Ever tip after ordering takeout?
What about tip jars at coffee shops?
Are you SUPPOSED to?
What are the rules
Everyday people eat out.
Societal norms (In America) tell us to tip the server.
But what do you do when establishments shove tipping in your face…even if they don’t deserve it?
Is it a standard 15-20% of the bill ALL THE TIME?
Waiting tables are challenging.
Quality servers deserve the highest tips possible.
But there are some gray areas when it comes to tipping.
This article is going to cover 5 tricky tipping situations
#1 Should You Tip For Take-Out? How Much To Tip At Takeout
You are not expected to tip at fast food restaurants as there is no ‘table service.’ In the event of a server not bringing food to your table, there is no obligation to tip.
However, it is a good practice to tip 10% for extra service (curb delivery) or if you have placed a large, complicated order. Always tip based on the service provided.
If someone scooped out a soda and handed it over to you, that doesn’t justify tipping them. Servers at movie theaters deserve a tip in that case – they’re at least making the effort of filling your box with popcorn.
- Curb-Side Delivery: This is when you pull up to the restaurant and an employee meets you at the curb with your food. This justifies a 10% tip.
- Home Delivery: 10-15%, $2-$5 for pizza delivery, again depending on the size and difficulty of the order.
- Bartender: $1-2 per drink or 15-20% of the tab.
A solid minimum 10% – 15% for takeout orders should suffice.
In the end, a tip in the take-out world is something extra and not mandatory or an expectation.
43% of people tip ZERO for takeout.
#2 How To Tip When Your Bill Is Small
What if your breakfast bill amounts to $3?
Forget about calculating 20% and leave a minimum of $1. If it’s less than $3, leave the coin change with the server.
For anything over $10, I would suggest leaving a couple of dollar bills as a tip. $5 if you require extra attention or the service exceeds your expectations.
While it is important to live frugally and save dollars when possible, tipping is not an area where you should be cutting corners. A $1 tip will be noticed much more than no tip.
An adequate tip should be a standard part of the bill when you are going out to eat irrespective of the total amount of the bill.
#3 Should You Leave Money In The Tip Jars?
Some coffee shops, bakeries, and other establishments have tip jars in their check-out counters. Regular customers and those who feel a desire to reward good service will make contributions to the tip jar.
My rule is that if it’s a one-off stop and you’re grabbing a quick coffee…ignore it.
But if you’re a regular, tipping helps to build a long-term relationship with staff. It’s a way of saying I appreciate how you always take the time to remember what I want before I order it.
Who knows, they may recognize your generosity and offer discounts, free drinks, or give your order preference when the shop is packed with other customers.
If your bill has a service charge, it will say, “Service Charge,” or “Gratuity,” with an amount next to it. In these cases, tipping is not required.
#4 How Should You Tip When You Have Bad Service?
Is it ever acceptable to leave a bad tip?
Even if the serving staff really screws up, remember that the tip money is distributed among multiple employees at the restaurant.
By leaving a bad tip, you are also penalizing the bartender, busboy, dishwasher, food runner and other employees who are counting on the extra cash from tips.
In some states, restaurants are allowed to pay their servers a base wage of $2.13 per hour. It is expected that servers will earn up to $8 an hour through tips.
If service sucks, leave a minimal tip (10%) and ask to speak to the management.
Ignoring or leaving a penny won’t help the server give better service in any way. It will likely just piss them off and make it worse for the table coming in after you.
#5 Should You Tip When You Have No Extra Money?
If you don’t have extra money for tipping the question isn’t should you tip? It’s…should we be going out to eat?
If your burger cost $14 and you have $15? You can’t afford the burger. I know you think you can…but you can’t.
The cost of your meal = meal + tip.
Budget 15-20% extra into your total bill to include the tip. Plan to spend $100 for a meal that costs $85.
General Tipping Rules
These rules apply to – (Waiter, bartender, haircuts, cabbie/uber, hotel maid, doorman, bellhop, pizza delivery, busboys, food runners)
- Treating your server with kindness and respect is a required part of every tip. Put down your phone, address your server by their name, and thank them early and often.
- Include a kind word and a smile with every tip. Your server may just be having a bad day and your congenial attitude may just turn it around for them.
- Carry $100 cash while traveling. Preferably in small bills to facilitate tipping.
- Tip extra if you have kids and leave a big mess. I’ve tipped before the meal and received better service every time.
- Try to clean up after yourself as much as possible. If my kids create a sticky mess on the table or leave food on the floor, I apologize to the servers and help them clear the mess to return the table to its condition prior to our arrival.