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20-40-60 Etiquette---Looking for tips on gratuities!

QUESTION: Have you been tipping more generously during the pandemic? If so, how much do you consider necessary for service? If you are ordering food in, or ordering groceries, what do you give? How about at the hair salon? Or the car wash? If you are tipping more, will you go back to regular tips when we are out and about?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: I try to be more generous during these very odd times. That being said, tip what you feel is appropriate for the service. Now, when all this is “over,” I’m not sure what I will do.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: This is a really good question and really personal at the same time. I have become more mindful about tipping in recent years anyway, especially in restaurants, and I try to count a good tip as part of the cost of the dining out. With curbside or pickup, I may not tip the full 20% that I would if I were dining in, but I still tip the servers who are working in this pandemic mess, recognizing that things are hard for restaurants and other small businesses right now.

As for food delivery or other special services where people are getting out while I am staying in, yes, I definitely tip them as well. I plan to continue to tip as I can and as service dictates when this is over. But I also know that many people, whether they’re picking up food or serving it, are struggling right now. So do your best to recognize that and try to acknowledge the people who are helping you in some way. Be as generous as you can afford to be, but at least tip a little in every case to say thanks to those who are helping you make these tough times better.

HELEN’S ANSWER: For sure, tip what you can, and be as generous as possible. Some of our service people are working a couple of side hustles to pay their monthly bills.

When I have picked up my meals and also had groceries delivered, I have tried to give a better tip than usual in case their business was slow that day. Hopefully, we can help each other, sometimes in small ways, until some normalcy returns.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Richard Rosser, creator of Piggy Nation and Adventure Cards: Tipping … COVID-19 … What a crazy combination to figure out, right? As if Zoom isn’t hard enough. During these uncertain times, tipping has become a source of anxiety.

Here are some questions to determine whether to tip and how much: Are you working or unemployed? If you’re working, you should be tipping. Is the service provider busy or barely scraping by? A more substantial tip will benefit folks who are struggling to make ends meet.

Tipping is ultimately based on your personal situation. Give what you can to those who need help and sleep well at night!

Since 2009 Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen have written this generational etiquette column. They also include guest responses from a wide range of ages each week. So many years later, Callie is 20-plus; Lillie-Beth, 40-plus and Helen, 60-plus.