Author Topic: How much to tip?  (Read 25614 times)

lbmustache

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #100 on: February 08, 2016, 04:46:26 PM »

Some of the replies here are killing me - and not in a good way.

If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. Stay at home and make your food yourself if paying servers/staff is too much of a burden.

I haven't seen a single person here say "I don't tip"... so then, you're saying saying someone who chooses to tip 15% instead of 20% means can't afford to tip?

I'm sure there are some here who don't tip or tip very little and are choosing to stay quiet. With that said, my statement was a general remark not aimed at anyone in particular.

The difference between 15% and 20% on a $50 bill is $2.5. Not sure how often mustachians eat out as there seems to be a broad range of answers on this forum. That's $10 a month assuming I eat out once a week. Which is about how much Netflix or other "luxuries" cost.

Now if you need to have the purse strings that tight, think servers should "get a better job," or they're "making too much," or whatever your reasoning is for tipping 15%, it is what it is.

I second the suggestion of whoever said that people should get a restaurant job for a day and see how it goes. It's obviously a difference of beliefs - and experience - and if you need the extra $10 more than someone waiting tables, so be it.

v8rx7guy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #101 on: February 08, 2016, 04:56:39 PM »
The problem is that if you are setting some standard for tipping that you think is correct in your opinion and anyone who tips less probably shouldn't be dining out because clearly they can't afford that, then the same could be said about you from someone who theoretically believes 50% is the correct tip rate. 

I mean, even you would draw the line of reasonable tipping rate somewhere, right?

I'm a red panda

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #102 on: February 08, 2016, 05:17:32 PM »
I ate out in NYC a number of times this weekend, because I was on expense accounts. Some of the reciepts calculated suggested tip amounts for me: 15%, 18%, and 20%.

If 15% is unacceptable- why would they suggest it?

(Note- cabs do the same thing, but they start at 20% as the minimum tip!)

tj

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #103 on: February 08, 2016, 05:37:18 PM »
Some of the replies here are killing me - and not in a good way.

If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. Stay at home and make your food yourself if paying servers/staff is too much of a burden.

I lost a lot of friends a handful of years ago in a trivia group, when I yelled at them for tipping less than 15% and how I had to subsidize it because I was using credit card for the points and htey were giving me cash.....I don't do that anymore. I wasn't aware that we've gone to a 20% standard. I always generally just doubled the tax....which has ranged from 15% to 17% depending on the tax rate. It was the simplest solution and seemed in the realm of appropriate. I thought that was pretty common rule of thumb. It sounds like everyone has thier own rule of thumb. Ha. Before judging others, consider their environment and surroundings may be different from yours. That's the problem with the whole model, people can think they are being extremely generous and the person receiving it is disappointed, because nobody can seem to agree on what is appropriate. It's easy to see why tourists get very confused about the way we do things. When I used to have a bunch of sub-$5 bills at the Claim Jumper bar, I always asked the bartenders "what would you tip on this?" I was there almost every night and a regular and i felt comfortable asking that of them, and it definitely helped, but people don't just magically know what the person serving you expects you to think is obviously correct. I stopped being a Claim Jumper regular in 2012 and 20% was not the standard that these people were telling me....maybe it is now.


I still don't like the concept, but that doesn't mean I don't adhere to my impression of what societal norms are. I order a $10 dish and free drink, you are saying that society says I should tip $2, but if I order a $40 dish and $10 drink, you are saying that society says I should tip $10...for the same amount of work. I go through water faster than paid drinks, so it's probably even more work for my less expensive bill. Nowdays, I'm less stringent on what the bill total is. I'll do $3 on $10 fairly often or $5 on a $20, i don't really care, they probably need it more than I do, but $15-$20 on $100 is more likely for standard service. Of course a $100 bill is almost never going to happen. (I remember I told a girl once how I took my sister to some place and it cost $100, like it was this crazy achievement that I shpuld be proud of and she was like "what, you've never spent $100 at a restaurant before?" Turns out some of her favorite restaurants were rather pricey...whoops.

TL;DR - I can bitch about the tipping model without stiffing servers. This thread does kind of inspire me to want to ask some friends who have been in food service more recently what their impression of what proper tipping etiquette is though.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 05:48:47 PM by tj »

tj

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #104 on: February 08, 2016, 05:52:02 PM »
Something else to add from my time as a delivery driver, I remember generally feeling like the more modest looking houses generally tipped better. My dad suggested the wealthy might just be more greedy. I'm not sure he's wrong.


Goldielocks

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #105 on: February 08, 2016, 06:08:52 PM »
Some of the replies here are killing me - and not in a good way.

If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. Stay at home and make your food yourself if paying servers/staff is too much of a burden.
Oh, I definitely tip when I eat out, which is why we have down shifted to breakfasts or fast casual service without servers.  I worked for a year in food service, too.

What gets me, is this ==>  Who decided that 15% tip was not the standard anymore?  How the heck did it trend up another 5% in the US in the last 10 years...  that is a large jump, when it was at 15% for decades before that...  Will it end?  Why or why not?


ender

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #106 on: February 08, 2016, 06:09:30 PM »
I was recently in South America and left a 20% tip and the waiter was THRILLED...I later learned that the custom was just 1-2%. Honestly, I was happy to make someone's day, and I don't really think it's worth it for any of us to give more thought to this issue! Such small beans.

I generally tip 20% or more for this reason.

I am fortunate to be able to have my evenings free and not have to work in what to me would be a crappy job. Regardless, it's a lot crappier than my engineering job and it is less stable and almost assuredly pays less overall.

