Daily Archives: September 22, 2011

PF Confession: Thoughts on Tipping

(Photo source)

Tipping is a huge deal, and as I am more and more aware of where my money is going, I can’t help but question the commonly accepted North American tipping standard (i.e., tipping at least 15% at restaurants and seemingly all “service” industries).

The following services I tip because it is the generally accepted etiquette, but I’ve got a few things to say about them, first!


I think it’s safe to say that the generally acceptable tip is approximately 15% after tax, and people are expected to tip more if they receive good service. Having said that, if I received bad service, I would tip less than 15% and in the rare case – none at all.

But my qualm is why tip at all? Does the advertised price of the food (plus tax) not include the cost of service?

Before you call me a big cheapo, I know that many wait staff have very low wages and depend on tips to supplement their wages. My qualm with that argument is why should the responsibility of ensuring fair compensation fall on the shoulders of the patron? Is it not the responsibility of the employer?

I truly believe that all I owe to the restaurant is the number on the bill (after tax, of course). Tipping is extra, period. If I walk out the door without leaving a tip, I am not breaking any laws and am completely free to do so. (Although I’d probably never set foot in that restaurant again).

To be honest, I almost always tip, but not because I really want to. I do it because it’s what society dictates, and I see it as part of the cost of eating out.

Massages and Facials

I loathe tipping for massages and facials. I don’t understand it and I just see it as a cash grab, honestly. I mean, what else am I paying for??

I am a professional, and when I do my job, I don’t expect my clients to tip me on top of the invoice I am sending them. How is getting a massage or facial any different?

Massages and facials aren’t cheap. And when I pay for it, I damn well expect good service. End of story.

I don’t even understand why tipping is even in the equation.


I live in the City with one of the most expensive cab fares in the world. Seriously, I am not making this up, there were studies done to show it!

See above.

The cost of the cab ride should include good service. I’m not saying the cabbie should polish my shoes, but he should be taking the most direct route and driving safely. I don’t think that is asking too much.

Alas, I usually do tip my cabbies about 10-15%, depending on the ride. Most appear to be immigrants who are just trying to make a living in a new place. I always imagine that the cabbie (usually a male) would have kids to feed and a family to take care of, and I feel terribly guilty if I don’t tip.

Again, it’s guilt that is tipping, and not belief that tipping should be expected.

What are your thoughts on tipping?



Filed under PF Confession