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How much to tip [Moved from Pacific Northwest board]

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I have a question on tipping etiquette. My wife and I are having a tasting menu at a down town restaurant in seattle this weekend. It's a set price, with the wine included. However tax and gratuity is extra. Is a 20% tip before the tax fair? Normally, calculating the tip before or after tax isn't much of an issue, but with the cost of this dinner it will be. Any help?

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  1. Restaurant people work really hard for not much money. I will pretty much always tip 20% on the total after tax. If you have a good meal throw them some greenback holiday cheer.

    1. Hypothetically, your bill is $1,000. Say the tax rate is 7%. Your totall bill is $1,070. A 20% tip on $1,000 is $200. A 20% tip on $1,070 is $214. Not much of a difference.

      1. Jfood agrees with Invino. The delta between pre- versus post- is trivial, even at $1,000. The bigger issue you will grapple with is the percentage. Many on these boards disagree as to the standard. Jfood is a 15% standard and goes up if service is good. Others will tell you 20% is standard. It's a po-tay-toe/po-tah-toe discussion all the time here.

        So do what you think is right. Pre- versus post; 15% versus 20%.

        The best advice is to forget about it during the meal and enjoy the meal and the company.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          The holiday spirit must be flowing freely for us to agree. :)

          Is it snowing in CT yet?

          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Long week Invin. Reading some of the new posters and their attitudes has greatly caused inner reflection for jfood over the last 6 months. Family is even more important in these days, and you know where he stood already.

            Yes, snow and ice in CT, jfood hates it. Big mound of ice in front of grill.

            Good holiday to you and yours Invin.

            1. re: jfood

              Thanks and right back atcha!

        2. The US custom is 15-20% pre-tax. The most commonly cited reason to do it after-tax is that it's simpler for those who choose to do so. But don't feel you are violating the custom by not doing so, because you wouldn't be.

          1. 20% before the tax is most definitely fair. Most would call it generous.