For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to use the word “tip” as a noun or a verb.
My wife and I have actually not had a dinner out in a restaurant in more than two years (thank you COVID). But when we used to go out, we would debate the proper amount to tip the waiter or waitress. I would argue that 15% of the tab, excluding any taxes, was sufficient. She would argue that 20% should be the benchmark because the cost of living has gone up and the tip should reflect that higher cost of living. Plus, she felt that the tip calculation should include any taxes.
I acknowledge that the cost of living has gone up, but my rationale for leaving the tip at 15% is that the cost of the meal has gone up to reflect the higher cost of living. For example, for a dinner that five years ago might have cost $50, a 15% tip would have been $7.50. If the tab for that same dinner today were $80, the 15% tip would be $12.00. That equates to a 60% increase in the tip amount for the same meal, which, in this illustration, cost 60% more than it did five years ago. That seems fair, doesn’t it?
But with the 20% tip my wife pushes for, in the same scenario as just described, her 20% tip would be $16. That would equate to a whopping 113.33% increase in the tip amount for the same meal, which, in this illustration, cost only 60% more than it did five years ago. That’s nuts, right?
My wife also believes that my tipping philosophy, rather than being related to the level of service provided by the server, is directly proportional to the gender and attractiveness of said server. She believes that I leave more generous tips to female servers. More specifically, she believes that the size of the female server’s breasts will influence how big a tip I will leave (i.e., the larger the female server’s cup size, the larger my tip). And if the server is a blonde (my wife believes I have a weakness for blondes), my wife claims I’ll leave a larger tip, regardless of cup size.
Of course, none of that is true. My tips are gender neutral. And the only cup size that matters to me when I eat at a restaurant is the size of the cup my coffee comes in.