Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

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Bammerman
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Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Bammerman » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:39 am

I've always thought, don't tip a business owner or self-employed person, because their remuneration for, and incentive to give good service comes from their business profit (or lack of same). So I don't add a tip to the price of my haircut from my barber, who owns his own business. What do others here do or think about this question? And, if my line of reasoning is correct, doesn't it apply equally to other self-employed business people, like some taxi owner/drivers?

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by mkatz » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:51 am

Tipping business owners and self-employed individuals: NEVER!

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by englishgirl » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:05 am

There are many people who are nominally self employed because they are a 1099 employee, when really (in my view) they should be classed as a W2 employee and provided with benefits. For example, a massage therapist at a clinic who is dependent upon that clinic's client base, has to provide a schedule to the clinic owner, follow employee procedures, etc. I would put taxi drivers in that category - you generally don't find a taxi driver who is totally out on their own, as normally they are part of a group, use a central booking system, probably have to alert their boss as to their schedule, etc. I do tip those types of people.

But, no I don't generally tip a business owner, although I have often given a double tip once a year as a holiday "bonus". I didn't regularly tip a massage therapist I used to see who had their own little shop, and I don't usually tip my facialist who works for herself either (although she recently had a baby and I gave her a big tip "for the baby" on the last appointment before she gave birth, as I knew she wouldn't be earning anything while she was off). I have recently switched to a different hairstylist, who owns her own salon, and I think I did tip. But then she has an assistant who does the hair washing and all the appointment scheduling, and I would hope that she shares the tip with the assistant. I might ask the stylist (if I keep going) if it'd be OK if I tip the assistant directly.
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JamesSFO
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by JamesSFO » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:12 am

Thing is sometimes those people also tip out to their support staff. For example for years my mom saw the owner of the local beauty shop. While you might not normally tip the owner what about her/his assistants/washers/etc?

I think tipping is very contextual and very personal. But I would tend to tip the owner in this context because the person who does the washing/coloring might otherwise end up without a tip working for the owner vs. another stylist.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by ThatGuy » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:27 am

There are some self-employed people that I would tip, such as a house cleaner.

But business owner, in the sense of managing one or more other employees? No, never. When I see an owner go into the tip jar at a restuarant or bar, I stop giving my money to that establishment.

I guess it comes down to, I only tip those that perform frontline blue or pink collar work for me.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by camiboxer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:38 am

I was a self employed hair designer (rented a station) and was licensed as an independent contractor with the state for 25 years. Approx. 5 of those years were as a co owner of a salon. 80% of my clients tipped me. Seems the norm in the industry for IC's to get tips (owners too).
I retired from hair and now own my own company working with animals. I get tips from a good portion of my clients and the small portion that don't typically tip during the year do tip during the holidays be it money or gifts.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Spirit Rider » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:47 am

In certain occupations, many people you encounter are self-employed.

Many barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists pay a fixed fee for their station. Their charges and tips minus the fee are their profit.

Many Taxi drivers rent the cab by the day or own their cab. Their charges and tips minus these costs are their profit.

So I tip in a typical situation by the role and not employment status.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:03 pm

The point of a tip is not to make up for someone not being paid enough (even though that's often the effective result).

A tip is simply some extra money you voluntarily pay, above the previously-agreed upon price, to reward good service. Plain and simple.

Assuming the product or service is the same, then what difference does is make if the person providing the service is an owner or not? Does the product or service change in some magical fashion, becoming less worthy of a tip?

How is someone suddenly less deserving of a voluntary reward for a job well-done, just because they happen to own a business in addition to working in it?

I just don't get it...
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by plannerman » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:12 pm

I give holiday tips to our self employed house cleaner and my barber who owns his own shop--as well as to those who provide us services through out the year including paper delivery, garbage collection, mail delivery and others.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by gkaplan » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:08 pm

For the most part, I've gone to three barbers in the last thirty-five years or so. Each owned his business; nevertheless, I have tipped all three.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by CABob » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:44 pm

mkatz wrote:Tipping business owners and self-employed individuals: NEVER!

Most barbers, hair stylists, massage therapists, etc. are self employed and I can assure you that most will accept and even expect to be tipped. Remember there is a difference between a business "owner" and a self employed person.
It used to be that in a multi-chair barber shop where a new customer might not know who the owner was it was assumed that the owner was at chair #1 and many would not tip them. So often the owner would not use chair #1 and instead use a different chair with #1 often being vacant.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Rainier » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:48 pm

I got tipped for fixing somebody's computer once. I didn't turn it down.

