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Tip Computation: How do you Determine the Tip?


Varmint
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ha. love this one.

Vancouverwaiter: well put and better said than I could.

In your honor, I would like to announce the opening of my new restaurant chain. . .

B.T.'s Bucket of Food

CELEBRITY GUEST CHEF GORD MARTIN BRINGS HIS BIN CONCEPT TO THE 'BURBS WITH HIS LATEST CULINARY FORAY.

I call it BIN 2for1, and we've shipped in tap water from all over the world, which you'll be able to sample from a dazzling array of wall mounted taps, all diligently recreated examples of the plumbing hardware of the region.

Mr. Martin's concept calls for a smaller salad bar and, of course, his ATKINS bar where folks can elbow up for anything they can't find on the menu. The fun here comes from asking the chef directly to substitute, add, subtract, put on the side, any and all things on the menu and get the genuine experience of working as a waiter with those always agreeable culinary professionals! The laughs are un-ending.

A vertical of white zinfandel was being originally planned but we made sangria bellinis instead.

says Mr. Martin, "we'll be doing classic two for one service, which may intimidate guests originally, but our state of the art coupon printing technology allows to print a 2-4-1 coupon for you tableside while you wait."

and instead of those annoying servers and their T.I.P.S blackmail, it will all be completely self serve. Go right in to the kitchen and ask Gord 'what's cookin'?'

You've heard of supersize?

We've got deepfrize!

Yes, that's right! Any of our 'meal deals' can be deep fried on command, the whole shebang. Just say, "can I get that deepfrized?" and your personal cooks will throw the whole meal right in the fryer for that crispy, golden goodness.

Wines will be available both in the box and in the bag, whichever you prefer, and will cover both california chablis and clarets. For those interested in expensive imports, we'll have Corbett Canyon and Domaine D'Or.

Our vintage Baby Duck is getting pulled out of my uncles house where he says it's been stored in perfect cellar conditions in his bomb shelter. I believe he's got verticals dating from '84 to '87. Should be just about ready!

For those wanting a sneak peak, catch our development and building progress on a special episode of 'Opening Soon' right after the Trailer Park Boys.

I'll just sit back and wait for the cash to flow on in. . . . .

I'm no expert on the restaurant industry, but I know a thing or two about drug abuse ...

-Daddy-A (Kitchen Troll)

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haha gastropimp..

now if only B.T.'s were true... gladly give up my job to watch the customers stick their noses between the pass and ask the chef for their steak butterflied, their pasta al dente, and, their hollandaise with no egg..

they could also ask him for a glass of 'dry red wine'.. as compared to what?? cooking sherry? thunderbird?? i forgot those were even on our wine list..

and don't forget to have some 'room temperature' water handy.. never know when someone will say.. "this tap water is too cold.. by the way, we'll have separate checks.."

sigh.. we can always dream (of being unemployed)

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  • 2 years later...

Forgive me if this topic has been done to death. I searched for similar threads and didn't see a recent one.

I was at a party on Saturday, and I met a woman who has a second job as a waitress at Longhorn Steakhouse. (I'm not sure how regional of a chain this is. It's a lower mid-priced, western themed steakhouse.) Like every waitress I've ever met, she had stories from the trenches, mostly about bad tippers, in the form of indignant rants. One of her stories involved her astonishment that a couple (who split an order) with a check totaling $7.53 had the audacity to ask for change from a $10 bill. They then left her $1.25 for a tip. She told this story with much eye-rolling and italics, expecting me to commiserate with her over these obvious cheapskates. Instead, I pointed out that they had left almost exactly 15% of their bill. I always leave right around 15% of the bill as tip, rounding up to the closest $0.50 for simplicities sake. She apparently took issue with my reaction, and snottily informed me that 18-20% was the new minimum for tipping. Annoyed with her attitude, I asked her when the minimum had gotten raised.

It got me thinking. What is an acceptable percentage to tip? Am I a cheapskate for leaving a standard 15%? Was the couple in question cheap for doing the same, instead of just leaving $10? (It seemed like a questionable situation to be the subject of a rant.) Should that percentage change if the total bill is small? Is there a minimum amount that should be left? I'm not talking about high dollar places, more cafes or mid range chain places.

I have friends who've worked stints as waiters, and I know what shitty work it can be. I don't want to be a bad customer, so help me out.

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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I do try to leave a higher percentage if the bill is small. I am taking up a table and taking away income, and small bills require nearly as much service as a large one. I tend to tip 20% as a standard.

She really didn't have to get in such a huff over it though. If that is her worst complaint, she hasn't been waitressing long.

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15% is considered the minimum, while 18-20% is a more current standard range for good service. I never tip 15%, personally, but I am in the industry.

You are correct that the tip provided in this instance is around 15%, so no horrible faux-pas has occurred, but generally, most people take into consideration the fact of an entree that is split. After all, 2 people are more trouble to wait on than 1, even if they only drink water and they split one entree. It's actually more trouble, in fact, since an extra plate must be brought, usually extra sauces are requested, or possibly extra bread or crackers (in the event that one entree really wasn't enough for 2 people, but the budget didn't allow for ordering more), refills must be brought and all of those extras must be cleared.

I couldn't imagine tipping less than a dollar per person to sit down and have another human being wait on me. If I don't have enough money to pay at least that much, then I go home and serve myself, or I take my companion home and serve the two of us.

But that's just me. Obviously, there are others who think otherwise, and I wait on them all the time. :wink:

Edited to add: What in the world can 2 people order at Longhorn Steakhouse (they have them here in Atlanta), and split, so that the bill will only be $7.53?! They must charge much lower prices elsewhere, or perhaps I'm missing something.

Edited by TheFoodTutor (log)
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I think 15% is fine for acceptable service for a typical meal (I tip higher if the service is above average).

Maybe she took issue with the fact that she was waiting on two people for $1.25. I get the impression from reading stories here that when two people split a small dish and order nothing else, they often behave in a high maintenance way (hot water with lemons, water with extra lemons to make lemonade, etc.) I probably would have left the $10 if I was the couple and the service was fine, but I wouldn't leave a 33% tip for a full meal at restaurant of the type you describe.

One more thought, maybe the service was snotty.

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It just depends on where you live. While I tip upwards of 20 percent this is certainly a cosmopolitan affectation. Were I in another part of the country I might reconsider my tipping practices and scale them down in order to fit the custom. But 18-20% is now the new black.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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It just depends on where you live. While I tip upwards of 20 percent this is certainly a cosmopolitan affectation. Were I in another part of the country I might reconsider my tipping practices and scale them down in order to fit the custom. But 18-20% is now the new black.

It's definitely geographical. The tipping subject comes up frequently on another board I frequent. 15% seems to be the standard in the less urban parts of the country, with 20% the norm with city dwellers and suburbanites. I've also seen it suggested that 10% is the standard for tipping at buffets. I don't agree with that. Not only do most buffet waitpeople work their butts off, often having to bus their own tables, but for me the difference between 10% and 20% for an average buffet tab is probably just a few bucks, and that doesn't matter to me.

Personally, I'm a 20%-er for good service. A little less for so-so, a little more for excellent.

A few years ago, at a bar in another part of the country, I bought a round for three of us, and left a few bucks on the bar. Someone suggested that I not do that again, and only leave the coin change (keeping the bills), because if I did it, the bartender might expect the local regulars to do the same!!

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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I agree with most on this thread- I live in a resort area, 18-20% is the norm here- but most resteraunts are high end/fine dining. Most of our places actually charge upwards to $10 to split an entree. I used to be in the industry so I tend to tip better for excellent service- but If the service is poor without an obvious reason, I will leave correspondingly less.

ksoss

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I always leave 20%, unless the service is bad. 18-20 is def more the norm now, but I think it is taking time, I do know plenty of people that still tip 15. (living in both az and ca)

I cannot imagine they got a meal for that amount, maybe it was two drinks, I typically tip a dollar a drink at a bar/restuarant if I am seated.

Either way, if she wasnt bringing the change and i had to ask, my tip would be lower, that is poor etiquette on her part.

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For non-buffet restaurants, my minimum tip is double the sales tax, rounded up to the nearest 50 cents. Works out to about 17-18% depending on what county I'm in.

For crappy service, no more than 15%.

I have small kids, so we don't go to fine dining restaurants... mostly ethnic places or family style restaurants.

