By Sue Ann Truitt
Showing gratitude monetarily in the form of a tip goes back to the 18th Century. Tipping etiquette began as purely an optional compliment. Webster defines the meaning as “unwarranted or unnecessary”. However, tipping has evolved into an expected practice. Despite how long this practice has been in existence, it is still a source of debate and confusion to many.
Gratitude is shown to those who are service professionals; such as hair stylists, parking valet, taxi driver, etc. The accepted way of showing appreciation is in the form of a monetary tip. This is the topic of much discussion. How much to tip? There are different schools of thought on this topic. Older generations expressed opposition to a flat rate. Many felt 10% was the appropriate rate for restaurants. As time has moved on, cost of living expenses have escalated as have the cost of running a business. Employees are now hired with tips being a large part of their wage. In today’s world the most common practice is to base the amount of monetary gratitude on a percentage of the total bill.
Questions and answers regarding the practice of tipping vary widely. Certain circumstances are unusual and require different practices:
When there is a group of six guests or more, most restaurants now automatically add an eighteen percent gratuity to the bill. An additional amount may be added by the guest for exceptional service.
Often coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream stores and such will place a container for tips on the checkout counter. Those who desire may place a tip while others may not choose to do so. Either is fine.
At fast food locations, there is no tipping, because there is no table service.
Food delivery people often work solely for tips. They come in contact with many types of people as well as all kinds of weather. Snow storms and torrential rains often produce on overload of business. These delivery people trudge through snow and slush in rains to reach someone’s door. This is for no agreed amount of money. People who have studied this type of job advise that one should tip two or three dollars no matter how small the order. Even if the delivery is late, the tip should be paid. Delays are almost never the fault of the delivery person. On orders above fifteen dollars total, the percentage based tipping should apply. Standard for gratuity is eighteen to twenty percent for delivery and for a restaurant.
Everyone should tip for services rendered. Teach children how to tip. It is as important as saying please and thank you. It is the right thing to do!