Originally posted in: http://gayfortlauderdaleinfo.com/gay-fort-lauderdale/a-tip-on-tipping/

Tipping is a big deal and no, we’re not talking about Midwesterners and sleeping cows. We’re talking about tipping service personnel. As a major tourist destination, South Florida receives a steady current of international visitors who are unfamiliar with the proper etiquette of tipping. It’s the reason why many South Floridian restaurants automatically include gratuity in the bill, which can confuse tourists coming from out of state. Should tipping exceed the amount suggested? What if the service wasn’t comparable to the allocated tip? And in the worst case scenario, what if you don’t want to leave a tip?

While it’s true that customer ratings have the biggest effect on tip amount, wait staff who kneel at the table receives significantly higher tips than those who don’t. Research also shows that waitresses who also add a “smiley” face to their bills see their tips increase about 5%, while waiters who do the same watch theirs decline by 3%. Writing “thank you” on the bill can boost the size of a tip up 2%. Older folks tip more than younger and women tip more than men.  While some of this information may seem trivial, to the many who work in the service industry, any insight into increasing their tips is invaluable.

So to get back to tipping or the proper way to tip, the acceptable tip for bartenders and food/cocktail servers is 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. If gratuity is already assessed, then it’s your discretion to add more. The American waiter or waitress averages an hourly wage of $4.38. Their European counterparts, however, make considerably more per hour, hence the reason why tips are not necessary. Because it’s culturally ingrained, many Europeans don’t leave a tip. That’s not the case in South Florida where many depend on tips to supplement their hourly wage. So before you decide to stiff a waiter, just remember that everybody has an off day. If you were judged on an isolated incident, would that be representative of your overall work performance? Probably not. Give your waiter the benefit of the doubt and tip. Plus, it would be good karma for you anyways.

Most people associate tipping with restaurant staff, but it’s also important to other service oriented professions like valets, baristas, hair stylists and massage therapists. Here’s a quick tip list:

Barista – $1
Car detailer – 15 percent
Car washer – $2-3 for a car; $3-5 for an SUV or truck
Hair Stylist or Color Specialist – 10-20 percent
Manicurist, Facialist or Aesthetician – 15 percent
Massage therapist- 20 percent
Pet groomer – 15 percent
Tattoo or piercing artist – 10-20 percent

So now you know tipping isn’t just for cows. In the end, tipping a few dollars means a great deal to someone in the service industry at a minimal cost to you. Tip well and you will be rewarded.