Figures, the client was a massage therapist. So she was used to getting tips.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by soaring » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:11 pm

YES I tip!
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Abe » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:40 pm

Many years ago I started out with a very small business in a economically depressed area. There were times when my employees made more than I did. I can remember delivering a 100 pound sack of hog feed to a customers house. They wanted me to carry it through mud to the back of their house and dump it in a barrel. I did that several times, but I never received a tip. Through all the years I never received a tip and as far as I know my employees didn't either. Most of my customers had a hard time just coming up with enough money to pay for their merchandise, much less pay a tip. I'm not complaining; that was just the way it was. Now I see some convenience stores have a tip jar. For what? All they do is take your money. I think this whole tip thing has gotten completely out of hand.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by gkaplan » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:47 pm

Abe wrote:Many years ago I started out with a very small business in a economically depressed area. There were times when my employees made more than I did. I can remember delivering a 100 pound sack of hog feed to a customers house. They wanted me to carry it through mud to the back of their house and dump it in a barrel. I did that several times, but I never received a tip. Through all the years I never received a tip and as far as I know my employees didn't either. Most of my customers had a hard time just coming up with enough money to pay for their merchandise, much less pay a tip. I'm not complaining; that was just the way it was. Now I see some convenience stores have a tip jar. For what? All they do is take your money. I think this whole tip thing has gotten completely out of hand.


I've always ignored the tip jar. I don't see why I should tip someone who is handing me a bag of bagels that someone else took out of the oven.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by derosa » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:20 pm

If someone does something for you, it was well done and you appreaciate it - give them a tip. THis certainly applies in the services area.

On the other hand I am not tipping my banker or the cashier at the grocery store.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by john94549 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:30 pm

When I get my hair cut at the local barber shop, I don't have a clue if the "first chair" is the owner and the others "independent contractors". I tip them all the same. They give me a nice haircut, and a senior discount, and I round it up to $20. It's not a big issue.

That said, before I retired, I had a client who rewarded good results with a "bonus" or two. As a solo practitioner, it was welcomed. One such "bonus" paid for our 35th wedding anniversary trip, a cruise to Mexico. So, it depends.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by ThatGuy » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:42 pm

JupiterJones wrote:The point of a tip is not to make up for someone not being paid enough (even though that's often the effective result).


If that's so, then why (in some states) are you allowed to pay less than the federal minimum wage for a job that is expected to receive tips? Like it or not, tips are legally codified as making up for someone not being paid enough otherwise.

JupiterJones wrote:Assuming the product or service is the same, then what difference does is make if the person providing the service is an owner or not? Does the product or service change in some magical fashion, becoming less worthy of a tip?

How is someone suddenly less deserving of a voluntary reward for a job well-done, just because they happen to own a business in addition to working in it?.


In a nutshell, the owner has more income streams than just performing the one action that will receive a tip. Employees or self-employed do not have multiple income streams readily visible.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by dpc » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:40 pm

It's America - you can do whatever you want. I try to tip them in cash.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:33 am

Bammerman wrote:I've always thought, don't tip a business owner or self-employed person, because their remuneration for, and incentive to give good service comes from their business profit (or lack of same). So I don't add a tip to the price of my haircut from my barber, who owns his own business. What do others here do or think about this question? And, if my line of reasoning is correct, doesn't it apply equally to other self-employed business people, like some taxi owner/drivers?



I tip barbers, taxi cab drivers, caterers, etc. whether they own the business or not, IF AND ONLY IF they provide good service.

I found something more effective for business owners. If I am real happy with their work, I ask them for a dozen of their business cards. I hand those cards out to friends as needed. What I find very interesting is that months later, I get a call from the business owner thanking me for referring Jack Smith to them. I have no idea as to who Jack Smith is but usually, it is a friend of a friend of a friend. By the way, deliver a few NEW customers to the businesses that you use and see what kind of service that you will get from that business!

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by cherijoh » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:25 am

jlawrence01 wrote:
Bammerman wrote:I've always thought, don't tip a business owner or self-employed person, because their remuneration for, and incentive to give good service comes from their business profit (or lack of same). So I don't add a tip to the price of my haircut from my barber, who owns his own business. What do others here do or think about this question? And, if my line of reasoning is correct, doesn't it apply equally to other self-employed business people, like some taxi owner/drivers?



I tip barbers, taxi cab drivers, caterers, etc. whether they own the business or not, IF AND ONLY IF they provide good service.

