Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

How I've finally reached tipping point

Having worked as a waitress myself, I always tip in restaurants. I don't begrudge this.

Until now my only problem with tipping has been a suspicion that, in some places, the money may not being going directly to the waiting staff – but into the boss's grubby little back pocket.

The way round this is to give the tip in cash to the waiter concerned.

Even so, you sometimes wonder.

And now there's a new tipping trend I'm not so sure about either. You know when you go into self-service cafes and coffee shops and there's a tip jar at the till ...

What's that about?

Since the person at the till merely tots up your bill and pours a coffee, do they really need to be tipped for their efforts? The check-out assistant at the supermarket doesn't have a tip jar. The guy in the filling station totting up the price of my takeaway coffee and sandwich doesn't have one either.

Why are coffee shops deemed different?

Presumably cafe counter staff are being paid for the job already.

There is a tradition in the hospitality industry that those who serve on the floor make up their earnings via tips for good service.

But how long will that last if everybody starts getting in on the act with their own sugar bowl bearing a black felt-tipped, none-too-subtle plea for 'TIPS'?

Here's a tip – go and see your boss about a wage rise. The paying customer is already paying enough.

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