What's new

culture :: tipping and service


15 Apr 2002
here you go Thomas :p

No tipping occurs in Japan. I've never tipped.

The closest I've came to tipping was in taxis. "keep the change ..." lololo ... I'm so nice ... 30 yen or so ....

So, what about service?

Well, service is famous in Japan. A great greeting [irashaimaseeeeee] welcome! A great first smile! And other great first time appreciation.

Now, you order. They're always happy to take your money and order :eek:

You start eating .....
water ... I'm thirsty ... 1, 2, 3, 4, passes .... my cup on the edge of the table waiting to be knocked off by a passing waiter. Nothing ... [sumimasen] ... [hai] ... water please .... 50-50 chance for a smile.

Once your food is placed on the table. That's it. You must cry out [sumimasen] for any further service and hope that the waiter is having a good day.

MacDonalds. Forget it ... smile for zero yen. Yeah, right ! Try ordering one. They'll look at you like you're a nut case. 1 time a fly fell into my hardly eaten flies. I asked for a new serving. I had to argue with the manager just to get it. Extra onions on your hamburger ... NOPE ... they cost money ... hehe, fought with MacDonalds over this and mentioned that the onion servings are irregular anyway. Tough luck Charlie.

I remember asking for a 10% discount for a slightly soiled shirt. Nope, buy it or not. Somebody else will buy it if you don't.

Service on the start is really great and friendly. If you have no problems you'll enjoy most service establishments in Japan. BUT, If you have a problem expect a tough go of it. Most employees jusst don't know how deal with a problem. They'll try to pan you off to the maker. Or just look at you like you're a fanatic.

This has slowly changed and many shops are getting better but most Japanese just don't think of trying to get their US $ 10 back for a broken snow brush. I used it and it would be ridiculous to return it. I did. Hell, it broke on a cold day. Wrong size fit for a pair of slacks? My wife looked at me like I was nuts. I went and got a bigger (ahem :eek: ) waist size.

The problem I still face is with electronics. Most shops will ask you to allow them to send it back to the maker. I miss the US idea of just swapping out for new one at the store. Why should I wait 2 weeks???? I have come across though that if you jsut opened the box, they'll change it right away.

Sorry for mixing the topics. It was jsut that tipping doesn't occur over here. Although, many Japanese "know" that you're supposed to tip in many foreign countries.

ahhh, I almost forgot. The pay for a waiter is basically the same pay as for any other type of part-time job. Sometimes, it's even better. Which could be why tipping isn't necessary.

hmmm .... to be honest. I don't miss tipping. I don't miss paying 10% of the bill forcibly. I've always hated having to feel like it's my duty to tip. I tipped when I thought it was deserved.
Basically I agree with you: tipping is evil.

On the other hand, it's part of the game in the rest of the world. You want service, you have to tip. You want to keep a certain standard of service, continue tipping.

Some of you know that I've spent a considerable part of my life in Middle Eastern countries. "Baksheesh" is an essential thing over there, from the gate keeper, postman, taxi driver and waiter up to the very top of the pyramid. It would even be considered rude not to tip, and the richer you are the higher your tip is expected to be (foreigners are always considered as affluent beyond imagination). Tipping is your only chance to get close to decent service, but it's far from being a guarantee.

Exactly the contrary of Japan, isn't it?

Oh, what about warranties and faulty products in Japan? Are there laws protecting consumers' rights?

As for bargaining and price reductions: I think both are related to a country's mentality and socioeconomic situation. Perhaps the thriving 100 Yen Stores are a first step in that direction.
Oh warranties are normally not a problem.

If you do flakey things like me and try to upgrade a pdf on false pretenses, well, they give you the run around. hehe... still working on that.

price dickering is normally for the folks of the Kansai area. Kanto people have too much pride to ***** about a 5% discount.

100 yen shops are just another aspect of deflation that's happening in Japan.
MacDonalds has officially dropped
hamubers to 59 yen
cheese burgers to 79 yen
frank dog burgers ??? lol what ever they are to 79 yen

ughhh, why 20 yen for a piece of cheese that sits on the counter for hours???
Here in the states...it is great to be able to tip. Most people here go with the standard structure...
10% for poor service
15% for decent service
20% for good sercive

I have always looked at it as a measuring devise on their quality of service...Even going so far as to tip up to 75% of the bill. That was a excellent waiter...It was a $115.00 bill and I rounded it to $200.00 because he was that good.

Whenever I go to my regular restaurants, the servers love to see me...they work harder to get the extra money...and I benifit from the service.

