In Hungary, giving a tip at a restaurant is a critical point. It is worth taking a look at how to do it correctly, because it seems that there are always some inconsistency and frustration in situations associated with it.
According to travelo.hu, guests can be divided into two groups. One always gives a tip, and only misses it if the service was exceptionally bad, but otherwise they recognize the priority of this socially established custom. The other group consistently do not give a tip, because the bill at a restaurant also includes the cost of the service.
Between the two, there are different subgroups of embarrassed people. They do not know how much it is expected to give, or are shocked by the behaviour of the waiter. Some people dislike the ”adult” situation because of generation problems, while others are embarrassed on the basis of gender issues (”a woman should not pay, it is the task of the man”). Stress is also caused by the pressure that if someone does not give a tip, he or she will be perceived as stingy and insensitive.
People of conscious reasoning have a well-tried personal evaluation system to express their appreciation or criticism. The situation is somewhat unique in case of those who socialized abroad: misunderstandings can occur, because the usual elements of Hungary and the other countries are mixed. But the obvious expectation, the speculation and counting the percentages are always annoying and disturbing. Someone said that it is similar to strange courtship habits.
However sad it is, nowadays it has been legitimate to ask if someone does not have money for the tip, then he or she should not even go to a restaurant?
It is time to clarify the situation, and get rid of the anxiety. In the first step, it is important to understand the function of tipping.
According to Noémi Saly, a member of the museologist of the Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism, back then, everyone was tipped who performed some service properly.
”The driver, the porter, the maid, the waiter, so everyone who was not a direct employee of the person served – could get a tip. It was not obligatory, but in case of a fair, professional and fast work, the employee could be sure to be tipped. The problems started when it became an expectation, as employers automatically counted on tips and began to give lower wages. With this, they also wanted to motivate the employees to be more dedicated. But the result was a bitter taste in the mouth and lowered enthusiasm.
In Budapest, there were several attempts to abolish tipping, but it triggered the outrage of waiters. This way, the attempts to settle the issue failed.
The opinion of Ibolya Görög, a protocol consultant, emphasizes the roles of humanity and our own euphoria.
According to her, giving a tip is a form of donation. If someone is good to us, then we thank them for it in some form. Expressing thank is a strong psychic need, and a social pressure, but in a positive way. It is part of an organizing principle, which makes social co-existence acceptable and humane. Therefore, if the waiter is polite, the food is delicious and the restaurant is nice, then it is recommended to express our thanks by giving a tip.
At the same time, Ibolya Görög makes a difference between servers and waiters: ”servers perceive it as a profession, while waiters as a vocation. Guests feel it immediately – and reward it. The same rule applies to servers and shop assistants, as well: his existence depends on the satisfaction of the guests and customers. Nobody is interested in his personality. Politeness is not just an empty formula, it gives the framework for a civilized co-existence. Fortunately, more and more people open restaurants, and know what the guests are waiting for.”Employing a dedicated staff, which works for the reward and the respect is also included in the endeavour.
Ildikó Szakács, a leader of Gundel Károly Vocational School for Tourism and Catering said the following about tipping: ”The amount of the tip is 10-15% in Hungary. However, it is very important, and we always tell it to our students that the tip is not the aim but the result of the work. This is actually a satisfaction-index, with which the guest can express his opinion concerning the waiter’s work. But this is not only about the waiter – the students have to be aware that serving is a teamwork, and everything they do, reflects the business. Obviously, the tip can be motivation, but it is not a compelling factor, as it is voluntary and uncertain thing. The majority of the consumers reward being satisfied, which is a positive experience for a waiter.
”If the boss offers a special reward, it is a bigger recognition, but is very rare. There is still a tendency to form the wages in a way that they count with tips. The fixed service fee has to be indicated on the bill, but it is only specific to places of higher category, and is not expected to be widespread for a while.
At the same time, Ildikó encourages the guests to always tell if something was objectionable or very good, because it can improve the overall attitude and quality of a restaurant.
based on article of travelo.hu
translated by Vivien Pásztai