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Oh seriously... Not another tipping thread!

Yes...another tipping thread. And an honest question.

Recently I was a guest of my cousin for a lunch.

It was a somewhat busy lunch hour. We chatted away as she ate and I poked at my food (not a fan of this chain). The server was attentive and brought refills and breadsticks without the need of prompting him. He was better than average, especially given the venue and time of day... and we were there longer than most lunching diners would be.

When the bill was paid, my cousin under-tipped - gave something under 10%. Whether it's culture or age or something else, not sure. Not asking about that.

My question is, do you think it's OK to surreptitiously leave extra tip? And if so, what is the best way to go about it? I had some bills in my hand, and when leaving didn't see the waiter and couldn't think of a plausible excuse to return to the table. My cousin, I see a lot. I will probably not return to this restaurant soon (hopefully never). I rathered not offend cousin than waiter, but yeah, he got stiffed and I felt bad. Thoughts?

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  1. It's never wrong to add something extra to a low tip. The problem is how to do it with out offending the low tipper (assuming you are concerned about that).

    If there's really no way to get an additional amount to the server while you're still there, I'd go so far as to return on another day hoping to find the server to rectify the situation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Midlife

      I agree. My dad is an otherwise nice guy, but is a terrible undertipper. I have returned the next day to make things right. Nowadays, I know it's coming, so I usually manage to find a way to get to the server before the end of the meal. I'm upfront: "My dad is a terrible tipper. Here, please take this, and thank you."

    2. you ask: <<do you think it's OK to surreptitiously leave extra tip?>>

      my opinion is that not only is it OK to leave extra money, it is morally/ethically required to find a way to leave extra money.

      to me, it is absolutely NOT ok to let someone who does a good job serving you do so without being adequately compensated.
      if i'm one of the people sitting at that table, then it is my responsibility, not legally, but morally/ethically.

      for all you know, not only did the server need to "tip out" other people at the restaurant, they may well be required to pay taxes on the tip percentage that the IRS has decided is the presumptive tip percentage for that restaurant. because of your decision to passively let this pass, the server may actually have taken a loss on their shift.

      1 Reply
      1. re: westsidegal

        Also, the server will be wondering if they did something wrong and that's why they got such a horrid tip. It's nice to let them know it's not them, it's your cousin.

      2. I can relate to that and I don't think there is a simple answer. Mostly it's a play-it-by-ear situation.

        If you suspect that the party that is picking up the check might undertip, be proactive and offer to pick up the tip while showering them with praise for their generosity. "Paying for the tip is the least I could do!"

        Sometimes an opportunity arises to add some bills to the check holder.

        Sometimes I just resolve never to dine with the same people again since I'm allergic to people who undertip their servers.

        On occasion, I just grin and bear it. If we go to a place where I get an Investor's discount for the party and someone pays saying "I'll pay, you got us the discount!" and I've overtipped that particular server considerable amounts over the years, I might not feel as eager get into the issue of tipping since I would feel that I would have paid my dues.

        Maybe you should have a diplomatic discussion with your cousin on the general issue of tipping if you see her ever so often.

        1. All very valid points. I don't live close, and have no clue who our server was or what his name was (and doubt I'd recognize him because every male server looked like the same college kid). It might be tricky finding him, but next time I'm in that town, I'll try. Thanks!

          1. I wouldn't go back to that restaurant, that's for sure.

            I'd be more proactive. Look at the bill and be like "hey Cousin, did you mean to leave only ____?" It could have been a simple arithmatic error.

            If Cousin did intentionally leave a below 10% tip, I'd say something. If that's not an option for whatever reason, I wouldn't dine out with that person again, as that behavior is rude, embarassing and reflects poorly on you.

            In this specific situation I would have gone back to the table with an "I forgot something". Your cousin forgot to leave a sufficient tip so it's not a lie.

            3 Replies
            1. re: LeoLioness

              "I wouldn't go back to that restaurant, that's for sure."

              Not at all sure how this statement squares with the rest of your comment. Do you mean that, if you couldn't find a way to supplement the tip while still there, you would just let it drop?

              1. re: LeoLioness

                Believe me, I could live the rest of my life without going back there. It's one of if not THE least favorite restaurant of both myself and my immediate family. In fact, I think it's the kind of place where the servers work knowing that they will not make a good tip every single time. Just a hunch about that... could be totally wrong.

                I did try an "I forgot" but she walked back to the table with me. That and "stop by the ladies room" are my go-to excuses with my dad, who is even worse. This time, I needed something sly. That's what I'm looking for... something creative when the standby doesn't work. Slip it to another server and ask that they pass it on?

                1. re: gardencook

                  Don't get it. Gardencook was the one who made the statement (unless I'm really losing it. You said "It might be tricky finding him, but next time I'm in that town, I'll try."

                  No biggee. I'm just confused, I guess

              2. Yes I think it's more an obligation to do the right thing for the server assuming there was no grave lapse in their service. I also think you have a bit of an obligation to discuss the topic with your cousin, just in case they are ignorant to the proper practice of tipping. I've seen stranger things in life.

                4 Replies
                1. re: jrvedivici

                  My cousin is pretty sensitive and would not take kindly to what she would consider a "dressing down". Actually, she is an amazingly kind, and generous (of both her time and money). She does a ton of pro bono work so I have to think this was just a miscalculation.

                  In thinking about saying something to her, I think the best approach would be that the next time we go out, I treat her to a meal. During the paying of the bill I can very naturally just say, "Wow, that was a really good server and these guys really work their butts off. I usually leave the standard 20%, but I think this guy deserves a little more, don't you?" And then see where the conversation goes from there.

                  But as far as it being my "obligation" to discuss it, I don't really agree with that. It's not my obligation to correct or discuss anyone's mistakes except my own and my kids.

                  1. re: gardencook

                    Obviously there are a lot of former or current servers on here with pent up anger over low tips. They would have you risk the ruin of the relationship you have with your cousin for what probably amounts to less than $5 or $10 dollars (I'm thinking chain, lunch, maybe a glass of wine each, can't come to more than $50 in most locals and certianly not more than $100). It's not as if the server was stiffed a large sum of money. So maybe it was a miscalculation, you're suddenly responsible, because you were at the table and happened to notice what the bill was and the tip amount, really?

                    If you could slip a $5 or $10 under a plate that wouldn't be noticed, that would have been great, but as for me, I wouldn't risk a relationship with a cousin, I wouldn't risk embarrising a cousion, by either having a discussion on "proper" tipping or being caught suplimenting a tip. My relationships with family is worth so much more to me than to worry about a $5 under tip. Not that it would do this server any good but if it were a place I went back to, I would leave someone an extra $5. Hopefully it all evens out.

                    1. re: gardencook

                      <Actually, she is an amazingly kind, and generous (of both her time and money). She does a ton of pro bono work so I have to think this was just a miscalculation. >

                      Exactly, a lot of people over-project that a poor tipper is the same as a bad person or a morally corrupted person. Extrapolations like this are often wrong. I mentioned this because I have a friend who wasn't a great tipper. He often argued with service people. Sometime it was stressful to go and eat out with him, because I never know he will start an argument. :)

                      From that you would think I am a better person than he is because I am a better tipper and I am very nice to service people. Many waiters and waitresses like me. I am just a very good people person. No, I am not patting myself on the back. However, he is a much better person in many other ways. He volunteered in food banks, soup kitchens, those world hunger organizations. He would collect extra foods for the homeless....etc. I didn't do any of these things.

                      So while he wasn't a great tipper, no where in my heart that I believe myself to be a better person than he was.

                      1. re: gardencook

                        I think you need to read your OP again and then refer to my response. I never suggested you give her a "dressing down" and you also never mentioned you thought it could be a simple miscalculation.

                        Actually in the original post you indicated it could be cultural or age thing, which is why I suggested you might have an obligation to explain to her practical tipping practices. Similar to your children she is a relative and if you are an "elder" to her, and she has some misconceptions why wouldn't it be your "obligation or responsibility" to point it out to her. She might just be misinformed, use to other cultural practices (as I understand tipping in Europe is much lower than here) etc.

                        You actually agree that the next time you go out you are going to address it with her......just in your own way which is perfect if you are comfortable that way.

                        Sorry you got the impression I felt you should be chastising in any way.

                    2. gardencook, just remember, you started this one....

                      1. Dining out with my Grandmother was like this. She always insisted on treating me plus she was a rather difficult customer. Her tip was generous from a 1930's perspective...

                        I gave her countless tip calculator cards. She never had one at our meals and said she gave them to friends who inquired where she had purchased them.

                        I began to always leave a sweater, eye glasses, etc. at the table so I could go back and leave a tip.
                        She quickly caught on and was furious. So I switched tactics and would excuse myself to wash-up, catch the server and give the tip and an apology before the food arrived.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: meatn3

                          Exact same experience with my aunt, in her mobile days. I always found a reason to go back to the table and leave extra money. She never caught on, though.

                        2. I have done this in the past. I had one elderly relative who insisted that 75 cents per person at the table was an adequate tip, including at fancier restaurants on a holiday! I have another who upon receiving the bill puls one of those cards from his wallet and figures out 15% to the penny and leaves only that, regardless of any other factor.

                          So I would discreetly leave extra cash sticking out from under my plate. Havent gotten caught yet.

                          20 Replies
                            1. re: grampart

                              typically the service that is provided to me is MORE than "adequate," therefore, i tip MORE than i would if i was given just "adequate" service.

                              now, since i tend to have a regular rotation of restaurants, the question may be one of the chicken and the egg.
                              do i return to the same restaurants and tip generously because they are MORE than adequate, or, am i receiving top flight service and food BECAUSE i tip generously and complement generously?
                              maybe both.

                              for the most part, i find that generosity is appreciated not only in restaurants but in almost all relationships with other human beings.

                              1. re: grampart

                                While I do agree with you historically 15% has been the adequate tip guideline, I do think in most recent years that has been pushed closer to 18%. I'm not saying your wrong but I think by the next generation 18% is going to become the expected adequate tip.

                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Not uniformly. More true as you get closer to dining meccas, but 15% is still common custom outside those areas.

                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                    I think your history may be shorter than mine............
                                    I waited tables in Philadelphia while in college more than 40 years ago and in those better restaurants 10% was the norm. In the late 70s tipping standard in the northeastern US had morphed to 15% and since the late 90s it's been 18-20%.
                                    In NYC 20% may be low.
                                    In the past 5 years, here in southern Connecticut I have noticed that in addition to percentages, there are minimum expected tips. If your sandwich and drink at lunch are served by a waiter/waitress then $2 is the acceptable minimum, even if the bill only comes to $7.95

                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                      It seems as if we do agree, although I said historically that is based on my historical experience, being 43 years old and from NJ the late 70's is when I became conscious of these kind of things. So 15% has been the acceptable amount as long as I've been aware of tipping.

                                      I also agree on the minimum tip concept. In the example you used I would leave at least $3-4 regardless of the % it works out to be.

                                  2. re: grampart

                                    Not for me it's not.

                                    While I have left tips as low as $5.00 on a bill for 10 people when service seemed to be intentionally bad and especially surly, my own standard is 20%. Having once had to rely on tips to live, and having had family members who have had to do the same, this is a karma thing for me.

                                    And pulling out the card to determine 15% to the penny, I find to be really bad form.

                                    That's just me.

                                    1. re: Fydeaux

                                      My standard is also 20%, but I make no calls of "really bad form" for those who tip 15%. After all, since tipping is still considered voluntary, servers should be happy with whatever is left.

                                      1. re: grampart

                                        Tipping is about as voluntary as wearing shoes in an American restaurant - you might not be arrested for not doing it, but you're not welcome on the premises unless you do (in absence of a good reason, of course).

                                        (in fairness, I don't think particularly badly of those who normally tip 15% either, but habitual tipping below 15% OTOH...)

                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                          <Tipping is about as voluntary as wearing shoes in an American restaurant.

                                          Ha ha ha.

                                          Interesting. Very interesting. Because it just so happen that wearing shoes can be a sign of disrespect in certain Japanese restaurants, and giving tips is also a sign of disrespect in certain Japanese restaurant.

                                          Maybe tips and shoes are related. :)

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            Well I do own several pairs of Wing-Tips shoes.

                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                              Be careful, the female waitresses may think you are hitting on them -- with those wing-tips shoes you have.

                                        2. re: grampart

                                          It's the CARD, not the 15%. Calculating 15% to the penny! Asking for change for a quarter so that EXACTLY 15% can be left! It makes the bile rise up in the back of my throat!

                                          A bunch of years ago [in the days when I considered 15% to be a good tip, this person was adamant about 12%], I was in a city where the tax was 8%, so I doubled the tax amount, rounded up to the next dollar, and left that amount. This relative pulled out his trusty card, determined that I had left WAY too much, and started making change out of what I had left on the table, criticizing me loudly for having done so. I felt humiliated. I handed to tip, the WHOLE tip, to the waitress, and hustled my relative out of there.

                                          There is sometimes a very thin line between thrifty and obsessive.

                                          1. re: Fydeaux

                                            So why is it okay for the cheap tippers to correct the dining companion tip, but not okay for the companion to correct the cheap tipper?

                                            I'm not asking you, Fy, directly, just using your post as an example.

                                            1. re: Fydeaux

                                              This reminds me of an incident from many, many years ago - fresh out of college. I don't remember the exact details, but it was a small group of 3 or 4 co-workers eating out. What I do remember is one particular person making a statement to the effect of, "Well, you are all leaving enough tip, it doesn't look like I need to leave one." He made his exact change from the pile of bills!

                                              I was brand new on the corporate scene and too green to say or do anything, but it is embarrassing to me now to think that then the waiter thought we were all cheap instead of just the one fellow. (It was all on one check and we did the math for each person to pay their part. And I was too young and poor to even entertain the idea to make up the difference for this cheapskate. I certainly wouldn't let that slide NOW!)

                                          2. re: Fydeaux

                                            I've never seen anyone use the card to determine the tip to the penny...Unfortunately many people seem to have trouble calculating percentages. Particularly when they've had a glass or two. As a past server I would have been quite happy for them to use the card and at least have a better chance at a reasonable tip in those situations!

                                        3. re: Fydeaux

                                          "So I would discreetly leave extra cash sticking out from under my plate. Havent gotten caught yet."


                                          That's a good idea! I can't remember if our plates had been removed, but if not, that would work. Thanks!

                                          1. re: gardencook

                                            If you do, then only do it at the very last second. Don't do it too early. You never know if the wait staff may come by and take your plate away in front of everyone.

                                            I agree with nocharge's above comment: Play by the ear. I think it really depends on the situation.

                                            It depends how far off the tip is compared to your standard. If you believe in 20%, and your cousin paid 18%, then it is not worth overthinking it. If it is too low, then walk to the kitchen and pay the difference.

                                            Even if your cousin knows exactly what you are doing, it is still a bit better than you do it out of everyone's sights. There is no magic bullet, just do what makes sense.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              That would be hysterical if you placed an extra $10. under the plate then they come and take the plate away while everyone is still sitting there;

                                              "Holy Cow!! Imagine that!! Someone left $10. under my pate it's my lucky day!!!" hahahahaha

                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                Normally I don't comment on typos, but yours made me picture a pate with coins in it, like a money cake at a kid's birthday.

                                        4. I've walked away from too many meals in my lifetime, with regrets about how under tipped very deserving waitstaff had been.
                                          Recently, I hosted a large party at a wonderful restaurant. There was an automatic 20% added to the bill for the large party.
                                          When the bill came I decided, because the service was above and beyond what was ever expected, to tip another 20%.
                                          To have the type of service I experienced, without acknowledging it, would have left me feeling bad and regretful. Did I overtip? I think so but it made up for all the times, like you're describing, where I should have put my best foot forward and did what I know makes me feel I've done the right thing.
                                          I'm not big on openly pointing out the 'cheapness' of another person, who's paying. It's the way they do things. But I would certainly find a way to go back in and quickly, without saying a word, slip the waiter some cash without the cousin ever knowing.
                                          The waiter would understand and the cousin has no need to know.

                                          1. An older but not exhaustive (how unusual for tipping threads!) discussion:


                                            1. I've been ion this situation several times. Not wanting to offend the person who paid the check I "go to the rest room" and find the server and give them some extra cash.

                                              1. My FIL is a terrible tipper, I always seem to slip some extra on the table if I feel it was warranted.

                                                1. If you felt the server should have been tipped more, leave some money. You don't need to explain just say "I'd like to contribute with the tip, our server was really great". Why would anyone take offense at that?

                                                  76 Replies
                                                  1. re: Pookipichu

                                                    People do take offense to this . For instance my father in law, a proud retired cop, who raised a family of 6 on his salary alone. He watches every penny although now he doesn't have to. He tips 15% strictly but I usually tip 20-25%on the total check and more if I feel it is warranted. When he takes his family out and picks up the check if he caught me slipping the server additional tip, which I've done on more than one occasion, he would feel like I'm questioning his judgement and emasculating him.

                                                    1. re: zackly

                                                      And knowing how he would react, you continue to do this?

                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                        I always do it on the sly. After the bill is paid I seek out the server and slip him/her some additional money. Haven't been caught yet.

                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                          Your question implies that the feelings of your host are more important than the proper treatment of the server.

                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                            In this case, I do. After all, the host was his father-in-law and the man did leave a totally adequate 15% gratuity. Your statement implies the feelings of the server are more important than the proper treatment of a family member.

                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                              You said 15% is adequate. Many feel these days that is inadequate. It was also deemed inadequate by zackly. And it's not the feelings of the server, it's the server's livelihood.

                                                              In your opinion what is improper treatment of his father in law?

                                                              1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                "In your opinion what is improper treatment of his father in law?"

                                                                Zackly said, " if he caught me slipping the server additional tip, which I've done on more than one occasion, he would feel like I'm questioning his judgement and emasculating him."

                                                                You figure it out.

                                                                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                  In saying "these days" 15% is not adequate, you are implying that at one time it was ok. I pretty much agree, and generally tip 20%. But why has the acceptable percent tip gone up?? Of course prices have increased, and thus the dollar amount of a 15% tip has increased with it. But why do we now feel that 20% is appropriate whereas a few decades ago, 15% was pretty much the norm?

                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                    < But why has the acceptable percent tip gone up??>

                                                                    In truth, there is no logical reason. It is just a trend. Why do people used to wear hats all the time, and now people don't.

                                                                    Who knows, but I seriously believe that 25% is starting to be the norm in cities among younger generation.

                                                                    So while your general question is valid, your example of 15% vs 20% is slightly outdated now. :)

                                                                    Get with the program, let's talk about 20% vs 25%.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                      "Get with the program, let's talk about 20% vs 25%."

                                                                      For those that think $150 corkage fees and $20 cocktails are the new norm, maybe.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                        Hillstone's (Houston's, Bandera, Gulfstream, etc.) is probably the most popular group of restaurants, at least in the affluent west coast area where I live. Their checks list calculated 15%, 18% and 20% tips as their recommendations at the bottom of each check. No, they do not consider 25% the new standard and neither do I. To me (and I have never thought of myself as cheap) 20% is a generous tip which is earned by a server who provides very good service. Yes, I often tip 25%, but this is by no means my standard and is reserved for those servers who have provided extraordinary service and gone above and beyond that which the normally good server would do. No...for me, 25% is not the new norm!

