Bring up the topic of leaving tips at a dinner party, and I promise that you'll get dozens of conflicting opinions. It will probably get heated and may even get ugly when Uncle Ian vehemently disagrees with Aunt Barbara when she says that tipping is always necessary, even when the service has been mediocre.
The overarching problem with leaving tips is that unless the service charge is already added to the bill, it is left entirely up to the individual to decide whether they want to tip at all and how much they leave.
To see just how much tips mean to a server, check out how this waiter reacted when he was tipped $300:
This is complicated further by different countries' opinions on tipping. In certain places, you're not expected to leave a tip at all, and doing so can even be considered rude, whereas in the United States tipping is expected almost everywhere. Whilst it is up to the individual to ensure that they have researched tipping etiquette in the countries they visit, they often shortchange the waiting staff who rely on tips to make a decent living.
The Emily Post Institute recommends that service staff are tipped at least 15 percent in the US.
This means that when an average dinner in New York costs $48.56 per person, you are expected to tip a minimum of $7.28. That doesn't seem like too much right? Just wait, this is where the rules get a bit blurry...
As The Emily Post Institute continues, you may be expected to tip as much as 20 percent. Once again, this is up to you - if the restaurant is a fancy, sit-down establishment, it's anticipated that you cash out the full 20 percent, the same applies to truly impeccable service.
So bearing this all in mind, one young single mother had something to say about how much, or how little she was tipped and the internet had one hell of a response for her...
The young woman posted the following rant on her Facebook page:
"I don’t normally post this kind of stuff on social media but I'm so mad right now I could throat punch somebody. I'm a single mom of 2 beautiful kids… I work my butt off for the money I make as a server. No… this isn't my "dream job" but it's my "suck up your pride and do what you gotta do until your daughter starts school" job… my "work nights because I can't afford daycare" job. I chose this job so I could spend my days with my daughter and not pay someone else to be there for all her important milestones in the first 5 years of her life.
With that being said… y'all ... it's not ok to tip your server $5 on $105 ticket. Especially when your food was delivered promptly... and you never had to ask for refills. It's not ok! Ever. We make $2.63 an hour and tip out 3% of our total sales at the end of the night to bus boys, hostesses, and to-go. Please consider that the next time your tipping your server. *end rant*"
In the trending post, Brittney explains that despite her providing excellent waiting service, she was only tipped five percent. On this $105 bill, the minimum 15 percent should leave a tip of $15.75 which means Brittney was undertipped by over $10. If someone has come to rely on the money they make from tips, this act isn't just rude but can ultimately threaten their livelihood.
Some Facebook users were supportive of this single mother's struggle:
But others were quite far from seeing eye-to-eye with Brittney and critiqued her life choices:
The main argument, however, was to do with how much of tip people should be expected to leave:
Phew. My opinion is to always pay at least the expected amount and add for exceptional service. Easier? I think so.