I found something more effective for business owners. If I am real happy with their work, I ask them for a dozen of their business cards. I hand those cards out to friends as needed. What I find very interesting is that months later, I get a call from the business owner thanking me for referring Jack Smith to them. I have no idea as to who Jack Smith is but usually, it is a friend of a friend of a friend. By the way, deliver a few NEW customers to the businesses that you use and see what kind of service that you will get from that business!


+1

I do tip my hairdresser who also owns the independent salon and rents out booths to other hairdressers - he has been cutting my hair for 30+ years, and does a great job. I have also given him referrals over the years. I view him as an independent contractor and the salon ownership as a side business similar to someone who is a landlord. Unless all his booths are rented, he may be making NO profit on the rental business and at times operating at a loss on the rental side of the business. I would not tip the owner of a franchise salon that did not actually provide haircutting services.

Similar to Jlawrence, for work where tips are not standard, I give referrals as my "tip". I also make a point to mention where I heard about him or her when using a new contractor. I find that I almost always get a quick call back from a contractor who knows that the call came because of a referral. Not necessarily cause and effect, but it certainly can't hurt.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:49 am

Yes, in many cases, especially in the Christmas season.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Sriracha » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:09 pm

I tend toward the "rule" that you tip for services by the self-employed but not the business owner, but there have been many exceptions along the way.

The barber who cut my hair until I went to college ran a solo shop so there was no confusion about who owned the place. All the adults I ever saw in the shop tipped the guy, including my Dad. So, whenever I went back for a haircut as an adult (which wasn't too often b/c I'd left the area by then) I tipped him, too. In all the years since then, I've always gone to multiple chair shops and had my ears lowered by a non-owner. So, I tip. But, growing up as I did, I'd probably tip the owner if he did the work himself even though it goes against my "general rule."

I've gone for semi-regular massage therapy since I messed up my back several years ago. If it's a spa type thing, then I tip b/c I know the CMT isn't the owner. If it's a solo practitioner with her own shop, then I don't tip after each visit. Instead, if I go there fairy regularly during the year, I put some cash in a holiday card and call it good.

Do I tip cabbies? Always. Although I've needed them only rarely since leaving NYC.

The hotel thing can be a pain in the butt b/c I hate carrying lots of small bills while traveling. Seems like somebody always has their hand out in hotels.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:39 pm

This would not affect my tipping practices

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by mickeyd » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:54 pm

A holiday gift to a self employed person is different than a tip. If they accept/expect a tip, they should increase the price of their service and not accept a tip.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Bammerman » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:18 am

My son-in-law worked as a server (today's PC term for waiter) for years; in his last job his official "salary" was just a joke: it literally just covered his payroll tax. I don't see how people can make it in those restaurant jobs. Servers NEED good tips just to survive. He and I have had many discussions about this: he feels servers should all be paid at least minimum wage and tipping should not be permitted. I, on the other hand, lived in Yugoslavia some 20+ years ago, and I remember how terrible service was in those restaurants, where (as best I can recall) servers were not tipped, or where tipping did not make up a significant proportion of the servers' take home pay. (Or maybe the lousy service was due to something else.) I think many people do need a sort of carrot-or-stick, like a tip, held out in front of them to encourage them to do a good job, unfortunately.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Marcellasworld » Tue May 16, 2017 12:46 pm

Abe wrote:Many years ago I started out with a very small business in a economically depressed area. There were times when my employees made more than I did. I can remember delivering a 100 pound sack of hog feed to a customers house. They wanted me to carry it through mud to the back of their house and dump it in a barrel. I did that several times, but I never received a tip. Through all the years I never received a tip and as far as I know my employees didn't either. Most of my customers had a hard time just coming up with enough money to pay for their merchandise, much less pay a tip. I'm not complaining; that was just the way it was. Now I see some convenience stores have a tip jar. For what? All they do is take your money. I think this whole tip thing has gotten completely out of hand.
Thank you. I couldn't agree more. And it's way too expected. I live inSan Jose California. Some people will demand a tip. I then politely explain tipping to them. If I get service above and beyond I always tip and tip well. But I don't have a problem not tipping if they do a lousy job. They have not earned it. And that doesn't matter to me if it's owner or employee. And I am on a very very tight budget. Sometimes I only have enough just to pay the bill.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Marcellasworld » Tue May 16, 2017 1:04 pm

Tipping should be if someone goes above and beyond performing a service for you. My mother was a waitress most of her life. She depended on tips. But my mother earned them. If you were at her table you got good service. She wouldn't show up while your mouth was full and say "how's everything here" and be gone before you could swallow your food. She was the old style of waitress. Now days "servers" show up with your meals on a tray and bring a little stand for the tray. They even bring pot holders to hand you the plates. The old waitresses would come with plates all up and down their arms and often drinks too, and never miss a beat. Waitress at least in California are charged taxes on the tips that the government assumes you tip weather you actually tip or not. A lot of people work serving other when we are young, it's up to us to earn a tip.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by SouthernCPA » Tue May 16, 2017 4:58 pm

