Alan Sytsma, writing for Grub Steet:
For 14 months, this CNBC story on tipping has been lying
dormant, just waiting for the Internet Outrage Machine to find it.
This week, it was found, and yet another tipping debate — if
that’s what you want to call it — exploded. The whole thing was
exactly as dumb as you’d expect. Tipping is very easy, but for
anyone who still doesn’t get it, Grub Street has assembled this
Do I have to tip?
It’s so complicated.
It’s not. When you eat and drink at a restaurant or bar or café or
whatever, where servers accept tips, you will leave a tip, and
that tip will be 20 percent of the total bill, including tax and
whatever you’ve spent on alcohol.
This is how I’ve tipped my whole life: 20 percent on the final bill, tax included. That’s it. For outstanding service, or if you receive complimentary dishes or drinks, you tip on top of that. Don’t give me any Mr. Pink shit — this is how the system works, and if you tip less than 20 percent on your final bill you’re stiffing your server.
If I have it with me, I tip in cash.
This whole thing is U.S.-centric, of course, but let me add that while I understand how strange U.S. tipping culture must seem to someone from another country, it’s not complicated, and in my experience, typical service in U.S. restaurants is far better than in other countries. Fundamentally I think the basic idea works, insofar as it incentivizes superior service.
★ Thursday, 11 April 2019