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Feb 15, 2009 06:16 AM

Winterlicious debate continued- gratuity (tipping) (moved from Ontario board)

I know it is at the end of the promotion (but some restaurants are extending ) but I think it is importation to open this topic to debate. My discussion is NOT about the percentage that you tip but how you calculate the total tip.

Ex. your regular bill come out to $200 and you tip 15% (or the rate you normally tip) waiter tip income is $30 )

Winterlicious discounted bill is $100 and you tip 15% waiter tip income is $15 )

Do you tip on the promotional pricing or regular pricing. Do you tip $30 or $15 ?

If you got a complementary (free) meal. Do you leave nothing? Or a tip based on the regular full menu price.

Most blogs here indicate poor service or below average experience and this usually mean a reduction in gratuity.

How many people would hustle if they felt they were going to be short changed. How hard would you work if your pay was discounted?

I know this may be a touchy topic but want to open this topic for discussion.

PS: Please take into consideration the three parties involved. The customer, the wait staff and the owners.

Waiters – it is January if there were not for the promotions how many shifts would you get? little income is better the no income.

Customers- look at the regular prices on their online menu and calculate the money you are saving. PLEASE BE PAITENT and respect the fact that waiters’ income come mostly from tips.
-most waiters are not owners of the restaurant. They do not have a choice to participate or not.
-when you pay full price – the service and food is much better and there is no rushed feeling.
- eat for 1.5 hours and let them turn the table over. Remember how mad you were when you waited 35 minutes when you had a reservation. There is probably another table waiting.
- Book a reservation for 5:30 or 6 pm – you should get better service

Owner – yes we know you are losing money with each customer you serve and you will probably get more complaints during Winterlicious then you ever got. But your fixed cost are still high (rent and taxes) and free advertisement is free. (good or bad)
-remember that you have the option of not participation next year.

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  1. I always tip, based on the menu prices, or my impression of these. If I have a coupon, or discount, I tip on what the meal "would have" cost. If I am comp'ed, I attempt to get an idea of the pricing, and usually tip a bit more. Of course, this does depend on service offered.

    I would anticipate that serving a comp'ed, or discounted meal would require the same effort (or more, if the patrons are just looking for free food), as with a regular meal. It is there service, that I am tipping on, and not the final price of my meal.

    I will even ask for a tab on what the meal would normally cost, especially if the discount is very involved. I have never had this request denied, as the servers probably figure out what I am going to do.

    Now, I have to admit that we seldom do any promotional dining events, so there might be some unspoken "rules," of which I am just not aware.


    1. I always base my tip on what the meal should have cost before any discounts, less taxes. I tend to increase from that base amount for better service, or if I have had to many any special requests during the dining experience. If I am alone, I always add extra for good service since the value of the meal is decreased with most tables having two patrons.

      I will decrease in tip if I get bad service (not food, that is not the server's fault) and I tend to let a manager know why I am unhappy with either service or food.

      1. In regards to the owners, free advertisement is free, if you are talking about positive word of mouth that will result in a successful licous then yes. Nevertheless, owners have to pay to participate in a licous, somewhere between one a two thousand dollars. Also owners are still making money off of customers served, it's just that cheque averages are lower.

        As for the tip, I would tip according to the regular menu price, again, from my experience with the licouses that means a free dessert, so add 15 to 20% on top of $5-8. That's if service was anywhere from trying there best to fantastic.