A People Positive Approach To Tipping

RE: Tipping Skills

These days tipping is getting a lot of attention with strong perspectives and for sure, tipping is not the simple concept it used to be.

I’m seeing folks rant about ‘tipping culture run rampant’ and there’s a lot going on there.

Yes, we’re being invited to tip in more situations – sometimes presented in uncomfortable ways.

When people rant and express their annoyance about tipping, I understand they are pushing back on a system they don’t like and personally, I’m all for taking a stand that matters to you. I don’t want argue with anyone and refuse to shame or judge someone who prefers to tip.

I do want to share my perspective on tipping and I’m super curious about others who like to tip. What drives our willingness to tip? Is it simple generosity? Is it a personal value? Is it related to having been someone who relies on tips or loving someone who relies on tips? I bet we all have some great stories to tell.

Tipping Is Personal.

I asked people to share their experiences and perspectives that lean towards being pro-tipping and I got a huge response. I’m excited to post them for you!

Cynthia Beckles

Cynthia Beckles is a Marketing Consultant. Her approach to integrated marketing is empowering. She’s not about the hottest trends; but rather about implementing what’s uniquely beneficial for each company.

How Does Cynthia Approach Tipping?

Tipping has always been my way of expressing appreciation for exceptional service. I believe in recognizing the hard work and dedication that goes into providing a great experience. In full-service establishments, where the service is an integral part of the overall experience, I’m particularly inclined to provide a tip as a token of my gratitude.

However, it does seem that in today’s world, the practice of tipping has extended to a wide range of situations, including fast-food restaurants. While I understand that many employees in various industries rely on tips to supplement their income, the frequent requests for tips in fast food can be alarming. It’s important to strike a balance between rewarding exceptional service and being mindful of the financial burden it can place on customers.

Cynthia’s Favorite Tipping Story

I recently worked with an exceptional photographer and videographer for a family occasion. They were positive and professional. I tipped them the night of the event before I saw the videos and pictures. They made everyone feel like they were “stars” especially the birthday person. The photographer and videographer captured the essence of the event and were extremely kind to all of the attendees. My family and I have used them for additional events.

Peggy Gleason

Dr. Peggy Gleason is a certified Heath Coach and Doctor of Natural Health, specializing in Integrative Wellness, Psychology of Eating, and Nutrition. She helps women make peace with food for improved health and self-esteem. Loves being a Grandmother!

How Does Peggy Approach Tipping?

As a former waitress who worked while attending school, I gained first-hand experience of the demands of the job. Despite the challenges, I enjoyed it because I like engaging with people. The role involves much more than just taking orders and serving food; it often requires multitasking like refilling condiments and assisting in the kitchen, tasks that usually go unnoticed by customers.

When it comes to tipping, I’m mindful of the effort that goes into waitressing. If the server is attentive, organized, and timely, it positively affects their tip. However, if the meal is delayed, I don’t blame the server but rather the kitchen staff. A server can earn a 20% tip by showing care and attentiveness, from refilling drinks to apologizing for any delays.

On the other hand, I’m less inclined to tip the full 20% if a server is uncommunicative or inattentive. These factors shape my perspective on tipping, considering the complexity and effort involved in waitressing.

Peggy’s Favorite Tipping Story

One time, we were in a restaurant and we could tell the waiter was a little distracted but very courteous. His service was good. He felt so bad about not interacting more, that he ended up taking time to talk to us before we left. it turned out he had just had major dental work and still came in to work. His candor and kindness despite his pain reflected his commitment to serve. Obviously he certainly deserved his tip!

Conni LeFon

Conni LeFon is a Life Purpose Coach whose passion is to help women with MS to refind their purpose and live life to the fullest!

How Does Conni Approach Tipping? 

As someone who worked as a bartender, I have experienced how important tipping is to servers. I always try to tip 20% because I know even that much will not always bring their paycheck up to a living wage. I live in Virginia where servers are guaranteed only $7.25/hour. When I was bartending I was thrilled to get minimum wage and tips on top of that, but the servers were not that fortunate. One of them would fill in for me when I couldn’t be at work and she was always begging to have more shifts because she was paid $5/hour more.

Conni’s Favorite Tipping Story

When my brother graduated from training in the Marine Corps the whole extended family was there to root him on. We were so proud! We decided to go out to eat at a nearby fancy restaurant that many Marines went to and my grandfather offered to treat. We had a great dinner – there must have been 10 of us. As we were getting ready to leave the restaurant I noticed that my grandfather had left a $20 tip. He grew up during the Depression and he just didn’t understand that tips were supplemental to the servers’ low salaries. We all left the restaurant and then I said I had left something inside, so I ran back in to add all the cash I had to the tip. I felt so bad for the server only getting $20 on what must have been an over $200 bill!

D’vorah Lansky

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed. is a prolific author and content creator. She specializes in helping her students and clients to share their unique gifts and their brilliance with the world.

How Does D’vorah Approach Tipping?

The topic of tipping in today’s “order for takeout” environment goes beyond the norms of what we’re used to paying for. For example, when we go to a restaurant, we are used to tipping on a scale that indicates whether the service was adequate or excellent. But in recent years, there’s an expectation that we should tip the people who ring up our to-go order.

First of all, if the person at the cash register is kind, is genuinely friendly, and is projecting positivity, I do feel inspired to tip them. At the same time, if their friendliness feels forced or manipulative or if they are rude or negative, I do not even consider tipping them. But tipping someone for taking one minute to ring up an order, should not be at the same level that we’d tip someone for serving us during an hour-long meal. When going out to eat, I will tip 20% or more, when I receive exceptional service. One of the benefits of doing this is… when we go back to one of those establishments, we get “the royal treatment” which feels wonderful.

Karen Robinson

Karen Robinson, a Trauma Recovery Expert, is a messy, genuine, and compassionate therapist and coach. She loves empowering women to heal from their abuse and trauma histories. Karen loves to read, write, travel, and snuggle with her children.

How Does Karen Approach Tipping?

Dining out is a special treat. Some seldom have the opportunity, and others take this privilege for granted. I was a former as a child and student. As an adult, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of eating out with friends and family. I love not having to think about what to cook, not having a sink full of dishes, and having a different ambience.

Tipping is personal to me. Why? I worked in the food service industry throughout highschool and college. I remember the heavy trays, the dirty tables, the prep, the constant need for ice, trash removal, dishes needing to be put away, and the unpleasantness of some customers. When you are a customer, you don’t experience or see all that happens behind the scenes. You don’t see the achy backs and sore feet. You don’t see the work being done other than placing your order, receiving your food, and the service check-ins. I’m pointing this out, as your tips really, really matter.

Tip 15% no matter what. Wonderful service is 20% and for a service that blows you away? Dig deep into your pockets!! Remember that the 15% is simply helping to bring their pay up to the minimum wage standard. With today’s inflation, perhaps 20% is more fair. When you tip fairly and generously, your server feels seen and valued. When you tip poorly, they make think you believe they don’t deserve to earn a fair or just living. I’m sure you don’t want anyone to feel this way. However, I’m not advocating that you pay generously for poor service either. Maybe take a moment to reflect on how you can show them your appreciation for the wonderful evening out.

Karen’s Favorite Tipping Story

There were two dudes at a table in the very busy diner I worked at in college. They gave me a great deal of attention but also made multiple requests and were demanding of my time. They were friendly, flirty, and fine to look at. I love bantering and they could keep up with me. Since we had all seemed to have a delightful experience, I would have bet my $2.16 per hour paycheck that I would receive a generous tip.

The tip was less than a dollar! I would never be cocky about an expected tip again.

Karen Sammer

Karen Sammer is a board certified health and wellness coach who helps people overcome cravings, lose weight and avoid diabetes like she did over ten years ago.

How Does Karen Approach Tipping?

Unless someone has a terrible attitude and is rude, I will usually tip at least 20%. I know how hard people in service industries have to work for their money, having been there many years ago. They are also often subjected to the nastiness of entitled customers. I never want to be one of those people. I also believe that a tip is appropriate when taking food to go.

Karen’s Favorite Tipping Story

In my first job, I was a waitress in a local pancake house when I was 16. I earned $1.02 per hour and shared tips with the bus staff. I had one table that was large and demanding. I took care of all their demands and provided good service over a fairly long time. They left me NOTHING! And they took up much of my shift, keeping me from tipping customers. Clearly, that impacted me if I remember it all these many years later.

Fran Watson

Fran Watson is a Career Coach looking to help people recognize and demonstrate their skills in a more effective way on their resume. Loving mother of 4 children, 6 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

How Does Fran Approach Tipping?

If the service is good, the waiter/waitress is friendly and helpful, then I usually tip at least 15% although I have tipped more for especially good service. I have also not left a tip if the service is really poor, but that doesn’t happen often. I have noticed a number of people who are putting little notices on their page about “buy me a coffee” if you like this tip. I have been thinking about doing that just to see what might happen. I also read about Patreon and how you can support someone as a Patron. I know my daughter, who lives in Taiwan, says there is no tipping there or other places in Europe and she doesn’t think people should tip. It is definitely an interesting topic as there are many sides.

Fran’s Favorite Tipping Story

My youngest son decided he would leave a tip for the waitress (with my money, of course) and left her $2 for a $6.00 order. He was about 8 at the time. I guess he really liked what he got for lunch that day.

Shannah Holt

Shannah Holt is a Virtual Marketing Guide who helps small business owners to STANDOUT as the go-to authority with their products and services through organic marketing strategies that don’t require them to dance on video, send “hey girl” DMs, or book sales calls.

How Does Shannah Approach Tipping?

Tipping at restaurants isn’t just a simple gesture for me; it’s a deeply personal act rooted in my own experiences. Years ago, while expecting my first child, I worked as a waitress. This wasn’t just a job to fill the time; it was my lifeline. On a wage of $1.45 an hour, my monthly bills, groceries, and rent heavily depended on the generosity of those I served.
Each time I left work, pockets filled with a mix of coins and crumpled one dollar bills, I was reminded of the direct impact tipping had on my life. It wasn’t about luxury or extra spending money; it was about survival. It was about buying the next meal, ensuring my child would have what she needed, and keeping the lights on another day.

Now, whenever I dine out, that memory is fresh in my mind. Every tip I leave is a silent nod to my past and a sign of solidarity with those hustling behind the scenes. I recognize that for many servers, tips aren’t just bonuses—they’re essentials. It’s the difference between making ends meet or falling short. So when I tip, I’m not just rewarding service; I’m acknowledging the reality that for many, like it was for me, this is how they pay their bills.

Teresa Mills

Teresa Mills, of Kid Friendly Family Vacations, is an avid traveler and author of the Hey Kids! Let’s Visit series of travel books for kids. In addition to traveling, she enjoys reading, hiking,
biking, and helping others.

How Does Teresa Approach Tipping?

I tip service providers such as hair dressers, massage therapists, and the like. I also tip in full service restaurants, hotels, cruise lines, etc. Whether we like it or not, these jobs require the worker be tipped in addition to their pay in order to make a living wage. I always try to keep this in mind when traveling or just out and about in my daily life.

I have family members who work in the service industry. My sister is a hair dresser, and has to keep her rates in line with the industry she is in. This just does not relate very well to making a living. Several of my children worked in restaurants or hotels while in college, and this was very eye-opening. Honestly, I did not realize the wages that workers were being paid before my children were working in that world.

Lisa Albinus

Lisa Albinus is a story teller who wields color, texture, and light.

How Does Lisa Approach Tipping?

When looking at whether or not I am going to tip – I break it down into the services offered. DId the person make an impact on me – with their smile, their persona, their level of care, their commitment- here I give a “Thank you for being you” tip. Are they doing something I dread – so therefore, an “Appreciation “tip is warranted. Have they taught me something and saved me hours of time – then a “grateful” tip is given. In addition – if the person doesn’t deserve a tip, I don’t offer one. I don’t think I fall too often into obligatory tipping.

Lisa’s Favorite Tipping Story

I really do try to tip according to the services offered and appreciate when someone goes above and beyond – even if it is just by being super encouraging and friendly. On the same hand, I do know that a tip is a show of appreciation and gratitude. I can remember once when I was in a restaurant we received horrific service. Wrong food – horrific wait (the place was empty) – snotty attitude. It was just really, really bad. Rather than leave no tip – I left a penny. Not wanting the server to think I had forgotten the tip – I wanted her to know that her service was THAT bad. On the flip side, when someone is just lovely, I will leave recommendations, tip, leave good reviews – all to encourage them and help them where I can – because they helped me in a thousand different ways.

Michelle Garrett

Michelle Garrett is an all-around DIVA – a dynamic individual with a VICTORIOUS attitude! She’s been creating content online for 14+ years and loves inspiring and encouraging others to be the best they are called to be in all areas of their life.

How Does Michelle Approach Tipping?

Tipping is an integral part of the dining experience for me. When someone takes time to serve me a meal, I recognize they are juggling multiple tables simultaneously while trying to ensure quality service. Whether the service meets my expectations or not, I make it a point to leave a tip. Servers work hard and deal with a lot during their shifts. If I have any issues, I will speak to a manager, rather than take it out on the tip. I try to be courteous and ask my server how their day is going. Serving others can be a tough job, so I aim to empathize and brighten their day if I can. It’s the little acts of kindness that can make a big difference.

Pam Hamilton

Pam Hamilton is a speaker, author and coach on the topics of mindset and visibility and serious about helping women business owners over 50 get past the mindset hurdles that keep them invisible and playing small. Pam, knows firsthand all about being invisible. It’s something she struggled with for years. She’s proud to share her story of overcoming invisibility in the best-selling book -“Get Past Your Sh*t” and the steps she took to get there in her book – “The Ten Principles of Visibility.” Becoming visible and being able to work with her clients as her authentic self changed her life for the better, not just in business, but in all her relationships with others and most importantly with herself. Today she helps her clients be able to say that as well.

How Does  Approach Tipping?

I love to tip people who earn it. Do a good job at whatever it is you’re you’re doing for me whether it’s a car wash, a local restaurant or delivering groceries, if you do it decently you’re going to get a tip, at least the basic 16% folks have come to expect. For me it’s a nice easy way to say thank you. If you’re friendly and do it really well with a smile you’re in for a bigger tip. And if you wow me, not only will the tip be bigger, at least part, if not all of that tip will be in cash, no matter how I actually pay my bill.

The only problem I have with tipping is when people think they’re entitled to one, no matter how lousy the service was. Tips, a gratuity, is my way of saying thank you. No one says thank you for lousy service.

Keitha Faile

Keitha Faile is a multi-passionate entrepreneur! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, taking naps, and playing with her cat.

How Does Keitha Approach Tipping? 

I’m an Over-Tipper! I paid my way through college as a bartender and waitress. A good tip does not go unnoticed. It brings joy to the person being tipped and makes you feel good, too! People I’ve tipped recently include my hairdresser, the car wash attendant, the waitress at my favorite pizza place, and I tried to tip my cat groomer last week, but their system wouldn’t allow a tip on a credit card. But she definitely appreciated the thought!

Keitha’s Favorite Tipping Story

I once tipped the cashier at the gas station! It was snowing and they were predicting the city was going to be shut down for days. The only place I could find open to buy food was the gas station. I was so happy to find anything that I told him to keep the change. He was certainly surprised… there may have been alcohol involved… lol 😉

Paul Taubman

Paul Taubman helps people make money with their website.

How Does Paul Approach Tipping?

When it comes to tipping, I approach it with a strategic blend of mathematical calculation and sheer carefree enthusiasm. It’s a delicate dance, really. I begin by evaluating the quality of service received, taking into account the level of friendliness, attentiveness, and the occasional well-timed joke from the server. Then, I whip out my calculator, my secret weapon in this tipping game. I painstakingly calculate the percentage, taking into consideration the satisfaction of my taste buds and the overall ambiance of the establishment.