If they provide good service and I'm happy, I tip. Why would it matter from my perspective if they own it or not? I tip based on service I received, not what he made off the transaction. Many times the "business owners" may actually be losing money if they can't adequately price their service or generate enough sales to cover overhead. None of this plays into whether I tip or not, though.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by BogleFanGal » Tue May 16, 2017 6:29 pm

Another owner-provided service where tipping is still generally included is travel excursions -
private or small group tours. I'll always tip driver/guide regardless of whether he is the actual owner or a contracted employee.

I'm a fairly generous tipper pretty much everywhere tipping is customary. But some things really irk me - totally agree on the tip jar at cashier/counter getting out of hand - I think that started at Starbucks when the baristas would make the more complex drinks.

Now I go into a stupid frozen self-serve yogurt shop where I'm getting the cup, dispensing the yogurt myself, adding all the toppings, fetching the spoon, napkins etc. and the owner of the shop has a tip jar out. Yeah...don't think so. :annoyed
Last edited by BogleFanGal on Tue May 16, 2017 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by nisiprius » Tue May 16, 2017 6:32 pm

Self-employed? Yes.

Business owner? No, in the case where the owner provides services himself and also has employees that provide services I've always followed the rule that "you don't tip the owner." Maybe I need to re-think that.
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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:29 pm

This is dicey. If the owner charges more than the other employees, that could be justification for not tipping. However, if you are a casual customer, how do you even know they are the owner? I don't get this concept if it is someone you would normally tip. And I know people in this situation and they would be pissed if you didn't tip. The business owner pays rent, electricity, etc. The employee does not. I would tip. If two people do the same exact service, why would you tip one and not the other?? Because one is paying the rent on the place and other expenses? I've certainly heard the
argument / wives tale though of not tipping an owner. If the owner feels they don't deserve it, they will decline the tip.

Say you go to a B&B. A couple is between cleaning the rooms themselves instead or hiring someone. You think if they decide to clean the rooms themselves they deserve nothing in terms of a tip? Because they opted for that option, you should get a discount?

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by sketchy9 » Thu May 18, 2017 12:19 am

Marcellasworld wrote:Tipping should be if someone goes above and beyond performing a service for you. My mother was a waitress most of her life. She depended on tips. But my mother earned them. If you were at her table you got good service. She wouldn't show up while your mouth was full and say "how's everything here" and be gone before you could swallow your food. She was the old style of waitress. Now days "servers" show up with your meals on a tray and bring a little stand for the tray. They even bring pot holders to hand you the plates. The old waitresses would come with plates all up and down their arms and often drinks too, and never miss a beat. Waitress at least in California are charged taxes on the tips that the government assumes you tip weather you actually tip or not. A lot of people work serving other when we are young, it's up to us to earn a tip.
Wait staff in CA also earn the state minimum wage (at least), just like kid at Taco Bell.

Also, tipping just plain sucks. Where do you draw the line? Why? Someone upthread was adamant they wouldn't tip a banker or a grocery store cashier. But why not? At my store, the cashier often bags the groceries as well, especially if there aren't enough baggers on duty. A banker might have to go to the back and retrieve large bills and count them out for me. It's all service jobs, and everyone is doing their jobs well. Shouldn't they get a tip too?

As the US economy moves more and more to a service-based economy, I find less and less justification for tipping. It's definitely "tip creep" to tip every single person you encounter who performs a service. The price should be the price, period.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by Tankie » Fri May 19, 2017 6:03 am

My HVAC guy. Self-employed. Have used him for many, many years. Whenever the furnace, water heater, or AC decides to go belly up, he always responds and fixes the problem within a day or two at most. And he provides a detailed invoice showing the cost of the parts that he had to buy to fix the problem, labor, etc.

So dang right that I tip the man generously for his prompt, responsive service.

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Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

Post by JoMoney » Fri May 19, 2017 6:16 am

Yes, usually in the case of a hairdresser (who are often independent and rent a space in a salon).
When I was a kid, I was a paper boy, and technically I was an independent contractor. We didn't get paid by the newspaper, the deliverers had to pay for the papers and collect a fixed price from the subscribers that allotted for us to make a fixed profit... people frequently included a tipped, especially those that wanted porch service.
The government frequently writes contracts that include a base + award fee, where the award fee is a bonus to the business performing the contract.
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