Tipping 101

Do you ever get stuck in a situation where you don’t know how much you should tip? If you do, then don’t worry because we got some tips on how to tip.

Underpaid Workers

Before we jump into the logistics, first we need to understand the reason for tipping. Tipping etiquette is very situational to location and type of service. In America, tipping is almost seen as a mandatory act. While in some European countries, tipping is optional and is not automatically expected. This is simply because service workers in America are paid very little for their work, and many rely on the tips to make a reasonable income. European countries typically pay their service workers higher salaries that don’t require reliance on tips for a fair wage. But, obviously, with hundreds of thousands of restaurants across America, there are a few exceptions. In some restaurants, there are little memos on tables and menus stating that their workers are paid above minimum wage and tips are not accepted or necessary. Another exception is when the gratuity is already included in the bill, which is sometimes done internationally too.

Reflection of Service

The mental conversation of “how much should I tip?” happens almost every time you go out to eat. Usually, your friends start whispering “how much are you tipping?” and “does anyone have change for a $20?” The amount you tip is important to your waiter for numerous reasons. Management looks at tips and uses them to evaluate how well the staff is doing. If you tip poorly for no reason, it may put your waiter’s job at risk. Choosing the amount to tip allows you to rate your experience. If you believe the waiter did a good job, then it is quite simple. You should tip around 20 %. But, if you believe the service the was bad, then you should tip around 10%. Again, you should only tip low if the quality of service was truly poor. Lastly, if you tip with cash, don’t write out the tip amount on the receipt. If you do, the amount will come off your card.

Fast Food and Delivery

Another situation that does come up often is the option to tip for pizza or ice cream. This situation can be tricky, and everyone handles it differently. The reason why it can be complex is because these are foods that are picked up. For example, you don’t tip when you go through the drive-through at Chick-Fil-A or Taco Bell or tend to just tip $1 or $2. But, if food is delivered to your door, you should tip higher. Usually, on your order, it will say the delivery charge does not count as the tip.

Places You May Not Expect

Also, don’t forget tipping is not only customary in restaurants. When you get a haircut, a tip is usually expected. Tips are usually requested if you get your vehicle cleaned or detailed, when you get your nails done and even when you valet your car.

Being a college student can be difficult financially. So, giving a good tip can be difficult to do, but you should always leave a decent tip. If you can’t leave at least a 15% tip, then maybe opt out for a restaurant where a tip is not expected. Maybe go get some fast food, because that will be easier on your wallet. Ultimately, the biggest tip of all is to always treat your waiter or service workers with respect.

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