Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What's the deal with tipping?

Can someone enlighten me, please?

Yesterday, I strolled into Olive Garden to purchase a gift card. And can I just say it smelled sooooo good in there that I almost told the hostess, "yes, seating for one, I'll be dining alone." But, guilt got the best of me and I just asked her where I could purchase a gift card. Darn that guilt, darn it! I then directed to the bar area where I was greeted by the bartender (or is it bartenderess?). We exchanged friendly banter and finally, I got around to asking to purchase the gift card, to which she obliged. One swipe of the gift card and then one swipe of my credit card, and voila, I was ready to be on my way. The only thing left to do was sign the credit card receipt. And there it was! The blank tip line staring me slap dab in the face. What do I do? Oh, I dread these types of situations. I mean, the girl was nice and all, but did she really do anything that warrants a tip? Is it industry standard to tip for ringing up an item? Furthermore, is she expecting a tip? Or is it just that the tip line is there for, you know, those drinking customers and dining in the restaurant and it's not like she could remove it or anything?

You tell me on etiquette experts on the internet --- do you tip in this situation?

By the way, did you know Olive Garden gift cards are also valid at Red Lobster? Yes way! That's what she told me!


Karen (Pediascribe) said...

No. I never tip in such a situation.
That also shows up when I go pick up a pizza. No tip for them handing my pizza over the counter! ;)

And, don't know where you are exactly, but you can buy Olive Garden gift cards at some grocery stores and get the benefits of cheaper gas. i.e. I buy all of my gift cards at Kroger so I can wrack up points. And no special trip because I'm at Kroger shopping anyway. I even buy gift cards for our own PERSONAL use. ;)

Sheila said...

Nope. You don't need to tip.

I think it's really uncomfortable and unhelpful of management to use those little machines.

I always feel the same way at a Chinese buffet when we pay by VISA and get those machine thingies. I mean, no one really served us. Why should we tip?

Now I do tip well when we have an actual server, but you should only pay for what you receive.

But that's just my two cents ;).

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Anonymous said...

I would not tip. If I was picking up take out and they assembled the order in the back and put in silverware and napkins and stuff I would tip a dollar or two, but not for purchasing a gift card. That is crazy!