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Sep 11, 2007 09:05 AM

Tip calculator at the bottom of the bill...?

Has anyone else seen this. At two recent dinners out our bill had a tip calculator at the bottom with the correct amount for 15%, 20% and 25%. I thought it was really tacky. The one restaurant was a casual upscale place and the second was a Chinese restaurant.
Any thoughts?

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  1. jfood loves it, sorry. The tip paradigm is so complex that anything that helps the numbers-challanged is helping along the custo. If the server deserved any of the tip-points, very easy to figure out and deciding between 15-20% is a lot easier than "gee I wonder what 18% is in dollars and cents."

    Don't understand why it's tacky. Helps the custo and that's a good thing.

    Now tacky is automatically adding a gratuity and then having a second line for an additional gratuity.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jfood

      Agree 100% with jfood.

      I am pretty sure it is the newer cash registers that have this as part of the standard program/printout.

      Not offensive, but amusing, since sales tax is 7.75% for me and so merely having to double it should not take much brain power...

      1. re: Cathy

        you should be careful about just doubling tip to make for 15% because not everything is always taxed at restaurants. cocktails/beers are some times tax free. notice when you order just a drink from the bar, the total is usually an even number. but say you order dinner from the bartender the bill ends up being some x amount of dollars and change, because of the tax added on, but if you just double tax then your only tipping on the food not the drink.

        1. re: paloucsd

          Thanks. I know the markup on alcohol and never buy it in restaurants. Never.

          I will pay for well prepared food, though. However, when I realize the charges are paying rent, for a view, basically (i.e. the food is not any more outstanding than similar food served elsewhere without a view or fancy neighborhood) I don't go back.

      2. re: jfood

        Almost 2 years later, I still agree with this. Last year, our tax rate here in LA county was 8.25, my daughter would double the tax and leave a tip. She did this in HI too. Unfortunately their tax rate was 4. something at the time...

        1. re: jfood

          I'm mathematically challenged. I don't eat out alone much but at some point figured out that in places where restaurant food is taxed at 8%, doubling the tax gives one 16% and makes it easy to tweak from there. Oops, just saw that Cathy mentions the same.

        2. I've seen this, but not at fancy places. I don't mind at all--makes it marginally easier to calculate tip.

          1. I've never seen that before. I'd probably mention to the manager on my way out that it's extremely tacky, and maybe they should just have the servers walk around with their hands out, begging.

            9 Replies
            1. re: marmite

              I don't understand the idea that we should ignore the concept of tipping as some kind of social courtesy. We all know that wait staff make most of their money from tips. We know that the accepted social convention is that we'll tip after the meal based on the level of service we feel we received. Further, generally accepted percentages for tips range from 15% to 18% to 20%...clearly in the OP's example, 25% would be on the very generous end of things for most people. Adding this information to the bill doesn't change the social dynamic in any way that I can see and certainly doesn't constitute begging on anyone's part.

              1. re: ccbweb

                It must have been 18% not 25 but I couldn't remember so I just counted up by 5's.

                1. re: bolivianita

                  That would track with what I've seen...15%, 17 or 18% and 20%. In several restaurants in San Francisco, I've seen only the 15% and 20% numbers.

                2. re: ccbweb

                  Yes. Should the scale be 25%, 35% and 50%, then I'd scratch my head a bit.


                3. re: marmite

                  I assume you plan on tipping so what's the big deal. Tipping is not just for good service. It's expected in restaurants. I'd be all for it no matter what type of restaurant.

                  1. re: marmite

                    You obviously have no concept of how servers are paid; most often, it's the meager tip only. It amazes me how aloof our general public is regarding tipping - it's as if it's a bonus. If one is so gratuity depleted, he has no business splurging on a meal out to begin with.

                      1. re: JayVaBeach

                        I have a very good concept of how servers are paid as I have been a busser, a server, a cook, a hostess, a pastry chef etc.
                        I was just curious to see what others reactions were to this new tip calculator business.

                        1. re: JayVaBeach

                          I used to be a server, and am well aware of how they are paid. Not liking a tip calculator doesn't mean I don't tip generously.

                      2. When it comes to tipping and the entitlement mentality of today's servers, it doesn't take much to offend me. But this doesn't bother me one bit. It's simply a helpful guide. The only time I've been offended by "suggested" tipping was when I was 18, the host brought me back my Visa with the slip to sign, and he pointed out where to place the tip. He actually said in a condescending tone "This is where you add the tip". Now that's offensive!

                        1. I've seen it a lot, though I've never seen 25%, I've only seen 15, 18 and 20. I think it's really convenient, I don't understand how it's tacky. It's just helpful for the customer.