To me, tipping has always been reserved for waiters and waitresses whose hourly pay rate is below minimum wage, however I'm noticing more and more non-sit-down style restaurants displaying tip jars for the staff next to the cash register. And it confuses me.

Before we get too deep into this, let me say that I'm not here to turn this into some sort of political debate about whether or not the minimum wage needs to be raised, or how working in the fast food industry is the only option for some people due to their skill set. I'm just trying to gauge why some places have a tip jar and others don't, and whether or not I'm the only one unclear on why that is.

This started a while back when I started noticing the tip jars, but re-ignited recently when I ordered pizza for dinner and picked it up myself. When I was given the receipt, I noticed there was a line for a tip. I assume this particular establishment uses the same receipt system for both delivery and carryout, but when I saw it, I paused for a second, wondering if I should leave a tip (I didn't).

I totally understand tipping at restaurants where you sit down, someone takes your order, makes sure you always have something to drink, and brings you your food. I've had friends and family who waited tables so I know a large chunk of their income is based on the tips they receive. What I don't understand is why a fast food restaurant, where I assume the employees are at the very least making minimum wage, are encouraging patrons to tip. Yes, they are cooking my food for me, saving me from doing it at home, but they've never asked before. What's next? A tip jar next to the WalMart greeter? Maybe they can put one next to the cashier at the grocery store so I can reward them for running my canned goods across a scanner and letting a computer do the math for them.

Cashier - Nothing to Do
You want me to smile? That'll cost you extra. (Credit - Lisa F. Young)

I think there's a grey area that no one seems to quite understand. Do you tip a plumber, carpenter, or heating and air person who comes over and does maintenance on your furnace? I don't know. Maybe that's at your discretion.

What do you think? Cast your vote and share your thoughts in the comments below.

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