Do You Tip?

In today’s local newspaper, an article related to tipping reminded me that I had planned to write a post on the topic. However, I sidelined it as the Ukraine War seemed much more pressing. Now that most of my readers have had an opportunity to share their thoughts on this unfortunate situation, I’m going to move on to something more mundane. (Certainly you’re welcome to say more on the Ukraine War if you’re so moved. 🙂)




As I ask in the post title … do you tip? I daresay most of us do. But what are your reasons for doing so?

  • Do you sincerely want to show appreciation for a “job well done”?
  • Or are you doing so because of a certain sense of obligation?
  • Or perhaps there’s even a flickering of guilt if you simply say “Thank You” and walk away?

No matter which response you choose, according to this article, more and more of us are being “encouraged” to add a gratuity via the “digital tip jar.” That is, if you pay with your credit card or phone, the touch screen that appears for your approval ALSO includes suggested tip amounts.

The article further points out a noticeable increase in the number of business owners who have shifted the costs of compensating workers directly to customers. In fact, it states that … Customers are overwhelmed by the number of places where they now have the option to tip and feel pressure about whether to add a gratuity and for how much. 

While many folk are accustomed to tipping waiters, bartenders and other service workers, some feel a bit uncomfortable tipping a barista or a cashier. And tipping for “take out” (the article suggests 10%) has become a bit problematic as well.

How do YOU feel about tipping? Do you think it’s become out of control? Are you less likely to leave a tip simply because it’s become “expected”? Do you feel more comfortable tipping for some services over others? What do you feel is an acceptable amount, percentage-wise?

Personally, I think it all depends on each person’s personal preference … and perhaps their pocketbook … as to whether they want to leave a gratuity.

(And I definitely do not think a person should be made to feel “guilty” if the “No Tip” option is selected on the digital tip jar!)

35 thoughts on “Do You Tip?

  1. I hate having to tip. I’m never sure whether I am tipping an appropriate amount. Or whether the person I’m tipping works primarily for tips or not. I’d much rather people be paid properly for their work, and that should be included in the total price. But I’m stuck in this stupid system, to so try to be a good tipper (but not extravagantly so).

    Liked by 6 people

  2. To begin, you have to have excess funds to be able to tip. As seniors on a small fixed income, we don’t have enough to even go out anymore at today’s inflated prices. Unless ae are away from home we do not go anywhere that tipping is required. (The brocery store, the doctor’s office.)
    Away from home, we have no choice but to eat out since hotels with kitchen suites cost more than eating out. And when we do we usually leave tips in cash, so wait staff don’t have to report it. There is no record of such a transaction. And if we are out of tip money, we never use the automated tip options. It depends on service, and I calculate my own tips. Bad service gets no tip.
    And if an eatablishment states that a tip is included in the price on the menu, we walk out.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Pretty much the same as rawgod. Spend more time in Mexico where I do tip. Better than most probably. When getting change if it’s several pesos generally leave it. Some open doors or bag groceries hoping something is left for them. My lunches run like 80 – 100 pesos and leave 30 most of the time. I get treated so well here happy to be able to do so.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, when we tip, it’s ALWAYS in cash! And yes, the service offered/provided is the criteria on which we calculate the amount. The “percentages” listed help in the “math,” but it all boils down to service.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a Kiwi and here tipping is practically unknown. Where it does occur it’s usually by foreign tourists. In principle I’m opposed to tipping. Good service should be part of the obligations of your job and it is the responsibility of the employer to pay their staff a reasonable wage.

    When I’ve travelled overseas I came to recognise that in some countries, America included, the wages are so low that many employees rely on tipping just to make ends meet. However I never knew how much was appropriate and to me it felt very uncomfortable as it changes the relationship from one of equals to one of unequals.

