In our Ethical Traveler advice column, we tackle the tricky moral dilemmas and questions that arise when traveling during a pandemic.
By Ashlea Halpern, March 4, 2021
It’s a hot take I can’t get off my mind: Last July, Grub Street’s Chris Crowley argued that anyone who can afford to eat out during a pandemic can afford to tip at least 50 percent, contending “it’s the bare minimum you can do if you decide you must eat a burger al fresco or get tacos delivered.”
That percentage haunts me. Before reading it, I considered myself a generous tipper—usually leaving between 20 and 25 percent in restaurants. I tipped baristas and food trucks and have even returned to tables covertly to throw down extra money after watching stingier friends tip 10 percent to the penny.