When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, many had the privilege of working from home, and many…did not. As a nation, we hailed the grocery delivery drivers, food servers and supermarket clerks who were putting their lives on the line, day in and day out. We also made every effort to boost their tips. (For example, I began giving 18 to 20 percent—sometimes higher—even if all I was getting was a coffee to go.)
But two years in, where do things stand on the tipping front?
Colleen McCreary, chief people officer for CreditKarma.com, says the new, more generous standard should hold. “Even as things start to feel normal again, we have to remember that the pandemic has taken a toll on many businesses and service workers,” she says. It’s not just the risk of contracting COVID-19 that they have to worry about, but things like labor shortages and safety concerns as they mandate new pandemic compliance measures are upping the pressure and risk for workers who are already shouldering a lot.
Plus, in most cases, tips are a major part of total wages earned. (Per a recent piece on Vox.com, the federal tipped minimum wage is $2.13, although that can vary by state.)