Tipping today is very different than it used to be.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many people’s attitudes about service workers and how generously to tip them.
At the same time, receipts and tip jars are being replaced by touchscreens and gratuity suggestions at places where consumers didn’t used to tip. Delivery drivers and takeout options are creating gaps between customers and service providers.
Amid these changes, what’s the proper tipping etiquette? Where are you supposed to tip? And how much should you leave?
David Manilow, creator and producer of WTTW’s former weekly food show “Check, Please!,” joined the Crain’s Chicago Business Daily Gist podcast to answer these questions. Here’s what he recommends:
- Always tip generously. When in doubt, give more.
- Tip in cash when possible.
- Calculate percentages after tax.
- Tip 10% to 15% for delivery orders.
- Give $1 to $2 per drink, or 15% to 20%. For more elaborate drinks that require greater attention from the bartender, you should tip more.
- Tip higher at breakfast. Prices tend not to be as elevated as they are for other meals.
- Bring $5 to $10 cash to tip on carryout orders. Some people think you don’t need to tip on carryout, but this is not the case.
- Tip 10% for curbside service.
- Don’t like tipping for services before they are completed? That’s not an excuse to skip the tip at businesses that offer pre-tipping. Bring cash so you can tip afterward.
- Do you feel awkward when a barista or cashier turns the touchscreen with various tip options around to you? That’s an issue you have with the technology, not the worker. Just because you don’t like the means does not mean you can avoid tipping.
- Don’t balk at establishments that are forthcoming about additional fees used for things like providing health insurance to employees. We should encourage that kind of transparency.
- Tipping shouldn’t be complicated. Maintain a general understanding of what’s expected and always lean on the side of generosity.