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Clear Up Your Tipping Confusion

Clear Up Your Tipping Confusion

  Tipping. Conversation about the topic can spark lengthy debates with opinions ranging from staunch support to extreme opposition. Some consumers appreciate the opportunity to reward members of the service industry for a job well done. Others feel the practice places an unfair expectation on the patron, inflates the overall cost of goods or services, and leads to increased employee turnover. Historically, the American tipping model allows wait staff at upscale restaurants to earn a comfortable living, but those working at small, low-end establishments often struggle to make a livable wage. The wide disparity in earning potential stems from a 1966 law that established a federal minimum wage for tipped employees. The current minimum wage for tipped employees? $2.13 an hour. If that figure sounds shocking, consider the fact that it hasn’t changed since 1991. Should the federal minimum wage for tipped employees be raised? Perhaps. There are advocates on both sides of the issue. Are there alternate ways to create a more equitable earning system? Absolutely. But those are deep conversations for another post. For now, tipping is standard practice in restaurants across the country, but the service industry extends beyond the dining room walls. And while 15-20% seems to be the going rate for a restaurant tip, you may be wondering how much to tip in other areas. Here are a few general rules, courtesy of DealNews, to help you tip with confidence: Waiter/Waitress: 15-20% minimum Tipping Tip: We’ve already covered this one, but here’s an additional reminder: if you use a coupon or discount promotion, be sure to tip on the original price—not the discounted total....