Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

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1130Super
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Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by 1130Super »

First off I would consider myself a generous tipper and I’m not trying to be cheap but why do most people tip a % of the bill and not a flat amount? When I go out for breakfast the bill is usually $8-$9 per person 20% would only be less than $2 a person. When out for dinner the bill is around $20-$25 per person. The waitress is getting $4-$5 Per person. The service at my local breakfast place is phenomenal she comes and refills my coffee cup 3 or 4 times, knows what I order most of the time how I like my eggs done what kind of toast ect. So we tip $5 per person at this establishment, as she does better job than anywhere else I go.

Why should the waitress get more money because you ordered the steak instead of chicken? Does anyone here just tip a flat $ amount and not base the tip on your bill?


Update can we please keep this conversation aimed at why or why not to tip on a % based system in favor of a flat $ amount.
Last edited by 1130Super on Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by JDCarpenter »

Nope, but we probably would tip a higher percentage if we were to go out for breakfast or something like that.

For dinners, when we drop several hundred dollars or more on a meal, it is much longer and service intensive than when we go out for slow cooked ribs or pho. Thus, a much higher tip is not inappropriate in our eyes.
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IMO
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by IMO »

Awesome, another tipping thread. :D

I can sum it up quickly, tip or don't tip whatever you feel personally appropriate.

Nothing makes sense in the tipping world from a logical perspective.
mrmass
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by mrmass »

I don’t have a philosophical answer but I’ve always done it this way. 20% of the bill. Easy for me.

Also I know people that work harder than I do and make less.

Maybe she makes the same as the dinner people since they might turn over the tables faster the people eating dinner.

And finally she could always move up to a higher end establishment and make more per seating.
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1130Super
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by 1130Super »

JDCarpenter wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:02 pm Nope, but we probably would tip a higher percentage if we were to go out for breakfast or something like that.

For dinners, when we drop several hundred dollars or more on a meal, it is much longer and service intensive than when we go out for slow cooked ribs or pho. Thus, a much higher tip is not inappropriate in our eyes.
I can understand that with higher end restaurants with multiple courses, But I find most breakfast places in general you receive just as much attention as a mid range dinner place.
Barsoom
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by Barsoom »

I'll tip higher at breakfast restaurants because the prices are cheaper and food is short-order. However, at a fine dining steakhouse the service is more attentive because there are more courses (bread, appetizer, salad/soup, entrée, sides, dessert), wine or bar service. The wait staff is more numerous and the cooking more personalized.

If I dine somewhere with a coupon or other discount, I will often tip based on the undiscounted amount because the servers worked the same regardless of how much I paid.

Generally when tips are shared, short-order restaurants have fewer people involved in the making of my meal than at a fine-dining restaurant.

-B
vtjon02
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by vtjon02 »

When I go out, even if it is just me getting a cheap breakfast or lunch, there is a minimum tip of $5 or 20% (whichever is higher) for decent service. If the service is not decent I do not tip. If service is great the percentage is higher. This works for me.

I have some friends and relatives that are very bad tippers. When it is their turn to pay I will "forget" my phone at the table and go back to leave more money on the table. Again, this works for me.

I've been pretty lucky in my life and try to be generous. I used to work for tips and it really is hard work. I'd suggest you find what works for you and stick to it.
runner3081
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by runner3081 »

Things must be getting back to normal. Tipping threads are back... Two today!

I tip between 12% and 25% based on the service.

Of course, we really, never eat out, so my opinion holds little weight :)
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F150HD
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by F150HD »

an oil....er uh, tipping thread :)

one mistake many make is not tipping on the pre-tax total. Some businesses dont even seem to give a receipt showing the pre-tax total which to me doesn't sit right, seems like an effort to inflate a tip.
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William Million
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by William Million »

There's only 1 unwritten rule: If you tip any waitperson on US soil less than 15% on pre-tax, they will believe you were unhappy with the service - or just cheap.

Beyond that, tip whatever you feel like. There's no obligation. Some people get a bit self-righteous about tipping (on either end), but it's a voluntary activity.
mnsportsgeek
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by mnsportsgeek »

I always tip 20% for a dine in meal. I've even started tipping 10% on take out because I can afford it and restaurant workers deserve it right now.
Texanbybirth
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by Texanbybirth »

Yes, most of the time I have a flat dollar amount floor I won't tip under. I am always evaluating the service when we go out to eat to decide how to tip. My wife does the same and we usually discuss before finalizing the check.

