Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jun 9, 2001 06:05 PM

How much do you tip?

  • m

15% is the standard, but I'm wondering if you have different personal rules about tipping depending on the quality of the service.

Also, when you go to places like Empress Pavillion, where you are served by many different people, how do you tip there?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yeah, I'm wondering if 15% is obsolete. If service is especially good, I'll go more but not as a rule. I do tip the same at dim sum, although I know people who tip less.

    1. a
      Adrian Hopkins

      Yes, I'd say 15% is about right, even if it's a dim sum place where you don't get the 1 waiter per table deal.

      I also sometimes tip up 25% if the service is exeptionally good, and the food isn't too expensive (I imagine it would be paintful to dish out a US$100 tip).
      However, I've probably been to maybe 2 dozen or so restaurants that deserve 25%. Perhaps 20% is more common.

      On the other spectrum, I've probably been to only 3 or 4 restaurants where I've given a penny tip. In such instances, not only is service poor, it's also an offensive occasion where almost everything goes wrong, and the waiter is bieng a delibrate jerk. One such place, is the infamous "House of Hunan" in San Francisco, where the waitress was even cursing at me in Cantonese (she didn't know I could understand the language).

      Mediocre service from places in LA, like 'Soot Bull Jeep' and 'Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles' (in N. Hollywood), get 5% from me. Lousy service shouldn't get reinforced. If I did tip them 10% or more, it would encouragwe them to serve others incompetently as well, which IMO would be unfair to other consumers.

      1. My boyfriend is an adamant 15%er, but as a former waitress my standard - and empathy - is closer to 20%.

        Here's another question - when ordering a semi-expensive bottle of wine, do you include that in the % you're tipping? Say your meal is $50 and you buy a $100 bottle (or more)...if service was fine would you tip 15% or 20% on that $150? Or on less?

        I rarely drink wine that lives in that price range (sniff, sniff) but this situation arose recently and I wasn't sure of the proper protocol.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Lisa Bee

          i've always understood that the tip amount should be based on food only, not food & alcohol. only when feeling generous and/or the service was exceptional will i tip on the whole amount due.

        2. What if you have your meal and order something else to go? Would you pay your tip on the whole amount (since it's on the same check), or if not, how would you adjust? I find myself very uncomfortable in that situation since I don't find it necessary to tip when I'm only picking up food to go.

          1. I usually just look for the tax amount, double that and add a dollar. If there is no separate tax shown I usally figure 20% and subtract a dollar. Even for take out I usally leave a dollar or two. When things go wrong I try and figure out who is really at fault. One night, when the waiter was terrible and I was leaving a dollar tip on a $45 tab, I made sure to hunt down our bus boy, (who was great), as we were leaving, and give him $5, telling him I didn't want him to suffer for the waiters lousy service and bad humor. My wife is constantly telling me I'm a softy when it comes to tipping.