The Importance of Expressing Gratitude for Services During Economic Recovery

June 17, 2020
A Guide to Tipping as the Hospitality Industry Re-Opens

The service industry is among those sectors most heavily affected by the recent shutdown of businesses that heavily interface with consumers to curb the spread of SARS COVID-19.

Faced with a mandatory government shut-down, employers in the hospitality and beauty industries had no choice but to furlough all or most of their workforce, resulting in what many have referred to as the biggest financial crisis since The Great Depression. Millions of workers in the service industry were laid off nationwide this past March, losing both their wages and customer gratuities.

These workers are some of the most financially vulnerable, as they typically have little or no money available in savings. While the government issued stimulus checks and unemployment compensation payments, some were still unable to pay for basic living expenses such as rent and groceries. Many of these displaced workers had little to no discretionary funds.

As businesses re-open and employees are called back to work, they will likely be scheduled fewer hours and service fewer customers, since businesses will be required to make accommodations in their operations to comply with social distancing guidelines.  Many will not return to their pre-coronavirus income.

These individuals live in our community. They are our neighbors, friends, and family. They rely on their total compensation; including their customers’ tips, to purchase food, gas, and clothing from local area businesses. Servers, barbers, bartenders, and other workers reliant on tips; will need the support of the entire community to be able to recover.

Many of these employees have earned a loyal customer base, and often have strong relationships with the people they serve. Customers living in Central Pennsylvania’s green phase counties that are desperate to receive services, such as a haircut or a mixed drink, may consider this as an opportunity to tip a little extra to these service providers to make up for time lost and express gratitude for the services that they have missed over the past few months.

The path to economic recovery for service industry workers will undoubtedly be a struggle. Some of the burdens can be alleviated with the support of a loyal and appreciative customer base. Valuing services and the people performing them can be expressed easily by tipping workers an above-average tip. If all customers have the means to provide just a little bit more than the average tip, these workers and their families will be on the road to a speedy recovery. The recovery of our service industry workforce benefits the entire community as they are an intricate part of our local economy.

A good starting point, if you want to give a little more, is to understand basic tipping etiquette.

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you should tip someone for their services and if so what amount?

We have compiled some basic tipping guidelines (below).

It is important to note that it has always been appropriate to consider leaving a more generous tip when service exceeds expectations.

Service Tip
Dining Out: Server 15-20%
Drinks: Bartender $1-2 per drink
Coffee: Barista Change – $1

Workers providing General Take-Out services

A few dollars for fast food – up to 15% for fine dining
Individuals providing Lunch and Dinner Delivery Services Anywhere from a flat dollar amount of $3-5 to a % which on the higher end is 15-20%
Individuals providing Grocery Delivery Services Minimum of 5%
Mail carriers Exempt. Offering bottled water is a nice gesture.
Cosmetologists and providers of pampering services(Barber, Hairstylist, Manicurist, or Massage Therapist)


15-20% is standard
Valet Attendants $2-5 per service


What could be better than helping your neighbor, in these times of global uncertainty?

PaySmart is a payroll provider located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. We are dedicated to helping small businesses take care of all their payroll needs.