We have three little kids so we almost NEVER go out to eat. :-)
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corp_sharecropper
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by corp_sharecropper »

While I prefer our system of tipping versus a system that bakes everything into the price (I'm a red blooded capitalist convinced that money is an effective incentive for quality), I wish tipping could be mechanistically done differently, more like tipping an Uber driver... In other words, after you're out of sight and unencumbered by social pressures.

Maybe it's more of a personal thing I should speak with a therapist about but I grossly over tip b/c I find it incredibly awkward to be sitting there while a server has looked, or is looking, over what you have decided to leave them. Frankly, about 50% of the time I think the service I receive can best be described as the "minimum acceptable", and I'm anything but a difficult customer. Steak over cooked a bit, no worries, I'll eat it and chalk it up to life not being perfect. Forget to put a pepper shakers on the table, no problems, I'll live, if you're not right there I won't bother flagging you down for it. Sitting, waiting for a menu or to order for a long time, my patience is nearly endless. That said, I don't think service issues like that should be reinforced with an automatic 20% tip like I often do (again, it's a 'me' problem). Now if you let me leave a tip after I have left the establishment, using an app or something, I'll put my money exactly where I believe the service is at, and there are plenty of experiences that come to mind where servers have deserved no more than their employer was paying them.

Basically I just need to get over my hangups and start being ruthless/honest. So listen up all you frowning, job hating, lazy, day dreaming, bad mood servers out there, there's a new sheriff in town and the days of doling out 20% automatically for the pleasure of experiencing the outward expression of everything that put that frown on your face are over! Oh and if you don't like it, I have this <finger and thumb rubbing together>, the world's smallest violin :wink:

Disclaimer: This post is loosely inspired by true events. I am committed to showing my appreciation for good service with borderline overly generous compensation. :sharebeer
Last edited by corp_sharecropper on Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by Rob5TCP »

When I setup my first restaurant payroll, I was shocked at just how low the waitress/waiters
pay was ($2.10 an hour or something close to that). Since that time I have tipped rather generously
15-18% at high end places; 20-35% at very inexpensive diners/coffee shops/bagel places).

Now that the minimum, I believe, for tipped workers is close to $10 an hour (and minimum with tips is $15) I do tip somewhat
differently. I will give 15% at higher end, and no higher but will still tip a higher percentage for less expensive places.

Also I don't tip 15% on a bottle of wine that I pick (and frequently will forgo wine - I am just not much of a drinker).

Now delivery is another story. In this environment I tip at least $10 for food delivery or 20% whichever is higher.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by sailaway »

Because it came from the idea of commissions.

I always tip a minimum, even if we didn't owe that much per person.
EnjoyIt
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by EnjoyIt »

1130Super wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:55 am First off I would consider myself a generous tipper and I’m not trying to be cheap but why do most people tip a % of the bill and not a flat amount? When I go out for breakfast the bill is usually $8-$9 per person 20% would only be less than $2 a person. When out for dinner the bill is around $20-$25 per person. The waitress is getting $4-$5 Per person. The service at my local breakfast place is phenomenal she comes and refills my coffee cup 3 or 4 times, knows what I order most of the time how I like my eggs done what kind of toast ect. So we tip $5 per person at this establishment, as she does better job than anywhere else I go.

Why should the waitress get more money because you ordered the steak instead of chicken? Does anyone here just tip a flat $ amount and not base the tip on your bill?
You know what....you have changed my practice. From this day forward on low cost meals I will be leaving a higher tip than 20% rounded up from total which is what I normally do. Thanks for making me think about this.
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Pomegranate
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by Pomegranate »

0 - 35% based on the service and amount of bill like you mentioned
Had one outlier - I tipped infinite amount of % once. Went to beer house with my buddy and took orange juice plus popcorn. Somehow both of these items were free - they charged for beer only :oops:
By bill was $0 so I left $5 tips :sharebeer
jajlrajrf
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by jajlrajrf »

Personally, I view a 15% tip as a minimum (in the US) and aim for 20% for an average tip.

