HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


"We can't be friends..."

  • y

OK....so having worked in the "biz" for almost 10 years in various shapes and forms, I've developed a slight neuroses that I cannot shake. I can't seem to be friends...with people who tip poorly...and or otherwise have poor restaurant manners. There may be absolutely nothing else wrong with these people, and we may still maintain this facade of superficial friendship...but if aforementioned "friends" were to ask me out for a bite to eat or anything along the lines I will lie through my teeth like no tomorrow as an excuse not to go..
Anyone else in the same boat??

PS. I have also been known to end what would otherwise have been a great date, abrudtly...because said date tipped poorly...

am i insane?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think yout tolerance threshold is a bit narrow, if you ask me. How would you feel if somebody avoided you because they think you tip too much? It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? In any case, a good friendship is one where people have enough in common to get along but enough to set them apart and the trust to share their little differences and nuances. Why not just tell your friend/s that you think it might be appropriate to leave a bit more as a tip? If they get offended, you can just say that it's one of your 'things' because you've worked in the biz for a long time. I know the culture in America regarding tipping is very particular (I am in the UK) but, personally, I only tip well if the service was good. Otherwise, I don't as I see it as an 'extra' and not a given.

    If you really value someone's friendship, to cut them off because of their 'poor tipping' seems excessive to me. I love food and yet have great friends who couldn't care less..but we respect each other's quirks and compromise. If it is that important to you, just explain it to them. If they're real friends, they'll try and understand or you can ofer to leave the tip yourself instead.

    30 Replies
    1. re: Paula76

      "How would you feel if somebody avoided you because they think you tip too much? It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?"

      That sounds ridiculous because it IS ridiculous. Waistaff do not earn a living wage without appropriate tips.

      I understand you don't live in the same culture, but you need to understand that in the U.S. undertipping is as if I employed you for XYZ services and then decided not to pay you - after you'd already done the work. It's not just a quirk, it's abusive and exploitative.

      1. re: Mawrter

        Quite frankly, I find this ludicrous. In the same way that I cannot rely on the 'goodwill' of my employer to receive a fair salary or in the nice morals of drivers to stop at traffic lights and not run me over, I find it shocking that people's anger is directed at so-called 'poor tippers' and not at the government or the food industry for exploiting their staff. Why do you not campaign for servers to be paid fairly instead of assuming that palming off this responsibility to customers is acceptable and therefore that they are the ones that should be 'punished' if they don't tip enough when, by definition, tipping is optional and not mandatory (except from places where gratuity is included in the check)?

        Would you rely on everyone to behave well and be civil and nice to one another if there were no regulations and laws in place? No; me neither...

        1. re: Paula76

          Huh? The law doesn't affect my decision to run you over or let you live if you walk in front of my car. Perhaps the law is the only thing keeping *you* from plowing people down in the road, but I suspect for most people the vehicular homicide charge is only incidental to the more personal decision of whether to act responsibly, morally, ethically - or not.

          The situation probably does seem ludicrous to non-USians, and actually, I agree that it's grossly unfair to pay servers less than a living wage. As it happens, I *am* angry about that state of affairs, but the fact is that we are a tipping culture. You can like it or not, and you can tip appropriately or not, but it's been that way here since long before I ever ate in a restaurant, and is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. I am not personally involved in lobbying to change that - as far as I am aware, there's no urgency around this issue, even among servers. And more to the point – however I feel about the custom or the law, it doesn’t affect how I treat servers.

          Maybe we are misunderstanding each other: the OP is talking about tipping in the U.S. I was and am responding with U.S. tipping customs as my operating assumption. Perhaps you are not; maybe you're only thinking about tipping in your own country where - hey, I've never been to your country and I defer to you as the cultural expert there. Service included, tipping extra, tipping sometimes - I don't know. What I do know is that it’s my duty to find out to I don’t go around screwing others because of MY ignorance. I certainly would never presume to tell you how to behave in restaurants in your country.

          ***When you are in the U.S. if you don't tip according to the tipping custom here, you are depriving the server of part of their compensation - that tip is part of the price of your meal.***

          If you are angry that foreigners in the U.S. may be judged harshly because of/despite legitimate ignorance (not bad intentions), well, I can understand feeling uncomfortable with that. Maybe you feel embarrassed because you didn't know and you didn't tip and now you can't undo it. Understandable - I know how terrible I feel when I've made faux pas in other cultures, especially those that made me seem unkind, unthinking, presuming, or grasping.

          There's a difference between a mistake born of ignorance and *knowing* the custom and the economic consequences and still choosing not to behave appropriately in the foreign culture. Wouldn't you think I was a giant tool for visiting your country and behaving badly according to your country's ways? I might not exactly GET why you do what you do, but I do my best to figure out the ways of the country I'm in so I can behave appropriately and not go around offending everyone in my path.

          If you are here and you know what is expected and you still choose not to tip, well... that doesn't make you a rebel or a social critic, it makes you something very much else, and that is precisely what the OP was getting at.

          And? The labor laws are shit in this country. I've done all sorts of consulting work I never got paid for and gotten shafted on pay and commissions more times than I can count. I will never see that money unless I hire someone to break knees or a lawyer whose hourly rate is more than I'm owed. I don't LIKE it; I certainly try to vote for elected officials who support better laws; but we live in the actual state, not the ideal state.

          You may not like or approve of the tipping culture, but your opinion doesn’t make one whit of difference to the people who wait on you. If you feel strongly about it, write letters to the editor, keep posting about it here, start a campaign of protest to U.S. legislators, or boycott U.S. restaurants – but don’t take it out on the people bringing you your food here. They are not responsible for the law or the custom, but they are subject to them.

          1. re: Paula76

            Consider the Us vs Brit custom this way: If, as a server, I know I am making a liveable wage where is my incentive to provide exceptional, or even serviceable, service (because 99% of people will not complain to management, so even if I'm a poor server I will not lose my job). On the other hand if I am being paid directly by the person to whom I am providing the service, then I have huge incentive to provide them with great service.

            Also, if the restaurant was required to pay waitstaff a higher wage, do you not realize this cost would simply be passed on to you in the form of higher priced menu items?? So essentially, it would be costing the same for you to eat at a restaurant whether you or the restaurant is paying the server.

            1. re: rpewter55

              This argument is one that is always given as a reason to keep the tipping practice, and I think it's ridiculous. Even if people do not complain to management, a server may lose his job if customers stop coming and the restaurant can't afford to keep a server who isn't doing anything. Furthermore, serving wouldn't be a salaried position with a set number of hours. A restaurant is free to cut a poor server's hours or put her on less desirable shifts until she improves her attitude.

              Not all UK restaurants include gratuity either. It is entirely up to the restaurant. I visited plenty while I lived in London that tacked on nothing at all, and this seemed to be more common in the low-cost restaurants. In my experience in Japan, I did not find restaurant prices to be any higher than the are in the US. In many cases going out to eat at a low-cost restaurant is cheaper than cooking at home.

              1. re: queencru

                If this argument is ridiculous then why do I hear from most of the Brits I wait on how much more friendly and accomodating American servers are. It can't be because Americans are more friendly as a whole, because I find Brits to be the most pleasant people I come in contact with day after day.

                1. re: rpewter55

                  Again, British restaurants do not always include service. Many do, but it is not a requirement. Some of the places there where I received the worst service did not include any tip at all. In my experience, it's just not something as valued as it is in the US, be it in a tipped position or in a non-tipped position. On the other hand, in Japan, service is valued highly and even without a tip, people are polite and helpful because it's culturally unacceptable to be otherwise.

                  In many places that do include service, it is still expected that you will tip more. In that respect, servers still have to work to get the extra because the included portion is relatively minimal.

                2. re: queencru

                  In Japan we had waitresses chase us down the street to give us back our tip money.

              2. re: Paula76

                all the money in a business come from customers.i find it amazing how many people, in this and other tipping threads, ignore that simple fact. Let's say that the law was changed and waitstaff made minimum wage or higher so tipping was not required. where do you think that extra money would come from? same place as the tip - your pocket. the price of the food would have to go up to compensate for the higher salary.

                so to pretend that tipping somehow shifts the burden of that money from the business to the customer is disingenuous at best.

                1. re: thew

                  So why not increase the price of the food by 15% and pay the waiting staff a decent wage, with benefits. As it appears that you pretty much have to pay 15% or people will think you're a complete idiot, it's not really discretionary, is it? And the restaurant is disingenuous by advertising its prices at a certain level, when in reality they are 15% higher. It may not be the American way of doing things, but it strikes me as more transparent.

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Interesting idea, tough to change the culture. Worthwhile article on restaurants that have tried or are trying to go with a flat service fee in lieu of "discretionary" tipping, with very mixed results, mostly not good:


                    An older, related article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/15/nyr...


                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      What struck me about that article is the correlation between good service and tipping - around 2 percent, according to some academic or other. Which rather blows the argument that discretionary tipping = good service out of the water.

                    2. re: greedygirl

                      what people think of me isn;t the point. i don't tip well because im afraid of what people think.

                      and nothing is disingenous about it - if you know tipping is part of the deal, you know the prices are 15% than listed. nothing sneaky at all

                      1. re: thew

                        "if you know tipping is part of the deal, you know the prices are 15% (higher) than listed. nothing sneaky at all."

                        I think the key is knowing... as a Canadian who grew up in a bordertown I knew about lower wages for serving but didn't know patrons were expected to tip 15%+ to make it up. In some ways not advertising the tipping policy is somewhat sneaky, I can't think of any other product or service a customer would purchase where the price is x + 15%. I'm not expected to pay the car salesman's commission for instance. Once tipping is expected it's no longer truly discretionary.

                        1. re: thew

                          But if you're foreign, you don't necessarily know that. And it's not necessarily 15% according to a lot of folks on here, more like 20%. I don't like the idea that people are basically guilt-tripped into paying big tips. But then I'm from a different culture. :-)

                          1. re: greedygirl

                            I agree with you (but then again, I am also from a different culture). By assuming that it is the customer's responsibility to compensate for the servers' meagre salary without making it mandatory, they are shifting the blame from those who really should shoulder it and pay their workers a decent wage. That also means that the servers feel forced to fish for tips which can be degrading for them and annoying for the customers. In my outsider's opinion, this perpetuates the huge division between serving staff and punters as no other job seems to depend on tips in order to yield a basic living wage.

                            1. re: Paula76

                              as far as i know, servers are not in indentured servitude. they are free to work anywhere they and the employer believe it is of mutual benefit.

                              1. re: Paula76

                                There is always a choice of where/if/when a person decides to work within an industry where tips are their main source of income.
                                Always remember this is a business where the owner is the one who's making the profit and the servers are free to come and go as they please if they don't like the way the owner is operating their business.

                                1. re: latindancer

                                  My view tends to be that most people do not choose to be servers out of pleasure but, rather, because they have no other choice at the time, be it because they are students and need a job that is flexible or because they are immigrants and cannot find other jobs. I know that this isn't the case with everyone but with many. Again, it is a culture I do not know or understand so I am just expressing my very humble opinion from an outsider's point of view in the same way in which I disagree with many of the things that go on in the British job market and even more so, in Argentina (where I'm from).

                                  1. re: Paula76

                                    "My view tends to be that most people do not choose to be servers out of pleasure"

                                    There is always a choice. I know many professional, lifelong servers who would be off offended if someone thought their choice of profession was anything but honorable and respectable.

                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      Absolutely! And because it is honorable and respectable it should be treated as such and given the same status as other professions which means a decent wage that does not need to rely on tips to be of equal standard to everyone else. I've worked in pubs and restaurants but was paid the same minimum wage as my friends who were doing other jobs.
                                      I am originally from Argentina where you've got old restaurants with amazing professional waiters who are so skilled and proud of what they do. But they are paid a living salary before tips which are, true to their meaning, an optional extra given for good service and not an essential for the worker to be able to survive.

                                      1. re: Paula76

                                        An owner of a restaurant in this country must pay minimum wage.
                                        Beyond that it is up to the discretion of the owner to do as he/she pleases in order to make a profit.
                                        Servers have choices. They can be hired by an establishment that is known for bringing in high tips. After that it is up to the server to decide how much/how little they care to make in the way of extra income.
                                        A server who works hard for me, to make sure I have an enjoyable experience at the restaurant they're serving in, will surely be highly compensated for the work.
                                        A server who chooses to not work hard for me will not be compensated the same.

                          2. re: greedygirl

                            Then you'd have the people that "refuse to tip on the tax" up in arms because in effect they're being forced to do just that if the cost of a meal went up by 15%. The first and only time I heard that at my table it was for a $7 lunch. I couldn't believe she was actually complaining out loud about paying 15% of 8% of $7. For the original poster, sometimes things like that point out a disagreeable quality in somebody that you might otherwise not have noticed for a while.

                            But where does that leave those of us who usually tip 20% or more on a small or inexpensive meal? Do we slip the server another 5% and there we are, back to square one, only by now there've been a ton of taxpayer dollars spent ramrodding this brave new world for waiters through?

                            I wish the system was different, more like the European style, but I think legislators have bigger fish to fry (so to speak) these days than changing a system that, as thew points out, doesn't change much for the people it's supposed to benefit, only now every dime they make is reported to the IRS.

                        2. re: Paula76

                          The problem is that in this economy if the government mandated a fair salary for waitstaff, many restaurants would be forced to close.

                          1. re: NicoleFriedman

                            Or they could raise their prices by 15%, or include a service charge for eat-in orders. And explain this to their customers. The customers are paying about the same anyway, and if they complain, they're probably the classist, obnoxious kind of customers that waiters hate.

                      2. re: Paula76

                        "I know the culture in America regarding tipping is very particular."

                        You think so?
                        Why is it, then, I hear stories (not happened to me because I tip accordingly and it's mostly 20% unless the service was abhorrent) about waitstaff following customers, upon leaving, outside the restaurant screaming because they left below average tips?
                        The word is CHEAP. Cheap tippers always think up excuses not to take care of the server.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          Seriously? How terribly unprofessional of them...By definition, if tipping is 'discretional', it should not be demanded. If you work as a server in the food industry, you should be willing to accept that no everybody is obligated to leave 20%, especially if the service wasn't up to scratch. It is part and parcel of the job. I am not cheap but I am from a different culture. Of course, if I was in America as a tourist I would ask what the custom is and follow it, albeit reluctantly in this case and not because I am stingy but because I don't believe in hypocrysy. If you demand 20% as an obligation, then add it to the bill and do not pass it off as 'optional'.

                          1. re: Paula76

                            "Seriously? How terribly unprofessional of them...By definition, if tipping is 'discretional,' it should not be demanded.

                            Yes, seriously. The stories I've known to be fact are from friends and their experiences abroad not in the US.
                            One was in the UK and the other in Paris. In both instances the waiter was furious for what he believed to be insufficient tipping.
                            I automatically leave 20% unless, as I've stated before, the service was unacceptable. I feel the waiter deserves the tip as they're providing a service to me in order that I may enjoy my pleasure.
                            In response to your statement 'if you demand 20% as an obligation, then add it to the bill and do not pass it off as 'optional'.
                            Tipping is, and always has been, optional in this country. It was one nice gesture of appreciation passed on to another who provides a service and in all my experiences in travel in the US, whether it be in the food industry, the hotel industry or any place where there is a service provided I have never encountered anything but gratitude from the person doing the service.

                          2. re: latindancer

                            "Cheap tippers always think up excuses not to take care of the server."

                            You've got THAT right.

                          3. re: Paula76

                            I don't think this is that unreasonable. None of my friends are cheap tippers. Everyone I've ever known who was a cheap tipper were people I didn't generally like. The poor tipping wasn't the reason I didn't like them (though it didn't help their case much), it was more like a symptom of their overall poor character. So, no, I can't be friends with bad tippers, either, because generally they're cheap dbags in many other ways as well.

                          4. I too have worked in the "biz" from behind the scenes to out on the floor. As a waiter I never EXPECTED a tip from anybody, that is why I would go out of my way to insure my diners were treated well and that their meal was as pleasing as possible, hence, in my belief, I was never stiffed but have had poor tips from people. The poor tipping I have seen was for problems from the kitchen regarding the food. I have also had people return to the restaurant to "bump" my tip because they paid in cash and weren't fully prepared for the bill. Yes there are some people out there that make poor tipping a habit, thankfully i have never run afoul of them. There are so many problems these days that to cut off a friendship because of tipping seems very shallow to me. Maybe these people are boors, who knows.
                            A tip is a reward for professional, prompt service and a well cooked meal, nothing more. The career wait staff that i know personally do have some stories regarding bad tippers but they continually say that those people are a minor drop in the bucket and they make up for it by their big tippers. It's part of the game. On a side note... I wouldn't end a friendship because someone uses gas (of all things) to grill. I'm a hardwood guy, no charcoal either.

                            1. It sounds to me like you want friends who are considerate and thoughtful. I don't think there is anything wrong with that as long as you check your expectations, making sure you are not being unreasonable.

                              1. Maybe your friends who tip bad sometimes have reasons for tipping bad. They might be from somewhere else, learned how to tip differently, or while you were in the bathroom something happened. I'd much rather give the server a bigger tip on my part of the check than make mountains out of molehills with my friends.

                                1. I don't think you are crazy and I believe you are rational enough to realize you understand there may be future problems arising in a relationship where the other person is frugal when it comes to money and how it is expended. Like yourself, I have been in the business and have seen a wide range of people and their tipping history in both restaurants and country clubs........ classifying people into two groups, those who do tip or tip generously versus those who don't appropriately......I would much rather be in the group of people who tipped and tipped generously, rather than poorly or not. My observation is the generous tippers were simply more fun and less likely to complain about incidents or things I considered trivial.......combine that with the fact generous tippers actually pick up a check once in a while, without any other reason than that they want to is very refreshing.....While I do realize everyone's financial situation is different and in most cases their tipping philosophy is most likely a result of how well off they are......the observations I am basing my comments are have to do with people I know who are very well off financially......members of the Country Clubs where I have worked and have belonged to....or people I know or have met, whether they are friends or acquaintances. Some of these people are actually very nice people, but others in the non-appropriate tipping pool are very demanding and expect way too much for their money, e.g. saying things along the lines of....

                                  * They really should do this or that here for the money they charge.
                                  * What do you mean a salad or fries is an extra charge(this in a a la carte restaurant)
                                  * Only a 4 ounce pour in your martini.....it should be at least eight

                                  This is to mean they expect things due to entitlement, like it should be a given.....and I simply do not believe anything should be considered a given...you can agree with a policy or not, the choice is yours whether you wish to return or not......but please don't tell me how the place should be run.

