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An hypothetical: tipping( again)

Here is an hypothetical upon which I would appreciate some input (whew!). Suppose you and a friend, wife, bff, lover,husband go to a restaurant, typicially somewhat upperscale, although it may not really matter, and as a couple you order an appetizer and share it, a side dish and you share it, an entree and yes, you know what, and the same for dessert. My question is, as you have doubtlessly anticipated, how do you tip, i.e, what amount?

Thank you for your kind responses, in advance.

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    1. I waited tables for years, and I'll say this: if they ordered four courses and shared, it's likely that the bill was as much or even more than the people who order two inexpensive entrees, which is a much more common phenomenon (and a VERY common M.O. for cheap tippers, btw!). No, people dining in the manner you describe have shown that they're interested in that particular restaurant's endeavors and that they either a.) don't want to stuff themselves, or b.) they can't afford to double the bill. I certainly never expected to be tipped more than the standard 15 - 20%, but I've never met the server who minded being "overtipped". Now, if this couple ordered that way and sat at the table for four hours in a crowded place and the waiter lost the chance to turn that table, THEN they should put more money in. But those people rarely do.

      2 Replies
      1. re: staughton

        if they ordered four courses and shared, it's likely that the bill was as much or even more than the people who order two inexpensive entrees, which is a much more common phenomenon (and a VERY common M.O. for cheap tippers, btw!).
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        I agree with staughton's observation, as a former server and a frequent diner.

        My husband and I don't split entrees but we frequently go for lunch with our son to a variety of upscale places for lunch and order a bunch of appetizers and salads in lieu of us each having just a lunch entree. We always get wine (just the adults!) and usually split a dessert. I guaranty we spend far more than the neighboring table that orders ice tea and just one entree person and nothing else. Therefore, I tip on the bill.

        I would think an upscale place would have systems in place (like split plate charge) to make sure they got a "minimum" out of each table turn.

        1. re: cleobeach

          many do -- there was a thread a while ago about a restaurant that was charging an eye-popping $19 or thereabouts to split a plate.

      2. Here's the dilemma: in this situation, the couple only ordered half of what 2 people would order but took up the server's 2-top upon which he banked on getting xx amount of $$ in tips which in turn is based on the average bill of two people not sharing a whole meal. (I'm sure there is a better way to say this but I am too tired to think about it and reword).

        Interesting dilemma...

        2 Replies
        1. re: mangiare24

          Well, one could possibly take this to another level. Let's just say that the "Surf-n-Turf" was a 3# Maine Lobster, and a Kobe # 5 Filet, at US $300, but the couple only split the salad, the fish-course and then the steak, but there WAS that Surf-n-Turf on the menu, that they did not order. Should they tip, as though they had?

          I would be disinclined to do so, but maybe I am in the minority here.

          Hunt

          1. re: mangiare24

            For a couple, I don't think that taking up a two top is so much of an issue because had the person been dining solo (and didn't want to sit at the bar), they'd still be taking up a two top. Where I think a hypothetical situation like this would question me more would be if a group of 4-5 were to go to a restaurant, order a table, and just plan on sharing one or two desserts and drinking cocktails or a bottle or two of wine. To me that would be a case that would definitely warrant more attention to how much was being tipped because the size of the table compared to the size of the bill could potentially be far more dramatically different.

          2. I have never done that. I like ordering my own meal because, quite honestly, my spouse is a human Hoover and if we ordered anything to share I would be lucky if I got a whiff of it before he sucked it all down! But, if we did, I probably would tip more than my standard 20% to make up for not ordering two meals.

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