Author Topic: How much to tip?  (Read 25626 times)

Jack

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #50 on: December 31, 2015, 07:07:58 AM »
You're from Atlanta?  Discussion thread on Atlanta tipping: http://www.yelp.com/topic/atlanta-restaurant-tipping-amount

Most said 20%.

You may want to consider that it's just you that still does 15%.  :)

First of all, anybody posting on the Yelp forums is probably going to be a foodie, which will skew the response relative to the general population.

Second, it's not just me that still does 15% -- you even quoted somebody else (iowajes) who does the same!

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #51 on: December 31, 2015, 07:14:43 AM »
You're from Atlanta?  Discussion thread on Atlanta tipping: http://www.yelp.com/topic/atlanta-restaurant-tipping-amount

Most said 20%.

You may want to consider that it's just you that still does 15%.  :)

First of all, anybody posting on the Yelp forums is probably going to be a foodie, which will skew the response relative to the general population.

Second, it's not just me that still does 15% -- you even quoted somebody else (iowajes) who does the same!

A foodie, perhaps, but that's not relevant to tipping. 

Sure, it's not just you.  Some people do it, of course.  But the vast majority now do 20%.  The few who do 15% are on the very cheap end. 

Some people do 10%.  Some people do 0%.  This is all the case.  But that's not the normal.  Those are the cheap people.

If you realize that, okay.  I'm just saying, 15% is not normal.  You're trying to paint it as a "weird California thing" is not correct--it's everywhere now.  We tend to only see our own little bubbles, so you may have thought because you and your friends do 15%, that it's normal, but that doesn't make it normal, and you are likely being viewed as on the cheap end.

Look at the number of 20%s in THIS thread.  And we're Mustachian, known for being frugal.  If anything, you'd think this would be the place where you'd see more justifications for spending less money.

It just may be time to adjust your perception of reality, and perhaps catch up with the rest of us.  :)

I liked the suggestion to eat out a little less, so you can tip 20% when you do, without changing your budget.
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Villanelle

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2015, 08:17:00 PM »
This thread has me rethinking.  I usually do about 18-20% for service that is unremarkable either way.  Perhaps I need to consider bumping that up slightly.  I honestly thought those times I left 18% or 19% (which was usually calculated as a mental 20%, then rounding down to a somewhat even number, so I'm guessing it was 18-19) I was leaving a perfectly acceptable tip. I knew 15% was no longer considered enough, but didn't realize 20% was expected for bare minimum service. 

Thank God I'm moving back to Japan where I can spend a few more years not thinking about tipping at all, ever.

Midcenturymater

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #53 on: December 31, 2015, 11:52:52 PM »
We leave 20 per cent. When we realised how even cheap meals at the likes of I hop were not so cheap once you leave the tip.....We stopped going to places like that. We just do panda express and chipotles now where we share one large plate and an extra side for about 13 for all of us. Even that has been cut to  twice a month now the belt is tightened due to massive mortgage.

If you can't afford to leave 20 percent I reckon you don't eat out where service is provided. I was a server. It got me through college. My favorite customers were Americans. The Brits leave 10 per cent. The Italians leave 3 per cent . It was kind of sad that many servers did not want to take customers from certain ethnic groups. Why? Because 9 times out of ten you knew how they would tip. Americans always tipped double. Now I live here I realise this is the norm here.

Midcenturymater

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2016, 12:00:28 AM »
So know that if you ever visit the UK the servers will trip over themselves to seat you at their table. You can double their hourly rate with your fantastic generous custom. Most Americans Rick at tipping😊

Although my best tip 70_ on a 180$ Bill was for telling the customer she could save money if I divided each ice cream portion of two huge scoops,  across 4 plates for the ten kids she brought in. So frugality advice is rewarded sometimes

Sylly

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2016, 01:08:47 AM »
It increased when restaurants started forcing servers to tip out the bar, the host and busser.  It has been 20% for over thirty years.

So honest questions here --

I know of restaurants with a host, a bar, and separate bussers. But what about the less upscale restaurant where there's no host, no bar, and the waiters and bussers are often the same (typically smaller, family owned  & operated restaurants)?

What about states where waiters have the same minimum wage as everyone else?

And just to add a data point, no, 20% has not been the standard for over 30 years to my knowledge. I had to be introduced to the tipping culture, and was taught that 15% was the standard more recently than 30 years ago.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 03:50:07 PM by Sylly »

georgicus

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2016, 04:04:24 AM »
One thing I find irritating is the expansion of tipping to situations where you never used to tip.  This is done through social engineering where you sign for your purchase on a tablet and the tipping option appears -- the system wants you to feel churlish if you pick the "no tip" option.

I'm thinking of cafeterias, buffets, and coffee shops where you pick up your order at the counter -- but yesterday I even got hit with this at a *food truck*.  I always thought the rule was that you should tip if there is table service, otherwise not.  (Although a tip jar often seems appropriate.)


MrMonkeyMustache

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #57 on: January 01, 2016, 07:23:44 AM »
Is the 20% norm for taxi rides as well? I'm travelling to Florida and have never been to the US before, so this thread is gold.

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Midcenturymater

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #58 on: January 01, 2016, 07:55:00 AM »
I think it just may be. We moved to usa from the UK and our first experience with our first American.
.a taxi driver....was horrid. We tipped him about12 on a $50 airport run. He literally threw our suitcases out of that taxi. Heavily pregnant it really upset me.

But we thought we were being generous. In the UK 7 to 10 per cent on taxis is the norm.
That was 5 or 6 years ago. I have never taken a taxi since....
 2

LeRainDrop

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #59 on: January 01, 2016, 10:04:43 AM »
What's with all you 20% restaurant tippers? As far as I know, the traditional amount has always been 15% (and according to Emily Post, that's based on the pre-tax amount). Personally, I do 15% post-tax and then round to the nearest half-dollar (up or down).

The hard part is knowing whether or how much to tip at all of these "half-service" restaurants (e.g. where you order at the register but then they bring the food to you).

Yeah, 20% is standard.  After working in the restaurant industry for 6 years.... I would be talking shit about you after you left me a 15% tip.

Agree.  My standard is 20% on the total bill, and then round up to the next dollar.  I'll pay more for superior service.  It is very rare that I'd do 15% -- that's only when I want to tell the server they did a crappy job (and it was legitimately their fault, not the kitchen's).  I also agree with the person who said he finds himself tipping percentage-wise more at cheap restaurants -- like if I feel the food is priced so reasonably well, and the server is good, I want to give them a really good tip, not just the 20% of the cheap food cost.

LeRainDrop

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #60 on: January 01, 2016, 10:16:11 AM »
I tip a 15% plus a bit to make a nicer number.
People have told me that 20% is standard because prices have gone up, but that's what percents are for. If prices went up, the amount given at 15% went up too!

But I do not use services that need tips almost ever.
That is not the reason.  I mentioned the reason up thread.
20% has not been a norm for over 30 years as you mentioned up thread. 15% was standard when I was a server 10 years ago. And we tipped out Buser, expedite, and bar. Plus we had to bribe the hostess.
Where are you from? I am from the west coast of the US and it has been the norm there for thirty years.
Oh, so maybe it's another silly California thing, then.

Nope.

You're from Atlanta?  Discussion thread on Atlanta tipping: http://www.yelp.com/topic/atlanta-restaurant-tipping-amount

Most said 20%.

You may want to consider that it's just you that still does 15%.  :)

Another Atlanta person here, vouching for 20% standard.  20% is also standard in Boston, my other home.

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TomTX

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #61 on: January 01, 2016, 11:24:49 AM »
If y'all 20%minimum!! folks actually read the waitbutwhy reference a survey of waiters (who have an inherent incentive to respond higher) said an average tip was 17-20%. If you are over 20% you are a High Tipper.

Your tone is also also that of shaming others who aren't tipping that high. Which makes those who tip less - unlikely to respond. Which further biases responses.

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #62 on: January 01, 2016, 11:46:41 AM »
If y'all 20%minimum!! folks actually read the waitbutwhy reference a survey of waiters (who have an inherent incentive to respond higher) said an average tip was 17-20%. If you are over 20% you are a High Tipper.

Almost no one has said over 20%.  I agree that those that did say that are high tippers.  And people who say 15% are low tippers. 

But a flat 20% is in that average range.  Not high.

Your tone is also also that of shaming others who aren't tipping that high. Which makes those who tip less - unlikely to respond. Which further biases responses.

I hope they do feel ashamed, and modify their behavior to not be cheap.  Just like any other face punch on the forum--it's meant to help.

And yes, it does skew the responses.  Oh well?
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GuitarStv

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2016, 02:29:30 PM »
I hope they do feel ashamed, and modify their behavior to not be cheap.  Just like any other face punch on the forum--it's meant to help.

And yes, it does skew the responses.  Oh well?

That's the real reason that people feel forced to tip 20 rather than 15% now.  Keep it up, another few years and 30, or 40% will be the norm.  Of course, then anyone who feels that this is too much will also feel ashamed.  It's really the best way to ensure that this problem never goes away.

FIRE_Buckeye

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2016, 03:10:54 PM »
I hope they do feel ashamed, and modify their behavior to not be cheap.  Just like any other face punch on the forum--it's meant to help.

And yes, it does skew the responses.  Oh well?

That's the real reason that people feel forced to tip 20 rather than 15% now.  Keep it up, another few years and 30, or 40% will be the norm.  Of course, then anyone who feels that this is too much will also feel ashamed.  It's really the best way to ensure that this problem never goes away.
I still tip 15% for average service and 20% for good service.
Those strongly advocating for 20%+ have likely worked in the service industry or just conformed to societal "norms" because everyone else is doing it.

Had a buddy/roommate in college who literally dropped out (and to this day, hasn't finished his degree 10 years later) because he was making such good money as a server/bartender. To act like the majority of these people are barely scraping by is laughable. Most of these people working as servers at anything above a bottom-of-the-barrel restaurant is bringing in 20-25$+/hour for something that requires no education whatsoever. Give me a break....

horsepoor

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #65 on: January 01, 2016, 03:33:23 PM »
I think it just may be. We moved to usa from the UK and our first experience with our first American.
.a taxi driver....was horrid. We tipped him about12 on a $50 airport run. He literally threw our suitcases out of that taxi. Heavily pregnant it really upset me.

But we thought we were being generous. In the UK 7 to 10 per cent on taxis is the norm.
That was 5 or 6 years ago. I have never taken a taxi since....
 2

That may have had nothing to do with your tip.  I've had some real asshole taxi drivers who acted that way before I'd had a chance to tip them (or not).  20% is about normal though - when paying with a credit card, I think that is the middle option when the computer gives you the option to add the tip.  I'll usually tip $5 on a $20 cab ride and never perceived that it was seen as too low.  For airport shuttles I'll tip more like 10-15% because they've got like 10 people in one load, and getting $20-30 in tips for each run seems pretty good.

Counter service restaurants - I usually stuff a buck or two in the tip jar when placing my order.  I appreciate the Chipotle burrito wizards making my food exactly how I want, and with stuff that's assembled after I pay, I figure the dollar buys a bit of good will.

Table service restaurants, we usually tip about 20%, but if I'm ordering the $6 lunch special and a water or whatever, I'll tip at least $3 because it's just as much work for the server as if I'd ordered a soda and a $13 entree.

horsepoor

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #66 on: January 01, 2016, 03:36:47 PM »
So honest questions here --

I know of restaurants with a host, a bar, and separate bussers. But what about the less upscale restaurant where there's no host, no bar, and the waiters and bussers are often the same (typically smaller, family owned  & operated restaurants)?

It seems that the waiters won't handle as many tables per hour if they're seating customers, bussing tables and everything else, so the same tipping rates should apply.  It just happens to be one person doing everything instead of 4 people.

Sylly

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #67 on: January 01, 2016, 03:55:18 PM »
It seems that the waiters won't handle as many tables per hour if they're seating customers, bussing tables and everything else, so the same tipping rates should apply.  It just happens to be one person doing everything instead of 4 people.

I wasn't clear, but the question is more about the rationale for going from 15 to 20% when there's no busser/bar to tip out. In such case, it just seems the % just crept up, at which point.. soon we'll be seeing 25, 30, and so on as the norm, and where will it end?

Zikoris

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #68 on: January 01, 2016, 04:28:48 PM »
We generally don't tip, because we go to places that don't involve service - takeout, food trucks, coffee shops, buffets, and casual places where you pay in advance at the counter and they call out your number when it's ready. Servers also aren't paid $2/hr here - they make the same minimum wage as everyone else (liquor servers make slightly less, but we don't frequent boozy places). It seems a little ridiculous and arbitrary to me that the guy ringing up groceries or pumping gas is not tip-worthy, but the person pouring you a cup of coffee somehow is.

Our non-homemade food costs are really low to begin with - usually around $250 per year, split between two people - so I doubt it matters anyway.

For what it's worth, I worked in a coffee shop while I was in school, and never thought twice if people didn't leave tips. Not very many people did. There was certainly no "shit-talking" of non-tippers or low-tippers in that workplace.

horsepoor

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #69 on: January 01, 2016, 05:33:44 PM »
It seems that the waiters won't handle as many tables per hour if they're seating customers, bussing tables and everything else, so the same tipping rates should apply.  It just happens to be one person doing everything instead of 4 people.

I wasn't clear, but the question is more about the rationale for going from 15 to 20% when there's no busser/bar to tip out. In such case, it just seems the % just crept up, at which point.. soon we'll be seeing 25, 30, and so on as the norm, and where will it end?

I understand that, but don't think it matters.  Because if a waiter has help from people he tips out, he's probably bringing in more gross tips due to higher volume of people served.  The server who is doing everything has a lower volume, so although they don't have to divide up the tips as many ways, gross tips are lower.  What would be the rationale for tipping a higher percentage when the waiter brings a drink order to a bartender who they later have to split the tip with, vs. a waiter who also goes behind the bar and fills the drink order?  Why is there higher value in the bartender doing it while the waiter is freed up to go tend to other tables (for argument's sake, let's say this is beer or wine, not specialized cocktails)?

aspiringnomad

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #70 on: January 01, 2016, 10:40:28 PM »
Is the 20% norm for taxi rides as well? I'm travelling to Florida and have never been to the US before, so this thread is gold.

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Download and use Uber and/or Lyft. Your ride will probably be cheaper and you won't have to worry about tipping or using cash at all.

aspiringnomad

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #71 on: January 01, 2016, 10:51:31 PM »
I think it just may be. We moved to usa from the UK and our first experience with our first American.
.a taxi driver....was horrid. We tipped him about12 on a $50 airport run. He literally threw our suitcases out of that taxi. Heavily pregnant it really upset me.

But we thought we were being generous. In the UK 7 to 10 per cent on taxis is the norm.
That was 5 or 6 years ago. I have never taken a taxi since....
 2

If you tipped $12 on a $50 ride, then you very generously tipped more than 20% and the driver was just a jerk. Prior to Uber, I usually capped my taxi tips at $10 but seldom had a fare above $60.

I see wait service as different than taxis though, in part because the minimum wage is so much lower, and unlike cabbies, they are usually not directly receiving any of the revenue from the transaction otherwise. The server system in the US relies on customers who understand the value of tipping, and for the most part, it works. I've gone back and forth over whether it would be better to move to a system where servers are subject to the same minimum wage laws as everyone else, and tipping became more ancillary as in other countries, but at least 90% of the servers I know would be against such a move (could be different in a smaller town). They would make much less money on busy nights and it might also mean restaurant owners/managers are stingier about hiring.

As for the original question, I tip 20% on the pre-tax bill unless the server provides extraordinarily bad or extraordinarily good service.

libertarian4321

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #72 on: January 02, 2016, 06:58:19 AM »
What's with all you 20% restaurant tippers? As far as I know, the traditional amount has always been 15% (and according to Emily Post, that's based on the pre-tax amount). Personally, I do 15% post-tax and then round to the nearest half-dollar (up or down).

The hard part is knowing whether or how much to tip at all of these "half-service" restaurants (e.g. where you order at the register but then they bring the food to you).
It increased when restaurants started forcing servers to tip out the bar, the host and busser.  It has been 20% for over thirty years.

Umm, no, it hasn't.

This "20%" stuff is a relatively recent phenomenon.  I don't think I ever heard of "20%" until maybe 10-years ago?  It certainly wasn't the norm when I was working in a restaurant 30-years ago.  Back then, it was 15%, with some older folks only tipping 10%.

I'm not sure why we have "tip inflation."  Some people are now saying servers expect 25%.

Why is this?  Since the cost of meals has gone up (inflation), it makes no sense to increase the percentage because "it's not 1985 anymore"- 15% of a meal today is a Hell of a lot more than it was 30 years ago.

So I tip 15%, just like I always have, unless the waiter does something exceptional.

On another topic, why the tip encroachment (along with the tip inflation)?  Now, it seems like just about everyone is holding out his hand for a tip.  Barista's, "sandwich artists," whatever.  It won't be long before I see tip jars on salesmen's desks.

Should I put a "tip" jar on my desk at work?  How much should people tip me for a good engineering technical review?

libertarian4321

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #73 on: January 02, 2016, 07:27:11 AM »

We tend to only see our own little bubbles, so you may have thought because you and your friends do 15%, that it's normal, but that doesn't make it normal, and you are likely being viewed as on the cheap end.

Look at the number of 20%s in THIS thread.  And we're Mustachian, known for being frugal.  If anything, you'd think this would be the place where you'd see more justifications for spending less money.

I liked the suggestion to eat out a little less, so you can tip 20% when you do, without changing your budget.

Quote
We tend to only see our own little bubbles, so you may have thought because you and your friends do 15%, that it's normal, but that doesn't make it normal, and you are likely being viewed as on the cheap end.

Or maybe you are the one in the "little bubble" and folks like him (and myself) are the norm.  It can work both ways, you know.

Here in Texas, most people I know tip 15%.  If you go to a restaurant that calculates the tip at the bottom of the bill, or if you are in a large group, they always show 15% or 18%.  If "20% was the norm, and only cheap skates tipped less than 20%," why would restaurants be suggesting tips of 15% and 18%?

Quote
Look at the number of 20%s in THIS thread.  And we're Mustachian, known for being frugal.  If anything, you'd think this would be the place where you'd see more justifications for spending less money.

Anecdotal evidence from an extremely small sample. 

Plus, people tend to lie about spending on tipping and charity so that they look more magnanimous than they really are.

Not exactly proof that 20% is the norm.

No one has yet given a decent reason for the tip inflation among some in recent years.  Why is 20% required now, when it wasn't in 1985 or 1995?  The price of meals has risen with inflation, so the tips have gotten larger as well, even if the percentage stays the same.  So why should I tip 20% now?

And why are we tipping large amounts to the person who does nothing but wheel the meal out to you, rather than giving it to the person who is most responsible for a good meal (the chef/cooks), who typically get nothing?

FWIW, I think the whole American "tipping" system is ridiculous and I'm glad some restaurants are starting to get rid of it.  We should just get rid of the insane "tip" culture and just pay people to do their jobs.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 07:29:14 AM by libertarian4321 »

Midcenturymater

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2016, 10:07:48 AM »
Yes but in the meantime theses servers are getting paid a measly amount as the establishment assumes you will tip. You actually pay tax on predicted tips.
I agree that it is strange. I served and it is much easier than cheffing....although they always got paid more.

Actually thinking about it I tip 18 as I double the tax from my bill. But usually my husbAnd pays and he always rounds up to nearest dollar over 20.
I just think it is the custom here. Go holiday in the UK. You are only expected to leave 12.5... and most leave 10.

Sylly

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #75 on: January 02, 2016, 12:03:09 PM »
Yes but in the meantime theses servers are getting paid a measly amount as the establishment assumes you will tip.

And this is the other source of my confusion. Based on what I've seen, one of the main arguments for large tips is that tipped employees have a much lower min. wage, with tips expected to supplement it up to the federal min. wage (or employers if the tips don't bring it up to that level). But I live in 1 of 7 states where waiter/ress get paid the state minimum wage, just like every other minimum wage worker. So the tip *is* extra and not the bulk of their pay (though in some cases maybe they *do* get that much more tips, in which case they're not that measly paid anyway), and that argument doesn't really apply now does it?


v8rx7guy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #76 on: January 02, 2016, 01:17:05 PM »
It will certainly be expected to tip 25% in the next 5-10 years guarenteed. Its tipfation. Of course waiters and waitresses want to get paid more and more... what job is there out there where employees NOT think they are underpaid to do?

v8rx7guy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #77 on: January 02, 2016, 01:26:17 PM »
Also, as another member mention mentioned... states have different rules for what the minimum wage is for tipped positions.  This probably explains partially the range of opinions. My home state of WA pays a minimum of $9.47 / hr. I feel like im doing pretty good tipping 15%.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage_in_the_United_States

mjb

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #78 on: January 02, 2016, 02:13:30 PM »
Here in Texas, most people I know tip 15%.

And most people I know in Texas tip 20-25%.

Better evidence: a lot of restaurants add a flat 18% for large parties. And if you walk on a tab at a bar, they'll often add 18-20% and run your card.

CanuckExpat

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #79 on: January 03, 2016, 02:30:12 AM »
Are we surprised to find out there are differences in how people tip? There seems to be known differences by region, race, and age, all in the US.

I'm always surprised how worked up people get about tipping. I once worked at a tipped job, I still can't bring myself to have strong opinions on either "over" or "under" tipping. The difference between a 15% and 20% tip on a $100 bill is $5, I probably end up varying a tip by almost that much depending on what I need to get to a round number (or how much I've had to drink).

As a fan of the underdog, I kind of feel for the people who suggest tipping less as a way to save money(has anyone suggested that in this thread?), but feel that opinion would meet social ridicule.  There are always other ways around the problem:

A former favorite local pizza place has a no tipping policy, and if you do leave money behind they direct it to charity.

You can get your sushi from a conveyor belt, go to a restaurant with no workers, or be be served by a robot.

I assume when there's no human, there's no tip innovled?

What I'm suggesting is that we innovate instead of bicker :)

As an aside, I really like that word tipflation, and the headline that the only thing that can stop tip inflation is stingy millenials.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 02:43:49 AM by CanuckExpat »

Midcenturymater

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2016, 03:03:44 AM »
You see I think the underdog is the server. What they earn even with tips is modest...and I know that counts for many low level jobs. But the fact is you are being served by a server and there is for me a sense that when someone is tending to your every neec, the top us an acknowkedgement of this. I would feel very ungracious to save money. I save money by not eating in places where I must tip so leaving that table to be occupied by someone who is on a position to leave that 20 per cent.  As a server you have a finite number of tables you serve on a shift, so if you get say 20 % of cheap or tipping militants , your take home is really affected. I remember how it felt and I also remember how much contempt my fellow servers had for bad or non tippers( which I also think is crass) ....even if I did not have a fixed opinion on it I would simply be embarrassed to walk out of a place, look my server in the eye and communicate something so negative with my act of crap tipping. I think most people feel that way.

Listen...just don't eat out where tipping  is the norm but if you do and you top badly no that the cost of your saving is great on many levels.

FIRE_Buckeye

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2016, 08:44:38 AM »
Should I put a "tip" jar on my desk at work?  How much should people tip me for a good engineering technical review?
Let me channel the thoughts in this thread for a moment.
Yes, you should. If you can't afford to tip your engineer,  then you shouldn't be getting a good engineering technical review.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 08:46:49 AM by FIRE_Buckeye »

Prepube

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #82 on: January 03, 2016, 04:02:08 PM »
Actually no, thirty years ago tipping the busser was option (and it was not a tipped position), now the restaurants require a server to tip the others out and pay less then minimum wage.  This is not a choice the servers are making, it is their employer, the business you are giving your money to.  If you object, don't spend your money there but don't force the server to pay taxes on money they don't earn because you don't think they should tip out.

Agreed.  I don't think you should register your complaints with the system with the weakest link of it.  As I mentioned above, where I worked I was expected to tip the bus boys out 5% of every check (but in no case less than 20 a night), plus whatever the bar got, so I was operating at -10% when I walked up to a table.  10 and 15% tips really hurt.  I quite literally PAID for the privilege of serving people quite often.
30 years ago I worked as a server and was required to share tips with bus staff and bar tenders.  It's an old concept.  If someone gives you a good service, tip them well for it (I.e., 20 % or more).  If they do not provide the service you expect, tip them less, or not at all.  It's pretty simple.  I do not tip bad service. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #83 on: February 06, 2016, 11:34:43 AM »
I tip a 15% plus a bit to make a nicer number.
People have told me that 20% is standard because prices have gone up, but that's what percents are for. If prices went up, the amount given at 15% went up too!

But I do not use services that need tips almost ever.
That is not the reason.  I mentioned the reason up thread.
20% has not been a norm for over 30 years as you mentioned up thread. 15% was standard when I was a server 10 years ago. And we tipped out Buser, expedite, and bar. Plus we had to bribe the hostess.
Where are you from? I am from the west coast of the US and it has been the norm there for thirty years.
Oh, so maybe it's another silly California thing, then.

Nope.

You're from Atlanta?  Discussion thread on Atlanta tipping: http://www.yelp.com/topic/atlanta-restaurant-tipping-amount

Most said 20%.

You may want to consider that it's just you that still does 15%.  :)

Another Atlanta person here, vouching for 20% standard.  20% is also standard in Boston, my other home.

The AJC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) just released the results of its unscientific poll on the question, "When you do dine out, how much should you tip your server?"  http://atlantarestaurants.blog.ajc.com/2016/02/02/you-weighed-in-how-much-do-people-in-atlanta-like-to-tip/

Quote from: AJC
According to the poll “How much should you tip your server?” the “right” amount is 18 – 20 percent, which a whopping 253 people voted for. Still sticking with the generosity theme was 20 – 25 percent, which came in second place (158 votes). Following was 15 – 18 percent (102 votes) and “Other” (18 votes). Unsurprisingly, “None” was the least favorite choice (11 votes).

arebelspy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #84 on: February 06, 2016, 12:32:01 PM »
I think people who are around similar people to them have a hard time seeing outside our bubble--so if we're in the minority, but so are all the other people we eat out with, our normal seems everyone's normal.  Data is useful in this case.

Thanks for the followup, LRD.
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Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #85 on: February 06, 2016, 12:51:06 PM »
I fall into the over-tipper category, but I consider a good tip as an investment in my karma bank. The woman who styles my hair? Yep, more than 20%. My favorite mom & pop restaurant? Yep.

I also know that I'm not always getting the best service wherever I go, but for me, I still tip well because you never know what's going on in another person's life. When service professionals are distracted, I'm not going to second-guess the reasons. We all have off days. I believe that those on the line in people-facing work deserve as much respect as possible, and I value the experience so I'm willing to pay. Heck, even my state agency is willing to reimburse tips at 20% pre-tax -- that should say something and norms.

NDQ

lpb0306

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #86 on: February 06, 2016, 02:09:52 PM »
California pays their servers minimum wage ($10) and whatever they get in tips. I do 15-18% post tax and a little less than 15% if their service is horrible. 20% if it's beyond the usual service. I never leave nothing. They're making $20/hr or more easy, more than either my husband or I make, and we do just fine.

I don't understand why people are saying 20% is standard. Literally every place I go with a suggested gratuity says 15-18%.

tj

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #87 on: February 06, 2016, 04:48:06 PM »
California pays their servers minimum wage ($10) and whatever they get in tips. I do 15-18% post tax and a little less than 15% if their service is horrible. 20% if it's beyond the usual service. I never leave nothing. They're making $20/hr or more easy, more than either my husband or I make, and we do just fine.

I don't understand why people are saying 20% is standard. Literally every place I go with a suggested gratuity says 15-18%.

People generally choosing to be more generous apparently. As far as I knew, 15% has always been fairly standard. I personally try not to tip on a percentage. it makes no sense to me why the server should make more money if I order a $50 steak and a $10 drink vs a $10 appetizer and a water. Why we as a society have chosen to essentially compensated food service on a commission model is a bit frustrating, but it's the world we live in.

Villanelle

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #88 on: February 06, 2016, 07:44:45 PM »
California pays their servers minimum wage ($10) and whatever they get in tips. I do 15-18% post tax and a little less than 15% if their service is horrible. 20% if it's beyond the usual service. I never leave nothing. They're making $20/hr or more easy, more than either my husband or I make, and we do just fine.

I don't understand why people are saying 20% is standard. Literally every place I go with a suggested gratuity says 15-18%.

People generally choosing to be more generous apparently. As far as I knew, 15% has always been fairly standard. I personally try not to tip on a percentage. it makes no sense to me why the server should make more money if I order a $50 steak and a $10 drink vs a $10 appetizer and a water. Why we as a society have chosen to essentially compensated food service on a commission model is a bit frustrating, but it's the world we live in.

Generally at higher end restaurants, where food is more expensive, servers have fewer tables.  They are expected to spend more time at fewer tables, and thus they are, in theory, earning more of a tip because they are more attentive.  They also have fewer tables to pay them (and people tend to stay longer so they serve fewer parties overall) so in order to make the same amount, they would need higher tips per party.  This doesn't really address why they should get more if you order the $90 lobster vs the $30 salad at the same restaurant, of course.  But it is part of the picture.   

Larabeth

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #89 on: February 06, 2016, 08:00:36 PM »
I tend to tip large amounts... at least 20 but more like 25%.  But we don't eat out much and I feel it is necessary with how terrible the servers get paid here in Alabama.

However, I won't tip if the service is bad enough.  I tend to judge based on whether or not you keep my drink full.  I can understand messing up an order or forgetting a condiment, but if I go the whole time with only one glass of water and then you have a bad attitude?  I'm not wasting my money paying you for a lack of service.
But I also tend to be more forgiving if you have a good attitude and it is just really busy.

marcela

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #90 on: February 06, 2016, 09:13:14 PM »
I worked at a small, family owned place right out of college. It was semi-counter service with fancy coffee drinks too. In a typical shift, I'd be working the register, bringing food to tables, boxing up takeout orders, cleaning, taking out the trash, and making fancy drinks. We were expected to pool tips and tip out to the owners. If you had the bad luck of pulling a closing shift, you also got to work another 1-2 hours by yourself cleaning the kitchen, mopping floors, scrubbing the toilet, and putting away all the food for the next day. Since my bosses had never done the closing themselves, they would only pay for one hour after close. The sexual harassment was free.

You bet your ass I tip a minimum of 20%.

Goldielocks

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #91 on: February 07, 2016, 12:44:53 AM »
I listened to a news piece about tipping the other day, and started to think what my dream tipping world would look like:

1.  I think to myself  - this job has skill of xxx and I need the service to be good yyy important to me.  Therefore, this person should be making the equivalent of (insert number) per year.   Then I work it out to an hourly wage, top up for untipped / slow hours or tipping out.

e.g., waiter --   $40 to 50 k per year equivalent for this no training required, but a year of experience is valued, role.  Not really that important to me if the service is a little below average this time..it happens often enough anyway.   That is $22/hr, and ramped up for the hour of no tipped work and the tipping out, to $30 per hour that i feel is deserved.

2.  Then I look around..  There are 5 tables being served about the same workload as mine (assume), and I have been here for two hours.
3.  The waiter is making $9 per hour as the base pay in a liquor serving role in my region.
4.  That means tips need to make up $21 per hour of remaining wage.  or $42 for 2 hours / 5 tables = $8 tipping..  That is only 10%, and I am happy with that.

WTF where did this 20% thing come from?  How do we say that servers should make $50 or more per hour due to tips?  That is the same hourly wage, of $40.hr after tipping out and unpaid hours, that an engineer in my region makes with experience.   I know that servers don't work full time, but there are some that do, it is about choosing where your work. and what you need. 

When I apply this formula to hair dressers (training needed plus experience), or taxi drivers (they are essential to my performing my job when I travel so I tip more for great knowledge, pleasant experience, and promptness to my client site)..  I can get to my ideal tipping calculation....

Now that would be the fair world. 

BUT I bow to culture and tip 20% in the US, and 15% in Canada.

WerKater

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #92 on: February 07, 2016, 01:07:46 AM »
I listened to a news piece about tipping the other day, and started to think what my dream tipping world would look like:
My dream is that one day nobody will tip and nobody will expect it.
Restaurant owners should pay waiters a reasonable wage and restaurant visitors should pay the restaurant owner the prices that are defined in the menu. Once you add a stupid non-optional (in practice) custom like tipping to this simple system, things get complicated (as evidenced by this thread). It also means that the prices in the menu are, in fact, lies.
This works very well in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, in Germany, we seem to be moving more in the direction of American tipping habits. I am still doing my best to resist.

JimmyToucan

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #93 on: February 07, 2016, 08:00:53 AM »
20% on good service; if they're fun, knowledgeable and enhance the overall experience even more. Bad service gets less, and they'll know why. If they don't, well then that explains why they're stuck with crappy shifts at a middling restaurant. Also, depending on the place and the quality of the meal, a pitcher of beer for the kitchen staff or a bourbon for the chef may be in order. I know myself and the crew appreciate it, and if you're a regular those bourbon points add up.

After ~20 years in the industry, and doing both sides of the house I can tell you that for 3-4 bucks an hour its generally well deserved. And as stated above, some of the people are also splitting out to a host, captain/front waiter, back waiter, bussperson and bartender. That 20% gets chewed up pretty quickly. In a busy mid level restaurant those people run their asses off; in a high end place the level of service is higher; although the work is split, going through pre-service and studying the menus, knowing the food, ingredients, where its sourced, etc takes a reasonable amount of effort away from the restaurant. Not every place will have a sommelier either, so a decent grasp of wines (and now specialty cocktails) will be in order. You also end up being a mediator between the customer and kitchen staff who also get their fair share of shit shoveled their way. I've heard numerous times "oh just pick up a job waiting tables" to make some quick easy cash....which can be true, but to make reasonable cash takes a lot of running at a bisy spot, and to make mmmoney at it, real money, takes a lot of time and effort moving up the chain to a place where 70 or 80k is in the cards.