                                  I also have *friends* (in the poor tipping category) who always invite me out for dinner and and to play golf. For the record, I am the least demanding person when it comes to eating out and I rarely ever make any special requests.....but, my some of my *friends* are quite the opposite, you know the type that ask for the wine list and wants to know every little detail before ordering, and orders everything he can imagine.....but for some unexplainable reason after dinner, the check always is presented to me and when it comes to payment time.....let's just say they have alligator arms........

                                  On the golf front, they invite me to play golf....but at my own club where I have to pick up the tab, which is fine......but they never offer to pay their green fee or reciprocate to take me anywhere for dinner afterwards on their own dime. So in the end, beat me up, but I too choose to limit my time with people I deem CHEAP.

                                  Let me put my head gear on now before you start throwing the punches

                                  1. Yes yuyu are insane.
                                    This is not a slight neurosis, yuyu are barking mad!
                                    However I would like to know what the tipping (lol) point is.
                                    I will assume that 20% post tax is OK.
                                    So if your cheapo friends tip 19% pretax is that grounds to sever all relations forever?
                                    Since it appears that your cheapo friends are paying for your meal, why can't you throw a buck or two on the table discreetly on leaving.

                                    Nowhere in the world are people as anal about tipping as the U.S.. Probably guilt over the master/servant relationship - I feel guilty about being served by you so I'm going to pay you as though you were a lawyer.
                                    Put a 15% gratuity on the bill and if the customer is happy and generous they can leave a bit of change for beer money (pourboire) as tips were originally intended.

                                    Oh, BTW, the employer should be deducting and remitting the income tax on the aforementioned 15%.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: garlicandwingnut

                                      very rarely do my friends pay for my meal and as for the cheapo friends generally I end up having to supplement their tip out of embarassment

                                      1. re: garlicandwingnut

                                        Get a clue. Servers don't make attorney salaries.

                                        1. re: MichelleRenee

                                          I don't think servers have to go to school for 7 years after high school and accrue a massive amount of debt either.

                                          1. re: chezwhitey

                                            there ya go. nobody is forcing a server to be a server, either. unless indentured servitude has returned?

                                        2. re: garlicandwingnut

                                          "Nowhere in the world are people as anal about tipping as the U.S.. Probably guilt over the master/servant relationship "

                                          perhaps it is isn't guilt but because it is only in the US is a waiter paid less than a living salary because tipping is assumed to fill it out

                                        3. I want to know what "tip poorly" actually means. People from different regions or fields often have opposing ideas of what is good and what is the bare minimum. I'm still from an area where 15% is the norm, while others say 20% is the bare minimum for so-so service. If it really is something abysmal by any objective American standard like 10% for good service, then I don't think there's anything wrong with asking why the person tips so poorly. Obviously if you are dealing with non-Americans, it may be something as simple as lack of knowledge or outdated information.

                                          I don't think it's fair to expect to be compatible with a friend in every activity. There's nothing to say that a person who isn't a good dining buddy can't be a great gym buddy or concert buddy. If we're talking a romantic relationship, I agree that this could be a real issue since it reflects certain values that you probably want to share, but in a friendship I think it's completely acceptable to have differing values.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: queencru

                                            I didn't realise that I was a poor tipper (when visiting the US) until I joined Chowhound. As I am from the UK it genuinely never occurred to me that anything less than 15% was considered a poor tip. Obviously I knew that America was a tipping culture, but I didn't realise that tips had to be so large. I haven't visited the States for a while but will leave bigger tips when I do. (20% is a huge tip by European standards - I'd rather they just charged more for the food, paid the serving staff more and then we all know where we stand. Works for the French.)

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              "Works for the French".

                                              Um... it was in Paris, a few years ago, when apparently the waiter didn't like the tip we left (which wasn't cheap by any standards) and chased us into the street screaming with fists clenched. It was one of the most hilarious scenes I can recall.

                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                wonder if he'd have done that with a french person (assuming you're not french, from other posts).

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  I've always known the answer to that question and you're right I'm not french.

                                                2. re: latindancer

                                                  Why "apparently"? Didn't he mention why he was upset? I'd think that if he chased you out into the street, screaming, one of the screams would have had to have had some suggestion as to his displeasure.

                                            2. I would not say you are insane but you seem to be worrying about this too much. I am often out with friends, particularly those I work with, that don't leave an adequate tip. I just politely throw a few extra dollars in. Sometimes they notice and mention it and I just say something like, they did a good job or they really took good care of us. Hopefully they may realize the next time that they should leave more for good service.

                                              That said I have many friends that also over tip which I don't understand. if service is great absolutely reward the person but when service is simply what it should be that does not warrant a tip larger than the norm for whatever area you are in. Interestingly I also notice friends that under tip food servers but over tip bartenders on a regular basis.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: swamp

                                                It's the only way to insure a bartender keeps you "topped off". As an ex-bartender I would let the low tippers idle while I took care of my "benefactors".

                                                1. re: Lenox637

                                                  I have sworn over and over that I would not let myself get drawn into another tippng thread, but...

                                                  Lenox, I believe the proper term is "customer" not "benefactor." And not all bar patrons tip with every drink, but at the end of the quaffing session. I find it a little disturbing that you would not serve all your customers to the best standards you were able to provide.

                                                  Just saying.


                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                    I agree. I find that just as bad as tipping poorly. Everyone should just be treating everyone well. Period.

                                              2. I don't know if I would go so far as to immediately writing someone off because of their tipping practices because MANY people really are clueless when it comes to tipping. If after we have a conversation about tipping practices I learn that the person's reasons for not tipping well are silly, selfish, and or unjustified then I know not to go out to eat with them anymore.

                                                Regardless of whether they are a great tipper or not, I definitely consider one's behavior while dining out as a more accurate judgement of their character. For example, the last place I worked.... The owner was trying to "woo" me in to working with him so he took me out to dinner at the nicest restaurant in town. The chef/owner of this restaurant was a client of his and he knew him personally. Throughout the whole meal this guy was interrupting the server, trying to quiz him on what the specials came with ("and you know how I know that? The owner told me this morning"), and name-dropping the owner. He was on a power-trip the whole meal right down to purposefully waiting FOREVER to pick up the check presenter and pay the bill. It was obvious he enjoyed having the server come back to the table several times only to tell him "we're not ready yet". I ended up taking the job and realized his restaurant demeanor wasn't too far from his business demeanor. Needless to say it ended very poorly...

                                                1. You are making a mountain out of a molehill. To paraphrase what someone wrote in another thread, not one of us is an oil painting either.

                                                  1. I have a friend who ended a date abruptly because the woman he was with spilled the sugar packets on the floor and when he started to pick them up she said, "oh, let the waitress do that, it's her job." End of dating. I think what you are talking about is a certain attitude about service, not necessarily a set amount of tip, correct? In other words, I would feel the same way about someone who tipped only 10% even when they knew it was under tipping and they could afford more. Or if they were the type that were oblivious to great service and always looking for ways to ding the servers tip. But 15% I would just add more in (like with my father in law).

                                                    1. An extremely poor tipper shows either little generosity of spirit or extreme cheapness -- I do not find either of these characteristics to be attractive in a friend, no less a romantic partner. A person who is arrogant, overly demanding or borderline abusive to waitstaff is some one I find embarrasing to be around, and I will actively avoid them. Choosing to spend time with people who are polite, gracious, generous and considerate is not insane on your part, and I see no reason why you should make any apologies for that choice. I certainly don't.

                                                      15 Replies
                                                      1. re: chefbeth

                                                        I don't necessarily think that "arrogant, overly demanding or borderline abusive to waitstaff" people are always the "bad" tippers. It can also be the very quiet person who doesn't want to create a disturbance and therefore show their displeasure with a smaller tip. I avoid boorish behavior as well. It is unfortunate that there ARE people who choose to carry drama and confrontation with them. I still think that tipping should not be expected, but worked for.

                                                        1. re: Lenox637

                                                          Within the context of this debate, I offer the following scenario (and wonder what you all would do, or think)

                                                          I am looking for employment, and a friend of mine has a position open in his company in Indiana for which I am well suited, He, his boss (a woman, and the owner of the company) and another employee of that company were visiting my city to 1) meet with some of their customers and 2) meet and interview me over dinner. I meet them in the hotel where they are staying, which has no bar, but they've been making their own drinks with alcohol they brought with them. Boss Lady has had one drink by the time I arrive, and fixes and drinks a second (rum and Pepsi) while I sit and watch (none was offered to me). We all walk to a nearby upscale seafood restaurant, where she orders herself a bottle of the cheapest bordeaux on the list to go with her fish. She made a racial slur towards our waiter, and sent her salad back because it had croutons that she specified she didnt want. At the end of the meal, slurring her speech, she announces that even though she is drunk, she can still calculate 15% for the tip, which is what she leaves. Two days later we meet for breakfast (IHOP, near the hotel) and at the end of THAT meal, she brags that normally she only tips 10% anywhere. (I was last to leave the table, and tossed down an additional gratuity to the waitress who was extremely tolerant of this woman's special needs). My friend, who was along for all of this, can't understand why I am now hesitant to work for this person, and has promised me that she will not be allowed NEAR any of the new customers I might bring along. I wont even go into the intimate details of her personal life that she overshared with us during dinner. I need a job, but this is not the route I want to take.

                                                          1. re: Cheflambo

                                                            I think these are called "red flags."

