You may think you’re always a great tipper, but you’re lying to yourself. I guarantee you’ve been a bad tipper in at least one of these situations. You probably don’t even realize how bad your tips are. That’s the worst thing about it. You’ve been going all over town thinking you’re a tipping champion of the people when really everyone thinks you’re a low tipping d-bag.
Don’t be a jerk. Tip people what they’re worth.
Happy Hours and Groupons
What You Should Tip: 20% of the regular price
What Bad Tippers Tip: 20% of the discounted price
You’re a master restaurant life hacker. That’s why you can’t even remember the last time you paid full price at a restaurant. You’re not one of the bad kind of life hackers though. You always leave 20%. of the bill as a tip. Sure you may be getting away with a $2 tip after eating a mountain of appetizers, but that’s still 20% of the bill so that counts as being a good tipper. In what reality does that make sense? Your server or bartender worked just as hard as if you had ordered all of your food at full price.
Some happy hours and Groupons have insanely awesome deals. It’s fine to take advantage of great deals, but not OK to take advantage of hard working bartenders and servers. If you’re getting half price food and drinks then you should leave twice as much tip. It’s not going to make a huge difference for you to leave a little bit extra, but it makes a huge difference for the server when a bunch of deal seekers don’t tip properly.
What You Should Tip: $5 minimum
What Bad Tippers Tip: $2
You order food when you’re hungry. Then you have to wait an hour or more for your food to arrive. The entire time you’re waiting, you get more and more pissed off until you’re able to justify not tipping someone who brought food to your house. You’re the only one to blame for getting mad at a delivery driver. You’re ordering food because you’re too lazy to leave you’re house. Don’t drastically start cutting the tip if the driver is a little late. They’re getting it to you as fast as they can. Just calm down a little. You’re about to have pizza brought all the way to your house. This should be time for celebration.
Pizza delivery drivers get shafted constantly. Some places charge a delivery fee, but that doesn’t usually go to the driver. The driver gets reimbursement for mileage at the end of the night, but it’s not much. The reimbursement doesn’t cover all of the gas they use and definitely doesn’t cover the cost of maintaining their vehicle. This Business Insider article says that food delivery should get a minimum $2 tip. In the same article it says that you should tip someone delivering room service in a hotel $5. What is it about delivering food to your room that deserves and extra $3? I think pizza delivery drivers should get $5 minimum for every delivery.
What You Should Tip: 25-30%
What Bad Tippers Tip: 0-15%
There’s a good chance you’ve been in this situation at some point in your life. You go out to eat with a big group of people. You’re talking and laughing and having fun. Then disaster strikes about two hours in. The server is slightly late with your 10th order of free bread. That’s when the mob takes over. One person’s outrage turns in to the entire table’s outrage. There’s only one person to blame — the server. They’re getting an automatic 18% tip anyway, right? You need to be the voice of reason when dining with a large group that plans to stiff the server. If there’s one especially vocal person trying to force the group to join the dark side then call them out on it. Why would you want to be friends with such a terrible person anyway?
Servers hate having large groups in their section. Large groups demand a lot of attention, take up multiple tables, and stay for much longer than normal guests. They also get a mob mentality and refuse to tip. Not all places have the safeguard of automatic gratuity anymore. New IRS regulations have changed the rules on automatic gratuity causing many restaurants to do away with it. Servers desperately need your tips. They’re probably making minimum wage or worse depending on the state they’re in. Your server is a human being. Treat them like you would want to be treated.
What You Should Tip: Anything
What Bad Tippers Tip: Nothing
This is dependent on the venue. You obviously don’t need to give Metallica or Miley Cyrus a tip. However, you should tip the house band playing in your favorite jazz bar. Live performers like bands and comedians will often perform in smaller venues for the stage time and maybe a few drink tickets. Just because a venue has a cover doesn’t mean the performers are being paid. There’s a reason that club owners are pretty much always the bad guys in rock movies. If the performers are being paid, it’s probably just enough to cover their bar tab. Instead of getting one more cocktail, use that money for something that won’t make you puke later. Support the performer you’ve been enjoying all night by throwing that money in their tip jar or buying some merch.
Karaoke night is a huge draw at bars across the country. I’m sure there’s been a night when you’ve been at karaoke and waited forever for your song to come up. You can’t end the night without blowing the roof off the place with your thrilling rendition of Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Karaoke jockeys should be tipped $1 per song that you add to the list. If they notice you tipping, they will probably move you up the list much faster too.
Next time you tip, take a little time to think about the service that you’re receiving. If you can’t afford to leave a good tip then you should just stay at home, eat some Hot Pockets, and sing to yourself in the mirror like you usually do.
Zach Ames is a half-human half-pizza monster of modern science who lives and writes in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @zachlunch