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tipping for dim sum

Recently, some of us had a dim sum (with carts) chow outing. The bill came, and discussion turned to tipping.

So, just wondering, how much do you tip when you've had dim sum, and the server hasn't had to do much more than point to food, put it on your table (or not), and check off your card, and, of course, refilled your water and tea?

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  1. If she was prompt, courteous, made your meal pleasurable (got the cart around to you often enough, cleared, got you everything you needed etc. 15%.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sal Vanilla

      If she was all of the above, 20%. She still has to, presumably, split the tip, be on her feet, put up with customers, pay the bills, and survive.

    2. Think of dim sum as a buffet on wheels, so it would make sense to tip at least as much as you would for a buffet in a decent restaurant. In my book, that's at least 15%.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tubman

        Yes, good correlation.

        However, most buffets I have been to are ones where the waitstaff were ever present, ever filling the mimosas, ever filling the coffee, and were rewarded with 20%.

        I don't think my opinion is the norm. I start at 20% and work backwards depending on my hot buttons.

        1. re: dolores

          Mmmmm....I thought tipping at buffets was closer to 10-15 percent. I guess I have old and incorrect info!

          Thanks for these answers!

      2. It's customary where we are to leave 10%

        1. Remember that the 'server' is likely going to have to tip out the cart pushers (who are REALLY doing the serving), too, so don't shortchange the lot of them. In fact, I'd bet that most dim sum places pool the tips, so it's really not a 'tipping out' thing, but the idea is to tip on the whole of the serving staff, not just the guy in the black vest.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ricepad

            Most dim sum places will pool the tips. It's a group effort.

          2. Regular amount as in any sit down restaurant. At dim sum you are served (usually anyway) by multiple servers, including the cart persons, the captain/waiter who respond to you and clear your empty plates, and the person who refill your tea.