To tip or not to tip?

The service industry is all about offering skills and knowledge as a product. It's a service. A service shared with the client or other people. Services are not necessarily always tangible. For example, I am offering you the service of  my professional organizational and planning skills to help you execute your event. You can't touch my professionalism or organizational skills, but you will see the end result - a successful event. In fact, there is a whole industry called the "Service" Industry. It includes everyone from the posers on NOLA streets, event planners and the hotel concierge at front desks to the public relations officer and photographers. 

Each person in the service industry is there to help, or service, you. Well, have you ever wondered if and how much you might need to tip them? 

A tip, or gratuity, is a sum of money given to certain service industry workers for a service performed or anticipated in addition to what they may make on their salary. Many service industry professionals depend on tips more so than their salary so it's important for us to consider then when thinking about whether to tip or not to tip. To help us out in this area, I did some research and found some help in guiding us through the tipping process. None of this is new, I just gathered, edited and put my own twist on the information and put it in one place for a reference. 

Tips are based on several things. First, tips are most often based on a percentage of the total cost of services provided (for example, when dining out, it's customary to tip 15-20% on the total or pre-tax total). Because we're all based in different regions and standard of livings can vary greatly, percentages help standardize how much we should tip . Second, tips are also based on the quality of service. How well did the professional do in providing you their services? A waiter who did extremely well might deserve a 25% tip; someone who did poorly, 10% tip. Should we ever not tip at all? Probably not since, like I mentioned before, the service industry depends on tips as income. If it was that bad, talk to a manager so the waiter or service professional can learn from their mistakes. 

Most of the time tips can be handled in person as your finishing your event; however, sometimes timing can be an aggravation. For example, at your wedding you don't need to worry about handing out money. Give it to your coordinator or "go to" person to hand out during the night. Other events, ask the service professional when they'd like to receive it. And even if you can't tip, if you want to give a gift, that works too. It's all about showing appreciation for the services provided. Which brings me to my last point, a genuine thank you goes a long way.