                                                                      2. re: josephnl

                                                                        As has been well documented by Chem and others, there is a huge discrepency between what waitstaff at a Michelin restaurant makes and what a waitress that is no longer in her prime makes at Good Time Charlie's Dinner. For the former the current system and either 15 or 20 % will provide them with a reasonably comfortable lifestyle (assuming Chem's $5,000 a month is accurate). On the other hand the waitstaff at your local Chillie's that's getting paid well below minimum wage (which in itself is a joke) can no longer survive on 15% and the partly sum the restaurant owner pays. And I think people are becoming aware of that.

                                                                        I also think it's been well established here that the % you tip has a great deal to do with where you live. Large metro areas are more expensive places to live and people in those parts of the country typically are compensated better, both professionals and non-professionals. The meal costs more, so the dollar amount is higher, but the tip % seems to go up as well.

                                                                        I can also see a generational thing going on here. Those who are more mature and worked for very little and didn't expect a tip for what they did, have a different outlook on the tip "entitlement" mentality than the younger generation who has in (gross generalization coming up here) most cases had "life" a lot easier.

                                                                        1. re: mikie

                                                                          Well, that's your opinion.

                                                                          If I may trot out the CH favorite "it's how I was raised....", my late grandmother, who worked hard all her life (which was not an easy one in many respects) instilled in me the importance of tipping servers. She was very much of the "if you can't afford the meal, you can't afford the tip".

                                                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                            How about, "If you can't handle a smaller tip now and then, you shouldn't be a server"?

                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                              I'll be sure to ask my deceased grandmother to weigh in on that one and get back to you. :)

                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                How about, "if you can't afford to tip reasonably, nobody will serve you." You are paying for the service with your tip. That's just how the US restaurant system works. Aren't you so happy that their are people willing to work as a server, so that you can sit down and have a meal at a restaurant served to you? If every server decided not to be a server because of what you said, then this would no longer be a possibility.

                                                                                1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                  If any and all tipping ceased at once, a new system would be in place in a short time. If not, I suppose buffets would become very popular.

                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                    Not necessarily. I'm sure a lot of the chains (and we all know how much Chowhounds love them) would be able to stay afloat with the added expense of having to pay servers and bartenders at least minimum wage, if not more, but I'm pretty sure some mom and pop places (some of which have very good food) would not be able to make it with the added expense.

                                                                                    1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                      "Not necessarily. I'm sure a lot of the chains (and we all know how much Chowhounds love them) would be able to stay afloat with the added expense of having to pay servers and bartenders at least minimum wage, if not more, but I'm pretty sure some mom and pop places (some of which have very good food) would not be able to make it with the added expense."

                                                                                      How do explain the success of restaurants located in those countries in which tipping is not done?

                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                        A lot of things are done differently in those countries. They have much better economies than ours all around.

                                                                                        1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                          When I was young and single after dinner when the check came I would often ask my dinning companion; "Can I just put the tip in please"................

                                                                                          1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                            Now you're just being silly. You really think Italy has a robust economy?

                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                              Okay, let me put it go you this way. I'm willing to bet if restaurants raised there menu prices to account for tips that are no longer being given, it would be by more than 15%. So be happy they don't do that and you can keep on tipping only 15 %, or less (the way you're arguing this I'm beginning to think 15% isn't even the given for you).

                                                                                              1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                There is a tremendous up-side to your scenario. Say they raised prices across the board by 20% and diverted that amount to pay the help. Now as a server, I know exactly how much I'm going to make in a week, my hours times my pay per hour. I don't have to worry about some cheap-skate only tipping 10 or 15 % or nothing. I can plan a budget and know you will have that amount of money. Now there is an added bonus, if I'm a really good server, I might even get a 5% tip for a job well done and that is actually a bonus not part of my basic living. From the consummer point of view, I know how much I'm spending for each menu item, and don't have to speculate what I should leave for a tip. Gosh, it sounds like a win / win to me. Oh wait, they already do this in Europe, so it can't possibly work here, afterall their's isn't the single largest economy in the World.

                                                                                                1. re: mikie

                                                                                                  No. Most bartenders and servers are bartenders and servers because they can make well over minimum wage being one. One of my best friends is a bartender, and she makes on average, $300 a night. If you pay her minimum wage, or a little above, she won't be happy and will most likely find a new line of work.

                                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                    <One of my best friends is a bartender, and she makes on average, $300 a night.>

                                                                                                    Some people make even more than that on an average night, but it get backs the point: why do we feel bad for these high earning servers and bartenders? They make good money compare to the rest of the country. I am not saying that they don't deserve the money, nor am I comparing them to doctors, lawyers.... I am just saying that they are far from being "poor"

                                                                                                    Let's keep one thing on the table. The medium US household (not individual) income is $50,000 a year. Many waiters, waitresses, bartenders earn more than that with a part time schedule.

                                                                                                    In other words, you have half of the US population (as household) with an income less than this.

                                                                                                    1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                      Wow, now you make it sound like they're overpaid. Here I've been worried about how they are going to make a living wage, only to be informed it's one of the higher paying positions one can have without spending tens of thousands of dollars of one's own money to get a college education and it still pays better in many cases. Maybe I should go back to 15% and give the extra 5% to some poor college grad.

                                                                                                      Most of that being toung in cheek, minimum wage is a joke as it stands today, but even with the most recently proposed minimum wage of $10.10 an hour your $50 an hour friend wouldn't be very happy. The thing is, how many jobs pay $100,000 a year, that's what your friend is making. There aren't that many college graduates that do that well. It's no small wonder that the waiters and bartenders who are making that kind of money don't want the system to change. However I can assure you that when the average waitstaff in the average mom and pop or family priced chain does their taxes, they are not reporting six figure incomes. It's the $2 something an hour plus the probably less than 10% of a relatively inexpensive meal and a beer, that they get to keep if their lucky and don't have to tip out all the other components of the staff, that has them earning maybe $20,000 a year that I'm concerned about.

                                                                                                      1. re: mikie

                                                                                                        Although being a bartender is not a job that you go and receive a college education to obtain, it is not a job that just anyone can acquire. A bartender is considered the highest position in a restaurant and is also the most coveted, aside from maybe a management position, and I don't know a single bartender who started out as one without first having to spend many years in the restaurant industry doing other less lucrative jobs. It may not take education, but it certainly takes a certain personality to succeed at it and do it well. Not everyone can be quick on their feet like that and make sure everyone in a crowded bar is getting served in a timely fashion. I've joked with the owner of the bar that she works at about giving me one night a week bar tending there with no experience (like I said, this will never happen being that he has afternoon bartenders that have been working there awhile and have experience and would probably love the night shift) but either way, even if he did, I realize it would be something that would take a lot of practice for me to ever be good at.

                                                                                                        1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                          <it certainly takes a certain personality to succeed at it and do it well>

                                                                                                          Maybe, but I think mike's point is that these are not the people you have to feel bad for.

                                                                                                          Louis CK also do not have a college degree, but he earns a lot of money. I don't think we need to feel bad or pity him. Your friend is earning way above the American median salary.

                                                                                                          To me, arguing for a higher % tip for a $100,000 bartender is not that much different than arguing for a higher package for a CEO.

                                                                                                          Not to say that they don't deserve it, but you do understand that you are not arguing for the poor and needy here. We are not talking someone who may go hungry the next meal or not able to pay for heating oil.

                                                                                                          With a $100,000 income, you are at the 96 percentile. Only 4% of the population makes better than you. 96% of the people are poorer.

                                                                                                          1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                            When I read my post it appears to be in English, obviously something is being lost in the translation. I in no way am slighting the skills needed to be a successfull bartender, but it also takes skills along with spending tens of thousands of your own dollars to get a college degree and a job of equal pay to your bartender friend. And you don't get that level of pay right out of college, at least not most people and many will not make that much in a year, ever.

                                                                                                            I wasn't born yesterday, I understand you tip well and get good service at the bar you frequent. I take good care of my butcher and he takes good care of me, I get it. But that isn't what inspires me to tip greater than 15% or be concerned about how waitstaffs are paid. If I thought all waitstaff were making the kind of money you friend is, I wouldn't be concerned at all about the social issues associated with minimum wage and what obviously many here feel is the plight of waitstaff and how a few percent difference in their tip is going to have a major impact on their life.

                                                                                                            My favor for the European plan of pay a proper wage and let the tips fall where they may, is based on the need of those making considerably less money than your bartender friend and struggeling to make ends meet. Those who are making less than the national median household income where both members are working. I have no social conscinece that compells me to be concerned about those who are already making well over the national median income.

                                                                                                            I apologize to the OP for hijacking her thread and making this a discussion on social responsibility, but afterall that's what tiping has turned into, a social welfare program supported by patrons so the restaurant owners can pay waitstaff next to nothing.

                                                                                                        2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                          I've said it before but people I know who are most against removing the tipping system are servers and bartenders, particularly the latter. They all make good money, aren't saddled with 9-5 schedules, and have some fringe benefits such as "flexibility" at tax time due to the amount of cash that they receive.

                                                                                                      2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                        If you had read (and comprehended) what I have written, you would know I do indeed tip 20% and sometimes more. My problem is with you self-appointed tipping experts who think anything less than 20% is being a cheapskate. I welcome the day when tipping has gone the way of the horse and buggy regardless of the fact that menu prices will, of course, be raised.

                                                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                                                          You two. Grampart and SaraAshley.

                                                                                                          I posted this earlier, but I am not sure if you missed it. Gallup has a poll on the "standard % tip". The averaged appropriate tip is at 16% at the time the poll was taken in 2006.


                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                            Interesting chart(s), the only thing I would challenge about it is it's from 2006, pre-recession here in the US (and globe really). I would wager if you were to recreate that poll today, you would see vastly different numbers. Just my assumption of course.

                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                              I agree. It is an older poll. Unfortunately, it is not a super popular topic, so we don't get to see the update as often.

                                                                                                              I think the % has slightly moved up due to the time, but it may also slightly moved down due to the economic hardship.

                                                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                              I read the Gallup poll. Really, there aren't any surprises there, but I'm sure Ms. Ashley will still think that those who tip less than 20% are cheapskates.

                                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                I like Ms. Ashely, but I hope Ms. Ashely understands that most people were tipping at less 20%. As such, it would be calling more than half of the country as cheapskates.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  I enjoy good service. I enjoy walking into a bar and standing there along with 10 other people waiting on a drink and not being the last to be served. That's what good tipping will get you at a place you frequent. I realize I frequently tip a considerable amount more than 20% on lower tabs, so really, adding tip to the menu price would prob save me some money and I'm not opposed to it. But that's just not how the restaurant system currently works in the US. I disagree with servers who expect more than 20%, or who think you're cheap if you don't tip more than that. I just think as a whole, the bar has been raised above 15%, and for sure anything below that and you should not be dining out.

                                                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                    <I just think as a whole, the bar has been raised above 15%, and for sure anything below that and you should not be dining out.>

                                                                                                                    You are suggesting that more than half of the country should not go out to dine? :)

                                                                                                                    The bar may have raised slightly above in the 8 years, but I believe the average tipping is still below 20%. It cannot move that fast in 8 years especially we had a huge recession.

                                                                                                            3. re: grampart

                                                                                                              I'm with you. I almost always tip at least 20%, but I'm not ready to call anyone who tips 15% a cheapskate...although, I can't say the same for those who tip 15% on the before tax amount (but that's an entire different issue).

                                                                                                2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                  "How about, "if you can't afford to tip reasonably, nobody will serve you.""

                                                                                                  How about "If you can't afford to pay your staff, don't open a damn restaurant"????

                                                                                              2. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                Well, opinions are all you've got here. If there was some LAW as to how much one should tip, then there wouldn't be this discussion, would there? Or if business owners paid their employees a proper wage, they wouldn't need a tip to survive, the European approach.

                                                                                                Please don't confuse "entitlement" with how much one tips. I'm a rather generous tipper, and like your grandmother, I know very well the benefits of taking care of those who take care of you (ask my butcher). However, I don't believe that just because your title is server or waitstaff you are entitled to a 20% take on the food you serve. My opinion, since that's all that really matters when I'm paying, is that you need to perform your job well to receive gratuities of 20% and greater. Many here seem to be of the opinion that performance is irrelevent, they are entitled to that opinion when they are paying.

                                                                                                1. re: mikie

                                                                                                  My "opinion" comment was directed towards your older/mature/sensible vs younger/entitled blanket statement.

                                                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                    Man, you read a lot into that comment. I can say with certianty, my kids are more likely to tip the same regardless of the service than I am, thus I can conclude they feel the waitstaff is more entitled to 20% than I do. The younger people with whom I work, tend, for the most part to feel more entitled than the older people I worked with when I was a younger person. But yes, as I stated it was a gross generalization, when one is talking in generalities, that's about the best one can do. Not all servers are treated equally, not all servers perform equally, not all older people tip tightly, but not all younger people tip generously. But if you look a the overall population you will find trends and these trends are the basis for generalizations.

                                                                                                    I'd be willing to wager that if one could anomalously post their age and an honest answer to what they actually tip, you would be able to chart statistically a trend line and that line would increase in tip percent with the decrease in age. Now it would take a great deal of data to make that line look anything like a trend line, certianly hundreds if not thousandas of data points. Keep in mind there are always exceptions as I've noted below and you have noted with your grandma above. But, with enough data points those exceptions start to become statistically less important.

