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Etiquette expert: 'Anytime someone is of service to you, a tip is required'

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Posted at 7:36 AM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 12:51:21-05

The do's and dont's of restaurant tipping seem to be debatable.

“I always tip at least 20%,” said one man.

“If the waiter is very friendly, I try to give the very best,” said another man.

“Minimum 15, maximum 20,” another person chimed in.

“I think everyone should at least give something,” another woman said.

For etiquette expert Camille Monk, it's straightforward.

“Anytime someone is of service to you, a tip is required,” Monk told TODAY’S TMJ4.

“Most people in the service industry within restaurants are making $2.30 an hour or $2.50 an hour, well under the minimum wage rates,” she said.

Over lunch at Milwaukee's Mykonos restaurant, she gave us her two cents.

"What's appropriate is 15 to 20%,” Monk said.

TODAY’S TMJ4 asked Monk if consumers should tip when picking up food.

“You absolutely tip in those cases," she said. "It's $2 to $5."

Monk said there's never an excuse not to tip, even if you think the service isn’t good.

“Well, per etiquette standards, if you are not receiving good service the first thing you should do is talk to management because when you don't talk to management you are not giving that establishment a chance to do better,” she said.

Monk said it also depends on what your definition of bad service is.

“If you are being disrespected and things are out of hand, that's something totally different, but if they didn't fill your water glass fast enough, that's not bad service," Monk said.

On our TMJ4 Facebook page, we asked consumers if they tip between 15-20%. Here are the results: