Author Topic: How much do you tip?  (Read 39054 times)

Mortgage Free Mike

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How much do you tip?
« 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/

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?

Tennis Maniac

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #1 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%.

Gin1984

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #2 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.

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 11:01:31 AM »
15% is my new normal.

phred

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #4 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

greaper007

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #5 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.

EK

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #6 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.

RichWard

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #7 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).
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 11:17:53 AM by RichWard »

SweetLife

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #8 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!!!

galliver

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #9 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.

ketchup

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #10 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.

phred

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #11 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?

phred

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #12 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

NumberCruncher

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #13 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).

soccerluvof4

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #14 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.

AlanStache

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #15 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 :-)

phred

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #16 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?

Milspecstache

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #17 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).

LDoon

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #18 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.

samburger

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #19 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.

galliver

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #20 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.)

AlanStache

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #21 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.

CommonCents

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #22 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...)

Frankies Girl

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #23 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.


Paul der Krake

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #24 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.


CanuckExpat

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #25 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.

phred

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #26 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)

sheepstache

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #27 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.

dragoncar

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #28 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

phred

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #29 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

myDogIsFI

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #30 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?

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #31 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.

Spork

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #32 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. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #33 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.

Elaine

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #34 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.

Elaine

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #35 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?

dragoncar

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #36 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.

frugally

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #37 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.

minimalist

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #38 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.

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #39 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.

sheepstache

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #40 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.

Elaine

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #41 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.

Rural

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #42 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.

Paul der Krake

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #43 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.

kolorado

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #44 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.

dragoncar

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #45 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.

phred

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #46 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%

bigchrisb

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #47 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.

bigchrisb

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #48 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. 

Mortgage Free Mike

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Re: How much do you tip?
« Reply #49 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.