                                                                                                    When my daughter waited tables, she had young people not tip at all and leave a mess to be cleaned up. I don't lump all young people into that catagory as I believe that to be the exception.

                                                                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                                                                      I think there is definitely an age correlation. Anyway, you may enjoy this pollster from Gallup:


                                                                                                      "Tipping is a customary part of eating in a restaurant, although there is no widespread agreement on how much to tip. A recent Gallup Poll explored this aspect of the free-market economy with a random sample of Americans. According to the poll, 16% is the average percentage Americans consider appropriate for a restaurant tip, although most Americans choose either 15% or 20%. Nearly half of Americans say they have left a restaurant after eating a meal without tipping because of poor service. Women are more likely to favor giving larger tips than men are."


                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                        It's a shame the data is 7 years old. I can only speak for myself, but over that period my tiping has moved to the right, also my pay has moved to the right.

                                                                                                        I would venture a guess that the general population has moved to the right a bit as well and that 20% may have supplanted 15% as the mode of distribution.

                                                                                              3. re: mikie

                                                                                                <assuming Chem's $5,000 a month is accurate>

                                                                                                I can double check with my two beautiful female friends :) One was an ex-waitress and one is currently working as a waitress. The ex-waitress told me that it is not unusual that people spend about $200 per table in her sushi restaurant (it is mid high restaurant, not crazy like Michelin rated). That is about $40 in tip if not slightly more (at 20%). You wait just 6 tables a day, then it is $240 a night in tip, and 20 days a month, that will be close to $5000 in tips. I am sure she probably pull in more and then share some of it with the kitchen staffs....etc. But you get the idea.

                                                                                                The other friend of mine (the current waitress) also suggested similar statement. In her case, their tips are shared. It goes into a pot, but I recalled that she said she pull in good money in that range. She does not have a college degree. Her sister does, and she (the waitress) makes slightly more than her sister.

                                                                                                Don't get me wrong. It is not the highest paid job and it usually does not have healthcare coverage. However, it is not a bad thing for a young healthy person. I didn't have healthcare coverage neither when I was a graduate student. I had a college degree by then with a GPA >4.0. Double major with a minor. Highest honor in Chemistry and high honor in Economic. What did those get me? I worked more than full time hour as a graduate student which you probably know. I get scorned and yelled by my professor -- literally told that I am worthless and no one will ever hire someone like me. Unlike a bad customer, I have to see my boss every single day for years. What was my salary? It was $1800 per month I think.

                                                                                        2. re: acgold7

                                                                                          It's the father-in-law and an ex cop, of course his feelings are more important than the proper treatment of the server. I would continue, but I'll opt out at this point.

                                                                                      2. re: zackly

                                                                                        I agree with your opinion of how your FIL would feel in this situation.

                                                                                        Dealing with in-laws is tough enough. If he's the host, it's his decision how much to tip. While 15% may be less than you or I might tip, it is still within the norm.

                                                                                        That said, when in-laws want to take us out, I always say I'll let you pick up the check, if you let me pick up the tip.

                                                                                        1. re: zackly

                                                                                          Don't make it about him undertipping, make it about service to you that you thought was special.

                                                                                          Also his cousin, who I'm assuming is a young girl, would not feel emasculated by the statement I suggested. :)

                                                                                        2. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                          You cannot do that in the presence of a host and not credibly expect it would not be taken as an insult to the host.

                                                                                          1. re: Karl S

                                                                                            I would and I could and I have done so without offense, we differ in opinion :) The caveat being I would be more discreet if it's not a one on one situation like the poster described or not family.

                                                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                                                              So if your host decides to slap the server in the face with a napkin, that's okay, and you should not object or stop him from doing so, for fear it would be taken as an insult? I'm just wondering where you draw the line.

                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                If you can't see the difference, I doubt anyone else can cure that blindness.

                                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                  What the hell? This is very different, man.

                                                                                                  Karl S has a reasonable point. The host may very well be the person who pays for the entire meal. Let's say your boss took you all out for a company Christmas party dinner or celebration for closing a deal. Let's say he/she was paying for everyone with a total bill of $500, and then he left some tips. You are telling me that you should put down another $10-20 for your own tip in front of your host (boss) because you think he/she wasn't paying enough tip? And you are saying that your boss (not paying 20-25% tip) is same as slapping the server in the face with a napkin?

                                                                                                  I think there is a huge difference.

                                                                                                  The person who is paying the bill has the right to the tip. He/she is paying the entire bill. You are there at the pleasure of the host. You are the guest.

                                                                                                  With your analogy, I may ask why do you stop there? Why not start looking around the entire restaurant and see which table is paying less than 20-25% tip, and you can go over there and put down some tips. You know. Because every tables in the restaurant which are not paying enough tip (according to you) is the same as slapping the waiters and waitresses faces.

                                                                                                  Seriously. If this is really the same as slapping a wait stuff in YOUR table, then it is also slapping in other tables, and you should stop these behaviors -- not just your table, but every tables.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                    Hi Chem,

                                                                                                    Appearently being a witness to a 5% under tipping episode is akin to lashing the server to a post and taking out the whip. It's a shame there is not reality check on posts.

                                                                                                    I honestly don't understand most of what gets posted on some of these threads.

                                                                                                2. re: Karl S

                                                                                                  Depending how low the tip was, maybe the host needs the wakeup call even if he is insulted by it?

                                                                                                  (Note, I'm not talking about 15% here. But someone pthread mentioned a relative who thought $.75 was a reasonable tip at every meal.)

                                                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                    Even in that context, it's not done at the event or in the presence of other people. No one died and appointed the guest guardian of the host during the event. The guest and host need to have removed their role hats, as it were, for such a wake-up call to properly occur without reinforcing a cycle of anti-social behavior.

                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                      Well, I see your point. I don't agree with it in all cases (particularly with family members, I tend to favor directness and I don't necessarily see a meal as "an event") but I can appreciate what you mean.

                                                                                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                        And I am coming from the perspective, deepened by years of reading of tales of hospitality woe on Chow, Chowhound, and other discussion fora, that much miasma is created by the blurring or distorting of host and guest roles from their former relative clarity. (Something to which most human societies over history have given much attention, and the idea that we have evolved past those needs is more naive than wise or prudent.) The baby got thrown out with the bath water on that score.

                                                                                                        1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                          Perhaps they have not been so much "distorted" but evolved to be less formal and more equal? That there is, in fact, no "need" to define the roles of people meeting to eat salads together?

