Pandemiquette: Covid-19 Gratuity Guidelines | Golden Rules Gal

Apr, 06, 2020

The service industry in the United States has been hard hit by the Coronavirus.  Many restaurants and bars have closed their doors. The ones that are open for take-out have limited menus which means limited staffing.    Waiters aren’t paid high wages and they rely on tips. If a service is offered, even during hard times, it still requires a level of generosity from the patron. 

The Tipping Point

This is a serious and sobering time.  People are sick and dying, but life must go  on as people continue working to support their families.  In normal times, gratuity guidelines depend on the quality and frequency of the service.  We have not yet reached the apex in California, yet many people are already at a tipping point with a month or more to go.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, he states that little things can make a big difference.  If there was ever a time to make a difference, it is now. Mother Nature has shown us just how powerful she can be.   Holy Week began Sunday April 5th which is also the last week of Lent.  It’s the time for benevolence to ourselves and to our neighbors.  

How To Be Generous In A Time Of Need

  1. 25% to 30%  is the new 15% to 20%.  While this may seem high, you still may be saving because you’re dining out less.
  2. Mobile Orders.  There  is always an option to leave a tip, especially with the no touch curbside pick-up.
  3. Home Delivery.  We are in crisis mode, so traditional rules are changing.  If you have medicine delivered or order a pizza, consider upping your tip.
  4. Virtual Tipping.  The service culture has moved online with virtual tip jars, or you can start your own.  While you’re not paying someone’s salary, it’s a nice gesture to show that you care. Pour yourself a glass of wine and give a virtual tip without leaving home.

Lunch with my nieces and nephew in Calistoga (2016)

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