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It’s official; tourism season is in full swing here in Brunswick County.
For those brave local souls who dared to venture out to area beaches during the Memorial Day weekend, the full brunt of the busy season was quickly apparent. Immediately upon arrival, already-slim parking pickings were even harder to find.
Rows upon rows of sun-drenched beach bodies marked the shoreline making it hard, in some spots, to find a good place to lay down a towel of your own.
As frustrating as the busy season can be, it’s a great time for the local economy. With gas prices at an all-time high, it might spark a boom for nearby travelers looking for a close-by destination to relax and have a good time.
Busy beaches and booked condos and hotel rooms are only a piece of the season’s puzzle. Area restaurants will also be filled where locals will rub elbows with visitors hoping to take in towns’ tasty treats.
The busy season means seasonal workers will get a boost, having the opportunity to tackle service industry jobs that are slow in the off-season. In the seasonal rush, it’s good to remember these men and women who often have low-paying jobs that ultimately help us enjoy ourselves when we don’t feel like doing the dirty work ourselves.
When service is good, it’s appropriate to award these hard workers with good tips.
When I go out, I try, to the best of my non-mathematical abilities, to award good service in the 20 percent range, which is recommended by many tipping etiquette guides.
In most cases, I justify the dollar or less difference between 15 and 20 percent, probably means a whole lot more to the person getting it, than for me giving it.
I typically tip based on the bill’s total, but recently learned a proper tip is based on the pre-tax amount.
While it’s good to reward great service, it’s also OK, according to Internet tipping gurus, to reflect bad service in a less-than great tip. When doing so, remember, however, to make your decisions based on the actual service the wait staff provided you.
If there was a problem with your food as received from the kitchen, or if the food was slow in getting to your table, is it appropriate to deduct from the wait staff tip when things that may have happened could have been out of his or her control?
In most cases it’s easy to see when a waiter or waitress is making the extra effort and when they’d rather be texting on a cell phone or chatting with the bartender instead of helping you. In those cases, it’s OK to reflect that in the tip amount.
For those who are mathematically or tipping challenged, there are wallet-size tipping charts you can carry along with you and in a blink of an eye, you can determine an exact amount to leave behind.
Tipping etiquette Web sites also recommend leaving a bartender a 10-15 percent tip for a bar bill; $1 for a coat check attendant for one or two coats; $1 for a car parking attendant and 50 cents to $1 for a restroom attendant.
While tipping in the restaurant industry is pretty standard, tipping is also advised for other service industry professionals including 15 percent for hairstylists; $1 per bag for skycaps at the airport and $1 per bag for shuttle drivers that help with luggage; cab drivers should get about 15 percent; and food delivery people should get about 15-20 percent of the delivery’s total order.
Tipping guidelines also suggest passing a buck or two to movers, hotel assistants, delivers, pet-professionals and more.
Unsure of what to do or how much to give? Refer to the Internet by searching for “tipping etiquette.”
STACEY MANNING is managing editor at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.