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Do you tip your butcher?


Felonius
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For those of you who go to an old school butcher who cuts everything to order, do you tip them? If so how? Would you do it by total price of the purchase, the number of steaks cut, or just some regular amount like a $5 bill?

My butcher often takes a good 15-25 minutes carefully cutting and trimming my steaks. I generally tip him $5 or maybe $10 if it's a larger batch of steaks (say over $100).

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I used to bring a big plate of cookies and candy at Christmas for my butcher when I lived in San Francisco. I did the same for the guy who ran the cheese shop I went to and a few other merchants. I didn't feel it was expected and I wasn't looking for favors; it just seemed like a nice thing to do. But tip? No.

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Nope. Never even heard of the concept of tipping a butcher, even. That said, I can recall way back in the depths of the past--maybe some time last year--getting asked for an extra dollar or two at a fishmonger because I wanted my fish cleaned and filleted. Or maybe that was a butcher when I asked to get something boned.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Huh. Wow. I'd never thought of this.

It's like tipping sushi chefs. I've heard it's normal, but I'm always afraid of offending them by doing so.

I never know what to tip sushi chefs either. I often give my usual sushi guy a $5 (in addition to a regular tip on the bill)and he seems happy. He also hooks me up with special tastings and the best fish of the day, so I think it helps. Either that or it's just because I always sit at the bar and ask for the same chef.

I guess tipping the butcher is unusual, or maybe it's a NYC thing.

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Where is the dividing line between tipping and bribery?

dcarch

If 'tips' actually stands for 'to insure proper service', nothing. I suspect that's a back-construction, though.

If tipping is what pays most of someone's earnings, as is the cases with a lot of waitstaff, it's actual tipping; everywhere else, it's bribery/security money, or an outpouring of unusual gratitude.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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i thought i was the only one who brought baked goods to a friend who runs a bakery or bring in stroganoff made from the meat i bought from my butcher. course i also bring baked goods to the meat folks.

the one thing i have learned is that they are appreciated. as my friend, maria, said after i brought her some pumpkin olive oil bread around thanksgiving - she had been doing so much baking for sale that she appreciated something she didn't have to make. the guys at the butcher shop appreciated the sauce especially that accompanied the stroganoff.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

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Linda Ellerbee

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Never thought of tipping a butcher, but like many in this topic I do bring boxes of confections to the butcher...and the computer guy and the vet staff and the chiro staff and the dentist and staff and a lot of others I could name. Just like to do it. And it gives me the opportunity to indulge my need to make goodies...and then get them the heck out of the house right away. :laugh:

This weekend I am making a big batch of Deensiebat's chocolate topped coconut goodies. They'll go out as soon as they are done.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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Never thought of tipping a butcher, but like many in this topic I do bring boxes of confections to the butcher...and the computer guy and the vet staff and the chiro staff and the dentist and staff and a lot of others I could name. Just like to do it. And it gives me the opportunity to indulge my need to make goodies...and then get them the heck out of the house right away. :laugh:

This weekend I am making a big batch of Deensiebat's chocolate topped coconut goodies. They'll go out as soon as they are done.

I also do not consider this tipping so much as showing appreciation and building a more personal relationship.

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I'm going to tip my butcher next time I go just to get a reaction. I predict refusal, laughter and polite shoving.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I also do not consider this tipping so much as showing appreciation and building a more personal relationship.

Exactly.

But shouldn't it be the other way?

You are the customer giving them business, they should give you a gift to show appreciation.

dcarch

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My Mother always gave our butcher a Christmas gift. It was typically some cookies or a fruitcake that she baked. I suppose you could consider that it was a tip, but really it was a token of appreciation from our family for the wonderful meats and service he had given us over the course of the previous year.

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I also do not consider this tipping so much as showing appreciation and building a more personal relationship.

Exactly.

But shouldn't it be the other way?

You are the customer giving them business, they should give you a gift to show appreciation.

dcarch

The ones I give gifts to are those that engage in what I perceive as a real human community exchange. They do not necessarily take me before another customer, but they nod their heads as I stand in the mass of folks waiting usually with no number system, they smile, they remember what I usually am looking for. I would still frequent the market for the quality of the items, but they add the heart warming human note to my shopping.

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I also do not consider this tipping so much as showing appreciation and building a more personal relationship.

Exactly.

But shouldn't it be the other way?

You are the customer giving them business, they should give you a gift to show appreciation.

dcarch

The ones I give gifts to are those that engage in what I perceive as a real human community exchange. They do not necessarily take me before another customer, but they nod their heads as I stand in the mass of folks waiting usually with no number system, they smile, they remember what I usually am looking for. I would still frequent the market for the quality of the items, but they add the heart warming human note to my shopping.

That may be true in your case, but tipping always deteriorates into a form of bribery in many situations.

I know in many situations I was told when I was in line waiting, “Yes, he was here before you” and I know that wasn’t the case.

People with more money should not be entitled to more and better service.

But I am realistic, I can’t change human nature. I tip also. I am not happy about it. There is something philosophically wrong about the concept. That’s why many corporations have very definite rules against gifts. We all know in government relations, gifting are against the law.

Soon, you will be expected to tip your surgeon after an operation, or else.

dcarch

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Where I came from in Europe, tipping wait staff was a means of thanking for and rewarding exceptional [above and beyond] service. Here in North America it is built into the remuneration system for those waitstaff. I happen to think that system sucks [big time], but I can see no way of changing it, so where generosity is indicated I tip above what I believe to be the 15% 'de facto' standard.

Am I going to support any tendency to extend this foolishness to other retail situations?

Hell, no!

My butchers price in expectation of a 'no tipping' business model, and receive happy 'word of mouth' commendations, and regular repeat business. Ask a small business owner what these are worth.

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:cool:

I hear you, Derek. I do, however, bring my favorite butcher a bottle of wine with a festive bow around its neck at the winter holidays. I don't see a need to slip him any cash -- not at the prices he charges for the services he provides! -- but I refuse to leave his efforts unacknowledged.

If nothing else, it keeps things cordial when I want him to bone out an oxtail for me...

:blink:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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I go to my butcher twice a month or more, I'm in the camp of loyalty and continued patronage. My guys are so old school, they probably wouldn't take a tip.

I like the idea of bringing gifts. I'll hit them up with loaves of bread or focaccia, the occasional tomato pie. I do the same thing with my CPA, lawyer, in-laws, you name it. Everybody likes a nice tomato pie.

Edited by Big Mike (log)


I have simple tastes. I am always satisfied with the best - Oscar Wilde

The Easy Bohemian

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