Dec 14, 2013

16 TIP–The Tipping Debate

tipTo tip or not to tip, how much to tip, do I have enough to tip, can I afford to tip, what is the minimum amount, is there a maximum?  ….

Tipping is somewhat of a heated topic of debate. To tip or not to tip, how much to tip – 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%  or should one tip depending on the quality of service(s) received or mandatory tipping regardless of the quality of services rendered.

Depending on whom you ask there are lots of opinions flying around about tipping – waiters, waitresses, the pizza delivery guy etc. I have heard waiters and waitresses complain very passionately describing customers as “cheap” because they either left no tip or a menial tip.

A cheap customer generally is considered someone leaving less than 10% tip or not tipping at all. Some people support this notion by arguing that most waiters and waitress, delivery persons work for below or at minimum wage. Minimum wage varies depending on city, state, country and can be anywhere from $6.50 to $11.00 per hour.

I have seen and heard friends feel pressured to leave a tip for fear of being shamed or labelled cheap while others refuse to go out if they just have the bare minimum for their meal. That bugs and concerns the hell out of me because there are a lot of assumptions and judgments being made about some non-tippers or sometimes minimal tippers branding them “cheap” and other unflattering terms used to categorize those not offering the expected tip.

The assumptions, (1) that the person dining/ordering is making more than wait staff/delivery person, (2) that because the person(s) chooses to eat out that they have money beyond the cost of the meal.

The judgment, that because the tip left below the expected or there was no tipped left that the person is a cheapskate.  

While there are those who will not leave a tip simply because they don’t want to, it is not true for all who may not have tipped. I usually tip when I go out to a restaurant or order in however I cannot always afford to do that and I don’t think I or others in the same position should be labeled and penalized (some say stay home/don’t order in) and relegated to the confines of their homes because they do not have sufficient enough funds to leave a large tip.

There are times when I have just enough for my meal and I want to treat myself as I am not able to do it often. I live on a budget so I am mindful not to indulge in careless splurging. I do not go out to restaurants every week or order in everyday however every once in a while I like to treat myself. Sometimes I have enough to leave a generous tip and other times I do not but I can still leave a small token as appose to not leaving any. I am no Donald Trump, Tyler Perry, Michael Kors or Oprah Winfrey.

While I empathize with those in the services industry who depends on tips as part supplement to their income to pay bills and maintain a decent standard of living, (trust I understand all too well) I don’t think an entitled approach to receiving tips is the best attitude to cultivate.

The truth is we don’t know a person’s story/life and assumptions should not be base on the fact that because they choose to eat out or order in that they have extra to drop in your hand or on your table.

Personally I tip when I can afford to and at times when I am not able and wanting to avoid the drama of no tip judgment I resort to calling and picking up my own order so I am won’t feel obligated and the worker won’t feel slighted.


*Service quality matters and if the service sucked I won’t pay extra for it.

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