Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Jul 25, 2006 02:11 PM

When I am treated for dinner, I offer to leave a tip and my tip exceeds price of my dinner.

Has this ever happened to you? I knew beforehand that I was being taken out by a couple of acquaintances for dinner. I had done them a small favor but wasn't expecting anything. Still they said it was their treat and they wanted to try a restaurant they had heard about.

Everything was cool until the bill came and George looked at the bill and took out his credit card to pay. "Could I leave the tip?" I asked. George said okay. The bill was about $200 since my two friends were heavy cocktail drinkers so my tip was $40 and exceeded what I ate and drank.

This has happened to me on about three other occasions in the past. Am I wrong in asking if I should leave a tip if I'm supposedly being treated? I thought it was just polite to ask so as not to 'assume' everything is being taken care of. When I treat anyone I never let them pay for anything. Am I overly generous? Thanks for any insight.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Just like you....When I pick up a tab I don't want anyone pitching in for anything. I think your wrong in asking to leave the tip. Then to question your own judgemnet, and asking for others advise. If your overly generous, there are other ways to settle the score. I sometime will send a gift basket the next day to whoever picked up the check, or bring a nice bottle of wine or a dozen golf balls to them to say thanks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Infomaniac

      the OP didn't need to send a gift next day, her aquaintances were taking her out as a thank you already otherwise there is a round robin of thank yous!

      I would agree that the OP did not need to offer to leave the tip, I sure don't mind doing it on a $15 for 2 breakfast but if someone is treating you then that includes the tip!

    2. Thanks for your comments. In the future, I probably won't offer to leave the tip if I'm being treated.

      In this particular situation, this couple were picking up the check to 'settle a score' (as you put it) for a favor I'd done them so I wouldn't have sent anything afterwards. It's like me thanking them for them thanking me. Kinda of gets complicated for what should be a simple situation.

      I will take your advice and not offer to leave a tip next time and just sit back. Now I understand why women seem to need to go to the powder room when the check arrives. They are the wiser sex I suppose! ;)

      1. In this case you probably weren't wrong because they accepted your offer. They probably did not realize that their acceptance negated them treating you.

        Were you expecting them to say no to your offer? These social rituals are different for everyone as you have found out. I would just keep doing what makes you comfortable & happy.

        1. I agree about woman being wiser....most woman I know go to the powder room before the check arrives.

          A situation that happeneds to me frequently when eating out at a friends resturant. My friend who owns the place picks up the check for me almost everytime I visit. Not a big deal, usually no more than $30 to $40 for me and my daughter when we go. I never know what to tip the waitress, so I usually leave close to what ever the bill comes to as the tip.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Infomaniac

            Infomaniac, that is awesome! I am frequently in the same situation, with the owner/manager of a restaurant comping a meal. But that always screws the waitstaff, who were probably extra attentive if they knew I was a "VIP." Leaving a tip close to the total of the bill is a classy gesture to the waitstaff that you appreciate their service as much as the comped meal. A tip of my hat to you, sir!

            1. re: Non Cognomina

              Do you mean that you tip based on what the meal would have cost, or that your tip is equal to what the meal would have cost?

              I think the first is pretty typical. The second seems a little excessive to me. The owner wants to comp you a meal. By giving the entire cost of the meal to the waitstaff, you are undoing his/her jesture. Let someone do something nice for you.

              1. re: Darren72

                I disagree that leaving a generous tip "undoes" the "jesture" [sic] of having my meal comped. If I eat a meal worth $50 that I would have left a $10 tip for, and end up leaving a $40 tip when comped a meal, I'm still "saving" $20, or 33% of the total cost. Still a deal for me, and it makes my servers day!

                1. re: Non Cognomina

                  Sure, that's an in between example of the two extremes I outlined. I was making the point that it doesn't make sense to me to leave a $50 or $60 tip in that situation, that's all. Sure, we all leave a generous tip when we're comp'ed a meal.

                  1. re: Non Cognomina

                    On the other end of the spectrum, I have dropped $500 tips when comped meals at Le Bernardin and per se.

                    1. re: Non Cognomina

                      As a server, THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

              2. These acquaintances were reciprocating. In their judgement, a dinner at this restaurant was proportionate to your favor. The cost of dinner in a restaurant includes the tip. Why would you even think of offering to leave it?