Will the downturn cause you to tip less this holiday season?
As an overall blanket excuse, “What, in this economy?” works pretty well:
-Fill up my tank with premium fuel? What, in this economy?
-Send the in-laws gifts on top of a card? What, in this economy?
-Hire someone to watch the kids while I’m at the strip club? Are you nuts? In this economy?
Yet, one place where that line of interpretation might not fly is the world of tipping.
Logic stands to reason that, during a time when money is tight and penny-pinching is in vogue, tipping should suffer in turn.
But is that the case and, more importantly, is that fair?
A good analysis of the recessionary tip is set to reveal itself this holiday season. While reports suggest the downturn has ceased, that doesn’t mean our spending ways have reverted back to the free-wheeling styles they were.
So with that, how much will we pay? Around holiday time, we usually tip housekeepers, doormen, babysitters, personal trainers, etc.
According to Reuters, the “general rule” on tipping here is to give the equivalent of what you’d usually pay each week for a single session. If one house clean costs $50, toss a crisp red one to your maid – that kind of thing.
Whether such consistency will exist this holiday, though, is anyone’s guess. If you believe a recent U.S. Consumer Reports survey, it sure looks like it won’t.
The study found 26 per cent of Americans who usually tipped would do so in a lesser amount this year; only 6 per cent plan to give more.
And some people aren’t liking that math one bit.
“In this economy not all of us have the cash we once had,” Mary Mitchell, author of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Etiquette,’ told Reuters. “But if you are in a position where you have the funds it is almost a moral imperative to be generous.
“We all need to be really authentic and consistent,” she continued. “We can’t keep saying how poor we are then rush out and buy a new Porsche. Don’t use (the economy) as an excuse to save money then buy some Prada boots.”
So, which tipping camp do you side in?
Has now become an “every man for himself”-type world, where we need to hoard what we can just to eek by? Or is tipping still an important part of society, and – at the very least – shouldn’t we offer a homemade meal or something this year if we can’t come through with cash?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Lisa | Nov 23, 2021 8:27:26 PM
Lower the taxes...like that's going to happen...and I'll tip more.
Posted by: tan matt | Nov 24, 2021 11:44:00 AM
no, i still tip the way i've always done.
waiters, bartenders, waitresses, etc.. still have to earn a living. and most of these people are students needing to work to pay for their own upkeep.
yes, i lost money in the correction, but compared to them, they need money more than i do.
the world is not an oyster. i live well, and probably better off than others. even if i am not as well to do today just because i hurt during the correction, does not mean i have to cut others less fortunate than me, especially the hard working students who chose to better themselves.
they could have gone on welfare like so many lazy ones here in canada.
but no, they chose to work and study.
so, tip well this christmas. stop being so selfish.
Posted by: Ralph Rack | Nov 24, 2021 11:49:12 AM
With season I have moved to full retirement and in planning have lost over the last 5 years to the stockmarket "manipulators".
All tips are always in "CASH" and not on the credit card. The establishment and the tax dept. don't need to know how much.
Tipping is now limited to 10% of the bill before taxes. After HST "NO TIPPING" The waitreses and waiters can blame the government.
Posted by: Anjo Gabriel | Nov 24, 2021 11:58:28 AM
I agree with your previous commentor.
I too live in a land that pampers the lazy with welfare, and ignore the elderly and hard working disenfranchised citizen. The government has failed to do what they were elected to do. Both provincial and federal. Their offices are deadweights of overpaid people and politicians with self interests and lobby groups that are the main cause of our country's economic spiral to this current downfall.
I know many young people who wait on tables and work deadend jobs to make ends meet while they attend university . They are over burden with little time even to study. But they are there to work at bars, coffee shops, tims,etc..
I value their service with a smile. I tip them more than usual, now... simply because they are the only ones who still smile for me in their daily boring jobs.
I wish them all a Merry Christmas and a more rewarding 2010.
Lastly, I hope the government will force the lazy welfare bums to work, instead of pandering to them just to get re-elected. I won't hold my breath , though . Politicians are just another version of welfare scums.
Posted by: babu | Nov 24, 2021 12:51:30 PM
I don't tip. If nobody would, we could collectively force the employers to actually pay their employees a decent wage. This way they are laughing because they don't have to: you do their job for them and you are fattening their retirement fund. I find tipping one of the most outrages, in-your-face taxes that most all pay simply because they're not thinking. I feel for the servers, they deserve better but I refuse to pay for something I should be getting anyway. The prices at restaurants are not cheap, there is already a big chunk of profit built in there.
