How Do You Tip?
To Insure Prompt Service = T.I.P.
Tipping or more appropriately said; gratuities have been around since the invention of money and is still something that many struggle with, including yours truly. Deciding how much to tip is very subjective given that this is supposed to be a personal choice; however there is a perceived expectation of what amount is appropriate. Tip too much and you have given away more money that you should have, tip too little and you insult the person. Not a big deal if you have lots of money, have thick skin or will never go into that establishment again, however most of us want to get it “right”. So my personal rule of thumb has been if you are going to tip, tip 15% of the bill before taxes. This has increased from the 10% that I used to do a few years ago. Where I have run into a conundrum is in the following types of situations. I believe I have decided on a personal policy that I am comfortable with.
- Dining Out – do you tip on the total bill including alcohol? Yes, 15% on total bill before taxes.
- Bartender – how much do you tip a bartender? 15%
- Take out – do you tip if you pick up? No
- Take out, delivery – how much do you tip if there is a delivery charge? $4 ~ I am not convinced the driver gets the delivery charge money.
- Cab drivers – do you tip if they just drive you door to door with no baggage handling? I typically round up ~ more if it is a holiday like New Years Eve.
- Cab drivers – how much do you tip if there is baggage handling? I will add $3 to the bill after rounding up.
- Shuttle drivers – how much do you tip? $5 ~ this is when I am on vacation.
- Spa Services – how much do you tip if more than one person worked on you? 15% of total bill before taxes and then split up based on time spent with me.
- Concierge or Bellhops – how much do you tip? I don’t typically require help, but if I did $5
- Room cleaning – do you tip the hotel cleaning staff? Not normally unless I am on a vacation in a place where wages are incredibly low, like Cuba.
Whether my views on tipping are right or wrong, I feel good about them.
- If food is bad, should the server be penalized by not leaving a tip? If the server does their job well, no. If the food is bad, tell your server (or, if necessary, the manager) about it immediately.
- If the service is slow because the kitchen is slow, it is correct not to tip? If the server does their job well; no but I would express my dissatisfaction to the manager.
- If a server is rude to you or does their job poorly? You should do more than just withhold a tip. If your experience was so poor that you are considering not leaving any tip, consider speaking to a manager instead. Most managers want to know about problems so they have an opportunity to make things better for their customers. That could extend to offering you a free meal, which is a much better solution.
Gratuities are rarely included in Canadian restaurants or other services, but always read fine print on menus and read your bill to be sure, especially if you are traveling out of the country.
Tell us how you tip for service!