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May 18, 2009 08:55 AM

Do You Tip Less in a Restaurant You Will Only Go To Once?

Do you tend to tip less when you are a tourist or at a convention and thus unlikely to return to any particular restaurant in the near future? Servers, do you think tourists tip less because they are unlikely to return to your city soon?

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  1. HELL NO!!! That's the most stupid thing I ever heard of. Anyone who does that should be shot at dawn.

    2 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        Ditto, always tip the same. If good service I always tip well. Even bad service I still probably tip better than most.

        Do most people. Yes I think there are a fair amount of those who do tip less. Not foodies, and there are many out there. Working in a tourist town, yes it is about half and half. Some are great tippers, some are not.. I always tip well and above.

      2. Character is what we do when we think no one is looking. Tipping less in the circumstances you describe says a multitude about the person.

        3 Replies
        1. re: KTinNYC

          So much nicer said than mine :) And no one has to die!!!

          1. re: KTinNYC

            Couldn't have said it better myself.

            1. What if we flip the question around: do you tip more at places where you're a regular?

              I do. I'm a heavy (20-30%) tipper at places where I'm likely to find myself again in the near future, and just tip normally (15-20%) everyplace else. IMHO there's nothing wrong with being a little extra generous to the folks you've developed a relationship with.

              Now people who stiff their servers because they can get away with it? That's a whole 'nother matter. No reason to wait until dawn to shoot them.

              7 Replies
              1. re: alanbarnes

                I actually thought of your first point after my initial post. Yes, there is nothing wrong with being exceedingly generous with those you have a personal relationship.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  I was going to say something similar - it depends on one's perspective.

                  I was going ot note that I tend to "tip more" at places that I know I'm going to frequent. This does imply that I "tip less" at other places in a technical sense, but I use that amount as my baseline anyways.

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Yes, I do tip more than the standard practice of 15-20% at places where I'm a regular.

                    However, there have been times when I or my friends have also tipped well above the standard in restaurants I've only been in once. It all depends on what type of service I've received at those single visit restaurants. If it's exceptional, I let them know by a higher-than-usual tip, and I try and let management know we had excellent food and service as well.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      We do tip more at places where we are regulars...probably 30-50% on average. We get lots of perks from getting a table anytime we need it, to stuff comped, to our favorite waitstaff, something prepared off the menu, etc.

                      But at other places we start at 20% and round up from there. Whether it's local or out of town.

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        Looked at that way, then yes. Yes I do.

                        I have a standard practice that can be summed up four ways:

                        Place to which I'll return, standard to excellent service: Overtip.
                        Place to which I'll return, bad to poor service: Undertip or way undertip, with a word to the manager.

                        Place to which I'll not return, standard to excellent service: Tip standard or slightly over, usually depending on how good the food was.
                        Place to which I'll not return, bad to poor service: Way undertip, or stiff 'em.

                        In other words: What one does not give to Peter, whom one will never see again, one gives to Paul, whom one will.

                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          I'm glad you brought this side of the coin up. I was going to say almost the same thing.

                          While I still leave 20% and over for good service everywhere, I leave much more at places I'm a regular.

                          1. re: alanbarnes

                            Having worked ions ago at a low-end place that had a bunch of regulars
                            I can attest that not everybody is trying to endear the staff they see all the damn time.
                            They were virtually non-existent tippers because they considered the spot their clubhouse or birthright or something. Once in a blue moon a big ol ' $20 bill would appear, and he who plunked it down expected you to get excited. (I was not.)

                          2. Why would I do that? The tip reflects the quality of the service and food, not whether we'll be intending to go back. They only get a sucky tip if they really suck! If anything, we're MORE generous on vacation because the holiday spirit loosens the purse strings.