                                                            I once had a friend who boasted about how little she paid her minority housekeeper. She displayed her lack of principles later in other ways and I was the one who got hurt.

                                                            And then another friend told me how her son found a wallet in a hotel lobby and brought it to them, and how her husband took the money out of the wallet, gave it to the boy then told him to hand the wallet to a clerk, saying if he didn't take the money the clerk would have. I was also later hurt by these people.

                                                            A few years ago I spent a weekend at the home of people like you have described. They were so rude that I at first thought they were joking around. The man was a business associate of my husband's and the weekend was for the two of them to play in a golf tournament. This man and his wife drank excessively and cursed just as excessively. He eventually lost his job after an investigation into embezzlement. He was the accountant who looked the other way and accepted gifts as the President and Vice Presidents paid themselves bonuses in advance of sales.

                                                            So Cheflambo, if you take that job you need to be very careful with these people because if they will mistreat a waiter, they will mistreat you. You need to be very guarded if you take that job. These are perilous financial times though. In a few years you could probably find an even better job with a boss with a conscience, some class, and who has regard for others.

                                                            Good luck! Its a jungle out there!

                                                            1. re: Lewes17266

                                                              I realize I am replying to myself but after my post I recalled this excellent article from a few years back. http://www.usatoday.com/money/compani...

                                                              1. re: Lewes17266

                                                                **BINGO** " if they will mistreat a waiter..they will mistreat you"
                                                                I think that was the point I was trying to get across all along = p

                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                  I have to agree with Lewes & Sam. I have a client that I work and have worked with for many, many years. I have seen him be abusive and rude to many people, including his wife who he works with, but I thought we had a more professional relationship. Found out the hard way when I was in a rough spot and need a job, and he had an opening, that I was as disposable as a paper towel. He is a cheap one! And proud, just as the person you describe. Anyone who would send back a salad because of croutons is going to be so picky that you will never please them, especially if they have a hangover! I don't like croutons either, but how hard is it to toss them off to the side?

                                                                  Back to the tipping, though. I have a good friend that I used to go out with a lot. I posted a thread about her bad tipping habits a long time ago. She was in a habit of tipping 10%, but she also was totally ignorant about the fact that the servers weren't making minimum wage, and in a lot of places, had to share the tips. Once she found all these things out she became a generous tipper. If someone actually knows all of these things and still tips poorly, then they are scum, and nothing else.

                                                                  1. re: danhole

                                                                    Well, I verbally agreed to represent them here in my city, but with the assurance that I would report to my friend (the General Manager, and someone I have worked with before) and not Rude Boss Lady. Start date has been pushed back another month, and I suspect that the end result will be that RBL realizes she cant afford me, In the meantime, another company is very interested in me (second interview coming up next week) so with any luck the issue will resolve itself. I hate to disappoint my friend (who really IS a joy to work with, and willing to learn all that I have taught him about fine restaurant dining) but I know he will come ALONE to my city to visit his local customers, and we will enjoy each other's company in nice restaurants, where he will NOT stack the dirty plates after we're done eating (as RBL did).

                                                                    1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                      All the best to you in your new job!

                                                                      1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                        What's wrong with stacking the plates? A lot of servers appreciate it. But maybe this is more for lower-end restaurants than high-end ones.

                                                                      2. re: danhole

                                                                        Actually, in MA anyway, there IS a minimum wage for waitstaff but it is based on the assumption that a waiter makes half, or more, of their money on tips. It just isn't the typical minimum wage that is always talked about.

                                                                        1. re: Lenox637

                                                                          Actually in MA the server minimum wage is $2.63, much less than half the state's minimum wage which is $8. I think you'd be hard pressed to name any place in Massachussetts where it's possible to survive on a wage of $5.26/hour. Most states have a server minum over $2, less than $3.

                                                                          1. re: Figtastic

                                                                            The minimum wage for servers in PA is about the same - unchanged since the '80s, AFAIK. And our minimum hourly wage is $7.15.

                                                                        2. re: danhole

                                                                          Those people are gross, dishonest and bigots, (and while I love a drink, their drinking was inappropriate in the situation). But actuallly some people can't touch bread (croûtons), so that particular quirk could be admissible, if they are gracious about their coeliac or other allergy.

                                                                      3. re: Cheflambo

                                                                        I can hear creepy horror movie music playing in the background; don't do it.

                                                                  2. I would be their "friend," in the arenas, where they thrive. When it comes to dining, I would look elsehwere. Simple as that.

                                                                    We have friends from many "walks of life." Some would not be good candidates for a 10-course wine dinner. They would not be our choices for dining at a "starred-chef's" restaurant. Still, they are lovely people, to play golf, tennis, or just hang with. No problems, one just has to consider where these folk fit in and enjoy their company there.


                                                                    1. No, you're not insane. As someone who's worked in customer service, I'm also hypersensitive to how people around me treat service people. I don't see anything wrong if you're not comfortable being with them in a restaurant environment.

                                                                      1. p.s....do those who do seem to think I am insane also think I am crazy for telling a date never to call me again..because he commented on the fact that the tip I was leaving was TOO MUCH?? (i.e. just over 20%...)

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: yuyu

                                                                          It's hard to know whether it was too much without being there. Maybe he just thought the service wasn't worth that amount if he's typically from a tip 15% group and he saw this service as merely average.

                                                                          1. re: queencru

                                                                            no excuses it's my money it's non-of his freaking business..it's almost as bad as when you serve tables...and others at the table take your tip...they should be charged with theft,,,

                                                                            1. re: yuyu

                                                                              ok now you sound crazy and psycho. Are you single and friendless?

                                                                              Why should you be dictating how your "friend" is tipping. In your words, it's their money and it's non your freaking business.

                                                                              If you want to tip 25, 35 or 50% go for it but don't tell people how they should tip. It's their and your own personal choice.

                                                                              1. re: chewy_bakah

                                                                                Good point. If the OP makes judgments on people based on how they tip, then I think others have an equal right to judge the OP for how she tips. You can't have it both ways.

                                                                        2. No, it's normal to pay attention to things (esp details) that are important to you and to want friends to honor those things. Some people are educable, some aren't. When I'm out with a friend or friends whom I know aren't on a budget and whom I think tip poorly, I'll add extra to the tip (in cash) and say something like, "I used to be a food server, I know how hard they work. Some folks pick up on it in the future, some don't.

                                                                          I also used to date someone who has pretty bad table manners--jams food into his mouth with the heel of his hand, stuffs his mouth till his cheeks bulge like a squirrel's, chews with his mouth wide open, licked his knife, picked up his plate and used his fork as a shovel. Seriously, I've seen him eat an entire slice of pizza in one mouthful. I found it embarrassing to take him to business or social events. (Ironically, he has an MBA and works in the business world in a client-driven profession.) I tried (gently, I thought) to encourage him to take smaller bites, to not use his cutlery like tools, etc. He got huffy and said that he wasn't interested in being a snotty Park Avenue matron who drinks tea with her pinky sticking out. I got rid of him not because of a lack of self-awareness but because his refusal to even try to accommodate my requests extended to a lot of other things, such as driving way over the speed limit in residential neighborhoods and near schools, dressing appropriately (he insisted on wearing sweatshirts all the time, even to nice restaurants, out to plays, etc.). I decided someone with an attitude like that wasn't a friend, much less a boyfriend.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Erika L

                                                                            Having a wide assortment of friends, there are those I would take to a high end restaurant and those that i will meet at the bar for a burger and beer. Thank God we are all unique, what a boring place this world would be with everybody being one dimensionally politically correct.

                                                                            Bad service=low tip
                                                                            great food/bad service=so so tip
                                                                            great food/great service=outstanding tip
                                                                            bad food/great service=good tip with an aside to the manager regarding the food

                                                                            life's too short and too fun to be bothered by the bs

                                                                            1. re: Erika L

                                                                              "jams food into his mouth with the heel of his hand, stuffs his mouth till his cheeks bulge like a squirrel's, chews with his mouth wide open, licked his knife, picked up his plate and used his fork as a shovel."

                                                                              You went on more than one date with this?

                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                Well...he was the friend of a friend who thought we had common interests, which we did, plus the few few get-togethers were in groups and included movies or plays, then coffee. So I didn't catch on to the table manners immediately and by then had decided to try to not be judgmental. Not making that mistake again, if I ever run across someone that oblivious!

                                                                            2. What's your definition of poor tipper? I know people who think you're a poor tipper if it's under 20% after tax, no matter how atrocious the service is. There are some mighty fine posters on this board who do not tip 20%, and I'm not seeing them as less of a person because of it. Tipping may be important to you, but not to them. I feel like if it's standard (15%+), it really wouldn't an issue with me. I tip at least 20, but that's me, and I don't feel like I have to subject my friends to my own personal standard of tipping. But if it bothers you so much, you probably shouldn't be friends with them.

                                                                              1. Yuyu, you are just following your gut reaction, which is usually a smart thing to do. Most often I have found that when I have reservations or apprehension about a person I've just met, but tell myself I'm wrong, sooner or later it turns out that the initial warning flag should have been heeded! Very little things can tell you a LOT about a person. If the person can afford to tip appropriately and knows what is expected, but chooses to be stingy, file that in your memory bank. You don't need to be enemies, but don't have high expectations for their character or behavior in other circumstances.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                  very well said greygarious. Like the person who posted upthread about their potential scary boss lady. Go with your gut.
                                                                                  P.S. You just said yu yu you!! Hee-hee-hee! ;) adam

                                                                                  1. re: adamshoe

                                                                                    just beware, there are those of us (cancers especially) that come off a little crustily but that is just intended to keep the riff-raff away. For instance, I have no time whatsoever to stand around eating nachos, drinking beer and watching and talking about football. You'll find me in the kitchen talking to the women where there is meaningful conversation, not stats and money and work.

