So here we go! In my last blog post on tipping, I described various scenarios I’ve found myself in over the years with regards to tipping etiquette. Now, we will get into the details of tipping when we’re wining and dining out and ordering our groceries from Freshdirect or food from Seamless.
From my perspective, as a modern-day city dweller, these are some of the most basic scenarios in which we’re expected to tip. Let’s face it – trying new restaurants and bars is essentially an Olympic sport here. Similarly, many of us are not cooking during the week when we get home from a long work day.
While it’s often debated that between 15-20% tip is acceptable, my guideline here is to give a 20% tip unless something has really gone awry (perhaps, I’m too nice – I don’t know). Additionally, tip on the pre-tax amount including alcohol that was ordered during dinner.
Manners and Manhattans Tip: If you are dining out with several people, unless there is someone who ordered the lobster or an inordinate number of drinks; don’t be cheap and try to split the bill to within a penny of what each person owed. It’s annoying and all of your friends will hate you. Additionally, if one of your friends is in fact a known cheap skate, make sure to add in a bit extra on the tip so the server doesn’t suffer.
Food Delivery Services
A Gothamist article indicated that New Yorkers on average tip 13.1% for food delivery services (please note: this data was gathered for tips given via credit card only). This seems to fall in line with advice given by The Emily Post Institute which recommends 10-15% of the bill. In case you’re not aware, Emily Post was essentially the OG of etiquette advice. I generally err on the side of tipping a bit more – 15-20%; leaning towards the higher end when there is bad weather or difficult delivery conditions.
If there is something that New Yorkers love, it’s a speakeasy-style bar serving $16 cocktails. Here, it’s customary to tip $2 per drink or 20% of the tab. Additionally, tips are preferred in cash. This advice also stands for other upscale bars.
Sometimes simplicity is all we need. $1 per drink.
Manners and Manhattans Tip: Don’t be that person trying to order some fancy multi-ingredient drink at a dive bar. I would also avoid wine – I know from experience.
Grocery Delivery Services
Although Freshdirect’s FAQ section on its website indicates that customers are under no obligation to tip – I always do and I think that one should tip particularly if he or she lives in a walk-up and the delivery person has to lug heavy packages up numerous flights of stairs. On the other hand, if you live in a doorman building, in my opinion it’s ok to tip a bit less. I consulted Reddit and there seemed to be no consensus – some indicated that they tip $5 for a standard delivery and add more depending on how difficult the delivery is; others indicated that they do not tip at all since a delivery service fee is charged. When I lived in a walk-up building, I generally would tip $5 or more, depending on how much I ordered. $1 to $2 per box seems sufficient if you live in a doorman building and aren’t ordering enough food to feed an army. I disagree that a tip should not be given because we pay a service fee. If you don’t want to pay for the convenience of Freshdirect, I would recommend just going to your local grocery store.
So, what do you all think; Do these guidelines fall in line with your tipping practices? Tell me in the comments!