    I’ve been on several cruises where tipping is expected as wait staff wages are very low. In these cases I’ve paid a gratuity in advance as part of the price of the cruise. Paying tips for each and every service would make the entire cruise too uncomfortable to even consider undertaking a cruise. The seems to be the consensus of most Kiwis I have discussed tipping with.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I tip typically 20% at restaurants unless the service is poor. I don’t tip where someone just takes your order and you pick it up when they buzz you or call your name. Delivery, I would tip..10%, I suppose..I don’t do that often.
    I feel their pay is rather low and I’m there because I’m financially able to enjoy a good meal, so it’s a genuine desire to give them extra.
    I do put the tip on my CC because I dont carry much cash ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I never do, exept in some foreign countries (mostly in the so called developing countries). Nobody does in Finland. Those jobs are expected to be paid by the companies, big or small, a salary that provides for their workers needs and it is agreed by the workers unions and the employers unions in a binding legal document. Just like the rest of us.

    To me, looking – again- from the outside, the custom of tipping does not look like a way to show appreciation, but more like invented by people who wanted to be showing off with their money. It appears like a humiliating situation. A way to project hierarchy between the serve and a “wealthy master”. One can always show appreciation of the job well done by customer service by a smile and words. I know, I have worked in a service job myself. A simple thank you is fine, if the livelyhood of the serving person is not dependent upon tips. We do not give tips for any other jobs well done, why should some be exeptions?

    In broader terms, my friend who visited the USA, cursed how difficult it is there to know the price of anything. Wether you should add tips, or not, if yes, then how much and what is the actual cost of anything, when alv is not added to any of the prices, but you have to engage in calculus concerning every product. What if the service was bad, but the person serving is not to blame directly? They wondered how do the numerous illiterates in the country fare in this jungle of prices, but concluded, that propably nobody even cares.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We have not been out to a restaurant since March 2020, when restaurants shut down due to the pandemic. The pandemic, contrary to common belief, is not over, and between that and my own health issues, we still do not go out to eat. BUT … when we did, I always tipped between 20%-25%. Why? Because restaurant servers are paid far less than minimum wage, the assumption being that they will receive enough in gratuities to bring their salary up to the requisite $7.25. I also tip the pizza delivery dude $20 per delivery … in CASH … because if you put it on your card when you order the pizza, the driver does NOT get the full amount, and in some cases does not get anything.

    Also, since the beginning of the pandemic and my own illness, I order my weekly groceries online from my local Kroger and pick them up on Thursday afternoon, when I tip the person who brings them out an loads them into my car, rain, snow, or excessive heat, a $20 bill. It’s little enough, given the stress and effort they are saving me!

    People who have to put up with the public, yet do so with a smile and good service, deserve to be recognized for their efforts. They are typically underpaid and overworked, and whatever little I can do to show my appreciation, I will do. I’ve long believed that if you go out to eat and you say you cannot afford a tip, then you can’t afford to go out to eat. Period.

    I don’t recall seeing very many ‘digital tip jars’, and have never contributed to one, that I recall.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Agree with you 100%. And Ive not ever seen a digital tip jar either.

      Contrary to what someone said above, tipping is a long cultural custom in the US and in no way shows a “showing off of money.” It shows appreciation for a job well done and a knowledge that they are underpaid in the US, where inequality is extreme.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Interesting. Before I read your comment, I responded to rautakyy that I agreed with his perspective. Here’s why …

        The act of tipping is said to have started in feudal Europe, when strict social hierarchies prevented any real kind of social mobility and it was a common practice among aristocrats to tip servants.


        Actually, in its early years, “many considered tipping undemocratic and therefore un-American because of its roots in the aristocracy. “

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Mary! It’s sad that people in the service industry are grossly underpaid, but they are … it’s a fact in this country. I know what it’s like to struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table, and if I can help somebody else out, I’m going to! Today, when I picked up my grocery order, Erich, the man who brought the groceries out, and I were talking and I expressed my gratitude for all they do (it was snowing and sub-freezing temps out there!). He said, “I wish more felt like you … over half our customers are rude to us when we bring their groceries out.” How awful!