                                                                                2. so....out of curiosity.....what do you do with the family members who exhibit these behaviours?

                                                                                  30 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                    Funny you should ask .... we have a brother-in-law who would also tip only 10% if he thought we wouldn't notice. We only see him and his wife once a year, and he's usually the first one to announce "Separate Checks!!" as soon as we are seated, in a nice restaurant, but once in a while there is only 1 total bill, which he will scoop up and pay with his "airline points" credit card, then use the calculator on his cell phone to determine to the penny what each person (including his wife!) owes, including tax and each portion of the auto-grat. He collects all our cash (and doesnt give back your change, i.e. you toss in a $20 but what you owe is $16) then leaves a pitiful tip. Again, I go back (or linger) and supplement the gratuity. I think the server deserves additional compensation just for dealing with SIL, who will actually dicker over the price of her meal if she wants "just this, without that" ..... its embarassing. They have one child, a grown son, and he won't eat out with them any more for just this reason.

                                                                                    1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                      Don't speak to them anymore, but the tipping issue was the start of my thinking they're A-holes.

                                                                                      Family dinner at a Chinese restaurant and when it comes time to split the bill, one hakujin says to the other hakujin, "it's a Chinese restaurant, you only have to tip 10%". That's after one of them says for everyone to put their duck bones on one side of the duck platter we're still eating from.

                                                                                      1. re: monku

                                                                                        "its a Chinese restaurant, you only have to tip 10%" OMG .... are YOU related to my inlaws too??

                                                                                        1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                          Yeah, and we're Chinese. One time we leave 15%+ and I see one of them skimming off some of the money into his pocket.

                                                                                          Let's see, one last name begins with B and the other K?

                                                                                          1. re: monku

                                                                                            Oh how funny .... no, my in-laws are Jewish and live in FL.... but otherwise, they sound scary-similar! Skimming the tip?? Oy vey ......

                                                                                        2. re: monku

                                                                                          I've already posted but have to respond to this one...

                                                                                          I'm Chinese and boy is our family CHEAP when it comes to eating out! All the aunties and uncles have a huge and loud fight over who's going to get the bill, then whoever gets it might leave 10% if they've feeling generous. (We only go to Chinese restos for big fam things.) Not only that, but everyone takes not only leftovers but also salt and pepper packets, soy sauce packets, mustard packets...if for some reason we're in a non-Chinese resto, butter pats and individual jam thingies will also disappear into an auntie's purse. If there's an open container of Parmesan, an auntie will take out a plastic container (brought for just this purpose) and take that, too. The all-time winner is the fam friend (yes, Chinese) who brought an old Gold 'n' Soft container to take home the soft serve ice cream that she didn't finish...not that it would melt or anything.

                                                                                          So if we wanna talk bad resto manners, oh yeah, members of my fam are way worse than any friends but I have to admit that I mentally classify their behavior in a diff brain file cabinet, probably b/c we mostly go to Chinese restos and b/c I know lots of other Chinese fams who exhibit the same habits!

                                                                                          1. re: Erika L

                                                                                            Fun to be of Asian peasant stock at a family dinner!

                                                                                            We always fight to get and pay for the check. And that is a sweaty battle that one needs to prepare for. Each person has a trick or two. But, tipping is tricky - tip "too much" can mean that you're a flamboyant wastrel trying to impress who knows who?! A very bad, undesirable trait. Tip too little and you're a cheapskate? No, because you're grabbing the tab. As to taking everything still standing - that is to teach the younger generation that we all suffered so much to get you where you are (so don't be snearing or banging your head): the Great Depression (for you hakujins), building the trans-continental railroad (for you Chinese and assorted Okies), the rape and pillage of Manchuria (for you Chinese, not for us), the concentration camps (for us and the Jews, not you Chinese), the Gulag (keg?), the Dust Bowl (Okies only), and three feet of snow uphill both ways on the way to and from school (EVERYONE!).

                                                                                            1. re: Erika L

                                                                                              The parmesian cheese and soft serve ice cream are new ones to me.

                                                                                              The hakujin side never fights over the check, always has to be divided. My complaint with my wife is why should I have to pay for all the beer they're guzzling when I don't drink any. Is Monku a cheapskate? MIL (Chinese)insists on taking home all the beer bottles and soda cans to take to the recycler. As soon as a beer bottle or soda can is empty, she's got her eyes on it.

                                                                                              Family dinners on my side are always at a Chinese resto. My grandparents owned a Chinese restaurant so no pilfering stuff, but always the big fight over the check or my folks make me sneak off to pay the check so it never gets to the table. Worse thing on my side is my grandmother would bring baggies and take home some AYCE sushi for her next meal.

                                                                                              My wife complains because all that extra packet stuff I leave piled on the table for the next customers rather than throw it away....I should let your family know where I'm eating next.

                                                                                              My recent CHEAPEE habit is taking home the extra napkings they leave on the table. I figure they must throw them out so why waste them. I think its in my blood. When my cousin was young she collected napkins from every restaurant she ate at whether they were cloth or paper.

                                                                                              We got some stories don't we.

                                                                                              1. re: monku

                                                                                                monku, as a Chinese how is it that your screen name is "monku" and you use the word "hakujin"?

                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                  To confuse people like you and because my JA friends gave me that nickname 20 years ago and it stuck.

                                                                                                  Because most people know the word hakujin and not lofan.

                                                                                                  1. re: monku

                                                                                                    But we never use "monku"! It is always, 'Monku, monku, monku!".

                                                                                                    I thought that everyone in the US knew "lo fan" ever since Kurt Russell in "Big Time in Little China"!

                                                                                                    Gampaii, monku-san!!

                                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                      That's what they'd say "monku, monku, monku!"

                                                                                                      Movie is "Big Trouble in Little China" a classic in my mind.

                                                                                                      1. re: monku

                                                                                                        My peeps! You will definitely appreciate this one, which includes Chinese behavior piled onto Chinese behavior, although not within the resto context:

                                                                                                        A number of the fam were in Reno and pinched a bunch of rolls from the buffet to have for breakfast. Next morning, an uncle blasted all of them with the motel hair dryer to make a hot breakfast.

                                                                                                        The cousins collect these stories and swap them via email, although some of us think we should blog. And yes, we're a little worried that there might be a genetic component to this behavior...

                                                                                                        1. re: Erika L

                                                                                                          Erika....don't have any stories that can compare with your elders or make any up that are so outrageously funny. Keep them coming maybe start a thread. "Embarassing things my relatives do at restos".

                                                                                                          That guy that can shove a slice of pizza in his mouth must be a competitive eater?
                                                                                                          Food Network "Will Work for Food", Adam Gertler was showing how he trained for a competitve pizza eating contest. Was won by that world champion Joey Chestnut (Nathan's record holder).

                                                                                                          Maybe that guy could enter next year or he's on the MLE (Major League Eating) circuit.

                                                                                                    2. re: monku

                                                                                                      "Monku", "hakujin", "lo fan" -- this caucasian is confused. Translation, please.

                                                                                                      1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                        "White Person" or Caucasian...hakujin is Japanese, lo fan is Chinese.

                                                                                                        1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                                          "Monku" is to complain. "Monku, monku, monku" is akin to "bitch, bitch, bitch"

                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                            I have enjoyed being "a fly on the wall" for this exchange. It has been educational for me! I wonder what your elders would say.

                                                                                                    3. re: monku

                                                                                                      Is your MIL thinking they do not recyle at the restaurant. Perhaps she would not snag the cans and bottles if she knew they would be recyled. Sorry. No clue here. I have never heard of anyone doing that at a restaurant.

                                                                                                2. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                  I feel your pain. We once were on a multi-week ski trip with someone almost identical - your B-I-L didn't ski Breckinridge back in the '70s, did he?

                                                                                                  It did not take me long to pick up on the "game." I began telling the server that I would receive the check, and do the math. Instead of splitting this person's 12 Single Malt Scotch Whiskeys amongst all of the people, I'd break out his portion and announce his "tip." Besides, I then got the airline miles! Also, I was comfortable that the server(s) would not get stiffed, as I would pick up any slack. I know that the other way, though people were putting in 15% (remember the time frame), this person was sticking most of the $ into his pocket and only leaving about 5%. Just flat out bad form.

                                                                                                  At least you only have a once/year event. I hope that he makes up for this deficiency, in other ways. When I am in doubt, I just treat and say the heck with it. Life sorts these little things out.

                                                                                                  Thanks for bringing back the memories,


                                                                                                  PS this dude once dated my wife, long before we were married, so I did not cut him any slack at all.

                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                    Bill, I like your solurtion. One year there were just 6 of us, and at the first restaurant meal I watched chintzy BIL do his thing, and was quite annoyed,. The next night, we went to a different restaurant and I was determined not to listen to the haggling again. I purposely waited until everyone else had ordered, and when I gave my order to the server, I closed my menu, handed it to him and said ".... and bring ME the check when we're done." There was a chorus of "oh no no!" and Mr. Cheflambo was annoyed because he thought it made HIM look cheap, but I insisted. The server was great, and earned a nice 20% gratuity for all the trouble SIL was ("I want this, without that, and such-and-so on the side, and extra blah blah blah") The bill was $100+ before tax and tip, and worth every penny. Later in the evening, the other couple (also relatives) insisted on giving me cash for their meal , which I accepted, but none was offered by guess-who.

                                                                                                    1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                      Love you Che Flambo. Are you modern Japanese?

                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                        I feel the love, Sam. But Im about as far from being Japanese as one can get -- mom was Norwegian, Dad from the UK. I'm only Jewish by injection!

                                                                                                        1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                          Knew that, as you knew. Just saying, if anyone missed it, that Norwegian UK Jewish and Japanese American (Filipino??) Colombian sensibilities are quite the same!

                                                                                                      2. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                        A common solution to different family/friends/whatever problems. Sometimes, it's just flat worth it to enjoy the meal, and the evening. Your hubby should have praised you (in private), for seeing the way to handle the situation. Now, I'm lucky with my in-laws, but cannot speak for them. As fortunes have been different and they have a large and wonderful family, and we do not, I always grab the check and accept the thank yous, which I know are heart-felt. Were roles reversed, I do not know how things would be, but they are not.

                                                                                                        When it comes to checks, I am often the one to order the wines. I often go above the comfort zone of some of our guests, so do not mind paying more than my fair share. One couple often joins us with their lovely daughter, so we're a party of five, not four. I also almost always order a foie gras, or similar, which is more expensive. Along with that, I'll often have a B-T-G wine for the foie gras. We end up splitting the bill 2 ways, so I pay for half of the daughter's meal. In the end, I think that it comes out to about even. When I die, I hope that I paid more in the end, rather than free-load on my good friends.

                                                                                                        If it's a different situation, and I have had more, or more expensive fare, I'll usually tell the other couple that I will pick up the entire tip and usually cover both tabs more than generously, depending on the service - usually great.

                                                                                                        Gotta' do, what you gotta' do.

                                                                                                        Maybe your B-I-L will someday get the hint and change his ways. There's hoping!


                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                          Good on you. Much of my/our eating out is in the context of international work trips and researchers of different backgrounds and ages. The international staff never let the national staff pay for anything. And we old farts pay way more than the young. We grab the check, pay, and say, "Do the same in a bit. You'll know when". I had the honor of receiving such largesse when it was sorely needed and have now had the great pleasure of giving back the same.

                                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka


                                                                                                            We do what we need to do, and have the capability to do. Maybe someday, it will come home to roost. Or, maybe not. Still, we know what must be done for all concerned. Just glad that I can do it.

                                                                                                            Take care,


                                                                                                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                            Well, Mr. Cheflambo thinks its OK to quibble over who ate what and who owes what, but doesnt make a big production out of it. Apparently he thought my gesture (and the motivation behind it) was meant to make his brother look bad. The last thing either of these guys wants to do is just equally divide the check by the number of people at the table, because sure as anything, SOMEONE'S entree was $2 more than theirs.

                                                                                                            As for BIL changing his stripes ... not a chance. He's proud of his frugality, and brags about it endlessly. No matter what he buys, he's in a BIG hurry to tell you how much he paid for it, and what a great deal he finagled for himself. He will actually ask you how much YOU paid for your car or your house. You can't take him anywhere. Its a family joke.

                                                                                                            While I was writing the message above (last night) BIL happened to call, to tell us he bought a new HDTV. "How much was it?" I asked Mr. Cheflambo. "Less than ours, of course" was the reply. We all know how much he paid for his hearing aid, his new patio doors, his shoes, and his last meal.

                                                                                                            1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                              Well, I am glad that he's not MY B-I-L. Now, my inlaws would tell you that you don't know how good you have it...


                                                                                                      3. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                        taking what you overpay and leaving a smaller tip than everyone puts in for? your BIL is stealing from his own family... someone should stage an intervention or something.

                                                                                                    2. It depends on how poor the tip is, but in general (there are always exceptions) I think poor tippers indicate less generosity of spirit.

                                                                                                      This reminds me of a life lesson my dad dropped in my lap. "Never trust a mean drunk. Their behavior screens are down, and you see what they really are." It seems like how people treat others when they have an artificial power balance indicates something similar.

                                                                                                        1. Being with a bad tipper when the service has been good is embarrassing - not to mention unfair to the poor server! That said, if your friend or date is otherwise loyal, fun company, thoughtful, etc., your reaction seems to be very judgemental, if not deceitful. If you feel strongly about this and consider the bad tip offenders in your OP to be friends, why would you prefer to break the friendship or duck out of plans when you could talk about it? Have you considered your reaction of not joining them again to eat my confuse or hurt them?

                                                                                                          Also, have you considered some people may not even realize they are leaving a bad tip? Bad table manners are a different. That has a lot to do with how you were raised and how you carry yourself in general. But bad tipping habits are fair game as far as I am concerned - after all you were present at the table as well. If you are splitting the bill, think the server is getting shortchanged, and you are friendly with your dinner companions, there is no reason you can't talk it over. If it is a matter of "they are taking me out and I can't comment" then why not just ignore them paying anyway? If they are trying to be a host to you for dinner they probably would prefer you didn't analyze the tab anyway.

                                                                                                          By the way, just curious, what do you consider a bad tip? And do you have any other "deal breakers" with friends and dates?

                                                                                                          1. I'm left wondering how you know how much the person paying for your dinner(s) is tipping.
                                                                                                            Do you ask? Do you grab the bill and sneak a peek at the line for the added tip once they've signed?
                                                                                                            I'm trying to imagine the scenario.

                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                              The OP appears to be avoiding saying what the thresshold for a bad tip is. That's key to this discussion.

                                                                                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                Anything within the 10% range I consider a bad tip. The friends whom I avoid eating out with think that 10% is a standard tip...I think not.
                                                                                                                Other deal breakers include: flagging down a server, no pls and or thank yous, ignoring the server when they are clearly talking to you, commenting on how much I tip (i.e. I once went on a blind date who insisted on paying for lunch...I insisted if he wouldn't let me pay to at least let me pay the tip and he proceeded to tell me 20% was just too much..wtf...why do u care it's my freaking money???) comments about how restaurant jobs aren't "real" jobs...so on and so forth

                                                                                                                  1. re: yuyu

                                                                                                                    "Other deal breakers include: flagging down a server". Interesting. I think sometimes that is necessary. Who hasn't been stranded after the food has been served waiting for a fork, or to pay the bill, or to get another beverage. If the server is on point this is usually not necessary, but if it is necessary I don't personally find it rude. Curious: what about that do you object to?

                                                                                                                    1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                      I wait tables and "flagging down a server" is different from getting someone's attention. It's waving as if your ship was going down vs. catching the servers eye or any of the service staff. Any good server will see you and respond to you. Now, if you've been stranded that's a different story. But the "flaggers" that I've waited on (there've been two in eleven years) start waving frantically the minute they need something and usually right as you are walking to their table. (I've seen it happen to other people as well)

                                                                                                                      1. re: Missmoo

                                                                                                                        I had a family member who wanted every person associated with any restaurant he was in paying 100 % attention to him every moment he was present.

                                                                                                                        Needless to say we only went to "his" restaurants and never took him to anyplace we liked.

                                                                                                                        He may have been tall and successful in some things but he was a sad little man.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Missmoo

                                                                                                                          OK, I guess I would be dumped (but its ok, I'm happily married so not dating....)...I have been known to "flag down" waiters. But only when I've been ignored.

                                                                                                                          Recently I was in a restaurant in the Phoenix airport. NOTE: This is an airport. People eating there sometimes are actually on a schedule and actually have a flight to catch. Said flight might even possibly NOT be delayed forever. So I sit down in the restaurant, and wait for a server. and wait. and WAIT. A good twenty minutes. If I HAD had a plane to catch I would have walked out. I watched as servers paid attention to just about everyone else in the place except me. And as a group of servers pow-wowed by the bar, watched a game on TV, and ignored me. So when I happened to see a server walking in my general direction, yes, I waved my arms frantically. But I HAD been sitting there in an uncrowded restaurant for twenty minutes. But since no one had even bothered to look my way for that time, for all she knew I had just sat down and was being rude. My experience is that flagging is unfortunately often necessary, as it certainly was in my case.....

                                                                                                                          PS: I am not a cheap tipper at least. I left her a good 18%. She probably didn't deserve it, but OTOH maybe it wasn't her table and she only served me because she saw me waving....

                                                                                                                          1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                            But who can blame you for reacting that way? Not me! I'm talking about people who have been greeted and are receiving the same amount of attention as everyone around them. On the other hand (ha!) it's understandable that someone might raise their hand slightly to let you know that they need you, but that's different than waving like you're on a ship that's going down.
                                                                                                                            And don't get me started on the people who poke you when you are standing at a table next to them and even though you are in the middle of helping another guest they need your attention at that moment.

                                                                                                                            1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                              "And as a group of servers pow-wowed by the bar, watched a game on TV, and ignored me."
                                                                                                                              Wow. After 5 minutes, without anyone stopping by my table, I'm pretty sure I would have gotten up and walked over to either the gaggle of ignoring servers or the bartender and asked for someone to please come to my table.

