Which is preferable? Tipping by percentage or a flat rate?
While some people view tipping as an enforced wage subsidy, others see it as a reward for good service.
Either way, it's time to modify your approach, suggests Slate writer Brian Palmer, who feels the current practice is bad for both workers and consumers. And the factors that correlate most strongly to tip size have virtually nothing to do with the quality of service anyway, he maintains.
Credit card tips are larger than cash tips. Large parties with sizable bills leave disproportionately small tips. Plus, we tip servers more if they tell us their names or touch us on the arm.
Instead, he suggests, tip a flat amount and announce your new tipping practice to your server as soon as you sit down.
"Virtually every other employee in America knows how much they’ll be paid up front, and somehow the man who sells me shoes and the woman who does my dry cleaning still manage to provide adequate service. I have no doubt waiters and waitresses are the same."
Is he on to something?
So is it flat pricing or a percentage? And, if so, how much? Toronto etiquette coach Lisa Wright offers the following suggestions, as does the Emily Post Institute and the Tipping Page when it comes to percentages. But you'll have to decide your own absolute dollar range.
Restaurant servers: 15%, or up to 20% if it’s a business-related meal.
Hair stylist: 10% to 15%, unless it’s the salon owner.
Hotel staff: $2 to $3 a day for housekeeping; $5-10 for tickets or restaurant reservations from a concierge.
Taxi driver: 10% to 15% – if they handle your bags, add another $1 a bag.
Food delivery: 10-15% of the bill or as much as $5, depending on the size of the order and difficulty of delivery.
Take out or coffee: No tip required. Tip jar or not, it's completely optional.
Flat amount or percentage, do you feel you're a decent tipper? Or do you often hold back on philosophical grounds?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Got a question about investing, saving or retirement? Send Gordon an email and we might answer your question in a future column.
Posted by: Tipper | Aug 6, 2021 6:56:55 PM
Cow tipping isn't mentioned. There is more than one form of tipping you know!
Posted by: Ibtihale | Aug 12, 2021 2:17:49 AM
If I get good service, I tip. If I get great service, I tip a little more. If I get poor service, I may or may not tip depending on how poor it was. If I get terrible service, I don't tip at all. I usually will tip 10-20% depending on service and how much money I have on me. But, I have tipped more than my bill before because service was so great! I have worked in the past in the industry that gets tips so I do know how much people depend on them, but I am a firm believer that if you give poor service your tip or no tip will reflect it.
Posted by: Dee | Aug 12, 2021 3:05:44 AM
I tip only because I feel an obligation to, not because I want to. I'm one of the one's that feel it's a wage subsidy. We're suppose to tip the waitress, the hairstylist, the hotel staff, the cab driver...next it will be the bus driver, the grocery packer, the chiropractor...Tipping shouldn't be expected and it certainly shouldn't be automatically added to a restaurant bill.
Posted by: Stephen | Aug 12, 2021 3:23:44 AM
If the business owner can't afford to pay the employees he should not be in business! The idea that someone feels that I should "top up" his employees' earnings is ridiculous. Would you take your car to a garage that said, "We will fix your car for $200, but we want to you slip the mechanic an extra $40 so he will be right over to tell you his name and touch you on the arm".
I hate it, and the more I do it the more annoyed I am with myself. It should have died out long ago but business owners love the idea because it means they can pay their employees BELOW the minimum wage. In some states servers get as little as $2.18 hourly, (thanks to Uncle Tom Herman Cain, when he ran the restaurant syndicate) so you get to chip in and thereby defraud the government of the appropriate income tax. You get to pay the server "under the table" so that you can then pay more income tax to make up for the income the server doesn't declare.
You lose TWICE!
Posted by: Yawnie | Aug 12, 2021 3:25:52 AM
I tip percentage wise if I receive good service. If I am ignored, and the place isn't busy at all there is no tip. I've only ever not tipped twice in my life and it's because the server was rude and or ignored us. We have actually walked out of a restaurant (one that wasn't busy) because we were ignored while the servers stood in a group chatting. I always tip my cab drivers as they open doors and help with my parcels. However, I also worked in the business and had an account with our company. I received flack from our HR/Accounts manager for this. I found it extremely rude that he stuck his nose into my personal business and even more so that he stated he NEVER tips anywhere because it is not in acceptable. I also know of a gentleman who always paid a flat $5.00 tip whether at a casual diner or coffee shop, no matter how small his bill was.
Posted by: Susan | Aug 12, 2021 6:15:51 AM
When you don't tip the waitress/waiter, you basically take it out on the kitchen staff who cook a fabulous meal or the kitchen person doing the dishes. There is much more involved than an uncaring waitress/waiter. This will not relate back to the owner.
