Tea Etiquette by Penny Ward
In this issue Penny Ward answer two of the most common but important questions that most people encounter when they go out to dinner or when invited to a holiday party, no matter whether is tea times or afternoon Tea
Question; What is the proper etiquette for tipping the business owner, such as in a small restaurant, or a salon owner? I have been given mixed answers on this. Also, do I tip if a meal is complimentary?
Answer; I did extensive research on this and the answers are mixed. The former protocol was that you did not tip the business owner. That is a practice that is rapidly changing. First, it is the responsibility of the business owner to let you know if he or she does not accept tips. Absent of that, I would tip as usual. Most small business owners, whether it is a restaurant or a hair salon, are actively involved in personally serving their customers. Think of it like this – if you went to the establishment and didn’t know he/she were the owner and he/she provided you a service, you would tip, correct?
Regarding a complimentary meal, yes, you should tip on the value of the meal. In this case, I would be a little more generous since the meal was a gift you originally intended to buy
Question; A friend of mine gives an annual holiday party that I always look forward to attending. This year on that I will have an out of town guest. Is it proper for me to ask my friend if I can bring my guest with me?
Answer; You are correct to ask; never show up with an “extra” without asking first! Invitations are for the person they are specifically addressed to and no one else. If the party is a sit-down dinner where seats are assigned and space is limited, I wouldn’t ask. You might mention your situation when you rsvp your regrets. If the host has room, they will invite you to bring your guest. If it is a larger, more casual setting, I would ask permission when you rsvp. In this situation, most of the hostesses I know have a “the more the merrier” attitude, but be prepared that they might say no due to space, budget, etc. A holiday party is a fun time, but not one where you will want to place any extra stress on the hostess.
During the holidays, I am reminded of a favorite quote by J.R.R. Tolkien, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” Make your holidays more about enjoying the presence of your friends and less about the presents.
I wish for you the blessing of much cheer and merriment with family and friends this holiday season!
Penny Ward is a Certified Etiquette Instructor and Certified Tea & Etiquette Instructor. She is a Speaker, an Event Planner, and the owner of It’s an Affair of the Heart. She is also the Founder & Director of Houston Academy of Etiquette & Protocol, and can be contacted at www.pennyward.com
Tags: Afternoon Tea, Tea Etiquette, Tea Time