Monday, May 16, 2011

On tipping...

I try to defy stereotypes. I believe there is a stereotype that younger people don't tip well. So. here is my personal philosophy on tipping.

1. 15% is a bare minimum. If I tip 15% I probably am talking to your manager or sending a complaint letter or email to your corporate office.
2. Normal, non-bad service will get between 18%-22%.
3. Normal, good service usually between 25-30% tip.
4. Amazing service, never having to ask for refills, everything is prompt, polite, and friendly? Especially if you are very busy? 33%-35% is not unheard of.
5. But, if you decide to charge a gratuity of 15% or 18% or whatever...that is all you will get. Especially if it is optional.

The thing is, I realize the following:
1. Servers are human, and have good days and bad days too.
2. Sometimes, servers are new at their job.
3. Often, servers have to payout their hostesses and bartenders in their tip totals.
4. Servers make WAY less than minimum wage.
5. When my wife was a server, she would have to put that she got at least a 10% tip into the register...even if the guest completely stiffed her.
6. If I become a regular customer, perhaps the server would recognize us, realize we tip well, and give us even better service in the future.
7. A lot of people think 15% is a maximum, and go down from there...
8. A tip is expected, and should be included when you budget for your meal. If you can't afford the tip, you shouldn't be eating out.

How do you choose to tip? Why?

1 comment:

  1. Tony, when I have bad service (bad attitude, rudeness etc) I debate whether to tip 10% or nothing at all, and I will make a complaint. Average service is 12-15%. Good service is 15-18%, great service is 18-20%. Fantastic service can go as high as 25%. If I've eaten somewhere and the food is cheap ($15-$20 for me and my wife for example) I'll tip as high as 35%, but only for truly sensational service. I know before I go in that my probable tip at a place like Ruth's Chris will be a minimum of 20% because I have been there enough to know that the 'bottom end' service standard is excellent. But you're right about being a repeat customer with the same server. One of our favorites is at a local Chilis and my tip for her is almost always around 25% because she is just a fantastic server... and deserves it.


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