Tips on Tipping
After some discussions and observations over the past year and seeing some lengthy Facebook threads, I thought this was a good topic to research and publish my findings on: tipping.
What kind of tipper are you? And do you feel that tipping is a bonus that you give for good service - and that you are not at obligated to offer? Or do you recognize that waitstaff typically receives a small wage that is far below minimum wage with tips expected to make up the difference? Are you generous? Do you give tips very sparingly? Have you ever stiffed a waitress because you were unhappy with the service?
Although many diners feel that tipping restaurant staff is at their own discretion, that's only partly true. Because of the wage gap, tipping is tied to minimum wage levels.
Here is a tip guide that comes from etiquettescholar.com:
THE USUAL TIP IS FIFTEEN (15) TO TWENTY (20) PERCENT ON THE PRE-TAX AMOUNT OF THE BILL
GUIDELINES FOR TIPPING:
A few personal tipping practices that I'd like to add:
If service was fair to good, go with the 20%. It will go a little farther toward the wage discrepancy and be appreciated by your server. Besides, it makes it so easy to figure out the tip in your head. 20% is one fifth. Round up (or down, if you prefer) and divide your bill by 5. Easy peasy. If your bill is $49.35, round up to $50. One-fifth is $10. Leave a $10 tip and you're done. Or, look at your bill and you can easily figure out 10%. Then just double it. Your bill is $32.30? Ten percent is $3.23. Double it and you've got $6.46. I'd then up it to either $6.50 or $7.00 It's really not all that hard to figure it out without a calculator.
If service was great - you had a very attentive waitress, your waiter made some great recommendations and brought you lots of extra bread, your server was extremely patient with your moody toddler and brought extra crackers and crayons - show your gratitude by going to 25%. Again, makes it really easy for math purposes. Quarter your bill and leave that as your tip.
Overall, I get good to superb service when I dine out. And I dine out quite a bit. I dine everywhere from small little mom and pop places to chains to swankier spots and if I get very friendly service, I tip appropriately. Realistically, I'm not really hard to please. If a dish isn't cooked properly, it doesn't necessarily mean it is your server's fault. Penalizing the waitress with your tip will have no effect on the cook, who was more likely the one who made the error. Or, sometimes mistakes just happen. Let your wait staff know there's a problem - politely - and give them a chance to correct it. If your waiter forgets to bring you lemons or ketchup, ask again. They've got a lot to remember. Everyone deserves a second chance. I can probably count on one hand - maybe two hands - the number of times I've had "bad" service - and even the snarkiest waitress still gets 15%.
What is your opinion on tipping? How much do you typically tip when you dine out?