Sonya Khanna

Business Editor

 

Tipping etiquette: yes there’s such a thing. Although it might not be popular terminology in a student atmosphere, it is a widely accepted practice.

Students may scoff at the notion of tipping, understandably due to the general lack of funds associated with student life. I’m certain many can empathize with this dilemma, but at that feared moment when the bill is anxiously placed in front of you, your conscience clouds you as you weigh the variable pros and cons of tipping etiquette.

How much to tip? How little to tip at the expense of being given the evil eye by your server on your way out.

Having previously worked in a restaurant with a predominantly student customer base, I can understand the worker woes associated with weak student tipping and hatred towards the plastic devil in disguise – your student card.

“I used to work as a server so I understand how much it sucks working so hard and getting no tips,” states fourth year economics student Shehzin Hossain. “Now when I go out to eat I try and make sure I tip at least 15 per cent of the total bill.”

Although tipping etiquette varies globally and is even non-existent in some countries, in North America it is typically accepted to provide a service payment of approximately 15 to 20 per cent of the bill provided.

Generally, tipping 20 per cent is accepted for exceptional service or potentially a higher bill and 10 per cent by your own personal preference if the service was not to your liking. When contemplating how much to tip, or whether to tip at all, take into consideration factors such as whether the server is required to ‘tip out’ a percentage of his or her total sales to bartenders or other service staff.

If you are travelling and are uncertain of the unspoken services fees typically accepted in another country, consult your travel agent or take note of important information noted on sites such as tripadvisor.com. Information noted on these sites includes far more than merely tipping suggestions, conveying information on the differences in social etiquette between countries as well as accepted gestures and body language to ensure you don’t find yourself in an awkward finger pointing induced predicament in a foreign country.

For individuals who are stumped, online calculators are available to determine the optimal amount to tip. Onlineconversion.com does precisely what their site boasts –converting “just about anything to anything else,” taking into account factors such as the number of patrons as well as the total bill amount.

Tipping is not mandatory, but it is customary in North America. If you deem the service efficient enough to your taste, you might want to consider moving the decimal place one notch to the right on your bill.

 

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