How much do you tip in restaurnts?

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JerArdra

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All,

The attached photo is of 3 paragraphs from a Wall Street Journal article on tipping.  It is an enlightening viewpoint.

JerryF
 

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Ron

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Maybe Mr Kaufman didn't provide very good service.  Personally if the service is poor the tip should be poor service is average tip is average, service is great then the tip may run 20% or higher.  We never tip on the credit card since some establishments deduct 5% and or simply divide the tip among all the help good or poor.  I have even gone to the extreme of placing the tip in a sealed envelope and giving it to the waitress asking her not to open it till she gets home. This was prompted when the establisment policy was than all tips be placed in a container, they deducted  5% for the house and then the remaining was divided among the rest of the help good or bad.
 

Betty Brewer

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I worked my way through college as a waitress at  the Chicken Dinner Steak house at Knott's Berry Farm.  It s the hardest job I've ever had.  We were paid less than minimum wage  and worked long hours with no breaks.  I had always thought that the acronym TIPS meant  "To Insure Prompt Service."  I worked with this ethic in mind.  However I think it unfair to  judge the size of the tip by the service alone as the restaurant policy of less than minimum wage is not the fault of the  server. Nor is it their issue that they share tips.  I think  a 15% tip should be the starting minimum tip and extra service/ friendliness gets more. And I think if you don't like to tip, you should not eat out.  It used to frost me that big parties of 13 or 14 little old ladies would leave  only a ten cent tip. I  also believe that large parties should have a 15% tip built into the bill as many restaurants now do.  But I am careful to check the bill and  see if tip was included or not so that I don't tip on top of the tip. Guess I did not realize how much energy I still have on this topic some 35 years after working  as a waitress .
Betty
 

Bob Maxwell

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Betty,

I'm ?with you about honoring good service. I, too, worked my way through college and graduate school.

If ther service is poor, it 15%. Normal friendly service is 20% rounded up to the next dollar, always in cash, always handed to the wait person. On those Thanksgiving , Christmas and Easter Days when we've dined out, we tip 25% minimum as they've set aside their holiday to serve us.
 

Ken & Sheila

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Bob,

I agree. 15 to 25 percent depending on the service and the cost of the food. Breakfest I tip 20 minimum because the cost is low.

Today my waiter ordered the wrong meal from the Kitchen. Sheila and I shared her meal and I ate about 1/3 of mine when it finally arrived. The waiter apologized so the tip was split between 15/20 percent.

I hear people say that with the cost of the meal they can't afford much of a tip, - I say then they can't afford to go out to eat (or maybe should try McDonald's or someplace where they can afford the food and the service).

ken

 

Bob Maxwell

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>>I hear people say that with the cost of the meal they can't afford much of a tip, - I say then they can't afford to go out to eat (or maybe should try McDonald's or someplace where they can afford the food and the service).<<

Ken,

I agree. However a good salad is usually always available and with either a roll or perhaps even a very good bread course with balsimac vinegar, grated permisan cheese and roasted gralic and that makes an outstanding meal. And, it's usually the least expensive item on the menu!? ::)

There is no excuse for not leaving a minimum tip as the wait person will be taxed for it whether we give it or not -that is omless you are punishing the person serving. I've never had to do all the serving myself, even at buffets.
 

John From Detroit

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I generally tip between 15 and 20%, minimum $1.00/person (Sometimes 1.00 is a bunch for breakfast)

If service is exceptional I will go over 20%,  There have been occasions where I left $0.02 on the table

And two cases where the "tip" was to the manager (Fire the waitress)... I left one, another left the other (But I was in the group)  Do understand these were the two cases of absolutely WORST service I've ever had,  And I've had a few cases of bad service (I have also had 2 cases where I suggested the chain seriously consider terminating the manager's employment.  Got action on one of them I suspect (Still have not been back to that store either) IN both cases I have visited other stores in the chains w/o complaint.


But then I've done as much for a bank manager.... (S)He did get fired however (Bank got sold and of course management got replaced) had nothing to do with my complaint however.

 

JerArdra

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ALL,

We also tip a minimum of 15% and more often than not 20% plus we tip 25% whenever the server has been especially helpful and friendly.  Beyond that we always round up to the next dollar.  Being a server is hard work!

