Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tipping Etiquette

To Tip or Not To Tip:
I've always had a problem with knowing when to tip and how much to tip. I have always been uncomfortable getting haircuts because of this. I had a friend that would tip everytime she went to the florist (even if she just went in to pick up some carnations). Am I suppose to tip the guy that changes the oil in my car? How much do I tip at a buffet or do I even tip? Google wasn't much help in answering most of my questions.

Around the same time that Starbucks rose to popularity in the small town I grew up in, I started to notice tip jars popping up everywhere. I blame Starbucks for this. That is why I don't frequent them or coffee/tea shops. When I first moved out here I recall going to a Subway for some lunch. When I got to the cash register to pay, I saw a tip jar. Now I remember going to Subway a lot back in college and I don't ever remember there being a tip jar. What makes things different now? When did we start tipping for people to do their job? I've been to plenty of eateries where there isn't a tip jar (boy was I shocked), but I've been to even more that have 'tip jars' at the register.

My questions are:

1. When do you tip? For what services do you tip?

2. What is an appropriate tip for dine in service? Fifteen to twenty percent? What if the service was very poor? Do you tip at all?

3. My situation is I don't get much of a chance to 'dine in' anywhere. Usually I am eating alone and it's too awkward to sit someplace eating alone. So the majority of my meals are ordered and picked up. Most places I get food from aren't chain restaurants. They range from deli/sandwich shops, Panda Express-like places, and mom n pop restaurants. When do I tip? If I placed an order on the phone and went to pick up my food, do I tip? What if I placed the order at the restaurant and waited while my food was prepared, do I tip? What if I were picking up pizza?

I laughed at a lot of what people had to say about tipping on different forums. One person said that if you were picking food up and it was a bartender or server that 'packed' your food, you should tip. You should tip anytime where 'to go' is not an advertised service. So I shouldn't be tipping at Chili's to go window? I once orderd a pizza at Oggie's in Santee and it was an awkward situation. We went to pick up the pizza and my significant other took a long time at the hostess station paying for the pizza. When we got back in our car and were driving home, he said that the hostess was waiting for him to add a tip. She kept asking him was he sure he was done filling out the credit card slip. She kept handing it back to him. He was very confused. The pizza was made, put in the box by the cook. All the hostess did was pick up the box from the window and hand it over. So that entitled her to a tip?

I'm not against tipping by any means, just confused and unsure of when, where, and how much to tip. Any input would be much appreciated. Thank you.