Tipping Question

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ScottC4746

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After reading the threads on here it seems my 20% in restaurants may be too heavy for the train. What if I did a 2-3-4 rule that is $2 for breakfast $3 for lunch and $4 for dinner. Now I wonder if that is too light.
 

Bob Dylan

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Unless you receive Exceptional Service or Poor Service with an Attitude, IMO that's about Right but everyone has their own idea!
 

ScottC4746

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Unless you receive Exceptional Service or Poor Service with an Attitude, IMO that's about Right but everyone has their own idea!
What I did to calculate 2-3-4 rule was assumed I consumed the most expensive item on the menu and then did 10% of the check and rounded up to the next higher dollar, even though in the math world I should have rounded down. So I did this formula:

Dinner $37.75 (25.75 + 6. Dessert, 6. wine) /.10 = 3.775 = 4

Lunch $12.50 + 2.25 (soda) + 6 (dessert) = 20.75 / .10 = 2.07 = 3

Breakfast 11.25 + 3 (meat side) = 14.25 / .10 = 1.425 = 2

And of course this is per person.

Now the SCA I am thinking since it is a roomette $10 per night per person $20 if it were a bedroom because that is more for him/her to take care of.
 

TVRM610

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I think your formula works just fine. I usually leave $2 for breakfast $3 for lunch, and $5 for dinner. I go up to $5 for lunch every once and awhile, or $3 for breakfast. But yeah... No one is gonna think you're too lean.

$10 for a roomette is what I tip. (Up or down for unusually good or bad service of course).
 

the_traveler

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I usually do the $2/3/4 for the Dining Car and $10 for the room (both roomettes or bedrooms, although do I go bedroom).
 

Notelvis

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I think your formula works just fine. I usually leave $2 for breakfast $3 for lunch, and $5 for dinner. I go up to $5 for lunch every once and awhile, or $3 for breakfast. But yeah... No one is gonna think you're too lean.
$10 for a roomette is what I tip. (Up or down for unusually good or bad service of course).
This is pretty much my standard as well........ though on my most recent overnight trip I tipped the SCA only $5.00......... that was for pleasantly and enthusiastically welcoming me aboard, determining that I was familiar with the accomodations, and not being around until 20 minutes before my stop.

(that's not a complaint - I was looking for some time to read and stare out the window on this trip)

Now had my SCA happened by while I was converting my roomette to the night configuration (or back to day configuration the next morning) and offered to finish the job for me, I likely would have gone to $10.00.
 

zephyr17

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I usually do the $2/3/4 for the Dining Car and $10 for the room (both roomettes or bedrooms, although do I go bedroom).
That's exactly what I do, too. I know it is less than a regular restaurant, the SAs also get paid a living wage which waitstaff in normal restaurants usually don't, so I don't feel guilty about it.

A whole lot of people from sleepers don't tip at all, in my experience, apparently because the meal itself is "free".
 

crescent2

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Thanks to all who've posted. On my next trip I think I'll use the $2/3/4 thing, too. We've always done 15-20% if service was acceptable, but that seems a little more than most are doing. We never considered the fact that Amtrak pays so much better than most restaurants.

Will continue to tip the SCA according to service given.
 

CoachSlumber

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I don't know the details, but unlike restaurant waiters, the ones on Amtrak are paid actual wages, not a paltry "tipping wage." So I don't feel obligated to go the full 20 percent.
 

Eric308

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I don't know the details, but unlike restaurant waiters, the ones on Amtrak are paid actual wages, not a paltry "tipping wage." So I don't feel obligated to go the full 20 percent.
I chatted with an SCA about six years ago and he told me senior people earned close to $20 an hour. I couldn't understand the union breakdown, but something to do with "crafted" employees. Dining car servers make about the same.
 

AlanB

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I don't know the details, but unlike restaurant waiters, the ones on Amtrak are paid actual wages, not a paltry "tipping wage." So I don't feel obligated to go the full 20 percent.
Yes, that is correct.

But unlike most restaurant workers, Amtrak waiters must:

  • Bus their own tables.
  • Work 3 meals per day.
  • Work in an environment where its like having an earthquake all day long, as in the train is rocking & rolling & lurching all day long.
  • Don't sleep in their own bed at night, but instead sleep in a roomette or a hotel.
  • Get safety training and know how to evacuate the train in an emergency.
Their job is a lot harder than that of a typical waiter/waitress. And as noted, they're away from their home and their loved ones for a few night, in some cases 5 nights.
 

Dan O

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I don't know the details, but unlike restaurant waiters, the ones on Amtrak are paid actual wages, not a paltry "tipping wage." So I don't feel obligated to go the full 20 percent.
Yes, that is correct.

But unlike most restaurant workers, Amtrak waiters must:

  • Bus their own tables.
  • Work 3 meals per day.
  • Work in an environment where its like having an earthquake all day long, as in the train is rocking & rolling & lurching all day long.
  • Don't sleep in their own bed at night, but instead sleep in a roomette or a hotel.
  • Get safety training and know how to evacuate the train in an emergency.
Their job is a lot harder than that of a typical waiter/waitress. And as noted, they're away from their home and their loved ones for a few night, in some cases 5 nights.
They also probably have more work hours, no? Closer to full time than some waitress/waiter jobs?

If their wage is $20 an hour, that's about 2.5X what a waiter or waitress would make in the area around me.

They also have their own retirement system which I understand pays more than Social Security alone.

