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Tipping on Brown Rice

eLizard Apr 3, 2013 11:13 AM

Let me just preface this with saying, that I do, in fact, tip on the brown rice. And I'm a pretty consistent over tipper....

I've been going to the same sushi place and ordering the same thing for lunch for years. and I'd like your opinion on something.

Sushi deluxe is $14.50. It's on white rice
brown rice is a $4.00 up charge.

do you tip on the brown rice? I've gotten different answers from different people.

  1. s
    SamuelAt Apr 16, 2013 12:41 PM

    Yes, the tip is based on a percentage of the total, and service quality, so no matter what color the rice, the tip should be factored the same way.

    1. p
      pedalfaster Apr 14, 2013 04:45 PM

      Just wanted to say that my engineer SO looked puzzled when I asked him this question.
      His response is that if one cannot afford to tip on the entire/complete/whole bill, one cannot afford to eat at that establishment.

      Pretty much, yeah, that's it.

      1. JonParker Apr 14, 2013 11:11 AM

        Why on earth would anyone order sushi with brown rice? This is a serious question.

        1. j
          Just Visiting Apr 14, 2013 03:00 AM

          We are talking about 60 cents, right?

          What I don't get is the upcharge. A 32 oz bag of Lundberg white rice is $24. A 32-oz bag of Lundberg brown rice is $20.94. Yes, I know that these places are not using Lundberg. That was just for comparison. Brown rice is not more expensive than white rice. So why is this place charging $4.00 per order more for brown rice than for white rice? That is what you should be worried about, not the extra sixty cents for the tip. They are ripping off their customers.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Just Visiting
            chowser Apr 14, 2013 10:42 AM

            Prices are not always based on cost or we'd be paying far less than $3 for soda. It's about demand and people who really want brown rice and willing to pay that much more for it. When I was in hs and worked at McD's, people would complain to me about the cost of a piece of cheese on a burger. Really, I was wearing polyester and making minimum wage, why did they think I had anything to do w/ setting the price but people pay it so they charge it. I told them it was labor because we were so well paid (at least it got a smile out of them and they weren't as irate). Businesses make money--how is that ripping off the customer as long as they're up front about it?

            1. re: Just Visiting
              westsidegal Apr 14, 2013 04:39 PM

              they are charging for the PITA factor.

              it is a PITA to order an additional item.
              it is a PITA to find the storage space and manage the inventory of an additional item
              it is a PITA to set up an additional, different rice cooker.
              it is a PITA to clean the additional, separate rice cooker
              it is a PITA to find the space in the restaurant to put the additional rice cooker where it will be accessible.
              it is a PITA for the sushi chefs to change their rhythm to use the brown rice

              after doing all of this for brown rice, if the people that want it won't pay and tip for it, it would make a lot of sense to drop the brown rice entirely and to offer a different item that will appeal to different people.

              1. re: westsidegal
                Midlife Apr 15, 2013 10:42 AM

                Absolutely on target!

            2. chowser Apr 13, 2013 01:09 PM

              If you did that, you could also justify tipping on the cheapest thing on the menu, eg order a gourmet burger w/ cheese but tip on the amount of the cheapest burger; order tuna belly but pay for imitation crab meat sushi...

              1. hotoynoodle Apr 13, 2013 07:51 AM

                if you usually get salad, but sometimes get steak, do you only tip for the salad?

                i think everybody tips on the amount of the bill. except, of course, the misers who choose not to tip on wine.

                1. Kris in Beijing Apr 12, 2013 10:43 PM

                  eL -- not to stir the pot too much, but could you provide an alternate answer? What is the full "NO, I don't" answer, with some rationale?

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Kris in Beijing
                    eLizard Apr 16, 2013 06:12 AM

                    sure. there are the flat out, i don't tip on anything let alone brown rice. and then there's the server didn't actually do anything different but is getting a higher tip. which i'm not sure is true -- the not doing anything extra. and then there's the, why is there an upcharge on brown rice.

                    1. re: eLizard
                      hotoynoodle Apr 16, 2013 12:01 PM

                      the server isn't responsible for the upcharge, but i presume you know that.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        eLizard Apr 16, 2013 12:02 PM

                        yes. let me just say this board has a much more generous view of tipping than some mother to be boards out there.

                        1. re: eLizard
                          Midlife Apr 16, 2013 12:35 PM

                          >>"mother to be boards"<<


                          1. re: Midlife
                            eLizard Apr 16, 2013 12:46 PM

                            yeah, there's a controversy board for lack of a better term where people discuss (my husband calls it "fighting with strangers on the internet") various topics like tipping or government assistance or bottle feeding or gun control.

                            i am not in the family way..... but when i was on bed rest i spent a ton of time on that board to pass the time.