You might be a polite, fair to low maintenance customer, but make no mistake; two tables over is Mr. Richard Cranium, his abbohrent wife and two demon spawn children running that person ragged and being rude to boot, taking the word "server" as if they're plantation owners in the 1800's. To add a little lemon in their eye, after numerous trips back to the kitchen, a million (usually stupid) questions, snide remarks within earshot, refilling drinks for the brats even though the glass is half full and sending food back even though they got exactly what they ordered, they're left with pocket change and a sneer as they leave a veritable shitstorm of a mess behind, not to mention they might as well have brought sleeping bags as they camped out for hours and kept the table from being turned over.

For those that can't get over the concept of tipping, there's a couple of choices:

1.) Stay home. Your server will appreciate it.
2.) Fake a resume and get yourself a serving job at a busy, upscalish type place and see what its like. OK...don't do this; you may end up stuffed in the ice machine with an oyster fork lodged in your temple after your first shift with one of your coworkers on their way to the clink.
3.) Move to a place where the additional cost of paying the servers is figured into the cost of your food.
4.) If none of those sound amenable refer to Rule #1.

*if you happen to be part of the Cranium family or close relation, keep in mind that these people are preparing/handling your food. :)

JimmyToucan

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #94 on: February 07, 2016, 08:08:47 AM »
How about eating in restaurants and patronizing other businesses that have abolished tipping in favor of paying staff better and charging the extra that that costs? I'd rather pay what something costs than deal with hidden costs or deceptive pricing. Maybe the inevitably higher price tags would highlight the fact that eating out is indeed a luxury.

Well that's all well and good, bit you end up with two choices; change the minimum wage laws so that servers make a solid wage, or fly to Japan to eat, where you're paying those tips in the form of more expensive meals. Restaurants run on tight margins as it is; you're paying either way.

I know this is MMM and the best alternative is to cook your own damn dinner, but for those special occasions, and of you live in the states you need to tip your waiter.

JimmyToucan

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #95 on: February 07, 2016, 08:50:54 AM »
WTF where did this 20% thing come from?  How do we say that servers should make $50 or more per hour due to tips?

50 bucks an hour works out to over 100k a year...maybe in the most extreme cases, but on average you're way off. Even the guy above who claims everyone but the bottom of the barrel restaurant worker is pulling $20-25 an hour is reaching. A typical 7 hour shift in that case should be bringing home $140-175 a night, every night. For a slightly above average dollar/high volume (not bottom barrel) type place you might pull close to two bills on a weekend, but average that out and it goes down, as weekends are far better money, lest you're in an upper echelon restaurant or in a seasonal area where you make much less money in the off season. Mondays suck for a lot of people you know.

Bartending *can* be a different story, depending on the place for sure...then again they're dealing with people at their worst. I don't know many engineers that have to break up fights at work or deal with and clean up after some chick who just barfed up her fifth tequila shot along with the burrito she ate before she went out :)

sstants

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #96 on: February 08, 2016, 10:52:29 AM »
20% across the board.

Talk with the manager if there is a major problem.

I don't agree with the tipping pay structure in the States, but there are better ways to fight it than to complain about the current system or to tip low. When I read a menu, I automatically add 25% for tax and tip in my mind.

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.

Goldielocks

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #97 on: February 08, 2016, 11:15:44 AM »
WTF where did this 20% thing come from?  How do we say that servers should make $50 or more per hour due to tips?

50 bucks an hour works out to over 100k a year...maybe in the most extreme cases, but on average you're way off. Even the guy above who claims everyone but the bottom of the barrel restaurant worker is pulling $20-25 an hour is reaching. A typical 7 hour shift in that case should be bringing home $140-175 a night, every night. For a slightly above average dollar/high volume (not bottom barrel) type place you might pull close to two bills on a weekend, but average that out and it goes down, as weekends are far better money, lest you're in an upper echelon restaurant or in a seasonal area where you make much less money in the off season. Mondays suck for a lot of people you know.

Bartending *can* be a different story, depending on the place for sure...then again they're dealing with people at their worst. I don't know many engineers that have to break up fights at work or deal with and clean up after some chick who just barfed up her fifth tequila shot along with the burrito she ate before she went out :)
I think the difference here is that the posted prices are quite a bit higher than in the USA...  20% on higher menu prices is a lot of money.   Yesterday, the family went out for breakfast.  We chose the "nice" fast food joint with farm eggs.  It cost $10.50 per person for breakfast, but no tip.   The same meal, served on plates at Denny's would have been $15 per person...   

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.

The lower paid / slow hours and tipping out is why I added 50% to the target hourly wage... I think that is fair, if not, they are not that great and not getting a good mix of good and slow shifts.

As for engineers, I have yet to see a waiter fight with a building inspector and a electrical sub-contractor, nor does the waiter pull chicken guts out of the new, but failing waste water pump.   (I had to do both, not often, in my first 5 years as an engineer).

lbmustache

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #98 on: February 08, 2016, 04:02:07 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.

v8rx7guy

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Re: How much to tip?
« Reply #99 on: February 08, 2016, 04:05:33 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?