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 Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it

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PostSubject: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:01 pm

Waiters and waitresses in Ireland get paid a decent wage already. Generally it is minimum wage or JLC rates. That is way above what they get in the USA where the tipping culture comes from.

Why are we tipping them so much so? Surely 5% is enough for average service?

I might tip more if I knew some was going to the kitchen I suppose.

Having been a waiter I have been a generous tipper but I think it is time to get real. It is a tough but not a particularly skilled job.

The new regime: If the service is great then give 10%. If it is bad give nothing. If it is ok give 5%.


Last edited by Zhou_Enlai on Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:08 pm

In Berlin in 1917 in the workers uprising, waiters threw tips back at customers. Respect to food workers! and proper living wages.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:08 pm

Yeh, agree with that scale, I'd be similar myself.
Do people in Ireland regularly tip more than 10% ? Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:16 pm

I would regularly tip more than 10%.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:17 pm

Do people in Ireland regularly tip should be the question. It is NOT just me, I have rarely seen anyone tip in this country. Abroad maybe...
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:27 pm

905 wrote:
Do people in Ireland regularly tip should be the question. It is NOT just me, I have rarely seen anyone tip in this country. Abroad maybe...

There is often a service charge included on your bill. I never tip where a service charge is included on the bill and I would generally only tip where the service is good. If the service is good I would give in the region of 10% but it is normally determined on the basis of finishing up with a round figure. For example if the bill was 27.60 or something I'd just round it up to 30... because I like even numbers.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:59 pm

This topic is a pet peev of mine, as I worked in a number of restaurants around Dublin. Most of my comments are going to be based on one particular large and busy restaurant in Temple Bar.

On average, waiters there don't tend to get 10% of what they sell as tips. This is because there are many people who don't tip (particularly Europeans and British people). It's also due to the fact that some of the tips are taken to be given to the bar staff, managers, kitchen staff, and maybe the receptionist (that was me!). In this particular restaurant, the waiter received 60% of the cash tips each night, as the other 40% was split among the groups I mentioned. For credit card tips, it became more complicated. 10% was taken off the top to cover credit card fees. That's right: 10% of credit card tips were taken to cover the fees incurred from all credit card transactions, even those which didn't tip. Instead of the company covering that cost, the waiters did. After that 10% was taken, the usual 40% was taken of the 90% balance. This meant that the waiter only received 54% of any tip left by credit card. In fairness, though, it's better than some places, where the waiter never gets any of the credit card tips, though they tend to be smaller establishments. Also, in another place I worked, a cut of the tips and service charge went to the head office staff. I bet few people think they're tipping them.

johnfás mentioned that he doesn't tip when service charge is included. Service charge is optional, and often doesn't go directly to your server (never in any restaurant I've worked it; it's always pooled and then divided). In the restaurant from which I'm drawing most of my examples, the service charge didn't even act as a tip on top of wages for the waiting, bar and reception staff. At a time when the minimum wage was €7, the waiters were getting €3.81 as a basic wage, reception staff got €5.08, and I can't remember what the bar staff got (but it was about the same). In order to make the wages up to the statutory minimum, the service charge was used. That's right, it's not a tip, it's actually part of the wages! If the SC was insufficient to bring the person up to MW, the company topped the wages up to €7. If there was extra SC after bringing people up to MW, it was added onto the wages. It was the same deal here with 10% of SC paid by credit card being used to cover credit card charges, and 30% going to the kitchen. Also, as the wages of €3.81 and €5.08 clearly pre-date the days of the euro, I can't imagine that the base wage has gone up considerably in the two and a half years since I left.

As SC is optional, I would sometimes refuse to pay it, and instead give the tip directly to the waiter. Places often get sniffy about you doing this, but it's perfectly within your rights.

Every place I've worked has had some of the tips going to the kitchen staff, and most of them have some going to the managers and bar staff too.

If the waiters actually were getting a decent wage, as the OP suggests, I'd be a bit more reticent about tipping. As it stands, I give 10% generally, 15-20% is it's particularly good service, and obviously less if the service has been particularly bad (though I rarely give nothing). I could name a number of Dublin restaurants which don't pay minimum wage off the top of my head. If SC is automatically added to every bill, that tends to be a good sign (or a bad one, from the point of view of the staff). Not all restaurants are like that, but there are more than you'd think.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:09 pm

If service charges are charged across the board then I expect them to be factored into making up the minimum wage.

