Waiter's Tip - How much is enough

Tipping the waiter is supposed to be a show of gratitude. You sit in a bar to have a drink and when you are leaving, the person who was attending to you expects some money, besides the bill you have paid.

The expectations vary with the person you are dealing with, their culture and the part of the world you are in. While tipping in some countries like Japan is an insult under circumstances, in other places, being given a gratuity is a much appreciated gesture. Nevertheless, tipping expectations are fast mounting in most countries. Restaurant waiters and waitresses, watchmen, parking attendants and hairdressers, all look at you to give them a little something for serving you.

This may cause some controversy as some people view tipping as a form of bribe. Is rewarding these people with a little something legal?

Tipping is not bribing, but the line between the two is very thin. Tipping is an industry practice; the satisfied customer express their gratitude and ideally, should not be forced to give. When one is put under obligation to give out some money, then it edges more towards being a bribe.

Tipping is usually done after a service (well) rendered, while bribing is giving something in advance for services you need. For example, giving the waiter money to secure for you a good seat in the pub is outright bribing, but there is nothing ethically wrong when you give the waiter something for being at your service all evening.

The tipping culture is most common in the hospitality and travel industry. The most common scenario locally, is that of people digging deep into their pockets for any coins when receiving that cold look as they exit the hotel, pub or parking lot. While some may feel no obligation to give these service providers anything, arguing that they already have their salaries and commissions, others may want to show their appreciation beyond settling the bill.

In fact, in some parts of the world, employees often rely on tipping for a substantial portion of their income. It's acceptable that good service has value, and tipping allows you to reward people who provide good service. Furthermore, it helps to ensure that you and the service provider share a mutually beneficial relationship.

However, its optional nature leaves many people perplexed on just who deserves to be tipped and how much they should tip. There are no written rules on how much or who should be tipped; it all depends on the size of your pocket.

It also depends on other factors such as quality, frequency and nature of the service rendered. However, you should cautious of how much you are giving out as tips, because it will have an impact on the overall budget. The more money you give out, the less money you have to spend on yourself. You have to look at how much you are tipping and put a limit.

Here are some tips on how much to tip with additional information from Yahoo Finance:

Pizza Delivery
Suggested tip: 15 per cent of the bill
Just like the precious cargo they carry, how much to tip the pizza guy is a hot topic. Emily Post Institute suggests a tip of 10% of the pretax bill, with difficult deliveries earning the delivery person 15-20 per cent. However, tipthepizzaguy.com recommends a different set of guidelines, including a rate of 15% for normal service, 20 per cent for excellent service and 10% or less for poor service.

Suggested tip: 15-20 per cent of bill
The expense makes you cringe at the thought of going out for a drink, right? Your bartender's tip should be determined by the strength of what you are sipping, for soft drinks you can go lower than if you are taking alcoholic drinks.

Coffee Shops and Retail Shops
Suggested tip: None
Some of this shops mostly have a tipping price added in the bill which is not right in itself even though you have a choice not to buy the service. Some other places, a tip jar is placed at the entrance, unless you really feel obligated, experts say the attendants or the jar here should not get anything. Otherwise, you can leave them the balance after settling the bill.

Cab or Taxi Driver
Suggested tip: 10 per cent of the taxi ride
This figure is recommended if you know that there is a possibility of calling on that cab again, otherwise, the common practice is to round off the amount to the next hundredth figure, if the taxi is using a meter.

Restaurant Waiters
Suggested tip: 15 per cent of the bill
If you are in a high-end restaurant and you have received adequate service, the standard tip for servers is 15%, outstanding service should be rewarded with a 20 per cent tip. Contrary to popular belief, bad service is no excuse to completely skip the tip. even when the level of service is poor, experts recommend leaving no less than 10 per cent.

Suggested tip: 15-20 per cent of bill
Your stylist is not the person you can afford to take chances with because you want to establish a lasting relationship. Before you make it to your stylist's chair, you will have a run-in with shampoo boy or girl who you can also give something.

Suggested tip: a dollar per bag
When you are travelling, you really need to make sure that you keep baggage handlers on you good side, do not skimp on tips here. The total amount due to the doorman depends on how many bags he or she helps you with. Calling for you a taxi should be counted as an extra bag.

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