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Let me start by saying I paid my way through college by waitressing tables. I understand this job and I tip waitstaff very well. I also tip waitstaff based on the quality of the service I receive. If it’s really exceptional, an exceptional tip is given. If service is just okay, I’ll still tip, but there’s a quality scale. Many in modern society feel TIPS are meant “to insure prompt service”, after all. If that’s not what I got, then I’m not paying as much.
Do I resent tipping at restaurants? No.
This is in part because I know that waitstaff would not even make minimum wage without tips because compensation is driven by gratuity. (I think I made $2.01 per hour for years, which created a check from which the government could easily deduct taxes for my tip income.)
I also understand why waitstaff get a lot more per a large check in a fine dining establishment. That’s because their tables don’t roll quickly like they do in a diner. (I’ve worked in both sorts of restaurants so I am super familiar with the different workloads.) Also, the waitstaff at a fine dining place will tip out bartenders and busboys to ensure they get the help they need to fill the drinks of those twenty business people at one table who are all on expense accounts while attending a convention.
It’s a whole system, and I know how it works, so I don’t mind the system.
But now there are many other places that “require” tipping that I’m going to admit are making me resentful, and I don’t even know the logic as every coffee joint and sandwich place seems to have a tip jar by the cash register.
Call me cheap, but I think the “service” is baked into the $7 latte, right? If I order at a counter and have to go back to a soda fountain to fill my own drink, why should I give a tip? Because someone gave me the food that was being sold like they do every day at McDonald’s?
Those sorts of employees make a regular wage, unlike waitstaff, so the tips don’t serve the same purpose.
But here’s the kicker, and I think this one impacts women more than men. (This is not because men don’t go to salons, but women are often charged more at salons because we have more hair and more complicated services.)
How much do you tip at a salon?
Per an article I just read for guidance, the tip should always be %20 on the service.
Well, I just got my hair colored and cut last night. This was $255 plus an additional $20 for more hair dye because, apparently, my hair is “thirsty” and absorbed the color quickly. That left me with a tab of $275.
The service took about 2 1/2 hours with thirty minutes of that involving me sitting there with the dye on my hair.
Many stylists at upscale salons are paid half the ticket, so that means my stylist theoretically made $137.50 before tip.
I am not going to count the thirty minutes I sat in a chair because someone could give someone else a haircut in that timeframe, so the stylist was working for me for two hours. She, therefore, theoretically made $68.75 per hour before tip.
Now I add $55 to the tab per the %20 rule. The stylist then made $96.25 per hour.
I understand being a good hairstylist requires skill, but I have two masters degrees, and I do not make anywhere near that kind of cash.
You may say, “Go to a cheaper salon!” But I live in a city in which this is what it costs to have one’s hair colored, and that’s really not the point.
If I paid $100 for the service, I’d probably feel a lot better about the %20, but it takes the same amount of time to color my hair in an upscale salon or a place in the mall, so why is this tip based on a percentage? (As I said, there really is a difference in fine dining versus greasy spoon.)
Am I being ridiculous here?
I do understand that some stylists do not get half of their tickets. They work for a base salary and then get tips, but I am still paying a pretty hefty fee for the time in the salon, whoever gets the cash-ola.
I also know the margins on food in restaurants is very small, so that’s why the compensation structure for waitstaff is set up the way that it is set up.
Is that really the case in a salon when I used to dye my own hair for $20 per the box I got from the grocery store?
What do you all think is actually reasonable to pay at a salon apart from what “etiquette experts” say. (Apparently, you should tip more than 20% at Christmas!!!)
Does anyone know how this industry works that would make me feel less like I’m just getting ripped off?
Currently, I let my roots often grow out to the point that I sometimes look like a secretary in a house of ill repute mostly because I dread standing at a cash register doing mental math and feeling resentful because it seems I’ve already paid a lot for what I’ve gotten, and they always want more.
Kinda like the government.Published in