When to Leave Bad Advice
Although customs vary around the world, tipping is the norm in the United States. We know that. We accept this. And we’ve watched tip rates rise over time. Once considered generous, 15% is now considered the absolute minimum, and a tip of 20% or 25% is becoming standard.
There are generational differences: Millennials tend to tip 22% in restaurants, while baby boomers tip 17%, according to a CreditCards.com poll . But just as each snowflake is unique, each has its own distinct tipping philosophy.
However, the wait staff deserves your tip! They work a lot for below-the-minimum hourly wages and do all the tasks you don’t want to do yourself. And they often have to tip other service staff who don’t interact with customers but are critical to providing that product or service to you. Small tipping or non-existent tipping should be given rarely and only in extreme cases.
But we’re not here to play well this week, are we? While we may all enjoy getting great service from businesses we patronize with our hard-earned money, we’ve all had our share of bad experiences as well (I’m sure you don’t need any encouragement to point out your very good reasons for a bad tip. in the comments so I’ll see each of you soon.)
Here are a few times when your bad tip – or no tip at all – is totally justified.
Your order in a cafe is plain or prepackaged
It’s easy, but if you use the card to pay for a cafe or restaurant reception, you are likely to be accused of that you will give a tip – or to give more – Digital recording systems that offer a percentage of tips.
But if all you did was get picked up quickly and paid at the counter, you don’t need to tip.
In many cases, this is justified. You spend the day sitting at a laptop in a café, or a staff member brings your order to your table and cleans up your seat when you’re done.
But if you’re just picking a salad from the cooler or buying a drip of coffee on the go, no tip is required.
You had to wait a very long time
You can’t remember when you last saw your server. Your glasses of water have been dry for half an hour. Your food cannot be found anywhere, while every table that came after you had already eaten and left the restaurant.
Mistakes happen and orders are not fulfilled, but if you have to wait a very long time for your order, you shouldn’t be discouraged leaving a tip less than usual. And if your order finally arrives, and it is cold, do not be silent just because you are irritable and were close to eating a napkin for food. Send it back. Demand hot food.
The server ignored your allergy concerns
A colleague told me a nightmare story about a restaurant giving away free dessert on your birthday. Her boyfriend dug in a pie, found peanut butter in it, and the two of them went to the hospital because he has a very common peanut allergy. The next time they came to the restaurant for another birthday celebration, she asked, “Does it have peanuts?” when the cake arrived. The waiter told her no, but she took a test bite before her boyfriend. And again, peanut butter.
Yes, it’s your responsibility to talk about your allergies or ingredient issues, and yes, mistakes do happen. But when your allergy request is ignored or questioned, or the staff don’t provide the information they need to make a safe choice, that’s a bad tip.
This guy hands you a T-shirt
I was recently at a concert in a small hall, and as I walked past the merchandise table, I noticed a handwritten note taped with tape next to a T-shirt rack. “I’m just like a bartender,” it said. “Except that instead of making you drinks, I give you shirts.”
The employee directly insulted you
There are so many people in the world who are just going to sharpen your gears. These people may fumble in words, on plates, or in transactions, but you can tell that they mean good.
But comments of a racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic nature are not allowed. If you suspect that you are being singled out and stereotyped, it’s up to you how you want to handle the tip line on your check.
If you’re going to leave a shitty tip, first say
If the service is so poor that you are considering giving them a bad tip or no tip at all, it is worth talking to the person you are dealing with or their manager. Sometimes poor service is the result of conditions that the server has no control over, or is just having a bad day. You must give the establishment the opportunity to rectify the situation before leaving the terrible tip.
And the worse the service, the more reasons to tell the manager about your experience. If you were treated like shit, someone should know about it. Sometimes it can be difficult to put words together to express frustration when you are in this stressful moment. Take a deep breath and evoke the hint of anger that is stored in your heart. Use it wisely.