When you go out, do you always tip your service providers? In situations where I feel a tip is reasonable and customary, I always do. And unless something unusual happens, I usually give a 20 percent tip.
Why? Having waitressed to make ends meet during college, I was stiffed on tips plenty of times. After that experience I swore that I would never do anything like that to someone whose livelihood relies on gratuities. Unfortunately, I seem to be the exception instead of the rule when it comes to tipping situations.
A recent survey from CouponCabin.com, an online destination for coupons including online coupon codes, printable grocery coupons and more, showed that nearly one-third (32 percent) of U.S. adults haven’t left a tip after receiving less than average service. In addition, more than one-in-five (21 percent) of surveyed tippers report they tip less when the economy is down. In my opinion if you can’t afford to tip 15% to 20% when you go out when the economy is down, then you shouldn’t be going out.
When asked which types of the following people or services they typically feel obligated to leave a tip, U.S. adults identified these top 10 tipping situations:
- Restaurant staff (including wait staff, take out coordinator, maître d’)
- Taxi, car or limo driver
- Beauty treatment provider (manicures, pedicures, waxing, etc.…)
- Spa treatment provider (massages, facials, skin treatments, etc.…)
- Restroom attendant
- Home delivery (new furniture, appliances, etc.…)
When it comes to how much people tip in restaurants, many report leaving gratuity above the old standby of 15 percent. More than half (51 percent) said they typically tip 16 percent or higher for average service in a restaurant. Seven percent said they tip 21 percent or higher. On the flip side, nearly one-third (32 percent) said they tip between 11 percent and 15 percent for average service. Thirteen percent said they tip 10 percent or less for average service. Personally, I always tip 20 percent. Why? It’s the easiest math to do and it ensures that I haven’t stiffed the service person.
“Whether you’re at a restaurant or receiving services from other professionals, factor the tip into the overall cost,” said Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at CouponCabin.com. “It’s easy to forget that the tip could push you over your budget, so plan accordingly. Take the time to add in the tip ahead of time and if it exceeds your budget, seek out less expensive services or make alternative plans.”
Good advice, indeed!
Tell us: Do you tip?
Leah Ingram is the founder of the Suddenly Frugal blog and the author of 14 books, including Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less (Adams Media, 2010) and Toss, Keep, Sell: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Clearing Out Clutter and Cashing In (Adams Media, 2010). Leah appears regularly in frugal-living segments on the “10! Show” on NBC10 in Philadelphia and is a blogger for the NBC Universal website Home Goes Strong. Recently, Leah launched a new frugal venture called Philadelphia on the Cheap. This site focuses on deals, discounts, and freebies in the Philadelphia area—where she lives with her husband, two teenage daughters, and dog. Follow her on Twitter @suddenlyfrugal