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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Mortgage Free Mike on February 11, 2014, 10:53:25 AM

Title: How much do you tip?
Post by: Mortgage Free Mike on February 11, 2014, 10:53:25 AM
I'm curious because I recently interviewed an etiquette expert for an article I wrote for Clark Howard's website. Perhaps no surprise, she said 18 to 20% is the new normal.

What did surprise me was the idea of a minimum tip amount.  She does it, $4 or $5, for smaller checks.

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/shopping-retail/etiquette-expert-reveals-new-normal-tipping/ndKxB/ (http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/shopping-retail/etiquette-expert-reveals-new-normal-tipping/ndKxB/)

And here's something that didn't make the article. What happens when someone you're splitting the check with doesn't leave a proper tip?

Diane Gottsman told me:

"You can either say, “I’m leaving 6 dollars, is that what you are leaving?”, or you can discreetly make up the difference. It’s not your responsibility to tip for your friend, and not everyone tips equally, but when you have a great server, you want to make sure you leave a good impression for the next time your return. And, the cheap tipper is affecting your reputation as well!"

What do you think of her advice? Do you have a tipping philosophy?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Tennis Maniac on February 11, 2014, 10:59:06 AM
When eating out I always tip around 20%, but no minimum.  If the service is really bad, then anything goes... down to 0%.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Gin1984 on February 11, 2014, 11:01:13 AM
I start my tip at 20%, if I have bad enough service to hit 15% or lower, I speak to the manager and ask for the issue to be fix.  This has only not worked 3 times in my life.  Most times, the problem can be fixed, if you ask.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Numbers Man on February 11, 2014, 11:01:31 AM
15% is my new normal.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on February 11, 2014, 11:03:56 AM
I still tip 15%.  As the price of food rises, the tip automatically increases.  If the service is lousy, I try to understand if the server is at fault or if it's beyond her control.  I may go down to 10%; I have gone up to 20%.
  If my eating partner just sits there while I'm digging out the tip I will say," Hey, that was a pretty decent lunch.  We need to tip her because you and I both know no-one can live on two bucks an hour."  That usually works.  If that doesn't, I'm not bashful in saying I don't care for freeloaders
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: greaper007 on February 11, 2014, 11:04:09 AM
I tip 20%.   Wait staff don't make poop, and it's unfortunately up to us to pay their salaries.   If people don't like it, they should just eat at home.   Which is what I do because I do hate to tip.

I've never done a minimum tip though.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: EK on February 11, 2014, 11:04:36 AM
I tip 20% almost always. 

I also adhere to a $3.00 minimum tip. Less just seems stingy to me.  I might throw $1 in a coffee shop tip jar, but at a sit down restaurant the waitperson still had to do the same amount of work as anywhere to serve a $7.00 entree.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: RichWard on February 11, 2014, 11:11:16 AM
I generally tip in a similar manner each time I go out, unless I had very poor service, then I have no problem leaving no tip at all. Similar to if I was expected to do a job and I failed at it, I would not receive a paycheck.

For your average service, my norm for anything under $10 is about $2-3. If your total meal is under $10, it is likely you were in a rush and just quick grabbed some food and didn't require any service besides having your order taken. I don't agree with her $4-$5 minimum, but I am also paying student loans, so I'm a little tighter with my money.

For my normal dinner bills between $30 and $50 two people, I usually calculate 10% (easy mental math), double it, and pick a round number between which usually gets me near 15%. I will tip more if we spent an abnormally long time without ordering more food/drinks (edit: meaning wasting their revenue space by sitting at a table and not ordering anything for an hour).
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: SweetLife on February 11, 2014, 11:12:03 AM
Hey there :)
Since my husband and I rarely go out for dinner these days (by rarely I mean never) I will give the tipping behavior of my co-workers ... they leave between .50 - 1 at a coffee shop (coffee is about $1.86) ...even at drive-thru's !!!! I think this is wayyyyy too much, unless they do something exceptional while serving you your coffee-to-go.

My sister typically tips 18% (BUT as she was a waitress herself for many years ... look out if you are a bad waitress ... NO TIP) Note that this has nothing to do with the FOOD ... if the food is bad it is the kitchen's fault NOT your waitress ... (course she does let the waitress know if the food is bad and something is usually done ... doesn't happen that often thankfully!).

For me (when I was going to restaurants) I would tip whatever the total of the taxes were (here they are usually around 13% ... and if whomever I was with didn't leave a tip that was their issue and not mine.

I have recently stopped tipping  the rare taxi driver's that I use ... especially since they don't even bother to drive me into my driveway but routinely leave me in a pile of snow (pregnant) ... luckily that only happens when the weather is terrible normally hubby comes and gets me ... and HE gets the BIG tips :)

Have fun on MMM it is a fantastic site!!!
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: galliver on February 11, 2014, 11:17:03 AM
I started tipping generously (aim for 20%-ish) in grad school, not 100% sure if it was that I was getting a regular paycheck or that I had seen what an effect good and bad tips had after close association with someone in a tipped position. Possibly both.

I'm one of the people who rounds to a round dollar amount (nearest $1, or $.50 for small bills, typically comes out to $2-3 min at sit-down places). I tip $1 on espresso drinks if I have singles.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: ketchup on February 11, 2014, 11:20:20 AM
If we go out, we generally tip about 20%.  More if the server is awesome, less if the service is subpar and it was the fault of the server.  If the cook screwed up, that's not their fault.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on February 11, 2014, 11:20:28 AM
I don't tip at drive-thrus because those people are making the "full" minimum wage.  I also don't tip the mailman, garbageman.
However, I don't ignore table companions who don't tip.  You are known by the friends you have.  If they are jerks, why associate with them?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on February 11, 2014, 11:22:35 AM
If the kitchen messed up, make sure you tell the manager BEFORE you eat it.  On the few times this happened to me, I ended up with a free meal, coupons to come back for free & a free dessert.  I still left a tip based on the menu price of the meal
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: NumberCruncher on February 11, 2014, 11:30:26 AM
I tip 15% as default, 20% or more if they were really fantastic or something. If they are just awful, I tip less.

I really dislike our tipping system because it makes no sense to me, but I know people rely on the tips, so I comply.

No "minimum tip" amount, but I have been known to tip a larger percentage on smaller bills ($2 for an $8 bill or something with typical service).
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on February 11, 2014, 11:35:40 AM
15% if service was average and they only work hard towards tip time. 75% of the time 20% i would guess.  Being frugal i dont want someone else to suffer since they depend on tips but also i dont demand much at resturants so just ask for at least adequate service.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: AlanStache on February 11, 2014, 11:38:12 AM
Am in Europe for work and have been eating dinner in the same hotel bar/restaurant for several weeks now.  When I first got here the wait staff was typically slow by American standards, I could be sitting there for five minutes without them coming by to offer a menu and take a drink order.  You have to be more aggressive over here and this can feel very unnatural and is about the last thing I want to deal with after a long day of work.  So based on past experience I started training the waiters.  I started tipping the standard american 15-20%, this is massive here, no matter the survive quality, I just wanted to teach them that I would tip well and to remember me.  Well about half a week after starting this the locals are as fast and friendly as any american waiter.  I get a menu and drink at my table very quickly now when I walk in.  It costs a bit more but is well worth it when you are tired and hungry.  Bonus; the locals are still as chill as ever about me just sitting there reading for half an hour after finishing the food, zero rush for me to leave no matter how busy.

How odd is tipping here: when I sign the check and charge it to the room there is no place to add a tip, I have to leave cash.

But in the states I normally tip 20% on the rare occasions we eat out.  Maybe more if I have had a few and cant do the math correctly :-)
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on February 11, 2014, 11:45:33 AM
Most places in Europe don't have a tipping custom.  The waitstaff make full minimum wage or above.  Funny, but many small restaurants over there have lots of tables because diners may take two hours to visit with friends, chat, etc.  Since you're over tipping, you have license to ask them if they're trying to close up for the night, otherwise could they please bring you some more coffee?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Milspecstache on February 11, 2014, 12:10:18 PM
I try to tip well (20% minimum) and also try to leave nice comments on the bill to thank the server if they did a good job.  Probably not very frugal but I remember working minimum wage (or less).
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: LDoon on February 11, 2014, 12:13:54 PM
I usually tip 20% on the pre-tax amount if the service was good.  Otherwise I'll tip 10-15% if the server was non-existent.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: samburger on February 11, 2014, 12:22:27 PM
20% is my default, with a $3-4 minimum. I can't bear to leave a couple nickels on a tip if I just have coffee--the waitstaff gets paid crap per hour no matter how much or little I order.

Tipping less for poor service is a big no-no in my eyes. I get a fat salary no matter how inefficient I am at work. Why should I hold waiters to a higher standard when they get paid a fraction as much?

A living wage is so much more important than my opinion of the service.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: galliver on February 11, 2014, 12:24:07 PM
I try to tip well (20% minimum) and also try to leave nice comments on the bill to thank the server if they did a good job.  Probably not very frugal but I remember working minimum wage (or less).

Tipping badly isn't frugal, it's cheap! (That's: encouraging/okaying your decision to tip well.)
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: AlanStache on February 11, 2014, 12:39:33 PM
Quote
Tipping less for poor service is a big no-no in my eyes. I get a fat salary no matter how inefficient I am at work. Why should I hold waiters to a higher standard when they get paid a fraction as much?

I think it was slate that had a thing on a restaurant that asked people not to tip and included it in the cost of the food then divided it up between all the hourly.  This place asked unsatisfied dinners to talk to the manager if survive was not up to expectations.  After six months the manager/owner was very happy with the experiment, service was better and everyone was happy.

But this is not the system we have in most restaurants. 

If I have to ask three times for a glass of water and wait five minutes for a fork after my food arrives I will tip pocket change.  If I continue to mess up at my job there will be consequences.  I dont always feel the desire to ask to speak to a manager if the service was bad, it was probably not that big a thing in my life and I would like to get on with my day.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: CommonCents on February 11, 2014, 12:40:51 PM
18-20% on pre-tax (but I don't always remember to do that math and frequently pay it post-tax).  A bit less on the rare times we've ordered a bottle of wine.  Sometimes up to 25% when in a group (and everyone chips in extra) or we were a pain.  (DH also asks for a manager to pass on good compliments, which I think is rarely done.)  I also tip on full, non-happy pricing.  I dislike the "new" normal that I've seen - showing the options of what it would be to tip 20%/22%/25%!  Just got a bill that was that way.  Normally I'd have tipped a little less than 20% by rounding, but I did 20% exactly because of it and then was annoyed at myself that I let them manipulate me.  (In the end it doesn't affect my stash though as it was a mystery shop and will eventually be reimbursed.  Hmm, I should have noted I did not like to see 20/22/25 on the comments...)
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Frankies Girl on February 11, 2014, 12:43:23 PM
I waited tables in high school and college. I generally tip 18-20% for decent service and 25%+ if it's stellar, but I'll tip waaaay more on cheaper places where it's clear the waitress is juggling a ton of tables or dealing with lots of families and mess and still manages to keep up with my table with a good attitude.

I've actually tipped the equivalent amount for a meal in places where I'd pay out $10-15 in those cases (so anywhere from 50-100% of a tip) because I am in a place where a few more dollars aren't going to hurt my savings in the least, but leaving a fantastic tip for a hard working server may mean the difference in them putting gas in their car or food on their own table - and I know from experience that the gratitude and generosity means so much - it certainly did to me. I had several tippers that would leave extremely generous tips, and it literally made my whole night to get that sort of a gift. So in a way, I am "paying it forward" when I eat out and get decent service. Plus, I get the nice feeling of helping out someone that probably could use the money and is being a productive member of society - so it's a win/win.

Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Paul der Krake on February 11, 2014, 01:05:42 PM
Europe: 2 to 4 EUR or GBP, regardless of check amount.

US: 20% base, and generously round up for smaller places with entrees at $10 or under. Very bad service (happened exactly once, server being extremely rude): 99 cents with a winky face next to the tip line.

Bar: $1 on every other drink.

Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: CanuckExpat on February 11, 2014, 01:19:41 PM
I aim for a tip about 15% (less for horrible service), usually pre-tax. Most of this etiquette seems to vary regionally, and I think the US has higher tipping standards. 15% makes for easy math (divide by 10 and add half), and for convenience I'll usually round up or down to the nearest $5 increment.

I find tipping a hassle, and the whole system a bit silly, but I know it's expected, and built into the system.. so it is just incentive to eat out less. Sometimes I come across restaurants, usually small and owner operated, that don't encourage tipping, they are usually great experiences.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on February 11, 2014, 01:28:43 PM
Right! If the owner or his family are the ones waiting on you, they usually consider being tipped as an insult (so order extra to make up for it)
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: sheepstache on February 11, 2014, 01:33:16 PM
I do 20% because that's standard in my city and then I do 20% when I'm out of town too just out of habit.  No minimum.

I don't tip baristas for coffee drinks, which some others mentioned.  I tip $1 per drink at bars.

If someone else doesn't tip enough and it's obvious who it is, I'll probably point it out and act like they just must not have realized it.  Like someone else mentioned, they may simply have forgotten about tax if they're just adding up the cost of their dishes.  If it's a big group, it's just, 'hey guys we don't have enough for tip' until enough people chip in extra money.  Depending on the group dynamics that might mean some people overpay but somehow it's always obvious who's putting in more just to be a good guy/girl and I figure they're getting satisfaction out of being seen that way :)  If we're getting separate checks I don't worry about it.

20/22/25.  Cute.  That would annoy me too.

This was the article I saw about a no-tip restaurant.
http://jayporter.com/dispatches/observations-from-a-tipless-restaurant-part-1-overview/
It has some interesting insights into motivation and (un)intended consequences of legislation.
For example:
Quote
Now, let’s say that on a typical shift, a restaurant sells $1000 in food and drink. It would be reasonable that, to make that revenue, a restaurant has 2 cooks who work 8 hours each, a dishwasher who works 8 hours, and two servers who work 6 hours each. We can extrapolate from standard industry models that, of the $1000 in sales, there will be $300 available to cover the 36 hours of labor. It just so happens that this math means that everyone in the house will make $8/hour, which is of course both minimum wage and a poverty wage. But that’s just how the pie divides.
And yet, wait! We’ve forgotten something. There are also 220 extra dollars paid by the guests as tips. (This 22% is typical for restaurants like ours in San Diego — the exact amount will change with restaurant style and location.) This tip money could add another $6/hour to everyone’s wage, getting everyone up to $14/hr.  While $14/hr isn’t enough to live well in San Diego, it starts approaching realistic money.
However, to give the tip money to every worker would be illegal.  The law is historically very clear — the $220 in tips belongs to the two servers only, and cannot be distributed to any other employees. So, the two servers make a total of about $26/hour each, while everyone else in the restaurant is stuck at $8/hour.
He goes on to address how this is handled differently by the law depending on the area and the less than optimal outcomes that resulted in him deciding a tipless system would be the best.

As a frugal person, the tipping system annoys me.  If I order a cheap meal and water to drink, the waiter is doing just as much work as if I'd ordered something expensive.  Sure, apps, zerts, and constant drink orders would add a bit more work, but it's still not proportionate to the bill.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 11, 2014, 01:36:06 PM
>20% - if the server does something special.  For example, I'll tip half the price of a free dessert
20% - usually, because I usually like the service
15% - completely mediocre service.  Like nothing outrageous, just slow or mistakes made (and corrected)
<15% - rarely, if the server actively pisses me off in some way.

Min: probably like $1 but this almost never happens.  If I was taking up a whole table on a busy day for just a cup of coffee, I might bump up the min.  I never get delivery but I would also tip at least $5 for rainy weather or whatever.

Counter service: not unless there's some crazy special request.  At bars I tip a buck since the bartender has a lot of discretion over your service

On how well servers get paid: here in SF servers get paid at least $10.74/hr plus health benefits regardless of tips.  So sometimes I think it makes sense to tip les but I haven't brought myself to do that.  If I'm in some backwater part of the country I will tip more
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on February 11, 2014, 01:40:14 PM
Minimum wage for servers is not the $8 mentioned in your excerpt.  It is more like $2.50, which is why they get the tips.
  Waitstaff has two functions: (1) they are your temporary employee, they are there to take care of you, and that is why you tip them.(2) They are also commissioned salespeople. They are there to upgrade you from water and the blue plate special.  A higher ticket price generally means a higher tip
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: myDogIsFI on February 11, 2014, 01:44:51 PM
I generally tip 20% and I'll decrease it for bad service.

I don't generally tip for counter service.  It seems like most of these places leave a spot for the tip on the bill to encourage you to tip.  Is it becoming more common to tip for counter service?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on February 11, 2014, 01:50:17 PM
Coffee House type places - $0, 0%
Takeout from the bar/to-go counter at a restaurant - $0, 0%
Bartender - $1/drink or so
Waiters - Somewhere in the 15-20% range based on quality of service. Sometimes higher, never ever lower.
I hate that every place I go now has a tip jar at the cash register-I almost never even consider dropping something in there.

I really don't like the system to pay waiters a low wage and expect diners to pay most of their salary, but I comply since it's the structure we live in.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Spork on February 11, 2014, 01:51:46 PM
Minimum wage for servers is not the $8 mentioned in your excerpt.  It is more like $2.50, which is why they get the tips.
  Waitstaff has two functions: (1) they are your temporary employee, they are there to take care of you, and that is why you tip them.(2) They are also commissioned salespeople. They are there to upgrade you from water and the blue plate special.  A higher ticket price generally means a higher tip

It's actually worse than that.  They then tip-out... giving a predetermined amount to the busboys, kitchen and god-knows who.

I tip 20% as a norm... slightly more if something is awesome.  It looks like a thankless, hard job. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Thegoblinchief on February 11, 2014, 02:01:34 PM
20% when we do go out. I've never had bad enough service not to tip but the speaking to the manager suggestion above is a good one.

I think that was July 2013?

Tipping at anything other than restaurant (sit-down) would be reserved for something truly exceptional.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Elaine on February 11, 2014, 02:06:43 PM
Minimum wage for servers is not the $8 mentioned in your excerpt.  It is more like $2.50, which is why they get the tips.
  Waitstaff has two functions: (1) they are your temporary employee, they are there to take care of you, and that is why you tip them.(2) They are also commissioned salespeople. They are there to upgrade you from water and the blue plate special.  A higher ticket price generally means a higher tip

It's actually worse than that.  They then tip-out... giving a predetermined amount to the busboys, kitchen and god-knows who.

I tip 20% as a norm... slightly more if something is awesome.  It looks like a thankless, hard job.

Yeah, we always had to tip out the other staff. Also some places pool tips, so I knew if I was working with one certain other girl that I better make even more tips because she usually didn't get very much. Then we would split everything because that was policy. Like other posters said, having and off day at your office job doesn't mean your pay gets docked (usually)- I don't think service industry should be treated any differently. If you can't afford to tip 20%, then you can't afford to go out.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Elaine on February 11, 2014, 02:09:19 PM
I generally tip 20% and I'll decrease it for bad service.

I don't generally tip for counter service.  It seems like most of these places leave a spot for the tip on the bill to encourage you to tip.  Is it becoming more common to tip for counter service?

Yes it's more common, in cities I'd say very common. Many people don't tip baristas but they really do survive on the tips. Even though they aren't making $2.63 an hour (what waiters make)- they may only be making $7.50 or $8.00. Without tips it's pretty hard to live on that in an urban area. Plus you'd tip a bartender for opening a beer- why wouldn't you tip a barista for making a latte?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 11, 2014, 02:18:07 PM
I generally tip 20% and I'll decrease it for bad service.

I don't generally tip for counter service.  It seems like most of these places leave a spot for the tip on the bill to encourage you to tip.  Is it becoming more common to tip for counter service?

Yes it's more common, in cities I'd say very common. Many people don't tip baristas but they really do survive on the tips. Even though they aren't making $2.63 an hour (what waiters make)- they may only be making $7.50 or $8.00. Without tips it's pretty hard to live on that in an urban area. Plus you'd tip a bartender for opening a beer- why wouldn't you tip a barista for making a latte?

If the barista looked over the line, and then pulled me out to make my drink, then maybe I'd tip them a buck.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: frugally on February 11, 2014, 02:20:54 PM
This might be a little extreme, but I tip 30% if the service was outstanding, 0% otherwise.

We're in MN, though, where waitress minimum wage is $7.25 like anywhere else.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: minimalist on February 11, 2014, 02:29:31 PM
I tip 20% because waiters need to survive with low minimum wage laws in certain states. I prefer eating at home or counter service - it is much more efficient and I do not value the services that waiters provide at the rate that I pay.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: BoulderTC on February 11, 2014, 02:34:38 PM
I usually tip 15-20% at sit down restaurants, but take into consideration if they leave a bottle of water on the table, meaning the wait staff never had to fill a drink. That might be stingy of me.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: sheepstache on February 11, 2014, 02:36:18 PM
Minimum wage for servers is not the $8 mentioned in your excerpt.  It is more like $2.50, which is why they get the tips.
  Waitstaff has two functions: (1) they are your temporary employee, they are there to take care of you, and that is why you tip them.(2) They are also commissioned salespeople. They are there to upgrade you from water and the blue plate special.  A higher ticket price generally means a higher tip

Are you talking about the article I excerpted?  That was a hypothetical example to give a basic idea of the problem of distributing a limited amount of revenue.  He goes on to talk about the legislation involved
Quote
In some states (big East Coast restaurant states come to mind, like New York), the government balances this situation by offering what is called a “tip credit”. The tip credit allows restaurants to pay their front-of-house employees less than minimum wage (usually about $5/hr less), if tips will make up the difference. In the example above, the servers in a “tip credit” system would most likely end up making about $21/hour and, cooks about $12/hour, and the dishwasher still about $8/hour. To someone like me who puts a lot of demands on his kitchen, this distribution still feels inequitable — but it’s a lot closer to fair. While the “tip credit” is a blunt instrument, it does address the wage inequity problem enough to keep the tipping system at least somewhat viable.

Now, in California and several other states, the “tip credit” is not allowed, and the restauranteur has fewer options. The recourse most commonly used in these states is the “tipout”. Here the servers just give a portion of their tips to the kitchen, usually as part of a cultural expectation created within the restaurant. The problems with depending on a voluntary tipout to equal out the pay on the team are:

Some servers may decide to withhold a tipout, in a sense cheating the system, and the employers is precluded from redressing this; and
Servers may use that option of withholding their tipout, to extract special favors from the kitchen regardless of whether those favors hurt other guests or other servers.
1. In other words, with the business disallowed from enforcing the tipout system, control is left to the culture of the team in the restaurant;
2. and humans being humans, more times than not that situation leads to hurt feelings, anger, or worse.

In a tipout system, what started as one enterprise (a restaurant selling its food & hospitality to its guests), has now spawned two completely new, concurrent businesses: the business of the server selling the perception of extra attention to the guest for tips; and the business of the kitchen workers selling favors to the servers for tipout.

[ . . .]

Back in 2006, however, it was still definitely illegal for a tip pool to include back-of-house workers.  The only legal way that tip revenue could be distributed among the whole team was for it to not be tip revenue. Instead, it had to be an amount charged by the business for its service. In other words, a service charge.

His restaurant charged 18% for table service and guests weren't allowed to tip on top of that.  He said it took care of the competing interests problem and assured guests the business wasn't trying to wring more money out of them and he also had some interesting thoughts about the psychology of certain guests that got angry when they couldn't tip.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Elaine on February 11, 2014, 02:37:53 PM
I generally tip 20% and I'll decrease it for bad service.

I don't generally tip for counter service.  It seems like most of these places leave a spot for the tip on the bill to encourage you to tip.  Is it becoming more common to tip for counter service?

Yes it's more common, in cities I'd say very common. Many people don't tip baristas but they really do survive on the tips. Even though they aren't making $2.63 an hour (what waiters make)- they may only be making $7.50 or $8.00. Without tips it's pretty hard to live on that in an urban area. Plus you'd tip a bartender for opening a beer- why wouldn't you tip a barista for making a latte?

If the barista looked over the line, and then pulled me out to make my drink, then maybe I'd tip them a buck.

I see what you're getting at, but that's essentially punishing the employees for the rules of the establishment. If the policy is to wait in line, they can't really just go rogue.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Rural on February 11, 2014, 02:54:46 PM
As a rule, 15%. The new "standard" may be 20% elsewhere, but here tipping is not always done/ is lower than city standards when it is done, and anything is generally received happily. Also all the restaurants in this area are family owned and one parent cooks while the children and other spouse wait tables, so it's always tipping the owner/ family for us. There are no chain restaurants within 40 miles, though there is fast food.

We also tip at the one exception to the family owned rule, a (non-chain) buffet where ownership and family relationship status is unclear but where there isn't table service either, except for bringing a drink. We tip 10-15% there, and they're always very, very happy to see us, so I don't think tips are common.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Paul der Krake on February 11, 2014, 03:00:13 PM
I usually tip 15-20% at sit down restaurants, but take into consideration if they leave a bottle of water on the table, meaning the wait staff never had to fill a drink. That might be stingy of me.
I'm the opposite, I find it ridiculous to be "interrupted" multiple times per meal because my glass dropped just under 50% full. Same thing goes for dedicated people bagging my groceries at the store.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: kolorado on February 11, 2014, 03:19:34 PM
 10% is my usual, unless the kids are with us, then 15% since there is usually more clean-up.
 I have a slightly different perspective on tipping than most people since I worked for 3 years in a restaurant kitchen for minimum wage. The restaurant cannot legally pay servers less than minimum wage. So after all the tips are reported the server can keep the overage in tips or the management will makeup the difference to get their wage up to the minimum.
 Serving is not a thankless job, not any more than any other minimum wage job. It isn't any harder than kitchen work or janitorial or stocking shelves.  It isn't a skilled job either unless you are working a very swank place with very particular rules of presentation. The servers in my restaurant regularly sat down for on their shift between taking things to tables. Not a one of them could fix a salad let alone bake a cake like the rest of the kitchen workers knew to do.
 It just really gets under my skin that the pretty faces of food service have some kind of higher merit to extra money in the eyes of the general populace than the people who actually prepared the food. Or picked the food in the first place. Or dealt with waste after the food was served and digested.
 So yeah, I think tipping is just what it means, extra money for above average service. It's a reward not a wage. Their workplace is responsible for their wage.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 11, 2014, 03:19:41 PM
I generally tip 20% and I'll decrease it for bad service.

I don't generally tip for counter service.  It seems like most of these places leave a spot for the tip on the bill to encourage you to tip.  Is it becoming more common to tip for counter service?

Yes it's more common, in cities I'd say very common. Many people don't tip baristas but they really do survive on the tips. Even though they aren't making $2.63 an hour (what waiters make)- they may only be making $7.50 or $8.00. Without tips it's pretty hard to live on that in an urban area. Plus you'd tip a bartender for opening a beer- why wouldn't you tip a barista for making a latte?

If the barista looked over the line, and then pulled me out to make my drink, then maybe I'd tip them a buck.

I see what you're getting at, but that's essentially punishing the employees for the rules of the establishment. If the policy is to wait in line, they can't really just go rogue.

I'm not punishing anyone.  I'm bribing them.

Of course if a coffee shop acted like a busy bar, then I would literally never go there.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on February 11, 2014, 05:05:17 PM

 Serving is not a thankless job, not any more than any other minimum wage job. It isn't any harder than kitchen work or janitorial or stocking shelves.  It isn't a skilled job either unless you are working a very swank place with very particular rules of presentation. Their workplace is responsible for their wage.
Having done both at various times, I have to disagree.  Janitorial work is simple; you don't have any abusive,  loud-mouthed know-it-alls in your face.  Every trade has its good and not so good as far as the skill set goes.  A good waiter is skilled at suggestive selling; selling is a skill most won't learn.  If you're sitting at their table, you are their workplace.  If your kids make a mess, you should be tipping 20%
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: bigchrisb on February 11, 2014, 05:50:54 PM
In Australia, zero.  Zip.  Nada.  Unless the service is truly exceptional.

Minimum wage here is $16.37, plus 9.25% to a retirement account of the employees choosing.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: bigchrisb on February 11, 2014, 06:00:06 PM
Actually, I tell a lie. Checking the award, a basic waiter under the "restaurant industry award" working casually would be paid  $21.41/hr, plus 9.25% super - i.e.  a total of $23.40/hour.  I maintain that under that level of wages for basic waiting, tipping is not necessary here. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Mortgage Free Mike on February 11, 2014, 07:38:52 PM
To kolorado, I think serving is a skilled job. Good servers master interpersonal skills, organization skills, time management, salesmanship and basic accounting.
With that said, cooking is a skill as well. Those team members should be fairly compensated, too.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Guizmo on February 11, 2014, 09:14:52 PM
I don't believe in tipping.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-qV9wVGb38
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: kolorado on February 12, 2014, 08:31:23 AM

 Serving is not a thankless job, not any more than any other minimum wage job. It isn't any harder than kitchen work or janitorial or stocking shelves.  It isn't a skilled job either unless you are working a very swank place with very particular rules of presentation. Their workplace is responsible for their wage.
Having done both at various times, I have to disagree.  Janitorial work is simple; you don't have any abusive,  loud-mouthed know-it-alls in your face.  Every trade has its good and not so good as far as the skill set goes.  A good waiter is skilled at suggestive selling; selling is a skill most won't learn.  If you're sitting at their table, you are their workplace.  If your kids make a mess, you should be tipping 20%

I have a good friend who has worked overnight janitorial for 5+ years. Abuse doesn't always come from the potential tippers, it often comes from the management and there's no-one else around to take pity and improve the employee's shift with a cash reward. And that's a trap of many minimum wage jobs, the boss can treat you bad no matter how well you do and there's no hope of ever getting a tip from a customer. But like you say, it is situational and experience-based, and not to start a huge side debate, but it's also racially motivated in many cases. Servers can be skilled, but it isn't on the whole a skilled occupation. And I have never heard it referred to as a trade. That's reaching a lot, unless you can point me toward the Server's Guild.
 And FWIW, we rarely go out to eat at a restaurant and if we do with the kids, I clean up before the server gets a chance. But I can't wipe everything down, hence the extra %. Don't tell me what I should tip. It's up to me as a customer. The server's don't get to set their own "fees" to bring me food they didn't prepare and silverware they didn't wash. And they don't get to discriminate against my children by telling me to tip more when I bring them. I'm not in their workplace, they're working in the place I choose to eat. Without the customer, the server has no job. Who is working for who here?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: horsepoor on February 12, 2014, 08:38:46 AM
I tip more based on the service than the final check total.  If its an order at the counter deal usually a buck per entree ordered.  One place we occasionally eat is a buffet lunch so the server only brings drinks so I tip less.  If I have good service but get a cheap lunch like the $7 soup and salad deal, I might tip $3.  15% would only be about a buck. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Ottawa on February 12, 2014, 08:49:10 AM
Tip?  You don't need to if you don't go out! 
But, more seriously - depends where I go; when I do. 
In NZ and OZ - NO TIPS EVER.

In Canada - whatever the tax is (~15%).  If the food is bad but service good - no tip penalty.  If the service is bad (independent of food quality) I am pretty harsh on the tip reduction - othewise, what is the incentive to up your game?  If the food is excellent - I'll ask the waitstaff to compliment the chef.  Having been a chef - this is pretty special to hear.

In USA...kinda complicated.  Can someone explain tipped vs non-tipped wages?  Looking here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage_in_the_United_States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage_in_the_United_States) am I reading correctly that in some states the tip/non-tip wage is the same?  Would this mean someone working hospitality gets $9.19 PLUS tips?  vs say, Texas at $2.13 PLUS tips?  This seems very strange to me...and I may have to develop a complicated matrix of tip dependency based on restaurant location...lol
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Spork on February 12, 2014, 10:57:06 AM

 Serving is not a thankless job, not any more than any other minimum wage job. It isn't any harder than kitchen work or janitorial or stocking shelves.  It isn't a skilled job either unless you are working a very swank place with very particular rules of presentation. Their workplace is responsible for their wage.
Having done both at various times, I have to disagree.  Janitorial work is simple; you don't have any abusive,  loud-mouthed know-it-alls in your face.  Every trade has its good and not so good as far as the skill set goes.  A good waiter is skilled at suggestive selling; selling is a skill most won't learn.  If you're sitting at their table, you are their workplace.  If your kids make a mess, you should be tipping 20%

I have a good friend who has worked overnight janitorial for 5+ years. Abuse doesn't always come from the potential tippers, it often comes from the management and there's no-one else around to take pity and improve the employee's shift with a cash reward. And that's a trap of many minimum wage jobs, the boss can treat you bad no matter how well you do and there's no hope of ever getting a tip from a customer. But like you say, it is situational and experience-based, and not to start a huge side debate, but it's also racially motivated in many cases.

I think this boils down to "there are some assholes everywhere." 

Where I work the janitor often sits with us at lunch and has even gone out with the group for lunch.  He'll come sit in your office and shoot the shit with you.  And this is an elderly black gentleman in a mostly white office in a deep south town that has a pretty decent history of bad racial relations.   

I'm not trying to say we're all saints ... just that there's a pretty wide variance of how folks treat each other. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 12, 2014, 11:24:48 AM
Tip?  You don't need to if you don't go out! 
But, more seriously - depends where I go; when I do. 
In NZ and OZ - NO TIPS EVER.

In Canada - whatever the tax is (~15%).  If the food is bad but service good - no tip penalty.  If the service is bad (independent of food quality) I am pretty harsh on the tip reduction - othewise, what is the incentive to up your game?  If the food is excellent - I'll ask the waitstaff to compliment the chef.  Having been a chef - this is pretty special to hear.

In USA...kinda complicated.  Can someone explain tipped vs non-tipped wages?  Looking here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage_in_the_United_States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage_in_the_United_States) am I reading correctly that in some states the tip/non-tip wage is the same?  Would this mean someone working hospitality gets $9.19 PLUS tips?  vs say, Texas at $2.13 PLUS tips?  This seems very strange to me...and I may have to develop a complicated matrix of tip dependency based on restaurant location...lol

Your understanding is correct.

But the 2.13 plus tips is supposed to also earn minimum wage even if no tips... It's just that you are unlikely to keep your job if you get so few tips your employer has to make up the difference. 

I feel bad about the matrix but at some point it just makes sense.  Say we go to a More European system where servers earn a living wage.  Can I just stop tipping? 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: minimalist on February 12, 2014, 11:31:52 AM
This might be a little extreme, but I tip 30% if the service was outstanding, 0% otherwise.

We're in MN, though, where waitress minimum wage is $7.25 like anywhere else.

It is pretty extreme to tip 0% unless they did something wrong. MN minimum wage for tipped employees is $5.25 for a small employer and $6.15 for a large employer (source: http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm#Minnesota).
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Ottawa on February 12, 2014, 11:34:25 AM

I feel bad about the matrix but at some point it just makes sense.  Say we go to a More European system where servers earn a living wage.  Can I just stop tipping?

That was going to be my next point...for folks that earn a high base rate (i.e. WA).. is it equitable that they be tipped and some guy working minimum wage (in a non-tip environment) isn't?  hmm...
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Miss Growing Green on February 12, 2014, 11:52:42 AM
18-25% for good service.  Towards the higher end of that range if we order a small amount (i.e. split an entree and didn't get drinks)
15% for bad service
10% for absolutely terrible service and rude servers.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: jawisco on February 12, 2014, 12:19:53 PM
My standard is $1 per drinks at bar, $1 per couple of drinks at coffee shop, minimum $3 tip at restaurant if small bill.   

For regular meals, I tip 15% as a baseline and then move up to 20-25% for better service.  A couple of times in my life, I have left a 10% tip when service was horrible.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: chasesfish on February 12, 2014, 02:24:39 PM
I'm in the 15-20% range depending on service.  I've been lower on really bad service, higher on better service.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: coconutpop on February 12, 2014, 02:53:21 PM
I usually tip 20-25%. I have been a waiter for sometime. I have to report tips on my taxes. When someone tip less than 15%, waiter lose money from their own pocket in taxes. At least in my area.

I rarely go in restaurants tho. I can make my groceries for free at my local organic store. In exchange for some services. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: SofiaBourbon on February 12, 2014, 02:57:44 PM
20%  - 25 %
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: netskyblue on February 12, 2014, 02:58:44 PM
I used to wait tables part-time 2-3 nights a week, in addition to my full time job.  If I was making ANYTHING close to minimum wage, I'd never have done it.  I was doing it to make as much money as fast as I could to get out of debt and into a good place with my savings.

If all wait staff made was minimum wage, you can bet some of the "best" in the industry wouldn't be doing that job!  You can make really good money (though without benefits) waiting tables in a high-end restaurant, but to get that job (and keep it) you have to be really good at what you do.  Per hour, I consistently made more than I do at my day job.  But it wasn't an 8-hour-a-day job.  It was only great money being that it was in addition to my day job. 

Kinda sorry if this sounds snippy, but who are any of you to decide what someone "deserves" to earn?  My time is worth what I can get someone to pay me for it, and if someone was a "known" crappy tipper, I'd be going out of my way to avoid taking their table.  Why sell my time to your table if I can get 30% more at table 203?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 12, 2014, 03:02:47 PM
who are any of you to decide what someone "deserves" to earn

The person paying those earnings out of my wallet.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Greg on February 12, 2014, 03:04:40 PM
If eating out where I get table service, I usually tip 20%... it's easy to figure.  I've never had bad service that wasn't accommodated for by the server in some way, free drink or something.  When my kid was younger and messy I'd tip more, I hate leaving a big mess.

I also make sure people I'm with tip enough.  If they don't I make up the difference and point it out to them.  People can get weird when they eat out, like they're entitled.  If I eat at a counter service place I tip at least $1, more if my order is large or complex. 

Regardless I usually round up.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: netskyblue on February 12, 2014, 03:08:30 PM
who are any of you to decide what someone "deserves" to earn

The person paying those earnings out of my wallet.

And your waiter is the one choosing whether or not to sell you their services.  At least where I worked, we had the option to decline to take a table if we didn't want it.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: garth on February 12, 2014, 03:09:13 PM
Another interesting question is, what should you tip on a bottle of wine? Let's say you typically tip 20% the cost of a meal. What if you ordered a $100 bottle of wine? Do you pay $20 on top of food? Keep in mind, if you had ordered a $30 bottle, you'd get the same "wine service" for only $6 on top of food.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 12, 2014, 03:11:08 PM
who are any of you to decide what someone "deserves" to earn

The person paying those earnings out of my wallet.

And your waiter is the one choosing whether or not to sell you their services.  At least where I worked, we had the option to decline to take a table if we didn't want it.

Is it cause I'm black?  Good luck with that.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on February 12, 2014, 03:12:33 PM
Another interesting question is, what should you tip on a bottle of wine? Let's say you typically tip 20% the cost of a meal. What if you ordered a $100 bottle of wine? Do you pay $20 on top of food? Keep in mind, if you had ordered a $30 bottle, you'd get the same "wine service" for only $6 on top of food.

Plus what the hell is a corking fee? Why should I be charged extra for opening a bottle? Does this have to do with liquor laws, or are they just sticking it to us? Not that I drink wine at restaurants much.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 12, 2014, 03:22:57 PM
Another interesting question is, what should you tip on a bottle of wine? Let's say you typically tip 20% the cost of a meal. What if you ordered a $100 bottle of wine? Do you pay $20 on top of food? Keep in mind, if you had ordered a $30 bottle, you'd get the same "wine service" for only $6 on top of food.

Plus what the hell is a corking fee? Why should I be charged extra for opening a bottle? Does this have to do with liquor laws, or are they just sticking it to us? Not that I drink wine at restaurants much.

It's to cover the glasses, washing, breakage, extra work pouring, etc.  Oh and to "encourage" you to just buy a bottle from them.

Not every restaurant charges corkage so I doubt it's a liquor law thing.  In fact, the restaurants that don't charge corkage tend to be new places that haven't yet obtained their liquor license.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: MustachianAccountant on February 13, 2014, 09:07:18 AM
Pizza Delivery Guy: $3 base, goes up depending on how far you are from the store or the weather. Unless we order more than 4 pizzas, then the tip would start at $5.
Usually 20% at restaurants.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: mjb on February 13, 2014, 12:21:44 PM
Always ~25% on the total bill. If service was truly bad (maybe once every five years), then it's 15%.

I've dated a lot of ex-bartenders and ex-waitresses, and my first job was delivering pizza, so I'm sympathetic...
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: netskyblue on February 13, 2014, 12:35:01 PM
I generally tip ~19.5% (move the decimal point, double it, and I usually round down to the nearest dollar).  But I usually have a $4-$5 minimum tip, unless it's take-out, and then it's usually $1-$2 (for a single meal, to go).  Pizza guy generally $4-$5, and that's for 1-2 pizzas.

If I thought the service poor, I might go somewhere between 10-15%, depending how bad I thought it was.  I've also left one tip that was about equal to the price of my meal, and that was for FANTASTIC service.  I wish that guy could be my personal waiter!
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Cassie on February 13, 2014, 01:13:27 PM
I always tip 20% unless the service is horrible & then 10%. I also do a minimum if the food is cheap  ($3.00) because I am keeping the table tied up.  Also I tip more if I meet with a friend and we visit for a long time. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: netskyblue on February 13, 2014, 01:38:21 PM
Also I tip more if I meet with a friend and we visit for a long time.

Oh how I would have wished for more patrons like you!  For one thing, it can mean not getting assigned any more tables, even if the visiting table is not wanting to order any more, and for another, I had SEVERAL nights where I had to wait until 1 am because of a table that just. wouldn't. leave. (and I was responsible for bussing, even if they'd already paid).  Sucks a lot when you have to be at your "real" job at 8 am the following morning.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Cassie on February 13, 2014, 01:58:50 PM
That's terrible that the people would not leave that late at nite.  I used to meet a friend every 2 weeks at this place that had really cheap senior specials-$4-6.00 for a full good meal.  We would also sit & talk for a couple of hours & they would fill our water alot, etc. I would always tip more then my meal but my friend would just do 20% which I did not think is right considering the circumstances.  I have never worked in that business but one of my son's did for a long time so I know how it is. If I could not afford a good tip I would stay home. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: libertarian4321 on February 13, 2014, 11:53:50 PM
Where did this "20%" bit come from?

I've been tipping 15% for decades.

Given that food prices have kept pace with inflation, and therefore the dollar amount of a 15% tip has gone up, I don't see why the percentage should change.

The tipping system, in general, is idiotic.  We should just ditch "tipping" and roll the cost of the wait staff into the meal like they do in civilized countries.  Far less hassle.

Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 14, 2014, 03:27:29 AM
Where did this "20%" bit come from?

I've been tipping 15% for decades.

Given that food prices have kept pace with inflation, and therefore the dollar amount of a 15% tip has gone up, I don't see why the percentage should change.

The tipping system, in general, is idiotic.  We should just ditch "tipping" and roll the cost of the wait staff into the meal like they do in civilized countries.  Far less hassle.

I'm not sure that food prices have kept up with wage inflation. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: killingxspree on February 14, 2014, 05:02:53 AM
I'm Australian (practically no tipping culture here) anyway, I was wondering...
do you have to tip when you get takeaway?
how cheap is eating out? For example how much is a good teriyaki chicken bento box (miso, rice, salad, fruit) at a decent joint. Not at a up class dress code sort of place but not at an omg is this place sanitary? (but it has rave reviews) sort of place. (here it ranges from about $12 to $18)
What are the repercussions if you don't tip? Can they refuse service the next time you visit?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Rural on February 14, 2014, 05:07:48 AM
I'm Australian (practically no tipping culture here) anyway, I was wondering...
do you have to tip when you get takeaway?
how cheap is eating out? For example how much is a good teriyaki chicken bento box (miso, rice, salad, fruit) at a decent joint. Not at a up class dress code sort of place but not at an omg is this place sanitary? (but it has rave reviews) sort of place. (here it ranges from about $12 to $18)
What are the repercussions if you don't tip? Can they refuse service the next time you visit?

We'll have to find some common ground before we can compare, and I while I'm sure it's possible to find a bento box at a restaurant in the US, I've never seen one. It's certainly not the sort of thing where we could choose the level of the restaurant like that.

Do you have/eat at Italian/Chinese/Mexican/Thai restaurants -- are they common? Steak? Tst last is mostly higher end, though.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 14, 2014, 05:26:18 AM
I'm Australian (practically no tipping culture here) anyway, I was wondering...
do you have to tip when you get takeaway?
how cheap is eating out? For example how much is a good teriyaki chicken bento box (miso, rice, salad, fruit) at a decent joint. Not at a up class dress code sort of place but not at an omg is this place sanitary? (but it has rave reviews) sort of place. (here it ranges from about $12 to $18)
What are the repercussions if you don't tip? Can they refuse service the next time you visit?

We'll have to find some common ground before we can compare, and I while I'm sure it's possible to find a bento box at a restaurant in the US, I've never seen one. It's certainly not the sort of thing where we could choose the level of the restaurant like that.

Do you have/eat at Italian/Chinese/Mexican/Thai restaurants -- are they common? Steak? Tst last is mostly higher end, though.

Bento box in SF - $8 (counter service) to $15 (sit-down w/ waiter).

I wouldn't tip at the counter, but I think 0%-10% is reasonable for take-away from the $15 restaurant (I'd probably average around 5% but I almost never do takeout so it's hard to say).

No consequences if you don't tip at the counter.  The only times I've ever not tipped for sit down service, the experience was so horrible I never went back anyways.  I wouldn't recommend consistently not tipping the same server (they could possibly refuse to serve you, spit in your food, give you extra bad service, etc... not sure how likely any of those things are but those are the possibilities... most likely you'd just get dirty looks).
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Rural on February 14, 2014, 06:47:57 AM
I'm Australian (practically no tipping culture here) anyway, I was wondering...
do you have to tip when you get takeaway?
how cheap is eating out? For example how much is a good teriyaki chicken bento box (miso, rice, salad, fruit) at a decent joint. Not at a up class dress code sort of place but not at an omg is this place sanitary? (but it has rave reviews) sort of place. (here it ranges from about $12 to $18)
What are the repercussions if you don't tip? Can they refuse service the next time you visit?

We'll have to find some common ground before we can compare, and I while I'm sure it's possible to find a bento box at a restaurant in the US, I've never seen one. It's certainly not the sort of thing where we could choose the level of the restaurant like that.

Do you have/eat at Italian/Chinese/Mexican/Thai restaurants -- are they common? Steak? Tst last is mostly higher end, though.

Bento box in SF - $8 (counter service) to $15 (sit-down w/ waiter).


...Which goes to show both the wide variance in this country and how long it's been since I was in SF!

On the takeout, I generally don't tip (in my usual owner's child scenario) or small tip of a dollar or two the once or twice  I've gotten a takeout lunch while at work. School cafeteria = no tip, though (no waitstaff, either).

As for consequences, there aren't any, really, except one's own inner knowledge that one has been an ass. There are rumors of servers spitting in food, but I doubt them. Sort of.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: mm1970 on February 14, 2014, 07:11:50 AM
who are any of you to decide what someone "deserves" to earn

The person paying those earnings out of my wallet.
Yes, this.

Not that I'm a bad tipper or anything.  I generally don't tip at places where you order at the counter - that's a "new" thing to me (never happened until I hit about 30), and I live in California where minimum wage is pretty high.

At restaurants, I'm a decent tipper.

But - you know, MY job at my day job is to get paid what I am worth.  What I am worth is determined by what employers are willing to pay me, my own ability to negotiate, and my willingness to change jobs (and my interest in balancing family life/ flexibility with money).

I see a server's job as the same.  If you give bad service to me, then it is ABSOLUTELY my job to decide what you earn to serve my table.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: netskyblue on February 14, 2014, 08:12:04 AM
who are any of you to decide what someone "deserves" to earn

The person paying those earnings out of my wallet.
Yes, this.

Not that I'm a bad tipper or anything.  I generally don't tip at places where you order at the counter - that's a "new" thing to me (never happened until I hit about 30), and I live in California where minimum wage is pretty high.

At restaurants, I'm a decent tipper.

But - you know, MY job at my day job is to get paid what I am worth.  What I am worth is determined by what employers are willing to pay me, my own ability to negotiate, and my willingness to change jobs (and my interest in balancing family life/ flexibility with money).

I see a server's job as the same.  If you give bad service to me, then it is ABSOLUTELY my job to decide what you earn to serve my table.

You're right, but that's not what I was referring to.  It was the attitude earlier in the thread that servers "deserve" no better than minimum wage, and that they blow all their tips on chain smoking and hair scrunchies.  Mentally capping the earning potential of an entire profession regardless of place of employment, skill level, etc.

It's really one of those professions you can be content with low earnings and never do anything about it, or show ambition, skill, and drive, and really jack up your earning potential.  Podunksville town lawyer writing wills and the occasional divorce vs high-priced corporate laywer.  Corner hooker vs high-priced escort.  Same thing in waiting tables, you can rot away at the greasy spoon diner, taking home 8 bucks an hour, or if you're good, and ambitious, move up to a classy fast-paced restaurant where you're averaging over $30 an hour.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: stevesteve on February 14, 2014, 08:16:28 AM
This thread reinforces the reason I hate that tipping is basically mandatory in the U.S.  In about 80% of cases my services is just about the same.  In 10% of cases it's great (where I would tip happily) and in 10% of cases I'd like to pay the person less than an average tip.  When things are like that there's basically no reason it shouldn't be priced into the meal.  I just really hate the idea that I should in any way be guilted for not tipping.  If it's something that should be mandatory then make it mandatory.

I usually tip 20% at restaurants.  At really cheap places with great service I tend to tip more.  The only other thing I tip regularly for is hair cuts.  I never get delivery in part because I don't want to feel that I should have to tip someone despite just about all delivery service being the same in my experience.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 14, 2014, 08:39:04 AM
This thread reinforces the reason I hate that tipping is basically mandatory in the U.S.  In about 80% of cases my services is just about the same.  In 10% of cases it's great (where I would tip happily) and in 10% of cases I'd like to pay the person less than an average tip.  When things are like that there's basically no reason it shouldn't be priced into the meal.  I just really hate the idea that I should in any way be guilted for not tipping.  If it's something that should be mandatory then make it mandatory.

I usually tip 20% at restaurants.  At really cheap places with great service I tend to tip more.  The only other thing I tip regularly for is hair cuts.  I never get delivery in part because I don't want to feel that I should have to tip someone despite just about all delivery service being the same in my experience.

Ah haircuts.  I get $7 haircuts.  What do you think I should tip?  I usually just tip the $3 that adds up to $10 because honestly I don't know how they pay their rent.  Maybe they already own the building or it's a front.  How much would you tip?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: netskyblue on February 14, 2014, 08:44:23 AM
I usually tip $5 for a $15-$18 haircut at cost cutters.  I have long hair, and only go 2-3 times a year, though.

I suppose if I were getting something long & involved done, I'd tip more, as I'm taking up more of their time, but for just a trim, they're spending maybe 10 minutes on me.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Spork on February 15, 2014, 08:44:24 AM
This thread reinforces the reason I hate that tipping is basically mandatory in the U.S.  In about 80% of cases my services is just about the same.  In 10% of cases it's great (where I would tip happily) and in 10% of cases I'd like to pay the person less than an average tip.  When things are like that there's basically no reason it shouldn't be priced into the meal.  I just really hate the idea that I should in any way be guilted for not tipping.  If it's something that should be mandatory then make it mandatory.

I usually tip 20% at restaurants.  At really cheap places with great service I tend to tip more.  The only other thing I tip regularly for is hair cuts.  I never get delivery in part because I don't want to feel that I should have to tip someone despite just about all delivery service being the same in my experience.

Ah haircuts.  I get $7 haircuts.  What do you think I should tip?  I usually just tip the $3 that adds up to $10 because honestly I don't know how they pay their rent.  Maybe they already own the building or it's a front.  How much would you tip?

I give my hair cutter 50% of all my earnings.   ...but I live in a community property state.  ;)
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: stevesteve on February 23, 2014, 12:09:01 PM
This thread reinforces the reason I hate that tipping is basically mandatory in the U.S.  In about 80% of cases my services is just about the same.  In 10% of cases it's great (where I would tip happily) and in 10% of cases I'd like to pay the person less than an average tip.  When things are like that there's basically no reason it shouldn't be priced into the meal.  I just really hate the idea that I should in any way be guilted for not tipping.  If it's something that should be mandatory then make it mandatory.

I usually tip 20% at restaurants.  At really cheap places with great service I tend to tip more.  The only other thing I tip regularly for is hair cuts.  I never get delivery in part because I don't want to feel that I should have to tip someone despite just about all delivery service being the same in my experience.

Ah haircuts.  I get $7 haircuts.  What do you think I should tip?  I usually just tip the $3 that adds up to $10 because honestly I don't know how they pay their rent.  Maybe they already own the building or it's a front.  How much would you tip?

I tip $2 on my haircuts which range from $9 to $15.  It's just the smallest thank you I can give and a reminder for them not to remember me as the guy who didn't tip and screw up my hair next time.  I generally tip out of fear and not appreciation at hair places.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Drew on February 23, 2014, 12:18:32 PM
I usually tip about 18% for average service.  If service is really good I will tip around 25%.  For poor service it will obviously be lower, possibly even 0% for very lousy service.  If I were FI I would tip even more for outstanding service just because giving makes me happy, especially when I know it is going to someone who works hard and appreciates it.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Gin1984 on February 23, 2014, 02:37:33 PM
Minimum wage for servers is not the $8 mentioned in your excerpt.  It is more like $2.50, which is why they get the tips.
  Waitstaff has two functions: (1) they are your temporary employee, they are there to take care of you, and that is why you tip them.(2) They are also commissioned salespeople. They are there to upgrade you from water and the blue plate special.  A higher ticket price generally means a higher tip

It's actually worse than that.  They then tip-out... giving a predetermined amount to the busboys, kitchen and god-knows who.

I tip 20% as a norm... slightly more if something is awesome.  It looks like a thankless, hard job.
I used to tip out the host, the bar and the busser.  That amounted to about 5-6% of sales.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: wtjbatman on February 23, 2014, 02:50:34 PM
I usually tip about 18% for average service.  If service is really good I will tip around 25%.  For poor service it will obviously be lower, possibly even 0% for very lousy service.  If I were FI I would tip even more for outstanding service just because giving makes me happy, especially when I know it is going to someone who works hard and appreciates it.

Seriously, 18%? Are you the type of guy who pulls out a calculator to determine the tip?

I usually tip 15% for normal service, 20% for excellent. I've only ever tipped more than 20% when the total bill was small (what a cheapskate).
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Zikoris on February 23, 2014, 03:51:41 PM
Generally, my boyfriend and I don't tip. If the service is spectacular, maybe, but it never is. We refuse to participate in the nonsense that is north american tipping culture.

We live in Canada, so servers don't make $2/hr. I think the minimum wage for servers is around $10/hr, which is plenty.

I think the whole concept is ridiculous. I've worked various minimum wage jobs that were a hell of a lot harder than serving, like hand weeding a field on an organic farm and unloading trailers in warehouses. My boyfriend has worked as a cashier in grocery stores, and cleaning up stadiums after concerts. For some arbitrary reason, society has decided that those things are not tipped, and other things are.

Basically, it comes down to: it's your boss's job to pay you, not mine. I won't pay you just to do your job.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: spoonman on February 23, 2014, 04:46:12 PM
20%, because it's so darn easy to calculate.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: medeforest on February 23, 2014, 06:13:52 PM
Going to a restaurant is a special event, so it's time to give the waitstaff their due.  They can't control my frugal ways.  I order the most labor intensive items and drink water.

If the food is typically served with soda, I will tip as though I had a soda.
If the food is typically served with alcohol, I'll tip as though I had alcohol.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Drew on February 23, 2014, 06:29:50 PM
I usually tip about 18% for average service.  If service is really good I will tip around 25%.  For poor service it will obviously be lower, possibly even 0% for very lousy service.  If I were FI I would tip even more for outstanding service just because giving makes me happy, especially when I know it is going to someone who works hard and appreciates it.

Seriously, 18%? Are you the type of guy who pulls out a calculator to determine the tip?

I usually tip 15% for normal service, 20% for excellent. I've only ever tipped more than 20% when the total bill was small (what a cheapskate).

I've just always heard 18% is good etiquette for normal service.  Of course some say more, some say less.  Never really had a problem quickly estimating 18% in my head.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: PMG on February 23, 2014, 06:50:35 PM
I have been guilty of cheap tipping in the past and had to sternly make myself stop being such a tightwad!

I tip more based on entree and service than price, but it usually ends up being between 15-45% (45% makes me look super generous, but it's my frugal choices that distort the picture.)

I rarely eat out, but when I do it's often at a little Mexican restaurant nearby.  Service is always great.  The food is amazing.  I drink water and have a $6-7 entree and tip $3. 

Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dragoncar on February 23, 2014, 09:32:26 PM
Going to a restaurant is a special event, so it's time to give the waitstaff their due.  They can't control my frugal ways.  I order the most labor intensive items and drink water.

If the food is typically served with soda, I will tip as though I had a soda.
If the food is typically served with alcohol, I'll tip as though I had alcohol.

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.  Which items are labor intensive?  Scavenged mushrooms???

Which foods are "typically served with soda" and which are "typically served with alcohol?"  For alcohol, I'm thinking like tater-tot nachos and chili fries?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: ritchie70 on February 23, 2014, 10:58:20 PM
I tip $2 on my haircuts which range from $9 to $15.  It's just the smallest thank you I can give and a reminder for them not to remember me as the guy who didn't tip and screw up my hair next time.  I generally tip out of fear and not appreciation at hair places.

I usually go to a place whose list price is $17 but they always have coupons that take $3 off out there in ValPak or whatever. It is a chain place, so employees mostly don't stay long and quality varies a bit.

If I'm happy, I hand them a $20 and the coupon and tell them to keep the change. Happy for me really just requires fast and fairly short.

If it's adequate but I'm not really that happy - they took forever and/or it just feels like it's probably not right (but maybe I'm just done with sitting there letting them mess around with my hair) then I give them $3.

Once or twice I didn't tip at all because it was just such a hideous experience in ways that were completely related to the person doing the work.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: ritchie70 on February 23, 2014, 11:05:34 PM
How did 18% or 20% become standard?

I've always heard 15% until the last maybe ten years and I'm not sure where that came from.

I guess I'm a bad tipper but I've usually done 15% then rounded up to the next dollar. Sometimes I add on a couple more dollars but I'm not thinking percentages at that point.

Years ago I tipped a Steak and Shake breakfast waitress 75% but that was around $5. I was a regular who had been put in someone else's section and got completely ignored. This other waitress recognized me and came and took care of me once she realized I had no eggs, no toast, and no coffee. (S & S breakfast was cheap!)

I did also give her a big discount on auto repair a month or two later, does that count as a tip?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Gin1984 on February 24, 2014, 06:56:57 AM
How did 18% or 20% become standard?

I've always heard 15% until the last maybe ten years and I'm not sure where that came from.

I guess I'm a bad tipper but I've usually done 15% then rounded up to the next dollar. Sometimes I add on a couple more dollars but I'm not thinking percentages at that point.

Years ago I tipped a Steak and Shake breakfast waitress 75% but that was around $5. I was a regular who had been put in someone else's section and got completely ignored. This other waitress recognized me and came and took care of me once she realized I had no eggs, no toast, and no coffee. (S & S breakfast was cheap!)

I did also give her a big discount on auto repair a month or two later, does that count as a tip?
It started being required by owners to tip out the bar, the busser and the host a certain amount of sales (not tips), it was no longer voluntary.  As that information started getting out to the public, many people started increasing their tips to cover that and still give the server 15%. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Unique User on February 24, 2014, 12:38:06 PM
Right! If the owner or his family are the ones waiting on you, they usually consider being tipped as an insult (so order extra to make up for it)

Having owned both a restaurant and a catering company and spent many years in foodservice, I've never heard this before.  I never had someone not leave me a tip in the restaurant when I was waiting on them, but also would only actually take tables if we were really short staffed.  Certainly had it happen with catering jobs.  We also did a LOT of delivery and only a couple customers would tip either me or staff on deliveries, even when it was Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.  Always bugged the snot out of me, you won't tip my staff when they are bringing you an awesome high end meal to your second home that is multiple times the size of my only home, but you will tip the pizza guy at home?

Waitstaff put up with a huge amount of bs, our standard is 20%, we'll certainly leave more than that on a low check in a busy place.     
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: CanuckExpat on February 24, 2014, 01:14:31 PM
Having owned both a restaurant and a catering company and spent many years in foodservice, I've never heard this before. \

This could also vary by type of restaurant: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/72569-tipping-in-chinese-restaurants/
I've been told similar things about not tipping in Chinese restaurants (or at least that the "regulars" don't).

More reason that if you do have to eat out, to go for (hopefully cheap and tasty) ethnic food :)
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Pootie22 on February 25, 2014, 01:23:35 PM
Waiters and Waitresses (and all other "tipped" employees) make $8.00 an hr here in California (and will go up to $9.00 in July) so I really don't feel bad if I tip 15%, it's usually around 18% and if I felt i was treated special then I'll do a max of 20%
Even then, I do hate the idea of tipping. If these employees need to make more money then then employer needs to build it into the price of the food. If this "discourages" waiters from being nice then fire the ones who suck and constantly get complaints, that's how all other businesses work.
I don't get tipped for creating an awesome spreadsheet for our clients and it doesn't discourage me from providing excellent service to our clients. If one of my co-workers constantly does a poor job then they get fired.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Gin1984 on February 27, 2014, 08:49:53 AM
Waiters and Waitresses (and all other "tipped" employees) make $8.00 an hr here in California (and will go up to $9.00 in July) so I really don't feel bad if I tip 15%, it's usually around 18% and if I felt i was treated special then I'll do a max of 20%
Even then, I do hate the idea of tipping. If these employees need to make more money then then employer needs to build it into the price of the food. If this "discourages" waiters from being nice then fire the ones who suck and constantly get complaints, that's how all other businesses work.
I don't get tipped for creating an awesome spreadsheet for our clients and it doesn't discourage me from providing excellent service to our clients. If one of my co-workers constantly does a poor job then they get fired.
I've worked in retail and serving.  Trust me, I worked harder as a server and did more for the guest.  Trust me, your service would go down to average retail service if you got rid of tipping.  Yes, at the higher end restaurants you would still get better service (just as you do at higher end retail, like Nordstrom), but on the average you would be paying the same (tip would be included) for worse service.  There are restaurants that include 18% at required when you walk in the door.  They don't last long and the few that do, have amazing food.  The service, though, never worth 18% and this comes from someone who tips 20% on average.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Mae80s on February 27, 2014, 11:52:46 AM
This definitely depends on where you're living.

I've lived in France, the US and now back in Canada.

US - Always 20%.

Canada - 10-15% It has to blow my mind to tip 20%. However wait staff here make minimum wage at $10/hour, not much, but it's not the "serving" wage that exists in many US states. When I lived there, I resented having to supplement someone's income (regardless of service) just because the owner can get way with paying such a ridiculously low wage.

France - never tipped as 18% was automatically included in the bill.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: libertarian4321 on February 28, 2014, 04:16:29 AM
Having owned both a restaurant and a catering company and spent many years in foodservice, I've never heard this before. \

This could also vary by type of restaurant: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/72569-tipping-in-chinese-restaurants/
I've been told similar things about not tipping in Chinese restaurants (or at least that the "regulars" don't).

More reason that if you do have to eat out, to go for (hopefully cheap and tasty) ethnic food :)

My wife is Chinese, and she says this sounds like nonsense, probably BS propagated by some cheap SOB who is just looking for an excuse leave no tip and not look like a miser.

We both tip in Chinese restaurants the same as any other kind of restaurant.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: SweetLife on April 08, 2014, 04:03:04 PM
Ok everyone ... how about Taxi's ???? I have had to take a few rides (since being pregnant) and have no idea if I should tip or not tip ... the ride isn't very expensive (max is $8)

What do you say?
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Mercer on April 08, 2014, 04:27:27 PM
Am in Europe for work and have been eating dinner in the same hotel bar/restaurant for several weeks now.  When I first got here the wait staff was typically slow by American standards, I could be sitting there for five minutes without them coming by to offer a menu and take a drink order.  You have to be more aggressive over here and this can feel very unnatural and is about the last thing I want to deal with after a long day of work.  So based on past experience I started training the waiters.  I started tipping the standard american 15-20%, this is massive here, no matter the survive quality, I just wanted to teach them that I would tip well and to remember me.  Well about half a week after starting this the locals are as fast and friendly as any american waiter.  I get a menu and drink at my table very quickly now when I walk in.  It costs a bit more but is well worth it when you are tired and hungry.  Bonus; the locals are still as chill as ever about me just sitting there reading for half an hour after finishing the food, zero rush for me to leave no matter how busy.

How odd is tipping here: when I sign the check and charge it to the room there is no place to add a tip, I have to leave cash.

But in the states I normally tip 20% on the rare occasions we eat out.  Maybe more if I have had a few and cant do the math correctly :-)
"Europe" is a pretty big place: what approach to service and approach to tipping is like will obviously vary massively between countries!

In Britain, 15% or so is pretty normal, I think. Certainly I tip around that, depending on service etc. The idea that you need a fixed tip regardless of service because they're so underpaid... don't think I've seen that here.

In my experience of going to restaurants, I also find that places get friendlier and more helpful when you go there more often: you just stand out more. It may not be the money that's having the effect! Though obviously if you're somewhere where they usually get no tip, being randomly given chunks of money is likely to keep people sweet.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: kaetana on April 08, 2014, 05:09:21 PM
It's too complicated for me to try and keep track of different tipping customs when I travel, so I pretty much stick to my standard of starting tips at $0 and working my way up for good service. Just okay service gets $0. Bad service gets a complaint to a manager. But good service can go up to 100% of the value of the service and frequently involves taking the manager aside to praise the staff. I've only left a 100% once, though.

I also HATE when I pay a bill, say at a restaurant, and the change isn't given back to me - usually because the server just assumes that's what I'm paying as a tip. Even if I that was my intention, I think I should be asked! When that happens, I make a point of asking for the change, leaving no tip, and informing the manager.

I do live in Australia, though, where tipping isn't expected.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: athomeintheworld on April 08, 2014, 10:18:23 PM
20% - almost always.  I suppose if service was awful maybe 15.

It is my personal belief that this is not where to save money. If you don't want to tip this much then don't go out! Seriously.  I would rather go out less than tip a lower amount to try to save money for myself.  I consider the tip part of the cost of going out - and if it's too much then I don't go.

You're affecting individuals here.  And that's a big deal.  It's not the same as buying at Costco and saving a few bucks.  Do the right thing.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: johnintaiwan on April 09, 2014, 08:15:05 AM
I absolutely hate tipping as a thing. I don't understand why we need it. Why cant we just pay the waitstaff a reasonable wage and change the prices to reflect what it would have cost with a tip? Is it really that difficult?

That is another great thing about living in TW, tipping is not really a thing here. There may be some tip jars in starbucks or something, but I never go there. I love just buying/ordering what I want and paying the price stated and not having to add anything extra.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 10, 2014, 09:56:36 AM
I absolutely hate tipping as a thing. I don't understand why we need it. Why cant we just pay the waitstaff a reasonable wage and change the prices to reflect what it would have cost with a tip? Is it really that difficult?

That is another great thing about living in TW, tipping is not really a thing here. There may be some tip jars in starbucks or something, but I never go there. I love just buying/ordering what I want and paying the price stated and not having to add anything extra.

In a lot of countries, people will just look at you like you are nuts if you leave a tip.

This is an area where the USA is stuck in an archaic, inefficient, and annoying system.  I wish we'd get rid of it.  It's so nice to order a dinner in Germany (or other civilized country that doesn't use the idiotic "tipping" system) and just pay the cost on the ticket, without having to fuss over 15%, 20%, whether it's okay to put the tip on the credit card, and all the other nonsense Americans put up with.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Sonorous Epithet on April 10, 2014, 10:07:38 AM
I tip over 20%. I take the before-tax bill, move the decimal to the left, double it, and round up. The rounding pushes it into the 20%-25% range.

I am of the general mindset of MMM -- you don't go to restaurants primarily for sustenance. You go for an experience, which involves good company and food you'd be unlikely or unable to make at home yourself. For me, being a generous tipper and all the good karma that accompanies it is part of that experience.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: dcheesi on April 10, 2014, 12:54:47 PM
Food, 20%; drinks, the greater of $1 or 20%. I usually round to the nearest dollar.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: lb on April 10, 2014, 01:07:58 PM
As a former coffee shop girl, the nice minimum thing to do is leave whatever change (coins) you get back in the tip jar. It always amazed me that people would pocket the dime and three pennies or whatever I gave them back in change along with their bills. That change made a huge difference to me as it added up all day but I doubt it made much difference to the individuals. If you really want to be nice, a dollar for coffee service is great. I was making minimum wage at the time and the extra I got in tips made a huge difference.

At a bar, the general rule is a dollar a drink. Did you order a round of 4 cocktails for your friends? Lay down $4. At a restaurant, move the decimal point two places, double it, and round to an easy amount. For take out, include a dollar or two.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: SweetLife on April 10, 2014, 01:46:12 PM
I agree with a few others ... service jobs should have the tip included in the bills ... I hate the tip idea ... Pay the employees a fair wage for the work they do and be done with it.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: MinimalistMoustache on April 10, 2014, 07:17:21 PM
I learned from my father to begin a tip at 20% and have done this for many, many years.
Still unsure why he was FI early on, but not me.

(Nah, I know why . . and I can't blame it on tipping :-)
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: athomeintheworld on April 11, 2014, 09:15:42 AM
I agree with a few others ... service jobs should have the tip included in the bills ... I hate the tip idea ... Pay the employees a fair wage for the work they do and be done with it.

That's a really nice thought, and idealistically I don't disagree at all.  But unfortunately in the US the situation isn't changing anytime soon.  What I'm saying is don't punish the individual server for a system issue that they have no control over.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: smithy777 on May 09, 2014, 04:43:18 PM
This topic greatly angers me. I hate tipping so much that I consistently avoid places where I have to do it. I hate spending a week's worth of grocery money on a single night just to be able to have a sit down meal and a drink with my wife.

I think that any "tipping" that is expected should instead be rolled into the cost of the service before that service is rendered so that consumers can make the best choices (this has been mentioned here many times).

I think that empathy and the idea that it is "our responsibility to make sure the wait staff gets paid a livable wage" is EXACTLY what has drove us to the horrible situation we have today, and continues to drive the "standard" tip rate higher and higher. Unfortunately that is the view of most of the people in this topic. Its no wonder the US tipping system is so out of control.

Now don't misunderstand me: I totally believe that the wait staff should make a livable wage -- just not that it is the customer's responsibility to make sure that happens on a meal-to-meal basis. It is the responsibility of the worker, and the business owner if the owner wants to have skilled servers. The power of the market will take care of the rest. For example, consider if everyone in the US suddenly stopped tipping: wait staff would naturally move to restaurants that payed higher wages. In turn, if restaurants wanted the best service people in order to attract more/better consumers, they would have to pay more to the wait staff. And as workers, the wait staff should choose jobs that pay them an appropriate amount, and don't take jobs that don't. This would produce more certainty/consistency in weekly pay and transparency in the cost of the service. If a wait staff job does not provide enough money, then go to college and get a different job.

Why is this SUCH A BIG DEAL for wait staff? What about the grocery store? Do you tip the cashier for helping you pay for your groceries? Do you tip the workers for stocking the shelves? Do you tip the truck drivers for delivering the groceries to the store? No, you don't, because that is all part of running the business. As it should be part of running the restaurant -- it is total nonsense to separately tip the wait staff. And the only reason it continues is because the social pressure to tip (no one wants to be labeled as cheap or as a jackass) is preventing the market from smoothing everything out and allowing restaurant owners to get away with paying low wages.

I know that the social pressures involved are much too large for this to fix itself anytime soon, and I don't expect my opinions to elicit positive responses. Just as with anything we buy, we are supporting the broken tipping system by visiting places where tipping is the norm. Just as I don't own a car and don't eat meat/dairy, I'll happily continue avoiding services that require tips.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: phred on May 09, 2014, 09:21:18 PM


I think that any "tipping" that is expected should instead be rolled into the cost of the service before that service is rendered so that consumers can make the best choices (this has been mentioned here many times).

What, then, would be the difference between a meal that costs $60 and a tip of $9 is deemed appropriate and a meal that costs $69 up front?


For example, consider if everyone in the US suddenly stopped tipping: wait staff would naturally move to restaurants that payed higher wages.

You do realize that the "restaurants" that pay more are McDonalds and Burger King?

Why is this SUCH A BIG DEAL for wait staff? What about the grocery store? Do you tip the cashier for helping you pay for your groceries? Do you tip the workers for stocking the shelves? Do you tip the truck drivers for delivering the groceries to the store?

Truckers are generally paid more per hour than wait staff.  Ditto for stockers


Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: curlycue on May 09, 2014, 09:25:47 PM
20% is the norm for the U.S. If you can't afford that, order cheaper food or go to a cheaper restaurant and pay 20%. I'm always amazed at the people who "save money" by tipping less. Having worked in food service the only reason to tip less than that is poor service. If you can't afford it then you can't afford to eat out.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: mm1970 on May 10, 2014, 07:23:26 PM
20% is the norm for the U.S. If you can't afford that, order cheaper food or go to a cheaper restaurant and pay 20%. I'm always amazed at the people who "save money" by tipping less. Having worked in food service the only reason to tip less than that is poor service. If you can't afford it then you can't afford to eat out.
But when did it become 20% instead of 15%?  (I don't eat out often, and don't get me wrong, I generally do 20% because the math is easier).

I live in California where the servers get minimum wage.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: SJS on May 10, 2014, 08:33:31 PM
When eating out I always tip around 20%, but no minimum.  If the service is really bad, then anything goes... down to 0%.

Ditto.  If the service is good (server is friendly, efficient, no overly intrusive) I have no problem tipping 20% or even a bit more.  BUT.......if the service stinks, I have no problem not tipping very little, or if warranted,not at all.  I don't feel I'm OBLIGATED to tip - I feel that if this is their job, they had better be on their toes to provide great service in order to make a good tip.  It's not a given with me, sorry. 
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: Jags4186 on May 10, 2014, 08:41:16 PM
I tip 18% on the pre-tax amount.  If there service is really bad I drop from there.  I never drop for food quality...that's a complaint for the manager.  If I have to ask multiple times for the same thing wait forever for check etc.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: castead on May 10, 2014, 08:49:53 PM
I tip 20% standard on total bill (which includes tipping on tax). Often a lot more and always a minimum of at least $4-5. If I have to order something under $20 I typically wouldn't sit down at a restaurant and have someone serve me. I would call ahead and get it to go and eat in my car/home/work. I find it very hard to tip less, but if you are awful at your job or rude, I will. I doubt that I have ever tipped less than 10%. Have never encountered such terrible service and tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I know where owners of restaurants who want to pool tips for everyone are coming from but I don't agree. First let me say I think minimum wage is a joke, and wage for waiters is even worse. Everyone in a supposedly rich country such as this one should be able to make a living wage if they are working the standard 40 hours/week. Restaurants aren't always busy, so a lot of times waiters are only making 2+ hour and that's it. So sometimes you have a good day/night and sometimes you don't, over time it evens out pretty closely to cooks or other employees. I don't agree that a dishwasher should make the same as a waiter, and I do not agree that a server or even a dishwasher should be making $7.25/hour.

If people don't want to tip at least 15-20% then they should not be eating out. You cannot afford to eat out! It would be wonderful if our minimum wage was like Australia's, but it's not. Being frugal does not mean being cheap. If you truly want to be frugal, stay home instead of making the people who SERVE you pay for your cheapness.
Title: Re: How much do you tip?
Post by: lazysundays on May 10, 2014, 08:57:02 PM
I do 2 times tax, and round up to the next dollar.

Oh and $15 haircuts get $10 tip. Dog's $55 haircut also gets $10 tip.