Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tipping Courtesies

Working in a restaurant, one would be naturally inclined to assume that they will be tipped at the end of serving a table. It's always a touchy subject when a customer asks how much should they leave for a tip, because when it comes down to it, it's based on what you believe the service is worth.

Just recently I stumbled across an article that explains the typical formalities to tip for different jobs, not solely focusing on the food service industry. That's why I approach this article like I'm walking on thin ice. As a reader, you can assume that I'm biased towards tipping since I do work in a restaurant, which is a fair assumption. But as many people are not aware of (which the chart explains), waiters and waitresses really heavily on their tips from tables rather than an hourly wage from a paycheck as their source of income.

While it is not surprising that the top 4 jobs on the list are restaurant related, there are a few that I, personally, would have never thought of. For example, restaurant takeout is not something I would expect someone to tip on. While this may be a generational difference, it is hard for me to grasp the concept of tipping someone who bags my food. A few others like valet drivers and doormen also caught my eye. This may be due to the fact that in the LaSalle-Peru area it is uncommon to see these positions being filled.

One other interesting aspect... the average tip percentage hovers around 15-20% for a national average. As mentioned before,one could argue that tipping percentages should/could vary from job to job, but again, my natural bias for the food service industry would get in the way here.

Overall this is not an article to tell you that you need to be tipping more; on the contrary, it's meant to show how the attitudes of tipping are spread throughout not only the food industry, but through the service industry as a whole.  How you tip is considered more of a wage than that of an "added-bonus." 

One would realize that if these attitudes spread to industry jobs beyond food service, we'd be cleaning out our pockets quickly due to the societal norm for tips. But let this article serve as a quiet reminder that the person serving you may depend on that gratuity a little more than you think.  So next time you're faced with the decision of what to tip - in a restaurant or elsewhere - take a moment to pay attention to the finer nuances of your service. Your generosity is truly valued and appreciated by those of us who serve.

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