Almost every morning, I stop at Sonic and get a large diet coke with lime. It cost $1.08 and I always give the carhop $2. I just assumed every did the same. But I’ve discovered lately that a whole lot of people don’t tip at Sonic.
I realize that lots of you out there probably never even go to Sonic, but it’s become a habit for me. Mostly because it’s convenient. But I also like their commercials with the two stoners for who Sonic is the apparent center of the universe. I also like the fact the the cup is styrofoam (I know–the least green material on earth) which doesn’t sweat in the Tennessee humidity. Plus, I’ve been going there for a while now and they know me. I even get an occasional free drink for my repeated patronage.
So my tip of 92 cents is probably a tad excessive….after all, it’s almost 100%. But it speeds the whole transaction along if I don’t have to wait around for change. Plus, it just seems like the right thing to do.
Tipping is a funny thing though and different cultures have different rules. At restaurants in France 15% (service compris) is automatically added to the bill. In England, I beleive that 10% is the norm. In the U.S. 15% is usual, but I know lots of people who routinely bump that up to 20%. At my local Publix grocery store, the people who carry your bags out to the car are not allowed to accept tips. They will cheerfully turn down any tip that is offered. But it would rarely occur to me to tip that person to begin with.
My personal tipping guidelines include:
Pizza delivery–yes. UPS delivery–no.
Person carrying luggage–yes. Person carrying groceries–no.
It may be completely different where you live. But to me, the cheerful young girls who bring me my morning beverage deserve it. They are working hard and certainly not making a lot per hour. Seems like the least I can do.