Service Industry Workers Explain the Most Annoying Tipping Habits They Deal With

By: Georgia | Last updated: Nov 10, 2023

It’s important to understand the proper tipping etiquette when dining out or grabbing a drink. Service industry workers, including waiters, baristas, and bartenders, work hard to provide excellent service and rely on tips as a significant part of their income. 

This article aims to highlight some common tipping habits that may be considered annoying by service industry workers and provide additional guidance on appropriate tipping practices.

General Tipping Guidelines

The Emily Post Institute recommends tipping 15-20% for sit-down wait service and $1-$2 per drink or 15-20% of your total tab for bartenders. 


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While it’s not mandatory to leave money in a tip jar, it is recommended to tip occasionally if your server or barista provides something extra or if you’re a regular customer. Being mindful of these guidelines can help ensure fair compensation for service workers.


Not Tipping on Wine

Monique Soltani, a former bartender and server, and host of “Wine Oh TV,” noted that not tipping on wine is a common offense. 


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Servers dedicate time and energy to picking, opening, serving, and pouring the wine, which warrants appropriate tipping. Soltani emphasized that if one can afford a bottle of wine at a restaurant, they can certainly afford to tip on it.

Extra Service Warrants Extra Tips

Ordering a bottle of wine involves extra service and attention from the server. Soltani pointed out that this extra service should be acknowledged by tipping accordingly. 


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It is important to show appreciation for the hard work and effort put in by the server by compensating them fairly.

Not Tipping for Drinks

Charlie McKenna, founder and chef at Lillie’s Q, observed that some customers do not tip for drinks, acting as if being served drinks is separate from being served food. 


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He advised tipping the bartender or barista, regardless of what was ordered, as they appreciate it more than one might realize.

Seriously Low Tips

Jamie Hickey, an SCA certified barista, found that leaving change for a drink but not tipping is very annoying. 

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He noted “after working full-time at two different places, I can say this with confidence,” he said. “A lot of customers will leave 2-5 cents per drink as if their order is no more important than those of those around them—and one time someone left me 10 cents on $4.”


Separate Positions, Separate Tips

Hickey highlighted that tipping a waiter but not a barista is a common mistake, as “the positions are separate and do not share tips.”

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It is essential to remember to tip both a waiter and barista, as both positions involve providing service and deserve fair compensation.


Lack of Effort, a Common Misconception

Some customers believe that the bartender did not do enough to merit extra cash by simply pouring a drink. 

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McKenna emphasized that the effort of the bartender or barista goes beyond just pouring a drink and advised tipping regardless of the order. It is important to show appreciation for the service provided.


The Importance of Tipping

Tipping is not just about giving extra money; it is about showing appreciation for the service provided. 

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Service industry workers often rely on tips as a significant part of their income, making it crucial to factor proper tipping into the budget when going out.


Fair Compensation

Some individuals may not realize that their usual tipping amounts are deemed inadequate. Being conscious of correct tipping norms and including suitable tips in one’s spending plan during outings is essential. 

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Workers in the service sector consistently deliver outstanding service and are entitled to just remuneration for their hard work. It’s crucial to acknowledge their efforts by compensating them fairly and adequately.


Breaking Bad Tipping Habits

We’ve covered the basics of tipping, the importance of tipping on wine and drinks, the need for separate tips for separate positions, and the importance of fair compensation. 

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Remember, tipping is not just about the money—it’s about showing appreciation for the hard work and excellent service provided.


Time to Tip Your Part

Now that you’re aware of some common annoying tipping habits, it’s time to step up your tipping game! 

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Whether you’re at a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop, always remember to tip your server, bartender, or barista appropriately. Let’s show our appreciation and be great tippers.