                                                                                                          I find no reason to wring my hands over that.

                                                                                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                            Ah. Host and guest are not unequal. Category confusion.

                                                                                                            1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                              Nope, more like category aversion. Sometimes it's just dinner, it's not an event requiring so much protocol.

                                                                                                            2. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                              I think it really depends the situation. If you and your buddy went out to local restaurant to have lunch, then there probably was not be a very clear host vs guest. However, if you were to attend a wedding reception or a company function dinner, then there will be a very clear host and guests relationship.

                                                                                                              If your friend and you go out for lunch and you pay for your own meals, then feel free to pay as much tip as you want. If you attending a friend's wedding (at the pleasure of your friend), then I would advise you not to start tipping the working staffs.

                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                Sure. But I'd probably call my friend a cheap bastard if I found out he/she only tipped the barstaff at his reception 10%.

                                                                                                                1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                  If he hosted you, and you called him that in front of other people, then you'd be in a lower class of illegitimacy than him.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                    No, I'd wait until he was back from his honeymoon. Obviously.

                                                                                                                    Like I said, I see where you're coming from, but just don't agree with you. If it works better for you to have a host/guest paradigm in social interactions, that's great.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                      <in a lower class of illegitimacy than him>

                                                                                                                      Yes and the inevitable question arises…

                                                                                                                      Who'd ever be 'nosey' enough to try and find out how much the host has tipped the bar staff at a party they attended?
                                                                                                                      It's really nobody's business.

                                                                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                        Certainly not me.

                                                                                                                        In this hypothetical situation surrounding my hypothetical friend and his hypothetical tipping on his hypothetical wedding, I assumed he told me and I gave him some crap for it over hypothetical beers.

                                                                                                                        Hypothetically, of course.

                                                                                                                    2. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                                                      I think both KarlS and you are right. Your friend may be cheap to under-tip the barstaff, but you were still invited by your friend, the guest, presented at the pleasure of your friend, and finally ate the free food from your friend.

                                                                                                                      In other words, your friend may be cheap toward the barstaffs, but you are in an unique situation.

                                                                                                                      I will exaggerated a bit to illustrated my point.

                                                                                                                      A pirate took you hostage at the sea. A navy SEAL team shot and killed pirate and saved you. Another person may openly criticize the navy SEAL team member for using excessive force, but you probably shouldn't because you owe your life to this person. An exaggerated example.

                                                                                                                      Now, if you were an invited guest in a wedding party... you more or less owe the host a favor. As mentioned, you were only there at the pleasure of the host. You may THINK your friend is a cheapo. You may even quietly whisper, just not so sure about openly calling the host out.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                          :) I actually have not watch the film yet.

                                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                            <A big Captain Philips fan I assume?

                                                                                                                            The movie or the man?
                                                                                                                            I can't imagine anyone walking away from that film thinking the 'man' was anything other than a completely irresponsible, cowardice, stupid captain.
                                                                                                                            This was an odd example/analogy irrelevant to the subject of this thread.

                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                              Ummmm did you read the post I was responding to? Here let me quote it for you;

                                                                                                                              "A pirate took you hostage at the sea. A navy SEAL team shot and killed pirate and saved you. Another person may openly criticize the navy SEAL team member for using excessive force, but you probably shouldn't because you owe your life to this person"

                                                                                                                              That pretty much sums up the plot of the movie Capt. Phillips.

                                                                                                                              Obviously the question was asked of CK, you felt the need to respond, which is what these boards are for. But the question was in direct regard to his post, which is a part of this tread.


                                                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                I am sure latindancer was criticizing my comment, but wanted to do an indirect way. A lot of people do this kind of indirect commenting.

                                                                                                                                Anyway, I may go watch that movie. I read great things about it.

                                                                                                      2. The only way to handle this without offending your host is to add to the tip surreptitiously. I've done this by leaving the premises with the host, and then before leaving (assuming you're driving separately) make an excuse to return...like saying "I think I'll use the restroom before heading home", and then add to the tip either by seeking out the server, or putting it on the table.

                                                                                                        1. One way I like to handle situations like this when I am dining out with a companion that has a different tipping belief system than I do, is I offer to cover the entire tip.

                                                                                                          Usually, something along the lines of:

                                                                                                          "Oh, you were so kind and generous to pick up the tab, at least let me cover the tip."

                                                                                                          It usually works without perking up anyone's "tip-dar" and it's a win-win for everyone.

                                                                                                          1. The Europeans do it right. I would prefer to have a "tip" added to my bill, say 18%,with the option of adding more if I desire to do so. If the waitstaff is paid a low wage with the assumption of 15-20% additional income from tips, why not just add it on? Too many people under tip. Make it mandatory and don't give cheapskates the opportunity to stiff a deserving person.

                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: zackly

                                                                                                              Why not do it the real European way and just pay the waitstaff a living wage and include that in the cost of the food? Then you don't have to offer a $5 hamburger with a 30% tip added to cover the cost of catsup, mustard, and a living wage for your hired help.

                                                                                                              1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                I like this better. Ultimately, we worry about waitsaffs who work in the lower restaurant tiers and barely getting by. You don't really have to worry too much about the higher end waitstaffs who actually get good pays.

                                                                                                                My friends who work in sushi restaurants (not even real high end ones) easily pocket $5000 a month with a part time schedule with a high school degree. This is better than the starting salary than many college grads on full time. If we have to worry about them, then we might as well worry about 2/3rd of America.

                                                                                                                As such a living wage (or a minimal wage) makes more sense to me than a proportional increases for all wait staffs.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                  Chem, I think you have a very good point. I live in a small town in mid-america, there are no Michelin restaurants here, you're lucky if you see a Michelin tire.

                                                                                                                  My daughter worked as waitstaff before deciding on a real job and a college education, she still doesn't make $5000 a month, not even close. But there were many times she would come home after waiting tables and be very frustrated by the tips she did or didn't receive. I've heard every tipping story listed above, on more than one occasion. Teens coming in and making a mess and not tipping at all, to people that think $1 a head is a big deal, regardless of how many margaritas they had.

                                                                                                                  My problem with tipping is that it isn't universal, it isn't consistent, it shouldn't be considered obligatory just so the waitstaff can survive. The owners or restaurants need to belly up to the bar and pay a living wadge, like is done in Europe (or at least many parts of Europe). But they would rather pay waitstaff $2.50/hr and advertise a $5 burger and then let you make up the difference between the $2.50 they pay and the $10.10 that's needed.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                    Totally agree. The system sucks, plain and simple.

