Tipping Advice

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Tipping in the US

I once read about advice for tipping in the U.S. when Eater published “The No-Tipping Point.” The article is a mix of funny and infuriating stories about people who defend why they don’t tip their waiters and bartenders.  The article gives a glimpse inside an entire subculture of diners who don’t care about the fact that in American, tipping is part of the social contract when one accepts serve in a restaurant.

Can you image tipping just $5 no matter the amount of the bill; whether it is $50 or $100?   It is true that a person exists and their name is Sam living in New York City.  The rationale per The No-Tipping Point is that Sam would ‘rather spend that money on other things.”

The Rules of Tipping

It may not be a case of just being inconsiderate. According to Michelle Lynn, an expert at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration on tipping about “40 percent of people aren’t aware that they should be tipping between 15 and 20 percent of the total bill.” It is a rather high number and might be shocking to read.

Personal Experiences

I know someone who takes out the taxes and uses this as a tipping rule of thumb. In some rare situations, this method might yield a small tip up to 8 or 10 percent. It just demonstrates that one either has a poor understanding of servers and their pay scale or just annoyingly cheap. According to PayScale, the average waiter/waitress is initial paid $6.39 per hour (~14,500/year) with some staff only being paid an hourly rate of $2.34. This means those tips are needed to earn a stable living.

What To Do

If you are among those who would be considered a bad tipper, be the change  by giving the hardworking waiters, bartenders, and baristas of the world a fair tip. What is far is rather simple and is the 20 percent rule of thumb. It is ease math. Give a little more if the service was great. Don’t be the one to play the blame game with the serving staff suffering the consequence of: My steak wasn’t cook like I ordered; the drink seems to have more water than alcohol. Please don’t blame the antiquated system by stating: It is not my problem they don’t get a decent hourly rate. Go ahead and give 25 percent if you feel this way.

What about the coffee barista? My answer here is: if one can avoid a $5 latte everyday, throw a dollar or two in the tip jar. You can afford this small acknowledge of great service.

Photo by Chevanon Photography on

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