What hacks me off are the buffet restaurants that expect a 15%-20% tip. If I'm getting up to get my own food, you're not getting a 15-20% tip. :angry:

Cheryl

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1.25 tip for a 7.53 bill is certainly nothing to whine about. I usualy cont my tip before the taxes. So for a 7% sales tax, the initial bill would have been 7.04$. In that case the tip would have been 17.7% of the total bill and seem totaly in the norms of just about anywhere!

I think tipping is a bit exagerated in north america, you dont have those extreme levels anywhere else in the world. It is a hard job, but waitresses can easily make more then a starting university graduate.

I am not one who leaves less tip beaucause of that, I do respect the social convention around tipping, I just think the waiters and waitresses should stop whining about it. They should see their tip as an average over the week, month or year and stop worrying about occasional lousy tippers. A bad tip can be the resulting of a bad service...

I know this has all been said many times, but the tip on expensive items is disproportionate. Brigning you a Bud light or brigning you a 40$ bottle of wine is a similar job. The 5$ Bud will get you 1$ tip while the 40$ wine bottle will get you 8$ tip. 8$ is a lot more then 1h work ar minimum wage. It is also more then half my hourly salary. Adding to this the fact that the owner already doubled the price of the bottle. When I am paying around 50$ for a bottle worth less then 20$, I cant help but feel robed by the buisness. Is it because of our judeo-christian heritage that is seems of to steal from people who drink alcohol?

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1.25 tip for a 7.53 bill is certainly nothing to whine about.  I usualy cont my tip before the taxes.  So for a 7% sales tax, the initial bill would have been 7.04$.  In that case the tip would have been 17.7% of the total bill and seem totaly in the norms of just about anywhere! 

I think tipping is a bit exagerated in north america, you dont have those extreme levels anywhere else in the world.  It is a hard job, but waitresses can easily make more then a starting university graduate. 

I am not one who leaves less tip beaucause of that, I do respect the social convention around tipping, I just think the waiters and waitresses should stop whining about it.  They should see their tip as an average over the week, month or year and stop worrying about occasional lousy tippers.  A bad tip can be the resulting of a bad service...

I know this has all been said many times, but the tip on expensive items is disproportionate.  Brigning you a Bud light or brigning you a 40$ bottle of wine is a similar job.  The 5$ Bud will get you 1$ tip while the 40$ wine bottle will get you 8$ tip.  8$ is a lot more then 1h work ar minimum wage.  It is also more then half my hourly salary.  Adding to this the fact that the owner already doubled the price of the bottle.  When I am paying around 50$ for a bottle worth less then 20$, I cant help but feel robed by the buisness.  Is it because of our judeo-christian heritage that is seems of to steal from people who drink alcohol?

On the one hand, it is no more work to haul a $35.00 steak from the from the kitchen than it is to haul a six-dollar burger, or to serve a $100 wine than a $20 wine (wine service at a formal restaurant is much more time consuming than serving beer, not only presenting and opening it but pouring it, as well, so that analogy fails). On the other hand, you are getting a substantially more experienced server, more personalized service and one hopes, much better service.

A waiter at a beer joint is likely as not to be a college student, actor or some other screw-up :wink: of modest competence paying the rent until they discover what they really want to do in life (or, in the case of the actor, are discovered). A server at a top restaurant is probably a skilled professional who has made a long-term decision to be in the food service industry. They don't just make more money because they're serving more expensive food, they earn more money because they are better and more experienced at their jobs.

In an office, if you are talented, you go from clerk to manager to executive. In the restaurant business, if you are talented (aside from those who move into, say, maitre d' or sommelier roles) you move up by going from Moe's to Cheesecake Factory to Le Cirque, and your earnings increrease accordingly.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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1.25 tip for a 7.53 bill is certainly nothing to whine about.  I usualy cont my tip before the taxes.  So for a 7% sales tax, the initial bill would have been 7.04$.  In that case the tip would have been 17.7% of the total bill and seem totaly in the norms of just about anywhere! 

I think tipping is a bit exagerated in north america, you dont have those extreme levels anywhere else in the world.  It is a hard job, but waitresses can easily make more then a starting university graduate. 

But remember, in America, waitresses and other tipped employees make less than the minimum wage, so their tip is actually most of their wage. It's a stupid system but it's the one we've got.

Where I live, the minimum wage is $5.15, but tipped employees are only required to be paid $2.13 an hour.

I try to keep this in mind when tipping, and usually tip 20-30% unless the service has been horrible, where I will go down to 10% in extreme cases.

