This was written a long while ago. The tipping world continues to evolve. Giving someone extra money for a job well done is fine by me. I do hear the commentary of the implied need to tip in restaurant situations, as your servers “work for tips.” Whenever I hear that, I wonder how this business model can continue. Do you expect your customers to subsidize your meagre pay? To me, this seems to be a flawed business model.
A couple of days ago we took delivery of a stove (the old one was dying and we couldn’t bake with it), which had “free” delivery included in the price. When the delivery folk showed up, they hauled away the old stove, put the new stove in place, and I tipped them $10 with the statement, “get yourselves some coffee on your break” (if I had given them a $20, I would have said get a beer after work). Tipping them is just being courteous (and they did a good job, and frankly, they did something I didn’t want to do (i.e. move around heavy appliances)). I am wondering whether folks think this is out of line or wrong.
I know that it is customary in North American society to tip servers in restaurants. Many servers work for tips only, so that seems normal. When I did paper delivery as a young lad, there were a few distinct groups when it came to tipping:
- Those who tipped 10% on the weekly charge (that I collected from the door weekly)
- Those who didn’t tip weekly but gave me a Christmas tip
- Those who didn’t tip at all. Sometimes their papers ended up in a puddle.
I feel that a gratuity is something you should want to pay for a service you think was done well or to thank someone for doing it.
Countless other professions seem to have gratuities associated with them:
- Delivery folks in general (flowers, pizza delivery, etc.,)
- Door-persons (the term doorman appears to be passÃ©)
- Bouncers at certain clubs (some might call the ballet?)
- Maitre D’s at restaurants
- Food delivery folk
Sometimes I get miffed at having to tip folks all over the place to get simple service, but sometimes I like to say thanks as well.