By: Charla Puccino
Have you ever questioned how much you should be tipping someone for a particular service? Many of us have heard the general rule of tipping around 20% at dine-in restaurants, but depending on the service it's hard to know whether or not you're actually tipping the right amount. Therefore, in order to avoid appearing cheap or entitled, check out this guide on how much to tip at different service industries.
As aforementioned, on average wait staff should be tipped 15%-20% of the total bill. For nicer restaurants, you should even consider tipping up to 25%. However the amount of gratuity should be dependent upon the service received. Was your order correct? Did the wait staff continue to acknowledge you after your meals were brought out? Was your overall dining experience pleasant? (Keep in mind the wait staff has no control over the taste of the food).
In some cases an 18% gratuity charge will automatically be added to the bill for a party of six or more. The wait staff will not always disclose this information, so remember to check your bill to avoid double tipping.
When picking up a takeout order, no tip is required but it is very much appreciated. If the packaging of the food looks to have been handled with a little extra effort and care, a few dollars is a nice way to say thank you. If you’re simply picking up a couple of subs you need not feel obligated to tip, but it is good practice to tip at least a buck as servers don't usually make a whole lot of money.
Located on the front counters of many fast food restaurants are tip jars. The money in the tip jar at fast food restaurants is typically divided at the end of each shift between each of the fast food employees. FYI: fast food employees are paid an hourly rate of the minimum wage (if not more), whereas wait staff at sit down restaurants are paid a fraction of the minimum hourly wage rate and instead make a living off of the tips they receive. This is why throwing money into the tip jar is considerate but not necessarily expected.
Tipping the Bartender:
A lot of people think tipping the bartender around one dollar per drink is the way to go, however that's not necessarily always the case. This is an okay practice if you’re in a busy dive bar or hole in the wall casual spot, but according to a 2017 article in vogue.com, if you’re going to a more upscale establishment the tip is stringent upon the type of drink ordered.
If you find yourself waiting at the sticky bar for more than a few minutes without any acknowledgment from the bartender, feel free to pay for your drink without tipping (that is, if you were patient enough to have your order taken in the first place). It is important, however, to not confuse a busy bartender with a bad bartender. Take into consideration the volume of people in the establishment and in the bar area. If the bartender(s) appear to be working feverishly, and grant you a smile or nod as if to say they will get to you as soon as possible, remember that they are only human and are doing the best they can to mix drinks as well as keep every customers glass full.
Other times to tip:
Anyone who has made a living working in the service industry understands how frustrating it can be to witness hard work being unappreciated. It's important to know how much you should tip and where, so hopefully this quick guide will be useful in the future. The most important thing to take away from this, however, is that it's not always the server's fault if service is slow or a mistake is made. If your server seems like they're doing their best, keep their effort in mind when tipping as it's not an easy job.