Sunday, September 25, 2011

Do You Tip Your Waiter?

giving tips for services was a prevalent culture in dubai. now the tipping culture is in question : to tip, or not to tip; and how much? should it be expected, or appreciated? how do YOU decide your tip?

people don't normally leave tips back home in malaysia (but there is 10% 'service charge' included in the bill which is sangat banyak, especially when the 'service' is not that good, and slow!), while in the states, people are usually expected to tip the waiting staff 10-15% off the total bill right?

but here, 2 dirham is the minimum amount of tip - some are more generous, while some might even choose to ignore this tipping culture altogether. some waiting staff or delivery persons expect tips; while there are still rare ones who refused huge tips.

people whom i encounter that involved tipping :

  1. waiters/waitress

  2. delivery person

  3. helpers at hypermarts - unload your shopping bags into car, help bag your shopping items

  4. taxi driver

we know you're tired. we know sometimes you're just not in the mood for small talk. and we know sometimes you're just swamped with other customers. but a smile doesn't cost a thing! SMILE!

i'm an easy customer to please, you see. so when a waiter/waitress serves me with a smile, is helpful and always available when we need anything - that person deserves extra tips.

in my opinion, the waiters in dubai are generally polite, so we usually just leave 2 dirham on the table as a tip. fortunately, no bad experience yet!

delivery person
most restaurants place a 5 dirham charge for each delivery. most of the time, i take it that this 5 dirham is already the tip for the delivery person. however, someone told me that since it's in the bill, the restaurant probably pockets the delivery charges, and not the delivery person.

so... i do add extra dirham as personal tip from me to the delivery person, based on a few criteria :

  • say that the pizza delivery should take about 40 minutes to one hour. if the pizza delivery guy came before the estimated time, i would tip him 3 dirham.

  • if he came with a polite smile and warm greetings, i wouldn't mind adding an extra dirham.

  • 2 dirham would be the normal amount of tip if he came slightly later, but with a smile.

  • once, not only was he late - he didn't smile and even looked annoyed. no tip for you, grumpy!

  • and once, even though he was very late, this delivery guy was very apologetic, and sported a humble smile. he deserves my tip!

  • see - SMILE! a smile is always important! it can be the yardstick to your tip!

i never encountered anyone who waits and expects a tip from me - BUT once we're waiting for the delivery of a furniture we bought. the delivery truck was LATE, they got LOST, and they had the nerve to miss-call my husband so that he would call back and give directions. if that's not bad enough, they asked my husband to DRIVE to their location (where they're lost) and guide their truck to our place. TERUKNYA!

yes, the worst part was - before going back, they buat muka seposen, and asked, "boss, no tip?" and yes, my husband gave a long lecture of how he had already SPENT so much on credit AND fuel to call them back, and pick them up - and now they expect tips???

hello - you only get a tip for a job done WELL! not simply for a job done!

helpers at hypermarts

at hypermarts there would be staff at the check-out counters help bagging the stuff we buy. once we tipped this bag-dude 5 dirham (the most we've ever tipped) because he used to work in our building, and we remember him to be very friendly, helpful and always smiling. and he was still smiling when we saw him at the hypermart; and he greeted us with the same warmth. he truly deserved the extra tip.

taxi driver

i don't go on taxi much here, but when i do, i tip when the taxi driver is helpful, like folding the stroller and put into his taxi. yes, there was one un-gentleman-ly taxi driver who just sat in his taxi waiting for me to fold the stroller while i hold the baby!

no tip!

refusing tips?

yes, once, we lost our internet connection more than week. when the etisalat guy came to fix the line, he worked for hours, and was very friendly with the boys. before he left, i naturally gave him a huge tip for a job well done. he politely refused. i was impressed, and made me pressed him even more to accept the tip.

* * *

all in all, i don't mind tipping. kalau ade duit lebih, ape salah kalau orang tu deserving kan? however, i strongly believe a tip has to be earned, only to the deserving ones. service providers should not take tips for granted - like making a face when there's no tip, or no thank you's when they do get a tip.

attitudes need to change, and improve - SIMPLY doing the job you're hired to do DOES NOT necessarily earned you a tip. it is when you take your service the 'extra mile' that earned you a tip.

a SMILE goes a long way - the company gets good image, staff is happy to get extra tip, and customers will come again/use your service. win-win-win.

this tipping culture at times terbawak-bawak ke malaysia, where we did tip friendly, helpful waiters, or whoever provided good service with a smile - takpe, niat je nak sedekah!


transformed housewife said...

hmmm interesting theory in giving tips. I don't have any experience in giving tips.

Syigim said...

kak nur, even back in new zealand? no tipping ya?

Nadiah Sidek said...

kat US baru belajar bagi tip. ikut servis gak la nak bagi berapa. kalau servis bagus bagi lebih sikit. macam dah jadi kemestian bagi tips kat sini

Hidayah Ismawi said...

I wonder if the service here will improve if they had to rely on tips .. the only problem is that I think those giving good service will hardly get tips either .. as a society we tend to be tight with our purses.. hmmm

Silent Scribbler said...

Kat sini memang wajib kasi tips. Usually normal 10-15% from bill, and lebih sket kalau ramai orang. Kalau ikutkan service tak best boleh je jgn kasi tip, tapi tak pernah buat sbb tak sampai hati, and setakat ni tak pernah tak dapat service best. Sini server sangat2 friendly, and helpful so payah nak jumpa server yang hampeh:-)

Syigim said...

>> nadiah, US mmg kuat tipping culture dia, sape tak tip tu dilihat mcm kedekut pulak kan..

>> hidayah, great question! unlike in dubai, i've had had many 'mishaps' with the servers in msia. wonder can improve with tips..

Syigim said...

aisha, good for you. i also believe in US the waiters go all out to please customers since they it will be worth the effort? or mmg americans jenis friendly? haha. alhamdulillah in dubai pun blom pernah jumpa yg hampeh ;)

lil sharky said...

It all depends on the kind of service that I receive.
Mostly falls under the categories that you already described.
I had the worst cab experience in Hong Kong, the driver had the nerve, asking me to exit his cab quickly knowing that I have my baby with me, shopping bags and a stroller. Of course I didn't tip him n I was so angry that I banged the door really loud.
Rude people don't get tips.

Liz Rohaizat said...

kat malaysia belum jadi kemestian lagi kan? pernah kitorang tinggalkan tips kat atas meja. waiter tu boleh kejar kitorang utk pulangkan balik. dia ingat kitorang tertinggal duit. huhuh..

tp tu la, sini dah ada 10% charges. erkk...

amirah said...

kalau kat sana mungkin dh hampir jd budaya rasanya kt sini x..mana taknya..nk bg pun fikir byk kali..dh kena government tax, ada service tax kdng2 bg jugak..tengok keadaan

Syigim said...

>> lil sharky, cannot imagine being in ur situation. tergopoh2 dgn kids n shopping bags... yes, u said it : rude ppl dont get tips!

>> liz, kat msia xde lg budaya kasi tip ni kan, maybe tourists je kot akan kasi tip. ;)

bagusnya waiter yg nak kasi blk duit tu :)

Syigim said...

>> amirah, agree with u. msia ade service charge suma so mmg xrasa nk kasi tip lansung, sbb duit extra dah habis kat service charge. :P

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