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People Who Aren't Allowed To Accept Your Tips

Updated April 18, 2018 22.3k views11 items

In the US, tipping is an expected courtesy for exceptional service, but there are certain people who can't accept tips, regardless of the quality of their work. No matter how much you appreciate the service of a flight attendant, they are not allowed to accept gratuity. Sometimes, a specific establishment will ban tipping, as they pay their workers fair wages without gratuity. A few of the hottest restaurants in New York City have started adjusting their prices so that their employees don't have to rely on tips.

However, some worldwide corporations don’t allow their workers to accept tips at any time, even if their employees are working for minimum wage. When the good people who work at McDonald's decline your tip, they're not being rude or unappreciative, it's simply not their decision. 

  • Servers At Several High-End Restaurants

    Servers At Several High-End Restaurants
    Photo: Per Se / Facebook

    In 2005, Thomas Keller — who was a chef at Per Se, one of the most expensive and celebrated restaurants in New York City — did away with tipping entirely. Keller replaced tipping with a flat service fee of 20% added to every bill. Another high end Manhattan sushi restaurant, Sush Yashunda, also banned tipping and raised menu prices so they could afford to pay their waitstaff a livable salary.

    In light of this, many high-end restaurants around the country now follow a "no-tip" model. Instead, the restaurant pays their employees a living wage, so they do not have to rely on tips. San Francisco restaurant critic Michael Bauer is totally on-board with restaurants that have banned tipping altogether, and thinks many other establishments will follow suit. "It’s civilized — and the wave of the future," said Bauer. 

  • Employees At Walmart

    Employees At Walmart
    Photo: Walmart / Facebook

    It is not customary to tip a cashier or retail associate at Walmart, or at a department store like Sears or Macy's. However, if an employee helps you unload a cart full of groceries, should you tip that person? 

    Not at Walmart, where it is against company policy for an employee to take any form of tip. Under their Gifts and Gratuities guidelines page, it clearly states, "It is our policy that associates of the Company, regardless of their capacity, do not accept for their personal benefits, gratuities, tips, cash, samples, etc. from anyone buying or selling to us, or in any way serving our company."

  • Teachers

    Photo: woodleywonderworks / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Tipping a teacher in cash looks bad. Even if a parent has the best of intentions, it's hard to make it look like anything other than a bribe. Relationship etiquette expert April Masini writes, "It creates a conflict for them in the classroom, and while it’s fine to give them a gift card or little gift, money is a problem… you want to avoid any special attention and conflict of interest that your cash to a teacher may create.” 

  • Taco Bell Employees

    Taco Bell Employees
    Photo: Steevven1 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

    There is a 24-page Taco Bell Handbook with all sorts of rules for employees to follow. It includes everything from making sure the restaurant is clean, to carrying out responsibilities with a smile. 

    Under the "On the job at Taco Bell" section of the handbook, there are several well-defined rules for employees to follow. Between "Never take unsold food out of the restaurant" and "Do not sleep or chew gum while on the clock," there is a clear rule that states, "Do not ask for or take tips from customers."