Remember in the 90’s when coffee became a Thing? It was a tumultuous time in the culture: the heyday of Ross and Rachel, of the musical RENT! of Raising Awareness About Everything and flat-ironing the living shit out of your hair. It was also when s going to a “coffeehouse” or ordering an espresso drink someplace became the right thing to do, instead of drinking the sludge from your office or the 25-cent garbage they sell in corner deli’s. It was also, what I call, “The Tipping Point”. Not to be confused by the Point of the same name made famous by the Ultimate Outlier, be-‘froed Canadian nerd Malcolm Gladwell, MY Tipping Point is far less scientific but endlessly more important for those of us who find ourselves perpetually broke. It refers to the tip jars which started popping up on coffee-place counters like wildfire–and soon afterward, everywhere else.
Now don’t get thangs twizzted–I am happy to tip and tip well at restaurants and in other food-service establishments but sometimes it’s just too much- if you tipped everyone who did their job decently well you’d be even broker than you are now, so here’s a handy guide on when to tip and when to skip
At Bars and Restaurants: No matter what. Unless the service is absolutely abysmal, 15%. The standard is slowly creeping up to 20%, though and you’ve experienced exceptional service or a particularly knowledgable/attentive server, the sky’s the limit. keep in mind though, servers have NO control over the quality or taste of your food. The only thing they do have control over is the service. So if you don’t like what you ate but your waitress was sweet as pie, tip her big. At bars, $1 per drink is the standard but if you have a tab, do 15%.
Coffee Shops: Yeah, you should toss in your change, especially if you’re a regular. If you get 99 cents back on a $3 drink the whole thing isnt really necessary, but at least 50 cents should do it.
Taxis: A very well connected man told me that the rule is 2 for every $8 on the meter, but use your judgment.
Pinkberry/Red Mango I had a particularly unpleasant encounter with a Red Mango employee just last night who was rude to my friend because he was a homophobic asshole so unfortunately they didn’t get my quarters. Use your judgment.
Dry Cleaners: Seriously? I’ve seen this twice and was PISSED about it. No way. $8 to steam a dress is pleenty.
Movie Theater Concession Stands: The service is terrible and the attitudes surly. Skip.
Street Mimes and People Who Paint Their Bodies with Silver: It will only encourage them.
Pizza Places: Unless you’re a regular or sat at a table, tipping seems excessive. Especially if the guy just tossed your slice on a