In today’s digital age, encountering a checkout counter screen prompting you to tip has become a common experience. The surge in cashless payment methods with automated tipping options has made tipping more prevalent than ever before.
Navigating this digital tipping culture can sometimes be awkward, but fear not! Here are some strategies to make the process smoother and more enjoyable.
Own Your Decision, No Guilt Attached
Feeling pressured when faced with a tipping screen is natural, but etiquette expert Thomas Farley, known as “Mister Manners,” suggests taking your time. Servers typically give you space to decide, so embrace that moment.
In these inflationary times, with rising costs, it’s perfectly acceptable not to tip at a checkout counter, even if technology prompts you to do so. Remember, it’s your decision, and good etiquette supports you either way.
The 20% Rule: A Handy Guideline
While tipping may not be traditional in every setting, a 20% tip is customary for services like restaurants. Blake Hammerton, founder of the Sharp Gentleman, recommends adding 20% or rounding up to an even dollar amount for most services. Whether it’s a hairstylist, salon assistant, or food delivery driver, this percentage is a meaningful acknowledgment of their service.
- For coffee shops or convenience stores, tipping may not be expected, but a small gesture is always appreciated.
- When ordering food delivery, consider the effort involved and adjust your tip accordingly.
Cash Is Still King in Certain Situations
Etiquette expert Lisa Mirza Grotts suggests keeping some cash on hand, especially for traditional tipping situations like hotel housekeepers or valets. Having $5 and $10 bills is useful, and for larger bills, such as tipping after a substantial service like a house move, having a few $100 bills can make a lasting impression.
- Year-end tips for service providers can be the equivalent of one visit’s cost, preferably in cash.
- In-home service providers like nannies or housekeepers typically receive a tip equivalent to one week’s pay.
Stay True to Your Budget
Certified Financial Planner Marianne Nolte advises considering your budget when faced with unexpected tipping prompts. Just because the option to tip is there doesn’t mean you always have to take it. Businesses encourage spending, but managing your finances is crucial. Ellie Austin-Williams, author of “Money Talks,” echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of protecting your budget from tipping-creep.
Turn Tipping Into a Joyful Experience
Tipping becomes a positive experience when you’ve received excellent service. Rather than feeling awkward, embrace the opportunity to express appreciation. When tipping is a genuine acknowledgment of great service, everyone leaves with a smile.
Navigating today’s digital tipping culture doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few key strategies in mind, you can confidently handle tipping situations, turning them into positive and rewarding experiences. Remember, the choice is yours, and tipping is a way to express gratitude for exceptional service in our increasingly cashless world.