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To Insure Prompt Service – Tips

I am a lousy tipper.  Husband is an excellent tipper.  Can you imagine a more outrageous couple?


You may have gotten the cutesy email that explains that the word ‘tips’ is actually an acronym, short for the phrase “to insure prompt service.”  Well, stop spreading that rumor, because according to Snopes, it’s not true; and it really doesn’t make any sense if you think about it.   Truth be told, I will generally, begrudgingly, tip at least 15%.  Buy why?  Today I wanted to find out where that magical 15% comes from, but as far as I could find, the waitress union pushed the initiative through a top secret campaign.  15% actually does seem like a reasonable amount for good service, but what about just OK or bad service?


Reasons Why We Might Over-Tip:

We Don’t Know It 

Many people just glance at their receipt, which is normal, because they have lives to get to.  But if you’re not careful, you may miss the automatic gratuity that can be added to parties as few as 6 in some restaurants.  Doing some quick math can ensure the proper compensation and prevent double tipping.

Mind Games

Just ask your barista buddy at Starbucks, people are more likely to put money in the tip jar when there is already money in there.  So when they open for the day, they take a few bucks from the register and toss it in the jar as a subtle reminder. 

Go to Generally Thinking to read about the influence that these Jedi-waiter-moves can have on how much you tip:

  • Give mints at the end of the meal.
  • Introduce yourself by name.
  • Touch the customer (waitresses only). 
  • Draw a smiley face on the bottom of the check.
  • Write ‘thank you’ on the back of the check.

Guilt/Impressing Your Friends

Either way, peer pressure still clearly matters.  No one wants to be the only jerk who tipped the crappy waiter a meager 10%.

Alright, how much should we tip?

Here are some rules of thumb from CNN Money, who I’m sure just made them up; but we all like rules, don’t we?

Restaurants – 15% for good service, 20% for excellent service, never less than 10% (considering the cost of labor is not included in the price of your food). 

Parking Valet – $2

Food Retailers with Tip Jars – No tip required, these jars are for above-and-beyond-type service. 

Grocery Loader – $1 for bringing your bags to the car, $1.50 – $3.00 if you have more than 3 bags.

Barber, Hairdresser or Manicurist – 15%, $1 minimum. 


Article publié pour la première fois le 02/08/2010