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Tips and expensive restaurants

Normally I tend to tip about 20%, so for a bill of $49 I would probably pay $60 and for a bill of $79 I would give $100.

Lately I have been wondering how tipping should be handled for larger bills, not in a scenario where there are many people in the group, but rather when the restaurant is expensive. For example I have paid $300 for a dinner for two a couple of days back. I ended up tipping $25. Now in a way giving the waiter $25 feels like quite a lot in absolute terms but percental it wasn't even 10%. Was I actually stingy and should have tipped 15-20% of $300, that is up to $60?

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  1. I generally tip 20% at any restaurant. The only exception would be if I bought a very expensive bottle of wine. So if I spent $200 on food, and ordered a $100 bottle of wine, I would tip $50, $40 on the food, and another $10 on the wine.

      1. re: Allstonian

        Since I never buy $100 bottles of wine, this isn't as big of an issue as some of you are making it. I do tip 20-25% on drinks as well as the meal. I was trying to illustrate that I might not tip 20% on what I would consider a very expensive bottle of wine (may not be expensive to everyone, but certainly to me). I don't let my wife tip anyone, however, as she feels it should be 30-40% and I can't cotton that. That said, I dropped a $5 tip on a $12 bill at a diner last weekend. The waitress was insanely busy, and still managed a smile for everyone, so I felt it was deserved.

      2. I think you could have gotten away with 15% and still kept a clear concience. 8.5% makes you stingy.

        1. I tip according to the cultural norms of whatever country I'm eating in. If that's a place where service is included, then I don't tip. Or a place where it's 20%, then I tip 20%.

          In my country, where service charges are commonplace,in preference to old-fashioned tipping, I would expect it to be added at the usual rate on the "bottom line" (which, FWIW, would include tax at 20%) regardless of whether it was a local bistro or a Michelin 3* place