Your how-to guide: Tipping

Ashley Jefferson

It’s a dull Friday evening. No parties, no excitement, nothing. You and your friends are extremely bored, and since there isn’t anything to do, you decide to chill in the building, maybe watch a movie or two and order some takeout. About half an hour later your food arrives and you dig in your pocket to pay for it.

As you begin to count out your total, that’s when the questions start rolling. What do you do? Should you give a tip? Is the tip already included? How much of a tip do you give?

These are all questions that we don’t really know the answer to, yet we’ve asked ourselves them at least once. Luckily the answers have been found.

Before getting into those details, we must find out what makes tipping so important in the first place. Waiters, cab drivers and hairstylists, among others, all work in what’s termed the “service industry” and often times get paid less than minimum wage. Many people struggle to survive on minimum wage. Therefore, it’s safe to say that those who get paid less than that have an even greater struggle to survive. That is where consumers come into play. Tipping is the main way that many people working in this industry make up for their low salary.

Next comes the bigger question of exactly how much of a tip to leave. The answer to that question is somewhat simple. Some service industries include the tip into the final total, but for instances when it isn’t, it depends on the service and the circumstances.

Although it can vary, according to Daryn Eller of O Magazine, here are some average tip suggestions:

Barber/Hairstylist: 15-20%

Bartender: 15-20% (at least $1)

Bellhop: $1 per bag

Cab driver: 15-20%

Coat check: $1 per coat

Delivery person (food): 15%

Hotel maid: $2 per day

Manicurist: 15-20%

Room service: 15-20%

Waiter/waitress: 15-20% (may increase if there is a large party)

Some of the suggested amounts may seem surprising, but that’s simply because most people, especially college students, never really think about how much to tip in the first place. It may seem tedious, and it may seem like extra money that is unnecessarily leaving your pocket, but it can make a world of difference in the life of a hotel maid making less than minimum wage or a college student trying to make ends meet as a bartender.

So the next time you order some takeout with your friends on a lackluster Friday evening, don’t worry when those questions start rolling because now you’re equipped the who, what, when, where and why answers.