Is Tipping Necessary? And How Much?

It’s being called “Tipflation” by many who have seen the epidemic of tipping reach unprecedented heights. When compared to other countries, The United States is outside the norm. In some other countries, it is considered an insult if you offer tips to people who serve you But workers in America have come to expect it. 

People here are barraged with, not only the obligation to hand out money above and beyond the price of the goods or services they are paying for, but even how much they should hand out. Some businesses employ computerized services that give options ranging from 15% to 25%, and as a last resort, give you the option to write in your own amount. 

Restaurants and other businesses often pay lower salaries with the expectation that you, the customer, will make up the difference by tipping. And still others take a percentage of the employee tips, or pool the tips together and divide it among all of the workers whether they served you or not and with no consideration of how good the service may have been. Similarly, other businesses automatically assume you want to tip and add it to your bill without question. And speaking of question, there are customers who are getting tired of tipping and ask why they should be called upon to make sure the server makes more money? If that is the issue, why doesn;t that person find a better paying job, they ask?

Tipping is so ubiquitous today that it no longer says ‘thanks for good service’, or for the server going one step higher than the bare minimum. It’s just expected, and more often than not, handed out.

Financial experts say tipping has gone from a kindness extended during the pandemic to a hardship when added to inflation and Americans living from paycheck to paycheck themselves. In a report from Pymnts and The Lending Club, the experts say you should make a decision based on your own finances. They say 10% is acceptable in most cases or a dollar or two rather than the 25% being suggested.

-Tony Lee