« I's Cream | Main | Such a San Francisco Scene »

July 28, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I always start at 20%. Having been in the restaurant business as both a waitress and a manager, I recognize that part of the tips go toward the bus staff or that it may be an establishment that pools tips. i don't like to punish someone else because my waiter/waitress wasn't good. If the service was really bad, I'll still leave a decent tip, but let the manager know about the service (in the same vein, I let the manager know if my service was exceptionally good).

Please excuse all the "usually"s; I'm in a hurry.

I almost always leave 20% of the final (including tax) amount. For really sparklingly efficient flexible service, I go at least 25%. For substandard service I usually cut a break the first time, then drop back to 20% of the pre-tax amount. After that I usually just don't go there any more, or pointedly ask for a different server next time. This usually only happens when the whole place is poorly run, and the service ends up being only one reason of many why I won't return.

If I'm mad enough to not leave a tip at all, I'm going to be talking to the manager to explain why. I never just leave 5% or 10% without someone knowing specifically why; I feel that is unhelpful to the business and the server and is more than a bit passive-aggressive. Again, this almost never happens.

Hope that helps.

I suck at math, so I just tip with double whatever tax was. Since the tax rate is 10% here in Seattle, it works out nicely to 20%. BUT I'll occasionally round down to the nearest dollar if service was lame, and usually up to the nearest $5 if service was awesome.

I figure up 20%, and round down to the dollar if service was terrible, and round up proportionately to how great it was otherwise. I live on tips myself, so it would take something major for me to stiff someone.

20% is my baseline, and I'll tip more if the service is really great, and somewhere between 15-18% if the service was subpar. I have to say, though... in SF, I rarely get poor service, and more often than not, I'm tipping above %20.

I have a food allergy, and the servers who handle this really well get the biggest tips from me.

Having been on the receiving end, you know the tip isn't a negotiable part of the cost of eating. The server is on the hook for that amount regardless. For really horrible service, I might not make as much effort to tip in cash, but I fork out anyway.

Once, in Denver, I left $50 on fries and a diet coke for a kid working the overnight at Denny's, just because I could. I'd overheard him with other tables getting hassled, and he seemed like he could use a kind deed.

So if anything, it's like that -- reward, vs. penalty.

I almost always tip between 15% and 20%. Where the server falls in that spectrum depends on the quality of service with only the truly awful or truly exceptional ending up outside the window.

Start at 20% of total bill. For bad service I'll drop it down to 20% of pre-tax aount. For really exceptional service I'll go 25-30% of total bill.

20% of the total bill baseline, and then adjusted up if the service was great. Almost never adjusted down, unless I can be sure it's the server that's the problem and not the kitchen. I can only think of maybe 3 or 4 times in the last 10 years I've gone below 20% and that was to make a very specific point about something. One time was when we were in a hurry and the server spent the WHOLE time talking to the bartender and hanging around the bar and I finally had to interrupt their conversation to ask for the check, 20 mins after we finished eating. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

20% is standard. changes to that are up to the level of great service, which can be 30% if the server is being awesome and perceptive of needs, really funny or kind to the table. Now, if I'm at a place where I'm a regular (or want to become one) that can vary wildly because the servers there are generally already awesome, remember drinks, etc. Then they often get a flat tip on drinks or dinner that can easily be 40% to 100% (100% is usually when I don't order much, but I get it quick when it's busy, etc.) I'm a professional chef though, so I appreciate the good servers when I meet them.

It's pretty rare for me to get lousy service. I'm patient waaaaaaaaay up until a point in which someone has to prove themselves credibly stupid before I start deducting. If that happens, then sometimes I give the horrid tip and talk to the manager. Worked in too many places that let really shit for brains servers stay on too long and bring a place down.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo