The views of a marketing deviant.
posted by john dodds @ 7:42 AM
Here in Germany it's normal for the waiters to ask whether a bill is to be paid together or individually. If the latter, the waiter will take payment from each person in turn. Although it seems like a lot of work for the waiters, it's accepted as part of the service. Even better is the tip routine, which is a miracle of teutonic efficiency. The customer pre-calculates his tip, and hands over the total amount, which he has rounded to a convenient figure. One might round up 18 Euros to 20, but rounding 19 to 20 or 13.50 to 15 is equally acceptable, because nobody wants a pocketful of coins. A 10% margin is used as a loose guide.
I think people are too self-absorbed. If the differences between one person and the next are huge, here in London people either divide up equally or offer in cash/credit what they consumed and top it a bit up. The second is easier in a small group, so I would accept it only from close friends. When it's a large group and a bunch of strangers, they should just get a life and don't kill the good karma... or stay home and eat pot noodles....shame
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Marketing/Business Consultant with background in public and private sector businesses in UK and US including most consumer media industries.
E mail: jcdodds [at] gmail [dot] com
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