JerryF

 

Jim Dick

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Jerry,

We have been tipping 20% for several years as long as the service is good. If it isn't, 15% is the max. If it's really lousy then it might go as low as 10%. Can't remember any really lousy service. :)

 

Smoky

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I agree completely with Ron.? Tipping SHOULD be related to quality of service and is not (in my opinion) an entitlement.

My heart goes out to Betty.? But I would bet my bottom dollar that Betty always gave superlative service, just by what I have learned about Betty here on this forum.? :D? ?I am sure she earned every penny of her tips, and sometimes got short shrift from inconsiderate customers.

I have seen newspaper and magazine articles like the one in the WSJ for 50 years.? "Pushing" the tip is an old story.

I am against cheapskates, but not in favor of "enforced" tipping.

I do not dispute that waiters and waitresses and bartenders and others really need the tip.? For 30 years I really needed my salary and bonus.? But I had to earn both my salary and my bonus.? I had to work very hard for them, and there were years when I did not get a raise or a bonus.? And as I will mention in a moment, my post retirement business heavily revolved around tipping.? This did not change my views.

Why should I treat tipping as charity?? Especially if the case is made that it is part of the pay system, which it is.

I have a harsh system for tipping.

Nothing at all for really bad service.

10% to send a message on uncaring service.? Part of the meal should be an "experience" and the chief entertainer is the waiter/waitress.

15% for average.

20% for really good.

Above 20% for superlative.? There have been times I have gone as high as 50%.? Not talking breakfast here either, but on big splendid dinners.

I am sympathetic for the obvious new person who is struggling.? They get a good tip if they are trying, whereas an experienced person might not.

I am conscious of the tip splitting.? If I really need to I will do something similar to the "take the envelope" home idea, though I never thought of that particular approach.? Since I realize teamwork is behind a pleasant dining experience, I will sometimes do my own tip splitting.? At a sushi bar, for example, where the only thing the waitress did was provide me a glass of water, I will often put 25% into the hand of the sushi chef, perhaps, and under 15% to the waitress.? Not the waitress's fault mind you, as she clearly had a bit part in the performance that she did not choose for herself.? But that is the nature of the beast if merit is going to be the basis.  Several times I have tipped a buslady or busboy more than the waitress.  If you have trouble understanding this, visit a Maryland Crab House and you will quickly get the picture.  Or the fancy restaurant where the absentee waiter is covered by the busboy who realizes you need more ice water.

All I can say is that I am conscientious about tipping, and my tips REALLY MEAN SOMETHING.? Those who have me as a regular customer really work hard for me.? they know they will be rewarded.? I am harsh but generous.? I believe in charity, but don't consider tips part of the charity world.

During my 15 years after "corporate life" where I ran the Chesapeake as a charter captain, I can tell you how important tips are.? I refused every tip I was ever offered and asked the customer to give it to the mate.? I do not know how it is elsewhere, but in Maryland 90% of mates work for tips ONLY.? 90% of the captains cannot afford to directly pay mates because of the governmental consequences of hired employees.? Mates work directly for the customer, and a good captain makes sure the customer understands that.

A good mate will out earn the captain on a good trip.? That is the way it should be.? Tips are merit pay.? That is my view anyway.? As you can tell from my passion, I have though about this subject for many years. :D

I apologize for my passion ... it is an old hot button.? And I respect that others feel strongly the other way.? Always a good topic for enthusiastic discussion. :D
 

Tom

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I concur that good service should translate to a good tip, but I don't believe a tip is a right. If the service is poor &/or the server is unfriendly or rude, I might not tip at all, although I'll reward excellent service appropriately.

What if the food is cold? Was it the server who left it sitting for a long time, or the chef who didn't let the server know if was ready? Taking it back and nuking it to the point of being hot enough to burn my mouth while ruining the taste doesn't count as good service.
 

Ron

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Right on Smoky, you and I must think alike.  I once knew a guy that left a penny and 1/2 penny when the service was really bad.  His explanation was he hoped they would realize their service wan't woth a full two cents.  Oh the 1/2 penny was just that, a penny he had cut in half. Kinda extrem but I got a kick out of it.
 

JerArdra

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All,

The put-it-in-an-envelope and take-it-home idea will NOT change anything in most restaurants because the amount that the server must split with the Bartender, the BusBoy/Girl, and the Hostess/Host is determined by the total gross sales amount of food that the server served, not the amount they were tipped.  This method of splitting was established to ward off arguments as to how much someone made in tips and therefore how much they should share.

Servers I know have told me that if the bartender is upset with you your drinks come VERY slowly which may be interpreted as poor service by the diner.  Also, Bus persons can slow the clearing of your tables and host personnel can slow the reseating of guests in your area so the server is unable to serve as many tables during their shift which reduces earnings.  My point is that those other people earn their money too.  It's really a team that gets us, the diners, good service.

JerryF
 

Wendy

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I'm with Smoky on tipping. Only thing is, I never leave nothing because I don't want a bad wait person to think I just forgot. Tipping isn't mandatory and usually has nothing to do with what a diner can afford...it has everything to do with the quality of the service received. And, yes, I know that wait staff are notoriously underpaid in many circumstances.

And just out of curiosity, what do you all tip the person who delivers your pizza? Do you tip the dealer when you're playing at the tables in Vegas or Reno or other gambling halls? (Mike was a blackjack dealer in a previous life and their tips ALL went into a pot and they were split evenly between all dealers on that shift.....is that fair???)

Wendy
 

Smoky

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LOL Ron on the pennies cut in half.  It would be cool to carry a few of those around, but the humor of it might tempt me to use them unfairly  ::)

Jerry, you make a very appealing case for those stuck in the "team" situation.  But I still cannot agree.  First of all why should I tip a slow bartender, busboy, or whoever gives me bad service? Doesn't that just encourage more slowness?

And why in the world would they ever be purposely slow when you haven't even had an opportunity to tip yet? 

Now if it is a regular customer who repeatedly did not tip when rendered good service, and they give him slow service as a consequence, I can understand. 

This teamwork issue should be in the hands of the consumer, not the vendor. 

If the vendor insists on enforcing split tips, using the meal amount rather than the tip amount, then they have to lie in the same bed they made for themselves.  Tip splitting should not be used as a device to pressure customers into coughing up tips for terrible service.  Teamwork does mean, in fact, that everyone on the team pays for one member's bad performance.  If the wide receiver drops the ball and fumbles in football, everyone on the football team loses the game, not just the fumbler.  However an astute customer who splits their own tips can do a much better job of helping the good team members than vendor enforced tip splitting can do.

Are you saying that the waiter or waitress has to cough up tip money even if the customer did not tip?  How fair is that?  What if the waitress did a good job, but the bartender, bus boy, maitre de, and everyone else screwed up?  Why does the poor waitress get screwed?  I am having a lot of trouble understanding this.  :D

Wendy I share you same concern about leaving nothing.  I don't want people to think I am cheap or forgetful.  I would either leave an amount small enough to send a message... or more likely and what I usually do, I explain politely to the waitress/waiter why I am not leaving a tip.  And if it was someone else other than the waiter/waitress I will give them a tip and ask them not to split it and explain why I thought the rest of the team gave inappropriate service.

And yes I usually tip the person who brings my pizza.  I believe this helps because back at the pizza parlor (at least my local Maryland one) everything is computerized.  When I call, the caller ID is linked with their computer and they pick up the phone and call me by name before I even speak.  And they already have my address on their map.  The result is that they know which houses are tipping houses and I believe they scramble harder to get those pizzas delivered.

Not a casino gambler so I know nothing about tipping there.

This is a really interesting discussion.  Of course in 98% of the cases, tipping is almost subconscious.  Service is usually good or adequate and I hand over my 15 to 20 percent without much thought. 

The world has changed since I grew up.  In my youth everyone had a feeling that you worked hard to earn your pay and that customers were "golden" and to be lavished with service.

In today's world I hear speeches almost every day from workers saying they have rights just like customers.  They use this argument to talk back to the customer and be rude with them.  In the old days you were taught to be patient with customers and not give them a taste of their own medicine.  I believe in the long run, businesses that honored the customer, even the wayward customer, did better as a competitive business
 

JerArdra

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Smoky said:
Are you saying that the waiter or waitress has to cough up tip money even if the customer did not tip?  How fair is that?  What if the waitress did a good job, but the bartender, bus boy, maitre de, and everyone else screwed up?  Why does the poor waitress get screwed?  I am having a lot of trouble understanding this.

Smokey,

Yes, if the restaurant's policy is a "share the tips" approach.  Before I started my own company at some of the places I worked I saw many promotions and salary increases that were unfair but I rolled with the punches.  Sometimes life isn't fair!  I was one of the lucky ones who could move on.  Some people can't move on. 

My point is, we should not stiff the server if, for any reason, you feel either the restaurant's system, policy's, or other factors that are out of the control of the server diminish the dining experience.  If the restaurant is at fault, I say, tip the server and never return to that specific restaurant.  What would be unfair would be to punish the server for something that is out of their control.

Smokey...You're right, this is an interesting topic.

JerryF
 

Bob Buchanan

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Hi Wendy:

Interesting thread. And interesting how many points of view. (I "did" shed a tear of sadness as I read of how hard Betty worked as a waitress  :(  :)) I come down in the camp of those that tip according to service -- ranging from "zip" to 50%. If I leave nothing, I usually mention to the manager that I was disappointed.

Leaving just a penny is a bit degrading and lofty on my part so I don't do that. Of course, some servers are treated with such nastiness by some customers that it's a shame they can't give "them" a penny to show how they were evaluated as a customer.

As far as the "team" is concerned -- it's only as good as it's weakest link. And it's the responsibility of the team to let the server or whoever know that their performance is effecting the team income. Those are team rules and not my responsibility.

I believe it was around '93 that the IRS got nasty about tax on tips. Servers (or Dealers or Hair people) have to report their tips to their employer. The employer than does withholding and such just as w/normal income. The team or pool approach is covered as well in that whatever is given to another team member is not reported by the server, but is reported by the receiver. I think that is called a "tip-out". Of course, cheating is very prevalent. However, if suspected of cheating, the employer is required under IRS law to do an audit of that server. On one hand, that is nasty but on the other -- it only seems fair. I knew the manager at a Pepper Mill south of San Francisco. Nightly tips per server ranged from $50 - $125.00. Some servers made big bucks but were only reporting minimum wage on their tax return.

>> Do you tip the dealer when you're playing at the tables in Vegas or Reno or other gambling halls? (Mike was a blackjack dealer in a previous life and their tips ALL went into a pot and they were split evenly between all dealers on that shift.....is that fair???)
====
Ah -- now you're you are in my area of expertise  ;). I have been an active recreational gambler since my first trip to Lake Tahoe in the early '70's. Tipping dealers has always been an interesting subject. As you say, most above board tips go into a box and are shared by that shift of dealers. They are then subject to tax law by the casino. I don't like the idea because the crappy crap dealer gets as much as the good dealer. However, there is also the slower dealer simply because she/he can't calculate odds as fast in their head as more experienced dealers -- so they work just as hard and are just as courteous so it "is" fair to them.

Some dealers in Las Vegas or Laughlin have no problem with "asking" for tips, especially if you are doing well. My approach has always been to tip according to how well I am doing, coupled with how well they are taking care of my bets - but will still tip the good dealer even after a loosing session. I am a crap shooter -- the reason being that unless one can effectively count cards, that is where the best bets in the house are located. I don't give tip chips directly to the dealer - but rather add a "bet for the boys (or girls)" to my table bet. Now they are on my team and pulling for me to win -- and they take good care of my bets. The more I win, the more they win. On a crowded crap table, that can be a blessing. Pit bosses notice this -- and will more often than not award me comps after a table session. So all things considered, dealer tipping makes sense.

If asked to give a tip -- I never do. If I get bad service, I simply don't tip at all, regardless. Some dealers are really great -- others are border line obnoxious. If they are "really" bad, I let the pit boss know of my feelings, tho most of time, the pit boss notices the problem before hand. But one bad move by a dealer, and I am away from that table anyway. OTOH, if in a hot hand, I hang in there vs. going to a dead table somewhere else.

Wendy -- sometimes when I am overworked with my business I consider either going back to part time teaching -- or better yet, go into training to become a crap dealer  ;).
 

Wendy

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Hi Bob,

I have a friend in Kentucky name Bob Buchanan....he's a Baptist preacher and doesn't look a thing like you so I guess you're not him!!

Mike took classes (paid by the casino) to be a blackjack dealer because he always claimed he gambled "for the fun and enjoyment," not because he might win money. Being a cheap accountant, I told him I thought that since he gambled simply because he enjoyed, he might as well get paid to play blackjack. Like waitresses, the hourly wage is crappy but the tips can be fantastic.

In any event, I've always felt that you tip for service, whether it be food service, hotel maid service, pizza delivery, casino employees, or whatever. It should never be mandatory or obligatory. And it has absolutely nothing to do with what I can or can't afford.

JM2C
Wendy
 
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