  7. If a restaurant adds a percentage ‘service charge’, I do not add extra tips. However, when there is no extra charge, I will tip a waiter/waitress around 10% of the bill if they are friendly and professional. So on an £80 bill, I will pay £90 and tell them to keep the change.
    The only others I tip are taxi drivers, and I usually do that by just ’rounding up’ the cab fare. For example, on an £18 fare, I will give £20 and say “Keep the change”.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I almost never go out anymore but when I do, I always tip. I used to work in restaurants (I’ve done every job you can do in a restaurant), plus I’ve worked other jobs where the bulk of your wages were from tips, so I know how it is to live by tips. So yeah, I tip. & for people who “don’t know how much to tip”, it’s 20%. That’s not hard to compute, even in your head. You take the amount of the bill, double it & move the decimal … there’s your tip. For instance: A $10 bill would be a $2 tip. Easy peasy. If you can’t deal with the math, then get out your phone & use the calculator that’s there. It’s NOT hard. & it’s really not a large amount, even for us seniors on a fixed income.

    It’s not about “good service”. It’s about being fair. This is the system that we have here in the US. If you want to be a jerk about it, then go to a McD’s or a Taco Bell or someplace that doesn’t require tipping. If you want to go to a real restaurant, then be prepared to pony up & stop complaining.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I agree with you about “being fair” … to a point. I recently experienced an incident during dinner where the “server” was literally terrible! I won’t list the many reasons I say this, but in such cases, I refuse to reward the individual for sub-service.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hear ya. I mean, I’ve worked in restaurants, so I know the score. You know when someone is just not doing their job. & you know the difference between someone who is having a bad day & someone who is just not giving a fuck. But on the other hand … if someone isn’t giving a fuck, that’s up to the restaurant owner to fire that person … not us to not pay them. & sometimes they don’t give a fuck because of things we don’t know … I mean, I’m not making that call. I worked in restaurants. I know the score, like I said. & a 20% tip isn’t very much money. When someone gives me really good service, I give them more.

        Liked by 4 people

  9. I tip. But it has to be earned. My drink runs dry, and the waitress is idling around, no tip.

    I balk at fast food joints “tip harassing” at checkout. Nope. Not happening. And a hearty hi yo up yours too. You will not guilt me into a tip. Not sorry.

    Just had a convo with a friend of mine about a fast food joint called Freddies. It’s a Steak and Shake clone. But they did not have waitresses as S&S does. Which I’m grateful for. I do not want to tip at a gussied up fast food joint. It rubs me the wrong way. Especially for what you pay there for a burger n fries.

    He their S&S didn’t have waitresses, which left me scratching my head. Granted I haven’t been to one in a while but they used to have waitresses.

    FWIW if we get good service, even at a S&S I’ll tip. I dont like it, but I pony up.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yes, I most definitely WANT to tip, but for good-to-above-and-beyond service. If the service was well below standard, then I drop the tip amount to only 5–10%, at best! Otherwise, I always do 15% for “good” expected service, 17% for “great” service, 20% for “outstanding” service that includes attentiveness & BEYOND expectations, and rarely 24-25% for phenomenal out-of-this-world service. Never am I pressured into anything outside of this strict formula, never. And if all the fancy digital stuff that takes it over the top, i.e. overkill, then I refuse to be forced into the company’s or corporation’s intentional pigeon-holed choices. That is a serious pet-peeve of mine: being psychologically manipulated by over-paid corporate executives & their sales-marketing departments. Nope. Won’t happen. Besides, American consumers are already overly manipulated by mega-corporation’s mind-games of price-gouging the American economic classes, ESPECIALLY the deteriorating middle-class—assuming there still is one. 🙄😒

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Disclosure: two of my kids worked as food servers. They are less forgiving of poor service then I am.

    Yes. I tip. If it’s part of the ‘system,’ I AM obligated. Just as the employer is. I do not like it, but I am powerless to change it. That said, given the assholes those folks have to put up with (some who stiff them), I am happy that I can show my appreciation. When I am impressed, I up it a notch.

    I do not tip at my grocery store because they ask me not to. It seems weird. At some places, such as military commissaries, it is how baggers (who also tote to your car) are paid.

    I tip, but I have done so and then complained about poor service, but bad service is rare.
    I have asked, “where is the tip jar?”

    If they are handling food I plan to eat…

    Other workers I tip based on what I know.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Perhaps one reason for my own perspective is having done a brief stint as a waitress while in high school. I know how little they are paid, and how utterly rude some customers can be. One customer actually gave me a tip of one penny, telling me that since he had to send back his steak because it wasn’t to his liking, I didn’t deserve more than a penny. I didn’t cook the damned steak, but it didn’t matter. I guess maybe having been on both sides of the coin has altered my views.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MANY years ago, I was a cocktail server (waitress, in those days). I did VERY well … and I attribute that to two things. I worked in a place where “Happy Hour” brought in several business folk on expense accounts. And of course the other reason is because I was one hellava server! (BTW, I never took notes. I always remembered the drink choices in my head.)

      As a side note — I personally think it’s totally wrong that customers are expected to pay part of a server’s salary!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, Nan … you have a much better memory than I have, then! Heck, I can’t remember what I went into the kitchen for, let alone somebody’s drink order!

        Yes, it may be totally wrong, but customers pay part of the server’s salary either way you cut it. If restaurants were forced by law to pay servers, say $15 per hour, then they’d raise their prices to cover it, so either way we pay. I rather like the personal touch of being able to say ‘thank you’ in a more meaningful way. But I do think it’s a damn shame that this nation cares so little about all of us that they won’t even raise the minimum wage to something above the poverty level!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jill, as I said … MANY years ago. No way, no how could I do the same today! 😁

          Sad to say, but so long as we have people sitting in the halls of Congress with bank account totals that most of us will never see, the chances of helping folks in the service industries is nothing more than a pipedream.

          Liked by 2 people

  13. I agree with shelldigger that a tip has to be earned, and I don’t understand why a tip should be compulsory because the servants’ wages are low, and they need tips to make ends meet. If (by consensus) nobody paid tips for normal quality service, waiters would look out for other jobs, thus raising the demand for waiters, and consequently their basic salaries.
    Almost ‘of course’, the cost of meals at restaurants would increase. I would probably pay the same amount as before, including a 20/25% gratuity. But without somewhat humilliating implication of a tip.

    Sorry if my reasoning is too simplistic. If so, it must be because I hate giving tips; neither would I engage in a job where my income depends on receiving them. UNLESS I did more in favor of a customer than was expected from me. I read this clear explanation of the Dutch equivalent “fooi”:
    A tip is an extra payment of money as a reward for extra quality for services obtained above the expected ‘normal’ quality.
    “…a reward for EXTRA quality…

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I tip where service is good or better but I wouldn’t pay a tip digitally. In the UK, I’d be worried about how employers might use the tip. Also if the service charge is added to the bill and I don’t think its worth the service received I will remove it. I once had a restaurant in London threaten me with the police for refusing to pay the service charge – told them to go ahead.

    Tips should go to the staff who attended me, not pocketed by employers

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think about it roughly this way: if a thousand clients were to tip a dollar to a barista, that person which wakes up everyday to serve the public would have rent paid, while the thousand wouldn’t be impacted anyhow as a dollar has little impact in a personnal budget after all.

    So i tip and i usually bump it up to more than the societal norm.

    Just because in the end those who wake up to serve shouldn’t live in poverty. Might cost me 20 or 30 per months, idk, but eventually you gotta put the money where the mouth is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello DT! Thanks for joining our little group and for offering your thoughts on tipping. In most instances, I agree that the folks who do low paid jobs deserve a little extra. As you say, helps pay the rent!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. late to the dance on this, but this one I take personally. Before I was married I was a waitress. We were paid just under minimum wage (and even that was considered quite high), and anyone who needed those tips to get by was often sorely disappointed.
    We were tipped on our chest size, our butt, and probably our patience with droolers.

    When I eat out, I tip, generously. Sadly, these days those tips are often monitored by the boss, and they will sometimes take a percentage. What lovely men.

    Liked by 1 person

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