Posted by: Greg | Aug 12, 2021 8:39:10 AM
Tipping should reflect quality of service, but i don't know what makes the right amount, flat rate or percentage?
If I take a group of friends out for a meal, the bill gets larger based on the number of people, but I don't think the server spends 3 times as much time serving a table of six as they would for a table of two.
If I go to a restaurant for a dinner out with my wife, and we have a leisurely meal with drinks and desert, we may be there for an hour and a half, and spend $100.00, a 15% tip ($15.00) works out to a $10.00/hour pay rate from us. While this may not seem like big dollars if they gave us their undivided attention, they are usually assigned six to ten tables so the tips could likely run in the $90.00 to $150.00/hour range, even if they split with other staff, their take home pay is now substantially higher than any sales clerk in a high quality shoe or clothing store where staff does more than just man the till.
So what is fair? I don't know, but |I don't think blindly tipping 10,15 or 20 percent is appropriate, nor is it fair that I don't know if my tip is paying just my server and maybe the busser, or does it include the kitchen staff, maybe the restaurant owner should provide me a statement of pay and tipping policies that tells me who gets paid and how much. It also isn't fair that much of this tipping income is unrecorded and untaxed.
Posted by: DGR | Aug 12, 2021 8:50:15 AM
I for one am sick and tired of being told what and when to tip. If I am paying $27 for a good steak ($9.95 per lb at the store and usually 10-12 oz portion) at the restaurant has a huge mark up. A glass of wine at $8 again a huge mark up. I say let the restaurant share his huge mark up with his staff....why should I pay more again? Now I'm being told to pay the guy who hands me a coffee a tip and the people who dry clean my shirts. Enough is enough....I don't get a tip for doing my job!
Posted by: paul | Aug 12, 2021 9:11:00 AM
I think tipping is overrated. Every tom dick and harry expects a tip irrespective of service they provide.
Plus what do you tip on? Say Restaurant: Bill:$100 plus tax say $110. Do you tip 15% on 110 or 100? I say neither... irrespective of service...
I am in a service oriented business - IT Consulting... we charge $1000 per day however my clients don't give me a TIP when I fix their computer problems... Why? Are we providing less of a service?
The "morons" who come up with TIP advise should keep it to themselves...
Posted by: paul baldwin | Aug 12, 2021 9:13:20 AM
I absolutly hate to tip but I still do it ; I worked my but off for 30 years as a mechanic and nobody yes nobody ever tipped me ; And I worked on peoples crap sometimes all night for them never even got a thanks I had to work in the wet ;cold and dirty conditions and on top of that supplied all my expensive tools All one got was grumbles and whines when they had to pay their bill so I have no sympathy for these so called underpaid people who sometimes take home 100.00 a day in tips on really good day . If their not happy they should go back to school and learn something that pays a lot better ;one is never to old to learn cheers
Posted by: Stephen | Aug 12, 2021 9:18:39 AM
Tipping is all about guilt. Look at the responses here. You are punishing the kitchen staff by not tipping so feel guilty. You feel guilty about not giving extra to that cute server, just like stuffing bills into the panties of a stripper! You feel guilty about not showing your generosity to your date or dining companions. You feel guilty about not sharing your "wealth". I don't not tip because I would never expect tips in my work, I don't tip because it is an entirely wrong way for men and women to earn a living. It is refined begging, all of which is based on guilt.
The crazy thing is the hardest working servers (McDonald's, Burger King, etc.) don't get tips and they get minimum wage. Flight attendants don't get tips because they see themselves and professionals, not beggars. It takes real balls to sit on a stool in a beer store at the cash register ringing up the purchases people carry over by themselves and have a tip jar on the counter!
Posted by: Edwin | Aug 12, 2021 9:48:44 AM
I completely agree with Stephen. The corporations are raking in the profits and pay little to nothing for wages. I went to BP the other day and I beleive it is ridiculous to chip in another 20% for a 14.00 burger. My wife and I go for burgers and drinks and after tip it's $60.00. I think the corporation can chip in a litlle towards salaries when I pay 12-14 dollars for a burger. I know waitresses at high diners who make in excess of 50,00.00 a year after tips; this is take home and I am sure it is not all declared.
Posted by: Joanne | Aug 12, 2021 10:05:31 AM
For all of you who think the corporations should pay their employees more: that would then mean the food we eat at those establishments would cost us more. That $14 burger you're complaining about? Well, it would then cost $20+ if they paid their employees more. Not that I don't think it's already a rip off, I'm just saying these corporations are greedy. The more they pay their employees, the more we get charged as customers.
I personally tip according to service. 15% is my standard tipping amount. If you suck, you get less. If you are outstanding, you get more.
Posted by: joseph | Aug 12, 2021 10:49:56 AM
tipping is not a buisniness owners tactic to compensate for thier servers small wage. It's how the server survives. Nearly all servers make the min wage depending on thier province/state and this allows the consumer to eat out more then once every few months. If the establishment was to pay thier service staff say 15.00$ + thier gratuities. Your going to be spending alot on that simple meal that use to be 12-15 $ will now be about 30-40$. When you tip, yes! you are tipping that server however at the end of that servers shift they have a tip out wich is usually 3-8% depending on the establishment. Then these tip outs are divided up amongst the support staff and kitchen staff. Ie; cooks,prep people ( the people who prepare your food so when you order you are not waiting an hour) , dishwasher (they ensure you are not eating off the floor or dirty plates) , bussers (clean your table so you have somewhere to sit), host ( that person that you expect to be at the door to open it for you and give you that big smile and greeting) and so on.....
It is understandable to leave a smaller tip when you expereince bad service. After all its all the servers doing, right?!? Remember that dinner party you had when you may have invited to many people over to your home and you woke up that morning feeling sick or your having an all around bad day and now they all show up your 40 mins behind on dinner and you have to pretend that you are more then extactic to welcome and entertain all these people in your house. So imagine this except you've trippled that volume and everyone is not your personal friend and expect you just to be ducky and doing cart-wheels! and now your food is 10 mins longer then you thought it should be so you run around a 200$ tab and leave your server 5 dollars. Not only are you being rude by tipping that way but now your server the one that may have been bending over backwards for you but because your food is taking longer or they didnt smile that one time they are paying out of pocket for you to eat in that establishment. Those of you who are laughing thinking oh this is not true this is some rant of some bitchy server. Well your wrong I am not a server nore have I been in a very long time and I do not work in that inudustry these days.
Long story short folks if your out to eat and experience bad service. Dont reflect it in the tip. Ask to speak to the manager on duty, find out what is going on? perhaps that manager decided to sit this server more then they could handle or the kitchen became slammed and cant keep up with the incomming orders. Perhaps even its just a bad manager making bad calls that night. Just remember all your server is doing is punching in the food and bringing it to you checking on you and taking it away and throwing some drinks in there. they did not prepare the steak that may be cooked improper they did not wash the dish that may not be fully cleaned they did not make that single vodka that should have been a double and so on... look at the bigger picture.
If you believe that you should not tip or are just that cheap move to Austrailia or somehwere where tipping is not a common method. But when in the USA/Canada remember that person is paying all the other people that participated in the preperation to the execution of your meal that evening and they are more then likely working for minimum wage so you are helping to pay them yes but you are also are putting them into that cinderella category for the next 1.5hrs of your dining out expereince.
So try this hypithetical situation next time picture what you would feel like if this person came into your establishment weather it be office, contruction, pubic service etc... if your having a bad day or one of your co-workers fall short perhaps we can ask for your wage to be adjusted for the day to resemble your sole performance and perhaps that co-worker did fall short and really your just the messenger but you didnt want to get paid that day anyways right?!
Thank you have a great day!
Posted by: my 2 cents | Aug 12, 2021 10:52:15 AM
Not tipping because you think big corporations should just pay their staff more would be fine....IF they paid their staff more. They don't, regardless of your view on the matter, so who do you hurt when you don't tip? The poor wait staff who make a crappy living. What a bunch of cheapskates! All countries have customs that they observe, and here, we tip our waiters. Mr/Ms IT consultant that charges $1000 dollars a day, why the heck would you deserve a tip? You already make a fine living. Servers make a paltry wage, how can you compare yourself to them? Same goes for Mr. Mechanic, you make a much better living than a server does. If you can't afford to tip then perhaps a meal at home or at a fast food restaurant would be a better idea. If I was that poor I wouldn't eat out. Joanne has it right, if they get paid more, we pay more to eat. Either way we will pay so we might as well tip so at least we can decide how much our service at a restaurant was worth!
PS Stephen you don't tip because you are cheap. Flight attendants are very well paid, so they do not deserve tips! I do agree though that cashiers do not deserve tips. If someone prepares my food, delivers my food , drives me somewhere, parks my car or carries my bags....they get a tip!
Posted by: Jamie | Aug 12, 2021 10:55:39 AM
In many countries, tipping is unacceptable. Why is it so prevalent in North America? Do we feel so superior that we must show it by throwing money around? I agree with Stephen, and if the prices increase, then I can decide if I want the service or go elsewhere...I'm not rich and I don't act like it.
