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Tipping Etiquette

Updated on January 6, 2013

TIP stands for To Insure Promptness.

What is Tipping?

Tipping is defined as a sum of money given as a reward for their service to an individual or a group of people. Earlier tipping was given prior to a service, but then it changed to after getting their meals or help.

Tipping is usually considered a service charge and is used in restaurants, hotels, food delivery, salons, casinos, golf courses, taxicab drivers, at weddings, porters and given to bellboys.


The origin of this custom started from the Roman Empires and today it is practiced all over the world except:

Countries, where Tips are not accepted
South Korea

When the natives of the above countries are tipped, it usually causes confusion or possibly could get offended if tipped.

However, Hong Kong (a part of China) practices the custom of Tipping.

Many countries do not expect a tip, but they usually add a service charge to any service granted. Thus, glancing at your receipt would be appropriate before tipping.

In some countries, bribery is considered a tip, but that is illegal and is considered corruption. If government officials ask for a tip, they should be reported and will be booked for corruption.

What are the ethics of tipping?

Ethics is defined as Morality. And if an individual is expecting a tip, he should be conducting their duty consciously and honor the person who is being served. Many a times, the service is awful, and the server still expects a tip.

Is that ethical?

However, the Economic Policy Institute states that the people who are working jobs where tipping is favored, are usually the minimum wage employees. With 6.3% of all workers living below the poverty line, 16.7% of tipped waiters are officially poor. Thus, tipping them in spite of the poor service is ethical for the customer.

Inflation is causing the percentage of tip to be increased. Currently we are at a 20% standard tip rate.

Experts comment that as long as the server does not spill food on the customer or is not flirting, the waiter/waitress is entitled to the customary tip.


Tipping indicates the class struggle of our society where it could be a spare change for one person while another human can have a decent meal from it. Getting tips is taxable income. Many a times we hear about generous tipping gestures from celebrates.

Barack Obama ranks amongst the big-hearted tippers along with Johnny Depp, David Beckham, Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, and Drew Barrymore.

Some lousy tippers reign on this planet that flinch over a bitter server and land up giving lousy tips or no tip at all. Some of the examples are Jennifer Lopez, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Lebron James, and Bill Cosby.

There are some tipping etiquette's that need to be followed by all citizens.

Tipping is Good Karma

We are aware of the low wages thus, we should be considerate towards our waiters, and the thought of not cooking and cleaning for a day and instead sitting at a table and ordering should be considered a boon.

However, if you feel that your server was not polite to you, there could be a reason behind it. Talk to the manager about the poor service but, do not skip his tip since, he is a meagerly paid person and that extra change of yours could provide him a decent meal.

Also remember the principle of Karma. What you give usually comes back to you in some form or the other. Thus, give with an open heart and be assured that you will be thanked for it some day in some form or the other. The answer to tipping a server lies within you.


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