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Tipping Me Over the Edge

Eating out in restaurants is fantastic, you can gorge on food and sit back happily knowing someone out the back will be scrubbing those dishes.

Sounds relaxing doesn’t it? It isn’t. Not at the end when everyone agrees to divide the bill evenly and an argument erupts from the stingy one in the corner who only had a slice of garlic bread and some tap water.

But the one thing that drives me mad over everything else is tipping. The waiters filled with false-friendliness bring over the little metal dish with the bill on it. Ultimately, this is the plate used to line their pockets with more of your money.

Do you tip the person sat on the till at Asda for scanning your shopping? Never. Do you tip your binman? Unlikely. Do you tip the surgeons who save you from appendicitis? No.

So why do we tip people who simply bring our meals to the table? It’s a bit ridiculous we tip these employees rather than the people who acutally cook and prepare the dish for our enjoyment.

To those who say, “oh, but you should tip for impeccable customer service,” shouldn’t that be expected and certainly not an added extra. It just adds an air of insincerity to the whole affair. Is the waiter genuinely that polite and helpful, or does he simply want an extra fiver in his pocket?

I understand that in America, a lot of workers in the hospitality and catering industry are highly dependent on tips. Unlike the UK, employers can use tips to bring wages up to the minimum rate. In some countries, mainly in Asia, tipping is even seen as bad form. It can be deemed as condescending or even as bribery.

In actual fact, certain states in the US have previously had anti-tipping laws which have since been repealed. I’m not saying I’d want a similar law to be introduced. If people are willing to tip that’s down to them.

Some suggest a 10%-20% tip as the ideal. That is ludicrous. An extra £3 on a £30 bill would soon add up.

Now, sometimes I do tell taxi drivers to keep the change as I just can’t be bothered with sitting in a car with a stranger any longer than necessary. And I can see why some people may tip their hairdresser. Annoying them is risky territory. But we should not be obliged to do so.

I personally have never tipped at a restaurant, hotel or bar and urge everyone to do the same. Save that hard earned cash for yourself. There’s a tip.