[Sca-cooks] food manners/tipping

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Thu Nov 2 06:54:30 PST 2006

On Nov 2, 2006, at 9:31 AM, Lisa Sawyer wrote:

> I have a question on a semi-related topic. If I am receiving a
> service...such as haircut, massage, etc. from an individual who is  
> working
> for him/herself and setting their own rates, should I tip them?  
> Now, if I go
> to a salon or a spa or something, I usually do tip them because I  
> know they
> are working for a basic wage barely above minimum and most of the  
> money goes
> to the employer (in most cases). I just haven't figured out whether  
> or not
> to tip the individuals who work for themselves. I would presume  
> they are
> making a living wage because they charge the same as in a salon or  
> spa but
> don't have to give a cut to the management.
> Any thoughts?

It might or might not turn out that the cost/profit structure is  
different for a small business owner. In some cases it's easy to  
assume a low overhead, but when you factor in things like equipment  
depreciation on one massage table versus 24, and that one table  
getting 12 customers a week versus a thousand on the spa with 24  
tables (or whatever), it sometimes turns out that the single  
entrepreneur would charge more if they could, but can't compete if  
they do.

In the end, it's probably mostly about how you feel about the  
service. What was it really worth to you, and how happy did it make  
you? For example, I don't own a car, live in a large city, and find  
myself taking a lot of taxis and car services. Yes, the fare is X and  
10 or 15% of the fare is .15X, but I sometimes find myself tipping  
drivers very generously for simply being there when needed, because I  
know that it's nothing to the misery I'd be experiencing if I were  
out in the rain at 1:30AM with an arthritic spouse and a sleepy kid  
on deserted streets on a holiday... given that such services are hard  
to come by in environments such as mine, why should I be the only one  
to luck out?

But for your hairdresser or masseuse? My feeling is you ask yourself  
if the basic service performed was worth to you what they charged  
(given that you could have gone to the big salon or spa and paid the  
same price, but didn't), then ask yourself why you did, and if the  
service warranted a little more. If yes, then yes...


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