Upon a visit to a cafe or restaurant, most of us leave tips to the waiters. Some do it as a sign of gratitude for excellent service, some are just used to it, and others don’t consider it necessary. However, what amount is deemed to be normal for the provided services? How about $10,000 for two glasses of fresh water?
Alaina Custer is a student working as a waitress at Sup Dogs restaurant in Greenville, North Carolina. One day, she was serving two young people who ordered only two glasses of water.
As soon as the visitors left, the girl found a note on the table, in which they praised the quality drinks, and $10,000. She immediately rushed to her boss and found out it was a tip.
Noticing two other young people at one of the tables, Custer immediately rushed to clarify whether she had become the heroine of a show, and in response received an offer to subscribe to the popular blogger MrBeast on YouTube.
The young man with an unusual nickname has almost 16 million subscribers. He became famous for his original social experiments and inspirational videos. By the way, this isn’t the first time the blogger spends money like that: he has repeatedly given similar pleasant surprises to strangers.
As for our heroine, this impressive amount could, at least temporarily, solve many of her problems. Perhaps she could have even thrown in her waitress towel, but Alaina did something different. The girl shared the amount received from MrBeast between all Sup Dogs employees, explaining that she didn’t earn this money by her own labor.
However, why do we tip at all? This monetary reward began in the Middle Ages: the rich rewarded their servants for faithful service. On the one hand, it is an honorable gesture, on the other, a demonstration of class superiority.
At least, this is how Americans perceived this “tradition”: they considered this phenomenon anti-democratic and even humiliating. An interesting fact: in 1904, the Anti-Tipping Society of America was created in Georgia: more than 100,000 of its members had pledged not to give tips for services for the year.
Attitudes toward this type of remuneration in the US changed in the 1960s when Congress agreed that employers should cut salaries to their subordinates by allowing the latter to receive additional income from customers. This developed another theory as to why we actually give tips. Probably, at a subconscious level, we understand that less wealthy people may really need the money.
In fact, much depends on the cultural characteristics of the region. While it is reasonable to tip in America, in some countries, this can be regarded as an insult.
There is no tipping tradition in China, Japan, Thailand, and most other countries in Southeast Asia. At the same times, the most unpretentious are the Egyptians and the Greeks: it is considered quite normal to leave 5-10% of the total bill. 10% is an acceptable tip for most countries, including Italy, France, Turkey, Spain, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Mexicans, South Africans, and the Portuguese expect slightly larger amounts – 10-15%. The highest "demands” are in the US and Canada – 15-25%.
Alaina Custer was fortunate that MrBeast’s choice fell on her. The fact that she didn’t keep the whole amount to herself inspires both respect and bewilderment. Would you do the same toward your colleagues?