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit


                                                                                                                                That was exactly what I thought when I read that. I have gotten up and walked over to my server, or to a manager and asked for service.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  lol...reading this a year later. An explanation, Linda: I have bad knees that sometimes lock on me after I've been sitting awhile, especially after having sat on an airplane all day. Sometimes waving is a more comfortable alternative, at least for me.....

                                                                                                                                  1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                    Fair enough, janet. If that were the case, maybe I'd have called the restaurant on my cell phone, and asked to be switched to the bartender, and ask HIM to send over my server since they were incapable of turning around to check on their customers. Definitely would have caught their attention that way! ;-)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      >I'd have called the restaurant on my cell phone, and asked to be switched to the bartender, and ask HIM to send over my server

                                                                                                                                      Now THAT is an excellent reason to use a cell phone in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                        I have actually done this. It was great. The owner was coming out of the kitchen and grabbed the phone himself. He was clearly annoyed at the gathering of servers at the bar. As they scattered, I asked if he could grab ours and send her over.

                                                                                                                                        He came over, apologized, and comped our check.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        linda, i guess here on chowhound i can't just hit the "like" button, but...consider it done. ;-).

                                                                                                                                2. re: Missmoo

                                                                                                                                  any good server SHOULD see you and respond. but sometimes they don't. sometimes one is forced to wait and wait. one needs to get the attention they SHOULD be paying, but aren't

                                                                                                                          1. I simply cannot be friends with anyone who drives a Hummer. I basically think you have to be an a**hole to drive one. You pretty much seem to think you have to be an a**hole to leave a crappy tip. Of course not all of these people are a**holes. But everyone has something they just can't sit with. You're okay.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                                                              I cordually disagree. All of these people are a**holes. There are many tests of character. Failing these tests show a person's true colors.
                                                                                                                              From a dating aspect one might ask "How could a bad tipper one day support a family if he/she can't support a proper tip."
                                                                                                                              A consistant bad tipper shows a level of cheapness, selfishness, lack of caring, lack of accountability, lack of tack and manners, and a disregard for agreed upon social mores. Otherwise know as a**hole.
                                                                                                                              The only time a Hummer is ok is if the person is in the military or has some other career path that makes a Hummer important to his/her survival then it is ok. Otherwise no one need drive a Hummer.

                                                                                                                              1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                I cordially disagree with some of what you are saying. Or am I the only one with elderly parents with whom I often have to top up their tip ? Should I call them a**holes and no longer dine out with them?

                                                                                                                                And just to note, they happen to be highly caring, unselfish, accountable, mannerly and supportive people. And I was reared up just fine.

                                                                                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                  Yes, but you're not "friends" with them, you're their adult child. I know exactly what you mean about elderly people - I did plenty of "topping up" with my grandmother before she died and there's definitely a generational difference. The OP was talking about peers and so was everyone else... so your point is a good one, but IMO it's in addition to the main discussion, not a refutation of the points. :)

                                                                                                                            2. The solution to that is to make sure you split the check, and then it will be known that you have tipped decently even if your dining partner(s) did not.

                                                                                                                              1. "am i insane?"

                                                                                                                                Don't you tip only when the service is good?

                                                                                                                                I tip 10% of the bill if the service is good and 0% when it is poor.

                                                                                                                                29 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: PRadB3ni

                                                                                                                                  yes, you are insane prad. 10% if the service is good???? You're the person i always hated to see when i was waiting tables... MY paychecks were always zero after taxes, so the ONLY money I had coming in was my tips.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                    10% when the service is good seems behind the times in lots of places. I believe it is now considered acceptable for good service if a 15-20% tip is left. 20% is on the high end, but 15% has been common for a while.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                      Easy there, kubasd, It looks like prad is posting from the UK, where this kind of tipping is not unacceptable.
                                                                                                                                      It's really funny that all these US hounds pride themselves on their cosmopolitanism whilst forgetting this site is open to people from all over.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                        Wow, simmer down, kubasd....as Lizard said, it's quite easy to see that PRad is posting from the U.K., and tipping there is not the same as in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                          I wish more people from the UK understood that tipping is different in the U.S. and Canada. In my 10 plus years of restaurant experience I have observed that more often than not people from Europe vacationing in the U.S. are the worst tippers. I am going to get verbally beat up for posting this arn't I?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                            Not from me. I can understand that desire from a server's POV here in the States.

                                                                                                                                            And while I shouldn't make sweeping generalizations, I'd hazard a guess that most Europeans probably *do* know of the tipping differences in various parts of the world. It's pretty hard to believe that anyone who travels nowadays doesn't do *some* kind of research about where you're going and knowing the various customs of the countries you're visiting. So perhaps some might be feigning ignorance about tipping "rules" when visiting the States to avoid paying a higher tip.

                                                                                                                                            Do I know this for a fact? No, I don't. But in speaking with people overseas (Brits and Irish, for the most part) they *are* aware of the higher tipping custom in the U.S. and the fact that servers are paid less in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                            Will I get beat up for my reply? Quite possibly. ;-) I'm just going on what I've heard in speaking to people in England and Ireland.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              I don't think the US is very hard, but there are regional variations. In some areas 20% is more common, while others 15% is still the norm. It is hard to tell what you'll get in each specific travel guide though. Some are more focused on the differences in tipping (like Lonely Planet), while others bury it in a place where it's hard to find. When I had TimeOut guides, I found the tipping information for the places I visited to be quite minimal- something like "Service is included but locals typically leave a bit extra"- can you be more specific?

                                                                                                                                            2. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                              I've met French people who legitimately didn't know, and who were sincerely horrified when I explained how servers are compensated and why their server seemed upset when they started to walk out after paying only what the bill said.

                                                                                                                                              This group was a bunch of business travelers whose only experience dealing with an American restaurant check was right then, in a diner in JFK on their way back to France... and when I explained about American restaurant tipping, they pooled their remaining American cash together and left it ALL for her (way, WAY more than 20%). And they asked me to apologize and explain to her in English why they seemed so cheap and wrong, which I gladly did.

                                                                                                                                              So in general, I like to believe that when people know better, they do better... which is also why I'm disgusted when I discover people who know perfectly well, yet still _choose_ to screw over the server.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                In agreement. Rest edited because my firebrand ways cannot be toned down as I pointed out that it is easier to blame European tourists for one's failure to make a living than it is to question a larger American system that refuses basic healthcare and higher education to its citizens and offers up systems of compensation that place responsibility for pay on patrons rather than employers/businesses.

                                                                                                                                                Do not interpret this as my trying to defend undertippers. I don't at all. I'm simply interested in a system that shifts blame and responsibility to individuals and allows a misdirection of energy: onto people and away from revolution.

                                                                                                                                                Oh dear, still a firebrand, and not sufficiently articulate because I've run out of coffee.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                  I agree, pay servers a living wage. I've served and I've bartended and these people do real and valuable work. (don't get me started about healthcare) In the meantime, (before we build Rome) reward good service with an appropriate tip.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                    I wonder, with the razor thin margins that most restaurants run, who would be able to stay in business were tipping abolished and a higher wage paid out of the owner's pocket?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                      Well, here's the thing:

                                                                                                                                                      * The US needs public healthcare and needs to remove the responsibility of providing health from the hands of people looking to make a profit.

                                                                                                                                                      * I don't understand this owner's pocket thing. Like everywhere else that does not have a tradition of exorbitant tipping, the cost is transferred to the dish as advertised, Food in restaurants in Britain is more expensive because decent wages and VAT are often factored in.

                                                                                                                                                      The practice of tipping masks this cost to make the restaurant look more appealing. It also transfers responsibility and resentment for the exchange to the customer and the server, removing the business from consideration. It is a very convenient way to get people to expend their energies on issues that will not bring about beneficial social change, while protecting those truly benefiting from ever having to do anything.

                                                                                                                                                      (see, erm, firebrand.)

                                                                                                                                                      My conviction that US is pretty awful for its flouting of basic economic human rights aside (primary causes for debt are health and education, yikes!):

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I believe that people should direct their energies to social change BUT this does not absolve people from recognising custom. That is, I believe in directing my energies to social change, and I see some serious issues around the practice of tipping, but I will tip because that is how people make their living.

                                                                                                                                                      As for servers, sure, feel angry at customers who stiff you, but possibly you might reserve anger for a system who ensures your income and well-being are so precarious? I am aware that good servers at high end restaurants can make a lot of money but larger issues loom.

                                                                                                                                                      OK, no more from me....

                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                I think being foreign is absolutely NO excuse. When you are a guest in a foreign country you should acquaint yourself with local custom. I have dined abroad, and any quick check on the web or in a guide book tells you all you need to know.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                                  See my reply to keith2000. When you're posting on a board that is not your local board, it's easy to forget that you're not just speaking to those in similar situations as you.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    Linda, I forgot nothing, I appreciate what you say, but still, I think if you are traveling to another country and plan to eat out, understanding the basics like how to tip is not a lot to ask. I hope all who are from elsewhere in the world come to the USA and savor all the good food we offer. Just tip appropriately!! Linda, do you think if you traveled you would neglect this detail?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                                      I pointed this out earlier, but many travelguides are NOT that straightforward. Some countries have much more complex tipping customs than others in terms of what, when, and where to tip. I am sure I have messed up many times, not out of lack of effort, but because my guidebook was sorely lacking.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                                        Yes Samuel, we agree with you. But the anger you use here presumes that Prad is tipping this way abroad. Who knows whether he takes this tipping (although to be fair, the average in UK has gone to 12%) to the US. He didn't say that.

