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You’ve just enjoyed a lovely meal out in town, be it with friends or your significant other, you’ve had a great time and even managed to split the bills relatively hassle free. But then comes the question: should you tip?
A lot of the issues surrounding whether or not tip arise as a result of the uncertainty surrounding tipping etiquette. Who should you give the tip to? How much should you actually tip? The latter is a particular source of agony, with many stories about arguments occurring as a result of the bill payer not giving a large enough tip at the end of a meal.
Whilst a tip is generally described as an optional amount added to your food bill at the end of a meal as a way of expressing contentedness with the overall experience, from the food to the service, in recent years there has been a growing sense of obligation to provide a tip regardless of how much you enjoyed your meal. More often than not, there’s now a noticeable pressure to add a tip to your bill, a feeling which is only made even more awkward when you’re paying by card and you have to outright say whether or not you will or will not be tipping – it certainly takes away from the generous feeling I’d usually associate with the act of giving a tip. I like to feel like any extra money I give is appreciated and not simply just expected.
Speaking not only as a student, but as a general customer, my stance on tipping has always been that it’s a contextual choice based on each individual dining experience. If you take an age serving me the meal and are rude, then it’s pretty damn certain you won’t be getting a tip from me, regardless of how generous I’m feeling with my weekly student budget.