Think Before You Tip!

Our society is becoming increasing mobile not just physically but financially. We love the convenience of paying for goods and services by swiping our credit card through a vendor’s card reader or through our phones.   Increasingly, when we go out to eat at our favorite restaurant, these mobile device applications will automatically calculate suggested tips for us. NCR, a technology company that sells point-of-sale services to restaurants, uses 18%, 20% and 22% as its default tipping options (restaurant can asks to have the options configured lower or higher).   Usually, there is also an “Other” tip amount or “No tip” amount option as well.

Although these options take care of a mentally taxing chore for many of us and provide a great reminder that we need to tip, it also erodes our choice in determining how we want to support our servers. Here are few ways to be more intentional in our tipping:

  • Hit the “Other” button and put in your own tip amount. Perhaps bring a small calculator to determine the amount of the tip you would like to give.
  • Pay the tip in cash. Make sure you have enough cash to pay at above what you might normally tip!
  • Confirm that the tip percentages are calculated before tax. Most folks don’t like the idea of tipping on the tax.
  • Know the protocol about tip amounts for various servers. The Emily Post Institute offers general tip percentages at that may provide a baseline giving amount.

By Barry Jamieson, MA

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