Are you a generous tipper or do you give the minimum tip possible? Do you tip extra for good service or not at all for bad service? Do you tip for take-out or to-go orders?
Well, everyone has their own tipping philosophy and it does vary by where you live, your background and expectations. Mrs Micah’s, Finance for a Freelance life had a recent post on Dining Out Frugally Without Stiffing On the Tip, where she talks about tipping etiquette and her philosophy behind this is :
Beyond the basic 20%, I think that when you’re ordering something particularly cheap, you should tip based on the average price (if possible)….they’re still putting in the same effort as they would with something more expensive. No matter how you handle eating out, just remember to plan for a 20% tip. If you can’t afford it, then you can’t afford to eat there. Pick someplace cheaper or get fast food instead.
Following the pandemic, tipping also drastically changed for pick-up or to-go orders given their rising popularity for safety and via ride-share services. Michelle Singletary from the Washington Post summarized this well and says delivery orders should be tipped in the same manner as dine-in tipping
Even with takeout, you are getting a service when a restaurant staff cooks your food, wraps it up, and prepares it for your pickup. If you begrudge them a few dollars, go to the grocery store, pick up the ingredients for your meal and cook at home.
My tipping philosophy is a bit different
Most likely this is due to the fact I have lived a large part of my life outside America and am more use to different cultural norms, where the total cost of a product includes taxes and tips! So a $15 sandwich means $15.
By far America is the most generous nation when it comes to tipping. The standard here is 15% to 18%, with 20% the norm in New York and other large metro areas.
While I respect standard tipping norms I do not like to tip for bad or rude service, no matter what.
I am not against tipping, in fact after being here for a few years now I have found that the service you receive at American establishments is generally much better than you would receive in Europe, Australia or anywhere else in the world.
Given the US minimum wage is so low compared to the cost of living (especially in bigger cities), tipping definitely has its place. However, giving a standard tip for any kind of service seems a bit strange.
Would employers pay the same bonus or salaries for poor performers as compared to their top performers. I think not. My belief is that tipping should be based a sliding scale relative to the service you receive. Here is my tipping philosophy:
1. Where a service is provided that meets expectations I will tip around 15% to the total bill amount.
2. If the service is excellent and above the norm, I will tip closer to 20% of the total bill. Given high inflation levels, I sometimes bump this to 25% of the pre-tax bill.
3. If the service is really bad, yet they still expect a tip, my tip will be $0. That’s right – I will not tip for bad or well below par service. If this is automatically added to the bill I will ask them to remove it because of the poor service.
4. For delivery or to-go orders I will generally tip 10% of the bill. However I base my tip on the pre-tax and platform fees (e.g Uber service charge) amount.
What are your thoughts on tipping? Am I being to harsh on tipping for bad service?