Tipping as Instant Service Feedback
I've always believed that tipping is the most direct form of employee feedback. It's the quickest way for a hospitality employee to gauge whether he or she is performing well.
Unfortunately, this feedback system is too often undermined by poor tippers. By "poor," I don't just mean those who undertip. There will always be someone who drops a dollar on the table for a $25 check. This is frustrating (and at times maddening) for the server trying to earn a living or pay her way through college by providing top-notch service.
The system really goes off the rails at the hand of the patron who overtips for poor service. A tip is not an obligation, nor is it a right. It's a free market exchange between two parties - one who offers great hospitality, and one who places a fair value on that level of service. Those who tip from a feeling of compulsion often let poor servers off the hook with a good tip. Worse, they validate bad service by short-circuiting the feedback system.
The following link will take you to an infographic courtesy of Nichole Stennes of Hospitality Management Schools.
Tipping: How to Respond to Hospitality
Take this guided tour to learn how to be a better tipper. You'll be doing yourself, servers, and fellow patrons a favor.
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