But let’s be honest: my mathematical prowess often gets thwarted by my inability to split the bill without causing chaos. So, with a shrug of surrender, I wrap up this tipping saga by rounding up to the nearest whole number, with a sprinkle of goodwill and a pinch of blind faith. Because in the end, tipping is all about bringing a little joy and laughter to those who serve us, even if it means sacrificing my mathematical precision.

Cheers to a tip well given, and may the servers forever be blessed with generous patrons and an endless supply of cheesy breadsticks!

Paul’s Favorite Tipping Story

One time in college, I was dining at a restaurant with my friends and we were having a blast. The waiter, who clearly had a great sense of humor, cracked jokes throughout the evening and made us laugh non-stop. When the bill arrived, we decided to tip him with monopoly money as a playful gesture. To our surprise, he burst into laughter, picked up the colorful bills, and exclaimed, “Finally, I can buy Boardwalk!” We couldn’t stop laughing either and left the restaurant with smiles on our faces, knowing we had made his day a little brighter. (Oh… we did leave a REAL tip as well).

Jo Milgrew

Jo Milgrew is a London-based Dog Behaviour Trainer who loves to escape the urban sprawl with her dogs.

How Does Jo Approach Tipping?

I really enjoy tipping! It’s such a great way for me to express my gratitude and show appreciation for the hard work people do. Plus, it allows me to be generous when someone goes above and beyond. There are some jobs out there where people don’t always get the recognition they deserve, so it’s not just about rewarding good service. I want these hardworking individuals to feel appreciated and valued. Tipping doesn’t have to be limited to service personally given. I’m just as happy leaving a tip when I check out of a hotel room as I am when I tip a waiter or cab driver. It’s all about spreading some kindness and making someone’s day a little brighter, which makes my day brighter too.

Jo’s Favorite Tipping Story

We’re pretty well known when it comes to deliveries around here. We have doggy-themed bins outside which are unmissable and our six pooches make sure we’re aware of any visitors with their very loud “knock alert” service. We do have an internal door, but things went downhill recently when the lock got damaged. Our lot decided to escape and greet the pizza delivery guy, much to his surprise! The initial shock on his face quickly turned to amazement as they all sat down in front of him, patiently waiting for a treat. He looked at us in disbelief and exclaimed, “You’ve trained them so well, they’re expecting a tip!”

Cynthia Alexander

Cynthia Alexander, of Break Free From The Clutter, says that clutter clearing – mess making – fun sharing all describe her attitude at different times of almost any week. :She enjoys living life with purpose and fun for all involved.

How Does Cynthia Approach Tipping?

Equity drives my tipping preference. Gratuity is earned through service not just as an expectation. I enjoy tipping: however, it is earned when I receive service that delivers. I don’t like when I simply order and pay for coffee. Whipping that screen around with a smile wanting a tip is usually rewarded with a return smile and thank you with no additional monetary compensation.

Service that goes beyond expectation also improves the time for me and deserves notice. When I have a waiter that keeps water and drinks filled and a hot basket of rolls close by…gets a tip worthy of the service.

Cynthia’s Favorite Tipping Story

One of my best stories was taking a van ride home from the airport after a conference. It was late in the evening and I was the lone person who was not a member of a basketball team coming to town. The driver took all of the guys to their hotels first and traveled at an excessive speed for the load and condition of the van. The van shuttered and shook with the swerves and lane changes. I casually mentioned more than once that speeding in that situation made me nervous. After all were delivered and I arrived home in one piece…I offered him a tip “Next time a passenger asks you to slow down and drive safely, do it and it will improve your tips.”

The next time, I took a ride I asked the potential driver if he was in a hurry or had a suppressed death wish. When he said no I asked if he would drive me home without trying to scare me. He delivered on his promise of “yes” and I tipped him $20.

Driver #1 was lucky I did not report him to the company he worked for.

Kim Stone

Kim Stone, of Bootup Your Tech, is the coolest WordPress support tech you’ll ever meet. This former Army signaleer sends messages lima charlie (loud and clear), especially when it comes to troubleshooting your tech woes.

How Does Kim Approach Tipping?

