Gratuity

Posted: June 11, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the things that eludes me in life is the knowledge of what exactly should be given for gratuity. I question whether or not there is a standard scale for certain services. And I also get very confused at times on knowing when to tip as much as I get confused on how much to tip.

I have my doubts on whether or not that standard actually exists because the gratuity is based on so many different factors. Certainly, it boils down to the kind of service you receive that will determine how generous you are feeling when leaving gratuity. Many services require many various services. Sometimes it is a lot, and sometimes it isn’t. So then, how do you know and what is fair, what is good, and what is considered a moral faux pas?

Restaurants and other food services are probably the most well known places in which a person leaves a tip. The things that I believe are factored in, are the total amount of the bill, how many people in the party, and of course how well the waiting staff had offered service and help.

Some say its 15%, others suggest that you should give 18% of the bill, and even still others are now saying 20% of your total bill is what is acceptable gratuity rates. And even though I have only had a couple times of experience, there are some places that actually INCLUDE a certain amount of gratuity and include it in the total bill. Does anyone think that is right or fair? And if so, do you leave even more cash gratuity… or is that just another moral faux pas?

I am definitely not the world’s best person or authority when it comes to leaving tips and gratuity. A lot of the time, I do not leave a tip simply because I either cannot afford it or do not have the cash. If it was a scenario of not being able to afford it, that means that I have only budgeted so much money for the total bill, and have money left over to go about my business and be able to live. Mainly though, I tend to lose cash if I am not paying attention and so I don’t carry it all of the time. But I am more than happy to leave something extra on the credit card slip.

On the other hand, I have gone out of control with tipping. Once I’ve established some kind of a relationship with waiting staff, I am more than happy to let them have more than what would commonly be considered your usual tip.

I once tipped one waitress over $200 in a span of six months, all because I enjoyed her repeated awesome service for one. And because we had established a friendly connection. After frequenting the restaurant many, many times in that time span, I dumped so much cash on the table or just given it to her directly that I literally had to stop and think, “Why am I giving THIS MUCH to her? Was her service that valuable?”.

Probably not, but that’s what I had done.

Needless to say, that since that awakening I have only given her up to $5 on top of the usual gratuity.

Tipping is also important because you will want very awesome service should you happen to be in a situation where you are again with the same waiting staff. If you want their service to be the best it can be, well… let’s just say that they will remember you by what you tip. Believe me, its true.

Waiting staff, taxi drivers, bartenders, and deliver drivers all work solely on the tips that they receive. I have experienced in some ways, both sides of it. One half as the person leaving the gratuity, and the other person having hearing about how crummy people can be when they stiff the people in which they have been receiving service. These people receive squat in terms of wages, and they must live on what they receive for tips. So I really just do not know if there is a rate that is “set in stone” when it comes to gratuity.

This afternoon, I had ordered some fast food delivery. I signed off a tip on the credit card slip AND I gave some extra in cash. The delivery person looked at me like I was handing over the keys to the kingdom with his eyes bugging out of their sockets when I handed him the cash.

There are websites that try to help you determine what you should leave for tips, but again, I question it. According to this chart I read online, it said “$1.00-2.00 or 20% of total, whichever is greater.” I calculated what I had given as gratuity and found that I had given 24.5% of the total bill. So I guess I’ll live to see another day of food service delivery, if I chose to order from them again.

All in all though: I just don’t get it.

 

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