Friday, November 06, 2009

How To Tip Properly

When I was out with friends recently, the subject of tipping came up.  I have written about this before, but worth a revisit, especially as the holidays loom.  This topic can be a bit awkward to discuss since the amount you decide to give may be impacted by several factors: 1) your income; 2) the service/food you received; 3) whether or not you have worked in the service industry.  I have worked as a buss-er in college, so I can relate on this topic.

As a research project, I came across this site with user-provided guidance on what are suggested tipping percentages depending on the type of service you are receiving, meaning a taxi, luggage delivery, salon, or other grooming service, among others.

My general guide still stands at restaurants, generally 15%, but I don't tip on the tax.  Remember, that's the State version of Uncle Sam (is there a name for that?, someone please tell me) that's levying that.  So, unless you really like your server, be sure to use the pre-tax total.  Also, be sure that if you are in a group that the tax isn't already in there.  Generally, 6 or more in a party might trigger the automatic 18% gratuity.  (Where 18% came from I will never know.  It kind of sounds like the greeting card/diamonds conspiracy around the holidays).  Just because you are in a larger group it doesn't mean that the service got any better.  I have seen quite the opposite, actually, but I digress.

One thing to remember also is that if you are using certificates, which I have discussed before, be sure you tip on the amount pre-discount.  That's the appropriate way to handle it.

Your comments, as always, are appreciated.