This article is a direct response to an article on LeslieStar.ca
From my understanding, tipping someone is a voluntary gesture that is designed to reward them for exceptional service rendered. I once read that tipping started as a way of gaining better than average service. This idea would be similar to tipping the bouncer at a club to let you in, or get you a better seat somewhere. However now gratuities are almost mandatory and in some cases forced.
Why do we tip a waiter and not a sandwich maker at Subway? I mean, the gal that makes the sandwich to your exact specification is actually preparing the food and giving it to you while still asking "would you like a cookie with that?". The difference is that we are programmed to tip only those people who provide a service that varies in either customer service or skill. We tip cab drivers because they can vary in hospitality and route knowledge. It is safe to say that you are going to give a decent tip to the cabbie that opens your door and gets you to your destination early. What about the cabbie that doesn't open your door, has a filthy cab, wreaks of fish, drives like a maniac and takes a long route to earn a higher fare? Do you still tip him? I mean, we are supposed to tip him right? WRONG! Tipping that driver only encourages his poor performance. Some people would justify only giving him a small tip. Please just stop your bleeding heart right now! If the waiter, bell hop or cab driver doesn't at least meet, or specifically exceed your expectations then GIVE THEM NOTHING! The whole point of a tip is that they went beyond the job description to serve you so that you feel as though they deserve a little extra for their efforts.
Some restaurants or party locations will force a gratuity on a bill. That is total crap! Is that location saying that they guarantee the server(s) are going to vastly exceed every visitors expectations? I'm sure it's a lot more work to manage a large table but if they do it well most people are willing to tip accordingly. I refuse to attend a location where a gratuity is either requested or forced.
So what is a fair tip amount? Having a standard tip percentage in your mind is defeating the purpose all together. Obviously some people are going to tip more than others for the same service but that's because they can afford to do so or perhaps they just want to feel more generous. Don't feel forced to tip to avoid feeling cheap as it's their fault your questioning the tip in the first place. My personal thought is that if they do a terrible job, they get no tip. If they meet or exceed the standard they get around 10% and if they vastly exceed the standard they might get around 15%. I feel that these workers make far too much money in gratuities and that tipping has become an expense and is highly inflated.
P.S. I will not tip delivery people when they have "delivery charges" added to the cost of the food.