Let's break the ice about the practice of tipping getting out of hand. What used to be something you'd leave for a service provided has become an expectation no matter where you go.

It doesn't matter if an additional service was provided or not. You open the front door of a business and the tip jar is right there.

And for what? Why should I leave a tip for a service I never received? Before you know it, we'll be tipping to breathe the air at an establishment because it'll be labeled an additional service being provided.

Sure, that's a joke for now, but watch it get out of hand like that. It's seriously how ridiculous this tip culture has gotten.

Jar for Tips with Money
Nerthuz ThinkStock

Not to mention, inflation is sky-high. It's not like we have money-printing machines at home to shell out all this extra cash.

And if we pay by card, we get even more screwed. Not only will we still be slapped to leave an uncalled-for tip, but we'll most likely pay more thanks to a service fee for using a credit card.

So it's no surprise that some are over it with tipping on everything. It's gotten so bad in fact, that DoorDash issued a stern statement over their tipping policy.

Speaking of DoorDash, there's the expectation of leaving a tip before an order even begins to work its way down the pipeline. We could go on and on about how out of hand today's tip culture has gotten.

Tipping / Leaving a tip / No assistance

With all of that said, there's yet another thing you need to look out for that you might not be aware of. And it's something you might've even thought about before.

Did you know your tip should be based on the pre-tax amount? That could make a significant difference, especially if it's a high bill.

Now, of course, it's totally up to the customer how much they decide to leave. If they want to leave more than 20%, go for it.

However, some establishments seem to forget that tips should be based on the pre-tax amount and will provide automatic suggestions based on the overall amount after taxes. And if the suggested amount is more than it should be, it's known as tipflation.

Busines using a computer to complete Individual income tax return form online for tax payment. Government, state taxes. Data analysis, paperwork, financial research, report. Calculation tax return.
Khanchit Khirisutchalual

Tipflation is also an issue when you leave a tip for someone unknown. Or, in the case of restaurants and apps, it's recommending a fixed tip amount after taxes are included. Think of it as taxed tipflation.

According to a story from the New York Post, "some businesses sneakily include the sales tax when calculating the suggested tip– significantly raising the overall price of the recommended gratuity." And yes, this also happens in New Jersey.

So what could the solution be to crack down on this? Do we need new laws to help crack down on this awful practice?

It's something you don't even think of at the time. I think we get so annoyed with tip culture getting out of hand that we don't think about it being calculated after taxes are included in the total.


Yes, wait staff should be tipped for a job well done. The same can be said for delivery services. They provide an extra service for you and should be rewarded for a job well done.

But we don't need an app or an establishment to sneak even more out of us by suggesting 20% after taxes are included. It should be before tax, not after.

Keep this in mind the next time you go out to eat or use an online ordering system. If any of them suggest a fixed gratuity, make sure it's based on the amount before taxes.

App tipping (leaving tip on phone)
LDProd via Canva

Yes, New Jersey's not the best state at tipping overall, and after-tax calculations could be one of the reasons why. We shouldn't be scammed and tricked into leaving any more than we intend to.

10 U.S. States That Are the Worst at Tipping

When it comes to leaving a tip for employees at a business these 10 states were ranked as the worst.

Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

Nextdoor Debate: Who Are You Really Tipping with Delivery Service?

Gallery Credit: Liberty

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.