Tipping / チップ
Japanese is written after the English. 英語の後に少し日本語がある。
There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on Tipping. It talks about how some are trying to get restaurants to automatically add a 20% tip on to bills. I think this if going too far.
Actually I don't like tipping at all. Back when tipping was more of something you do to show appreciation for excellent service, it probably did a lot to motive the staff. But now that tips are something that is expected, it does nothing to motive workers to provide better service. So what are we paying a tip for?
Instead, it just hides the price of what you are buying. If you order $100 worth of food and drink, it actually costs about $130 after tax and tip are added.
I like Asia better, where tipping is not the norm. You know the price you will have to pay right up front without having to calculate anything. And the service provided is always very high anyway.
I did give a tip to a taxi driver in Korea once. It was a nominal amount, as compared to the States - maybe a dollar or two. This taxi driver was working on a national holiday, so I wanted to show my appreciation. I used my rudimentary Korean language skills to explain this.