The question of if and how much to tip is always hotly debated. Obviously if the service provided was good, the answer should be an unequivocal ‘yes’. But what about when the waitress throws food down in front of you without so much as a smile, neglects to offer any further drinks and takes 30 minutes to bring the bill despite numerous requests?
Marino O’Loughlin’s article for The Guardian voices her 'restaurant pet hates: 11 ways to ruin my appetite’, most of which we agreed with in Phipps’ office. However, one which was discussed at length was the tipping conundrum. When an ‘optional’ 12.5% service charge is added to the bill and the card machine then asks if you’d like to add a tip, is it stingy to select ‘no’? Will the 12.5% service charge even reach the waitress that served you? For years we’ve been told that a 10% tip is appropriate so where did the extra 2.5% come from?
For me the answer has always been simple. The best thing to do is ask for the service charge to be removed from the bill and then pay as much or as little as you’d like depending on the level of service you received. That was until a colleague told me she was harangued at the weekend by a stroppy waiter for making such a request – ‘why, was something wrong?’ he exclaimed. It doesn’t exactly make for a pleasant end to a meal, does it?
Whichever way you look at it, tipping is and remains problematic. You may just have to hope the meal was delicious enough to make up for it. That or order a takeaway – oh wait, the delivery man needs tipping too!
Posted by Jen