Rules for Gratuity

A Response to 16 Rules for Tipping at Restaurants

Anytime rules for tipping or gratuity comes up, it fires up a bit of emotion. Whether in conversation, a blog (5 reasons you should not expect a tip) or in a news article, the opinions can get pretty “firey”. Recently, I came across an article on Thought Catalog by its senior writer Chelsea Fagan. She’s not a customer service writer specifically (her recent posts include “21 Reasons Why George Clooney is the Ultimate Silver Fox” and “Not Everyone Should Be Having Kids”) but more about her views of the world, with a little sarcastic humour thrown in.

The article: 16 New Rules for Tipping at Restaurants 

Has it also launched a few strong feelings? Oh, very much it has. I thought I’d share a few here and invite your own…

Lorraine Murphy: My life is pretty complicated, but I can’t imagine a life so complicated that it required 16 rules for tipping alone.

Brenda Johima – Too many rules for my memory to remember. I think it’s common sense, tipping

Lynn Crandon – Pretty ridiculous. When did it become the customers’ responsibility rather than the employers’ to ensure the staff are getting paid enough. Crumpled bills aren’t good enough? Please… give me crumpled bills any day and I’ll take them without complaint! In Europe the tip is already built into the price. So no tipping is necessary. Sooo, if I left even a euro, the wait staff was over the moon, and fervently professed their thanks. Very nice way to leave the restaurant!

John Hoffman – My understanding (or the story I choose to believe) is that TIP originated as To Insure Promptness and was given prior to a meal, which makes sense to me. Dunno how it evolved to follow service, but it sure makes it easier for me to decide whether a server performed as expected (15%) or gave more or less effort than expected. That’s my rule that I live by.

Steffani Cameron – It’s pissing me off that it’s increasingly expected of patrons to provide the living wage. Giving me 16 rules is going to make me less likely to tip well because it’s just ridiculously entitled and arrogant. No, my money doesn’t belong to you just because you served me. There is no law. As for this 20% minimum crap, screw off on that, too. (I usually do tip 15-20% though.) While we’re at it? The RULE is tipping on PRE-TAX totals too.

I expect good service. I don’t get it? Tipping is how I get to vote on that quality. That hasn’t changed. I’m sick of the sanctimony some service people act with. My money got wet/crumpled, and you’re OFFENDED? Fuck off, is my thinking. It’s money. Spend it and get over yourself. A Globe & Mail story recently said front of house staff in some restaurants can make as much as $80-150K. That’s more than I earn. It’s offensive that some American servers make as little as they do in base wages. It should be a crime. It’s time to rethink the whole thing.

Patrick Schörle – I think it’s time to have tips included in the meal & drinks just as it is in Europe. Customers should not have to research the area and what’s accepted. Sounds like a close form a tipping bigotry. Patrons are there to have a good time. The employer should be the one that is responsible for decent wages. Tips should be just that: an extra as recognition for great service and not an entitlement.

Stephen Harris – NSFW, over the top and fictitious, but I don’t disagree with Mr. Pink’s stance on tipping:

Kaitlin Blackwood – My standard is 15%, more if excellent service, less if horrible service. I live in a university town, no student here is financially in a position to ensure there servers get a living wage. According to this article, that means all of us students “can’t afford” to eat at restaurants and shouldn’t waste the servers time with our presence. I wonder how much damage would be done to the local industry of all 20,000 of us students took that to heart and stopped eating at restaurants.

Ryan Stenquist – I only got to the sixth rule before I couldn’t read it anymore. I’m not sure who wrote these “rules” but it seems as though they are a food service employee with an inflated sense of entitlement which sadly seems to be a growing movement. I actually have no problem with tipping and believe I am a good tipper (I tipped our server 25% today); however, the other side of that coin is that I have no problem leaving a very small tip or no tip at all if the situation warrants. It’s simple, good service=good tip.

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