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The subject of tipping can trigger quite the heated debate. If it’s a restaurant, hair or nail salon, a massage or beauty treatment at a spa, a bellboy or valet — those seem like a given. You tip those. But what about when you get takeaway at your favourite pizza joint, sushi place or other eatery? Then what?

Some argue that takeout staffers should get tipped because filling an order takes work. Someone has to take the order over the phone, assemble it and have it looking pretty upon pickup. But the majority of people don’t tip on takeout because we mostly tip the service provided. When you’re getting food to go, you don’t see that service component and just see someone bringing it to the counter.

According to CTV News, that’s OK. Experts say tips should always be left for servers because they give a percentage of what they earn to the rest of the staff, from the hosts/hostesses to kitchen staff to bartenders. If you’re unhappy with your experience (the service sucked, the food was cold, etc.), it helps if you tell management before you leave unhappy and they can find a way to make it up — to you, the customer, and their staff. By stiffing a server, everyone loses.

The most troubling situation comes during a visit to a coffee shop. You pay by debit or credit and the dreaded question comes up on the machine:

http://moneris.com/

But alas, no worries. Think of it as a gentle reminder — but no pressure. The general rule is you don’t have to. It’s really what comes naturally and whatever feels best. If you like the service or you’re a regular, by all means, tip away. But if it’s simply a transaction and it feels like an obligation, don’t. At least, that’s our stance on things. Watch the video, above, for further discussion on the topic.