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QotD: Tipping

Question: What is your standard tip for what you deem to be average service?

My Answer: 15% works, though when leaving cash I usually round to the nearest (or highest) dollar. Sometimes $3.77 becomes $5 if it's easy to leave a five (or $8.33 to $10, etc.).

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

8 Responses to "QotD: Tipping"

  1. 20% = no complaints. 15% = Medium. 10% = Crappy.

    Then i round to nice numbers, like you're saying.

    What people dont realize is that you PAY the bill for the FOOD, and that's all. NONE of that goes to the waiter or waitress. What you TIP is what you're saying the last hour or two of someone SERVING you is worth.

    I look at it in this way: Would you come to my house, serve me food, drinks, be polite, and make it so i never have to leave my chair? even clean up after me... how much money would you want? How about $2.00?
    ...hell no.

    Granted their serving others as well, but that's not part of the equation. 20% man, that's where it needs to be. (More, if you sit around, because you're losing the server money by taking up a table of their potential revenue, and their time.)

  2. I guess I'm new to the whole tipping game, coming from a country where we actually pay our waitstaff.

    I do 15% by default, rounding up to whole dollars, or indeed rounding up to whatever change I've got left (whether or not they appreciate that I don't know... and I said up, not down), as long as I've been served well.

    I don't buy that it should be 20%. If it's crappy then it's no tip, surely? I've always been told that waitstaff do actually get some base pay (even if it is below minimum wage, on the basis that the establishment must ensure they make minimum wage if tips don't do it), though I may be wrong, and that may just be Canada, I really don't know.

    I've yet to have bad service at a resteraunt - but that has more to do with how little time I've spent here so far.

  3. I tip anywhere between 0% and 100%, typically in the 0%-30% range. Average service gets 15% from me, rounded to the nearest quarter or dollar, depending on whether I'm paying with cash (and have quarters) or credit.

    Also, I never tip on tax. That's 15% on the food subtotal, not the tax-inclusive total.

    So, a 15% tip from me night look low. So be it.

    And yes, I do occasionally (but rarely) "tip" 0%, if the service truly deserves it.

  4. PatrickQG: "I've yet to have bad service at a resteraunt - but that has more to do with how little time I've spent here so far."

    It's true that you'll eventually get bad service, but a large part of the reason you haven't yet is that wait staff get so little base pay. I've spent time in countries where the tipping is less (Germany, Czech, etc.) and where the tipping is nonexistent (Iceland); the quality of service seems to vary in direct proportion to how much the waiter expects to get tipped when they do well.

    You'll always find some who just don't care, or who are having a bad day or too many tables or whatever, but it's definitely a noticable difference.

  5. If I have nothing to complain about, it's 20% minimum. If I have a few complaints that are genuinely the server's fault (i.e. The cook screwing up my order does not affect the server's tip) then it'll drop as low as 10%.

    If there is something that I'm truly upset about, then they get a single solitary nickel as the tip. If I were to not leave any tip, the server could rationalize to themselves, "Well, that person must have been a bad tipper." However, if I actually leave a tiny tip, it shows that I actually put some thought into it, and they know that I thought that they did a horrible job. (I've only had to do this a few times in my life.)

  6. 15%. That's the accepted figure, at least here in southern california. Anything more than that is a signal that they've provided better than average service, so they only get more than 15% if they actually did provide better than average service. Otherwise it breaks the whole feedback mechanism.

  7. Greg: I'm from a country that doesn't tip. Just plain doesn't happen. Ok, so it might very very occasionally, but it's not the done thing.

    With that I can only think of one place that hasn't given decent service in recent times (and that was terrible - meals came out at different times, it took forever, etc).

    Realistically all I want my server to do is take the food order, and drinks, and make sure it all arrives. Sure, a polite, friendly disposition would be nice (as in anything customer focussed), but I don't see the point in tipping to make sure that happens.

    I know it's ingrained in the culture here, so I'm happy to do it. However I have the same issue with sales tax here - it's not included in prices. Why not be honest, and charge things for what they're worth rather than adding on %s here and there for tax, service, etc.

  8. Oddly, today Carey and I went to Cracker Barrel and left no tip. The service was terrible. We mentioned it to the manager too and got a coupon for two free meals. Funny timing…


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