Greenpal gets the scoop on tipping

Tip Graphic WEB-01
Graphic by Brett Ferrin

Recently Greenpal asked the question “Should routine maintenance service professionals that come to a person’s home be tipped?” Greenpal wondered if these professionals expected a tip, so its four-person team made 10,000 phone calls to find out the answer.

Greenpal staff member Bryan Clayton said he looked on Google, reading blogs and newspapers, and found nobody working to tackle this issue.

“There were a couple of blog posts here and there, but no one concise answer to my question,” he said. “We called the pros and asked them, ‘When you do a job, do you get tipped?’ We got the results that sometimes these people do expect a tip. Sometimes it’s $10, sometimes it’s $15.”

Greenpal took data gathered from the phone calls and put it into an illustration for the people who wondered whether or not these professionals should receive a tip.

“I think if it is a young kid, like an 8-year-old or a 10-year-old shoveling your snow, you should tip them, but if it is a large landscaping company charging you a large sum of money to clear your snow, then I don’t think so,” said Logan Rawlings, Weber State University freshman. “(But) housekeepers generally get tips; babysitters, I think, occasionally should get tipped a little if they do something extra.”

When someone from a large company does something extra, some people believe they should be tipped.

Greenpal tried to focus on the one-man band: the person who shows up with his or her own truck and lawn mower and cuts a client’s grass.

“I’m not going to tip someone to mow my lawn, because they are already getting paid to do the service anyway,” said Josh Norman, WSU freshman. “The only time that I would tip somebody is like a waiter who is not getting a whole lot of money hourly.”

The bigger companies responded that they normally do not get tipped. The landscaping companies employing 50-100 people said they never get tipped.

The owner-operators gave Greenpal the feedback that they sometimes get tipped.

“I work at a landscaping company, so I kind of know the rate that they charge,” said Carson Malan, WSU freshman. “It includes everything. It kind of includes a tip too. Depending on what they pay their employee, they probably charge $60 an hour to mow your lawn. Then, depending on how big (the job) is, it’s kind of included.”

Some WSU students still live with parents, so the times that they tip are when they go out to eat.

“It depends, so if they work for a large company and it’s the company renting you the maid and it’s not the same maid every time, then probably,” said Andreas Sanchez, WSU freshman. “Whenever someone does an extraordinary service for me, I tip. Like if I get coffee and it’s just incredible coffee or they are just really nice, that’s when I feel it is time to tip. If it’s food service, then always tip food service.”