“How much are you tipping?”
“He/she really wasn’t that great …”
“I would’ve given them a better tip, but did you see how much they charged for gratuity?”
“You don’t understand how hard it is to be a server!”
We’ve all taken an extra moment to calculate, “How much should I tip?” and I’m sure we all have a different measurement of worth. Personally, I tip based on how great (or lack thereof) the wait staff was. Yes, I understand the wait staff is paid mostly on tips, but if I don’t receive good service, my tip and my refusal to return reflects so.
Last week, I went to Happy Hour at a bar I regularly attend, but I sat in a different section than my usual spot. I’m not sure if the restaurant was understaffed that particular day or what, but every moment I had to flag the waitress down was another reduction on her tip. I still tipped her, but I guarantee you it wasn’t screaming “great job.”
But prior to that poor experience, I went to brunch and had one of the best waitresses I’ve ever experienced. (Or did the mimosa’s spark a little generosity in my spirit?) She was friendly, very knowledgeable of the menu (even allowing me to order an off-the-menu-item) and regularly checked on our table in a genuine, non-creepy manner. I tipped her well above the usual 15% suggestion and of course, I will return and request to sit in her section.
Apparently my tipping critique is frowned upon by USA Today, which mentioned the Millennial generation has a tendency to tip well below the expected 15% versus our parents who typically tip at least 15%.
Are we really a generation of bad tippers who will figure out the value of a tip in the next decade or two, or are we opting to use our tip as a form of expression — you were great or you weren’t?