Blame it on my years in the restaurant biz...

I have my own feelings about tipping that don't necessarily jive with the current trends. As someone with decades in it, I often tend to over-tip. I figure an extra couple bucks out of my pocket goes a lot farther for good service, than it does just sitting in my wallet. I don't get crazy, but I'll tip well for being treated exceptionally.

READ MORE: Is it Appropriate to Tip Someone Working on Your House?

Heck, I'll even tip ok for bad service. It is what it is. But there are a growing number of Mainers, as well as people all over the country, that feel tipping is getting out of hand. Whether it's unreasonable expectations, or tips being automatically added to bills for varying reasons, people aren't feeling a generous or as kind towards the process these days.

What's a good tip? What's a bad tip?

Tip jar at food cart in New York City

There's all kinds of answers here. In years past, 15% was sort of the standard baseline tip. Often, I tip at least 20% because that math is easier to do in my head. But some people feel that tipping should be up to the customer, not the business. Or that it shouldn't be this social construct that it's become.

Woman shocked by the amount of the invoice

A bad tip is anything less than 15%. But what about for a takeout order? No one really "served" you, other than a person at a register. In places like this, tips are often pooled and split among everyone who's working. Honestly, it isn't much, but it's always nice to walk out of work with some pocket money.


What's an outrageous tip?

Most would say anything over 20%. But the sky is the limit. Some people enjoy leaving large tips. But a lot of Mainers hate having it added to the bill, just because the restaurant demands it. Some places put it on when you have over X-number of people in your party. Most people feel it leaves no room to leave a tip that matches the service they got.

But according to, between the social aspects, and the fact that some businesses are basically paying some people less and passing that expense onto the consumer, is driving people to the point of not wanting to tip at all. After all, a tip should be earned, not expected.

READ MORE: I Need Your Help Making 'Revenge Tipping' a Thing Here in Maine

This is causing some 75% of Mainers, and consumers all over the country to feel negatively about leaving a tip. If something doesn't change to even some of these feelings out, people may just stop tipping altogether. That would be a sad over-correction. No one wants that...

Oh, and what about tipping all those people who don't work in restaurants???

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