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how do you tip at the restaurant you work for?

My husband and I had brunch at the restaurant I work at. I am new there so I didn't expect to get 50% off on our tab. Is this a common practice?
Also, before I had overheard conversations on undertipping customers so I didn't want be seen as a cheapo and ended up tipping what I would be, had I been given the regular tab. Now, my husband says that was unnecessary. Help me out here.
This was our favorite place to eat before I started working for them and now it feels awkard. Unless I'm told what I did was OK and I'm simply overanalyzing the situation it's going to be weird eating there again. I appreciate the comments. Thanks

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  1. I would have done the same thing that you did. Others will disagree, because they favor tipping on the total of the bill, but I generally always tip on the full price amount before any discounts. Your co-workers will appreciate it and their appreciation may help you be a "happier" worker at times too.

    1. It's your face in the mirror every morning and your co-workers you must work with. Do what you feel is right. No one else is living in your shoes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Quine

        That's probably true for ALL tipping situations -- ordinary, unusual, special, or whatever.

      2. I would tip on the total bill before the 50% deduction, just like you did.
        You're tipping your coworker(s) and they, in the end, are the ones who will be benefiting from your goodwill.
        It was a good thing you did.

        1. There are many reasons to base your tip on the undiscounted total irrespective of whether or not you work there. Since these are your co-workers, there are many more reasons, most importantly that they ARE your co-workers, and it would help foster some workplace harmony. If you tried to save a few ducats by tipping them on the discounted total, you might find that you get less help on your shifts or worse yet, sabotaged on the job. Stiff them at your peril!

          1. I used to work at a restaurant where we got 50% off when we ate there. We all always tipped 20% on the whole, pre-discount price. And that was when 20% was a really good tip. Even so, you're still getting a deal, and you'll be able to look your co-workers straight in the eye. ;)

            8 Replies
            1. re: visciole

              Is 20% not considered a generous tip anymore? Geeze! How much do I have to tip a waitron for competent service?! I'm guessing some of you who replied work in the industry, so what is an average tip these days?

              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                You expect a nice answer from people you just called waitrons?!?

                1. re: Quine

                  He might, if he considers himself a 'patron' of the establishment...

                2. re: BiscuitBoy

                  I think he/she meant they tipped 20% back in the days when 15% was more common.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    Exactly, this is what I meant. But also in some bigger cities there are people now who tip 25%, and 20% is more common, I believe.

                    1. re: visciole

                      always the exception if the service really wows, but didn't know 25% was becoming standard

                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                        I don't often dine at high-end places, but I believe that 20% is more standard at such establishments now, and 25% has therefore become the exceptional service tip. This is NYC, maybe also LA and SF? At regular Joe places it's still 15-20% as far as I know.

                      2. re: visciole

                        15-20% is the norm in the real world...20-40% is the "norm" on Chowhound.

                3. Just curious...are you front-of-house or back-of house employee? (Tipped vs. non-tipped/minimally tipped....) Not that it matters....just sayin' that in my exp., front of house tipped lavishly on discounted meals, whereas cooks etc. could be quite "parsimonious". Not Good!! My boss at the time actually had to talk to the offending parties and set them straight on how to tip. You did the right thing and hopefully tipped 18-22 % of the original bill (or more, just to establish good co-worker karma!!) adam

                  1. When I have friends eat with me at our restaurant, I, or my guests, invariably give an extravagant gratuity to the servers who take care of us. Typically, my guests appreciate that even though they're getting the meal "on me," they need to take good care of the people who serve us, and chip in for the gratuity.

                    It's always good, whether you're just a regular or, like the OP, you become a co-worker, to leave a 20% gratuity. After all, you'd expect similar treatment if the tables were turned (pardon the pun).

                    Also, even though our employees receive 25% off their bills if they or their families eat at the restaurant, I ask for -- and pay -- a full bill every time I dine there. That makes a statement to the employees that our food's worth money and that we all chip in one way or another. It's just not fair to them for them to see me eating for free when we ask that they pay, even at a discounted rate.

                    2 Replies
                      1. thanks everyone for commenting. i should make things clearer, i suppose. yes, we did tip well-very well actually. how does 30% sound? and no, i was never complaining about how big the tip was. no matter how good or bad the service is, no matter where we are eating, my husband and i never tip under 20%. even before i started working in kitchens, this was always the rule.
                        yesterday, i simply was overwhelmed by the gesture of my gracious boss, and wanted to make sure i was doing the right thing, and it wasn't an overkill so much that instead of being cheap, i was going in completely the opposite direction.
                        you know, this is one of those "first time" things, where you want to learn the etiquette and act accordingly. now that i know, i will never let doubts about tips shadow a wonderful meal there.

                        1. I agree with your tip. Tip on the original bill, not on the discounted bill.

                          You didn't ask for this advice, but I would never eat at a place (as a customer) where I work at.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: PeterL

                            Why would you not eat as a customer where you work?

                            1. re: LJBTampa

                              Because I keep a separation between my work life and my other life.

                          2. It's not where I work, but Mr S cooks at a hotel and I sometimes go there for breakfast or lunch. I always plan on paying for my meal, but often the wait staff get their manager to comp it. And I tip on the full amount. Well, actually, I tip higher than normal, as I have the money I saved from the comp.

                            1. My sister is a waitress and occasionally we eat at her place of business (an upscale Irish Pub) We always receive some (generous) comps so she and I agree that it is only fair to tip 20 to 25% on what the full amount would be without the comps.
                              She works there and has to deal with these people daily---they also patronize the place on their evenings off and do the same for her.

                              1. My restaurant doesn't discount anything when employees dine there, but all FOH staff leave +/- 30%. It's almost expcted.

                                OP, I'd definitely tip on the pre-discounted amount.

                                1. i would have ABSOLUTELY tipped 20% on what the REGULAR tab would have been, just as you did.

                                  1. I agree with the yesses. My friends and I frequent a Mexican restaurant where another friend works. She always comps us a queso dip, and frequently comp a pitcher of margaritas. Her tip is always based on what we would have paid for everything. More, in fact. If I know the server (such a better word than waitron!) I generally go higher regardless.