tipping? meals?

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flying_babyb

Train Attendant
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Dec 13, 2015
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family of 5 spread amonst 3 roomettes. What does one tip? We will be on from Chicago to DC, What about tippping at meals? Also at meals can a family of 5 sit together? we cram nicely into one booth at IHop! 3 adults and two teens if it matters
 

AmtrakBlue

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family of 5 spread amonst 3 roomettes. What does one tip? We will be on from Chicago to DC, What about tippping at meals? Also at meals can a family of 5 sit together? we cram nicely into one booth at IHop! 3 adults and two teens if it matters
I doubt you'll be able to fit all in one booth and doubt they'll let you try. I would tip at meals as you would at a restaurant. As to the rooms, that's up to you, but I'd think tipping for each room would be fair because the attendant is doing the same work in each room.
 

FormerOBS

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Feb 26, 2014
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Three adults and two teens at one table might be possible, but it would probably be pretty crowded. It depends upon the size of the people. Two adults and three small children can usually be accommodated at one table without too much trouble. It might be best to wait until you're actually on the train and see the seats and tables before you decide. The crew will work with you to find the best arrangement.

Tom
 

Sauve850

OBS Chief
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Jan 9, 2014
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Agree tip along restaurant guidelines. I travel in a bedroom. Depending on service and if my attendant gets me any extras like blanket, pillows or offers to bring me a glass of OJ I tip $5-$10 per night as a single traveler. I'm kind of big he/she helping me with my bags too.

Ray
 
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Alice

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I'd encourage the teens to sit with other passengers and carry on suitable conversations. They can talk with you anytime.
 

niemi24s

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I'd encourage the teens to sit with other passengers and carry on suitable conversations. They can talk with you anytime.
That's a wonderful suggestion - as long as they stay off their iPhones (or whatever those little gizmos are called).
 

neroden

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Given that Amtrak employees have European-style pay levels, I've started giving European-style tips. That is, I tip for above-minimum-quality service and leave nothing for poor service.
 

flying_babyb

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I'd encourage the teens to sit with other passengers and carry on suitable conversations. They can talk with you anytime.
HA HA HA!! I would go sit somewhere else before I subjected the teens on ANYONE!! One cliggy to mommy, and the other is a crabby cross dresser. Best to keep them close.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Given that Amtrak employees have European-style pay levels, I've started giving European-style tips. That is, I tip for above-minimum-quality service and leave nothing for poor service.
This sounds entirely reasonable to me. For those who are unaware European style tips are usually simple round-ups to the next larger bill rather than a separate stack of bills based on a percentage as done in the US.
 
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Eric308

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Jun 30, 2011
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Given that Amtrak employees have European-style pay levels, I've started giving European-style tips. That is, I tip for above-minimum-quality service and leave nothing for poor service.
This sounds entirely reasonable to me. For those who are unaware European style tips are usually simple round-ups to the next larger bill rather than a separate stack of bills based on a percentage as done in the US.
That also varies from country to country. My daughter used to live in Barcelona and tipping is very unusual there, but expected from Americans. I even saw a small placard in a very touristy restaurant that was mainly frequented by Americans that read (in English!) "Tipping now accepted". Daughter says that the owner typically keeps any monies generated. I also noticed that foreign guests at the hotel where I worked hardly ever tipped, and that included Canadians.
 

Bob Dylan

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Keep in mind that most wait persons in Europe ( and other Industrialized Nations)are paid a living wage, have Government paid health care coverage and that a service charge ( as well as a Value Added Tax) is included in the bill.
 

andersone

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Dec 19, 2013
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My rule of thumb for the SCA is $10 per day per person with decent service (answering the call button promptly, turn down when requested, keeping the restroom clean, helping the old fXXts with the luggage) I usually tip them $20 when we board and the balance when we detrain.

Having worked in food service, the European Plan thing is hogwash. Lousy service = 0%. Good service =15% Great service =20%. Father (with a masters in mathematics) had a wonderful formula... take the total bill and divide by 10 - $30 bill = $3, for 15% just halve the three dollars and the tip become $4.50. For 20% just double it or $6. His mathematically challenged son has found this a lifesaver.

Most importantly - kick back, relax and enjoy the journey. If you don't get in a rush you will do just fine ! I only hope you are taking the Cardinal for the best scenery this side of the Mississippi.
 

neroden

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When I'm in a typical American restaurant where the servers are paid below minimum wage (legally), I will leave a tip even for lousy service, as long as I get my food. Those servers need the money to live on.

I don't do this sort of tipping at Amtrak where they're paid a living wage.

The business where waitstaff can be paid less than the minimum wage in most states is gross, and I really hope it gets changed; Bernie is the only national candidate talking about changing it, last time I checked.
 
