Tip Top Tipping

A blogging friend, Claudette, at www.writerofwordsetc.wordpress.com recently posted about enjoying dinner at a diner with her teenaged son. The dinner offered some teachable moments for Claudette and her son. One such lesson was on tipping wait staff. I loved how Claudette let her son know that the middle aged server who’d waited on them in the diner was most likely counting on her tips to make ends meet.

In the U.S., as in Claudette’s country, Canada, most wait staff depend on their tips to make a living wage. That’s sad and wrong, but it’s the way things work at this point in time. I typically tip 20% of the bill. If the service is stellar, or if my party has tied up the booth for a longer than average time, I’ll tip 25%, and on a very rare occasion, in the event of horrible service I’ll tip 15%. But I still tip.

I haven’t always tipped when the service has been bad, but a friend who worked as a waiter reminded me that everyone has an off day now and again. That’s certainly true in my case. Hell, I’d hate to think what my tips might’ve been as a waitress.

Now, I have mixed emotions about tipping clerks at a fast food restaurant. In Florida, there’s a tip jar on almost every counter. I do tip the barista at Starbucks who remembers my order better than I do. I also tip at my favorite vegan place because even though ordering is done at the counter, a waiter brings the food out and makes sure everything is okay. But do I really need to tip at Burger King?

What are your thoughts about that sort of tipping? I could use some guidance.

Peace, people!

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

30 thoughts on “Tip Top Tipping”

  1. No, I don’t tip at Burger King (don’t they make a living wage now?) Most other places I tip very well — even when I pick up my pizza from the local pizza parlor. * I’ve had the woman tell me that I tip too much. Tip too much? Yep …haha *
    While I seldom eat out any more, I still tip when it’s appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tip in brick and mortar places, bakeries, delis, diners, Mom and Pop shops, not fast food outlets with counter service but no wait staff. I haven’t seen those jars at McDonalds here but what do I know, I frequent those places at most a couple of times a year only…;)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s what I’ve always wondered. Most places I’ve asked say they look the tips and divvy them up equally, but you know cash tips get pocketed and it reported….


  3. Those tip jars kill me. I get very annoyed when I’m expected to tip for my prepackaged yogurt cup. There are some fast casual where I think it’s fine, but when I’m the one doing all the work, including bussing my tray, what’s the point?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I order tea usually. They don’t even put the bag in the hot water, and they charge me more for a large than a medium even though it’s water. I have to pour my own milk and add sugar. I get it if they make me a supreme latte that takes ten minutes, but really….tea? I know….you hit my sore spot with this…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not tip at any of our local fast food restaurants. They don’t ask for it here in Virginia, but if they did I still wouldn’t because they never get my order right and they’re always so rude. Out of the 8 here, only 2 are the best every single time. Now if they brought me my food and were nice about it, then I might consider a tip. But if you are going to act like I’m bothering you by keeping you employed then you don’t deserve a tip. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sit down service is a yes on tipping, even if it’s at a diner type counter. The day I walk into any fast food or counter service only establishment and tip will be unheard of I think.
    We have a coffee shop/prepacked food snack bar place in our hospital lobby. If I get stuck longer than expected and have to take lunch I might grab something there. I don’t get coffee though so the person only has to grab my packaged sandwich and hand it to me. I pay with debit so they aren’t even required to make change for me. I see the tip jar each time and ignore it.
    If I purchased coffee there all the time and I had a rapport with the barista then I would likely tip there… when I purchased coffee, but not for being handed a sandwich!
    I’m cheap, let’s just say it. I understand and empathize with low pay and no benefits but I feel like tip jars are so out of place and pushy in cases like this. It would be like me putting a tip jar on my hearing screen machine cart and encouraging my parents to tip me for screening and passing their baby 😉


  6. What happens at the vegan place seems key. I always check to find out who gets the tips, especially if they are automatically added to the bill. I will only include a tip in a card payment if I know it is shared among staff – otherwise I pay the extra in cash.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve only recently begun to regularly tip at coffee shops (I did so very sporadically before) because a very well written blog post I read convinced me that barista’s deserve it. The guy/gal grilling a hamburger at a fast food place probably deserves it for the same reason, but I just never go to fast food restaurants. I’m like you in that I’ll give 15% at a sit-down restaurant for less-than stellar service. But I always give something. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I always found tipping awkward and embarrassing, there were no hard and fast rules in UK. Taxi’s were always given a tip (don’t know why). The general rule in Australia however, is don’t do it. It depends on the circumstances. Hairdressers are not given tips in Australia. (in UK it was normal to tip everyone who had participated in your “do”). Fast food with counter service only, no tipping. Restaurants with table service, tipping is the accepted norm but unless otherwise stated it’s up to you what you give.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My tipping levels are similar to yours, although I’ve started to tip more in less expensive establishments. I figure those servers work just as hard as servers in expensive restaurants, but don’t do as well since they are tipped as a percentage of the meal cost (does that make sense?). What I don’t like are those machines that many restaurants use when paying with a credit card. The servers bring it table side, then loom over you as you figure out the tip… or worse, ask what percentage you want to give.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of like the places with the table side machines. We first saw those in Scotland and I like the idea of my credit card staying in plain sight. And you have given me something to think about re: tipping more at lower end places. Makes sense!

      Liked by 1 person

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