It's trivial for me to help make someone's day by giving a nice/generous tip.

JimmyToucan

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #107 on: February 08, 2016, 09:15:55 PM »

[/quote]


Denny's servers have a lot more than 5 tables every two hours (or they should, that is the business model).   If tipping 20%, and serving an average of 16 people per hour (reasonable, that's only 4 tables of four, or variations thereof), that is still $48 per hour in tips, plus the base wage of $10.50/hr, total of $58.50 per hour in wages...   Oh, and most other people order meals that cost a lot more after drinks and grand slam platters are set down.

[/quote]

If you think waiters at Denny's are pulling ~60 bucks an hour, over 400 a day, then why aren't waiters at better restaurants leaving in droves to go serve ham and eggs? Hell...why would their own salaried staff ever accept a promotion to make less money? You're taking an absolute best case scenario and extrapolating it over an entire year, assuming that every hour of every shift is the golden goose. Its not, not by a long shot. Again....you're way off, and this is coming from someone who has spent two decades in the industry. How long have you? 100K serving at Denny's....at that rate they'd be turning away dozens if not hundreds of people every single day. "Sorry mom and dad...I decided to say screw going to college since I can pull six figures serving eggs and coffee". -Said no one ever.

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Denny's/Salary

I learned long ago never to argue with "experts", especially engineers. Have a great day.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 10:02:57 PM by JimmyToucan »

Goldielocks

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #108 on: February 08, 2016, 10:42:48 PM »



Denny's servers have a lot more than 5 tables every two hours (or they should, that is the business model).   If tipping 20%, and serving an average of 16 people per hour (reasonable, that's only 4 tables of four, or variations thereof), that is still $48 per hour in tips, plus the base wage of $10.50/hr, total of $58.50 per hour in wages...   Oh, and most other people order meals that cost a lot more after drinks and grand slam platters are set down.

[/quote]

If you think waiters at Denny's are pulling ~60 bucks an hour, over 400 a day, then why aren't waiters at better restaurants leaving in droves to go serve ham and eggs? Hell...why would their own salaried staff ever accept a promotion to make less money? You're taking an absolute best case scenario and extrapolating it over an entire year, assuming that every hour of every shift is the golden goose. Its not, not by a long shot. Again....you're way off, and this is coming from someone who has spent two decades in the industry. How long have you? 100K serving at Denny's....at that rate they'd be turning away dozens if not hundreds of people every single day. "Sorry mom and dad...I decided to say screw going to college since I can pull six figures serving eggs and coffee". -Said no one ever.

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Denny's/Salary


I learned long ago never to argue with "experts", especially engineers. Have a great day.
[/quote]

Nope,  I think you missed my original post where I indicated that this rate should be at least 150% of the average earned when spread over high and low shifts over the week.

Experienced servers at Denny's turn  a LOT of tables and work very hard.  I think that they should make the equivalent of 40k per year. At least that is what I value the service at compared to other jobs in my area.   Many servers only work 24 hours per week or less, and if good, with experience, get the preferred shifts and earn a huge net hourly salary.   (no benefits, though)  I actually don't feel guilty that my server is only making $20/hr...

I really don't think that 20% tip rate, as applied in many parts of the US should apply to the local market here.. with our much higher menu prices and higher base pay for servers...


But the key is that I really don't understand why the shift from 15% to 20% happened and what is to prevent it from going to 25%?  When does common sense apply?



JimmyToucan

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #109 on: February 08, 2016, 11:35:54 PM »



Denny's servers have a lot more than 5 tables every two hours (or they should, that is the business model).   If tipping 20%, and serving an average of 16 people per hour (reasonable, that's only 4 tables of four, or variations thereof), that is still $48 per hour in tips, plus the base wage of $10.50/hr, total of $58.50 per hour in wages...   Oh, and most other people order meals that cost a lot more after drinks and grand slam platters are set down.


If you think waiters at Denny's are pulling ~60 bucks an hour, over 400 a day, then why aren't waiters at better restaurants leaving in droves to go serve ham and eggs? Hell...why would their own salaried staff ever accept a promotion to make less money? You're taking an absolute best case scenario and extrapolating it over an entire year, assuming that every hour of every shift is the golden goose. Its not, not by a long shot. Again....you're way off, and this is coming from someone who has spent two decades in the industry. How long have you? 100K serving at Denny's....at that rate they'd be turning away dozens if not hundreds of people every single day. "Sorry mom and dad...I decided to say screw going to college since I can pull six figures serving eggs and coffee". -Said no one ever.

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Denny's/Salary


I learned long ago never to argue with "experts", especially engineers. Have a great day.
[/quote]

Nope,  I think you missed my original post where I indicated that this rate should be at least 150% of the average earned when spread over high and low shifts over the week.

Experienced servers at Denny's turn  a LOT of tables and work very hard.  I think that they should make the equivalent of 40k per year. At least that is what I value the service at compared to other jobs in my area.   Many servers only work 24 hours per week or less, and if good, with experience, get the preferred shifts and earn a huge net hourly salary.   (no benefits, though)  I actually don't feel guilty that my server is only making $20/hr...

I really don't think that 20% tip rate, as applied in many parts of the US should apply to the local market here.. with our much higher menu prices and higher base pay for servers...


But the key is that I really don't understand why the shift from 15% to 20% happened and what is to prevent it from going to 25%?  When does common sense apply?
[/quote]

Then there's really no reason to bring up the false notion that these, or any just about any server is making near 60 bucks an hour. It simply does not happen, especially at Denny's.

For me, 15% was at the low end, even twenty years ago and at establishments that certainly didn't require years of experience. Doubling the tax/rounding up was common, which puts you at ~17%. If the service was above average maybe a bit more. These days when I do go out, its not at places like Denny's, and the expected level of service is higher so 20% to me is perfectly fair.

On average , you could say that the number of  higher end places has gone up over the years (at least in the states) as the appreciation for good food has taken off, and with better food *should* come better service. Maybe that's where this supposedly egregious inflation of expected tipping has come from, then again I expect better service at finer restaurants so it doesn't effect me. In the end, what amounts to 2-3 dollars for every hundred spent should be not only worth it, but hardly anything to get worked up over. If tipping appropriately is going to break ones bank, they might consider some life changes of their own.

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #110 on: February 09, 2016, 01:58:44 AM »
The problem is that if you are setting some standard for tipping that you think is correct in your opinion and anyone who tips less probably shouldn't be dining out because clearly they can't afford that, then the same could be said about you from someone who theoretically believes 50% is the correct tip rate. 

I mean, even you would draw the line of reasonable tipping rate somewhere, right?

If the standard was 50%, I would tip 50%, or I would not eat out.

But when I did, I would tip 50%.

Regardless of what my feelings of the standard was, I would not be cheap and do less.

If someone thinks 15% is too high, and always does 0-5%, what would you think of them?  The same would be the case if you were doing 20% when the standard was 50%. 

In other words, to answer your question: I would not draw my own arbitrary line, but would donate on the side of "slightly generous" based on the current norms.
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Larabeth

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #111 on: February 09, 2016, 02:22:12 AM »
The problem is that if you are setting some standard for tipping that you think is correct in your opinion and anyone who tips less probably shouldn't be dining out because clearly they can't afford that, then the same could be said about you from someone who theoretically believes 50% is the correct tip rate. 

I mean, even you would draw the line of reasonable tipping rate somewhere, right?

If the standard was 50%, I would tip 50%, or I would not eat out.

But when I did, I would tip 50%.

Regardless of what my feelings of the standard was, I would not be cheap and do less.

If someone thinks 15% is too high, and always does 0-5%, what would you think of them?  The same would be the case if you were doing 20% when the standard was 50%. 

In other words, to answer your question: I would not draw my own arbitrary line, but would donate on the side of "slightly generous" based on the current norms.

+1

Someone else mentioned tipping generously and how it can really make someone's day... to me that's worth the extra 5% between 15-18% and 20-23%

tj

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #112 on: February 09, 2016, 07:41:18 AM »
The problem is that if you are setting some standard for tipping that you think is correct in your opinion and anyone who tips less probably shouldn't be dining out because clearly they can't afford that, then the same could be said about you from someone who theoretically believes 50% is the correct tip rate. 

I mean, even you would draw the line of reasonable tipping rate somewhere, right?

If the standard was 50%, I would tip 50%, or I would not eat out.

But when I did, I would tip 50%.

Regardless of what my feelings of the standard was, I would not be cheap and do less.

If someone thinks 15% is too high, and always does 0-5%, what would you think of them?  The same would be the case if you were doing 20% when the standard was 50%. 

In other words, to answer your question: I would not draw my own arbitrary line, but would donate on the side of "slightly generous" based on the current norms.

The issue is that there's no real clear guideline on what is acceptable tip for a given situation, so we are left to our own devices and so you have people shaming others for not having the same opinions. Yes, it is ideal to spread the wealth in life when you can and go to the side of "slightly generous." When I realized that people were being nice to me because I was tipping them, I simply avoided those types of restaurants and transitioned to a lifestyle that included more take out and some home cooking because I didn't see the value in my own life, not that those people don't work hard or don't deserve X amount of tip, I always felt like I had to overcompensate because I'd see people not tipping...I didn't like that. Nevertheless, I viewed it as needlessly spending money when there were most cost efficient options available, nowadays I only go to places with full wait service if it's a social thing or it's convenient before some meeting to kill time etc.

We are also starting to get situations where tip lines are showing up on receipts for things where people don't traditionally tip...like at Quizno's. So you start to wonder "am I supposed to be tipping this person?" and it's frustrating because there's no clear guidelines other than "what you are used to" and what you happen to discuss with friends and family. It's not about 20% being marginally higher than 15% or 25% being marginally higher than 20%, it's how do we get society at large exposed to the thought that 20% is actually normal?

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #113 on: February 09, 2016, 07:42:36 AM »
It's not about 20% being marginally higher than 15% or 25% being marginally higher than 20%, it's how do we get society at large exposed to the thought that 20% is actually normal?

How we get there is irrelevant to my post.  I'm saying if that is the standard, I'll do that, or more.
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MrMoogle

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #114 on: February 09, 2016, 08:09:29 AM »
I learned long ago never to argue with "experts", especially engineers. Have a great day.

WTF does that mean?

I have always been told 15% was the standard, but then again, I haven't talked to too many people about it.  I usually tip 20-25%.  I never worked in the service industry, but many of my friends have, so I've always wanted to be above average.  Also, since I usually get water, I tip extra because a drink isn't included.

A few years back, I would go with my friends to a place that did trivia.  It was a hooters knock-off.  All of my friends tipped 20+%.  My friend started dating one of the waitresses, and she informed us, we were the worst tippers.  Evidently the lonely middle aged guys who went there tipped ~50%.

