This past Friday I was interviewed on MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall (click here to see the interveiw). Tamron asked me about my post on eliminating tipping. The entire interview took just 4 1/2 minutes, but I spent hours preparing. Even with all the work, it was a lot of fun.
Tipping is widespread across North America. People tip taxicab drivers, hair dressers and hotel doormen. However, the place where the most people tip is in restaurants and bars. The problem for many customers is that tipping is confusing since tipping rules are not clear and payments are arbitrary. Many people agree the “standard” tip is 15%. However, on what amount do you tip 15%? Is it the total bill? Is it the total bill excluding tax? Is it the total food bill, with expensive bottles of wine tipped at a separate rate? Many people agree the tip rate for large groups should often be higher, but how many people comprise a “large” group? Most importantly, tipping means doing math, which is a difficult task for some people and a challenging task after drinking alcohol in a bar or restaurant. Continue reading →