If the service charge is for parties over a certain size then I expect them to go to the individual server (not pooled) less percentages payable to other staff members.

The unions are targetting places that do not pool tips and pay close to the minimum wage, i.e. take home money is big. I have little sympathy when I look at the american model where the minimum wage is reduced for waiters.

If I was an employer, I would happily apply service charges towards wages but I would want any excess to go to the wait staff who brought in the most tips. If I was a staff member I would be happy to take a low wage if I could keep my tips less a percentage for the kitchen and serving assistants.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:14 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
If service charges are charged across the board then I expect them to be factored into making up the minimum wage.

If the service charge is for parties over a certain size then I expect them to go to the individual server (not pooled) less percentages payable to other staff members.

The unions are targetting places that do not pool tips and pay close to the minimum wage, i.e. take home money is big. I have little sympathy when I look at the american model where the minimum wage is reduced for waiters.

If I was an employer, I would happily apply service charges towards wages but I would want any excess to go to the wait staff who brought in the most tips. If I was a staff member I would be happy to take a low wage if I could keep my tips less a percentage for the kitchen and serving assistants.
Seriously? Is the description of 'service charge' not grossly misleading, when it really is a direct contribution by the customer to the staff's pay?

Also, the place I worked didn't charge everyone service charge, they only charge it on tables of 6 and more (which is fairly standard). However, it's still used to bring the wages up to the statutory minimum.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:28 pm

It is misleading. I think it would be better if the minimum wage were lower and the service charge was always in addition to the wage.

However, if you are going to insist on a strong minimum wage then it is only right that tips being earnings are factored in. They are part of your earnings for the work your employer pays you to do at his place of business. Also, I think people should be forced to declare tax on them.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:25 pm

I took the service charge off the system altogether when I became the GM here. All the waiting staff get to keep all the cash tips, and any tips charged to credit cards or to rooms are added to their pay without deductions. If they have a walk-out, then the value of the meal is deducted from their tips.
Some of the staff earn between 50-100 euro extra a week in tips.
A simple system.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:29 pm

clareman51 wrote:
I took the service charge off the system altogether when I became the GM here. All the waiting staff get to keep all the cash tips, and any tips charged to credit cards or to rooms are added to their pay without deductions. If they have a walk-out, then the value of the meal is deducted from their tips.
Some of the staff earn between 50-100 euro extra a week in tips.
A simple system.

Do the kitchen staff also benefit from the tips ? Aren't they equally, if not more responsible for a walkout ?
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:25 pm

Kitchen staff are on very high wages. I don't see in what way they would be responsible for walkouts.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:27 pm

Is a walk out not when someone doesn't pay because they were unhappy with either the food or service ? Sorry if I misunderstood.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:30 pm

A walkout is someone who walks out without paying. I can see how you could be mistaken. A person who refuses to pay is an unhappy customer! Thankfully, we rarely (knocks on wood) have them.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:47 pm

At that rate we need more places like yours; the quality of food in this country has seriously deteriorated in recent years - in the middle bracket. Most good food restaurants are still good, but anything in the middle is awful. I hate carvery, I don't think I've ever had a decent carvery experience - apart from a place in Portlaoise called Jim's Country Kitchen which is terrific.

Why do we have carvery? it's an abomination, really; designed for people who like the same over-filled plate of dinner every day. Maybe I should take this to the food forum...
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:53 pm

I disagree with you there. We have the busiest carvery in the town, probably because it's the best. Most of the people are workers on lunch who need a meal quickly, and we still have the same head chef for seventeen years (his hobby is cooking!). We only do it at lunchtime.
I ate in Jim's in Portlaoise in February. Regretfully, I must have caught them on a bad day.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:22 pm

Funny how ye mention Portlaois. My brother has dined there for the past 5 years. Not only does he not tip but he is not even charged for the meals. This gourmet experience has 2 years to run. On tipping, this carry on of ownership trying to get their paws on tip money is not on. It happens when a place is failing and it is looked on as an easy sourse of revenue. If the workers are illegal it adds another nasty twist. A recent class action suit on this issue cost one of the chains millions. The minimum wage laws are a serious joke. I once worked the bar with my best bartender from Carlow. It was either Mar 17 or All Ireland day and the shift was about 20 hours long. I paid myself her shift wages but when we divided the tips I took twenty dollars and she got the remainder which was just over eight hundred dollars when the dollar was strong. These type of days are long gone and I sold a few years back. Some years ago a bartender got a tip of a million dollars here in Boston because she was telling the man that she would love to have her own place. She lost it all by opening a place that failed immediately. Frequently here a bartender is making a fortune while the owner is losing his shirt.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:24 pm

TheBear wrote:
This topic is a pet peev of mine, as I worked in a number of restaurants around Dublin. Most of my comments are going to be based on one particular large and busy restaurant in Temple Bar.