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Carolina Special

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May 31, 2015
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I believe the transition to a cashless society will eventually force a standardization of the whole tipping culture. How it will shake out I'm not sure: but people are not going to carry cash around just to hand out tips.
 

tricia

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How it will shake out I'm not sure: but people are not going to carry cash around just to hand out tips.
I spend months saving up all the 1's and 5's I get as change, so that I can bring them with me just for tipping while on a cruise. :D
Some of my best customers save them up each week to spend at farm markets. Most weeks at market I come home with more small bills than I brought to my booth, so I almost always have a good supply ready when I need them for travel.
 

ericjeeper

Train Attendant
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Dec 27, 2015
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I bought 50 two dollar bills just for dining tips. I usually left two or three per meal. Depending on the service.
 

HenryK

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Ericjeeper, the dining car crew will think you won big at the parimutuel window.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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I bought 50 two dollar bills just for dining tips. I usually left two or three per meal. Depending on the service.
My kid is now in the restaurant business, and I can tell you that leaving something really odd like a $2 bill is definitely not appreciated. The reality is they can't do anything with such, and because of it, the $2 bill will just get tossed into a drawer or box.

Leaving a $2 bill, or a $1 coin, is worse than leaving no tip at all, and writing "FU" on the check. You'll be badly remembered by the table help, if you should ever dare to return.

In other words, if you think you're being cute or cleaver with a $2 bill, you're not.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I bought 50 two dollar bills just for dining tips. I usually left two or three per meal. Depending on the service.
My kid is now in the restaurant business, and I can tell you that leaving something really odd like a $2 bill is definitely not appreciated. The reality is they can't do anything with such, and because of it, the $2 bill will just get tossed into a drawer or box.

Leaving a $2 bill, or a $1 coin, is worse than leaving no tip at all, and writing "FU" on the check. You'll be badly remembered by the table help, if you should ever dare to return.

In other words, if you think you're being cute or cleaver with a $2 bill, you're not.
A $2 bill are cash. If he can't use it somewhere because someone refuses it, then take it to the bank and get 2 ones. Same with the $1 coins.
 

Devil's Advocate

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My kid is now in the restaurant business, and I can tell you that leaving something really odd like a $2 bill is definitely not appreciated. The reality is they can't do anything with such, and because of it, the $2 bill will just get tossed into a drawer or box. Leaving a $2 bill, or a $1 coin, is worse than leaving no tip at all, and writing "FU" on the check. You'll be badly remembered by the table help, if you should ever dare to return. In other words, if you think you're being cute or cleaver with a $2 bill, you're not.
Why can't your kid figure out how to use it? Does your kid not have a bank account? Why does your kid assume that anything he or she doesn't readily appreciate is the equivalent of an overt expletive? Sounds like they might have some irrational anger issues. Perhaps if your kid sets aside all of those $2 bills and $1 coins they'll have a accidentally created a rainy day fund. Or is saving for the future considered "really odd" by today's youth? I'm not sure why you chose to bring your kid into this but it's not a very convincing argument thus far.
 
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Cina

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Why can't your kid figure out how to use it? Does your kid not have a bank account? Why does your kid assume that anything he or she doesn't readily appreciate is the equivalent of an overt expletive? Sounds like they might have some irrational anger issues. Perhaps if your kid sets aside all of those $2 bills and $1 coins they'll have a accidentally created a rainy day fund. Or is saving for the future considered "really odd" by today's youth? I'm not sure why you chose to bring your kid into this but it's not a very convincing argument thus far.
Yeah, I got $2 bills as tips back in college*, and I didn't die. In fact, if someone paid with a $2 bill, I'd dig two dollars out of my own wallet and swap with the register so that I could take that $2 bill home. I had a friend who tipped at the local small town restaurant with a $2 bill and they thought it was so novel they stuck it on the wall behind the bar.

Point is, I'm not going to turn down two bucks. If I offered someone a $2 bill and they rolled their eyes at it, I'd stick that bill right back in my pocket and walk away.

*which wasn't that long ago. I don't think I'm considered "Today's Youth" anymore, but now that I'm a teacher I don't think I want to be :lol:
 
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MikefromCrete

Conductor
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Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,610
I bought 50 two dollar bills just for dining tips. I usually left two or three per meal. Depending on the service.
My kid is now in the restaurant business, and I can tell you that leaving something really odd like a $2 bill is definitely not appreciated. The reality is they can't do anything with such, and because of it, the $2 bill will just get tossed into a drawer or box.

Leaving a $2 bill, or a $1 coin, is worse than leaving no tip at all, and writing "FU" on the check. You'll be badly remembered by the table help, if you should ever dare to return.

In other words, if you think you're being cute or cleaver with a $2 bill, you're not.
Two dollar bills and $1 coins are legal tender. Spend them anywhere that accepts cash. Or take them to the bank to get "regular" money. It's not that hard.
 
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