The unearned tip

I’ve always had a policy of tipping well. Even for bad service, I tend to land in the 20% range. Everyone has a bad day. Maybe that one good tip, despite the bad service, is just what that person needs to turn their day around and make it good.

But I’m not sure how to feel about completely unearned tips. More and more when I get my receipt from a restaurant it has a place for a tip, even if there is no one specific to tip. The guy takes my order, passes it off to someone and they make the food. My name is called and I pick up the food. This is the extent of my contact with the restaurant employees. Where in that process is the tip earned? Am I wrong in thinking it’s not? It isn’t like a specific employee spent an hour of their life making sure I was happy.

So do you tip in these cases? I don’t, and don’t think it should be expected, but somehow still feel bad about it.

Maybe there’s a different perspective from the people behind the counter. Do you expect a tip in these cases?



  1. says

    No. Tips are for service people. If there was no real service provided, I don’t tip. This is why the walk from the kitchen to my car at Sonic isn’t tip worthy.

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