pandemic etiquette

Please, Tip 50 Percent

People who can tip 50 percent. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

In a better world, our country’s response to the coronavirus wouldn’t have been bungled, the pandemic would be under control, and businesses like restaurants and bars would have been able to close thanks to a robust safety net and actual, substantive relief. In the actual world where we live, our government shat the bed, the pandemic is roaring like a flooded river, and businesses like restaurants and bars have remained open and the workers deemed essential. Meanwhile, according to a survey by the NYC Hospitality Alliance, 75 percent of restaurants and bars did not pay their full rent in June.

So if you go eat at a restaurant — or order delivery or takeout for that matter! — then there are two things you should absolutely do. Wear a mask and tip at least 50 percent.

“50 percent!” you may gasp. “That’s half the cost of my meal!” Yes, and it’s the bare minimum you can do if you decide you must eat a burger al fresco or get tacos delivered.

Why? Because restaurant workers have been made to keep working, to put their health on the line, in an industry that didn’t pay them enough to begin with; workplace abuse is rampant; and health insurance is elusive at best. These people are quite literally risking their lives so you can have a more convenient meal — you should never forget that.

Tip at least 50 percent. Tip 75 percent. Tip 100 percent. What’s stopping you? Do you need to save that money for the vacation to Saint-Tropez you’re planning on taking once this is all over? If you can afford to go to a restaurant right now and have a leisurely meal — because you don’t need to save as much money as you can? — then, yeah, you can afford it.

Please, Tip 50 Percent