how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

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masonstone
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by masonstone » Fri May 18, 2018 4:49 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:48 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
For the same reason that an expensive restaurant food order deserves more tip than a cheap food order.

Andy.
Food at an expensive restaurant takes more time and effort to make, that is not true for the wine.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Fri May 18, 2018 5:00 pm

masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:49 pm
PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:48 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
For the same reason that an expensive restaurant food order deserves more tip than a cheap food order.

Andy.
Food at an expensive restaurant takes more time and effort to make, that is not true for the wine.
That’s true, but irrelevant. The reason one tips more for more expensive food is simply that the norm in the US is to base the tip amount on the check amount. There’s neither more nor less to it than that.

Some folks choose not to follow this norm and more than that don’t like it. However, the existence of that social norm explains why an expensive bottle of wine deserves a bigger tip than a cheap bottle.

Andy.

masonstone
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by masonstone » Fri May 18, 2018 5:04 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:00 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:49 pm
PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:48 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
For the same reason that an expensive restaurant food order deserves more tip than a cheap food order.

Andy.
Food at an expensive restaurant takes more time and effort to make, that is not true for the wine.
That’s true, but irrelevant. The reason one tips more for more expensive food is simply that the norm in the US is to base the tip amount on the check amount. There’s neither more nor less to it than that.

Some folks choose not to follow this norm and more than that don’t like it. However, the existence of that social norm explains why an expensive bottle of wine deserves a bigger tip than a cheap bottle.

Andy.
In the Middle Ages the norm was to pay the church to buy a spot in heaven. Something being the norm doesn’t mean it’s reasonable or the right thing to do.

fiskalisch gesinnt
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by fiskalisch gesinnt » Fri May 18, 2018 5:05 pm

I almost always tip 20% after sales tax has been added.

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steadyeddy
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by steadyeddy » Fri May 18, 2018 5:34 pm

There’s nothing quite like reading through 100 posts where smart Bogleheads try to rationalize a cultural practice that is in fact irrational.

I tip 20% on the total bill including alcohol, but I can’t explain why.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri May 18, 2018 5:47 pm

One day I am going to wander into a tipping thread on the internet and see somebody change their mind and attitude.

One day ...

Sidney
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Sidney » Fri May 18, 2018 5:56 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:47 pm
One day I am going to wander into a tipping thread on the internet and see somebody change their mind and attitude.

One day ...
Perhaps tipping practices and dividend (or lack thereof) investing should be declared religions and be banned from the forum.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

oilrig
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by oilrig » Fri May 18, 2018 6:30 pm

I worked as a waiter for 6 years in and out of college. I worked at several upscale restaurants where a lot of wine was sold. It was basically standard for most customers to tip 18-20% of the total tab, even if it included an expensive bottle of wine. I can’t remember a time where a customer tipped less just because wine was Ordered. Whether you agree or not, it is a societal custom at this point to tip on the total bill.

Also, most restaurants deduct a certain percentage of a waiters total sales for tip out to the busboy or bartender. This can be anywhere from 3-7% of the waiters total sales, which includes any alcohol or wine Sold.

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roymeo
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by roymeo » Fri May 18, 2018 6:47 pm

masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:49 pm
Food at an expensive restaurant takes more time and effort to make, that is not true for the wine.
Not necessarily. But what's that got to with what I tip my waitron?
The sewer system is a form of welfare state. | -- "Libra", Don DeLillo

masonstone
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by masonstone » Fri May 18, 2018 7:37 pm

roymeo wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:47 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:49 pm
Food at an expensive restaurant takes more time and effort to make, that is not true for the wine.
Not necessarily. But what's that got to with what I tip my waitron?
Because usually the tip is divided amongst the restaurant staff. More difficult job = higher pay.

J295
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by J295 » Fri May 18, 2018 8:49 pm

20 % on everything is the customary expectation.

Anything less regardless of a person’s “analysis” is not meeting the customary expectation.

NYCguy
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by NYCguy » Fri May 18, 2018 9:25 pm

22%+ on the full pre-tax bill and I regularly enjoy expensive wines. I pay for the entire experience and enjoy myself. I like to bee generous to all servers. It is part of the joy.
If your out-go is greater than your income, your upkeep will be your DOWNFALL.

Poppy1234
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Poppy1234 » Sat May 19, 2018 2:16 am

Do you tip 15% or 20%? I thought 15% was the usual baseline, of course you can go higher if you want for exceptional service.

PStrider
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by PStrider » Sat May 19, 2018 4:26 am

The correct answer for all of these tipping threads nonsense is:

Tip whatever amount you want to whomever you want (your urologist, your garbage man, your financial advisor, your mom, you dog, etc). It's your money; do whatever that makes you happy. End of story. No one will care after you die how much you tipped x person at x restaurant at x time (Unless it's a life changing amount you hear rarely in the news, which should be classified as a charity instead of a conventional tip).

There will always be both generous and not so generous people. My advice is to stop caring how other people spend their money and focus on improving your own life and those around you, instead.

Most would agree it's a toxic system/culture, but we all just have to deal with it until there's a big change, which will not happen any time soon (if ever).

It's very comical to me that people need to ask others on how to spend their own money in fear of a culture backlash, in which the rules are set by an imaginary number and changing constantly depending on who you asked. If that doesn't make you question the tipping culture, then I hope that you would some day.

Full disclosure: My first job was a waiter and have seen through it all. I've been on both sides (pro and anti-tipping), and I would encourage everyone to be open-minded and think for yourself of what you're doing and why you're doing it. Whether you agree or disagree with the system, you should at least have self-respect and make a decision on your own. There is no need to be bitter about the system (because frankly there're really nothing you can do to change it) nor shame others for not following the social 'norm'. Just mind your own business/money and hopefully you'll live a better, healthier, and happier life.

Cheers.

mptfan
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by mptfan » Sat May 19, 2018 5:27 am

I agree that the restaurant tipping system in the U.S. is not rational, but it exists. Most people know that it exists and servers do work based on the expectation of getting tipped 15-20% of the total bill. Most people who dine at restaurants know this, or should know this. So the way I see it, if you dine at a restaurant, you should expect to tip this amount based on the total bill because the server is working at that restaurant based on that expectation, and if you don't, you are taking advantage of their known expectation.

It's true that serving a $100 plate takes the same effort as a $20 plate, generally speaking, and the same goes for wine, but the server working in a higher end restaurant is generally providing better service and is generally of a higher quality in terms of training and customer service skills, and that is why they have a job at a higher end restaurant in the first place due to supply and demand...the demand for higher paid wait staff is greater than the demand for lower paid wait staff. So generally speaking you are getting a better server who is providing better service, and it is expected that the gross amount of your tip will reflect that even though the percentage is the same as compared to a less expensive restaurant.

theplayer11
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by theplayer11 » Sat May 19, 2018 5:50 am

J295 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 8:49 pm
20 % on everything is the customary expectation.

Anything less regardless of a person’s “analysis” is not meeting the customary expectation.
when did it change from 15% to 20%. I will tip 20% for exceptional service only. Employers should be paying their employees, not me.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sat May 19, 2018 6:41 am

PStrider wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 4:26 am
The correct answer for all of these tipping threads nonsense is:No one will care after you die how much you tipped x person at x restaurant at x time (
Your points about autonomy are well-put: Each person ought to make his or her own decisions and should not abrogate that decision-making due to dependence on blind conformity to social norms or by being overly concerns about how others might view one’s actions.

I disagree, however, with your assessment of the consequences of choosing to flaunt social norms about tipping. A life led choosing to tip less than is expected could well lead to a succession of resentful wait staff and could lead to social sanction by family members embarsssed by or disdainful of one’s perceived stinginess or irrationality.

For example, after I summarized some of the arguments in this thread for my spouse, who observed that she would feel embarsssed and would consider me selfish if I chose not to tip geberouslt after ordering an expansive bottles of wine at a restaurant. After knowing this, I remain free to act how I wish when paying for a meal, but it would be wrong to expect that others won’t care about what I do.

How much I care about others’ judgments is my decision, and I need to make an autonomous decison about how much to credit or respect others’ perspectives about my actions. It would be wrong, however, to think that others will be indifferent to a habitual flaunting of the tipping norm.

Other posters have correctly pointed others that the social norms about tipping are notfully rational practices. But this is usually the case for social norms — social norms’ normativity is based, in part, on non-rational elements related, for example, to the histories of their development and the exact cultures in which they are embedded.

Disobeying social norms carries consequences, and that these consequences are based in part on non-rational factors does not mean that we ought to ignore the consequences when deciding how to act. I am free to act how I wish, but my living in a society where a norm is strongly embedded provides me with a reason to act normatively (that is the point of the concept of normativity, after all). So, all of us in America have at least one reason to follow tipping norms — namely that they are well-established in our society — and it is rational to take that into account when deciding how to act.

Can there be good reasons for deciding to flaunt social norms? Of course! Who wants to live a life of dill conformity/unreflective obedience? (My sociology professor in college urged us to flaunt at least one norm each day for the rest of our loves, and I think there is slot of power in feeling free to do that.) But is it the case that nobody else will care if you love a life lived flaunting this particular norm? Of course not — the existence of many threads like this suggests that the tipping norm has significant emotional force in American culture.

Andy.

HornedToad
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by HornedToad » Sat May 19, 2018 8:16 am

You should also never just order water, or the cheapest dish or skip on appetizer or desert as then you are also just stiffing the waiter from expected tip as well....

EddyB
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by EddyB » Sat May 19, 2018 9:25 am

I can hear the cry of money managers—“1% is a customary expense ratio, you cheapskates!”

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sat May 19, 2018 9:48 am

EddyB wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 9:25 am
I can hear the cry of money managers—“1% is a customary expense ratio, you cheapskates!”
Thankfully Bogleheads have successfully thwarted the establishment of that norm within our community!

Andy.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat May 19, 2018 11:23 am

steadyeddy wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:34 pm
There’s nothing quite like reading through 100 posts where smart Bogleheads try to rationalize a cultural practice that is in fact irrational.

I tip 20% on the total bill including alcohol, but I can’t explain why.
I can explain why. For better or worse, the US restaurant industry compensates their employees on the assumption that they will receive tips. When you don’t tip, it isn’t restaurant owner who suffers, it is the staff.

VaR
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by VaR » Sat May 19, 2018 11:38 am

EddyB wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 9:25 am
I can hear the cry of money managers—“1% is a customary expense ratio, you cheapskates!”
Lol

Funny but different. I pay the expense ratio that each establishment sets. I just choose to patronize the establishments with lower expense ratios. :)

BTW, thanks for starting this thread, OP. I did actually learn a little nuance about tipping adjustment when the wine tab is unusually large.

HornedToad
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by HornedToad » Sat May 19, 2018 12:27 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 11:23 am
steadyeddy wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:34 pm
There’s nothing quite like reading through 100 posts where smart Bogleheads try to rationalize a cultural practice that is in fact irrational.

I tip 20% on the total bill including alcohol, but I can’t explain why.
I can explain why. For better or worse, the US restaurant industry compensates their employees on the assumption that they will receive tips. When you don’t tip, it isn’t restaurant owner who suffers, it is the staff.
This has nothing to do with it at high end restaurants where this discussion matters. All the waiters there are making well above minimum wage.

Is it better to receive a 20% tip on $300 of food&wine or 15% tip on $500 worth from the waiters perspective?

Marylander1
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Marylander1 » Sat May 19, 2018 12:53 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 6:41 am
I disagree, however, with your assessment of the consequences of choosing to flaunt social norms about tipping. A life led choosing to tip less than is expected could well lead to a succession of resentful wait staff and could lead to social sanction by family members embarrassed by or disdainful of one’s perceived stinginess or irrationality.
If your dining partners are socially conscious, you may already be shifting the burden to them. I used to go to dinner with someone who generously paid everyone's bill, but was uncharacteristically stingy tipping even hard-working staff who bent over backwards for our group. I once asked about her tipping practices, and heard a series of miserly rationales like those on this thread.

After that, I always schemed to be the last person to leave the table, and left an additional tip. Sometimes, I'd "forget" something at the table and run back to get it. To do anything else would have been embarrassing and rude.

Marylander1
Last edited by Marylander1 on Sat May 19, 2018 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

windrose
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by windrose » Sat May 19, 2018 12:55 pm

masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
Because the waitstaff must claim tips to the IRS based on a straight percentage of the total bill (pretax). They must claim 100% of the tip, but at least 8% of the bill, whichever is greater. 8% is a pretty low bar, overall, which was designed to help offset bad/no tippers. However, using the example of expensive wine, it could result in the waitstaff paying taxes on wages they didn't actually receive. In practice it probably rarely happens, but I guess it could in a place with a really pricey wine list.

If OP orders $400 bottle of wine, they would have to claim and pay taxes on $32.00 in tip wages, even if the OP leaves only $10.

In short, the IRS does not allow waitstaff to make the kind of tip exemptions that the OP wants to make.

masonstone
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by masonstone » Sat May 19, 2018 5:24 pm

windrose wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 12:55 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
Because the waitstaff must claim tips to the IRS based on a straight percentage of the total bill (pretax). They must claim 100% of the tip, but at least 8% of the bill, whichever is greater. 8% is a pretty low bar, overall, which was designed to help offset bad/no tippers. However, using the example of expensive wine, it could result in the waitstaff paying taxes on wages they didn't actually receive. In practice it probably rarely happens, but I guess it could in a place with a really pricey wine list.

If OP orders $400 bottle of wine, they would have to claim and pay taxes on $32.00 in tip wages, even if the OP leaves only $10.

In short, the IRS does not allow waitstaff to make the kind of tip exemptions that the OP wants to make.
Please source, the minimum 8% of bill sounds baloney.

student
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by student » Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 pm

masonstone wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:24 pm
windrose wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 12:55 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
Because the waitstaff must claim tips to the IRS based on a straight percentage of the total bill (pretax). They must claim 100% of the tip, but at least 8% of the bill, whichever is greater. 8% is a pretty low bar, overall, which was designed to help offset bad/no tippers. However, using the example of expensive wine, it could result in the waitstaff paying taxes on wages they didn't actually receive. In practice it probably rarely happens, but I guess it could in a place with a really pricey wine list.

If OP orders $400 bottle of wine, they would have to claim and pay taxes on $32.00 in tip wages, even if the OP leaves only $10.

In short, the IRS does not allow waitstaff to make the kind of tip exemptions that the OP wants to make.
Please source, the minimum 8% of bill sounds baloney.
A quick search on the internet gives https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-bu ... t-tax-tips which I assume is where the figure comes from.

It states

"As an employer, you must ensure that the total tip income reported to you during any pay period is, at a minimum, equal to 8% of your total receipts for that period.

In calculating 8% of total receipts, you do not include nonallocable receipts. Nonallocable receipts are defined as receipts for carry out sales and receipts with a service charge added of 10% or more.

When the total reported to you is less than 8%, you must allocate the difference between the actual tip income reported and 8% of gross receipts. There are three methods for allocating tip income:

Gross Receipt Method
Hours Worked Method
Good Faith Agreement

Employers can request a lower rate (but not lower than 2%) for tip allocation purposes by submitting an application to the IRS. Detailed instructions for computing allocation of tips, reporting allocated tips to employees, and for requesting a lower rate can be found in the Instructions for Form 8027 (PDF)."

masonstone
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by masonstone » Sat May 19, 2018 6:18 pm

student wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 pm
masonstone wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:24 pm
windrose wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 12:55 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
Because the waitstaff must claim tips to the IRS based on a straight percentage of the total bill (pretax). They must claim 100% of the tip, but at least 8% of the bill, whichever is greater. 8% is a pretty low bar, overall, which was designed to help offset bad/no tippers. However, using the example of expensive wine, it could result in the waitstaff paying taxes on wages they didn't actually receive. In practice it probably rarely happens, but I guess it could in a place with a really pricey wine list.

If OP orders $400 bottle of wine, they would have to claim and pay taxes on $32.00 in tip wages, even if the OP leaves only $10.

In short, the IRS does not allow waitstaff to make the kind of tip exemptions that the OP wants to make.
Please source, the minimum 8% of bill sounds baloney.
A quick search on the internet gives https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-bu ... t-tax-tips which I assume is where the figure comes from.

It states

"As an employer, you must ensure that the total tip income reported to you during any pay period is, at a minimum, equal to 8% of your total receipts for that period.

In calculating 8% of total receipts, you do not include nonallocable receipts. Nonallocable receipts are defined as receipts for carry out sales and receipts with a service charge added of 10% or more.

When the total reported to you is less than 8%, you must allocate the difference between the actual tip income reported and 8% of gross receipts. There are three methods for allocating tip income:

Gross Receipt Method
Hours Worked Method
Good Faith Agreement

Employers can request a lower rate (but not lower than 2%) for tip allocation purposes by submitting an application to the IRS. Detailed instructions for computing allocation of tips, reporting allocated tips to employees, and for requesting a lower rate can be found in the Instructions for Form 8027 (PDF)."
Per what you wrote it’s the employer who has to report this and not the waitstaff. In addition if the tip is lower than 8% the employer can report that the tip was lower than 8%.

WhatsUpButtercup
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by WhatsUpButtercup » Sat May 19, 2018 7:15 pm

oilrig wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:30 pm

Also, most restaurants deduct a certain percentage of a waiters total sales for tip out to the busboy or bartender. This can be anywhere from 3-7% of the waiters total sales, which includes any alcohol or wine Sold.
So depending on the tip out practices at an establishment, a server pays that percentage out of his or her own pocket when a table tips substantially less than the assumed amount. The weird math of tipping less for a bottle of wine can essentially put the expense for your fine wine on the server.

student
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by student » Sat May 19, 2018 7:27 pm

masonstone wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 6:18 pm
student wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:36 pm
masonstone wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:24 pm
windrose wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 12:55 pm
masonstone wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:41 pm
Why does an expensive bottle of wine deserve more tip than a cheap bottle of wine?
Because the waitstaff must claim tips to the IRS based on a straight percentage of the total bill (pretax). They must claim 100% of the tip, but at least 8% of the bill, whichever is greater. 8% is a pretty low bar, overall, which was designed to help offset bad/no tippers. However, using the example of expensive wine, it could result in the waitstaff paying taxes on wages they didn't actually receive. In practice it probably rarely happens, but I guess it could in a place with a really pricey wine list.

If OP orders $400 bottle of wine, they would have to claim and pay taxes on $32.00 in tip wages, even if the OP leaves only $10.

In short, the IRS does not allow waitstaff to make the kind of tip exemptions that the OP wants to make.
Please source, the minimum 8% of bill sounds baloney.
A quick search on the internet gives https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-bu ... t-tax-tips which I assume is where the figure comes from.

It states

"As an employer, you must ensure that the total tip income reported to you during any pay period is, at a minimum, equal to 8% of your total receipts for that period.

In calculating 8% of total receipts, you do not include nonallocable receipts. Nonallocable receipts are defined as receipts for carry out sales and receipts with a service charge added of 10% or more.

When the total reported to you is less than 8%, you must allocate the difference between the actual tip income reported and 8% of gross receipts. There are three methods for allocating tip income:

Gross Receipt Method
Hours Worked Method
Good Faith Agreement

Employers can request a lower rate (but not lower than 2%) for tip allocation purposes by submitting an application to the IRS. Detailed instructions for computing allocation of tips, reporting allocated tips to employees, and for requesting a lower rate can be found in the Instructions for Form 8027 (PDF)."
Per what you wrote it’s the employer who has to report this and not the waitstaff. In addition if the tip is lower than 8% the employer can report that the tip was lower than 8%.
The employer reporting the tips is akin to the employer reporting the employee's salary. So I do not see this as a contradiction to windrose's comments.

As to the employer can report lower than 8%, what I saw was "Employers can request a lower rate (but not lower than 2%) for tip allocation purposes by submitting an application to the IRS." To me, request and application do not guarantee acceptance. (Edit: Correcting a typo.)

Of course, the topic in this thread is not something that I would encounter. I am too poor to order expensive wine. (To me, expensive means more than $30 a bottle at a restaurant. I only order "house wine.")
Last edited by student on Sun May 20, 2018 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat May 19, 2018 10:58 pm

HornedToad wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 12:27 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 11:23 am
steadyeddy wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:34 pm
There’s nothing quite like reading through 100 posts where smart Bogleheads try to rationalize a cultural practice that is in fact irrational.

I tip 20% on the total bill including alcohol, but I can’t explain why.
I can explain why. For better or worse, the US restaurant industry compensates their employees on the assumption that they will receive tips. When you don’t tip, it isn’t restaurant owner who suffers, it is the staff.
This has nothing to do with it at high end restaurants where this discussion matters. All the waiters there are making well above minimum wage.

Is it better to receive a 20% tip on $300 of food&wine or 15% tip on $500 worth from the waiters perspective?
It is better to receive the expected 20% on the $500. Just do it.

oilrig
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by oilrig » Sun May 20, 2018 10:15 am

WhatsUpButtercup wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 7:15 pm
oilrig wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:30 pm
So depending on the tip out practices at an establishment, a server pays that percentage out of his or her own pocket when a table tips substantially less than the assumed amount. The weird math of tipping less for a bottle of wine can essentially put the expense for your fine wine on the server.
Yes, that is correct! If someone tips 10% or less then the server is essentially breaking even or paying out of pocket to wait on a table.

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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by monkey_business » Sun May 20, 2018 10:46 am

If you are not willing to tip the customary 15%+ on a meal, don't go to a restaurant. I am amazed at the mental gymnastics people are doing to justify not giving the proper tip.

It's fine if you think the tipping system in the US is bad. No problem. Just don't take it out on the wait staff. Stay home and cook your own food. Way more Boglehead and zero tipping involved.

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deanbrew
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by deanbrew » Mon May 21, 2018 1:33 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 3:04 pm
OP, I do not tip differently for alcohol. I generally spend $60-$120 on a bottle of wine however, so nothing upscale.
You don’t consider the upper end of “$60-$120" a bottle to be upscale? I don’t care what you spend money on, but on a forum where a lot of people are notoriously frugal, I found this comment amusing.

To each his own, of course, but I find wine pricing at restaurants to be hard to swallow (pun intended). I just had dinner at a restaurant over the weekend where my wife picked out a bottle that cost us $52.00. I just looked it up on Total Wine, and I can buy the same bottle at the store for $13.00. To those who think the restaurant markup is 2X to 3X, here is an example where the markup is 4X. I think that’s absurd. Since you get 5 servings from a bottle of wine, that works out to over $10 a glass, for OK/mediocre wine.
Bammerman wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:39 pm
I drink wine with dinner at home but always order beer with dinner when I dine out. I think that wine prices in restaurants are just too much of a rip-off, and I won't pay it.
That describes me, as well. I often pay $5 to $6 for a good craft beer. I believe it costs about $2.00 to $2.20 wholesale for most craft beers in sixtel kegs. So, $5 to $6 is still a 2.5X to 3X markup, and given the fact that kegs need to be kept cold and the systems need cleaned, I don’t understand the markup on restaurant wine (other than what the market will bear, of course).
Random Poster wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 3:39 pm
Speaking of evolution, I'm astounded that the going tip rate now appears to be 20%. Whatever happened to 15% as the "standard" percentage?
Even 18% supposedly makes one a cheapskate nowadays. I don’t get it, either.
student wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 10:28 pm
It is very nice of you that you tip on the total but there is no need to call others who tip on the sub-total cheapskates. I think it is an acceptable practice to tip based on pre-tax total as per Emily Post Institute. http://emilypost.com/advice/general-tipping-guide/
It’s absolutely common and acceptable to tip on the pre-tax amount. Even restaurant sales slips calculate the tip on the before-tax amount (when they provide “suggested” tip amounts “for your convenience”. I agree that it doesn’t make a huge difference in the end, but don’t go calling people cheapskates who do it properly.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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Ged
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Ged » Mon May 21, 2018 1:38 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:21 pm
I like the European way. They pay their kitchen and wait staff living wages so tips are not expected.

TravelforFun
Yes, and if you do tip for exception service they generally thank you.

student
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by student » Mon May 21, 2018 2:00 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:33 pm
Bammerman wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:39 pm
I drink wine with dinner at home but always order beer with dinner when I dine out. I think that wine prices in restaurants are just too much of a rip-off, and I won't pay it.
That describes me, as well. I often pay $5 to $6 for a good craft beer. I believe it costs about $2.00 to $2.20 wholesale for most craft beers in sixtel kegs. So, $5 to $6 is still a 2.5X to 3X markup, and given the fact that kegs need to be kept cold and the systems need cleaned, I don’t understand the markup on restaurant wine (other than what the market will bear, of course).
Same for me. Most of the time I order beer because I don't have to study the wine list to pick something that I can afford. For beer, I can ask what they have on tap and pick one that I like without looking at the price list, as I know approximately what it would cost.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon May 21, 2018 2:04 pm

student wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 2:00 pm
deanbrew wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:33 pm
Bammerman wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:39 pm
I drink wine with dinner at home but always order beer with dinner when I dine out. I think that wine prices in restaurants are just too much of a rip-off, and I won't pay it.
That describes me, as well. I often pay $5 to $6 for a good craft beer. I believe it costs about $2.00 to $2.20 wholesale for most craft beers in sixtel kegs. So, $5 to $6 is still a 2.5X to 3X markup, and given the fact that kegs need to be kept cold and the systems need cleaned, I don’t understand the markup on restaurant wine (other than what the market will bear, of course).
Same for me. Most of the time I order beer because I don't have to study the wine list to pick something that I can afford. For beer, I can ask what they have on tap and pick one that I like without looking at the price list, as I know approximately what it would cost.
If you ask "what do you have for house reds by the glass and what are the prices" you might actually find that a nice glass of wine doesn't cost more than a craft beer at some restaurants. I do agree that in the US restaurant wine pricing has gotten out of hand. In some European countries you can order a glass of wine for nearly the same price as a coke.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Nearly A Moose » Mon May 21, 2018 2:12 pm

As a baseline, 20% on the total bill (including tax). If the wine was good, my wife and I both have to sign off on the math :D . Up from there if the service is especially good. I very rarely go down, even for poor service, because it's not just the waiter who gets the tip money (and unless he's a jerk, it might not be my waiter's fault). Tipping is such a terrible way to compensate waitstaff.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by NJdad6 » Mon May 21, 2018 2:36 pm

monkey_business wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:46 am
If you are not willing to tip the customary 15%+ on a meal, don't go to a restaurant. I am amazed at the mental gymnastics people are doing to justify not giving the proper tip.

It's fine if you think the tipping system in the US is bad. No problem. Just don't take it out on the wait staff. Stay home and cook your own food. Way more Boglehead and zero tipping involved.
+1. I feel exactly the same way. Well said.

student
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by student » Mon May 21, 2018 3:07 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 2:04 pm
student wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 2:00 pm
deanbrew wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:33 pm
Bammerman wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:39 pm
I drink wine with dinner at home but always order beer with dinner when I dine out. I think that wine prices in restaurants are just too much of a rip-off, and I won't pay it.
That describes me, as well. I often pay $5 to $6 for a good craft beer. I believe it costs about $2.00 to $2.20 wholesale for most craft beers in sixtel kegs. So, $5 to $6 is still a 2.5X to 3X markup, and given the fact that kegs need to be kept cold and the systems need cleaned, I don’t understand the markup on restaurant wine (other than what the market will bear, of course).
Same for me. Most of the time I order beer because I don't have to study the wine list to pick something that I can afford. For beer, I can ask what they have on tap and pick one that I like without looking at the price list, as I know approximately what it would cost.
If you ask "what do you have for house reds by the glass and what are the prices" you might actually find that a nice glass of wine doesn't cost more than a craft beer at some restaurants. I do agree that in the US restaurant wine pricing has gotten out of hand. In some European countries you can order a glass of wine for nearly the same price as a coke.
Good idea. Thanks. (If I do study the wine list, I end up ordering "house wine" most of the time.)

RickBoglehead
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon May 21, 2018 3:11 pm

Had to laugh at some of the responses:

- "20% is customary" - no, it's not. 15% is customary. 20% if you want, 25% if you want, but 15% is customary

- "tip on the full amount including sales tax" - that's absurd. The government had nothing to do with the service. Tip on the pre-tax total.

- "don't adjust the tip for an expensive bottle of wine" - also absurd. If a bottle of wine cost $150 (besides I wouldn't ever buy it), I would not tip based on that value.

I tip 15% at meals, and if I go out during happy hours or such I adjust my tip UP to the non-discounted amount, since the server shouldn't be penalized because of happy hour. If the service is good, I may go to 20%. If the service is bad, I will tip less than 15%. In fact, this happened Saturday night. Mediocre service at a brew pub. Ordered an item, 10 minutes later server returned to say they had no more. 1) Should have known already, 2) should have come back sooner. Ordered another item, came quickly, but the slice of cheddar was cold and not melted, and the fancy brioche bun was in fact a large hamburger roll. Took 10 minutes for server to reappear, when I pointed out the issues, he said "yeah, I noticed the cheese wasn't melted". Then why did you bring it? They comped me 1 of my 2 beers, but never told me (should have comp'd my meal not the beer, but that's where their profit margin is, i.e. it costs much less). I tipped 13% on the new total, so with the comp'd beer not appearing he really got 11.6%. I considered going lower. Then I left an honest online review.

I always get beer, and always ask the price if the price isn't given. I hate surprises. This brewery had no prices, that went in the review also.

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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by oilrig » Mon May 21, 2018 4:31 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 3:11 pm
Had to laugh at some of the responses:

- "20% is customary" - no, it's not. 15% is customary. 20% if you want, 25% if you want, but 15% is customary

- "tip on the full amount including sales tax" - that's absurd. The government had nothing to do with the service. Tip on the pre-tax total.

- "don't adjust the tip for an expensive bottle of wine" - also absurd. If a bottle of wine cost $150 (besides I wouldn't ever buy it), I would not tip based on that value.
No, 15% is not custom, 18-20% is. I was a waiter for 6 years and the majority of my tips were in the 18-20% range, and I worked at every type of restaurant you can think of (fancy steakhouse, casual, mexican). A 15% tip was seen as mediocre and is what an elderly person would likely tip.

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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Darth Xanadu » Mon May 21, 2018 7:59 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:33 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 3:04 pm
OP, I do not tip differently for alcohol. I generally spend $60-$120 on a bottle of wine however, so nothing upscale.
You don’t consider the upper end of “$60-$120" a bottle to be upscale? I don’t care what you spend money on, but on a forum where a lot of people are notoriously frugal, I found this comment amusing.

To each his own, of course, but I find wine pricing at restaurants to be hard to swallow (pun intended). I just had dinner at a restaurant over the weekend where my wife picked out a bottle that cost us $52.00. I just looked it up on Total Wine, and I can buy the same bottle at the store for $13.00. To those who think the restaurant markup is 2X to 3X, here is an example where the markup is 4X. I think that’s absurd. Since you get 5 servings from a bottle of wine, that works out to over $10 a glass, for OK/mediocre wine.
I acknowledge I perhaps chose my words poorly. Perhaps "high-end" would have been more appropriate.

What does mark-up have to do with anything? Do you realize there's similar mark up on, say, garlic mashed potatoes? Pretty sure you can make those at home for less than $18.

Or maybe you tip differently for potatoes, as well.
My friends said stick to your guns, but instead I just got stuck.

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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by pennywise » Mon May 21, 2018 8:08 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 3:11 pm
Had to laugh at some of the responses:

- "20% is customary" - no, it's not. 15% is customary. 20% if you want, 25% if you want, but 15% is customary
You are not correct-20% is now the customary tip amount for most people, not 15%. That is a seriously outdated norm; it eased up to 18% several years ago and now it's 20%.

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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue May 22, 2018 6:00 am

http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/tipping/

RESTAURANTS/BARS
Waiter/waitress: 15% of bill (excl. tax) for adequate service; 20% for very good service; no less than 10% for poor service
Headwaiter/captain: often gets a cut of table server's tip; so tip your server extra to reward captain, or tip captain separately
Sommelier, or wine steward: 15% of cost of the bottle
Bartender: 15% to 20% of the tab, with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink, $1 per alcoholic drink
Coatroom attendant: $1 per coat
Parking valet or garage attendant: $2 to bring your car to you
Washroom attendant: 50 cents to $1

student
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by student » Tue May 22, 2018 6:21 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:00 am
http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/tipping/

RESTAURANTS/BARS
Waiter/waitress: 15% of bill (excl. tax) for adequate service; 20% for very good service; no less than 10% for poor service
Headwaiter/captain: often gets a cut of table server's tip; so tip your server extra to reward captain, or tip captain separately
Sommelier, or wine steward: 15% of cost of the bottle
Bartender: 15% to 20% of the tab, with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink, $1 per alcoholic drink
Coatroom attendant: $1 per coat
Parking valet or garage attendant: $2 to bring your car to you
Washroom attendant: 50 cents to $1
This uses the one from Emily Post Institute as a guide, which I linked earlier, http://emilypost.com/advice/general-tipping-guide/

Emily Post Institute is well-regarded in terms of etiquette and its guidelines and opinions have been used by many sites such as https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... 412098001/
and http://www.oprah.com/money/guide-to-tipping

My opinion is that if one is within the range given in this list, it is within the realm of normal practice. Personally, I am a repeat customer of a few restaurants, so they know me and I get relatively good service, thus the tips is on the high end of the range (and over it a number of times.)

Edit: I recall a number of times when I paid via a tablet, the standard choices of tips are 15%, 18% and 20%. Of course, there was also an option for me to entire a different number.

cocoon
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by cocoon » Tue May 22, 2018 8:45 am

Doesn't the 10% apply in the wine case as well?

Random Poster
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by Random Poster » Tue May 22, 2018 8:49 am

student wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:21 am
Personally, I am a repeat customer of a few restaurants, so they know me and I get relatively good service, thus the tips is on the high end of the range (and over it a number of times.)
Are you getting relatively good service because you are a repeat customer and the servers know you (and, thus, the servers presumably know what you like) or are you getting relatively good service because you are giving relatively high-end tips (and, thus, the servers presumably believe that you will do so again for them)?

If you failed to give a tip on the "high end of the range" during one visit and then came back again, what kind of service do you think that you would get? Would it continue to be good because of your repeat status? Or would it decline due to the recent lower tip?

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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by deanbrew » Tue May 22, 2018 8:56 am

Random Poster wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:49 am
student wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:21 am
Personally, I am a repeat customer of a few restaurants, so they know me and I get relatively good service, thus the tips is on the high end of the range (and over it a number of times.)
Are you getting relatively good service because you are a repeat customer and the servers know you (and, thus, the servers presumably know what you like) or are you getting relatively good service because you are giving relatively high-end tips (and, thus, the servers presumably believe that you will do so again for them)?

If you failed to give a tip on the "high end of the range" during one visit and then came back again, what kind of service do you think that you would get? Would it continue to be good because of your repeat status? Or would it decline due to the recent lower tip?
I understand what you are getting at, and I won't say there isn't a kernel of truth. But, tipping high to ensure good service on future visits has limited utility (IMO) due to: a) very high turnover at most restaurants. At places I frequent, the wait staff is different over time. While there are a few long-timers, most servers seem to move around a lot, and I seldom get the same server for more than a few months; and b) service seems to vary tremendously from day to day and shift to shift, depending on how busy the place is, who did or didn't show up for work (cooks, expediters and/or servers), and (seemingly) the phase of the moon.

Now, I'll concede that I don't dine out in fancy restaurants very often, so my experience might not be pertinent to that segment of the industry.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

student
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Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

Post by student » Tue May 22, 2018 12:02 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:49 am
student wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:21 am
Personally, I am a repeat customer of a few restaurants, so they know me and I get relatively good service, thus the tips is on the high end of the range (and over it a number of times.)
Are you getting relatively good service because you are a repeat customer and the servers know you (and, thus, the servers presumably know what you like) or are you getting relatively good service because you are giving relatively high-end tips (and, thus, the servers presumably believe that you will do so again for them)?

If you failed to give a tip on the "high end of the range" during one visit and then came back again, what kind of service do you think that you would get? Would it continue to be good because of your repeat status? Or would it decline due to the recent lower tip?
I don't know the answer in general. However, for one restaurant that I have been going almost weekly for over decade, there will be no change. In fact, I have done that before due to an arithmetic mistake. I think I "overtipped" in the next visit to compensate. The waiters and waitresses know me there. In this particular restaurant, I think they pool the tips. Actually, they probably don't know how much I tip as usually pay at the counter.

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