Tipping guide: Who, when, how much? - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Tipping guide: Who, when, how much?

In today's society it can be tough to know who to tip and how much. Here's a guide to help. Source: WBRC video In today's society it can be tough to know who to tip and how much. Here's a guide to help. Source: WBRC video

It's been around since the 17th century, so why is it that so many of us are still lost when it comes to tipping? Who gets one, when and how much?

"People that tip really well, that's one thing people should know, it changes that waiters day," waiter Stuart Bond said.

But just because tips make people in the service industry feel good and for some are what they depend on does not mean they will always see one.

"I look at tipping as you're in Vegas rolling dice. It's a crap shoot. I've had some tips when it's just 0," waiter Tony Taylor said.

In today's fast-paced world where there are more and more services offered at our fingertips, knowing when, who and how much to tip can be daunting.

"We find now that we are tipping more and more as the service industry has expanded. We went from a manufacturing service to more of an experience industry. With that advancement there are more positions that are tipped," said Kimberly Severt from the University of Alabama's Restaurant, Hotel and Meeting Management program.

Etiquette consultant Kathie Martin says many people overlook positions that deserve to be tipped.

"Often people don't necessarily understand the people you should tip," Martin said

Martin suggests hair stylists should get 15-20 percent, while a shampoo assistants deserves $1 to $5. She says expect to pay 15 percent of the bill to pizza delivery people, your manicurist, a taxi driver and your dog groomer. Making a move? Martin suggests tipping movers up to $35 in town and up to $65 out of town.

The consultant says the one area people are most familiar with are restaurants where the average tip in Birmingham is 18 percent.

When it comes to to-go orders some restaurant goers say they are left scratching their head. Do you tip and if so how much?

"It is one of those gray areas because those types of services weren't around in the past. It's one of those things that's not mandatory," Severt said

Bond says he doesn't mind getting stiffed when it is a carry-out order.

"If someone comes in and gets food, I've been on cashier when they do that, if they throw me a tip I appreciate it but it's not necessary," he said.

It's a principal Martin does not entirely agree with. She feels a tip should always be given, even if you've received bad service.

"It's not the server's fault necessarily that the food was late or cold. That could be the kitchen's fault. If the server didn't do things properly, wasn't considerate, maybe that's a training issue," Martin said.

She says tip 10 percent, even if you are dissatisfied, then go to the manager.

"Every restaurant should be responsible for its servers and their service," Martin said.

But soon some places may be turning your tips away. Hair stylist Jonathan Fowler says it is all due to a new trend particularly in the beauty industry.

"There's a new movement where a lot of salons are trying to be respected as more professional environments and moving away from the traditional tipping element with the thought process you don't tip a doctor or a lawyer," Fowler said.

Still, Martin does not think we will ever see the end of tipping all together. In fact, she says as time goes on we will likely find ourselves tipping more, to more people.

"When you consider the cost of living the amount of tips has not increased proportionally it may go up it probably will but it will probably take quite a while," Martin said.

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