Are you a bad tipper? Do you even care if you’re a good or a bad tipper?
In France, Paris especially, cafe and food culture is so important that servers earn reasonably high wages and additional government subsidies. By contrast, in Washington DC, tipped employees earn a pittance – about $2.13 an hour before State and Federal taxes are deducted, so gratuities actually are the wages. These are just two examples of how tipping can mean very little, or the whole world, to service-based employees. And tipping isn’t just for restaurants. Telling someone you care by forking over a few bucks is customary across many professions, across the world and the act of it has been around forever.
Here is a little history of the tip: In the 16th century in England, brass urns were placed in coffee houses and local pubs with the inscription “To Insure Promptitude” or “TIP.” When the custom of tipping made its way to the United States two centuries later, many weren’t happy about it. Upper class Americans believed tipping would allow service workers to be dependent on them so they began a movement against it in the 1890s. Employees and restaurant workers prevailed protests and an anti-tipping bill ultimately failed.
And here we are today. People have differing beliefs of what is appropriate to tip. But that is not the point of this post. The point is that, whether you are 20% on-the-nose-every-single-time type of tipper, a cranky 10%-er, or a bill peeler and spreader like Enoch Thompson, there is a handy tool that can help guide you to a tip that both you and the recipient are comfortable with. Take a short visual tour below, or head right the interactive tipping calculator graphic from hospitality management schools.
© 2013, World on a Fork. All rights reserved.