On average, waiters there don't tend to get 10% of what they sell as tips. This is because there are many people who don't tip (particularly Europeans and British people). It's also due to the fact that some of the tips are taken to be given to the bar staff, managers, kitchen staff, and maybe the receptionist (that was me!). In this particular restaurant, the waiter received 60% of the cash tips each night, as the other 40% was split among the groups I mentioned. For credit card tips, it became more complicated. 10% was taken off the top to cover credit card fees. That's right: 10% of credit card tips were taken to cover the fees incurred from all credit card transactions, even those which didn't tip. Instead of the company covering that cost, the waiters did. After that 10% was taken, the usual 40% was taken of the 90% balance. This meant that the waiter only received 54% of any tip left by credit card. In fairness, though, it's better than some places, where the waiter never gets any of the credit card tips, though they tend to be smaller establishments. Also, in another place I worked, a cut of the tips and service charge went to the head office staff. I bet few people think they're tipping them.

johnfás mentioned that he doesn't tip when service charge is included. Service charge is optional, and often doesn't go directly to your server (never in any restaurant I've worked it; it's always pooled and then divided). In the restaurant from which I'm drawing most of my examples, the service charge didn't even act as a tip on top of wages for the waiting, bar and reception staff. At a time when the minimum wage was €7, the waiters were getting €3.81 as a basic wage, reception staff got €5.08, and I can't remember what the bar staff got (but it was about the same). In order to make the wages up to the statutory minimum, the service charge was used. That's right, it's not a tip, it's actually part of the wages! If the SC was insufficient to bring the person up to MW, the company topped the wages up to €7. If there was extra SC after bringing people up to MW, it was added onto the wages. It was the same deal here with 10% of SC paid by credit card being used to cover credit card charges, and 30% going to the kitchen. Also, as the wages of €3.81 and €5.08 clearly pre-date the days of the euro, I can't imagine that the base wage has gone up considerably in the two and a half years since I left.

As SC is optional, I would sometimes refuse to pay it, and instead give the tip directly to the waiter. Places often get sniffy about you doing this, but it's perfectly within your rights.

Every place I've worked has had some of the tips going to the kitchen staff, and most of them have some going to the managers and bar staff too.

If the waiters actually were getting a decent wage, as the OP suggests, I'd be a bit more reticent about tipping. As it stands, I give 10% generally, 15-20% is it's particularly good service, and obviously less if the service has been particularly bad (though I rarely give nothing). I could name a number of Dublin restaurants which don't pay minimum wage off the top of my head. If SC is automatically added to every bill, that tends to be a good sign (or a bad one, from the point of view of the staff). Not all restaurants are like that, but there are more than you'd think.

Hey, that's interesting about the ones not paying minimum wage. Is there any way, short of libeling them that we could tell which are which?

I tend to like to go 10% even if the service isn't great. I do understand what Zhou is saying, but it is an unpleasant enough job without low pay. On the other hand pubs throw me completely. What is one meant to tip? I was in O'Neills today for lunch, and I went to the bar and ordered a cup of tea. There was a certain hesitancy as the barman passed back my change as if he expected me to throw the change back as a tip... which was odd... Anyone else experience that?

Incidentally, there's also tipping creep as it moves into new sectors...
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:25 pm

WorldbyStorm wrote:
TheBear wrote:
This topic is a pet peev of mine, as I worked in a number of restaurants around Dublin. Most of my comments are going to be based on one particular large and busy restaurant in Temple Bar.

