What Are Your Tipping Rules?
I thought I knew what the rules for tipping were. When I'm at a restaurant, my standard is to pay double the tax (comes out to 16.5% where I am). I'll give 20% if it was a super meal with super service (and I'm not that hard to please). I give my stylist and esthetician at least 20% because they're awesome and they're *relatively* cheap compared to others I've been to. I'll tip the car wash guys $3-$5 because I know they're not getting paid well and I hate washing cars.
I've never tipped my mechanic because I have the impression he makes a good living with his skill, but I wonder if anybody does? These days I'm seeing tip jars everywhere. Am I supposed to leave a tip for my dry cleaner??? Because there's the tip jar. Why do I need to tip for coffee?? Isn't paying $4.00 enough? Are the teens scooping ice cream for me depending on the tips to save for college? When I pick up take-out, I only leave a tip when I pay with a credit card, because the tip line is right there, and it feels wrong to cross it out or put $0. But then I realize I just left a tip for someone to put my small meal into a bag and hand it to me. Am I really supposed to pay for that service? Because I'd be happy to bag my own, thank you very much.
I posed these questions to fellow Wise Bread bloggers and these are their rules. What are yours? Tell us your rules for tipping and be entered into a random drawing for a $25 Amazon gift certificate!
CONGRATULATIONS TO REBEKAH, OUR WINNER FOR THE $25 AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE DRAWING. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR PARTICIPATING.
I'm generally a big tipper in restaurants; I'm vegetarian, so my order is always a special order, and I generally have some other kind of specification (no X, Y, or Z on the salad, no ice in my drink, etc.), so if they actually manage to satisfy me, I generally tip pretty well.
Don't bother to tip the mechanic; they would probably like it, but they're getting paid pretty well, especially if the insurance company is covering the repairs. My dad is a retired bodyman, and when he worked for the dealerships, he made about $37.50/hr for insurance work.
I don't tip for takeout, unless I asked them to do something out of the ordinary. Otherwise, all they did was their regular job, and I did the service part myself at home. If they deliver it, then the delivery guy gets a tip.
I never go to the car wash where there are people to do it, so I don't know. I usually do it at home, or go to the power wash thing if it's really dirty.
As for tip jars other places, my thought is generally that a tip is only necessary if the staff has done something out of the ordinary, offered some special service, or is on reduced wage (servers, for example, make $2.13/hr [the last time I checked], so they desperately need tips). If all they did was made my latte, pulled my clothes off a rack, or something similar, then I don't really see a reason to give a tip.
Being a fellow pain-in-the-waitstaff's-butt, I always tip big in restaurants. Also, I worked as a waitress in high school and college, and I STILL remember certain diners who gave me good tips. A typical family in my hometown with throw food all over the floor (also, open sugar packets and then put them back in the sugar packet holder with greasy finger prints all over them) and leave a fifty-cent tip. The occasional person who was polite and left a hefty tip made my day. I want to be that for everyone.
I tip my hairdresser well because I love her. I tip coffeeshops well because I want them to remember me. I tip my grocery delivery guy only on holidays.
When I lived in NYC, one of my friends lived in a building with a doorman. Having grown up in a small town, I had actually never dealt with one. I had NO IDEA that I was supposed to tip the guy for the 8 months that I was in and out of that building every day. I feel so embarrassed now looking back at it--he was such a nice guy.
Hmm...Since Dave was a server for a while, we tip based on service. Poor service gets a 10% tip, normal service gets 15%, and good-great service gets 18-20%. That's what he always wanted when he served--to get tipped based on what his actual performance was--so that's what we give others.
I tip some hairdressers. I tend to skip around, and if I like the cut, I usually tip 10-15%.
I hardly ever put money in tip jars--it depends on the place. Generally, I'm more likely to do it if the server is particularly nice or helpful, or if it's not a chain sort of place. I don't tip at Cold Stone because I don't like it when they sing.
I've never even heard of tipping a mechanic.
I tip the pizza guy at least 10%, mostly because I think his job sucks and I want to let him know I appreciate it, and because when I'm desperate enough to order pizza, I'm usually just so thankful it showed up that I want the wonderful people who brought FOOD! to have some more money. Same for other takeout.
I feel comfortable tipping when I understand that tips are the primary source of someone’s income or the major reason the job is worth having. I like to be generous but on the other hand, I am frugal. Since I know that waiters/waitresses live off of tips rather than wages, I tip 20% unless the service is not good and then somewhere between 10% for really bad to 15% for so-so. I don’t think I am particularly demanding but do like to have enough water to drink and, apparently, go through water pretty fast. The people who deliver Chinese food generally get 15% (they are really fast and the food is great) and I pick up nearly everything else and don’t tip for pick-up.
I’ve never tipped my newspaper deliverer though he has solicited in the past by enclosing a card around the holidays. It took me numerous calls and approximately 10 years to convince the circulation department that I wanted a paper everyday (my name never appeared on some official list so whenever there was a substitute carrier, we never got a paper). Our carrier changed in the past year and he accidentally damaged our driveway during his first visit (my house is on a dead-end street and if you don’t stay on the driveway, you may land in a small ditch on the right or large one on the left; it’s not that difficult but I’m sure a bit tricky in the dark for the first time); that may be karma or just a sign that we’re even. I didn’t complain or ask for compensation because I figured that would put a dent in his earnings and it was just a first-time mistake and hasn’t happened again.
I feel most comfortable giving gifts (cash or gift cards) during the holidays (near or after Christmas or the New Year) for those service people who set their own prices.
Whenever I see a tip jar, I think of George on Seinfeld, trying to make change in the tip jar and being accused of stealing . I have put money in the jars but it’s rare. Other people who I may tip are trip guides and musicians.
I have a slightly different perspective on this because the rules are somewhat different in the UK, or at least they were when I finally left about 7 years ago. I used to tip for great service in the UK on anything, but service comes included in every meal and the wait staff are paid a decent wage, so they would only get a good tip if they did an outstanding job.
Over here, things are very different. Wait staff rely on tips to support themselves, so I always tip regardless of service. But how much and what type of service varies. I'll generally tip 20% on any kind of food service. More if they were outstanding. I'll tip the bar staff $1 per drink on small rounds, or 20% if I run a tab.
I do my own hair, so no tips for me. On delivery food, it's usually 10% of the bill, or $1 per pizza if there are a lot of pizzas. I'll always try and drop a buck or two in the hat of a street musician, that's a tough way to earn a living. In hotels, I tip a few bucks to the doorman and room service. Again, more if they do an amazing job.
I will tip $1 at cold stone because I like that they hate to sing. I tip the newspaper delivery guy $5 at Christmas. And I'll drop tips in jars if the staff have been courteous and helpful.
Finally, I don't tip at fast food places. As Reservoir Dogs pointed out, I don't know why society deems it unnecessary to tip fast food workers, after all it's a crappy McJob.
There are tip jars on every counter and it is getting ridiculous. I refuse to tip people working behind the counter at places like Starbucks or Subway.
I tip waiters because I know in certain states employers pay them less than minimum wage. More importantly, waiters are also expected to service me for the thirty minutes it takes for me to enjoy my meal. Of course, I'm fighting an uphill battle here. People at Starbucks often give me dirty looks for not leaving a tip. I'm not talking about the barista, I'm talking about the other customers! (I think Greg called me cheap once for not leaving a tip. Thanks for getting my back punk!)
Well forget it. I love Starbucks and I appreciate the people who work there. I show my appreciation with my frequent patronage, my sincere "thank yous," and my compliments for a job well done. But tipping? The line has to be drawn somewhere.
I guess I have a few issues with the tip jars being at the counters everywhere, too. And also, if I may sound off, I don't understand why many drive through fast food places have started including a tip line on the receipt for when you use your debit card. That's almost more severe than the tip jar at the stand in line coffee counter if you ask me.
At restaurants, I like to tip well if the service was great. But if it was lousy, I don't have a problem tipping a lower percentage.
As for service people, I'm also in the "give a gift" category, particularly if they are in my life a great deal. Janitors at the various schools where I worked come to mind...
Tell us your tipping rules and you'll be entered in a random drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate. Deadline to enter drawing is 7/29. Don't forget to enter your email address in the field provided and only one entry per person!
THE DRAWING HAS ENDED. CONGRATULATIONS TO REBEKAH, OUR WINNER OF THE DRAWING!