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yet another thread on tipping in the diner


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#41 RRRick

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:41 AM

 

Just from my observation at dinner in the diner where a meal for two is probably in the $55/60 range, I rarely see anything but a few Washingtons thrown on the opposite side of the table.

 

Me too.

 

When comparing to folks on this forum, I feel like a miserly tipper.

 

When I see the people around me on the train, i feel I'm being generous beyond all reason.

 

 

Finally, two posters on AU realise that the boastful tippers on AU, in these tipping threads, keep bidding up what they try to impose on the majority real world Amtrak riders, who have to consider the economics of each ones situation. You can tip all you want.  Tipping is a 100% optional decision by riders. Please don't belittle or think less of your fellow riders, because they don't meet your standards. The person across the table might need that tip more than the server making $25 an hour plus tips. 


Edited by RRRick, 05 December 2017 - 09:50 AM.


#42 Railroad Bill

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:06 AM

I just follow a flat formula of $5 - $3 - $2 for Dinner - Lunch - Breakfast irrespective of what I eat in the Diner. :) :)

We also do the same thing. Leave $2 bills I get from the bank as a way for them to remember us. They usually smile and are appreciative of getting something since most of the people we observe in the diner leave nothing.  We have had dining mates who ask us if tipping is appropriate (they were first time Amtrak riders) and we tell them what we do but say it is up to them as to how much or if they wish to tip.  Tipping is a personal thing and there really should be no rule.   Do what you feel!! :)


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#43 zepherdude

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:15 AM

 

 

Just from my observation at dinner in the diner where a meal for two is probably in the $55/60 range, I rarely see anything but a few Washingtons thrown on the opposite side of the table.

 

Me too.

 

When comparing to folks on this forum, I feel like a miserly tipper.

 

When I see the people around me on the train, i feel I'm being generous beyond all reason.

 

 

Finally, two posters on AU realise that the boastful tippers on AU, in these tipping threads, keep bidding up what they try to impose on the majority real world Amtrak riders, who have to consider the economics of each ones situation. You can tip all you want.  Tipping is a 100% optional decision by riders. Please don't belittle or think less of your fellow riders, because they don't meet your standards. The person across the table might need that tip more than the server making $25 an hour plus tips. 

 

Is that what they really make per hour?


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#44 RichieRich

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:47 AM

As a bi-monthly, almost monthly AT passenger for many years, I find the service and food quality to be on a major downward spiral. The big hit seems to have been about 3 years ago when the Accountants took over and most all the amenities have disappeared (regulars know what I mean). The sleeper dining has degenerated to plastic and paper...expecting the "sporks" any trip now. If tipping is supposed to be related to service...the Servers would be leaving a $5 on each place-setting for the passenger!!!  I've always got a bedroom, and its' attendant has generally been fine...so I'll give him $10-20. But that dining car staff ...



#45 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:50 AM

Shoot, I've tipped in the Café car before   :)


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#46 cirdan

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:24 AM

The company where i work has issued new guidelines on integrity and fighting corruption.

 

In the section on gifts it says one needs to exercise extreme care with gifts, even if of small value. 

 

When it comes to government employees, gifts are a no-go. I need to check every gift individually with our integrity officer and record it.

 

If I were to implement that literally, I'd have a problem tipping on Amtrak, right?



#47 jis

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:48 AM

I don't think those rules are intended to prevent small token tips, and even more so if it has nothing to do with any transaction in which the company is a party directly or indirectly. But of course, if you don't want to tip, you should not have to lean on someone else to arrive at that conclusion :P Juuust kidding. ;)



#48 the_traveler

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:55 AM

By that reasoning, if you go to your state Capitol and have a lunch in the restaurant in that building, you don’t tip the server because they are a Government employee. If you claim they are not, why do you claim Amtrak servers are Government employees?:huh:

Sure, Amtrak gets a subsidy from the Government (via Congress), but so does your manufacturer of your car. So are all Dodge employees Government employees too?:huh:
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

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#49 Manny T

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:58 AM

Whether to tip in the diner is not a question that occurs in a vacuum. Everything has a context.

 

There is tipping at virtually every point in an Amtrak journey. If you use a red cap in the station, you tip.  In the cafe car, there is a cup on the counter for tips. The SCA normally receives a tip at the end of the journey, and sometimes during the journey as well.

 

In this context, how is it possible to question whether the servers in the dining car should be tipped? You'd have to prove that somehow they are the exceptions. I don't see it. 



#50 KmH

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:30 PM

Is that what they really make per hour?

I don't know what their hourly rate is, but they are in the railroad union and get paid union wages, including overtime when applicable.
No doubt that wage is some multiple well above minimum wage.


Edited by KmH, 05 December 2017 - 12:32 PM.

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#51 jis

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:39 PM

Notwithstanding the impression some try to construct here, tipping is not mandatory. Tip if you feel like it. Don't if you don't. None of the Amtrak employees will have their quality of life affected as much as say a restaurant employee who gets paid sub minimum wages.



#52 Ziv

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 01:18 PM

I hear you, Rick, and I have mentioned that I think tipping in the dining car is a grey area. My comment was that a couple dollars over 10% wouldn't amount to much even if the bill is for 2 people and came to $50. 10% is $5 and a few more is $7 for a meal that is one of the highlights of a day in which I will be spending $300 to $600 on my roomette or room. It isn't my place to tell anyone what to tip, but for me, tipping $7 or $10 for dinner and $4 or $5 for lunch isn't that big a deal considering what I am paying for the accommodations. It wasn't that long ago I couldn't afford a sleeper and slept in the coach seats, but I still tipped the server. It isn't boasting, it is sharing an opinion on something that has been discussed several times in the past couple years, so there is obviously a spectrum of opinions.  YMMV.

