Conventional wisdom dictates that if you can afford to have food delivered, you should be able to afford the tip. Not always.
On Tuesday, a Reddit user named Jfastman uploaded a photo of a receipt for a pizza delivery that included 85 pizzas totaling $1,453. "My friend delivered 85 pizzas today and got a $10 tip," he wrote. The story kicked off a fiery debate prompting dozens to write comments such as "The delivery guy deserved more" and "Ten dollars is cheap!" Others insisted that no one could realistically expect to receive a 20 percent tip on such a large order.
Tipping has been a hot topic lately and there's no shortage of water cooler news anecdotes to fan the flames. In October 2011, a waitress named Victoria Liss didn't receive a tip for the service she provided for a $28.98 meal, however she did receive a note that read, “P.S. You could stand to loose (sic) a few pounds.” In January, Reddit user Nickshambo posted a photo of a note a patron left his friend instead of a tip. Printed on paper, the note read: "As a direct result of Proposition 30 and President Obama's insistence that I pay "MY FAIR SHARE IN TAXES" I find that I must cut back on discretionary spending and gratuities. I wish it didn't have to be this way for both of us." And later that month, Reddit user Gateflan, a former waiter at Applebee's posted that a St. Louis-based pastor named Alois Bell reacted to his restaurant's "included tip" policy of 18 percent by writing a zero on the receipt's tip line and writing, "I give God 10 percent. Why do you get 18?" Other variations of "tips" have included racial slurs and curse words.
"Although tipping is an accepted custom in the United States, there is a lot of confusion over when, how much to give, and to whom," Michael Lynn, Ph.D., "tipping expert" and professor at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, told Yahoo! Shine. "Although no one exactly knows how tipping originated, one theory dates back to the late 1400s in Germany when a silversmith wrote a note to a patron that read, 'My apprentice helped with this and would also appreciate a tip.'"
According to Lynn, the trend took off and tipping became big business in the United States with people tipping more frequently and in larger amounts than in any other country. And there's a psychological component at play. "In addition to compensating someone for providing quality work, tipping can often be about social approval," he says. "We live in a society where status is achieved and not ascribed. Money is a measure of how much we've achieved and often people determine a tip based on how much they want to prove their worth." There's social pressure too. Who hasn't been at a group dinner and sneaked a peek at how much their dinner companion is giving?