On average, waiters there don't tend to get 10% of what they sell as tips. This is because there are many people who don't tip (particularly Europeans and British people). It's also due to the fact that some of the tips are taken to be given to the bar staff, managers, kitchen staff, and maybe the receptionist (that was me!). In this particular restaurant, the waiter received 60% of the cash tips each night, as the other 40% was split among the groups I mentioned. For credit card tips, it became more complicated. 10% was taken off the top to cover credit card fees. That's right: 10% of credit card tips were taken to cover the fees incurred from all credit card transactions, even those which didn't tip. Instead of the company covering that cost, the waiters did. After that 10% was taken, the usual 40% was taken of the 90% balance. This meant that the waiter only received 54% of any tip left by credit card. In fairness, though, it's better than some places, where the waiter never gets any of the credit card tips, though they tend to be smaller establishments. Also, in another place I worked, a cut of the tips and service charge went to the head office staff. I bet few people think they're tipping them.

johnfás mentioned that he doesn't tip when service charge is included. Service charge is optional, and often doesn't go directly to your server (never in any restaurant I've worked it; it's always pooled and then divided). In the restaurant from which I'm drawing most of my examples, the service charge didn't even act as a tip on top of wages for the waiting, bar and reception staff. At a time when the minimum wage was €7, the waiters were getting €3.81 as a basic wage, reception staff got €5.08, and I can't remember what the bar staff got (but it was about the same). In order to make the wages up to the statutory minimum, the service charge was used. That's right, it's not a tip, it's actually part of the wages! If the SC was insufficient to bring the person up to MW, the company topped the wages up to €7. If there was extra SC after bringing people up to MW, it was added onto the wages. It was the same deal here with 10% of SC paid by credit card being used to cover credit card charges, and 30% going to the kitchen. Also, as the wages of €3.81 and €5.08 clearly pre-date the days of the euro, I can't imagine that the base wage has gone up considerably in the two and a half years since I left.

As SC is optional, I would sometimes refuse to pay it, and instead give the tip directly to the waiter. Places often get sniffy about you doing this, but it's perfectly within your rights.

Every place I've worked has had some of the tips going to the kitchen staff, and most of them have some going to the managers and bar staff too.

If the waiters actually were getting a decent wage, as the OP suggests, I'd be a bit more reticent about tipping. As it stands, I give 10% generally, 15-20% is it's particularly good service, and obviously less if the service has been particularly bad (though I rarely give nothing). I could name a number of Dublin restaurants which don't pay minimum wage off the top of my head. If SC is automatically added to every bill, that tends to be a good sign (or a bad one, from the point of view of the staff). Not all restaurants are like that, but there are more than you'd think.

Hey, that's interesting about the ones not paying minimum wage. Is there any way, short of libeling them that we could tell which are which?

I tend to like to go 10% even if the service isn't great. I do understand what Zhou is saying, but it is an unpleasant enough job without low pay. On the other hand pubs throw me completely. What is one meant to tip? I was in O'Neills today for lunch, and I went to the bar and ordered a cup of tea. There was a certain hesitancy as the barman passed back my change as if he expected me to throw the change back as a tip... which was odd... Anyone else experience that?

Incidentally, there's also tipping creep as it moves into new sectors...

How do you feel about the tips bowl in the loo?
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:43 pm

cactus flower wrote:

How do you feel about the tips bowl in the loo?

That's dreadful. It's kind of icky in terms of hygiene and someone else could nick it. Unless they use a coinbox or something. Have you seen it already?

The barber usually does well geting his 12 euro rounded up to 15. Pizza guy can do well or not depending on rounding off, and I hate tipping taxis, yet usually do.

Now where is the tipping creepage, as WBS called it above taking us ?
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:57 pm

The one who fills your petrol - do you tip them or not? When I went to give your man a euro as a tip out of the twenty he told me to go away out of that that no-one tips. Living in Dublin was different - I felt compelled to tip everywhere Neutral

West of the Shannon you are above your station if you tip. Rounding up a €12 haircut to €15 ? It must have been very nice coffee and cake.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:03 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
The one who fills your petrol - do you tip them or not? When I went to give your man a euro as a tip out of the twenty he told me to go away out of that that no-one tips. Living in Dublin was different - I felt compelled to tip everywhere Neutral

West of the Shannon you are above your station if you tip. Rounding up a €12 haircut to €15 ? It must have been very nice coffee and cake.

