Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Sep 11, 2010 04:46 PM

Tipping Etiquette [Moved from Manhattan board]

Thanks for the responses to my query about a New Year's Eve meal. Please advise this Aussie on tipping etiquette in NYC. Is it 10, 15 or 20% or more? Is that on the whole bill or the pre-tax bill? Thanks for any advice.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Search the board and you'll find tipping to be one of the most popular subjects. Well, trying to justify as low a tip as possible is more like it.

    Start, just to start somewhere, at 20% of the total check (what I pay, but that's not the point).

    Other will suggest: take your percentage (seldom as high as 20%) off the check minus tax
    ...or, minus liquor

    or, "It's not m fault the restaurant doesn't pay them a living wage..."

    Or, one of my particular favorites, "I can't afford to eat at such an expensive restaurant and leave a generous tip."

    I'm sure others here will come up with even more imaginative excuses.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Muskrat

      I do 20% on whole bill, but others give 20% on "pre-tax" total. Many people double the tax which is close to 18%.

      1. re: Muskrat

        Well...I would not have said popular subjects...but certainly a hotly contested one for sure, MANY times. And certainly most of the posts are how to rationalize (feel good about) how much great service they want with as little tip they can give and still hold their head up, if they come again.

        I'd say, 20% of pre tax is good. But, personally, I tip as muskrat does.

      2. I always take the NYC tax and double it...that is if the service was good.
        When it isn't, I give a bit less.

        New Year's Eve prices are usually sky-high.

        1. One more thing: If you are a party of 6 or more, a number of places will just add on the tip/gratuity to the bill. Do go over the bill.

          1. Many thanks for the advice - I did search first however now realise I didn't search the "not about food section" - so apologies for asking about a thread which has been so well covered.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tony_brisbane


              For a subject like this one, there could be several locations. Often, as appears to be the case here, the MOD's will move the thread, or break it off. Where to search can be a conundrum.

              FWIW - I am normally a 20% on the total bill person, as it does make things a tad easier. If the service is not up to it, then I downgrade the tip. If someone goes above and beyond, then they may find a little something, when I shake their hand. Same for a sommelier, who really does a great job. In that case, I may tip the crew on the full meal, sans wine, and then tip the sommelier separately. Now, I suppose that the sommelier could pocket that, and then demand his/her share of the tip on the meal, but that is their issue to deal with. I cannot be "my brother's keeper" for the whole world.

              I would not be inclined to tip extra on a holiday, unless the service warranted that. Holidays are not THAT special around our home. My wife was a nurse, and worked most holidays, as we did not have children. Sometimes, she'd pull double-duty to cover Hanukkah, and then Christmas, after having worked straight through Thanksgiving (US). I do not ever recall anyone even bothering to say "thank you," so I do not treat holidays as special - they are just another day for the restaurant.

              Enjoy your trip, and travel safely,


            2. jfood is a 15-20% on the total bill tipper. If service no up to snuff, the it and be lower.