There are some services that I value more. My Loctician (hair) is valued to me more than wait staff in a restaurant. Each time I am in an establishment that tipping is allowed, the individual starts at the standard 20%. Based on the communication and attentiveness of the staff determines whether there is a decrease as the event progresses. I try my best to base the tip only on things that are within their control. Also, if we (my table and I) are being extra, I will increase the tip.

I always appreciate it when young people (teenagers) are working to earn income. So in cases such as these if the you adult is being personable, even though they may mess things up, I tip and also drop words of encouragement.

Elizabeth Fritz

Elizabeth Fritz is an illustrator and surface pattern designer who helps homemakers bring playfulness, curiosity and time saving systems into their lives.

How Does Elizabeth Approach Tipping?

I have a two-pronged approach to help me navigate the world of tipping. The first is research. You most likely won’t get a definitive answer, but a little googling or asking others what they do can give you an idea of the range of expectations for a particular situation.

The second is gratitude. I think of tipping as another way to say thank you, and by making this my focus, tipping is no longer a confusing obligation or an extra financial burden. Not every tipping situation will leave your heart overflowing with thankfulness, (in fact, most likely won’t!) but you can usually find something to be grateful for.

Elizabeth’s Favorite Tipping Story

This is technically a tipping story, but really it’s about the profound gratitude I feel every time I think about this incident. The day we took my son for his first haircut, I was very nervous! But I didn’t need to worry. We got the most amazing barber. He was gentle, and patient, and talked my son through each step of the process and took the time to demonstrate what he’d be doing before he did it. My son loved his first haircut experience and my husband and I, without even discussing it, left a larger than average tip, we were so grateful. I wish I could go back in time and leave him an even bigger tip and a thank you note!

Tracy Eng

Tracy Eng, of Whimsy Days, is a multi-passionate creator of communities and crafts. I love all things Winnie-The-Pooh, unicorns, and sparkles.

How Does Tracy Approach Tipping?

I always remember my parents’ example of tipping. If we were going out, a special and rare occasion, my parents always tipped our server. If you couldn’t tip, you shouldn’t be going out. I later worked in a pizza shop, and my sisters were servers. I had first-hand experience of earning that very low base pay and depending on tips to earn money. Those early experiences laid the groundwork.

Now, as an adult, I still believe tipping is important. Equally, I have many years more experience, and I have been that person who needed tips to put gas in the car or buy groceries. Ninety percent of all servers are busting their butt, caring for people for hours. It is usually thankless and stressful; at times, they have been demeaned by those they serve. If they show up to take care of my family during our celebration or special dinner, I should be showing up to tip them for that care and service.

Tracy’s Favorite Tipping Story

My favorite tipping story has to be when a group of us went out for a long lunch. Our server cared for our large group, and everyone had an amazing experience. It was a feast filled with lots of laughter and much joy. The joy was even sweeter because we planned to bless our server with a large tip. We knew this person was struggling. We were able to bless this person with a tip that enabled them to make their rent payment. That moment blessed me more than it blessed them.

I Love These Stories!

I was already ‘tipping positive’ before this…  but these stories warm my heart and make me want to find a way to be generous with every server I run into 💕

My father set the tone for tipping in my life. When we would hit the local Big Boy for Coffee & Pie the ticket would be less than $5 and he’s tip $5 on top of it.  From his perspective, the time it took them to bring him a hot cup that they kept full and the time they spent slicing off that chunk of pie… it was more waitressing than if he’s been there for lunch.  He simply valued the person.

Is a 100% tip crazy?

Well, maybe if the ticket were $100 it’d feel over the top… but it always felt perfect for the small ticket treats we enjoyed.

As I’ve gotten older and more financially secure, my tips get larger and larger – and yes, I do tip Baristas and I do tip the Subway Sandwich Artists.  I know what a different it can make to feel valued and appreciated and I want it for everyone.

It’s OK if you don’t want to. It’s OK if you feel like it’s all gotten out of control. It’s OK to opt out of the expanded tipping culture around us… no judgment here.

I wonder though, have any of our stories given you any new perspectives?  If so, I’d love to hear it.

Comments below are so welcome!


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