Social Wellbeing

Pro-Tip: Common misconceptions on tipping and how to address them!

As a person working in the service industry (Uber driver, server, bartender...etc.) receiving a tip shows appreciation for the services provided. Some may argue that workers get a paycheck and tips are unnecessary - however, in most states service industry workers make below minimum wage leaving them to rely on tips. There are many misconceptions about tipping that when cleared up, can make the world a better place.

The Challenge

The next time you go out to a restaurant, be mindful of these tips. If you really want to make someone’s day, write “thank you :)” on the top of your receipt.

Here are some common misconceptions about tipping and how you can properly address them.

“How Much Do I Tip?”
There are a few theories here: Round up to the nearest even amount, double the tax, and take the first number of your total and multiply by the percentage you want to leave. Here are specific tipping rules for different services:

The most appropriate way tip is to leave 15% - 20% of your total bill. To calculate, multiply the total by the percentage you would like to leave. For example: if your bill is $20.00, 20% of $20.00 would be $4.00 making your total $24.00.

Uber and Lyft drivers keep 80% of the cost of each ride. However, tipping is still appropriate. Most times 10% is fair enough. I always base my Uber/Lyft tips on how the ride experience was. Was the car clean? Did the driver provide cool amenities such as a phone charger, snacks, or water? Was the driver friendly and make good conversation? These types of things make me want to amp up my tip just a bit!

Drinks at a bar or club range anywhere from $3 - $10. A good rule of thumb is to tip a dollar or two, even if you go to a club that gives out free drink tickets. If you’re sticking to the rule of 20%, it comes out to be the same.

If you have housekeeping coming every day to clean your room, be generous and leave at least a couple bucks ($2-$3 a day) for them. After all, they’re making your stay effortless by tidying up daily. On cruise lines, gratuity is billed to each room, per person, daily. Therefore, cruise lines are excluded from the hotel stay category.

It can be hard to give a good tip when you are going out on a day where money is tight or you have other plans for your cash. If you are big on tipping, try to plan out your meal/drinks/ distance before arriving to the restaurant, taking an Uber, heading to the bar/club. On the Uber and Lyft apps, you can estimate the total for your ride. Check out the restaurant's menu before going out, to plan out your meal and account for a decent tip. Going to a bar? Plan out how many drinks (if any) you plan to have that night and account for tips.

A nice person helps you to your car at the grocery store, should you tip them? Fun fact, most grocery stores do not allow their employees to receive tips.

Takeout/Pizza Delivery 
Contrary to popular belief, delivery fees do not go to the drivers at all. It is best to tip your delivery person in cash at least 10%.

“Servers/Bartenders receive the same amount whether the tip is received in cash or card”
False. Most restaurants tax workers on their tips received on card, making them lose money. A way to address this is to have a small stash of money in your purse/wallet so that you can tip your server in cash, even if you pay with a card. The rules and regulations regarding cash vs. card and claiming tips are then left up to the server and the expectations outlined at their place of employment.

“People in the service industry get to keep all their tips”
While this would be an ideal outcome for people in the service industry, many have to “tip the house” - meaning the bartenders, cooks, the DJ’s, or the bouncers. This requirement seems unfair but in the service industry it’s how you show appreciation to those who don’t receive tips throughout the night.

Now, this is not saying that you should tip more to account for the payout at the end of their shift - but just know that not tipping hurts more than it helps.

“How do I tip if I’m with a group?”
Some restaurants will charge automatic gratuity if you are in a party larger than six people. In this instance, your tip has already been accounted for and you don’t have to worry.

At a restaurant that does not charge gratuity automatically, have the server split the bill per person and stick to the 15% - 20% rule. That way, each person is tipping on their own amount. If the restaurant doesn’t split the bill by person, calculate 15% - 20% of the total bill and divide gratuity by person. 

Tools Needed


Get Together
Get together with some of your favorite gal pals for brunch and attempt to follow the advice for tipping as a group or tipping individually. 


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