In the same respect, I will pay more for something just because the store treats me right. my wife and I are both computer monkeys and make good money. We work very hard for it and are not willing to give it up easily. I normally dress like a bum. Tshirt and jeans...I want to be comfortable. That doesn't give the Customer service person the right to judge me on my atire and treat me differently than the guy next to me in a $2000.00 armani suit.

Based on customer service we have desided not to got to certain places. It is very important!!!
MacDonalds in Japan is hundreds of times more satisfying than going to MacDonalds in the US. Sure, you might have a bit of trouble getting extra service, but in Japan you have people who are at least putting a front of taking pride in their job. I have never been to a MacDonalds anywhere in Japan, from Nagoya, to Osaka to Oyakama to rural Shikoku where I wasn't met by friendly counterfolks. Now in the US, going to MacDonalds is about as cheery as eating in a prision lunchroom. Not trying to promote MacD's, just reflecting on customer service. Seems in the US, people in lowpaying crud jobs like slinging burgers seem to think all need to share their pain and frustration from working at MacD's for long hours and poor wages. I could proably tell you the number of times I have had friendly service at a fast food joint in the US. In Japan, it seems that people thing their first duty is to make the customer feel welcome (similar to the irasshai ideal) even if they pump gas or make french fries.

As for tipping, I am not against it in principle. If you do a wonderful job, you get a tip. It shouldn't be that you are entitled to it from the get-go. I have left no tip for waiters on occassion. I am frustrated at times in Japan when I want to tip someone, but I know that trying to do so will just cause them problems.
Originally posted by samuraitora
really? that is so weird to me not to tip.

yeah me too, but you get used to it.
some places just add a gratuity in with the bill. i think germany does that.
Hmmm, I always felt that service was better in Japan despite not tipping. In a resturant and need something? I just yell suimasen, someone comes and gets me what I want. In America the other servers usually make me wait until "my" waitress comes back, that is the beauty of the no-tip system.

And how can you think McDonalds isn't way better in Japan? They're almost always very clean and most people there generally care about doing a good job. Most fast food places in America are dirty as hell, the workers could care less and can barely speak English.

The one complaint I do have about resturants in Japan is that they don't give you free refills on soft drinks. Really annoying to have to budget your cola progress throughout your meal.

Clothes, electronics, etc, is a separate issue entirely, since most people don't usually tip when buying a pair of pants or a stereo.
The "cheeky as a prison lunch room" is too true. I had a halloween party this weekend and on Sunday I just wanted to get fast food. Each time it is like they scrap the bottom of the barrel for the most unhappy people.

This kills me.
My 2 c worth
Hi im Sam from Australia, I just joined here so G-ni-chi-wa to all
In Australia there is no such thing as tip, some restaurants have a vase where you can put some coins be4 u leave... One day I ask the waiter, I said do u get this money in the vase, he said (whisper Noooooo) I said ok then and I didn窶冲 put any coins
I wonder what the vase is for then???

There are good points and bad points in tipping. There are people who don't tip enough, for what ever reason. And on the other end of the spectum, there are people whom don't care that they make $2.75 plus tips. Nothing is going to make them work harder.
In Australia, the tipping culture is just not there, so people who work dont really matter about tipping,
As for the vase I think it put them off, since they are the people who doing the good job, hence people tip but to see the money goes to the owner is just unfair.....
Here if your bill is say $19.90c people will wait to get the 10c :)

I will come to Japan within 6-12 months so I can start to tip :)
I hate tipping when I go to the states. You always have to carry small bills with you because EVERYBODY expects a tip. I don't get tips for doing my job... why should they. I don't need to know the name of my waiter/waitress and I don't appreciate their fake cheeriness. I just want someone - anyone - to take my order efficiently and not have to wait for ages if I want to order something else. IMO good service should come as standard.

Here at home I feel pressured to tip like everybody else. We don't tip as much as americans, thank God. The type of service I like best is in chinese restaurants. I find it fast, efficient and professional. You always get a refill before your tea cup is empty. I can't stand going to an expensive restaurant and having a waiter look annoyed at me because I dared call them over to order more drinks.

I like the change they've made in France to restaurants a few years ago. Now you don't tip at all. The price you see is the price you pay. We should do the same. I'll be visiting Japan next year and I'm very glad they're not into the tipping culture.
Hmm, I tried to tip those chambermaids or bellboys in Japan, and they reject, was quite shocked initially as I'm too used to tipping.

In Singapore, think all hotels need to tip, its up to individuals, but I guess tippings will get better services and efficiency.
Top Bottom