Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You are what you tip...

Working in not one, but two, industries where tips pay rent, I feel it's only fair I help educate customers, clients, potential customers, and (more importantly) my potential clients. It's unfortunate to say, but in all honesty, the tip you leave says a lot about who you are. The standard tip as you know, or should know, 20% gratuity is due for a (legal) service provided. This means 20% is due when you go out to eat, get your haircut, a facial, even when you get a to-go medium reg at Dunks. Tip that poor girl...she's freezing in the drive-thru! I understand, times are tough right now, but what about your poor waitress who's making $2.63/hr? Or your esthetician who is making $8/hr and may only have two clients the entire day? So my question for you is, what kind of tipper are you, and what kind of tipper do you want to be?

The Great Tipper : This is the guy who acknowledges the server at the table and instead of insisting on eating an item that is not on the menu, and probably never will be, he orders without modifications. He thanks the server when water or beer is brought his way and doesn't sarcastically say "Oh I hated it. Take it away" when his empty plate is being cleared. He's thoughtful, appreciative and leaves his respectful 20% ( or more if he's got the funds).

This is the woman who fills out her client history form before receiving a facial. She follows the steps of getting changed, going to the room assigned and comfortably assumes position in the bed. She receives her service thanking her esthetician at the completion of her facial. Before getting out of the bed she doesn't use the oh-so-original joke "That was terrible, can I stay and sleep" She leaves her 20% and books another appointment when the time is right.

The 15 percenter...: This is a wide range. There is only one exception for this category and that would be the really cute old couple. They go out to eat once a week and are accustomed to tipping 15% since forever ago. They really can do no wrong.

The real 15 perceneter is the woman who comes to get her facial and pulls out nine different expired coupons for her service. You agree to accept one. She then proceeds to ask for an extra ampuole, an enzyme mask instead of exfoliator, and a brow and chin wax. Lovely. She tips 15% on her balance after her coupon was deducted from the total. Without fail, she is the woman who is calling the following day saying she read online that the enzyme mask could cause her itching and rash if she has hay fever which she claims she definitely has. "I deserve a refund!" I'm sure you do.

This is the costumer who insists you have a fish stew not listed on the menu. "I'm sorry sir, maybe you are thinking of the Cioppino?" They go on to pull up a Yelp review on their Iphone and tell you since their fellow Yelper enjoyed your fish stew so much on January 7th that is they only reason they came in to eat today. Getting off to a smooth start, they order the cioppino recommended with 4 refills of bread and only one glass of diet coke unless there are free refills. They leave a whopping 15% and upon exiting he smiles and says "This is the best meal I've ever had. I'm going to come back here all the time and request you as my server!" Thanks for the verbal tip buddy.

The European: Really you can't blame them (unless they live here). When we go to their country we don't tip. I'm sure it doesn't say ANYTHING about going out to eat and leaving gratuity in one of their 3 ginormous guide books they own. Maybe it does and it just doesn't say how much? I think they give it a good guess and if they're generous leave 12% and if they are clueless (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here) they leave 10%.

With this said, a tip can say a lot about who you are. Are you cheap? Broke? Needy? Needy, cheap and broke? The service industry works very hard to ensure you have a nice experience so do them a solid and strive to be great.

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