We published an interesting letter to the editor today from a server who says as times get tough, people get stingy with their tips:
The other night at my restaurant, a colleague and friend of mine had four people at a table (a four-top) whose total check was about $75 for all of them. These folks could not have been happier with their service and were raving to the managers about how well they had been taken care of by Matt. One would assume that with excellent service a tip of $18.75 would have been in order (25 percent for excellent service, 15 percent for average). This young man was left $3 — are you serious?
I haven't gone to the 15-25 percent rule. I still pretty much tip 20 percent across the board. This server has a good point that your waiter or waitress depends on those tips and has to pay the same prices for gas and food that you do.
Oh, and here's a question. I pretty much have tipping etiquette down for most service categories, but I don't know what to do about my barber. He's near retirement and down to half-days now, using only one chair in the three-chair shop. He owns the place and presumably sets the haircut price based on what his profit needs are. But if he were just an employee in a mall shop, he would expect a tip. Do I tip him or not?