Sunday, July 19, 2009

2 vs 1

we had dinner at this newly-relocated posh-looking restaurant & when the bill came, i was surprised there was neither govt tax nor service charge imposed. because we really enjoyed the meal & the service was prompt, i casually removed a couple of ringgit notes from the wallet while the waiter was verifying my credit card at the counter.

the conversation that ensued went something like this:

daughter: papa, are you leaving tips?
me: yeah
d: why?
m: because there's no service charge in the bill & i think the waiters deserve something for their hard work
wife: how do you know they will get the money? anyway, the restaurant would have factored their salaries into the price of the meal.
m: it's customary to put all the tips into a common collection & at end of day it's to be divided amongst the workers. it's just a little extra for them, like how people tip hotel workers & taxi drivers for a job well done.
d: these are difficult times, so maybe you should just leave rm1
m: ha ha, ONE RINGGIT! might as well don't tip.
d & w: (almost in unison) that's what we're trying to tell you!

maybe they have a point, so i relented, but they've not met my ex-classmate simon who worked at a pub while waiting for the HSC results many years ago. he used to tell me how hard the work was, running around with the orders & drinks;however, he said something i never forgot,"....but the tips made it worthwhile!" incidentally, i'm happy that he, now a senior manager with a listed developer, doesn't need to depend on loose change.

so, simon, thanks for the tip! (pun definitely intended)


jemima said...

Simon is right.

I used to waitress at private functions during my varsity days & if the guests are happy with my service, my employer will even pay me a few extra hours as bonus. :)

Btw, I like the word verification: "blesse". :)

Yan said...

My daughter worked in a restaurant during her fourth form school holidays. It should have been a good experience for her. I remember her talking about the tips. It's more of being appreciated for the service given. It really made her days. She has never mentioned about the big money or small money! After hearing a young girl's heart out, I leave some tips with no reservation, whether big or small money.

doc said...


i agree in principle with the giving of tips - voluntary & in recognition of good service. from your experience, i'm sure you'll agree with me.

however, i can't see the connection with "blesse" here.

doc said...


that's what i hope my daughter will do during one of the long school holidays, so she can appreciate the value of hard work & money.

JoMel said...

New establishments are exempted from govt tax for the first one or two years (duration unsure) of operation, that's why you were not taxed for your meal. As for service charge, yeah.. if it's not stated, I'm pretty sure it's already factored into the pricing. Anyway, we too usually leave a tip if there's no service charge charged.

doc said...


actually i was more surprised about the service charge.

effective 1 July 2008, restaurants can impose the 5% govt tax only if their annual turnover exceed RM3mil. since this is considered a new establishment, they should not charge govt tax till they reach that turnover. but you know what? i suspect some restaurants indiscriminately charge govt tax but keep it for themselves!!

as for the wife & daughter, i suppose i need to gradually convince them about leaving a tip.

ilene said...

Sorry DOC. I will concur with your wife and daughter. During this difficult period, I feel the pinch if I were to leave tips behind. Besides, I think it is unfair for the management to share out equally on the tips earned by the respective waiters/waitresses. If the tips earned by that one particular person and is kept solely to himself/herself, then I might consider. This is the only way to ensure that the waiters and waitresses are kept on their toes all the time trying their level best to work for the deserving tips.

doc said...


the wife & daughter will feel justified it's 3 vs 1 now.

at the moment, sharing out the tips amongst restaurant workers seems the best option. the one who took the initial order may not be the one who served the drinks, & yet another may serve the food. imagine if you were happy with the service so far, it would be unfair for yet another to collect payment & keep the tip for himself/herself.

a bit different scenario from the bell-boy or taxi driver.

stay-at-home mum said...

In NY if you dont tip, they will chase you and ask if there is anything wrong with the service, and 15% is expected. If not, dont dare to step back into that restaurant again!!

A small tip into the waiter's hand as you walk out would have been nice, then he wouldnt have to share it. :D

doc said...


the US is a different ball game altogether, but i do wonder if they'll understand if tourists, esp. from asia, don't tip? after all, tipping is not routine over here.

i agree if the tip can be given directly to the deserving waiter/waitress, that would be ok, but should that be witnessed by the others, then i fear that would be miscontrued as an act of treason on the part of the receiver.

Anonymous said...

Proverbs 11 v 24,25 can be


Just me

doc said...

Just me,