Tipping Is Not A City In China


It is a long-standing tradition in our society that you tip people who offer you good service. It is both a form of “thank you” and social expectation. Waiters, bartenders, stylists, valets, cabbies, and pizza delivery guys. Uber drivers and Grubhub delivery folks. Housekeepers and Starbucks baristas. I tip them all. And I tip very well.

I’ve been relatively successful. I earn a decent living. But that was not always the case. I worked as bartender in college and before as a server in high school. Those experiences scarred me for life. So much so, that I still tip every single time — even when I get terrible service. Is that right? Even if I was greeted rudely, waited too long, was completely ignored, and walked over to the beverage station to pour my own coffee (which happened earlier this week), I still tip. But I’m perplexed as to how much you should tip.

First, what is “standard” tipping depends on who you ask. Half of the people I spoke to this week said 15% was standard and others said 20%. Is it ok to tip less if you get bad service? Most I talked to said 10% was what they tipped for bad service, but others said regardless, they still tip higher, never less than 15%.

I did some research on other tips too. How much do you give a Barista? Or an Uberdriver? A hairstylist? No one could agree. “Depends” is the answer I get most often.

So after exhaustive research, including 15 minutes of searching through Google , I found a guideline. USA Today published a “definitive” article on tipping in 2017. It remains one of the all-time most read articles on their website .

Highlights from the article:

  •      The Emily Post Institute recommends a pre-tax tip of 15-20% in a restaurant
  •      A delivery driver should get 10-15%
  •      Etiquette expert Melissa Leonard says bad service tip should be 10%
  •      Bartenders should get $1-2 per drink, is the consensus
  •      Tip jars are optional, and take-out orders should have no expectation of a tip (unless the order was large or complicated)

So do you agree? Let our Office Manager Katie Rossberg know your thoughts on tipping!


Monday, March 11 – Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo


Monday morning, as the Madison+Main-iacs were holding down the fort, I was out of the office enjoying an early spring at Cape Hatteras with my son Jack . Well, mainly I was enjoying it. Him? Not so much. It could have been because I pulled Jaws, Jr. out from the ocean and chased him down with it. #AreYouAfraidOfTheShark? (Spoiler alert: He was.) And yes PETA , we threw him back. Hard emphasis on threw .



Later that afternoon, we headed back to Richmond and got into the usual swing of things, without any shark scares.


Tuesday, March 12– RIP Je-Sus: 2019-2019


A few weeks ago you may recall we bought some new goldfish for the office. The account team gave them names such as Landy and Je-sus (pronounced hay-zeus). Earlier this week Office Manager Katie “OMG Guys I’m Gonna Cry” Rossberg found her favorite fish Je-sus lying upside down in the bottom of the tank. It didn’t look promising, but I thought if anyone could come back from the dead it would be Je-sus. And I was right. Je-sus bounced back and started swimming around with the other guys for 3 consecutive days before finally succumbing to high pH levels. Katie came to work wearing all black and Communications Manager Kent Brockwell created a shrine, before we sent the little guy off to a burial at sea. #SwirlyGates




Wednesday, March 13 – Pen Pals


Wednesday morning we headed to Williamsburg Landing to present them new creative concepts and a marketing plan. It was a successful day as the team loved all 3 concepts. Now the Madison+Main-iacs are excited to get started on executing the campaign in a few short weeks.


Wednesday night was Dale Carnegie training graduation for our newest Madison+Main-iacs. It’s always been an unwritten rule around the office that you must win the coveted pen. Not to my surprise, Katie Rossberg , Jr. Copywriter Derek Fair , and Account ExecutiveAllison Throckmorton all kept the streak alive with their impressive breakthroughs. #Penning #BoldBrandsWin #BoldBrandsPen (Derek reports his is already out of ink as he writes with it all day, every day.)


Thursday, March 14 – Off To a Lucy Living Lecture


Thursday afternoon Kent and Account Executive Haleigh Lader headed to Lucy Corr to hear their new Seminar Series. Associate Real Estate Broker, Mark Adams spoke about real estate trends and gave helpful pointers to the residents on how to prep a home in today’s market. JoAnn Redd of Suited for Success followed up by offering tips on how to successfully declutter. The two seemed like they had done this a time or two before.


Friday, March 15- Let’s Go Good Rams


Earlier today we all gathered in the conference room downstairs, ordered Piccola ‘s, and watched our beloved VCU Rams take on the Rhode Island Rams . Unlike us, Creative Director Art Webband fam were in Brooklyn getting the full experience. #Jealous It was our first game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament and yet again, another battle of the Rams. It was a tough game to watch as star player Marcus Evans was injured and appears out for the tournament. This time, the bad Rams from Rhode Island ended up with a victory, knocking my beloved VCU Rams out of the A10 Tournament. What the heck happened? Maybe we can blame poor foul shooting or we can blame Mercury in retrograde, which Katie informed me lasts until the 28th of this month. Keeping my fingers crossed we make it to the big dance next week.


Meanwhile, I’m on the way to Asheville, North Carolina to speak at Rotary’s District 7680’s Annual Conference. When I told Director of Account Services Kaitlin Thomas I was going to Asheville, North Carolina she thought I said actual North Carolina. What is actual North Carolina? Is that how they divide OBX from the rest of the state? #ServiceAboveSelf

A Few of Our Favorite Events


VCU Health Fair Featuring Hitting Cancer Below The Belt

Martin Luther King Middle School | Richmond, VA

March 23, 2019


The HCB2 crew is heading out to the east end to take part of the VCU Community Health Fair! Their knowledgable team will reach out to community members and talk about colon health and colorectal cancer prevention. The inflatable colon should be a hit!


Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!


“Tipping change is bad luck, people. If you can’t round your generosity up to a whole dollar, then just embrace your cheapness.”

— Jacob Tomsky