We tip as gratitude for service, not as a prerequisite. However, our culture has taught us that it is customary to tip as a percentage of the total bill – or not to tip at all if the service sucked.
Here are three helpful tips on tipping:
Tip on your gift cards
This one can often be forgotten, especially when using a debit or credit card to pay for a meal. Many of us calculate our generosity on the amount showing on the final charge slip. But what if a portion of the meal was paid for with a gift card?
Let’s use the example of a $20 gift card used on a $30 meal. After the gift card is applied our bill comes to $10. Which do you tip?
A) $1.50 (15% of your bill)
B) $4.50 (15% of your bill along with the gift your parents left you under the Christmas tree)
If you only leave $1.50 then you’ve discounted your tip by two-thirds of your experience. I’m fairly certain your waitress didn’t discount her service by that much!
Tip on total minus the tax
Tax has no bearing on the level of service and should not be factored into your tip.
Sales tax is absolute and can not be negotiate. You will pay sales tax when picking up your Hot-n-Ready pizza just as you would in a sit-down pizzeria.
Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, give unto Little Caesar’s what is Little Caesar’s, but don’t forget to tip your wait staff at Ray’s on 6th.
Tell the manager
Some people have no problem complaining when service is lack-luster. Would that same person let management know when their experience was great?
Telling the boss how great your experience was has a snowball effect. The supervisor tells your server that they got kudos from a customer, often within earshot of other employees, which lifts the spirits of your server, which causes him or her to smile more naturally and give better service tithe next table with less effort.
If your server takes their new great attitude to their next four tables and improves the tips from 15% to 20% then simply by association you have just given them an additional $20 (estimating 5% more on four $50 meals).
Don’t give wait staff something to grouse about. They’ve got too much to do already. Being fair and tipping at, or above, the right amount can be good for your server, your next visit, and for the establishment.
Do you prefer to support local businesses? What are your favorite tipping stories?