                            1. re: eLizard
                              Midlife Apr 16, 2013 05:13 PM

                              Oh, so........... as in 'semi-retired guys with nothing better to do' boards? ;o]]]

                              1. re: Midlife
                                eLizard Apr 17, 2013 06:29 AM

                                i pretty much disagreed with everyone. on everything.

                            2. re: Midlife
                              hotoynoodle Apr 16, 2013 03:32 PM

                              mommy boards, i'm guessing.

                              very funny "30 rock" bit on that corner of the netz.

                              i worked in restaurants for decades and am well acquainted with how various demographics tend to tip.

                            3. re: eLizard
                              Jay F Apr 17, 2013 12:29 PM

                              Oh, she was just awful. Worst person who wasn't actually a criminal on the internet that week. I don't hang out on "Mom" boards, btw. She went viral.

                              Glad she's not my mom.

                              1. re: Jay F
                                eLizard Apr 18, 2013 05:50 AM

                                did i miss a post? who shot who in the what now? what went viral? now i'm curious.

                                1. re: eLizard
                                  Jay F Apr 18, 2013 10:52 AM

                                  I first read "11 Things Waiters Do in Restaurants That Drive Us Crazy" on datalounge.com:


                                  Here's the original source material:


                              2. re: eLizard
                                chowser Apr 17, 2013 02:43 PM

                                This puts your question in perspective! You're not asking about whether the moms who don't are correct or not--no, they're not. But, they're propagating the world so maybe they think they're entitled.;-p

                                When I was asking before, what would "you" do, I was meaning it in a general sense and I wonder if others were, too, not that we were accusing you of not tipping on it.

                        2. Bill Hunt Apr 4, 2013 08:18 PM

                          I tip on the meal, and do not factor out any aspect of that.


                          1. Midlife Apr 4, 2013 12:23 PM

                            Huh? April Fools Day was on the 1st! You have to be kidding.

                            What could possibly be the rationale for NOT tipping on the full cost of the food? Is this about the fact that brown rice doesn't seem as if it should cost more than white? Even if that's true, your server isn't the one setting prices. If someone really thinks this is unfair, they should take it up with the owner or just not patronize the place.

                            1. dave_c Apr 4, 2013 11:21 AM

                              Yes, tip on the final price of the dish.

                              1. r
                                Rick Apr 4, 2013 06:38 AM

                                Wow, a whole thread on whether someone should tip an extra $0.60-$0.80. I thought this was an April Fool's joke until I looked at the posted date.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Rick
                                  eat2much Apr 4, 2013 11:16 AM

                                  I'm confused, so basically we're in agreement that you should tip on white rice, and you should tip on brown rice. What about wild rice, arborio rice, or Butanese red rice? Do we tip on those as well?

                                  1. re: eat2much
                                    eLizard Apr 4, 2013 12:01 PM

                                    and oddly enough, my last name is actually rice. true story.

                                2. j
                                  John Francis Apr 4, 2013 06:31 AM

                                  You mean, tipping in an oriental restaurant when you order brown rice and it is served? Certainly not. Why would I?

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: John Francis
                                    poser Apr 13, 2013 07:55 AM

                                    what is an oriental restaurant?

                                    1. re: grampart
                                      Jay F Apr 13, 2013 09:41 AM

                                      I got bitched out here for daring to say "Asian food" not long ago.

                                      Now I call it That Food about Which We Shall Not Generalize, and since that takes so long to say, I just skip talking about it at all, ever.

                                      1. re: Jay F
                                        foodieX2 Apr 13, 2013 11:38 AM

                                        What are supposed to call a place that offers food from more than one cuisine? Plenty of places around here offer Sichuan and cantonese along with a few thai and Japanese dishes thrown in to the mix too. Often I have no idea what the influence is so will say "I had these great asian dish at XYZ". Is there something else less "offensive"?

                                        1. re: foodieX2
                                          Lizard Apr 14, 2013 09:54 AM

                                          I suppose if providing a review, you could call it by name. Also, a descriptive term: Pan-Asian (which acknowledges the breadth of the continent and the fact that there are these restaurants that try to do everything).

                                      2. re: grampart
                                        xanadude Apr 13, 2013 11:29 AM

                                        nah, using the term oriental to refer to food isn't really objectionable (food can be Oriental, people can't), it's just dated and unclear.

                                        1. re: poser
                                          Tripeler Apr 14, 2013 01:33 AM

                                          An Oriental Restaurant is a place you never go into by Occident.

                                        2. re: John Francis
                                          chowser Apr 13, 2013 01:10 PM

                                          Would you recalculate the total using white rice and then tip on that?

