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Tipping at Restaurants

  1. #1
    Senior Member MUZ720's Avatar
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    Tipping at Restaurants


    The wife and I go out to eat once a week or so for date nights. Eating out is an expensive proposition theses days even with only having one drink. So we are even thinking about cutting back on the frequency as is. Ok so a couple of questions. 1st is 20% the new normal for dinner? For good service. Of course we adjust for better than good or worse... I am talking full meals here not just a drink at the bar.. And we have also started tipping per tax. Does anyone else do that? I mean the meal is x why should I pay the extra for the state added dollars!

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  2. #2
    Cat herder
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Servers work like dogs and make jackshit. 20% for me unless it's a crappy experience for whatever reason. Indifferent, poor or slow service might get 10 percent. Really bad gets nothing. More than 20% if it's exceptionally good and/or friendly, or if it's a cheap (sub-$10) meal (e.g. a $7 lunch will get a tenner and "keep the change").

    I do not tip for take-out. I'm paying for the personal service.

    PS: A fun way to brighten the server's day... when they say "Hi, I'm (name) and I'll be serving you this evening," immediately introduce yourself and your companion(s) and say "We'll be your guests this evening." Always gets a laugh.

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  3. #3
    Lifer
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I pretty much do 20% as a standard. It rarely ever goes higher unless the waitress removes an item from the bill for whatever reason, I will then tip them nearly that full amount unless it was removed because it sucked. I'm talking like not charging me for a drink or something.
    I am pretty bad about taking money off however. I'm a thirsty guy, I just am. I need at least 10 glasses of water or whatever per meal to not be constantly thirsty. By the time the meal comes I should have had about 3 glasses. A good waitress will keep me filled Every time they go by where as a bad one will let me suffer. I have a thing I do where if they don't fill my drink but keep passing by and not helping us I move the glass closer and closer to the edge. Eventually the glass gets pushed off the edge and shatters everywhere. I usually get my drink then but they get zero tip and a little note that says why. I know it's a dick move and I'm a terrible person for doing but it rarely happens. My wife usually speaks up once the glass has travelled about half way across the table. I think my generosity on the other end makes up for it. In my world a drink has more value than food. I won't even go to places that charge per refill for soda or give me individual water bottles. My bill would be outrageous.

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  4. #4
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Tipping is so very American and so very fucking stupid.

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  5. #5
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I have sorta mixed feelings about tipping, particularly it being a percent of the bill.

    Suppose you and your wife go out to Chili’s. Order two drinks and two entrees. You receive service, so you tip 25% on your $50 bill - the server pockets $12.50.

    The next night you two go out to a fancier restaurant. Order the same two drinks and two entrees. You get mediocre service, so you tip only 15% on your $100 bill. The server pockets $2.50 more than you tipped last night, yet you had a worse experience for the exact same meal. Oh, and the server still calls you a cheapass after you leave.

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  6. #6
    High maintenance priss
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Same as others. Good service @20% based on meal price (including removed items but not tax), adjust from there based on service.

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    Tipping is so very American and so very fucking stupid.
    OT, but agreed - hate the whole tipping thing for every industry here. But until they change pay and food prices: we're stuck.

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  7. #7
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    I have sorta mixed feelings about tipping, particularly it being a percent of the bill.

    Suppose you and your wife go out to Chili’s. Order two drinks and two entrees. You receive service, so you tip 25% on your $50 bill - the server pockets $12.50.

    The next night you two go out to a fancier restaurant. Order the same two drinks and two entrees. You get mediocre service, so you tip only 15% on your $100 bill. The server pockets $2.50 more than you tipped last night, yet you had a worse experience for the exact same meal. Oh, and the server still calls you a cheapass after you leave.
    You’re a lot more likely to get bad service at glorified fast food (chili’s, Applebee’s, etc) than a nicer place like Ruth’s or Del Friscos. Regardless, I generally tip accordingly with 20% standard.

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  8. #8
    Lifer PhilB's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Yes, it's a silly practice, but it's what is customary. I tend to be generous. "Officially" the basic rate is supposed to be 18%.
    The restaurants I go to that have eliminated tipping all charge 18% for service.

    I normally tip 20%, including for the tax; I figure if the tax is high, the servers are living in a high tax state and paying too much too, and could use the money.
    I also make sure to tip based on the full price for anything that was taken off the bill, or there was a discount or coupon for, etc.
    As someone else said, a bit higher for cheap meals, a bit higher for exceptional service, a bit lower for annoyances.
    I pretty much never feel the need to tip very low or nothing for bad service, but I am willing to, if it's really egregious.

    I do tip a bit, maybe 10%, even at coffee shops and counter service, especially if they clean up after.
    If I go pick up the food, and take it away, or eat it there but I bus my own table, then I don't feel a tip is necessary.
    But I will sometimes anyway if the staff is pleasant and helpful, and the space is nice and kept up.

    PhilB

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  9. #9
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    20% and up unless service really sucks.

    I have a major problem with paying in non-$5-increments though. So they usually make with over 20%.

    Got Japanese food last night, bill was $69.12. 20% is $13.82 which would bring it to $82.94. Not going to round down to $80 so I round up to $85 and they get a 22% tip.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member MUZ720's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    PS: A fun way to brighten the server's day... when they say "Hi, I'm (name) and I'll be serving you this evening," immediately introduce yourself and your companion(s) and say "We'll be your guests this evening." Always gets a laugh.
    Funny might just try that one....
    Suppose you and your wife go out to Chili’s. Order two drinks and two entrees. You receive service, so you tip 25% on your $50 bill - the server pockets $12.50.
    A lot of places put tips in a pool so the people busing tables and or the bar tender get a share...