GuitarStv

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #115 on: February 09, 2016, 08:18:16 AM »
The acceptable amount to be tipped has changed in the past 15-20 years.  It was 15% and apparently now it's 20%.  It hasn't changed because you get better service, or because people are working harder.  It has changed because that's what the market will bear.

It's a stupid system, which is why I opt out of it almost all the time by not eating out.  When I do eat out, I tip whatever the expected amount happens to be at the time.

Unwritten rules subject to change upon the whims of other people deeply bother me though.  It strikes me as funny that so many people on this forum will decry a one time big expenditure on a wedding because that's what society expects, but think nothing of dropping an extra 5% on a tip 60-100 times a year for their whole lives on a meal out because that's what society expects.

tj

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #116 on: February 09, 2016, 08:32:47 AM »
Quote
It's a stupid system, which is why I opt out of it almost all the time by not eating out.  When I do eat out, I tip whatever the expected amount happens to be at the time.

How do you determine what this is since it's an activity you rarely partake in?

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #117 on: February 09, 2016, 08:37:58 AM »
Quote
It's a stupid system, which is why I opt out of it almost all the time by not eating out.  When I do eat out, I tip whatever the expected amount happens to be at the time.

How do you determine what this is since it's an activity you rarely partake in?

The same you would with any other cultural norms: newspaper articles (many of which have been linked in this thread), googling customs/standards (i do this all the time when visiting foreign countries), etc.
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GuitarStv

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #118 on: February 09, 2016, 08:57:28 AM »
Quote
It's a stupid system, which is why I opt out of it almost all the time by not eating out.  When I do eat out, I tip whatever the expected amount happens to be at the time.

How do you determine what this is since it's an activity you rarely partake in?

I put one penny on the table.  Then I sneak a look around and note the number of disapproving expressions.  Then I put a second penny on the table.  This continues until the summation of the disapproving expressions begin to approach zero.

MgoSam

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #119 on: February 09, 2016, 09:20:10 AM »
I tip minimum 20% when going out to eat. If I ever get takeout, I generally don't tip, don't know if I should or not.

Every once in a while, I will tip generously. For instance, a few years ago I tipped $7 on a $9 bill, because the waiter was good and I was in a good mood. I did appreciate the big smile on the waiter's face when he saw the tip, and noticed him turn his head to look at me.

I agree with everyone that has said that if you are too cheap too give a decent tip, then you shouldn't be eating out in general. I also agree that I feel like restaurant staff, as with all people, should be paid a decent wage.

When picking outings with friends, I try to stick to local establishments. I'm now going to look for places that have abolished tipping in favor of paying a living wage, as this is a practice that I wish to support. 

nobody123

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #120 on: February 09, 2016, 10:12:50 AM »
I figure 20%, then round up to the next whole dollar, as my baseline.  If the server really went out of their way, if my kids made a huge mess, or if they asked for 74 refills of chocolate milk, I'll tack on some more.  If my wife and I are out alone at a fancy place and the server takes the time to explain offerings, combinations of items that compliment each other, give recommendations other than the daily special, are super-attentive, etc., 25% is the baseline.  It really takes a bad server-caused experience (forgetting to put in part of the order, ignoring us for an extended period of time, etc.) for me to drop below the baseline.

If I use a coupon or receive a comped item, I always tip as though I was paying full price.

I refuse to let my parents pay if we join them for a meal, because my dad feels that $2 per person at the table is enough of a tip for anyone regardless of what the final bill is.  A few years ago, my dad caught me doing the fake trip to the restroom to hand the server some more cash, and it led to a big blowup of how I wanted to show off and look like a big shot.  Now I just pay, and if my parents hand me some cash towards their meals, great.

One of my big pet peeves, however, is when I hear a server who is cleaning off a table complaining about the amount of their tip to another employee in the dining area.

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #121 on: February 09, 2016, 10:52:20 AM »
Quote
It's a stupid system, which is why I opt out of it almost all the time by not eating out.  When I do eat out, I tip whatever the expected amount happens to be at the time.

How do you determine what this is since it's an activity you rarely partake in?

The same you would with any other cultural norms: newspaper articles (many of which have been linked in this thread), googling customs/standards (i do this all the time when visiting foreign countries), etc.

I put one penny on the table.  Then I sneak a look around and note the number of disapproving expressions.  Then I put a second penny on the table.  This continues until the summation of the disapproving expressions begin to approach zero.

GuitarStv's system is probably more accurate if you want to approach the actual cultural norm, vs the stated cultural norm. I think when you look at the amounts people actually tip (based on transaction data), it's lower than the "stated rules" and varies a lot geographically (the data is not perfect, but better than guessing).

It's kind of like asking people what their height is vs actually measuring it.
People overstate their height for whatever reason, and apparently people also overstate how much you should tip, vs what they actually do.

I mean you can tip 0%, 10%, 20%, or 50%, I don't care too much, and I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't eat out if you tip less. You be you.

I find the data interesting, and think if you want to know what people are actually doing, you have to study them in practice, not rely on newspaper articles.

Its a difference between prescriptive vs descriptive data and cultural norms.

LeRainDrop

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #122 on: February 09, 2016, 11:52:10 AM »
I think when you look at the amounts people actually tip (based on transaction data), it's lower than the "stated rules" and varies a lot geographically (the data is not perfect, but better than guessing). . . Its a difference between prescriptive vs descriptive data and cultural norms.

Huh, that is an interesting link.  Thanks for providing it.  The article itself, however, reveals a significant limitation on the meaningfulness of the data:

Quote
The average rates may have been pulled down by the coffee shops data, as well as the caveat that transactions classified as restaurants could be takeout or delivery orders, when lower tips would be expected.

Jack

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #123 on: February 09, 2016, 12:25:28 PM »
I'm saying if that is the standard, I'll do that, or more.

Ah ha! So the inflation of the "standard" is your fault!

; )

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #124 on: February 09, 2016, 12:31:00 PM »
I'm saying if that is the standard, I'll do that, or more.

Ah ha! So the inflation of the "standard" is your fault!

; )

I'm okay with contributing to that inflation.  :)
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lbmustache

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #125 on: February 09, 2016, 12:46:34 PM »
The problem is that if you are setting some standard for tipping that you think is correct in your opinion and anyone who tips less probably shouldn't be dining out because clearly they can't afford that, then the same could be said about you from someone who theoretically believes 50% is the correct tip rate. 

I mean, even you would draw the line of reasonable tipping rate somewhere, right?

If the standard was 50%, I would tip 50%, or I would not eat out.

But when I did, I would tip 50%.

Regardless of what my feelings of the standard was, I would not be cheap and do less.

If someone thinks 15% is too high, and always does 0-5%, what would you think of them?  The same would be the case if you were doing 20% when the standard was 50%. 

In other words, to answer your question: I would not draw my own arbitrary line, but would donate on the side of "slightly generous" based on the current norms.

Thanks for saying what I was going to say :) I agree with everything.


Vilgan

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #126 on: February 09, 2016, 01:48:56 PM »
The article linked in the first page was great and covered some things I wasn't aware of.

As for tipping amount: at the end of the day, its your choice. I choose to tip 15% frequently and go over 20% for a good experience. I've had occasions where the service was great and the waitress was a key part of making it a fabulous experience. On those occasions, I'll tip 30%, 40% or higher. If all they do is show up, take the order, and deliver food/water I'll tip 15%.

In most other professions, the expertise of worker plays a direct part in compensation. If I do "my job" at average quality/speed/etc I'd expect average pay, and if I do a great job I expect compensation to reflect the difference. Seattle also includes wait staff in the minimum wage increases ($10.50 to $12.50 per hour, going to $15 per hour over the next 1-3 years) so the base is a bit higher here.

CanuckExpat

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #127 on: February 09, 2016, 03:23:51 PM »
I put one penny on the table.  Then I sneak a look around and note the number of disapproving expressions.  Then I put a second penny on the table.  This continues until the summation of the disapproving expressions begin to approach zero.

If you were to stop when only half the people give you disapproving looks, would that make you an average tipper, or does the tipping social norms dicate you should please the majority of the group?

Goldielocks

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #128 on: February 09, 2016, 11:41:33 PM »
It's not about 20% being marginally higher than 15% or 25% being marginally higher than 20%, it's how do we get society at large exposed to the thought that 20% is actually normal?

How we get there is irrelevant to my post.  I'm saying if that is the standard, I'll do that, or more.
But what made the standard trend upward at 1/2 percent a year?
How can we get the standard to trend downward?

....And I, too, really hate those tip lines for formerly non-tipping locations, like take out counters, sandwich shops and OTC bakeries.  (I am supposed to tip the cashier now when I buy a full loaf of bread... what?  Isn't putting the bread in a bag included in the price?) 

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #129 on: February 10, 2016, 12:41:11 AM »
But what made the standard trend upward at 1/2 percent a year?
How can we get the standard to trend downward?

Not sure how it's relevant.

Like... I don't really care, personally.   So I guess I'm just not seeing the point of your question.

Maybe you can help explain why you're wanting to know, or how you think it matters or would be useful to know.  :)
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Goldielocks

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #130 on: February 10, 2016, 01:25:05 AM »
But what made the standard trend upward at 1/2 percent a year?
How can we get the standard to trend downward?

Not sure how it's relevant.

Like... I don't really care, personally.   So I guess I'm just not seeing the point of your question.

Maybe you can help explain why you're wanting to know, or how you think it matters or would be useful to know.  :)

I can't see any rationale for the upward trend, not based on economics, anyway.  Therefore, I can't see any end to the increase, nor any way to reverse it.

Ideally, I would like to know how the "standard cultural norm" increased, and rather quicly, just the past decade...  It used to be like this just in the lower  / no minimum wage states, with low menu costs..   Then for small bills like a small breakfast, then expanded across the country, even to Seattle where minimum wage will soon be $15 per hour...

If I can work out the underlying mechanism,  I/ we may be able to work on it declining in a similar way, via a "Cultural norm", rather than stiffing employees and leaving nasty little "I don't tip" cards... .. or my choice  - choosing locations where tipping is not the norm, only for exemplary service.

But really, because I am very interested in what drives societal economics and human behaviours...

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #131 on: February 10, 2016, 01:54:54 AM »
Ideally, I would like to know how the "standard cultural norm" increased, and rather quicly, just the past decade...

Gay rights moved quickly too.  Have you looked into how that happened?

I can't see any rationale for the upward trend, not based on economics, anyway.  Therefore, I can't see any end to the increase, nor any way to reverse it.

Not based on economics, but other factors maybe, like empathy and generosity.

I see no reason why it would continue upwards indefinitely.  Do you think tips will eventually be 1000% (i.e. 10x the actual meal price)?

Quote
If I can work out the underlying mechanism,  I/ we may be able to work on it declining in a similar way, via a "Cultural norm", rather than stiffing employees and leaving nasty little "I don't tip" cards... .. or my choice  - choosing locations where tipping is not the norm, only for exemplary service.

Not sure:
1) Why you'd want to decline/reverse it
2) How it'd be worth the massive effort that it would likely take


But I do find it interesting to discuss-- I'm not attacking you, just providing an alternate point of view  :)
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Goldielocks

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #132 on: February 10, 2016, 02:16:56 AM »
Ideally, I would like to know how the "standard cultural norm" increased, and rather quicly, just the past decade...

Gay rights moved quickly too.  Have you looked into how that happened?



I do have a theory on this one, because it did seem rather fast, didn't it?   My theory is that it was actually rather slow.   For a hundred years women's rights have been rising in the Western world, from getting the vote, to exerting political power of the temperance movements, working in industry during the war years.., the 1960's advocates and the 1970's actionists.   

Coupled with good birth control options, as a society we have successfully managed to agree that women = having children was not the only equation out there.   Once we stopped insisting that motherhood was the only natural way for women to live, we started to realize that marriages could have value based on partnerships that don't have to involve children.

After that was put to rest, it was not a very big leap to turn around start listening a bit more to the gay rights advocates.    Especially as there have been gay relationships in society, one way or another, for millennium.


Let me think a bit more about tipping and I will try to further the conversation tomorrow. 

But yes, I actually can envision tipping going to 100%, if driven by economics, which I don't disagree with... I disagree that wait staff "norms" are to guilt us to pay them far more than other workers in our society, like social workers, or college instructors, or production supervisors.

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #133 on: February 10, 2016, 02:39:49 AM »
I ate out in NYC a number of times this weekend, because I was on expense accounts. Some of the reciepts calculated suggested tip amounts for me: 15%, 18%, and 20%.

If 15% is unacceptable- why would they suggest it?

(Note- cabs do the same thing, but they start at 20% as the minimum tip!)
To make you go for 18%! The 'middle option' is a classic marketing thing. Same reason McDonald's do small, regular, and large fries.

Man, read through all this and I'm glad I live in France! Service included, decent wages included, service excellent. Never been a fan of the fawning "I'm your new best friend" type service, but I can see how people travelling to France, particularly from the US, might think the service sub-par.

norabird

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #134 on: February 10, 2016, 03:15:18 PM »
I would say 25-30% is overtipping in a restaurant; but if you feel like it sometimes, more power to you! I do 20% give or take to make life easy. (To other posters here--yes, 15% is unacceptable!)

Taxis I usually choose the lowest option on the screen (maybe 10%). But that's because I'm already annoyed at spending money on a taxi. I do sometimes want to tip more when people are extra nice.

Haircuts are a little harder to judge; I think I tipped $5 for my last one which cost $29. So that's just under 20% too.

Drinks I do $1 per.

All other circumstances are very bewildering and confusing.

lpb0306

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #135 on: February 10, 2016, 04:39:17 PM »
I would say 25-30% is overtipping in a restaurant; but if you feel like it sometimes, more power to you! I do 20% give or take to make life easy. (To other posters here--yes, 15% is unacceptable!)

Taxis I usually choose the lowest option on the screen (maybe 10%). But that's because I'm already annoyed at spending money on a taxi. I do sometimes want to tip more when people are extra nice.

Haircuts are a little harder to judge; I think I tipped $5 for my last one which cost $29. So that's just under 20% too.

Drinks I do $1 per.

All other circumstances are very bewildering and confusing.

Saying "15% is unacceptable" doesn't make it true everywhere. Here in California, they make $10/hr plus tips. With tips, they likely end up making $25/hr or more (if you figure 3 tables an hour, $50 total per table each leaving 15%...that's about $32/hr). In other states where $3 is legal for servers to make, yes, I would definitely increase my tips based on that fact alone. 

I think the ones who deserve good  tips that don't always get them are delivery people. They do quite a bit of driving to get the food to you!

tj

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #136 on: February 10, 2016, 05:44:04 PM »
I would say 25-30% is overtipping in a restaurant; but if you feel like it sometimes, more power to you! I do 20% give or take to make life easy. (To other posters here--yes, 15% is unacceptable!)

Taxis I usually choose the lowest option on the screen (maybe 10%). But that's because I'm already annoyed at spending money on a taxi. I do sometimes want to tip more when people are extra nice.

Haircuts are a little harder to judge; I think I tipped $5 for my last one which cost $29. So that's just under 20% too.

Drinks I do $1 per.

All other circumstances are very bewildering and confusing.

Saying "15% is unacceptable" doesn't make it true everywhere. Here in California, they make $10/hr plus tips. With tips, they likely end up making $25/hr or more (if you figure 3 tables an hour, $50 total per table each leaving 15%...that's about $32/hr). In other states where $3 is legal for servers to make, yes, I would definitely increase my tips based on that fact alone. 

I think the ones who deserve good  tips that don't always get them are delivery people. They do quite a bit of driving to get the food to you!

You know it, I got a whopping $0.25 (as in one quarter) for each delivery at the first place I worked for, and 50 cents per at the other. Regarldess of if it was across the street or across town. Of course the customer was charged $3.00 or $3.50 delivery charge and assumed it was given to us...it wasn't.

The tipping controversy came up on bogleheads not too long ago and I really liked this comment, which suggests tipping might not even be effective for it's intended purpose:

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=161662&hilit=tipping&start=150#p2435279
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As someone who used to work on tips, I know the size of the tip gave me absolutely no motivation to work harder. Because 99% of people THINK they tip based on service, but they actually don't. They get a first impression of you in the first 30 seconds, and unless you screw up royally, they're going to give you what they were already planning on giving you. There's absolutely zero motivation to go "above and beyond".

Basically, as a waiter, you're going to encounter one of two types of people.

1. People who are in a great mood, and as long as you don't screw up royally, you'll get a decent tip from them.
2. People who are not in a great mood, are probably rarely in a good mood, and are going to screw you on the tip no matter. They're going to ruin your night, humiliate you, try to get free stuff out of you, and take away your attention from the tables you actually want to help.

Your waiter has figured out which one you are within 30 seconds, just as you've subconsciously decided what you're going to tip them in that same time period.

From a micro-econ situation, consider the real estate agent who is selling your house for you. The real estate agent gets paid a % of what she sells your house for, so you THINK it's in her best interest to get the highest price possible. Not so. What's in her best interest is to sell yours for a decent price asap, then spend her attention on the next person. Freakonomics does a good explanation of this if you want to research it further.

This same logic applies to waiters. A waiter knows that if he does twice as much work as he usually does, he'll get 22% instead of 18%. Maybe. If the customer doesn't turn out to be a jerk. As a waiter, I would rather get 18% doing a mediocre job at two tables than 22% from one table I worked twice as hard on. The cost of working harder is very high and there's very little reward to it. You maximize your revenue by waiting on a lot of tables getting a mid-level tip for each one. About once a week you maybe, just MAYBE might get a 30% tip from someone who wants to feel like a good person. But in the 3-4 years I spent waitering I never noticed any pattern between those people and the level of service I provided. In fact, it was the people that required the least amount of service that tended to tip the most.

Tips don't motivate waiters to provide exceptional service. They motivate waiters to provide the minimum acceptable service to get an acceptable tip, and then get you the heck out so they can put new customers in your seats.

That's just straight economics.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 05:55:53 PM by tj »

Larabeth

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #137 on: February 10, 2016, 07:17:44 PM »
Quote
It's a stupid system, which is why I opt out of it almost all the time by not eating out.  When I do eat out, I tip whatever the expected amount happens to be at the time.

How do you determine what this is since it's an activity you rarely partake in?

I put one penny on the table.  Then I sneak a look around and note the number of disapproving expressions.  Then I put a second penny on the table.  This continues until the summation of the disapproving expressions begin to approach zero.

This made me giggle

norabird

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #138 on: February 11, 2016, 09:51:23 AM »
CA pays $10 per hour to servers? Interesting!

tj

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #139 on: February 11, 2016, 10:30:29 AM »
CA pays $10 per hour to servers? Interesting!

California minimum wage is $10/hour as of 1/1/16.

lpb0306

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #140 on: February 11, 2016, 03:58:13 PM »
CA pays $10 per hour to servers? Interesting!

California minimum wage is $10/hour as of 1/1/16.

Yes, it's $10. Many states don't have laws requiring servers to make minimum wage, but California is one of the 8 that does. It's a good state to be a server!

I'm a red panda

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #141 on: February 12, 2016, 07:14:08 AM »
I ate out in NYC a number of times this weekend, because I was on expense accounts. Some of the reciepts calculated suggested tip amounts for me: 15%, 18%, and 20%.

If 15% is unacceptable- why would they suggest it?

(Note- cabs do the same thing, but they start at 20% as the minimum tip!)
To make you go for 18%! The 'middle option' is a classic marketing thing. Same reason McDonald's do small, regular, and large fries.

Man, read through all this and I'm glad I live in France! Service included, decent wages included, service excellent. Never been a fan of the fawning "I'm your new best friend" type service, but I can see how people travelling to France, particularly from the US, might think the service sub-par.

Then the taxi's really have a smart thing going. Because their middle option was above 20%. (20% was the minimum). 

Restaurants should try that, and people will start tipping 24% if people pick the middle.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #142 on: February 12, 2016, 07:55:14 PM »
Go to a cruise forum and ask about tips. Those threads are the most entertaining.

I'm lazy, so I'm going to cite Wikipedia and let you do the legwork to see if their sources are accurate or not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratuity#United_States

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Tipping by definition is voluntary - at the discretion of the customer.

Yeah right!

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In restaurants offering traditional table service, a gratuity of 15% of the amount of a customerís check is customary when good service is provided. Buffet-style restaurants where the server brings only beverages, 10% is customary. Higher tips may be given for excellent service, and lower tips for mediocre service. In the case of bad or rude service no tip may be given, and the restaurant manager may be notified of the problem.

That's my guideline. If you're taking our order and bringing our food and drinks, 15% is acceptable. If you hardly do anything for us (directing us to the plates for the buffet, getting a refill on drinks that we initially carried to the table), I believe 10% is more than plenty. I do round up, but not by extremes (i.e. if the bill is $22, 15% is $3.30, I'll go up to $3.50). For me, these are the "you did the bare minimum, or just under" rates. We often tip closer to 20% if the service was pretty good (asked a few times how we were doing but weren't obnoxious, drinks never empty or possibly empty one time for a couple minutes).

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Tipping is not required for fast food restaurants, take-out orders, and coffee houses.

Lots of people complain about the lack of tipping at McDonald's. That's ridiculous. And tipping at a food truck? What? Tipping for a coffee when (probably) no one had to bring out to you?

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A tip pool cannot be allocated to employers, or to employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips. These non-eligible employees include dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors.

HA!

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A study at Iowa State University provided data for a suburban restaurant surveyed in the early 1990s. The mean tip was $3.00 on a mean bill of $19.78. As such, the mean tip rate was 16.1%, and the median tip rate was about 15%. In a 2003 research study at Brigham Young University, the sample restaurants had an average tip percentage ranging from 13.57 to 14.69% between 1999-2002.

