Tipping – How much?

Have you ever wondered when should I tip? 

Whether at a:

  • spa – massage, or facial
  • restaurant – hostess, waitstaff, bartendar, coat check, restroom attendant
  • full service gas station, mechanic
  • cab/limo service
  • hotel – doorman, bell hop, room service, maid service, parking valet
  • tour guide – and the bus driver
  • airport luggage help
  • hair salon – hair washer, stylist
  • beer cart at the golf course

Have you ever wondered how much should you tip?

How about if the service was:

  • excellent
  • good
  • bad
  • horrendeous

I’ve been on first dates where we’ve been out for dinner/drinks.  If they are a poor tipper there’s ususally not a second date.  I think it speaks a bit about them, and I don’t want to get to know more of that side.  I’m not saying you should tip half your paycheque, but a fair amount relfective of the service you received is a must.  I’ve never been in the service industry, but it looks like it can have it’s tough days with ingrates who snap at them and treat them as if they are below them.  Which is just rediculous.  They are an ignorant and brave bunch those types of people.  Have you seen the movie Waiting?  It’s a comedy/parady of waitstaff/kitchen antics.  I will never send my food back.  EVER.  I would just not eat it and never go back again. 

Now, what consitutes bad service?  There’s a fine line between waiting too long for bill vs. giving us some time to chat and linger.  Once I’ve waited 20 minutes just to get a drink or menu.  And it didn’t help I was starving.  Then had to wait another 20 minutes for her to take our order.  I understand it was busy, but you passed us a million times.  I think if you were a little more efficient you could have come around to at least get drink orders when you dropped off the menus.  The forshadowing was already written in those 40 minutes before the food came.  We should have just left.  She dashed the food on the table, knocking over the salt and pepper shakers, then was barely apologetic as she looked away to see where she needed to be next.  The food was delicious.  The only reason we put up with the ridiculous service.  Now, does she deserve a good tip or one at all?  Let’s just say it was not a great one, and her dirty look as we left the door was reflective of her knowing it wasn’t a great one.   Which I thought was just icing on the cake.  She was never around for a drink top-op, to see if the food was good, or if we needed anything else, but when she went to check her tip, she was there in a flash.  I will never go back again.  There are other places that serve good food that will get my money.

The other day I went for lunch with some work peoples and a buddy took a chance and ordered something interesting on the menu.  Interesting, but tasted awful.  It was specialty poutine item.  It had freaking sliced pickles in it!  WTF?!  He still had a full bowl when the waitress came around to remove the dishes.  She was great.  She noticed it was full and asked if it there was something wrong.  Without telling us, she didn’t charge for his dish.  He didn’t have to complain or ‘demand satisfaction’.  She was tipped very well. 

At a hair salon it starts to get a little fuzzy for me.  Supposed one person washes your hair.  Someone else colours your hair.  Then someone else cuts your hair.  Then a different person blow dries it.  Then finally the hostess who then cashes you out.  Yowza!

The ones who deserve it, but doesn’t get the same recognition are the people who pump your gas.  It’s rare to have a full service station these days, but there are still a few.  They stand in the freezing cold.  They have to breath in the fumes of the car exhausts and gas.   Although, I think half are stealing your credit card info.  (I am a pessimist, what can I say?)

Now with clubs and fancy dinners coming up, the coat check is always used.   Should you give $5?  Should you tip $2 per item?  When it’s the end of the night, and you’re trying to get your coat, it’s yet another line.  Do you tip when you give it to them and then again when you get it?  Ugh.  I don’t know.

In the end, I just tip what feels right.  Typically, some of these jobs are low paying, and it’s the tips that helps put the fancy shoes on their feet and food on the table.  If the person you feel has done a good job, then tip your standard 15%.  They went above the norm go with %20.  They wowed you?  Then maybe go with 30-100%.   Tipping is good karma, as they say.


2 thoughts on “Tipping – How much?

  1. I think it also depends on the culture. In India, you usually do not tip, so a lot of people who are from India (like my parents) NEVER tip. According to them, at least these people have jobs. There are so many more who are homeless and starving and deserve the $$. Don’t necessarily agree with them but that is the way they think.

    • Thank you for sharing that, Asifa. You’re so right. Culture does make a huge difference. But, I also believe that immigrants need to also adapt to their new home. If that means tipping, giving up your seat to the pregnant, elderly, and disabled people, etc. then we (I was also not born here) should adapt.

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