 

 

 

Just from my observation at dinner in the diner where a meal for two is probably in the $55/60 range, I rarely see anything but a few Washingtons thrown on the opposite side of the table.

 

Me too.

 

When comparing to folks on this forum, I feel like a miserly tipper.

 

When I see the people around me on the train, i feel I'm being generous beyond all reason.

 

 

Finally, two posters on AU realise that the boastful tippers on AU, in these tipping threads, keep bidding up what they try to impose on the majority real world Amtrak riders, who have to consider the economics of each ones situation. You can tip all you want.  Tipping is a 100% optional decision by riders. Please don't belittle or think less of your fellow riders, because they don't meet your standards. The person across the table might need that tip more than the server making $25 an hour plus tips. 

 



#53 Dan O

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:40 PM

I don't think those rules are intended to prevent small token tips, and even more so if it has nothing to do with any transaction in which the company is a party directly or indirectly. But of course, if you don't want to tip, you should not have to lean on someone else to arrive at that conclusion :P Juuust kidding. ;)

 

I work for the Feds and tips are not allowed, even as small as $1. Nothing. No way. We'd be fired for taking tips. If someone brings in candy or something similar and it has a low value, the office can accept it and the items are for everyone. Anything worth a chunk of change is refused.


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#54 Dan O

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:45 PM

By that reasoning, if you go to your state Capitol and have a lunch in the restaurant in that building, you don’t tip the server because they are a Government employee. If you claim they are not, why do you claim Amtrak servers are Government employees? :huh:

Sure, Amtrak gets a subsidy from the Government (via Congress), but so does your manufacturer of your car. So are all Dodge employees Government employees too? :huh:

 

I'd bet that the restaurant in the Capitol does not employ state workers. If you have been to a national park and go to a lodge or restaurant there, you are not being served by federal employees. 

 

Differences between most restaurant employees and Amtrak folks are that Amtrak has their own retirement system and their workers don't make minimum wage or sub-minimum wage.  


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#55 Ryan

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:47 PM

what they try to impose on the majority real world Amtrak riders

Nobody is trying to impose anything on anybody.



Tipping is a 100% optional decision by riders. Please don't belittle or think less of your fellow riders, because they don't meet your standards.

Yeah, this isn't happening either. You're arguing against a strawman. Thanks for your valuable efforts to argue otherwise. They really make the forum a better place in every single thread you drive it into.

14c1pl.jpg

1ocgwb.jpg
 

When it comes to government employees, gifts are a no-go. I need to check every gift individually with our integrity officer and record it.


That must be an agency-specific thing. We're allowed nominal gifts under a certain value. I'd have to dig the handbook out of wherever I dumped it after new hire training for the particulars, but there is no blanket prohibition.
 

If I were to implement that literally, I'd have a problem tipping on Amtrak, right?

No, since Amtrak employees aren't government employees. 
 

By that reasoning, if you go to your state Capitol and have a lunch in the restaurant in that building, you dont tip the server because they are a Government employee.

They're almost certainly contractors and not government employees either.
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#56 jis

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:28 PM

I don't think those rules are intended to prevent small token tips, and even more so if it has nothing to do with any transaction in which the company is a party directly or indirectly. But of course, if you don't want to tip, you should not have to lean on someone else to arrive at that conclusion :P Juuust kidding. ;)

 
I work for the Feds and tips are not allowed, even as small as $1. Nothing. No way. We'd be fired for taking tips. If someone brings in candy or something similar and it has a low value, the office can accept it and the items are for everyone. Anything worth a chunk of change is refused.
I was not talking of feds. I was talking about my experience working for a publicly traded global company and its ethics policies. The hanky panky that potentially goes on especially in government contracts (not necessarily US Government mind you, it is just one of our customers. There are dozens of other governments and their agents that we deal with routinely) can be quite mind boggling and we get annual training on what is and is not allowed.


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#57 Lonestar648

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:30 PM

Amtrak's official word on tipping - "While there is no requirement to tip, our employees always appreciate recognition for providing superior service."So tipping is optional, which is the official stance for most food service locations.



#58 cirdan

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 04:25 AM

By that reasoning, if you go to your state Capitol and have a lunch in the restaurant in that building, you don’t tip the server because they are a Government employee. If you claim they are not, why do you claim Amtrak servers are Government employees? :huh:

Sure, Amtrak gets a subsidy from the Government (via Congress), but so does your manufacturer of your car. So are all Dodge employees Government employees too? :huh:

 

Worm of cans I lid on back put  :)



#59 RichieRich

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:21 AM

"... providing superior service"

 

Ahhh - THATs the catch! LOL LOL



#60 Johanna

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 12:36 PM

I would still be interested in a definitive answer to the original question: Do dining car servers have to pay taxes on tips that they "should have" (but might not actually have) received?  I.e., if a server works a shift and receives no tips, are they really "paying out of pocket for the privilege of serving you"?

 

My personal philosophy on tipping in the dining car has always been that the prices printed on the menu are irrelevant, because I would never pay those prices for that food if it weren't already included in my sleeper fare.  (I don't eat in the dining car when I travel in coach.)  When it comes time to tip, I don't figure the amount by adding up everything I ordered and calculating a percentage - I usually just leave a few dollars for each meal.  But if it's true that the servers are paying taxes based on a percentage of what I ordered, I'll start paying closer attention to my total "bill."






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