There we have it. Scientific proof that I'm a high tipper!

*I'm sure many are taking an average of the 10% and 15% numbers I stated earlier and are calling bullshit. You're assuming we go to buffets more often than full-service restaurants (which may actually be true...) and that those are the average numbers. As stated, we typically tip more, but the service has to justify it.

That said, tip creep is definitely a thing. When I first started adulting 15% was the socially accepted amount for decent service. 10% meant service was subpar and/or you were cheap, 20% meant you were Bill Gates. About 8-9 years ago 18% became the new norm, because economy. Inflation. Poor people. Reason didn't really matter, as long as you understood that 18% was the new amount. Of course, people are lazy and 18% is hard (15% is relatively easy, though not as easy as 10%). What's another 2%? So people just start tipping 20% because they're lazy...er...I mean they're charitable.

I hate that more and more people have their hands out for more and more money. If you advertise a hair cut for $20, and you cut my hair, I expect to pay $20. If you advertise a cab ride to the airport for $40, and you take me to the airport, I expect to pay $40.

When did hair stylists (i.e. barbers) start being tipped? We never tipped growing up. I didn't even tip after becoming an adult and going to the fancy place in the mall. One day in Walmart I'm paying for my haircut with a debit card, low and behold, a tip line. AAAAAAAAGGHH!!!!! I have no idea...did this just start? Is it not a thing yet but they want it to be a thing? Had I been stiffing all those people wielding sharp instruments near my throat?

I'm even supposed to tip when it's illegal to do so. I'm looking at you, person with a stable career and good benefits who is given a fair wage to deliver my mail.

I'm supposed to tip the guy who installs my satellite dish, maybe the guy who installs cable, but not the guy who fixes our plumbing (though it's gone from "no, don't tip" to "most people don't, but it's certainly ok to"). I'm supposed to tip for take-out, unless it's at a fast-food restaurant like Taco Bell. I tip someone if they park my car, unless it was after an oil change. I tip someone who bags my groceries at the local grocery store, but not at Walmart. I tip a bus driver if I've paid $$$ to be on a tour, but not if I'm paying $ for a standard public bus. What about Greyhound?

Just get rid of the darned practice already! I want to see a price and pay it (or avoid the product/service). I don't want to do algebra equations. What if I don't have a data connection? How on earth will I find out if I'm supposed to tip on pre or post tax? Is 15% or 50% is the currently accepted number (changes often!)? Am I supposed to tip more if I order water? Should I tip 20% on alcohol or $1 per drink (or is it $2, or should I just throw a $20 at the bartender and still get the stink eye because I'm apparently a cheap bastard)? Do I tip less for an alcoholic drink if I see my server just grab it herself (or himself, I sure don't want to be labeled as sexist in addition to cheap)? What if I order a soda but see the bartender "make" it?

I meant that last paragraph to sound ridiculous, but I think I would sound completely sane if I had a bit of a foreign accent.

LeRainDrop

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #143 on: February 12, 2016, 09:41:10 PM »
Quote
A study at Iowa State University provided data for a suburban restaurant surveyed in the early 1990s. The mean tip was $3.00 on a mean bill of $19.78. As such, the mean tip rate was 16.1%, and the median tip rate was about 15%. In a 2003 research study at Brigham Young University, the sample restaurants had an average tip percentage ranging from 13.57 to 14.69% between 1999-2002.

There we have it. Scientific proof that I'm a high tipper!

So it seems you're in line with what people in that study did 15 to 25 years ago.  Okay.

Quote
When did hair stylists (i.e. barbers) start being tipped? We never tipped growing up. I didn't even tip after becoming an adult and going to the fancy place in the mall. One day in Walmart I'm paying for my haircut with a debit card, low and behold, a tip line. AAAAAAAAGGHH!!!!! I have no idea...did this just start? Is it not a thing yet but they want it to be a thing? Had I been stiffing all those people wielding sharp instruments near my throat?

Well, I remember tipping the barber when I went as a kid with my dad in the 1980s.  IMO, yes, you had been stiffing all those people who cut your hair.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #144 on: February 12, 2016, 10:27:16 PM »
So it seems you're in line with what people in that study did 15 to 25 years ago.  Okay.

Well, lots on this thread are saying that the percentage hasn't changed from 30 years ago. So either it's still 15%, or gosh darn it really has gone up to 20%.

The 2003 study (which covered 1999-2002) is less than 15 years old.

Wikipedia itself says it's 10% (buffet style) to 15% (full service) with no mention of these numbers being outdated.

Hey, I posted (somewhat) proof that restaurant tipping should be 10% or 15% (let's just call it 15%, since full service restaurants are probably what most people think of). Do you have any studies or non-anecdotal evidence that shows the average tip is (much) more than 15%? Other than various online guides (often written after consulting with waitstaff, um, bias anyone?), I see nothing that indicates an average more than 16%. I could be wrong.

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Well, I remember tipping the barber when I went as a kid with my dad in the 1980s.  IMO, yes, you had been stiffing all those people who cut your hair.

That's about the time I was getting my hair cut. Regional differences perhaps? No idea. All I know is it was $5, and that's what we paid. Don't think I saw anyone else tip, though I didn't pay attention (didn't know to). I admit I was confused when I went back after an adult...so I'd give an extra couple dollars. I guess they got used to the extra $, shortly afterward they raised their prices to $7 :)