2008

There is an excellent article in today’s New York Times about gender roles when dining out; how women and men are treated differently by restaurants, wait staff and wine servers. The author, restaurant critic Frank Bruni, explores the question, should men and women be treated differently when dining out?

Apparently, some new restaurants are attempting to neutralize any gender-based treatment of diners by telling their wait staff to treat everyone the same, including not seating women first, not handing the menu to women first, not taking the woman’s order first, etc.

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I don’t think taking basic good manners out of the dining experience is going to help any restaurant. When we go out to eat, we expect the same basic manners and respect that we are accorded elsewhere. In fact, maybe the expectation is even higher at a restaurant, and maybe those expectations even rise further as the restaurant price range increases?

Here in San Francisco, most men still stop and let a woman enter a room first, most still open the door for a woman, most let a woman be seated first, etc. Even my 18-year old nephew knows these basic rules of common courtesy and uses them with women of all ages, even with his sister and his own high school peers.

When I dine out, I expect and I think others expect, an experience that is based on common etiquette. This is what we are tipping for, right?

Posted in Etiquette, Paying the bill, Pop Culture, Tipping | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »