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Giving tips in Poland


Olaf 6 | 956
26 Feb 2010 #1
It is rather not a Polish invention to tip for services, but chasing the western customs it now became quite common. Should you always give tips or just for really good service (like Mr Pink from Reservoir Dogs said)? Savoir-vivre experts make it quite clear, but it tends to be different in reality sometimes...
Trevek 26 | 1,702
26 Feb 2010 #2
Personally, I only tip for decent service.
And don't say 'dziękuję' until you get the chage, or they'll take it as a "keep the change".
OP Olaf 6 | 956
26 Feb 2010 #3
I think the reason why tipping is so popular is that it actually has quite a low-motive basis. You give it to make you feel better. Generous, following the code. On the other side you have a satisfied bartender/waiter.
Alexy15 - | 2
26 Feb 2010 #4
Undoubtedly, tipping is becoming very popular in Poland. Even students (who are perceived as not very wealthy indeed) are giving tips. The symbolic one zloty is always cheerful for waiter as I suppose.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
26 Feb 2010 #5
A good tip would be to smile more. I tend to give at least 10% but I'm trying to eat out less and less.
beelzebub - | 444
26 Feb 2010 #6
Tipping is a reward for good service. Good service is exceedingly rare in Poland and tipping people there in general makes them start to expect it for doing nothing other than drop your plate on the table with a scowl.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
26 Feb 2010 #7
Don't be so critical. Look at milk bars here, many serve you ASAP and are constantly on the move. OK, they don't always get your order right but they keep the tempo. I don't tip there as I don't feel it to be right but maybe I should? It's far more of a restaurant thing but service is service.
beelzebub - | 444
26 Feb 2010 #8
OK, they don't always get your order right but they keep the tempo. I don't tip there as I don't feel it to be right but maybe I should? It's far more of a restaurant thing but service is service.

Would you tip your mechanic if he didn't fix your car right but he "didn't fix it" really fast?

Tips are for GOOD service...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
26 Feb 2010 #9
Well, you have a point but there is a difference. I can live with the other type of food that they give me. With tradesmen, you often have to pay an arm and a leg to even get them to come out and inspect the balls-up they made. Then, pay for the repair unless you know your contract inside out.

Tips are for good service, yes, but did you tip for good service?
Trevek 26 | 1,702
26 Feb 2010 #10
Well, you have a point but there is a difference. I can live with the other type of food that they give me.

Tips are for good service, yes, but did you tip for good service?

But there's the rub. If you just tip automatically and not for good service, then there is no incentive to give good service. The waiters will just continue to be dour, the service slow and the change kept automatically.

I once worked as a barman in a cocktail bar, where some of the staff made a large amount on tips alone (as well as a wage). We got it by working hard, entertaining the customers and making them feel happy (and grateful). We didn't get tips just for turning up for work and keeping them waiting.
beelzebub - | 444
26 Feb 2010 #11
ips are for good service, yes, but did you tip for good service?

Yes...in fact I tip even when the service isn't great if it was obvious the person is trying. But in Poland especially service is usually horrible. Veiled contempt and half opened eyes at even having to deal with you. I can't count the times I was treated like crap at an "open till the last customer leaves" pub because the bar wench wanted to go home early or go out. "Open till the last customer" doesn't mean 10pm if she feels like it.

This is the general attitude you get with shops, pubs, restaurants etc in Poland. The markets start packing things up an hour before closing time and scowl at you if you enter after that, wait staff at all but the exclusive places are snotty or adversarial, shop managers have a "you should be lucky I am selling you this" attitude.

If you want a tip be nice, try your best to be efficient, and give good service. Simple. The quickest way to lose money is to be a jerk. But Poles haven't figured that out yet in Poland anyway.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
26 Feb 2010 #12
True, I take your point. However, let it be said that, for almost every poster here, they type with a certain sth in mind, a certain situation or experience and not a broader gamut of stuff with which to gain a rounded perspective.

There are places here where quality service is part of the training package. Without fail, I'm served well there. Foremost in mind is a place called Gazdówka, the local mountaineers restaurant. They are always perky and on the ball. When the drinks are a flowin, the last thing you want is to wait forever and they make sure that you don't.

So, I would applaud your good work and tip accordingly. If a night out isn't a regular thing, I'd be willing to pay that little bit extra for 'making the night'. We must cherish moments in life.
f stop 25 | 2,513
26 Feb 2010 #13
in USA, waiters and bartenders hourly pay is way below minimum wage. Sometimes as low as $1 or $2 per hour! To add insult to injury, I worked at one place, where we were automatically taxed on 15% of our total sales, as it was assumed that's the minimum we got in tips.

So, before you decide that your server did not prostrate her/himself enough for your liking, make sure that you are not actually taking the money away from her/him by not tipping. They might be paying taxes on the money they never got!

When you look at a menu in US, teach yourself to automatically add 15% to the prices - it belongs to your server. Tipping for good service is above that.

Admittedly, I don't know how it is in Poland, but in US some tourists, most notably Canadians, are especially loathed by the local service industry. Weather it's for ignorance or penny pinching - it really does not matter.
convex 20 | 3,978
27 Feb 2010 #14
When you look at a menu in US, teach yourself to automatically add 15% to the prices - it belongs to your server. Tipping for good service is above that.
Admittedly, I don't know how it is in Poland, but in US some tourists, most notably Canadians, are especially loathed by the local service industry. Weather it's for ignorance or penny pinching - it really does not matter.

It's a messed up system, the automatic taxing of presumed tips. Don't blame the Canadians. The majority of Americans work in the service industry, change the laws.

I tip really well for good service, I have no shame in not tipping at all for bad service. I would never, ever, tip just because it is "expected".
Wroclaw Boy
27 Feb 2010 #15
I tip really well for good service, I have no shame in not tipping at all for bad service. I would never, ever, tip just because it is "expected".

You see that fcuks me off about America, walk into a restaurant and the wairtress is all over you with "blueberry pie" crap this and "we dont do rare steak but i'll get it just for you" bull shite from some fat ugly waitress only interested in a tip.

Its expected in America thats wrong imo.

I tip in Europe for good service only........
convex 20 | 3,978
27 Feb 2010 #16
Its expected in America thats wrong imo.

It's their job to make you want to come back. I can grill a damn fine steak at home, but I pay these people plenty of money for an hour of work. $20 = glasses full, good attitude, and good all around service.... is that too much to ask? Would you rather have some ****** service that just works for minimum wage?

Europe for good service only........

Regardless of where I am, I tip for good service only....
Wroclaw Boy
27 Feb 2010 #17
Youre apllying the capitalistic American way to the service industry now. No i dont think its wrong but when its rammed down your throat in a sickly false manner i start to think theres someting wrong with the system. From a European point of view exceptional service means something not just a job additive in degrees of 0 - 10.

You took that line from Resevoire Dogs hey?

Dont get me wrong i love US service just that after a while it becomes ohh so tiresome and false. Tips should be earned not expected.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
27 Feb 2010 #18
I don't know how it is in Poland, but in US...

It's completely different.
convex 20 | 3,978
27 Feb 2010 #19
Dont get me wrong i love US service just that after a while it becomes ohh so tiresome and false. Tips should be earned not expected.

I couldn't agree with you more, which again is why I tip for good service. I like good service. In the US, fake or not, I get good service. The glasses are full, the food comes out in the correct order, that's what I'm paying for. I tip appropriately. I would much rather have that than someone that is getting paid on a non performance basis to just shuttle plates from the kitchen to the table and to maybe collect the check. Chop 30% off the price of the meal, and I will gladly pick up the food from a window. Alternatively, that 30%, I'll gladly pay it if the glasses are full, and the food is delivered on time.

You took that line from Resevoire Dogs hey?

Wow, now that I think about it, I might have. Time for another viewing.
f stop 25 | 2,513
27 Feb 2010 #20
The majority of Americans work in the service industry, change the laws.

Some think the rules should be changes, some don't, but it is what it is. As with many things, one should acquaint him/herself with rules and customs in the country one is traveling to.

If, like in Poland, the servers are graduate of some gastronomical school (once, in Poland, I was sternly lectured on the fine points of a balanced meal by my waitress) and getting a "sufficient" hourly wage, you rightly might get the 'don't care' attitude.

In US, since the servers' livelyhood depends on not getting stiffed, you'll get all this hi-voltage "Hi, my name is Steve and I will be your server" bull****. Here, the rule is that if want to sit your a$$ down and be "served", add the 15% to the prices as you're ordering. If you don't like the service, complain to the owner, don't come back, but don't be a cheap d!ck. Here, if the service stinks, my bet is that it's not the servers fault.

As far as Canadians, I have gone as far as friendly inquiry- "where are you from?" and if your country is on the "list", then you cannot be trusted with following the local standards, and the 15% gratuity is automatically added to your bill.

So read your check carefully.
Wroclaw Boy
27 Feb 2010 #21
I dont know about you guys but the last thing i want is some waitress giving their life story when im trying to eat.
f stop 25 | 2,513
27 Feb 2010 #22
That is easy to do. All you need to do is be curt, and short, and not overly friendly, and they will stop. Sometimes, second time they come around to ask if everything is ok, I just give them the "look". After all, they're just trying to figure you out and what will get them the biggest tip.

On the other hand, when you're traveling, your waiter or bartender can be a wealth of information.
beelzebub - | 444
27 Feb 2010 #23
15% gratuity is automatically added to your bill.

I don't do "automatic gratuities". I pay a gratuity if I get good service and I find it arrogant of them to give themselves a tip without my consent.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
27 Feb 2010 #24
I agree here. 15% is naff, it shouldn't happen. It should be a matter of choice. They do that in Japan unless you push the bowl of savoury snacks away. Nibble on them and you're facing a bigger bill.
f stop 25 | 2,513
27 Feb 2010 #25
I don't do "automatic gratuities". I pay a gratuity if I get good service

Then the prices of your food should be 15% higher, and the establishment should pay their server the minimum wage. But, that is not the system here. Here, servers have to pay income taxes on 15% of their total sales, wheather they get it or not. That's all I'm saying.

It's like with taxes for contractors here, they may not be automatically taken from your pay, but it is assumed that you'll pay them.
beelzebub - | 444
27 Feb 2010 #26
I am not required to pay his taxes...he pays them from his wages and to say my food should cost 15% more is stupid. If he depends on tips then he needs to do a good job. I am not subsidizing some douche waffle's taxes.
f stop 25 | 2,513
27 Feb 2010 #27
you just don't get it. If you want the priviledge of getting your food brought up to you, you have to pay for it. The establishments, in US at least, don't pay for it. Here, it's like an honor system. Tip here is not a perk, it's a wage. If you stiff your waiter or bartender, you're a cheap douche bag, taking advantage of the system.
beelzebub - | 444
27 Feb 2010 #28
If you want the priviledge of getting your food brought up to you,

Privilege? Hahaha...you carrying the food 10 feet and putting it on my table is a privilege? You need to look up that word as you have it all wrong.

Tell you what...you can go home and I will walk up to the service window and carry it over to my table for free. How about that?

If you are unhappy with how your employer pays you then you take that up with them. I am not "automatically tipping" anyone. If I get good service you get tipped if it is a business where tipping is the norm. Simple.

This is why I prefer to eat in...most service people are tw@ts.
f stop 25 | 2,513
27 Feb 2010 #29
I will walk up to the service window and carry it over to my table for free.

That's fine. I hope you frequent self-serve cafeterias made just for you.
In all honesty, this thread is about tipping in Polish establishments, which might be totally different. I see already how difficult this mind set is to change. I just took this opportunity to try and educate some travelers that come here thinking "I'll never come here again" and walk away self satisfied that they just saved themselves some money. Probably was not the right soap box to jump on. I apologize. Over and out.
beelzebub - | 444
27 Feb 2010 #30
Hey Pal...I am American and I won't tip there either unless I get good service. You seem to think we are obligated to tip you because YOU took a ****** job with a low wage.

We do not tip you to make up the difference in your low wage. We tip you if we get good service. THAT is what a tip is...a reward for good service...it is not the customers obligated subsidizing of your low wage. If you are not happy with your salary get a different job.

If you think you deserve a tip because your salary is low...and your attitude shows it...you will not be getting one from me.

In summary in the US a tip is NOT a wage. Maybe some servers would like that to be true...and maybe they have gotten used to it...but it is a BONUS for good service not automatic. The only people that think otherwise are entitled servers. I promise you CUSTOMERS see it differently than you...we do not feel obligated to add 15% just because your wage is low and it's slimy of you to try to shame people into doing so.


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