Is tipping for everything out of control?

This thread got me thinking about tipping in general.

People seem to ask for tips or give tips for everything now. It seems there is an expectation in some parts of the country to tip for everything or most things, at least. My thoughts are that I tip for great service, above and beyond my expectations, or I tip for people who do something for me all year long. A tip should NOT be mandatory and, really, it should not be expected. There are some expectations for tipping that are long established, of course. Eating out, hair salons, taxis, etc… But clearly tipping is becoming more pervasive for all services beyond the usual.

I see more and more restaurants giving an option for a 30% tip. Barring me winning the lottery, or some truly exceptional service, that is never going to happen, at least not from me. The local deli, bakery, coffee takeout, ice cream shop, etc…, all have tip jars now.

  • The take out coffee shop or fast food restaurants with a tip jar. No, unless they do something really special, I don’t tip for that

  • Tipping repair people. No, I don’t tip the plumber if he fixes the leaky tap. I don’t tip the boiler repair man, or the electrician. The price is the price.

  • Tipping the UPS driver. No, I don’t do that. He maybe comes once or twice a month. If someone was here several times a week, I would consider it.

  • Tipping workers doing a large project at my home. Yes, I will do this if it’s a big job and I see them working hard. However, the price the contractor has quoted me is the price I will pay, barring issues that cost more. I don’t think there should be an expectation that I tip the workers who do the job at my home. But, I did give the current guys a tip just the other day because I can see they are doing a great job snd busting their tails.

  • Tipping weekly services, such as garbage delivery (Yes, for Xmas, but I didn’t know this was a thing until after a few years of living in NY) and lawn mowing (No, because they are seasonal and I don’t know anyone who does this.)

  • Tipping the kids’ bus driver. I haven’t had to do this for years, but yes, I did. However, I didn’t for the first few years I lived here, same reason as above.

  • Tipping the mail person at Xmas. Yes, but again, no idea that was a thing until a few years after living here.

  • Tipping people who take care of your kids all the time, yes, they get a tip. Camp counselors in my area literally earn $2 an hour (my kids did that job for two and three weeks, respectively. S quit after two weeks, working a total of 80 hours. His paycheck was like $150. Different topic, but insanely, that is legal in NY.) Regular babysitters, teachers (they get a gift), those people deserve a tip, IMO.

So, my question is, in the words of a rather well know sub Reddit, am I the ____ hole? Do I just need to get with the times, or is tipping out of control? Because I’ve seen some local parent pages on social media and people seem to be tipping for insane stuff, like the meter reader.

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No, you are clearly not a pothole. :grin:

I have to agree with you. I ONLY tip where a service is rendered, and I never tip for takeaway. We had some folks come here recently to cut up a tree and haul away a lot of debris. In addition to the basic payment for the work, I gave them a tip so that they could get a bite to eat in addition to whatever their boss was going to pay them, since they had worked so hard.

For the increasingly rare food delivery, I tip 10%.

I used to tip more, but prices are increasingly getting higher. It’s no longer a decision to get delivery because it’s convenient/saves time. Delivery and fees and tips can add a huge amount to the base price.

Prior to the pandemic, it wasn’t that way. During the pandemic, given that we were all in the same boat, I would tip more. But we are just not eating out that much, and when we do, we pick it up and leave no tips.

I very much like the way it is in many European and Asian countries where tipping is not expected and is actually refused.


I would add that to me, some of your “tips” are IMO more “thank you gestures” - like the school bus driver or the mail person at Christmas. A thanks for many occasions of good service as opposed to a tip for your daily latte.

I would add that I wonder if tipping WILL become more regular as younger people frequent these places - they are growing up in a world where tipping is becoming more regular and put literally in front of us with each purchase as opposed to us - older people - who knew tipping as something that happens at a sit down restaurant to to your hotel bellhop.

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I’d say no. I sort of in line with you. Some more, some less. I tend to give more often than not to the fast food type places. Not 20% but something.

Repair people/construction workers I usually round up the bill or add a little extra if I thought the price was fair or low. If I thought it was high, I tend to pay as stated.

I don’t tip ups/usps people. Those jobs are well paid in our area compared to the rest of us. Garbage people nope either. I don’t think it’s normal around here. And they technically are my coworkers and they aren’t supposed to be accept anything from the public. We are supposed to even give away our Xmas cookie tins consultants give us.

Teachers/workers I gave Xmas presents. I don’t consider those tips.

But yes, I feel like it’s out of control!

Prior to the pandemic, I thought it had gotten out of control, especially seeing tip jars pop up at a weird variety of counter service places (I never tipped mail delivery or garbage workers).

Since the pandemic though, I have softened a bit and do tip at my regular “to go” & counter service restaurants. I know they struggled so much during the shutdown and having to restaff once everything opened back up, and I’m happy that they were able to survive it. At the places where I am friendly with the owners, I can literally see the stress on their faces.

Also, both daughters have worked in the hospitality industry and when I heard the numerous stories from them about bad-behaving customers and “tip-skippers”, it gave me a different prospective of what those workers deal with on the daily.


So I disagree. I tip as often and as generously as possible. The vast majority of service people make very small salaries and any cash tips they can get will go directly to them and improve their well being. I tip food delivery people as much as I can and the rare time I go to a restaurant the same. I do not however tip UPS and government workers because that seems weird to me.