                                          1. re: chowser
                                            eLizard Apr 16, 2013 06:13 AM

                                            well, i tip on everything. over tip. the bill comes to close to 20 after tax, and i usually just leave $25. but i guess you would do it that way. or no tip at all if you're not a tipper. which i don't understand.

                                            1. re: eLizard
                                              chowser Apr 16, 2013 08:40 AM

                                              I think what it comes down to is you tip on the total, so even though entrees might be the same work, you still don't tip per entree but based on the price of the entree. Brown rice vs white rice is the same thing. I don't know how else you would do it.

                                        3. eLizard Apr 4, 2013 06:24 AM

                                          i belong to boards on another site that shall remain nameless. and there is a hot topics board. tipping is definitely a hot topic.

                                          1. b
                                            bobbert Apr 4, 2013 06:12 AM

                                            Well, it's unanimous, you tip on the Brown rice.

                                            1. h
                                              Harters Apr 4, 2013 04:46 AM

                                              The cultural norms may be different where the OP is, to where I am. But here in the UK, we tip on the amount showing on the bill and not on the food choices we make (obviously, except that they appear on the bill).

                                              So, in the OP, I would tip on $14.50 if I ordered the meal with white rice. And on $18.50 if I had brown rice.

                                              1. westsidegal Apr 4, 2013 12:07 AM

                                                i tip on brown rice
                                                i tip on corkage charges.
                                                i tip for wine service even if i've brought my own and they didn't charge me for corkage.
                                                i tip for cutting service if i bring a birthday cake AND ask the restaurant to put a little scoop of ice cream on each plate so that they, too, are not subsidizing me.
                                                i tip more than usual if the table has required more than usual attention and has taken up a table more than the usual amount of time. (after all, normally a server has only one station a shift. if your table takes up most of that station, you are the only chance s/he has of earning tips for that shift)
                                                i tip on the pre-discounted amount of coupons.

                                                1. Jay F Apr 3, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                  Of course. I tip on whatever I spend, except in the case of using coupons, in which I tip on the pre-discounted total.

                                                  1. grampart Apr 3, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                    In a perfect world where servers earned a decent wage and this ridiculous system ceased to exist, your question would be moot. Until then, you shall base your tip on the pretax total.

                                                    1. boogiebaby Apr 3, 2013 01:44 PM

                                                      You tip based on the amount you spent, not based on the items you ordered.

                                                      I'm not sure why you would even consider not tipping on the rice part of the bill.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: boogiebaby
                                                        eLizard Apr 3, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                        i *think* one person said the wait staff doesn't do anything differently regardless of the rice type i get. the money just gets added to the bill. but that doesn't hold water. if i order a sandwich and pay extra for onion rings versus fries, i tip on that. if i order beer versus a water, i tip on that..... and it seems the server does virtually the same for either order.....

                                                        1. re: eLizard
                                                          grampart Apr 3, 2013 02:14 PM

                                                          In my perfect world, if a server was being paid say $15 an hour and A tip was no longer required, do you think the employer would pay a bonus to said server for upselling to the brown rice? ;-)

                                                      2. KaimukiMan Apr 3, 2013 01:00 PM

                                                        im not sure of what you are asking. it seems obvious that you would tip on the total cost of the bill - including the upcharge for the brown rice. But if are you acknowledging that it is more difficult to make sushi with brown rice and wondering if you should tip additionally for that, I'm guessing that is the reason for the upcharge, and the increased tip would cover that.

                                                        I don't think it's ever inappropriate to give an even more generous gratuity to cover some special service, so if you feel inclined to 'overtip' (an oxymoron) because of the brown rice, go for it.

                                                        1. m
                                                          mpjmph Apr 3, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                          Yes. Absolutely. Just as I would tip on the full cost of an $18 entree when there were also $14 entrees on the menu.

                                                          1. Motosport Apr 3, 2013 12:42 PM

                                                            I always tip on the total bill before tax. So, yes.
                                                            If I am getting an addiotional item "to go" I give a tip on that too. Servers are not getting rich and they work hard. Been there and done that!
                                                            $4 extra for brown rice does seem excessive. What town/city?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Motosport
                                                              eLizard Apr 3, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                              boston. like i said, i tip on everything. what's an extra buck?

                                                            2. melpy Apr 3, 2013 11:29 AM

                                                              Yes of course.

                                                              1. l
                                                                LeoLioness Apr 3, 2013 11:27 AM


                                                                1. s
                                                                  srr Apr 3, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                                  Do you eat the brown rice? If the answer is yes, then you tip on it.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: srr
                                                                    westsidegal Apr 4, 2013 12:11 AM

                                                                    actually, even if you don't eat the brown rice, and you just order and receive the brown rice, you should be tipping on it.

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