Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Oct 10, 2007 03:38 PM

Is it rude to go back and add to someone's tip?

Ok, I don't know if I should post this, but just can't help asking...
I have seen quite a few people state that they didn't think someone they dined with tipped enough. In these cases the person says they went back and added to the tip. In one example someone said they added to a 30% tip. Though, I'm honestly not trying to pick on any one person I have seen this come up a few times.
I'm not talking about large group dining where someone keeps part of the intended tips by undertipping. But rather, for example, I go to lunch with my Mom a lot. I tend to tip closer to 20%, Mom tips at 15%. Mom picks up the tab. Do I double check her tip and then add to it when she's not looking? Now I may get flamed for this, but to me that would be very rude and I would never do it. However, a lot of people seem to say that they do just that.
Thoughts from The Peanut Gallery?

Edit: To answer my own question further. Even if Mom (Or Dad, Grandma, Auny Maizy, Uncle Joe Etc ) tips 10% or 12%. I don't know exactly what anyone in my family really tips, but I would never dream of checking the tip of someone that just bought my lunch, dinner etc. I was always taught that if you're not paying the bill, you don't pick it up, or look at it for that matter.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This is a good example of something I think is situational.
    There is no generic answer.

    Mom=clueless. I dont see the problem. Your relationship dictates whether you
    discuss it, do it behind their back, just get the check yourself etc.

    Your boss's boss takes you and some colleagues out. Probably you dont
    ask what the tip %age is. You dont get involved.

    Salesman/business contact takes you out: you probably dont get involved.

    Dinner with some friends and friends of friends ... you discuss the a fair
    paritioning of the bill and tip.

    You are the host for a dinner where the bill is split and for some reason
    there is some undertipping [in one example a couple had to leave early
    before he bill came nd left maybe 60-75% of what they owned] you
    probably are on the hook.

    1 Reply
    1. re: psb

      I agree, it's situational. As long as someone is tipping 15% or more, I'm not sure there's really call to put them in an awkward situation by adding to it. One might disagree about the "proper" percentage to tip, but 15% was (is) the standard for a very long time.

      If you can do it _knowing_ they won't see you, I think that's probably OK but it's hard to know that. I think psb is also on track with the business wince and move on.

      If it's someone you know well and eat with repeatedly, you might start trying to establish that since they've been picking up the checks for all this time, you'll pick up the tip. Again, though, I think this would only be worth broaching if they're tipping 8 or 10% or something like that.

    2. I don't know how it would be rude if the other person don't know about it. I have done it plenty of times.

      1. I think Mom is ok for tipping 15%. The standard is 15-20%. Now if she was tipping $2 on a $40 lunch, I would tell you to add to the tip, but I wouldn't bother if she's tipping 15%.

        1. My folks, being depression kids and all, are tight with money. Sometimes, I actually would be embarassed at them leaving only 15% for let's say, a breakfast that cost 18 dollars for the three of us. I know their going to undertip so I never bother trying to check the tab.

          Instead of saying anything to them though, I would just find a way to slip a few extra bucks into the tip pile or even slip it to the server on the way out the door.

          Down here in Floriduh, I think waitresses get kind of use to the early bird, 2-for-1 coupon toting blue-hair crowd and their cheap, or should I say frugal, ways.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bkhuna

            Depends on the family.

            My brother and I always made up for the shortfall of Dad.

          2. What has worked for me, with chronic under-tippers in my family, is to allow them to pick up the tab when they insist, but ask if I may leave the tip. So far this has worked. I always go out with them prepared with a bunch of cash to make up any tip needed.