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Sep 12, 2009 03:34 PM

Chinatown Tipping [moved from Manhattan board]

When dining by myself and enjoying a bowl of $5 noodle soup at, lets say Bo Ky on Bayard Street, is appropriate to tip? Leave $1 on the table?

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  1. Yes, it's appropriate to tip in all instances in which you are being served food and/or drink. $1 for $5 check sounds right, and I would tip $2 for ~$10

    I always adhere to the standard of 15% for good service, 10% for bad service and 20% for exception service. My parents, who are Asian are absolutely terrible tippers - they tend to think $1 per person is appropriate and I wouldn't be surprised if there are other Asians of that generation who think the same way.

    Since these restaurants keep their costs low, I would imagine that they pay their servers the absolute minimum wage, which, technically for employees that also receive tip income is $2.13 an HOUR.

    Also, if you think about it, a server who racks up tips of 15% on an average check of $5 - 10 versus servers in other restaurants in the city (average check of $30 - 100) rack up a lot more in tips.

    6 Replies
    1. re: susiederkins

      In some hole in the wall noodle shops I know tipping is not done.

      1. re: FrankieLymon

        Mr Lymon,

        Okay, you answered a question I posed to you on the other thread.....but let me say that any self respecting person would tip in the instance you mention, as a show of appreciation for the service rendered and effort put forth by an individual who has shown respect in serving (you) the customer and who should be rewarded appropriately.

        Any belief this should not be done is ludicrous.and lacks common sense. Just put yourself in their shoes , reflect and consider on how you would like to be treated if the roles were reversed.

        And for the record, if you are a regular in the place, I would leave more than a buck.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            I'm thinking Eastern Noodles and Super Taste as possibilities. My friend and I both noticed that whenever we tip there, we get very effusive thank yous that make us think that tipping is not common there. Just a feeling--we've never noticed what other patrons do, and of course, the employees might just be showing their appreciation. But it is a tad effusive.

            1. re: gloriousfood

              Maybe you tip more then the usual clientele but there are no restaurants in Chinatown where tips are not expected.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                Well, that's a thought, but we'll continue to tip as we do. And of course, there are no restaurants in Chintaown where tips are not expected, only people who might think that way.

      2. When I get a special at local tavern for lunch, it is usually $6.50 or so. I guess I could leave the gal $1.50 or so and be fine. But she is cute and has big knockers so I usually leave the change from a ten spot.

        At the club I belong to lots of older member will get a cup or bowl of soup, maybe $3.00 charge, then they leave a .50 tip. That is just wrong. I think a minumum should be at least $1 more if you enjoyed yourself. I usually always tip at least $1 per drink with my bartender, unless of course the drink or glass of wine goes over $4 or so. Wine that is $8-9 per glass I usually give him or her a $5 spot, results in a great pour next trip.

        2 Replies
        1. re: duck833

          $5 tip for a $9 drink? That's a lot, unless you get a buyback on the next round.

          1. In China it's not done. In fact except for big cities like Shanghai, I often get puzzled looks. In the US it's the custom. For $5 I'd leave $1.

            1. Absolutely. When DH and I go to Bo Ky our tab is usually about $15 (2 soups and dumplings or spring rolls) and we leave $3. It has always been very appreciated.

              1. When eating at inexpensive places (noodle shops, diners) and getting table service I alwals leave at least $2-3 even if the total tab is only $5-6.