Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Tipping Etiquette

To Tip or Not to Tip?

What do you guys think about tipping? When do you do it and how much do you give and what makes you tip a lot or a little?

I feel like I'm a pretty generous tipper in most situations, but sometimes I get cranky at how many places now prompt for tips....I'm looking at you Starbucks and your annoying push notifications on my phone. 

I've been a server/bartender in the past, so I know it's a tough job and you definitely depend on tips. Because of that, I almost always tip about 20% (unless the server is straight up rude). Lots of things can happen that are completely out of your server's hands, so as long as they're polite, relatively efficient and helpful if anything does go wrong, I think they've done their job and deserve to be rewarded. I always say that everyone should be a server at least once in their life because you learn a lot about how that dish actually makes it to your table and gain a whole lot more empathy for those working in customer service. So, in a restaurant...tip generously and don't necessarily blame your server for everything bad that happens.  

Recently there's been a few restaurants that have opened that have eliminated tipping and pay their staff a higher wage. What do you guys think about that? I've never eaten at such a restaurant but I kind of like the idea. I wouldn't mind paying slightly more for food items instead of tipping, but wonder if the service level would suffer? It must be nice for the staff to have a more consistent income though. I know when I was serving, during my broke student years, it was stressful walking out after a bad night. One thing many people don't know is that in most restaurants servers actually have to give a portion of their tips to hostesses, bussers and kitchen staff...and that's based on their sales, not tips. 

What about food delivery? We actually hardly ever order food. Once in awhile, we'll get pizza, but we have lots of great restaurants near our house and usually just go there. Even with my lack of first-hand knowledge, I do know that food delivery has become more and more popular with services like Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats. But what does that mean for tipping? From what I know, Skip the Dishes charges a delivery fee that goes directly to the driver but does that mean they don't expect a little extra when they actually show up? I hate this...what if they are super slow or don't secure your food and it spills? That actually happened to a co-worker of mine when he ordered lunch recently. I thought the whole point of tipping was to reward good service if it's not optional then it kind of defeats the point. 

I also tip for spa type services like haircuts, massages or when I get my nails done but less, usually around 10%. I know it can get confusing at some hair salons when you're supposed to tip all sorts of different people but luckily for me, my hair dresser does everything herself. Massages are always a bit weird because they feel more like a health care thing, but I guess it depends on where you go. I used to work at a physiotherapist clinic, and there were massage therapists on staff and tips were rare. It seems more normal to tip if you get a massage at a spa but my go to therapist is at a non-spa place, and there's always a tip option (which I do use). 

Ok, so those places are all pretty standard for tipping but what about all those places (like Starbucks, Booster Juice, etc.) who have tip prompts. For places like that, I very rarely tip, and if I do it's usually a $1 or less. I figure that tipping is for excellent service, and how exemplary can your service be in the 30 seconds of contact we have when I'm pulling through the drive thru. Sorry but no.

Am I totally offside on any of this? Let me know your thoughts and if you ever get frustrated by tipping. 

To Tip or Not to Tip?


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