The gas man ?
Anyway, I haven't seen one of those in a decade. So I've been filling for myself, no tips involved here.
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:43 am

cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
TheBear wrote:
This topic is a pet peev of mine, as I worked in a number of restaurants around Dublin. Most of my comments are going to be based on one particular large and busy restaurant in Temple Bar.

On average, waiters there don't tend to get 10% of what they sell as tips. This is because there are many people who don't tip (particularly Europeans and British people). It's also due to the fact that some of the tips are taken to be given to the bar staff, managers, kitchen staff, and maybe the receptionist (that was me!). In this particular restaurant, the waiter received 60% of the cash tips each night, as the other 40% was split among the groups I mentioned. For credit card tips, it became more complicated. 10% was taken off the top to cover credit card fees. That's right: 10% of credit card tips were taken to cover the fees incurred from all credit card transactions, even those which didn't tip. Instead of the company covering that cost, the waiters did. After that 10% was taken, the usual 40% was taken of the 90% balance. This meant that the waiter only received 54% of any tip left by credit card. In fairness, though, it's better than some places, where the waiter never gets any of the credit card tips, though they tend to be smaller establishments. Also, in another place I worked, a cut of the tips and service charge went to the head office staff. I bet few people think they're tipping them.

johnfás mentioned that he doesn't tip when service charge is included. Service charge is optional, and often doesn't go directly to your server (never in any restaurant I've worked it; it's always pooled and then divided). In the restaurant from which I'm drawing most of my examples, the service charge didn't even act as a tip on top of wages for the waiting, bar and reception staff. At a time when the minimum wage was €7, the waiters were getting €3.81 as a basic wage, reception staff got €5.08, and I can't remember what the bar staff got (but it was about the same). In order to make the wages up to the statutory minimum, the service charge was used. That's right, it's not a tip, it's actually part of the wages! If the SC was insufficient to bring the person up to MW, the company topped the wages up to €7. If there was extra SC after bringing people up to MW, it was added onto the wages. It was the same deal here with 10% of SC paid by credit card being used to cover credit card charges, and 30% going to the kitchen. Also, as the wages of €3.81 and €5.08 clearly pre-date the days of the euro, I can't imagine that the base wage has gone up considerably in the two and a half years since I left.

As SC is optional, I would sometimes refuse to pay it, and instead give the tip directly to the waiter. Places often get sniffy about you doing this, but it's perfectly within your rights.

Every place I've worked has had some of the tips going to the kitchen staff, and most of them have some going to the managers and bar staff too.

If the waiters actually were getting a decent wage, as the OP suggests, I'd be a bit more reticent about tipping. As it stands, I give 10% generally, 15-20% is it's particularly good service, and obviously less if the service has been particularly bad (though I rarely give nothing). I could name a number of Dublin restaurants which don't pay minimum wage off the top of my head. If SC is automatically added to every bill, that tends to be a good sign (or a bad one, from the point of view of the staff). Not all restaurants are like that, but there are more than you'd think.

Hey, that's interesting about the ones not paying minimum wage. Is there any way, short of libeling them that we could tell which are which?

I tend to like to go 10% even if the service isn't great. I do understand what Zhou is saying, but it is an unpleasant enough job without low pay. On the other hand pubs throw me completely. What is one meant to tip? I was in O'Neills today for lunch, and I went to the bar and ordered a cup of tea. There was a certain hesitancy as the barman passed back my change as if he expected me to throw the change back as a tip... which was odd... Anyone else experience that?

Incidentally, there's also tipping creep as it moves into new sectors...

How do you feel about the tips bowl in the loo?

Vile - I'm with EVoting on this. I was in the Voodoo Lounge early last year and unwisely decided - as one does at 1 in the morning - that the chupa chup was just the thing to fill the gap between pints, so I purchased one from the guy in there. Big error.

Copious vomiting ensued a while later. That I hadn't made the connection between basic hygiene and foodstuffs in a toilet? My stupidity, in an alcohol fuddled daze.

The broader point? I find it humiliating for all parties involved - which seems like an irrational response, but there you have it. I tend to avoid it to the point of refusing the gels and unguents and grabbing my own paper towel...
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PostSubject: Re: Tipping in Restaurants - Reduce it   Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:20 pm

Me too, although occasionally you meet a lavatorial concierge ( is that the title ) who has created their own little world in the loo. Does anyone remember the lady with the giant cat (about the size of a small pig and completely immobile ) in the loo at Waterloo Station?
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