You’ve just finished your meal and the server hands you a check. Now it’s time to decide on how much to leave them, but have you ever wondered where this “American” custom came from? Not America.
The origin of tipping dates back to 17th-century England where drinkers in taverns would give money to the waiter “To Insure Promptitude” or T.I.P for short.
It didn’t become popular in America until the late 1800s after the civil war when Americans adopted the practice to “show off” how successful they were.
In the 1890s, there was a serious movement against tipping and a lot of Americans thought it went against our country’s ideals of ‘all men are created equal.’
In 1915 lawmakers from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee and South Carolina tried to create a bill to make tipping illegal. It did not pass.
Minimum wage laws were put in place since then for restaurant industry workers.
In the end, it’s ultimately up to you to decide on what to tip. The standard today for a restaurant server is between 15 to 20 percent or not at all. It all depends on what value you put on the service.
In the United States, tipping pulls in about $44 billion in tips according to economist Ofer H. Azar .
Reporting by Allyssa Dickert