DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a business providing pet grooming services. While tips are not ever required, I would like to make clients aware that tipping is allowed and very much appreciated.
I would like to put something in an advertisement about tipping, but I do not want to come off as rude or make it seem as though I expect the clients to do so. I have thought about using a tip jar; however, there are several businesses sharing the same space, and I don’t want any of the other clients to think that the tips are for all of the employees.
What is the best way to approach tip awareness without being rude or seeming entitled to them?
GENTLE READER: By not doing it at all. You have just demonstrated why Miss Manners has always abhorred the practice of tipping. Asking patrons to make a subjective decision about the service they have received (haven’t internet reviews replaced that?) by putting it in monetary terms is unpleasant -- and the demand for it, rude.
You simply cannot make an explicit request for money -- especially while dictating its particulars -- and then act as if it is the customer’s choice to do it.
However, Miss Manners concedes its necessity, as long as business owners are unwilling or unable to pay a living wage. But in this case, you are the business owner. You are in a unique position to eliminate the unpleasant and confusing practice by adjusting the price of the service instead. Please do so and set a good example for the rest of the retail world.