[Dixielandjazz] TIPS

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 7 00:58:43 PST 2003

Jazzjerry at aol.com wrote:

> Jazz Jerry wrote: (polite snip)

> P.S. I always thought that the American employment and tax laws were strange
> but after seeing Rob's explanation I see they are completely mad! When I use
> a restaurant any tip is based on the overall quality of the service I receive
> not simply that from the waiter or waitress. Is the meal good? Is is of the
> required temperature? Is the place clean and tidy? Are the loos clean and
> tidy?
> Whilst in New York the week before last I had breakfast in the hotel and the
> menu stated that a gratuity of 15% would be automatically added to the bill.
> When I was brought the bill to sign I noticed that the 'tip' was added as
> they stated but there was also a space for me to add a further tip for the
> waiter and another for the man in a suit who showed us to our table. You've
> got to be joking! I just paid for the meal, the sales tax and the added
> gratuity.

Hi Jerry:

The "American Tip" custom is for the service and only that which the waitstaff
can control. Condition of the loo, and whether the joint is clean or not is not
part of the "service". That's ambiance ;-) VBG.

So, customarily we provincials base the tip on what the server can control.
Don't like the look of the place? Don't return.

Re the 15% automatically added on at many places in NYC now. That was done
because many visitors from overseas did not tip at all, or left 5 or 10% as is
the custom in their home country where servers are paid more in wages. 15% is
considered the "minimum" tip in New York City for "good" service. If you got
"excellent" service a typical US resident would add a few percent to get to a
total of 18 or 20%. Mostly in the big cities. In Kansas, no additions would be

As for the guy in the suit, the hell with him in a hotel breakfast situation.
Now if you were at dinner at 21 Club, he would expect and get a tip for getting
you a "good" table.

Regarding British OKOM fans who expect to get cheap jazz, what can I say, other
than what I tell clients who think our price is too high. "You get what you pay

I think you are different with your concerts and pay good money for what you
present. I also suspect that you present better music.


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