Over the past few weeks, I’ve written a couple of articles on the etiquette surrounding tipping, and the service industry in general. The first, was “The one where the waitress added in her own tip,” where there was a lot of debate, but the general conclusion was that she was definitely stealing, and probably should have been fired. Then, for Moneyville I wrote “Tips on holiday tipping: how much and to whom?” and a similar type of article called “The etiquette of splitting a restaurant bill.”
I then got flooded with at least a dozen e-mails and Formspring comments all asking the same thing: how much do I personally tip service providers on a day-to-day basis?
So instead of answering each e-mail individually, I’m bringing it to the blog.
If I’m being honest, I hate the idea of tipping. In Canada, all servers have to get paid at least minimum wage (I think in the US sometimes your tips can get built into your wage?). Maybe it’s just me, but why should I pay extra for something that’s supposed to be part of someone’s job? I’ve worked in customer service for over 10 years, and never once got tipped. I helped people pick out music, helped people try on shoes, spent time customizing skin care regiments, and suggesting make-up tips. I had repeat customers. People knew me by name. Is it because I didn’t work in a restaurant? Is it because I’m not touching someone’s scalp? Why do servers get tipped for doing their job, when I get nothing for doing just as good of a job serving customers? I’m getting the same crappy pay as them, but for some reason they also get the tips. Bah!
Anyway, here is a list of people that I encounter on a regular basis, and how much I tip:
Hair cut: 15%. I only get a cut and style – no colour or anything fancy.
Restaurant (sit-down): 15-25%, depending on the service I receive. If it’s exceptional service (or if I’m using a coupon or making a complicated order), I might tip up to 25%. But for most cases, I’ll tip around 15%. That being said, I do believe in leaving less of a tip if the service is below par.
Restaurant (take-out, or coffee shop): Nothing. If I pay by cash, I might throw my change into the tip jar on the counter. But in general, I don’t leave a tip unless something extraordinary happens.
Taxi: 10-15%, but I very very rarely take taxis here in Vancouver. This is usually just for when I travel.
Massage therapist/chiropractor: 10-15%.
Bartender: $1 per drink, if I’m going up to the bar to order myself.