How tips can help you earn more money from your job

The custom of giving tips for certain services started a long time ago and evolved in what it is today, i.e. a parallel income source besides the salary. The tips system is so much part of our lives today that even the USA law recognizes its presence and surprisingly counts it as a legal income of certain cadres of people, for which the minimum wage payment is not imposed on their employers. This law mostly covers people in the hospitality business such as waiters, musicians, bellhops, hotel maids, bartenders, parking attendants, coat-check attendant, ladies'/men's room attendant, etc. The tipping system also covers others such as cab drivers, nannies, nurses, casino workers, house maids, plumbers, cable men, etc. For all these people there is a high potential of adding to their income through the tips they receive. This amount can sometimes be as high as five times the salary given. This is actually the common belief.Does the tipping really make such a great difference on the salary, though? It is difficult to generalize here, though at a glance it is more accurate to say 'yes' than 'no'. However to what extent it makes a difference it depends on four major factors:
  • Quality of the establishment: The quality and the level of the establishment are the first and foremost criteria for the income from tips. For example, a seven star hotel would definitely have a higher tipping un-written code than that of a two-star hotel or no-star hotel. Also, the people frequenting such places can afford higher tips and if pleased well, they can exceed the standard prescribed tips. On a good day a waiter in a seven star hotel can easily make per day.
  • Size of the establishment: It is not always imperative that a larger restaurant would bring in larger crowds; however, it is possible that higher capacity eateries have a higher turn-over of people and in turn this gives a better opportunity of earning in tips to the hospitality personnel than others.
  • Type of the establishment: Whether the hospitality personnel work in a hotel, a luxury cruiser, or casino is definitely a factor in deciding the amount of tips received. While hotel personnel have a good tipping unwritten code, the cruisers' staff too has theirs and many times this runs higher than any other establishment tipping system - simply maybe because cruising holidays are taken up by the upper echelon people who can afford to tip freely. Casinos on the other hand have their own rules - such as a percentage of the winnings is usually given to the table dealer as tips - which is the practice though not obligatory. The casino staff will get tips only if the person is happy -and only who wins is happy; since not everybody wins, it is not likely that everyone would tip the casino dealers and hence their income from tips would not be as sizable as the other brackets of people.
  • Location of establishment: Location is always one of the major factors in tip amount. It is a matter of common sense to think that hotels in New York would attract more tips than a hotel in Kentucky county. A great deal depends upon the location of the establishment as this to tell you what income bracket people visit the place.
  • There are many rules for tipping, each country, each region having their code of conduct but generally speaking a good hotel waiter would expect some 15 per cent of the total bill as tips while all others would be anticipating anything from 50 cents to . A cab driver would expect to keep the change from though sometimes the tip is less than . The casino dealers anticipate a small percentage of the winnings ranging from 2-5 per cent depending upon the amount won. A nanny would expect to be tipped one month's salary per year as a holiday benefit. The list is endless.
  • As it is seen the tips make a great difference to the pay packet that the person takes home. And because these places have been recognized as tips receiving areas, the employers benefit (maybe even more than the employees at times) as they are permitted by the law to offer lower than minimum wage salaries. Some people are fair and make do with just a small marginal cut or still pay the minimum wages. However, the normal average person takes full advantage of this law and offers a pittance of a salary. The waiters/waitresses are the most affected lot here, though everyone in the hospitality line suffers from this affliction.

Whether this is correct or not from the point of fairness is not debatable within the scope of this article, however it is important to mention here that there is quite an imparity in this system because the people in question have to be working to earn. In other words, if they fall sick, if their children require them to take off, they will loose that day(s) income since their main income comes from the tips they earn.

This indeed puts these people in a high risk bracket and unless they are much disciplined with their finances (saving for the rainy day) they are most likely to suffer financial distress in lean times.

The salary factor is, in my opinion, a most vital source of income and should cover the minimum wages at any given time. The tipping system is actually a redundant method of ensuring service in today's world. Ideally it should not be encouraged - and many hotels are trying to introduce such a system - however, it cannot be stopped since people are difficult to change and rich people are even more so. However, since even the law makes allowances for the tips received, the salary fixation rather rests on the actual motivational and negotiation capacity of the candidate. Judging in general the amount of tips that are likely to add to the salary, the candidate should settle for a salary that covers at least 15-20 percent more the minimum wages prescribed. For example if one would think that tips per week would be and the minimum wages are , then the salary negotiated should be best - + . In this way one would ensure that a decent income is there even in lean/ off times.