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QotD: Tips

Question: How do you tip?

My Answer: I double the amount of the bill and move the decimal to the left one place. That's 20% and it serves as my foundation. Average service tips at 20%. Poor service down from there, and good service up from there.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

14 Responses to "QotD: Tips"

  1. I tip 20% and over. If she is cute... a LOT more than that.

  2. I've never quite understood tipping (not living in the US and all), but don't these people get paid a salary anyway?

  3. Damn, I pay a dollar or two. Most I ever tipped for any price meal was $10, because I knew and went to school with the waiter... All they do is bring you a drink and your food. The rest of the time they are just annoying and constantly interrupt your meal.

  4. "These people" do get paid hourly wages, but the wages are on the order of $3-4.50/hr. To give you a reference point, minimum wage in the US is about $5.50-$6/hr (I don't know exactly how much, because I wouldn't work for minimum wage anyway). The point is that the "salary" they get is peanuts. Any waiter will tell you that they make almost all their money on tips. And don't think that I'm just trying to get better tips, because I've never been a waiter.

    That said, I usually tip an average server 15-20%. I figure out 15, and I figure out 20, and I pick whatever the best whole number is in between those two. I have given penny tips (rarely), and for good, fast service, or if I'm trying to impress a date, I'll go way above that.

  5. Like Jo-Pete said, their "salary" is basically used to pay taxes on their tips. My girlfriend's paycheck when she was a waitress was usually about $30 (every two weeks). As far as my habits, I usually tip 15% if its good, 10% is if not. One time however, my friends and I (in a spate of jackassedness) placed a pile of $1s on the table (prolly about $10, we didn't count them) at the beginning of the meal and said: "here's your tip, every time you mess up we're taking a dollar away." We had surprisingly good service, cause I'm sure the waitress was pissed as hell at us.

  6. i double tax (7.5% * 2 = 15%) and then round up to what ever coins i have, or the next round dollar, if service is good. if services is bad, i double tax and round down to the previous dollar dollar.

  7. This one really makes me nuts.

    It seems the point of the tipping system is to insure good service (The word tip was at one time an acronym for To Insure Promptness, and the tip was paid prior to the meal).

    I have a problem with tipping. Somehow in the past few years, standard tip has gone from 10% to 20%. Why is that? Inflation isn't a good answer -- it's a percentage and grows with inflation on its own.

    To tell you the truth, I think the service has gone down as the tips have gone up.

    I pay 0-15%. If the server simply takes my order, brings it, and fills my drinks, that's their job. If they're nice, and fast, and don't annoy me, they'll get a tip. If they are helpful such as a concierge would be, I'll tip them more. And what if your server isn't even the person that brings your food to you? The trend now seems for the server to simply take your order, and fill your drinks. Sometimes they don't do the initial fill of your water, sometimes they don't bring your food. So how do you tip for that? A 15% tip requires impeccible service. My 10 commandments of good serbive:

    1. Keep my drink filled. There should be no empty glasses.

    2. My food should be brought out AS I ORDERED IT (The server should double check the food when it comes out of the kitchen to make sure it's exactly what i ordered). Don't bring me my fish with a side order of green beans when i ordered the red beans and rice. Check it!

    3. ...and fairly promptly (I do realize this is not fully under the server's control).

    4. Keep the extra plates cleaned off my table.

    5. NEVER ask me a question while there is food in my mouth.

    6. Do not ask me if I want desert. You're just trying to run up the bill. You can ask if I'd "like anything else".

    7. When taking my order DO NOT sit next to me. DO NOT kneel on the floor. You're not my friend (well, you COULD be, but most likely youre not). I have plenty of friends, I don't need another one, especially one that is just doing it to get money.

    8. DO NOT give me the impression that you're trying to get me to hurry up after I've eaten. If I'm going to sit there, I'll be ordering something else. If you respect me, I'll respect the fact that that table needs to make money for you.

    9. If there is something wrong with my food, DO NOT make excuses. They don't matter. Simply get it taken care of.

    10. If your (boy|girl)friend broke up with you, or the place is understaffed, or anything else is bothering you, remember I AM NOT A PSYCHATRIST, nor is this my office. I don't tell you when I have problems with my clients, please give me the same courtesy. And if these prblems are the reaason for your poor service, maybe you should have stayed home!

    My biggest problem with the whole thing is that the whole restaraunt industry has us whipped. They have HUGE margins, their labor is nearly unpaid, and we end up paying a load in "tips" so that the restaraunt industry can make a huge profit... see, if they had to pay their staff the same minimum wage as everyone else, our meals would ave to cost more, and/or they would have to eat into their profit margin. If the meals cost more, less people would potentially eat out, and they'd be FORCED to have regular profit margins. but because the meals cost and the tip are seaparte, it's easy for us to forget that the tip is there.

    I personally think the whole industry needs to be changed. Tips don't work to insure anything. It's far too common to get a mediocre or bad waiter than it used to be.

    Now, I do have an interesting tipping idea to balance out the scales.

    Given the server you're dealing with makes $4.00/hour, and they are serving 3 tables, and each table takes an hour, simply decide how much per hour you think he should be making based on the eatery and his quality.

    So let's say we thing he should be making $13/hour. He's waiting 3 tables. $13/hr - $4.00/hr (his current wage) = $9.00/hr that he needs to maketo be making $13/hour. Since he's waiting 3 tables, each would have to tip him $3 for him to make the target of $13. So if he does a good job, tip him $3. You are then doing your part to make sure that he gets a fair wage.

    Now if you're the only table he's waiting on this hour, you should tip him $9, again, to make sure he makes a fair wage, and assuming he did an excellent job... since you're the only one there, he should be even better.

    This is just in theory. I've never tried it out, but it does make sense, and it's REAL easy to calculate.


  8. The worst is when you are expected to tip at a place like Sonic drive-in, where all they do is bring your food to the freakin' car. They don't refill your drinks, take away your trash, nothing.

  9. Wow, that's absurdly untrue: the restaurant industry has TINY margins--if they didn't, most restaurants wouldn't go belly up in under a year.

    Here's how it breaks down, according to my chef friend: food costs are about 10-20% (which is why they're happy to give you more food than you could ever eat and charge you just a third more); payroll is about half of your costs; other overhead (rent, maintenance, etc.) is around 30%. If you're REALLY lucky, you might be able to keep 10% for profit. If you serve alcohol, expect another 10%--basically, no restaurant survives without a liquor license.

    Obviously, things are different for chains: economy of scale makes all the difference.

  10. The custom in my country is 10%, going down to 5% as the price goes up (EUR 100+ probably). Being lower means that you're either very displeased, or very poor. Being higher means that you're very bad at maths 😉

  11. I tip 15% if the service is good. If you do a bad job you get less, but generally always 10%... although I have given extremely small tips for just plain pathetic service.

    Now, I have a few places I go to regularly and stay for a few hours-- have a drink, dinner, then stay and socialize for the evening. In those cases, I tip 20% or more just because the time they spend with us isn't really reflected in the bill.

  12. Wow, some people sure do a lot of thinking about a tip. I give a dollar for every five dollars the bill reaches. That will always fall between 15 and 20 percent, and I can "round up" 27.50 or whatever to thirty, if noticeably good, or round down if bad.

    Knew a guy who thought being a college student excused him from tipping more than a dime. Wish he was working his way through college waiting.

  13. From personal experience as a waitress, there is nothing worst than a friday night and suddenly geating a big party and the tab being about $250 and only geating about $10. You might think that sounds great but it really is not.

    The way it is calculated is by sales. For example, if an individual server sells a total of $700 in one night, the IRS will tax them not only on their hourly minimum wage, but also on 15 percent of that $700. So when a server gets no tip or a bad tip, like 5 percent, they are being taxed on money they did not actually make.

    On top of that we still have to tip out the bar tender, the busser, and what ever is left from that is ours.... Yeah not the best thing in the world but it's a fun job and when the tips are good, it's even better....

  14. i work at a sonic in tennessee as a carhop and i get paid below min. wage like 4.25 plus tips. and people think all we do is take food out and at mine thats not all i do. we havta do the speaker, drinks, ice cream, blasts and pick the trash up in the parking lot. im not saying you ahve to tip but dont think all we do is bring food.
    not to mention..rednecks trying to pick you up isnt much fun.