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  11. #11
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I usually tip 20% unless service is exceptionally bad. I'd rather support a system where service workers are paid a living wage with benefits but until that becomes the new norm the generous tipping will be what we go with.

    My wife has been a waitress as a second job for about 10 years. She rarely if ever complains about tables of 2 or 4 who are just eating or having drinks at the restaurant. The only ones she balks at are those people who have large groups, tons of special requests and then stiff her on the tip.

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  12. #12
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I tip 20% on the total after tax because it's the easiest to figure out. I also round slightly up or down to add change that makes my final payout an even number.

    To save money on date night, we don't get alcohol. Easy to add $30-40 on a bill if you each get a couple of drinks.

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  13. #13
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by boosten lebaron View Post
    I have a thing I do where if they don't fill my drink but keep passing by and not helping us I move the glass closer and closer to the edge. Eventually the glass gets pushed off the edge and shatters everywhere. I usually get my drink then but they get zero tip and a little note that says why. I know it's a dick move and I'm a terrible person for doing but it rarely happens.
    I've never been destructive but I've been known to get up and go to the servers station to grab a pitcher of water to bring to the table.

    That tends to embarrasses them enough to get the point across and ups the level of service across the board.

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  14. #14
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    Tipping is so very American and so very fucking stupid.
    I agree but until servers make a living wage, your a total dick if you don't tip.

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  15. #15
    ain't nuttin wrong w/that scubasteveRR's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by b0xmonkey View Post
    until servers make a living wage, your a total dick if you don't tip.
    I concur with this train of thought. I do think they should change the minimum wage of restaurant workers to reflect a living wage. I almost always go 20%, give or take for good or bad service

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    I've never been destructive but I've been known to get up and go to the servers station to grab a pitcher of water to bring to the table.

    That tends to embarrasses them enough to get the point across and ups the level of service across the board.
    I've never tried it, but the glass breaking story was hilarious... I also just get up and grab the water and refill myself. If it's a soda that needs a refill I've taken my glass and found the waitress and asked her to refill it.

    I hate being thirsty in the middle of eating. it's the worst

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  16. #16
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I'm pretty much OK with 20%. I know that most servers are working for way below minimum wage for anyone else in the workforce, that they work very hard, and that they have to put up with some pretty marginal behaviors from some of the customers (y'know, the glass droppers and encounters with wandering hands ). I'm not starving and I can afford to pass along some wealth, so generous seems OK to me.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I hate tipping unless I get above average service. That said, it's always around 20% in America, adjusted for quality. I wish we would get rid of the custom.

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  18. #18
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I agree with many here. I’ll add a side note.
    Try to tip minimum $5 for pizza delivery even if all you got was a pizZa or couple subs. Obviously if you order $150 worth of pizza/wings for the super bowl throw a $20 at the guy.
    If the place charges for delivery that pisses me off because most don’t give that money to the driver.
    If you don’t wanna pay extra $5 for the pizza or the place is too close to you, go get it yourself.

    note #2 tip $1-2 per drink at the bar
    note #3 tip the vallet or walk (I hare people driving my vehicles so I never vallet but still).
    Note #4 it is 100% ok to not tip for bad service
    Note #5 I don’t tip for take out, if I do it’s $2 during the holidays or if I get a good joke from person.
    Note #6 for coffee I just round up the change if paying cash

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  19. #19
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I tip a little for takeout if it is somewhere I go to frequently and they always get my order right, are friendly, etc. Often if it is the owner working I like to tip because I know how hard it is to run a tiny business and be the main employee as well. Chef Lou, the owner of Abudanza Express in Ludlow, is the hardest working person I know.

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  20. #20
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    I'm surprised no one posted this yet.

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  21. #21
    Lifer TIMMYDUCK's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    20 % pre-tax would be pretty standard these days.

    Going out to eat is a luxury expense IMHO , if you can't afford to tip properly , don't go out .

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  22. #22
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Move the decimal over one place to the left, round up to the next dollar, double it.

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  23. #23
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Server in my past life in really nice places and casual. Nice places pool tips and divvy them up between host, servers, wine, bar, food runners, and bussers. Casual your server cuts in the bussers, bar, and food runners. All tips on cc are declared and most cash tips are too. You get a tiny hourly wage so paychecks are usually $0.

    Pleasantly surprised to read the comments here. If you think the few dollars between 15% and 20% or rounding up don't make a difference you'd be wrong. It can turn a crummy night into a good one. Of course as a server you're at the mercy of who walks in the door and how many, getting sent home on a week night with $20 in your pocket isn't fun. In non-tipping countries the employees get paid a salary with benefits like a real employee making them feel like part of the business, imagine that...

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  24. #24
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by Crimedog View Post
    Pleasantly surprised to read the comments here. If you think the few dollars between 15% and 20% or rounding up don't make a difference you'd be wrong. It can turn a crummy night into a good one. Of course as a server you're at the mercy of who walks in the door and how many, getting sent home on a week night with $20 in your pocket isn't fun. In non-tipping countries the employees get paid a salary with benefits like a real employee making them feel like part of the business, imagine that...
    It's almost as if having a minimum, livable wage is actually a good thing and won't bankrupt the country. Who knew?

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  25. #25
    Senior Member MUZ720's Avatar
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    Re: Tipping at Restaurants

    So if tipping was eliminated, what would be a fair increase in food prices to pay the staff to have a living wage? 25% 30% ?

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