Tipping..at what cost?


Aug 29, 2006
In the advent of everything going up, up and away...at the grocery most especially, I have to ask this question about how much to tip. In the US, I have always been 20percent is the new 15% (I have friends in the food serving business). But now I am in BsAs, am I making a big faux pas by leaving a tip. I have seen a party of 8 people dine at a fancy restaurant leave coins as tip, is this OK?
Of course I do not mind leaving a good tip when the service is excellent and the food even better, but when the food service is bad and the food worse - what is one to do? Some porteno friends say, I am spoiling the flower delivery guy and the ice cream delivery man when I give them a larger than average tip.
Any "tips" on tipping here in Buenos Aires? Thanks.
Both comments are interesting and worth note but I also believe that we should stick to the cultural norms. My Argentine friends have repeatedly stated that 10% is normal. Why are prices noticeably higher in "tourist" districts. Because our spending says we have money to burn. Sure prices are cheaper than back home but tipping extra only encourages inflated prices. I have heard "tourists" comment in front of the barman how cheap everything is compared to the USA or Europe and leave tips equal to the cost of the beer they just finished drinking. As this trend continues, which it does, prices inflate because we are the feedback they receive. Eventually an equilibrium is reached where shop owners can accurately guess how much foreigners will pay for a particular product or service, which, more often than not, is significantly higher than local prices.I agree with the person who says you are spoiling the delivery guy by tipping extra. Here's a concept... In Japan, it is considered an offense to leave a tip. The service is extended as a professional courtesy, not from motivation for money. I hear that New Zealand and Australia has similar cultural norms.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Timothy, 6:10.
One last thought... Kindness can be extended in many ways. Polite conversation, sincere interest in a persons welfare, and above all, a heartfelt "Thank You" to the waiter and/or cook can carry more significance than a tip of 10 or 20 percent. To hear that as a response to good tipping you have made some new friends is quite interesting. ;-)Cheers! - Brian
I had an awful meal at TGI Fridays, of course I did not tip. The result was being chased down the road by two irate girls demanding money.
My own view is, I should pay for the service I get, in the bill, any extra is a gratuity of my choice, and rarely has anyone reacted to too low a tip ( apart from TGIs ).
Out of the tourist areas I have rarely seen Argentines leave more than a few coins.
We are not exactly sure when "tips" or gratuity changed from:
T - to
I - insure
P - prompt
S - Service
customer's appreciation of good service from the food server to something that it is now. We used to tip to show our level of satisfaction on service extended by the food server (waiter or waitress) now, they think they are entitled to 18% of the bill for a party of eight of more - lousy service or deplorable service, makes no difference. I used to tip 20% in here, until I saw some below average service and then I wised up, my rule applies to the US as well, but int he US servers understand that they cannot expect 15% for a service that was hardly there - like refill of water, responds and checks with client after food is served, the menus are handed out in a reasonable amount of time after entry into the restaurant.
Now I just tip 10% for non existent service - lower is food is bad! And 20% or even 25% when service, food and server are exceptional, and I have done that.
It goes back to the concept of customer service and customer satisfaction unless that idea is well understood here, it would be hard to find a restaurant that qualifies for a 25% tip. And believe me, I do not care if the local glare at me when I leave a 20pesos tip for 80 peso bill, if the server deserves it, I am happy to oblige. But I am not willing to reward bad food, bad service and bad attitude!
I guess I must be tight, but 10% I think in most cases is more than enough. I do not see why I should pay extra every time I go for a coffee, which I have to do every time I need the toilets ( happens more as the older you get )
I ask local people what the policy is on tipping or watch what other people do and follow along.
What about tipping the taxi cab driver and the delivery boy? Would 10% be standard? We had heard that usually the cab driver is not tipped at all?