I used to be in the industry, and I appreciate how hard the work is. Also, I'm fussy and make frequent special requests. I also go out to eat at very few places, and the waitstaff remembers me and my husband because we tip well, so we usually get superior service and sometimes get freebies as well.

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I usually tip 20% except between Thanksgiving and New Year's when I try to tip 25% to 30%.

On the meals I buy, the difference is usually not that much, and I figure it's worth the karma. And of course, as noted above, the possibility of better service on return.

Of course the other debate is how much you tip at the bar, with bartenders arguing that in Manhattan with the cost of cocktails ever rising, a $1 tip is no longer sufficient.

The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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But remember, in America, waitresses and other tipped employees make less than the minimum wage, so their tip is actually most of their wage. It's a stupid system but it's the one we've got.

Where I live, the minimum wage is $5.15, but tipped employees are only required to be paid $2.13 an hour.

I try to keep this in mind when tipping, and usually tip 20-30% unless the service has been horrible, where I will go down to 10% in extreme cases.

I used to be in the industry, and I appreciate how hard the work is. Also, I'm fussy and make frequent special requests. I also go out to eat at very few places, and the waitstaff remembers me and my husband because we tip well, so we usually get superior service and sometimes get freebies as well.

In CA, tipped employees make the same minimum wage that everyone else does.

Cheryl

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I know that where I live (major urban center) 20% is the current standard, and that 15% would indeed look cheap.

How and when it got raised is an interesting question. Certainly 20 years ago it was 15%. I don't know how it was decided to go up to 20%, or by whom, or how everybody found out. But it is general knowledge here now. Somehow.

(Silly as it seems, I think I remember seeing an article about it in the New York Times several years ago. I guess that's how everybody used to find out about everything here. Now I guess it would be circulated through the internet.)

On a side note, I think that anyone who doesn't overtip when sitting at a bar is really missing out.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Where I live, the minimum wage is $5.15, but tipped employees are only required to be paid $2.13 an hour.

This may explain the mentality clash.

Here, in Montreal, the minimum wage is 7.75$ per hour and minimum wage for tipped employees is 7.00$ per hour. Both are significantly higher then yours. Aspecialy since the cost of life here is significantly lower then in big US cities and the CAD is quite close to the USD these days.

At 2.13$ an hour + tip, you are no longer an employee of the restaurant owner, you are a self-employed worker in the restaurant environment. The restaurant owner choses who gets buisness and fixes the rules, but your buisness is the client, he actualy pays your salary. I do understand, why, in these conditions, waiters asks for higher tips from the clients, it is somewhat anologue to union workers asking for rises.

I prefer to see the whole restaurant as one buisness. The boss is reponsible for paying evrybody. The tip should meerly be a bonus for the appreciation of the service. Not the main source of income, aspecialy since, in many places, it is tax free income. I fail to understand why tip based jobs should not pay thier part in society like every one else.

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25-30% I'm a sloppy drunk, obnoxious, spill food down the front my me, and generally have to be carried out.

:laugh:

  It is a hard job, but waitresses can easily make more then a starting university graduate. 

A waiter at a beer joint is likely as not to be a college student, actor or some other screw-up  :wink:  of modest competence paying the rent until they discover what they really want to do in life (or, in the case of the actor, are discovered).  A server at a top restaurant is probably a skilled professional who has made a long-term decision to be in the food service industry. They don't just make more money because they're serving more expensive food, they earn more money because they are better and more experienced at their jobs. 

In an office, if you are talented, you go from clerk to manager to executive.  In the restaurant business, if you are talented (aside from those who move into, say, maitre d' or sommelier roles) you move up by going from Moe's to Cheesecake Factory to Le Cirque, and your earnings increrease accordingly.

We tip at least 20%. When the kids got old enough to get stiffed a time or two on their wait jobs you start to understand the value of a nice tip. Also when we get comp-ed for something we either tip on the whole ticket anyway or give the price of the item comp-ed to the server.

The overriding irony however is that not only do servers make beaucoups more than degreed people in general they make more than the degreed chefs in the back of the house who are putting it out hot & heavy so they can get the good tips. And it takes years and years for the little chef-boys and chef-girls to move up the pay scale again grossly disproportionate to the agility with which a server can improve their incomes.

We have a little chef-boy in the family.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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