Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Locked
Topic Author
jane1
Posts: 742
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:00 am

Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by jane1 »

Yet, another tipping thread.

We are finding increasing number of restaurants where you stand in line, place your order at the counter, pre-pay and take your number, pick-up your silverware, fill your water/drink and then choose your table and sit down.
The waiter brings your dishes to your table and ultimately clears the table.
Most of these places have a "Tip" line on the receipt when you pre-pay for your order.
What is an appropriate tip? How much would you tip in such cases? Would you leave some cash on table after the "service" or would you add x% before hand on credit card when you order? Would it make a difference based on state - in my case California where waiters, service staff, etc are paid at least minimum wages $9-10/hr (no exclusions) and don't rely on tips to make minimum wage.
I hesitate to pre-pay tips, since they are supposed to be based on service, that I have yet to receive, although I end up doing that.
Last edited by jane1 on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DSInvestor
Posts: 11410
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:42 am

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by DSInvestor »

I suppose you can leave the tip blank when paying and leave cash on the table. If you have a big party of 6 or 8, some restaurants may automatically tack on a gratuity to your bill.
Wiki
trueblueky
Posts: 1915
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 3:50 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by trueblueky »

DSInvestor wrote:I suppose you can leave the tip blank when paying and leave cash on the table. If you have a big party of 6 or 8, some restaurants may automatically tack on a gratuity to your bill.
Write "cash" on the tip line. Then no one can change it.

I believe the German system,where you tell the server how much you're paying, including the round-up tip, is better than the U.S. system where they run your card for $30 and then add the $6 tip later.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 21333
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by Watty »

jane1 wrote: We are finding increasing number of restaurants where you stand in line, place your order at the counter, pre-pay and take your number, pick-up your silverware, fill your water/drink and then choose your table and sit down.
The waiter brings your dishes to your table and ultimately clears the table.
I normally don't tip at places like this, you really don't have a waiter or waitress that is providing service.

If someone does something special, or you have a kid that makes a mess, then you might leave a few bucks on the table.
letsgobobby
Posts: 12073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by letsgobobby »

I almost never tip before eating. Afterward I might leave a dollar, but until tipping at McDonalds is expected, I won't be routinely tipping before a meal where I provide all of the wait service or at most someone buses my table.
ctreada
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by ctreada »

I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
livesoft
Posts: 74439
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by livesoft »

I don't tip. Sometimes my spouse leaves a dollar bill. In such places, besides that I have never seen anyone ever tip. I think the tip jar is put there by the employees with some seed money to make it look like people tip there. If people do tip, I would not be surprised if they are waitstaff and servers at other establishments and are doing unto others as they would have done unto themselves.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
Pinotage
Posts: 411
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:02 am
Location: Springfield

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by Pinotage »

ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
:confused

Not sure I understand?
TravelGeek
Posts: 3968
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by TravelGeek »

The local Sizzler's in my former hometown had a weird system where they'd take the orders and (pre-)payment at the counter. And if you added a tip to the credit card payment, they'd hand you the tip amount in cash and ask that you leave it on the table for the waiter who'd deliver the food.

In my new neighborhood there is a cafe/bakery/lunch place that uses the order at counter system. I do tip at the time of ordering, but I don't bus my own table (I see other people do it and assume they didn't tip).
Topic Author
jane1
Posts: 742
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:00 am

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by jane1 »

So far it appears most leave the tip line blank (or write $0 or cash) when signing the credit card receipt and then may be leave a small amount of cash.
Does the same apply when there is a electronic signature where you select on a device - No Tip, 15%, 20%, Other?
BahamaMan
Posts: 896
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:52 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by BahamaMan »

ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
Wow! ..... I hope you don't mind Spit in your food! :shock:
User avatar
pezblanco
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:02 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by pezblanco »

I don't tip at fast food places or this sort of place .... when I stand in line to order..... that's it.
island
Posts: 1734
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by island »

Sometimes I add a buck or 2 when I pay and sometimes I don't, but usually will leave it on the table if a server is bringing my food to the table.
There are no hard and fast rules. Don't make a project out of it. Just do what you feel comfortable with.
Patzer
Posts: 307
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:56 am

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by Patzer »

In a full service restaurant, I tip 20% for normal service, and 25-30% for excellent service.

Tipping is for wait service. Cleaning a table after I eat is not wait service. Even McDonald's cleans the table after you leave.
I hate the growing trend of the tip line in places where it does not belong. I draw a line through the tip line and rewrite the total on the total line.
I usually leave no tip. If the waiter is helpful to me in some way, i.e. bringing me a towel if I spill something, or if they proactively keep the table tidy, i.e. clearing plates at a buffet as they are finished, I will leave a few dollars in cash per person, because they did something to earn it.
island
Posts: 1734
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by island »

ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
You should have quit after your first line. The rest is offensive.
astrohip
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Houston TX

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by astrohip »

trueblueky wrote:Write "cash" on the tip line. Then no one can change it.
This is what I do. All the time. Just write CASH across the tip line, then fill in the total (just to be safe).

Then I actually do leave a few bucks on the table. The busboys and other workers still depend on these tips. You can rage against the system all you want, but it is what it is. Those who can, do.

ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
Wow, that's one of the more offensive lines I've ever seen in a thread here.

'nuff said.
"Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being." - R Branson
BarryB
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:20 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by BarryB »

astrohip wrote:
trueblueky wrote:Write "cash" on the tip line. Then no one can change it.
This is what I do. All the time. Just write CASH across the tip line, then fill in the total (just to be safe).

Then I actually do leave a few bucks on the table. The busboys and other workers still depend on these tips. You can rage against the system all you want, but it is what it is. Those who can, do.

ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
Wow, that's one of the more offensive lines I've ever seen in a thread here.

'nuff said.
+1
mattsm
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:27 am

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by mattsm »

I only tip in the situations if I frequent the restaurant. Otherwise the first time the tip is zero. After-all I don't know what sort of service I will receive or if the food will even be good.

-M
SR II
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:37 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by SR II »

We often go to a restaurant like this, but there is no place on the credit card receipt to leave a tip, just a jar on the counter sadly labeled "401k". We always put in a couple of bucks and the cashier always thanks us. I would rather have a line on the receipt than the jar. It is always awkward to pay by credit card and then make sure we have a couple of singles to feed the kitty.
tampaite
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:29 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by tampaite »

No tipping in this situation.
Grasshopper
Posts: 1080
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:52 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by Grasshopper »

Buffets come to mind, if someone cleans off dishes while I fill my belly, a buck a head.
RadAudit
Posts: 3970
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Second star on the right and straight on 'til morning

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by RadAudit »

I've come to believe that you can't get through the day without at least one good rationalization to justify how to spend your money.
island wrote:There are no hard and fast rules. Don't make a project out of it. Just do what you feel comfortable with.
+1

Edit: The first comment seemed a tad harsh. Modified for tone.
Last edited by RadAudit on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.
kolea
Posts: 1322
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:30 pm
Location: Maui and Columbia River Gorge

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by kolea »

I don't mind tipping at all so I usually leave something, although not 15% for self-serve restaurants. I will usually give more like 5% there. It is hard to make ends meet for young workers and they don't get paid much. Not a big deal for me at all. But I usually pay cash so if there is no jar out, no tip. I was in a Subway recently and the person was very cheerful and seemed to pile on extra stuff so I was going to give her a tip but there was no jar out. It really surprised me.
Kolea (pron. ko-lay-uh). Golden plover.
mikep
Posts: 3723
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:27 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by mikep »

No tip for me in advance. We usually go out with other people so if they leave a few bucks on the table I do as well. I can't stand tip jars. My last visit to a candy store had a tip jar...
astrohip
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Houston TX

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by astrohip »

TwoByFour wrote:I don't mind tipping at all so I usually leave something, although not 15% for self-serve restaurants. I will usually give more like 5% there. It is hard to make ends meet for young workers and they don't get paid much. Not a big deal for me at all. But I usually pay cash so if there is no jar out, no tip. I was in a Subway recently and the person was very cheerful and seemed to pile on extra stuff so I was going to give her a tip but there was no jar out. It really surprised me.
There is a Subway I frequent that has no tip jar. I asked and the workers said the owner doesn't like to put one out, as she thinks that may offend some customers. I can understand her concern, although I personally disagree. Some people get put out when they see a tip jar at a fast food place.

I always pay cash, and tell the employee to keep the change. If it's just me, it's usually around $7+- for a sub & chips. I'll give them a $10 and tell them to keep it. A couple of bucks won't change my life, but it means a lot to the kids who work in these places.

Back to the OP's question: I always leave $2-$5 on the table, depending on the place. Same reasoning as above.
"Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being." - R Branson
jackholloway
Posts: 985
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by jackholloway »

BarryB wrote:
astrohip wrote:
trueblueky wrote:Write "cash" on the tip line. Then no one can change it.
This is what I do. All the time. Just write CASH across the tip line, then fill in the total (just to be safe).

Then I actually do leave a few bucks on the table. The busboys and other workers still depend on these tips. You can rage against the system all you want, but it is what it is. Those who can, do.

ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
Wow, that's one of the more offensive lines I've ever seen in a thread here.

'nuff said.
+1
+1

I leave a buck or two in the jar.
mark18068
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:48 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by mark18068 »

astrohip wrote:A couple of bucks won't change my life, but it means a lot to the kids who work in these places.
A big +1 :D

If a buck or two is that big of a deal, then maybe you shouldn't be eating out at all. Tipping customs have changed over the years... just like everything else.
astrohip
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Houston TX

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by astrohip »

mark18068 wrote:Tipping customs have changed over the years... just like everything else.
Very true. And I think this may be behind some of the varied answers one sees in a thread like this.

Years ago (and I'm old enough to remember a "years ago") tipping was far more formulaic, and regimented. It was always 15% for good service, less for poor service. And no one tipped in fast food or buffet style places.

Now 20% is the standard. And many people leave money at the more casual places (as we've discussed above). But for those who grew up thinking 15% was generous, 20% seems outlandish, and leaving money at a casual place? Ha!

If one is on a tight budget, and every dollar counts, then you do what you have to do. And no one should judge. But for those of us who have been fortunate in life, share it. A small act of kindness can go a long way towards brightening someone's day.
"Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being." - R Branson
mptness
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by mptness »

jane1 wrote:Yet, another tipping thread.
After reading many tipping threads on this forum, I propose the following:
1. Tipping is, for the most part, voluntary and consumers are free to avoid this expense.
2. Bogleheads love to avoid expenses.
3. Therefore, Bogleheads tip less.

To all Servers: Beware of customers who use the 3 fund portfolio! Those who slice and dice may be better tippers.
(of course, none of this is based on facts, and we can no longer conduct polls)
jbuzolich
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:52 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by jbuzolich »

I rarely would tip anywhere that I stand in line to order and get my own drinks. Usually these places rarely have anyone check on you during the meal or offer a box for left overs. If they really do stand out then maybe a couple bucks.
toto238
Posts: 1892
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:39 am

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by toto238 »

ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
I've seen some mean things on the Internet. But I've never seen something this offensive on this forum. Ever.

I'm at a loss for words to describe how mean-spirited and selfish this statement is. I don't want to bring religion into this, but I am a strong believer in a man who set an example of healing the sick, feeding the hungry and advocating for the oppressed and downtrodden in society. Despite how many people in the U.S. profess to follow the teachings of this man, statements like these are still commonplace in today's culture.
User avatar
SmileyFace
Posts: 6241
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by SmileyFace »

island wrote:
ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
You should have quit after your first line. The rest is offensive.
It's not only offensive. The statement is also ignorant. These folks are valuable to the economy - they have a paying job - some folks can't afford or lack the capability to learn a skill or get an education - or are simply in between skilled labor jobs - would you rather these folks on the street panhandling or living off the government? That would be less valuable for the economy.
oc4boxer
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:34 pm
Location: Orange County

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by oc4boxer »

I don't tip at these places.
guitarguy
Posts: 1829
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by guitarguy »

DaftInvestor wrote:
island wrote:
ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
You should have quit after your first line. The rest is offensive.
It's not only offensive. The statement is also ignorant. These folks are valuable to the economy - they have a paying job - some folks can't afford or lack the capability to learn a skill or get an education - or are simply in between skilled labor jobs - would you rather these folks on the street panhandling or living off the government? That would be less valuable for the economy.
That rude comment is just trolling...but I'll add anyway...the fact that many of those workers are teens which is IMO as those jobs were intended.
guitarguy
Posts: 1829
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by guitarguy »

guitarguy wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
island wrote:
ctreada wrote:I don't tip in these situations either.

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
You should have quit after your first line. The rest is offensive.
It's not only offensive. The statement is also ignorant. These folks are valuable to the economy - they have a paying job - some folks can't afford or lack the capability to learn a skill or get an education - or are simply in between skilled labor jobs - would you rather these folks on the street panhandling or living off the government? That would be less valuable for the economy.
That rude comment is just trolling...but I'll add anyway...the fact that many of those workers are teens which is IMO as those jobs were intended.
EDIT: I also usually don't tip at those places, but to be fair I very rarely eat at them either. I find that they're fairly rare in my neck of the woods.

I also don't tip on take out, except at the local Chinese food place where the workers know our names and our "usual" even tho we eat there less than once per month. To be fair, our order is pretty weird because we order 1 dinner for both of us every time. :twisted:
User avatar
Mel Lindauer
Moderator
Posts: 31361
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:49 pm
Location: Daytona Beach Shores, Florida
Contact:

Re: Tipping at pay-first restaurants: what would you do?

Post by Mel Lindauer »

This thread has run its course and is locked.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi
Locked