Poor Service? You Still Have To Tip 20 Percent, No Matter What.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019

Tipping is not about you.

When eating out at a restaurant, many diners believe that they should tip on a sliding scale based on the service they receive — good or bad.

In keeping score, the scale may go something like this: Having to constantly ask for the water glass to be refilled? A deduction of one percentage point. Receiving the appetizer after the entree with no apologies? Three percentage points off the tip.

Can I be honest and convict myself?

I was on the side of the sliding-scale crowd. I tip, always. However, I hate the tipping system in America because it’s not about rewarding someone for superior service. It’s about guilt-tripping patrons to pay up.

How much to tip when the service is bad

Employers — either to increase their profit margins or out of concern they will lose business because of higher prices — force customers to supplement their employees’ wages with tips.

But the price of my meal should include what it takes for the company to make a fair profit and pay its workers a living wage.

I’d rather pay more for my meal than deal with the discomfort of having to decide how much to tip based on my opinion of a job well done — or not.

When people do not tip appropriately, they can be skewered publicly, which is what happened recently when a New Jersey lawmaker went on Twitter to humiliate a customer who left a 74-cent tip on a $119.26 tab. In his defense, the customer said the service was awful.

By Michelle Singletary
Oct. 8, 2019
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