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.