Monday, September 29, 2008

On Tipping

I was on a second date at one of my favourite bars. We called it a night after two drinks, and the bill was only $21. I left some cash while he paid the entirety on his credit card. My stomach heaved as I sneaked a peek. The tip? Two dollars. I feigned a bathroom break and pressed $5 into the hand of our server's colleague. "Make sure she gets this," I whispered, blushing. "I don't think he left enough." This episode was enough to turn me off for good. Here is a compilation of my fervent tipping beliefs.

  • Ten percent is an insult. So is tipping before the tax. A server has to tip out the runners and the house, so a ten percent tip can mean not even seven percent in their pocket.
  • If your bill is $60.12, why not leave $12? What's with $11.88? Seriously.

  • If you can't afford to leave a 15% gratuity, you can't afford the meal you've ordered.

  • The most common and despised tips: $9 on anything between $61 and $69. $10 on anything between $71-79. $12 on $81-89. An extra two dollars can mean a lot. $11 instead of $9, $17 instead of $15. Not a huge difference to you, but adds up over a night and is greatly appreciated.

  • A sincere thank you and goodbye means nothing to me if you can't show your appreciation on your credit card. My heart always sinks to hear "We really enjoyed ourselves. That was great. Thank you so much!" and get a firm handshake. That handshake and genuine thanks isn't going to pay off my student loan or heating bill.

  • The gift certificate - it is essential to tip on the total of your bill, before the deduction of the certificate amount. You got that much of your meal for free anyway, how can your conscience let you skimp on the tip?

  • The fight for the bill - We've all seen those two couples out together, one loud and boisterous gentleman insisting he'll take the check while the other snatches it from his hand, making for an awkward episode as the server backs away hesitantly, hoping it will be resolved. If you are the winning check-payer, you also have the won the responsibility of leaving an appropriate gratuity.
A drunk maid of honour once threatened me with a slurred "I know where to find you..." after her friend refused to let her pay for the bride's drinks. A man grabbed my wrist, insisting, "That bill is ours, young lady." Let's not abuse or neglect the service staff in a mission for generousity or an attempt to show off for our friends.

No comments: