Chit Chat

NWR - Tipping ?

cupcait927cupcait927 member
First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
edited April 2014 in Chit Chat

Not your typical tipping question, however.

When you purchase a gift card for a restaurant or a service (ie massage, mani/pedi, etc), do you include enough for a tip as well?

For instance, FI gave me a gift card for a body wrap and massage one year for my birthday. He put enough on the card for the service as well as the tip. FFIL bought a gift card for FMIL at Christmas for a massage and did not include the tip. When I get gift cards for my mom and her husband for christmas or birthdays for restaurants, I try to put enough on there so that it will cover the meal and at least most of the tip (obviously I can't predict what they will spend in total).

I only ask because I'm going to get a gift certificate for FI for his birthday to get a massage (he's never had one and wants one after his next marathon) and I of course will include the tip but I wanted to know how common that was.

Re: NWR - Tipping ?

  • I always try to include enough for a tip so that way their service is completely covered and they don't have to open their wallet. 

    As a former waitress, I experienced a lot of people not tipping me from gift cards (or only tipped me the few cents leftover) because it was supposed to be their gift.

    cupcait927
  • Hmm. I actually never thought of it. I just figured if I got someone a gift card they would know to tip. But, any gift cards that I have given someone have been more generic (like $50 for movies, or amazon), not for a service. So I assume maybe that's different?

    Personally, if I use a gift card, I will tip the appropriate amount. My BFF used to be a waitress, and she used to tell me horror stories. Because of her I tip generously.
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  • It depends on my budget and the person. If I can include enough to estimate a tip then great, otherwise I assume my friends and family aren't assholes and will tip appropriately.
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  • I always, always make sure to tip with my own money when using a gift card. I like including the tip when buying a gift card not because I assume my friends and family won't pay but because I think it's a nice touch to include the tip since it's a gift and I don't want them to spend their own money.
  • If I'm buying a specific treatment, then I add tip. I.E.  A GC for a massage.    If I'm just giving a set amount to be used however they want then I don't.  I.E. A GC to a business to be used however they want.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    cupcait927
  • I would just check before hand and see if a gift card can actually be used for the tip. I've seen some that say something like "for services only" or "not for use for gratuities."
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  • I always try to make sure there is enough for a tip.
    cupcait927lc07
  • I don't, because I trust my friends not to be assholes and assholes so because I have no idea how they'll like the service, so I don't want to presume.

    When I get GCs, I always assume the tip is on me.
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  • I just bought my MOH and one of my fantastic bridemaids GCs for planning my bachelorette party. I purchased the GCs in the amount of a mani/pedi and planned on them covering the tip. I've always done that because I feel like tipping is very personal/dependent on the service. Plus I know at restaurants GCs do not cover tip (learned that the hard way as a waitress).
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    cupcait927
  • I do take it into account, but not to the point where I calculate it out. 
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  • Same as Lynda-- if it's for a specific service, like mani/pedi or massage, I will calculate and include the tip.  If it's just in general to a restaurant, I'll usually give a round amount like $25, $50, $100.  I assume my friends/family know they should tip.  I will, however, try to be on the generous side compared with the prices at the restaurant so that they can choose to order under the amount and have extra left over for tip.  Does that makes sense?  Hopefully they don't have to open their wallet, but you never know what they will order or (as HGF points out) how they will like the service.
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    cupcait927
  • cupcait927cupcait927 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited May 2014
    Same as Lynda-- if it's for a specific service, like mani/pedi or massage, I will calculate and include the tip.  If it's just in general to a restaurant, I'll usually give a round amount like $25, $50, $100.  I assume my friends/family know they should tip.  I will, however, try to be on the generous side compared with the prices at the restaurant so that they can choose to order under the amount and have extra left over for tip.  Does that makes sense?  Hopefully they don't have to open their wallet, but you never know what they will order or (as HGF points out) how they will like the service.
    ETA - TK ate my post last night. Ugh.
  • I've never bought a gift card for a service, but every time I get them I leave my own tip, because I'm nice. (:
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    cupcait927
  • This has been touched on, but as a former waitress/bartender my input is this: most servers cannot be tipped on gift cards. That is to say, once you ring the gift card, it just puts it all on there. The guest does not sign a receipt and there's nowhere to add gratuity. It's basically like paying with cash. Except if you give me extra cash: score! If (assuming this person thought of this, which I never see anyone do) you give me a gift card to the restaurant where I work with $5.67 on it: not so much.

    I'm honestly not sure how it would work at a spa/massage/etc. I, like others, honestly never thought about it. I think you would have to ask the specific place how they can/would handle a tip on a GC.
    cupcait927
  • I never really thought about it so I haven't included it.

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  • SarahRN87 said:

    This has been touched on, but as a former waitress/bartender my input is this: most servers cannot be tipped on gift cards. That is to say, once you ring the gift card, it just puts it all on there. The guest does not sign a receipt and there's nowhere to add gratuity. It's basically like paying with cash. Except if you give me extra cash: score! If (assuming this person thought of this, which I never see anyone do) you give me a gift card to the restaurant where I work with $5.67 on it: not so much.


    I'm honestly not sure how it would work at a spa/massage/etc. I, like others, honestly never thought about it. I think you would have to ask the specific place how they can/would handle a tip on a GC.
    That is very good to know!

  • The restaurant I used to work at, you could use any leftover money on the gift card towards tip, but you had to tell the server before he/she rang it in. 
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    cupcait927emmaaalc07
  • emmyg65emmyg65 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Yep, and I make sure to ask the restaurant/spa if the gift card can be used to cover the tip. We got my mom a $150 spa gift card. What kind of gift would it be if she had to then shell out $30?
    cupcait927lc07
  • The restaurants I've worked at allowed you to use money left on a gift card for tip. It was never a problem. I think that is dependent upon which restaurant and should be taken into account whenbuying the gift card.

    cupcait927
  • ElcaBElcaB member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    To me, it depends on whether the gift card is for a service or a restaurant. 

    For restaurant gift cards, no --- especially because in most cases, the user can deduct tip money from the amount on the card. 

    For services like spa appointments, absolutely. I wouldn't want to be like, "Enjoy your $60 massage --- which you'll have to bring $12 to tip for!" 
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    cupcait927
  • None of the gift cards I've gotten ever had enough on them for tip (barely enough for the meal actually) but it's still really nice of my friends/family to have gotten me one. Having been a waitress, I always include tip when I get gift cards for someone though (their jobs are tough) at least for restaurants.

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  • For the restaurant I used to work at, we couldn't use gift cards for a tip. Often people would leave me the gift card with the remaining money as a tip. The only thing I could use it for was to purchase food from the restaurant...where I got food for free. Someone trying to tip me with a gift card was virtually the same as not being tipped.
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  • I always tip cash. My job, gift cards work like credit cards. So, I forgot why I don't tip on cards, but it's habit.
  • I haven't thought of this either really. I usually tip from 15-20% unless my service was extremely bad. Then I guess I'm the asshole. I've left no tip before but this waitress was really bad. She hardly paid attention to us the restaurant wasn't busy, we didn't even see our waitress for the first 45 min we were there!
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