Not so sure their work is rocking, rolling and lurching all day long as I have never done it. But if so, I am not sure I want to eat in that environment.

Dan
 

oldtimer

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They also have their own retirement system which I understand pays more than Social Security alone.
Yes Railroad Retirement does pay more than Social Security. It pre-dates Social Security and also the railroad employees and railroad employers both make contributions to Railroad Retirement system that are significantly higher than SS contributions.
 

TVRM610

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Amtrak food service employees are paid extremely well for what they do. When I tip at a restaurant I'm really paying a "service fee" because the restaurant does not pay servers even minimum wage in most cases. On Amtrak, the servers are paid extremely well for the conditions that Alan mentioned.

Now I will always tip on Amtrak (except for the waiter I had on the Coast Starlight this January who was rude, crude, and rushed passengers out if they lingered too long) but I tip on Amtrak because it usually gets me better treatment for future meals.
 

AlanB

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(except for the waiter I had on the Coast Starlight this January who was rude, crude, and rushed passengers out if they lingered too long)
Yes, for something like that no tip should be forthcoming. In fact, for anything like that the employee should be reported to Amtrak Customer Service.

Tips should be considered for decent service, for an employee who is clearly trying hard but simply overwhelmed by volume, etc. And one shouldn't be penalizing the waiter for delays in the kitchen, as that is Amtrak's fault.
 

ScottC4746

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(except for the waiter I had on the Coast Starlight this January who was rude, crude, and rushed passengers out if they lingered too long)
Yes, for something like that no tip should be forthcoming. In fact, for anything like that the employee should be reported to Amtrak Customer Service.

Tips should be considered for decent service, for an employee who is clearly trying hard but simply overwhelmed by volume, etc. And one shouldn't be penalizing the waiter for delays in the kitchen, as that is Amtrak's fault.
It took some doing, but I explained to the other person going with me that the 2-3-4 rule is acceptable. As we were trying to figure out how much currency to bring for tips I suggested $10 per nigh per person in a sleeper. They suggested we take two $20's and I said, no you want to do it in $10's so if you get poor service they won't get $40 out of us. Depending on how poor $0 (which I was forced to do) to $10 per night period.
 

AlanB

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They suggested we take two $20's and I said, no you want to do it in $10's so if you get poor service they won't get $40 out of us. Depending on how poor $0 (which I was forced to do) to $10 per night period.
While I won't deny that it's generally better to start out with change, generally the LSA in the dining car is always happy to break a $20 for people.
 

SarahZ

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I still tip around 20%, just like a restaurant, maybe even a little more for good service. I don't care how much they make for their wage. I always tip for good service, whether someone makes $2.50/hour or $20/hour. Additionally, I figure my good tip is making up for the sleeper passengers who don't tip because the meal is "free". :angry:
 
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Eric308

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I still tip around 20%, just like a restaurant, maybe even a little more for good service. I don't care how much they make for their wage. I always tip for good service, whether someone makes $2.50/hour or $20/hour. Additionally, I figure my good tip is making up for the sleeper passengers who don't tip because the meal is "free". :angry:
Me too....having been a bartender, server, and limo driver (not at the same time), I appreciate good service. I used to love when all the off duty wait staff folks came into my bar in Key West. 100% was not uncommon. Quick tipping story...as a limo driver in Aspen I had just picked up Buddy Hackett, Lynn Swann, and Lary Csonka at the airport to go the 10 miles or so back to the lodge. Hackett made me stop and go into a convenience store to buy him a bag of chips and a sixer of Bud. He pounded three beers and ate a bunch of chips before we got back. He exited the limo, walked away and STIFFED me! Lynn Swann came up and handed me a C note and said, "this ought to cover the cheap ba#&!%*"
 

GG-1

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Aloha

In my industry tipping, is not the usual thing. Saying that, the best tip I ever received, was from Bob Hope. He slipped me $50.00 for 5 hours work, as he shook my hand, as he was leaving the Theater. Happened 5 times, when he appeared in Honolulu. A dance school every year gave me a hundred dollar tip for 4 days of work.

Tipping to me is a way of saying Mahalo (Hawaiian for Thank You) for treating me as a special person!
 

Bob Dylan

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I still tip around 20%, just like a restaurant, maybe even a little more for good service. I don't care how much they make for their wage. I always tip for good service, whether someone makes $2.50/hour or $20/hour. Additionally, I figure my good tip is making up for the sleeper passengers who don't tip because the meal is "free". :angry:
Me too....having been a bartender, server, and limo driver (not at the same time), I appreciate good service. I used to love when all the off duty wait staff folks came into my bar in Key West. 100% was not uncommon. Quick tipping story...as a limo driver in Aspen I had just picked up Buddy Hackett, Lynn Swann, and Lary Csonka at the airport to go the 10 miles or so back to the lodge. Hackett made me stop and go into a convenience store to buy him a bag of chips and a sixer of Bud. He pounded three beers and ate a bunch of chips before we got back. He exited the limo, walked away and STIFFED me! Lynn Swann came up and handed me a C note and said, "this ought to cover the cheap ba#&!%*"
:cool: Even though I hate the Steelers Swann sounds like a Class Guy! Lots of Stars are Cheapskates according to Friends in the Travel and Hospitality Industry! Supposedly other Cheap Sports Stars are Tiger Woods and OJ!!!( Well, I guess he can't tip the Warden!! :giggle: )I've heard good things in Vegas from Old Timers about Cool Celebs and a Few Horror Stories about "Short Arms and Deep Pockets" Types also!!
 
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