If you're in the US, you live in a country that has decided that it's fine for waiters and waitresses to make less than minimum wage, which is (IMO) nuts. The entire premise of that argument is "They make it up in tips." But they only make it up in tips if people reliably pay them. So until we reliably pay waiters and waitresses a living wage, I feel that decent tipping is essentially a moral obligation, even if it's not a legal one.

Basically I ask myself the question "How much money would I need for someone to convince me to do their job?" and so far the answer has always been "More than what most people tip."
MarkBarb
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by MarkBarb »

<soapbox>
Tipping is a stupid custom. I get service that is just as good or better when I travel to countries that don't have tipping. A workers wage shouldn't depend on the whim of the customer. But, we seem to be stuck with it and it seems to be growing more common and tipping rates seem to be increasing. I'd be more likely to patronize a restaurant that advertised that they pay their workers well and don't allow them to accept tips.
</soapbox>
quantAndHold
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by quantAndHold »

Back to the original question. The revenue per customer will be less for breakfast and lunch than it is for dinner, but the table will get turned over faster, so overall revenue won’t be that different. There are also fewer people to share tips with in a short order cafe than in a more full service restaurant. So it all works out.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by SmileyFace »

I sometimes tip at a flat rate when the bill is low and I feel I have gotten good service; especially if I ordered far less expensive than I should have for the given situation/establishment. As an example - if I stop by an airport bar before a flight takes off and only order a couple of club sodas (versus alcohol) then my tip may actually be higher than my bill (Depending upon the airport - some charge outrageous sums for soda-water).
However, if I go into a good steak place I am not going to be cheap and give less than 20% (even though my tip may seem crazy-high). I err on the side of being generous.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by TheTimeLord »

MarkBarb wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:25 pm <soapbox>
Tipping is a stupid custom. I get service that is just as good or better when I travel to countries that don't have tipping. A workers wage shouldn't depend on the whim of the customer. But, we seem to be stuck with it and it seems to be growing more common and tipping rates seem to be increasing. I'd be more likely to patronize a restaurant that advertised that they pay their workers well and don't allow them to accept tips.
</soapbox>
As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service.
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EddyB
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by EddyB »

corp_sharecropper wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:01 pm While I prefer our system of tipping versus a system that bakes everything into the price (I'm a red blooded capitalist convinced that money is an effective incentive for quality), I wish tipping could be mechanistically done differently, more like tipping an Uber driver... In other words, after you're out of sight and unencumbered by social pressures.
You may be a red-blooded capitalist, but an ex-ante unknown amount that reflects societal pressure rather than merit is a poor way to exploit money's potential as an incentive; your account shows that even red-blooded capitalists struggle to use it as such in the restaurant context.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by bogledogle »

MarkBarb wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:25 pm <soapbox>
Tipping is a stupid custom. I get service that is just as good or better when I travel to countries that don't have tipping. A workers wage shouldn't depend on the whim of the customer. But, we seem to be stuck with it and it seems to be growing more common and tipping rates seem to be increasing. I'd be more likely to patronize a restaurant that advertised that they pay their workers well and don't allow them to accept tips.
</soapbox>
+1

Tipping should be banned. I should not have a say in how much my waiter gets paid to do their job. I don't want to calculate the finances of everyone working on my meal. Workers should not be subject to my whim and how generous I am feeling at that moment.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by sailaway »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm
MarkBarb wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:25 pm <soapbox>
Tipping is a stupid custom. I get service that is just as good or better when I travel to countries that don't have tipping. A workers wage shouldn't depend on the whim of the customer. But, we seem to be stuck with it and it seems to be growing more common and tipping rates seem to be increasing. I'd be more likely to patronize a restaurant that advertised that they pay their workers well and don't allow them to accept tips.
</soapbox>
As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service.
Where I worked, the ones with the best tips often had more tables because they pushed work off on other people. Another wait staff got drinks when their table flagged them down on the way by, the hostess bussed their table so that there would be fewer people in the lobby...but they had time to flirt and chat, so they got better tips than the others.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by bogledogle »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm
MarkBarb wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:25 pm <soapbox>
Tipping is a stupid custom. I get service that is just as good or better when I travel to countries that don't have tipping. A workers wage shouldn't depend on the whim of the customer. But, we seem to be stuck with it and it seems to be growing more common and tipping rates seem to be increasing. I'd be more likely to patronize a restaurant that advertised that they pay their workers well and don't allow them to accept tips.
</soapbox>
As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service.
How does this argument work if everyone tipped 0? If you are a better performer, your employer should pay you more like all the jobs in the rest of the world. How can someone know you are performing better at your job, how does one know what you are expected to do in your job? If my customers were to decide my pay, they would pay me 0 to get a slightly better price on the products I work on.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by EnjoyIt »

On the one hand I think people should be paid better for better performance. On the other hand the way we pay our wait staff is ridiculous. Start off with a reasonable wage and then allow performance to dictate a tip on top of a reasonable wage.

Personally I prefer how Europe does it. I tip in Europe when the service is good knowing perfectly well they are already being paid appropriately for the work they do. I reward good service. In the US we penalize the wait staff for being waiters and then expect customers to make up the difference. For them a tip is already expected because it is the custom. That does not necessarily incentive improved performance.
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increment
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by increment »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service.
And yet some research says that "service ratings explained an average of less than two percent of the variation in a restaurant’s tip percentages".
oldfort
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by oldfort »

This is like asking why tip at all, when it's not the custom in Europe. It is the custom here. If you want to be a cheap skate and tip no more than $5/person, eat at restaurants where $5/person is at least 20%. Don't have a $100/person steak dinner at Ruth's Chris and expect the waiter not to be insulted at a $5 tip.
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BogleFanGal
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by BogleFanGal »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service."
As the spouse of a former waiter with years in the business from fast casual to the highest end establishment, I'd agree EXCEPT it often doesn't work that way. Too often, excellent service WAS provided - and the table either stiffs the server completely or leaves an insulting 2-3 dollars on a $150-200+ meal. They either pretend they don't know about tipping ("I'm not from the US - I didn't know.") or states they're "against" tipping in principal. The worst - big groups of 10-15+ people that kept the server running for several hours to orchestrate and time all courses and needs perfectly - only to leave without tipping a cent. (In those days, few places had a "minimum gratuitity" for large parties. At least today, servers have that protection. Back then, owners and managers didn't care: they just shrugged and told servers getting stiffed was part of the job - deal with it.)

I do agree the % formula is strange though - just because a table orders pricier cocktails vs coffee/tea/soda (the latter are all more labor intensive due to all the free refills) or higher priced adult entrees vs a bunch of kid menu choices (when kids can actually require more work - cleaning afterwards, etc), it does seem strange that two adults could end up tipping $30-40 or more extra for basically less work than serving a family of 5.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by TheTimeLord »

bogledogle wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:24 pm
TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm
MarkBarb wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:25 pm <soapbox>
Tipping is a stupid custom. I get service that is just as good or better when I travel to countries that don't have tipping. A workers wage shouldn't depend on the whim of the customer. But, we seem to be stuck with it and it seems to be growing more common and tipping rates seem to be increasing. I'd be more likely to patronize a restaurant that advertised that they pay their workers well and don't allow them to accept tips.
</soapbox>
As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service.
How does this argument work if everyone tipped 0? If you are a better performer, your employer should pay you more like all the jobs in the rest of the world. How can someone know you are performing better at your job, how does one know what you are expected to do in your job? If my customers were to decide my pay, they would pay me 0 to get a slightly better price on the products I work on.
All I know is the best waiters consistently got the most tips, they also had call tables. Always thought it was a great job for someone trying to work their way up and really willing to hustle.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by TheTimeLord »

increment wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:37 pm
TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service.
And yet some research says that "service ratings explained an average of less than two percent of the variation in a restaurant’s tip percentages".
Wasn't my experience, we had no tip splitting, plus the best waiters have call tables.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by TheTimeLord »

BogleFanGal wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:57 pm
TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service."
As the spouse of a former waiter with years in the business from fast casual to the highest end establishment, I'd agree EXCEPT it often doesn't work that way. Too often, excellent service WAS provided - and the table either stiffs the server completely or leaves an insulting 2-3 dollars on a $150-200+ meal. They either pretend they don't know about tipping ("I'm not from the US - I didn't know.") or states they're "against" tipping in principal. The worst - big groups of 10-15+ people that kept the server running for several hours to orchestrate and time all courses and needs perfectly - only to leave without tipping a cent. (In those days, few places had a "minimum gratuitity" for large parties. At least today, servers have that protection. Back then, owners and managers didn't care: they just shrugged and told servers getting stiffed was part of the job - deal with it.)

I do agree the % formula is strange though - just because a table orders pricier cocktails vs coffee/tea/soda (the latter are all more labor intensive due to all the free refills) or higher priced adult entrees vs a bunch of kid menu choices (when kids can actually require more work - cleaning afterwards, etc), it does seem strange that two adults could end up tipping $30-40 or more extra for basically less work than serving a family of 5.
Tipping is an averages game. I was stiff or got a dollar a lot of times. I had a regular couple who would come in for half off night split a meal and leave me a dollar. On the other hand I had people leave me tips that exceeded their bill. But it always seemed to work out the best people made the most money.
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TNWoods
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by TNWoods »

I always leave very large tips as a percentage of the bill when I eat at a Denny's, Waffle House, small diner, etc. The people who wait tables at very cheap restaurants are the ones who need the money most. If I have a coffee, they're getting a $5 tip. Coffee and pie, $10. A meal, $20.

When I am eating at a white tablecloth restaurant, sitting at a 4 top, and the typical per person cost is $100, that one table represents $400. The waiter is serving at least 2 or 3 other tables. We spend max 90 minutes there. So that waiter is getting tipped on $1200 to $1600 per 90 minutes, or $800 to $1100 per hour.

10% of that would be $80 to $110 per hour, 15% would be $120 to $160 per hour.

And these days, if you believe was you read in these threads, 5% means you are worse than Hitler, 10% is an outright insult, 15% is rude, 20% is expected.

In my hometown a couple years ago, an upscale bistro did a bunch of renovations, and had a Grand Reopening! event, and they heavily pushed the "no tipping required, we pay all our staff well". The staff all quit after a couple weeks, because it turns out paying your wait-staff a "$18/hour living wage" means they all take a huge paycut.

I spent decades in the "theater community", and have known many waiters & waitresses. The only ones who ever had money issues were the Denny's/Waffle House workers.

So don't even think about percentages, it makes no sense. Think about the amount of time you were taking up a table, and pay that server for their time. And if you are in a Denny's/Waffle House, give them $10 or $20. You can afford it, it means pretty much nothing to you, and they will be over the moon.

TNWoods
Last edited by TNWoods on Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
neverpanic
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by neverpanic »

I used to always defend it, but tipping as STANDARD is one of the worst "traditions" in the U.S.

I overtip, but tipping should be eliminated as the standard.
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oldfort
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by oldfort »

increment wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:37 pm
TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:54 pm As a former waiter, I benefited quite a bit from the pay for performance nature of tipping. Why should someone doing a mediocre job make the same as someone providing excellent service.
And yet some research says that "service ratings explained an average of less than two percent of the variation in a restaurant’s tip percentages".
To be honest, I reserve the highest tip as a percentage when I can find a bartender who comps free drinks.
EnjoyIt
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by EnjoyIt »

BogleFanGal wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:57 pm
I do agree the % formula is strange though - just because a table orders pricier cocktails vs coffee/tea/soda (the latter are all more labor intensive due to all the free refills) or higher priced adult entrees vs a bunch of kid menu choices (when kids can actually require more work - cleaning afterwards, etc), it does seem strange that two adults could end up tipping $30-40 or more extra for basically less work than serving a family of 5.
The alcohol tipping formula get skewed. At a bar if you get a drink, it appears customary to give $1 for simple drinks and maybe $2 for complex cocktails. That usually comes out to less than 15% depending on the city/bar and everyone is happy with the arrangement. But if you go to a nice restaurant those drinks are now tipped at 20% just because they are part of a meal. A few years back my wife and I ran a $400 restaurant tab where $250 was alcohol. I tipped $80. where $50 of it was for the alcohol. If we paid our tab and sat at the bar paying cash, the same set of drinks would have ended up being maybe $20-$30 in tips and not $50.

Which brings me to another point. Starting a tab is probably preferred by most bartenders because they end up with a higher tip. $1-$2 per drink is not as good as 15-20% on an after tax bill.
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bogledogle
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by bogledogle »

oldfort wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:52 pm This is like asking why tip at all, when it's not the custom in Europe. It is the custom here. If you want to be a cheap skate and tip no more than $5/person, eat at restaurants where $5/person is at least 20%. Don't have a $100/person steak dinner at Ruth's Chris and expect the waiter not to be insulted at a $5 tip.
This is exactly what confuses me. How can one be insulted at what people leave as a tip, while working for a wages so low that you have to rely on tips? It's not like Ruth's Chris can't afford to pay their waiters well and add that to the price of the food.
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Nicolas
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by Nicolas »

We don’t tip the people who bag our groceries and check us out at the grocery store, why not? They’re low-paid and are providing you with a personal service involving food. Where do you draw the line?
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ray.james
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by ray.james »

This is something that cannot have a definitive answer. Just opinions and emotions on all sides.

I live in California which is crazy in this regard. Between 10% sales tax, $15/$13 minimum wage reflecting on prices on menu(+ real estate costs), 20% tip expectation- I gave up on eating out completely. Even though the wait staff earn minimum wage, I tip 20% as it is customary. But the $50 bill is now $65-70. When I realized this, I stopped going out every other day to twice a week. The inflation in eating out is far ahead of home cooking - due to raising sales taxes, real estate costs, minimum wage pressure. This is just a circle of cause-effect.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Nicolas wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:42 pm We don’t tip the people who bag our groceries and check us out at the grocery store, why not? They’re low-paid and are providing you with a personal service involving food. Where do you draw the line?
Because tips are expected in many states waiters make $2.13/hour that's why.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/state/ ... age/tipped
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EnjoyIt
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by EnjoyIt »

ray.james wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:01 pm This is something that cannot have a definitive answer. Just opinions and emotions on all sides.

I live in California which is crazy in this regard. Between 10% sales tax, $15/$13 minimum wage reflecting on prices on menu(+ real estate costs), 20% tip expectation- I gave up on eating out completely. Even though the wait staff earn minimum wage, I tip 20% as it is customary. But the $50 bill is now $65-70. When I realized this, I stopped going out every other day to twice a week. The inflation in eating out is far ahead of home cooking - due to raising sales taxes, real estate costs, minimum wage pressure. This is just a circle of cause-effect.
Now that is interesting. Not only has the wait staff minimum wage go up, you are still expected to tip 20%. That some serious inflation.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by protagonist »

Horrible and illogical system, but the fact is that in the USA, the waitstaff depend on tips, rather than a decent hourly wage, to survive.

I think it is important to keep that in mind, and tip accordingly.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by ray.james »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:16 pm
ray.james wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:01 pm This is something that cannot have a definitive answer. Just opinions and emotions on all sides.

I live in California which is crazy in this regard. Between 10% sales tax, $15/$13 minimum wage reflecting on prices on menu(+ real estate costs), 20% tip expectation- I gave up on eating out completely. Even though the wait staff earn minimum wage, I tip 20% as it is customary. But the $50 bill is now $65-70. When I realized this, I stopped going out every other day to twice a week. The inflation in eating out is far ahead of home cooking - due to raising sales taxes, real estate costs, minimum wage pressure. This is just a circle of cause-effect.
Now that is interesting. Not only has the wait staff minimum wage go up, you are still expected to tip 20%. That some serious inflation.
In fact, seven states have same tipped wage as minimum wage - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage

In AZ/CO the tipped wage is close to minimum wage rather than absurd $2/$3
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EnjoyIt
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by EnjoyIt »

ray.james wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:22 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:16 pm
ray.james wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:01 pm This is something that cannot have a definitive answer. Just opinions and emotions on all sides.

I live in California which is crazy in this regard. Between 10% sales tax, $15/$13 minimum wage reflecting on prices on menu(+ real estate costs), 20% tip expectation- I gave up on eating out completely. Even though the wait staff earn minimum wage, I tip 20% as it is customary. But the $50 bill is now $65-70. When I realized this, I stopped going out every other day to twice a week. The inflation in eating out is far ahead of home cooking - due to raising sales taxes, real estate costs, minimum wage pressure. This is just a circle of cause-effect.
Now that is interesting. Not only has the wait staff minimum wage go up, you are still expected to tip 20%. That some serious inflation.
In fact, seven states have same tipped wage as minimum wage - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipped_wage

In AZ/CO the tipped wage is close to minimum wage rather than absurd $2/$3
I remember people talking about this regarding "living wages" for wait staff. Many guessed that people would just end up tipping less or eating out less. I guess the expectation in California is to still tip 20% above the living wage. With COVID it is tough to tell if people are going out less or tipping less. I wonder if anyone did a study to see what the response was. Was staff laid off, did prices go up, did establishment owners just eat the cost? I never followed up with it.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by Trader Joe »

1130Super wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:55 am First off I would consider myself a generous tipper and I’m not trying to be cheap but why do most people tip a % of the bill and not a flat amount? When I go out for breakfast the bill is usually $8-$9 per person 20% would only be less than $2 a person. When out for dinner the bill is around $20-$25 per person. The waitress is getting $4-$5 Per person. The service at my local breakfast place is phenomenal she comes and refills my coffee cup 3 or 4 times, knows what I order most of the time how I like my eggs done what kind of toast ect. So we tip $5 per person at this establishment, as she does better job than anywhere else I go.

Why should the waitress get more money because you ordered the steak instead of chicken? Does anyone here just tip a flat $ amount and not base the tip on your bill?
I never tip. I allow the employer/business owner to determine staff compensation.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by baliktad »

protagonist wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:19 pm Horrible and illogical system, but the fact is that in the USA, the waitstaff depend on tips, rather than a decent hourly wage, to survive.
WA state has the highest minimum wage ($13.50) of any state in the country, and there is no reduction here for tipped waitstaff. In the city of Seattle, the minimum wage is even higher than the state-mandated wage, ranging from $15.75 to $16.39 depending on company size. And yet, in Seattle and across the state, we have the exact same tipping behavior here as every other state: servers expect a minimum 15% tip for fulfilling the bare minimum requirements of the job. The tabletop touchscreen devices that are creeping into casual and mid-range dining establishments automatically suggest 18% of the post-tax total. Around 20% is considered somewhat standard, and you have to stretch above 25% to be considered generous or really reward outstanding service.

None of this is conditioned on "survival," it's embedded behavior and societal tradition and expectation with no logical underpinning. Many waitstaff here make enough to choose to work only 20-30 hours a week and have little incentive to pursue additional employment.
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by EnjoyIt »

baliktad wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:59 pm
protagonist wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:19 pm Horrible and illogical system, but the fact is that in the USA, the waitstaff depend on tips, rather than a decent hourly wage, to survive.
WA state has the highest minimum wage ($13.50) of any state in the country, and there is no reduction here for tipped waitstaff. In the city of Seattle, the minimum wage is even higher than the state-mandated wage, ranging from $15.75 to $16.39 depending on company size. And yet, in Seattle and across the state, we have the exact same tipping behavior here as every other state: servers expect a minimum 15% tip for fulfilling the bare minimum requirements of the job. The tabletop touchscreen devices that are creeping into casual and mid-range dining establishments automatically suggest 18% of the post-tax total. Around 20% is considered somewhat standard, and you have to stretch above 25% to be considered generous or really reward outstanding service.

None of this is conditioned on "survival," it's embedded behavior and societal tradition and expectation with no logical underpinning. Many waitstaff here make enough to choose to work only 20-30 hours a week and have little incentive to pursue additional employment.
So who eats the cost of paying wait staff more? Is it the establishment owners or has food prices gone up and cost is passed down to the customers?
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by baliktad »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:08 pm So who eats the cost of paying wait staff more? Is it the establishment owners or has food prices gone up and cost is passed down to the customers?
In my experience, it's some combination of:

- owners hiring fewer staff (more tables per server, less service per table)
- higher incentive to automate (the tablets are pervasive, and the default expectation now is that everyone uses the tablet to settle the bill)
- higher prices, especially non-obvious changes like elimination of bargain/deal offerings, or mandatory service surcharges
- smaller profit means the large chains that have the greatest efficiencies/economies of scale are more apt to survive than smaller/independent restaurants
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Re: Tipping why % of bill and not flat amount?

Post by reln »

TheTimeLord wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:13 pm
Nicolas wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:42 pm We don’t tip the people who bag our groceries and check us out at the grocery store, why not? They’re low-paid and are providing you with a personal service involving food. Where do you draw the line?
Because tips are expected in many states waiters make $2.13/hour that's why.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/state/ ... age/tipped
Not sure if it's true but I heard that restaurants are required to top off wait staff's pay so they at least make ordinary minimum wage.
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