I’ve soften on tipping too during pandemic. Saw too many restaurants close in our area and I want to do what I can to keep them in business. I used to never tip when doing “to go” orders and now I do it regularly, including ice cream, coffee shops, etc…

20% is my norm now, even for “to go”. If we have a great sit down, we’ll do 25 or 30%.


I live in Southern California where the minimum wage is $15 an hour. I don’t tip anywhere that I have to go to a counter and order then pick up my own order. My complaint now is that when you go to a sit down place to eat and go to pay they now have tip options of 20, 25 and 30% and you have to search around for the custom tip. I am not cheap and I am happy to tip for good service, but the expectation in my area of a tip for everything has really gotten out of hand.


I assumed those tip jars were for people who don’t like loose change. If that is the case then I am guessing that they received less in the tip jar once people moved away from cash and started using credit cards during the pandemic.

I’m old school and was taught that you don’t tip the owner of a business. For example, my hairstylist owns the salon so I don’t tip. Through the years, I know the trend has changed and many people tip business owners.

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I got a little more generous during the pandemic as well. As a rule of thumb, if someone is doing what I perceive as hard labor in my home I will tip - appliance/furniture delivery is an example. If you are hired labor- plumber/electrician/painter…no - in my area these skilled jobs pay well and I’ve asked for an estimate ahead of time.
If I pick up food or coffee ( not often ) I do tip but didn’t really do this prior to the pandemic. I’m not sure what the right answer is - I really dislike the restaurant service fee - we were on vacation recently and I tipped after ordering a couple of drinks that I went to the bar to get without realizing they had added 20%gratuity automatically. Lesson learned- need to look over every receipt carefully with my glasses on!

I just find that since the pandemic we are eating/ordering out less and less. I’m going with the “less is more” practice - chose a restaurant/food delivery we really like on occasion and be willing to pay more and tip well - but do it less often. Quality over quantity.

Made some last minute plans with S and DIL for dinner at our house on Monday and I was working and didn’t have a planned dinner so picked up some chicken and sides from a new small chain restaurant. “Fast Food”. The meal for 4 cost me $50 and it was basically food THROWN in a paper bag - coleslaw container upside down, requested sauces missing (I had to fill little containers on my own). I had already added a tip and they ALSO had a tip jar out! I walked out of there with two greasy looking sacks of food and thought “this is not worth it” - for $50 I could have gotten some steaks to throw on the grill and baked potatoes and bagged salad with very little effort and a lot better satisfaction.


I’ve yet to eat out at a fancy restaurant for a while, we don’t drink alcohol so I really can’t stand the slow service at a fancy place. Eating out is merely convenience for me and my husband, he doesn’t have to do dishes. But I do eat out at not very expensive places and pickup at fast food places. I also used to tip a salon owner, but much smaller tip, not generous. We tipped 5% on a painting job as a thank you for a job well done, but honestly my husband came from a culture of not tipping, so I had to handle it otherwise he would just say thank you and that’s it.

My daughter who is in Europe mentioned food is much cheaper in Europe and you don’t have to worry about tipping, she’s a millennial too, lol. When we eat out with them, I let my kids decide what to tip, surprisingly they put a smaller amount that we usually do, we round up for convenience, I don’t want to make mistake in adding(without using phone).

A “tip” my D shared with me for tipping (without a calculator) is take your bill, move the decimal point over one spot to the left, then round off and multiply by 2.

So if bill is $25.00 mentally make it 2.5 x 2 = $5 - or about 20%.

Bill is $62.40 mentally make it 6.2 (or round off to 6) x2 = $12ish (about 20%)


I use our sales tax (ca. 10%) as a guide for tipping - double or triple that depending on the situation, but I refuse to tip on the tax amount!


I agree with you. I went to a bakery to get my daughter a cookie and the payment had a place to add a tip for 20,25,30% or other amount. Nope, not going to tip because you took a cookie out the case and put it in a bag.


I agree and people “expect” the tip. I was thinking as a joke to put one in my medical office saying it’s for the “College” fund… :mask::sweat_smile::roll_eyes:… I didn’t but really wanted to… :rofl:


I don’t tip USPS or government workers (trash collectors, for example). I dislike seeing tip jars everywhere.

Wow! “Here’s your $2 cookie. That will be a .65 cent tip please!” That’s just embarrassing.

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At my local lovely bakery, I pay in cash to avoid the credit card tip ask. Then add a quarter to the jar. The add on a CC bill irritates me highly. During the depth of the pandemic, i didn’t mind so much as all businesses were suffering. For take out restaurants, (and I rarely do take out) in the pandemic I tipped well. Now I don’t get takeout. The establishments I frequent are doing well at this point.

Regarding camp counselors and such, yes, it is terribly underpaid. But check the rules. I worked as a camp nurse for a few weeks each summer for many years. At some point I was given a generous gift certificate by a family, and I felt all I could do ethically was donate an equal amount to the camp charitable fund as tipping and gifts to individuals were not allowed.


Yes, it’s out of control. But I tip in most places. I figure i can afford it and maybe it makes someone’s day.

But the answer is a resounding YES. It’s out of control.