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Tipping with a credit card

Yesterday morning we went to a local place for breakfast. It's a nice little restaurant that's run by a couple of guys and they have some really good food and very creative dishes. Not really gourmet, but not your run of the mill selections. Our waiter was very nice and efficient. We weren't thinking very clearly, so he would leave the table and then my DH decides he wants water. He'd come back with water and leave. Then I realize I need another plate, oh, and could I get some extra butter? Oops, this isn't raspberry tea! In other words he really had his hands full with us, and the place was crazy busy. So we wanted to leave him a 20% tip, but we had to pay with our credit card. You pay at the front, so the waiter never sees your tip unless you leave it on the table, but we didn't have any cash on hand. So the owner tells us how much the bill is and my DH hands him the card, get the receipt and writes down the tip. I make sure to ask him to let our waiter know we put the tip on the card so he wouldn't think we stiffed him, and complimented his service. We went to another place and my DH hands me the receipt, so I can record it, and he left a 40¢ tip! He swears he left 20%, but just added it wrong on his copy, but it was right on their copy. I insisted we go back and double check. This is a neighborhood place after all, they know us, and I want them to keep liking us. So I go in and the owner asks what did I forget? I explain and he goes through the receipts and yup - 40¢! But the full amount (the 20%) was written in the tip line, but the total reflected 40¢. The question is what do they go by? The amount on the total line, or do they go back and check the math and adjust the total? My DH says they would have caught it at the end of the day, but I'm not sure. What do you think?

BTW, I made the owner fix it to reflect the correct amount. He was appreciative.

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  1. People add incorrectly all the time, they might mean to round up to an even number but they're off by this or that. Places I've worked go by the total, since that's in the end usually what the customer intended as their total to pay to the restaurant. It's a good thing you went back.

    1. Every place is different. My place goes by the actual tip, not the total, since there can be a math error, but the tip itself is what you meant to leave, regardless of the math.

      1. Thanks for the insight. Now I know to 1) double check his math ;-) and 2) go back just in case!

        1. Places I have worked, management usually made us go with the lower total, just to cover their own asses.

          1. I always go by the total line regardless of what was written on the tip line. If the customer recorded the total in his/her ledger, my inputing the tip line could potentially cause an overdraft/over limit situation down the road. Better to be safe than cause problems for customers.