Posted by: Be nice people!!! | Nov 24, 2021 1:34:22 PM
People like Lisa, Ralph and Babu should be embarrassed and ashamed to punish servers with their anger over too much taxation. They are totally right that we are over taxed. They are way wrong by using this logic to be cheap!!!! I agree with Babu that tipping has taken a wrong direction. Tips are meant for appreciation of good service where someone has gone above and beyond you add incentive as a tip. But... to punish servers is not fair and in no way going to change this practise of employers underpaying employees. If Babu and Lisa want to protest then just don't go to these establisments thus taking the profit away from the employer. The employer is who actaully has the power to change this not the hard working exploited servers. Also remember what goes around comes around. I recall years ago, a place I used to have breakfast at frequently. A patron of this place was becoming know for being very demanding in service yet never tipping. I was by the grill window listening to the waitress complaining to the line cook who promptly picked up the fly swatter and lifted the eggs onto a plate and served them to the unsuspecting customer. I don't necessarily agree with this tactic but in this case I learned revenge can be sweet for some. So unless you can see everything probably good to be nice.
Posted by: Lisa | Nov 24, 2021 4:03:40 PM
First off, I DON'T go out much because my family simply can't afford it.
However, here's some food for thought...I have travelled to the states many times, received excellent service most times AND the food was excellent, AND served promptly AND with a smile from the waitress, to boot. YES...I tipped BIG because I wasn't insanely taxed and I had a meal from heaven!
Now...why can't we be that way on THIS side of the border???
To "be nice people"...why do you think restaurants are going out of business??? They aren't getting customers because the of the "snowballing" effect we have happening on this side of the border.
So...obviously our system doesn't work, does it? Has anybody thought of changing HOW we do things on THIS side of the border??
Posted by: Don | Nov 24, 2021 4:45:06 PM
I tip and will continue to. I do not tip the 15% as I figure most are paying no taxes on this money so my tip $ goes a lot farther than an earned wage $.
Depending on the place you are working I know people who make hundreds of dollar a night on tips, dont claim iit on their taxes and still qualify for all the programs the government gives to low income. Is this is a case of a few ruin it for the majority? In my case, and the amount I am willing to tip ...yes.
Posted by: Kate | Nov 24, 2021 9:44:11 PM
I work in the food service industry. I am fortunate enough to work at a company that pays the staff equal to others and they still receive their tips. what some people don't realize is that their are alot of people that make less than minimum wage because the business they work for is classified as a tipping restaurant as regulated by the government. This allows companies to pay less than min. wage. As well are forced to pool yheir tips together and split at end of night. This rewards those that don't work very hard and punishes those that work harder. My staff get 100% of their tips. I always tip well when service is good and I don't punish the waitress if food takes long time to come out(not their fault). P.S. to those ranting about low income people. I find them to be the best tippers because they appreciate all your hard work.
Posted by: Kim | Nov 25, 2021 4:16:24 AM
I am astounded by the logic that is used to rationalize not tipping in a country where it is not just courteous, but expected to tip. I am a server and trust me, I do not go in to work every day because I enjoy making minimum wage bending over backwards for people who hardly return my smile. We don't just serve your food, we put up with your complaints, bad behaviours, bad attitudes etc and try to make sure you have a good guest experience. Many people don't realize that we ARE supposed to claim a minimum amount on our taxes as servers, your tip is NOT tax free. And on top of that, we generally have to tip 2-4% of OUR tips to the kitchen, in appreciation of the idea that without them we wouldn't have even made that money, and 2-5% to our bartenders on any liquor we have sold. So really, if you tip 10% on a bill, we make maybe 6%. So you're $50 dinner that you tipped $5.00 on? I kept $6.00. The few people who don't tip with the outrageous idea that it will change the way we are paid, and will perhaps make a higher wage, are idiots. Tipping is supposed to be based on your level of satisfaction. So if you have a really horrible night out, obviously don't tip. That is supposed to encourage the server to either to do a better job or get a different job. And if everything is satisfactory, leave 15%. If your server was pleasant, efficient, and you enjoyed your meal, maybe tip a little more? It is what is expected, and you look like a cheapskate otherwise. We all ask ourselves, why do people have money to go out for dinner, knowing that tipping is the norm, but don't have enough money to leave even 10% on top of the bill? And honestly people, common sense says don't mess with people who prepare your food. You KNOW that there are a lot of scandalous individuals out there, and who says that pretty waitress over there isn't one of them?
Posted by: Kim | Nov 25, 2021 4:23:02 AM
*** "....$50 dinner you tipped $5.00 on? I kept $4.00"
Posted by: Canadian | Nov 25, 2021 6:21:03 PM
The practice of tipping needs to be abolished. The responsibility of the business of actually paying there employees a fair wage for the work done should not be dumped on the customer. This puts the employee's income at constant risk and is susceptible to things like recession, poor service by the business but not necessarily the employee (aka food being bad, but great waitress doesn't get tipped) etc.
Tipping should only be used to reward employees for good service, not a subsidy of their wage.
Posted by: Canadian | Nov 25, 2021 6:31:15 PM
Posted by: Birdie | Nov 25, 2021 6:34:51 PM
In New Zealand they don't tip. When I tipped a young hairdresser she was offended and wouldn't take my generous tip. I was puzzled, so was she. Best to know the customs before you go abroad.
Posted by: Diane | Nov 25, 2021 8:44:09 PM
I tip on occasion, when I feel an exceptional service has been provided. Employers are responsible for wages, not me. I've worked in the service industry. I took the jobs based on the wage, not on whether I would be able to make up the shortfall in tips. Just because I can afford to eat out once in awhile, doesn't mean it's ok to pick my pocket for more.
Posted by: john mcintyre | Nov 25, 2021 9:17:30 PM
with the ecomony being the way it is i would say that tips if any should be very small. the places that a person goes to eat should be dam happy that you have enough money to eat at their places. rest assure they make a big big money in profit and i have not seen prices come down very much if at all. alot of places are in fact charging even more than before and giving less for your money a quick way to go out of bussiness is to ask for too much . there is no loyalty in a bad ecomony SHUT UP , SERVE. AND BE HAPPY you are making any money at all .l noboday owes you anything for anything in life and oh i have worked in the food serve inds before i found out how to make my own tip money TAKE CARE OF THE CUSTOMER , AND BE HAPPY WHEN THEY GIVE YOU ANY TIP, BECAUSE NEXT TIME YOU SEE THEM THEY BE MORE GENEROUS AT THE TIME
Posted by: justina | Nov 25, 2021 9:30:39 PM
I have been a server for 7 years. I have relied on tipping as a means to supplement my income because most restaurants pay only minimum wage to their employees. I have to claim 100% of my tips on my income tax, but am penalized for going on EI and not being able to claim that taxed money because it is considered "uninsurable". I had to go on Maternity Leave and am left to live on 60% of my (minimum) WAGE, not my total monthly income. How fair is that? Tipping lets the server know that the patron has enjoyed their eating-out experience. It kind of keeps one coming back to work day-after-day, considering some of the crap they have to put up with. True, it is customer service, but there is a lot of hard work involved that the customers doesn't see. Servers aren't only students but single-moms who need that money to survive. There totally is that mind frame too, of, if you're going out to eat, tipping is part of that. I try to cheap out on tipping sometimes, but, rarely, because I have been there and understand that it is all pack and parcel whether the server sucked or not. But for sure, I would notice if they were "deserving" of it is another matter.
Posted by: Lynn | Nov 25, 2021 9:40:18 PM
How does one tip when they are a single parent making minimum wage? When I can afford to take my children out to a sit down restaurant that has servers, which isn't too often, the tip gives me much anxiety because I know I will not only have to pay for our meals but also come up with a tip as well. It is upsetting to me because many servers make more money in tips than I do in my normal hourly wage and they also get their minimum hourly wage as well. I work in a department store as a cashier and I too put up with abuse from customers and have had items thrown at me, been verbally abused, and have had sick people put their credit cards in their mouths and then hand them to me. I have gone out of my way for my customers that are physically challenged, senior and healthy and on occasion I have walked out to customer's cars to help them load heavy items into their cars. Not once did I "expect" a tip for doing my job. You should do your job as best as you can and if you don't expect a tip, then you won't be so upset if you don't get one. Try thinking about the other people in the world that do far more for far less. Students aren't the only people in the world who are financially disabled.
Posted by: annoyed | Nov 25, 2021 9:46:08 PM
There is another side to the tipping issue that is not being looked at by the cheepskates on here. When I, as a server, apply for a loan, morgage, or to buy a veichle what I make in tips don't count as income. These people are only interested in what my pay stubb says. If I get laid off, go on medical disability or am in need of employment insurance, my tips are not factored into that. So where I may make $150 per week in wage I may make $200 per week in tips. So weather or not I claim that $200 or not when it comes down to it it doesn't count. I do not receive health care bennifits so if I want to pay for perscriptions, eyeglasses, or an ambulance ride I have to pay cash out of my pocket. I never receive reimbersement or compensation.
On another note, if you are to lazy to make your own dinner or pour your own drinks, if your family at home doesn't want to do it for you either (who would want to serve someone who is so obviously ungreatful) and you want to be waited on hand and foot, then it's fair that you pay. As for the guy who wrote that if everyone stopped tipping then the employer would be forced to pay their employees higher wages, well the price you pay for your meal or drink just trippled...
Or pehaps you would be willing to take a pay cut and give me part of your paycheque to balance life out and make it fair for everyone. Remember this too if you are a salesperson, I am a buyer. If you are a lawyer, I am someone who will pay to hire you. If you work at all someway, somehow my dollers end up in your pocket too!
Posted by: annoyed | Nov 25, 2021 10:03:33 PM
To the single mom, I personally would rather have a table of pleasant people who do not tip than a table of rude, demanding jerks who do. Most of us understand that some people can't afford to leave a tip, we know who comes in every week and the ones we have never seen or rarely see. As a thought and it may make you feel better, if the store has a discount coupon or you have a card and can offer 10% off at your store, give it to your waitress and tell her that you liked her service and although you can not afford to tip this is what you can offer. I once was given a juicer by a customer who was going through a nasty divorce because he had very little money to be able to tip. I always will remember that. I forget by the next day how much the guy next to him may have tipped. This world was started on the barter service and still works today to reasonable, unselfish people.