I wrote one thing about tipping restaurant servers most of 12 years ago.
I stand by most of that, though if anything I’m more generous now than then. I still start at 20% for competent but unremarkable service and frequently go up from there, but my bottom is a lot higher now too. It would take monumentally bad service for me to tip below 10% now. (I tipped 15% for C service barely two weeks ago, and I can’t remember the last time before then that I tipped that low or received C service.)
So that’s how I tip at restaurants. Off the top of my head, I also tip home repair people, my massage therapist, and food delivery drivers. I would tip my barber if I still had one. I would tip a caddy if I ever played golf.
But have you noticed a tip field creeping onto receipts where maybe it ought not be? Mostly this seems to be restaurants with a “fast casual” model, where you order at the counter, pay, and then you might have to pick it up or they might bring it to you (and if the latter, that’s the extent of the true “wait” service).
Tipping the way we do in the United States isn’t particularly common around the world, and there are pros and cons to it, for sure. The biggest con is that in many places, a server could have bad luck at a table or two and wind up making less than minimum wage for the evening, because s/he might be paid as little as $2.13 hourly.
I don’t think the places where I see this “questionable” tip field would be paying employees that way, because they’re clearly not wait staff. But knowing that foodservice isn’t generally a great or particularly lucrative job keeps me putting a dollar or two in that field. Maybe I’ll standardize at 10%, with $1 minimum.
What do you think?