It seems like more and more people want a tip for serving you. From the grocery store clerk, in some instances, to the barista handing you coffee, tipping has become pervasive. Understandably, not everyone likes where the practice is going. In an online forum, people discussed their feelings on the topic. Here are ten reasons why they feel it’s out of hand.
It’s as if everyone is expecting a tip. From the small grocer to getting fast food, many people believe we’re being expected to blindly follow custom and tip everyone all the time..
“What I hate about this tipping culture is that people are so brainwashed about it that instead of fighting the billionaire corpos to provide them living wages, people are fighting other people who are just like them and demanding that they shoulder that burden.
If anyone says ‘I don’t support tipping culture’, people lose their minds and call that person all sorts of names! Why don’t you realize it’s not your customer’s duty to provide your salary, it’s your employer’s. Get angry at the employer, not your fellow pleb citizen. But nope, indoctrination is too deep,” says one person.
It’s hard to argue with that sentiment. Giving a tip for a job well done is one thing, expecting it at every turn is another.
Fewer Tips Doesn’t Equal Poorer Service
You might think fewer tips automatically leads to worse service. Expats in Europe would take issue with that.
“I recently moved from the United States to Europe. I expected the standard of service to drop because of the lack of tipping but it really hasn’t. If anything, it’s better. Waitstaff seem more laid back and genuine. Probably because they’re not scrounging for tips.
However, one thing I have noticed is that it’s much harder to be seated at restaurants here. Many of them expect a reservation, many are only open a few hours a day or a few days a week or even a few months out of the year,” notes one commenter.
If pay was sustainable for servers, it’s possible service would improve for the better.
Choosing Not to Tip is an Option
Of course, there’s the option not to leave a tip. That’s the approach one person takes, adding, “I never tip. I shouldn’t be guilted in to subsidizing employee wage while the employer is buying another boat.” Another adds, “Why should I have to pay you when your employer should be paying you? Tipping has led to allowing employers to pay subpar wages and get away with it.”
They’re not wrong, but don’t take it out on the server who depends on tips for a livable wage.
We Don’t Have to Be Friends
There’s nothing wrong with viewing a transaction as it really is – one person is providing a service for you. No more, no less.
“I don’t need a waitress to chat w/me or try to make me feel I’m their friend. I just want them to bring my food and answer questions I might have. In Europe the service is impeccable, and they are not expecting a tip,” notes one commenter.
Be friendly, yes, but that should be it.
It Doesn’t Always Go to the Server Entirely
Sometimes the server provides you over the top service, and you want to show your appreciation to them. That’s great, and is common practice. Unfortunately, your tip may not go to them entirely.
One commenter explains why, saying “There is no law that says 100% of tips goes to the server. I worked at all kinds of restaurants for years as a server and I can personally confirm we have to tip out. What that means is we have to use our tips to supplement the wages of the bar, the food runners, water pourers, etc. If a server makes $150 in tips, that server is not going home with $150 in tips.”
That’s a fair point, and something to keep in mind.
It’s Not Good For the Server
It’s easy to think of tipping from the perspective of the customer. However, it’s also not good for the server. In some cases, they might even be left holding the bag if they don’t receive enough tips.
One commenter agrees, saying “In Virginia the hourly for a tipped employee is $2.13 or something like that. They have to invoice the employer if their tips don’t make it to minimum wage.”
That just doesn’t sound right. Pay your employees and simplify life for them.
It Shouldn’t Even Exist
A livable wage sounds like a revolutionary idea, but few service-based businesses seem to embrace the notion.
“Tipping shouldn’t have ever existed in the first place. Companies should be paying everyone a normal wage and if customers want to tip it’s because they feel like it not because it’s expected or needed of them. It’s should be strictly out of generosity if they feel the worker did extra in the role,” says one person.
Imagine paying for the service you receive, knowing the server has what they need, and you can choose to leave a tip if you want. It sounds much simpler, and fairer.
Servers Say it’s Out of Hand
photo of frustrated server
Oddly enough, many servers believe that the tipping culture has gotten out of hand. One server adds,
“I used to roll my eyes when I heard people say this sort of thing, because I used to waitress and bartend and I understand the pros outweigh the cons in a restaurant business model. However, I agree with you that it’s way out of hand right now.
“In a sit-down restaurant, I agree that by sitting down, I’ll tip minimum 20% because the servers get a lower than minimum tipped wage. Same at a bar. I don’t mind leaving a smaller tip at a coffee shop or casual restaurant where you order at the counter, even though those employees aren’t subject to a tipped wage.
“However, tipping expectations have extended to a square prompt at places where you’re basically just buying something without taking up space for longer than it takes to pick a couple of items up, and nobody is taking a special order for you.”
Giving a tip is one thing, but if you’re doing nothing for me do I really need to be prompted to give you a tip?
Maybe It’s Not Out of Hand
There’s typically more than one side to a story. Some could argue, rightly, that the tipping culture is a sign of the times.
“The problem is people no longer want to go get their groceries, food, or packages. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. The customers use tip baiting as an incentive to pick of their order only to have them remove it. It’s rampant. You can’t have it both ways.
They want them delivered for slave wages the platforms pay the delivery drivers. Tips augment the s****y pay. So before you go on about tips think about this,” says one person.
If you’re lazy, or busy, and unable or unwilling to do something, pay the person that’s helping you.
It’s Offloading Business Costs
Businesses often don’t give livable wages to their employees for one reason – to shed costs.
“Completely agree, offloading costs on the customers is just extremely stupid. If you business cannot survive by paying a living wage it shouldn’t. It’s really that simple,” adds one commenter.
Yes, it does indeed happen and it should happen much less.
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This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.