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Tipping, before or after taxes?

  • c

I usually tip between 15 and twenty percent before taxes. My new west coast freinds, a lot of them watrons or dating watrons, tip a solid 20% after taxes. My reaction is usually "C'MON are you kidding", they are not and I hand over my wallet.

What do you think?

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  1. I'm like you, BEFORE the total with tax.

    5 Replies
    1. re: johanna

      The cheapskates come out like worms after a rainstorm, every time the "tipping" subject comes up.

      For Pete's sake, people, the difference between "before" and "after" taxes is 15% or 20% of 8%.

      Be a big spender, bub. Impress your date. Pretend that someone is (to some degree) responsible for how much money you take home, and whether you'd tell that person to give you as little as he can think up some lame excuse to justify.

      Now, let someone weigh in with the "well, the restaurant owners should pay a living wage" argument, followed by someone else pointing out that that would probably lead to a price increase of a lot more than 20%.

      Then we can go back to important topics, like the best hamburger in the South Bay.

      1. re: TE

        Someone is cranky today...

        1. re: johanna

          Somebody (1) dated a waitress while he was young and impressionable, and (2) is amazed every time this topic comes up, which is often, and people struggle to see how little they can get away with paying when the difference is so slight -- as pointed out by me and a person who came along later but posted above everybody else. Although I get the feeling he's suggesting that you tip low, because nobody will know the difference.

          Yeah, I suppose "cranky" applies. And I didn't even mention people who post above earlier postings, making it difficult to follow a string.

          Oh wait -- guess I did!

          1. re: TE

            I've been tipping the government more than 15% for years and the service has never gotten any better. We should be thankful that we have the option of tipping in relation to the service provided.

        2. re: TE

          I subscribe to the David Brown (husband of Helen late of Cosmopolitan) theory of tipping. When he was young he relied on his good looks and an OK tip; when he got older he relied on his charm and hiked up the tip the better to be remembered. Its amazing how this works in restaurants I haven't even been in in a year -the memory of a good tip lingers on - oh and a Vicar's wife warm smile doesn't hurt either. Now if the service is lousy ..... the Scottish blood boils. And if the food is terrible, its head to the Highlands.

      2. I once watched a couple of my friends debate this question for hours. My feeling is, who cares. Tax is about 8 percent, and assuming you're tipping around 20 percent, the difference is about 1.6 percent. On a hundred dollar tab, you're talking about a buck sixty difference. I can't imagine there are a huge number of waiters (or customers, for that matter) to whom this matters.

        1. It's good to have a norm, a standard, somethings that we can all agree on. Why can't we just say yes always tip 20% and do it after taxes. Case closed.
          But are we talking about tipping 20% on the two bottles of fine wine, that the waiter poured for us?

          A place like this is excellant for discussing these ideas, until we have reached a conclusion. Because for some reason friends always get personal and resort to name calling when ever tipping or loaning money is concerned.

          A good burger is Barnaby's on Tujunga off Ventura, and it comes with a slice of fresh pineapple, celery, and cucumber.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Colin

            They have a good chicken bowl as well (order it with the avacado)...with the small salad and pineapple. YUM.

          2. You're more than fine tipping the way you do. It is clearly within normal/standard range.

            Think of it this way. Some people just have more disposable income than others and they choose to give it to their waiters. (I would rather donate to the SPCA or other worthy causes. At least that's tax-deductible!)

            Whatever the reason, big tippers generally aren't under attack. But they shouldn't criticize you for tipping like a normal person. Hang on to your wallet!

            1. 20% after tax is almost 22% on the actual (i.e. pretax) cost, which is a hefty fucking tip by anyone's standards, and unless you dish out 25-30% for truly fantastic service, seems like it ought to be reserved for really good service.

              1. When I was a "waitron" I used to be a little more generous. Now I simply double the tax which works out to over 16%. Rarely to me does service deserve a full 20%. And if it's truly horrific and neglectful, then I think statements should be made - tipping 10 % or even a couple of dollars.

                1. w
                  woodenpidgeon

                  Who answering this question has waited tables?

                  Of those, who has waited tables for longer than a month and at somewhere other than a bowling alley?

                  Uncle Sam taxes waiters 12% (if you don't want an audit). Typically waiters share between 40-50% of their tips.

                  If you feel so strongly about this why not just not tip, or give 15% for great service? (which is what many accountant friends I know do)

                  If you had to pay a tip, it would be included. Feel free to be as cheap as you want.