Judge This: The Ethics and Customs Of Tipping

Judge This: The Ethics and Customs Of Tipping July 29, 2009

I love egg and cheese sandwiches in the morning.  Every once and a while I go to my local diner and order one takeout.  I never stay there to eat egg and cheese sandwiches but in the past I have gone there as frequently as once a week to eat dinner with a friend.

But when I stop in for just the egg sandwich I always spend every last second in the diner in a mental war with myself over whether I should leave a tip.  A long while ago I asked some people whether I should tip and some among them scolded me that of course I should not.  You don’t tip when taking out from the deli or from a fast food restaurant or a chinese restaurant unless it’s a delivery.  So, you shouldn’t tip when taking out from a diner either.  But since these are waiters and waitresses who take my order at the diner and since I know that’s what they are and I know who they are quite well, I feel terrible not tipping.  I don’t want to tip out of slavery to guilt though.  I understand the reasoning that tipping is for service and there’s no more service that a waiter or waitress gives me on a takeout arrangement than the deli guys give when I’m there.

I always tip scrupulously in accord with local tipping customs when it comes to bartenders and delivery men and waiters and waitresses when I’m seated, etc.  It’s not that I’m stingy, I’m just unsure what the expectations are, what fairness requires, etc.

So, you tell me, should I go with my gut which is dying to tip or with my head which thinks tipping should be correlated only with service-based arrangements?

Your Thoughts?

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