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the daily banana

Here's A Tip For Ya


tip jar

15 to 20 percent. That's the number that everyone knows they are supposed to tip for certain services. Is this something that we should just accept, or has the meaning of tipping been truly lost by the fact that it really just makes customers foot the bill for low-paid employees?

Everytime I go to a restaurant for a meal there's always the tip factor. There's this unspoken rule that if you sit down, someone takes your order, and later brings your meal, tipping is required. At a lot of walk-up counter restaurants, coffee shops, bakery-deli sandwich shops there are usually a tip jar on the counter. There's also been a trend with websites with a donation button or tip jar. There are many services that get tips, such as golf caddies, taxi drivers, pizza delivery, etc. On the other side there are plenty of services that don't get tips, such as fast food workers, grocery clerks and baggers.

Tipping these days is rarely determined by good service, but rather by the expectation itself. I don't know why I should have to tip at a walk up counter at a coffee shop, but not at Subway. What's the difference? Both jobs pay about the same and what if the service at the fast food restaurant is better than the non-chain place? At sit-down restaurants nothing burns me more than crappy service with the expectation of a tip. If you get crappy service, but don't tip it almost feels like you are breaking a law.

People really don't have much of a choice as long as the expectation is there. People know the waiters or waitresses a paid less because of tips. Is that fair to customers? Why should they pay when the service is not really great? Overall it sets the bar, so that workers don't have to work as hard and people have to put up with crappy service. Maybe the next time I get crappy service I'll leave a note:

Here's a tip for you: I'm sorry, but the level of service received was not up to my expectations for a 15-20 percent tip. Please let you're employer know that I do not feel you should be paid less than a fair wage, but I will not tip based on that alone.

Yeah, it seems a bit harsh, but maybe if there was a flood of these floating around, employers and workers would realize that if they want a tip they need to earn it, not expect it.

Posted by monkeyinabox ::: |


Jake said:

Man, I should have that printed on a business card and stick it some checks at some of the places around town. I tip on service, not on requirement, and there are lots of times where I haven't left anything at all because the service was so s**ty.

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