                                                                                                                                                        So what we are asking (and sorry Linda, I bring you in here) is that you remember that this is an international site-- and that some of us may even be speaking about practices OUTSIDE the US that stay outside the US.

                                                                                                                                                        Of course, a lot of defence for Prad, whose posting could be interpreted as peculiar.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                            I always tipped 12.5% when in the US (pre-Chowhound). I didn't realise that I was being "cheap". I thought that was the norm. The guide books didn't tell me that 15-20% is now considered normal. To a European, that's a huge tip.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                              I think people don't realize that the information found in travel guides will vary dramatically based on the expected reader. American travel guides do tend to be very straightforward about tipping, but I have read travel guides aimed at readers from other countries and sometimes the information is limited.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                                            No, Samuel, *I* wouldn't. But I also do think it depends upon your age. Perhaps an older person (than I) might not think to check into customs in another country. Going online to find out information is not always in their gene pool to do so. :-) Younger travelers will have planned their trip online anyway, and most likely have found informational details about where they're visiting down to the last nth.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                              If the tip of 10% was about tipping in a country where that is acceptable I agree - this is a site for the world and that could have been posted about another country, like England. If it is about the US, whether it is a foreign travler or a US citizen, that is cheap. I am not expressing anger, just an opinion.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                                                I'm not disagreeing with you - but again, take into context the age of the traveler and whether or not they may have investigated customs in different countries (if from outside the U.S.). Also, there have been countless threads about tipping and those of us accustomed to tipping 15-25% dealing with parents/grandparents who think that 5 or 10% is *more* than enough for a tip here in the U.S.

                                                                                                                                                                I'm just pointing out the context from which someone might be writing.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  Good points Linda. I think another point is that most people who unintentionally leave a cheap tip would feel bad if it was pointed out to them. It's not malicious.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    i don't see how the age of the traveler enters into it, nor do i cut someone slack for being willfully ignorant.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                      An older person might not be computer savvy, or think to check guidebooks for things like tipping if they've rarely traveled outside of their own country.

                                                                                                                                                                      And someone being willfully ignorant, i.e. *knowing* that tipping is different in the U.S. and deliberately not tipping appropriately because they know they can use the "I'm a foreigner" excuse and not tip according to custom? No, I won't cut any slack for that either.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                        why would an older person be less likely to check a guidebook? i would think the older you are the more likely you are to have travelled, no?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                          Potentially, yes. Potentially no, if all they did was work as an adult (and I know some people who have done so). Perhaps now is the only time that they've been able to travel either in or outside their own country.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                                            I am not try to fight fire with petroleum here, but .... I have lived in about 12 countries. In general the worst behaved tourists (in terms of offending locals) were American. The Japanese were probably the best.

                                                                                                                                                    2. But the tip: friendship scale of measureing relationship potential ends there, right? I mean, you don't like the people in your life BETTER because they tip more than standard? You don't decide to marry someone because you saw they consistently tip 25%?

                                                                                                                                                      As long as you are using the tip criteria ONLY because you honestly believe there is a direct line ratio between understanding of basic tipping guidelines and generosity of spirit, I think you are not insane. I don't agree with you...I think tipping is a much more subtle and complex matter and revealing of all kinds of interesting things. But that is because I did not grow up in the same tipping culture that you did and NOT because you are insane.

                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                        my boyfriend consistantly tips more than 25%, even if the service is bad (he was a waiter), and actually it's one of the reasons I HAVEN'T married him. okay, greater-scale fiscal responsibility is the real reason, not his unrelenting kindness, but there you go.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                          That is correct. I personally think that I have a direct philosophical difference with people who do not understand that tips = livelihood. It would be much the same way if say...someone I was dating told me they vehemently believed in capital punishment.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: yuyu

                                                                                                                                                            You know what, I am beginning to think as a criteria of humanity, yours is not a bad one.

                                                                                                                                                            And who am I to say otherwise...I once broke up with a man because he told me the results of a car race that I had taped to watch later in the day. He thought that was funny...he was wrong, it was mean... he revealed himself before it went too far and I am glad. I met his ( ex-) wife many years later and he was mean to her and the children and he was always 'only kidding'.

                                                                                                                                                            I think you may actually be on to something. We should start to see 'Your Tipping Habits" as a question on those match making quizzes!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                              on a slightly related but not related note...I think that those people who cannot figure out what a 10% tip is WITHOUT the tip option should on a pay at the table terminal should really consider not eating out...seriously...move the decimal...is it difficult?? LOL

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: yuyu

                                                                                                                                                                From your replies, it sounds like you already have your mind made up that you are not "insane" and people who don't tip well aren't friend worthy. If that's really the case, then what do you care what other people think? Generally speaking, I don't like to pass judgment on someone based on something like tipping or driving a Hummer (incidentally, we drive a Prius).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scout1

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, this may be one of the only sensible posts I've read here. I don't tip poorly nor do I drive a Hummer, but this thread has got me anxious thinking about how I could be judged by dining companions or fellow motorists who have no basis for understanding my decision-making. I don't think the level of contempt some people apparently carry towards strangers and acquaintances is good for their blood pressure.

                                                                                                                                                        2. That's about where I am... I've broken up with someone because they left a horrible tip when the waitress was obviously slammed beyond belief but trying as hard as she could.

                                                                                                                                                          As someone once told me, someone who is nice to you but mean to the waiter is not a nice person.

                                                                                                                                                          1. I have friends who are bad tippers, but I refuse to dine out with them once I've figured this out and covered for them once. I'm the guy saying "Whoops, left my umbrella back there" or somesuch, and going back to add necessary cash. My larger circle of dining-out friends feels the same way; banishment is swift and irrevocable. Same goes for people who try to weasel out of paying the full tariff.

                                                                                                                                                            One bad-tipping friend I realized I couldn't avoid dining out with, and so I had to have The Talk with him. Uncomfortable, but our friendship survived, and he's a proper tipper now (at least around me).


                                                                                                                                                            1. My SO is a very stingy tipper, so much so that I'll usually leave the tip, simply cuz' I've worked the business as well and know how hard it is to make a living at the whim of the public. To discount a friendship has never even dawned on me at any time.

                                                                                                                                                              I CAN say that extremely rude behavior to wait staff has caused me to get up and leave a restaurant and refuse a meal in public with said rude person - not SO.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Insane? No way!

                                                                                                                                                                I have been known to end friendships because of bad tipping. I guess I just don't understand that mind set. I would never value their advice or opinions because I would neither respect, nor have anything in common with them. I'm not saying they have to be over the top generous. But people who try to "get away" with not tipping make me nervous because they may try to "get away" with not doing the right thing in other areas if no one is looking. Just my opinion. To me, it's a personality flaw.

                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Whinerdiner

                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for responding to this old post and pinpointing why this bothers me so much. That's exactly what it is, "getting away" with it because no one is looking, in a sense. Since by the time the server actually counts the money, they'll be out of the restaurant so who cares if the tip is poor. I wonder if the poor tippers knew they had to stay at the table while the money was counted, would they tip properly?

                                                                                                                                                                  They're the same people who buy the $2 Miller on special when it's their turn to buy a round but when the next round comes up and someone else is buying, they suddenly change their taste to a $12 martini or a top-shelf liquor. They do it because they can and expect others to not speak up. As a rather shy person myself, I've had to filter out a lot of acquaintances like this.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ribeye621

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks hounds for reviving this old post. I went to a convention with a group of friends, and we had fun and did some wild things. But I realized I thought differently than them when one of the girls sprayed silly string down the hall of the hotel near the soda machine. She wasn't drunk or anything. I think I just said something like you know someone has to clean that up...
                                                                                                                                                                    When it came time to leave I asked about the tip for the chambermaid and no one wanted to leave one. So I tried to leave enough to cover us all. I swear one of them had to go back into the room because they "forgot something". The car ride back was like nine hours so I let it go and didn't say anything but I ended a bunch of friendships after that trip. I'm shy like you ribeye so I just quietly distanced myself after that. It was a good call.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                                                                      Good for you for having the courage of your convictions.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Whinerdiner

                                                                                                                                                                    While not to say that bad tipping is a good thing (not sure what you mean by a "bad" tip though), I disagree with the notion that this somehow spills over into every other aspect of a person's personality or ethics. My parents would never tip over 15% (and i'll note i'm in Canada and where I am servers get minimum wage etc), but they'd practically give away everything in their house to you if you dropped by and admired it and pretty much no one leaves the house without something going with them. They're not sneaky, they're not miserly (although they might not understand why I spend money on some of the things I do).

                                                                                                                                                                    I know a couple of people like that who are otherwise very good people. Not so sure tipping is the litmus test for "good people". And on the flipside, as we've seen from some pretty bad behavior on these threads from "big spenders", dropping a lot of money sure isn't a mark of a sparkling personality either.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                      i can understand older people tipping 15%.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                        His Canadian, 15% is a standard tip.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. I think however, worse than the cheapo friend is the "friend" who comments on how you are over tipping.... Not your money...take a hike!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. People who tip poorly anywhere (even salons) are a very low form of human. I have no problem judging them. If you cannot afford the tip, don't go-stay home!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I can be friends with a poor tipper, but I can't date one. The standard is higher, is it not? Poor tipping tells you so much about a person ... cheap, lack of appreciation, lack of empathy, lack of understanding of how 'the other half' lives, not to mention out of touch with reality ...