Posted by: Bob | Aug 12, 2021 11:03:29 AM
My problem with tipping is that if I go to a restaurant and order a burger, fries and a drink and my bill is around $20 and I tip 15% I give $3. But if I go the next day to the same place and order a steak and a alcohol beverage then my bill can be $40 tip is $6. The waiter still is bringing me only one plate and one drink so no more work was done but because my food cost more today they get twice as much!
Posted by: Lindsay | Aug 12, 2021 11:09:03 AM
I no longer TIP period. Once it became mandatory at most eateries I stopped leaving TIPS altogether.
This attitude of entitlement has gone to far!
As for the comment about the kitchen staff and dishwasher/bussing staff being hurt by a servers lost TIPS, suck it up people Tips when they were left, were for the server, not the rest of the staff! That was also a consideration in my decision to quit leaving TIPS. If the money was not "all" going to the person I left it for, why leave it?
Posted by: Anne | Aug 12, 2021 11:51:54 AM
I also agree that we should not be forced to tip. The workes are aware of what their wages are and have agreed to work for that amount. Why should we be forced by guilt to top up their wages? Good service is part of the work ethic, not dependant on wether or not they get a tip. I would be embarrased to "beg" for money from those whom I have agreed to serve for the wage that I already agreed to.
Posted by: A | Aug 12, 2021 11:52:13 AM
If you have never worked in the food/drink-industry you may not know about 'tipping out'. It is a % of the servers TOTAL sales before Taxes that they are REQUIRED to give to the house (to support kitchen staff etc) to make things more 'equal' amongst the staff who recieve tips and those who don't. When a guest does NOT tip or tips very poorly on their bill it means that the server is now reiqred to pay the house out of their own pocket for the 'tip out' at the end of their shift. Knowing this, it should make it easier for you to tip your servers. Knowing that the money given to you server is not just dropped into their pocket, it's not kept secretly for themselves, but a portion of it is divided up amongst ALL the staff that worked at that time. Tipping out to the house % ranges from as low as 3% but as high at 7-8% of total sales. If a guest tips lower than 8-10% of their total bill before Taxes the server will likely not see any of it.
Posted by: Jas | Aug 12, 2021 12:08:35 PM
T.I.P.S = To Insure Proper Service...the custom I believe began in the earlier days, when one would pay certain people upfront before even getting the service...I:e better table, better server, more attention.
I am a professional waiter and do agree that business owners will pay the staff less because of the tipping. Some businesses will even take a cut of the tips for the house. Some businesses will take the amount of your sales and expect you to ante in the tip pool a certain % of the "total sales", never mind if you received tips or not meaning there are some workers out there who end up paying out of pockets on some nights.
The government expect you to report your earnings "including tips" however if you were ever in a situation where you need to receive ei, tips are not considered an earning and do not count. Similarly banks will not accept "tips" as an income so good luck trying to arrange a loan.
The method of adding an obligatory tip to large tables is a scam.......tips are voluntary not a law.....just a matter of time before you see someone contesting this in a court case + what are they going to do if you do not want to pay it...kick you out of the restaurant, call the restaurant police?. The introduction of this custom has resulted in more loss of business and more loss of tips for waitering staff as if I am being forced to pay , you are only going to get the minimum. And I am in the business.
Posted by: Jen | Aug 12, 2021 1:06:29 PM
I have to agree with Anne. If you take a job like this, you're well aware of what you are being paid. People go to restaurants etc. to EAT, not to be expected to pay you for doing your job, especially if you aren't doing it well. Tipping is a reward not a guarantee. I used to work at a coffee shop and our tips went into a jar and were distributed according to the number of hours that each employee worked. I worked my ass off trying to make my customers' experience the best it could possibly be, and every single one of my customers who tipped me, slid the money across the counter, past the tip jar, and into my hand. And I was grateful for every single penny because I knew I had worked hard for it. And never was it something that I was EXPECTING, it was always a bonus. And by the time I left my minimum wage job, my boss was paying me $15/hr. go figure.
And at the end of all that, being someone who worked 5 years in the service industry, I don't tip unless you've shown me that I should.
Posted by: Joanne | Aug 12, 2021 1:40:09 PM
You all are just cheapskates. Yes, people go into a waitstaff job knowing that their pay sucks. However, most of us know that you go into an establishment to eat, drink and get good service, that a tip is part of that experience. If you can't afford to leave a tip, or don't want to leave a tip, maybe you should stay home.
Posted by: Plano | Aug 14, 2021 10:06:10 AM
The tipping is To improve Personal Service, on a cruise you are told what you pay as a cruiser you expect service. The American/US Tipping is so the minimum wage that is $4.50 for waiters is to give them more money . Canada $10.50 minimum across the board gives waiters a pay that if service is bad the kids get fed. Tipping is in many ways a take home package for good service, watch the Food Chanel as the resteraunts show the lack of complying to any standard of service.