                                                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                      <The system sucks, plain and simple>

                                                                                                                      The system is plain weird. A lot of people defend the system saying this gives "feedback" to the servers. There is a hint of truth to that, but only a hint. Most of us have a standard tipping %. Unless someone is horrible, they are unlikely to get below this standard %. In other countries, if someone is horrible, the clients will just complain to the managers. There are ways to do a "feedback" without the tipping system.

                                                                                                                      I don't tip my doctors or my dentists or my car mechanics for a great jobs.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                        Actually, the people who defend the system most strongly are many (not all) of the servers who do well under the system who have reason to feel they would do less well under its common realistic alternatives.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                          When I was a young man, I worked at a gas station for minimum wage. The majority of my time was spent pumping gas which included cleaning windshields, checking the oil level, checking tire pressure ( if asked) and adding air (if needed), handing out Green Stamps, and (at times) helping out-of-town motorists with getting to their destinations. This was all included in the purchase of the 33 cent a gallon gasoline. I performed these services outdoors in all kinds of weather. I very rarely received any tip. Occasionally, late at night or on a holiday, when the customer was nearly out of gas and very thankful to find a station open, I may get an "attaboy", but only very rarely did I get an actual tip. When I got one, I was very appreciative, but never did I feel It was owed to me.
                                                                                                                          I wonder how many servers would continue working if they were paid minimum wage and tipping became a thing of the past, even at $10 an hour. Maybe the waitresses at the local diner or Waffle House would, but the one's that would be taking a pay cut at $400 a week would be looking elsewhere for employment.

                                                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                            Similarly, when I was young I was a grocery bag boy. I bagged and carried groceries to the clients cars. I did this for a number of years, I started young, and it didn't matter if I carried them to a beat up Ford or a brand new Caddy, I only remember getting a quarter 1 time. I carried groceries in the rain, snow, August heat, and all of this was for $0.50 an hour. I can't complain, it was my Dad's supermarket, but my situation wasn't any different than that of the other kids, it was gas money ;) None of got tips and none of us expected to get a tip. We knew what the pay was going in and when you're a HS kid, there aren't a lot of opportunities. But we're not talking HS kids here, are we. Real world waitstaff need to be paid real world wages and they shouldn't be dependent on (add your feeling here, be it generosity, guilt, or whatever) of clients so they can survive.

                                                                                                                      2. re: mikie

                                                                                                                        < you see a Michelin tire>

                                                                                                                        :D Ha ha ha

                                                                                                                        I have talked to some of my friends (some are current wait staffs and some were ex-wait staffs). The income is good. Yes, it can be very busy, and once awhile you get some really mean customers, but most of them are nice. The pay is actually very good for a non-college degree

                                                                                                                        I ask why do they even bother to get a college degree if the pay is so good. They say that the problem is that the lifespan is short. While you can make very good money at age 20s-early 30s, it is increasing difficult to get hired as a waitress when you are 40's and 50's.

                                                                                                                        Being good looks make a huge difference, and a couple of my waitress friends are definitely above average attractive.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                          We had an extended family gathering a couple of weeks ago and some of us went out for fried chicken afterwards. It's famous chicken, even been on one of the TV shows where they pit one restaurant against another, like Philly Cheese Stake for example. The waitress was middle aged and the place was mobed, she was running her ___ off. It's not a fancy place and I'm willing to bet it doesn't pay all that well, for some I know this is a second job, and I'll bet the tips aren't all that great either. Honestly the cost of a meal is under $10 a person so even at 20% the tip isn't going to go very far. I left a very generous tip on a % basis. But even that probably isn't going to bring her pay up to a livable wage. In all fairness, the restaurant owners need to provide the living wage and increase the price of a meal. But in this case that would probably mean loosing business to the competing chicken restaurant down the street.

                                                                                                                          I'm not sure that even being above average attractive would get you a living wage at one of these places. And there were no above average attractive waitresses there either ;)

                                                                                                                          1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                            <The waitress was middle aged and the place was mobed, she was running her ___ off. It's not a fancy place and I'm willing to bet it doesn't pay all that well>

                                                                                                                            Probably not for that kind of restaurants -- even it is famous. Now, if you a relatively attractive young lady and smiley and charming, you will likely get hired at one of those higher end restaurants. At those places, you can get pretty good tips too. You don't have to run around like crazy.

                                                                                                                            <I'm not sure that even being above average attractive>

                                                                                                                            If you are above average attractive and young (20s-35..) and a woman, then you will probably try to work elsewhere. A couple of my friends are female bartenders. I think they make good money for working just the Friday/Sat. Yes, it is crazy busy and customers can misbehave after getting a few beers, but it is good money as a side job.

                                                                                                                            The world is not fair. An attractive waitress (on average) will have better job opportunity and better pay.

                                                                                                                2. The next time, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom while she is busy paying the bill. Slip the extra money to the server or to the host with a brief explanation.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. No need to be surreptitious. I would just drop the bills on the table as we were leaving. If cousin notices, just say 'Oh, that's my half of the tip.'

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                      And you know that just might work, but since the OP should know her cousin better than we do, it just might not. It certianly leaves one with the impression that you didn't tip enough for both of us so I left my half on the table. I'm all but certian there is a relatively large group of the general population that would take offence to that. So if the OP feels her cousin is in that group, this isn't the best tactic, unless you really look forward to family confrontations.

                                                                                                                      There are people I know that I could confront and call them cheep bastards, but there are other people I know that would not take that well at all and would be terribly offended. You have to know the person and the value of the relationship.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                        IMHO that would be offensive to many/most people.

                                                                                                                      2. re: mwhitmore

                                                                                                                        I really would not do that. Ok, it depends. If your intention is to piss off your cousin, then yeah, do that.

                                                                                                                      3. I have gone back to the table under the guise of having forgotten something, and left an extra tip. I have also gone back "to go to the bathroom" and connected with the server to personally give them a tip.

                                                                                                                        You might want to ask you cousin some time what he uses as the basis for the amount of his tip -- just out of curiosity.

                                                                                                                        1. I once went on a date with an accountant. He wanted to take me out to dinner, so I picked a moderately-priced gastropub (entrees in the mid-teens) and offered to split the bill at the end of the evening (wasn't really feeling the lovebug bite....but the food and service were great as usual!). He insisted on paying, and then excused himself for the restroom before leaving.

                                                                                                                          The server came by one last time and asked if I needed more water. I said it was fine, we were leaving......and he said to make sure to take a promotional item in the billfold for an upcoming special dinner. Was I glad that he did! When I opened it up, I saw that Mr. Accountant had tipped less than 10%....left $4 plus enough change to round up to the next dollar on the credit card slip. I hurriedly pulled out a couple of extra dollars and stuffed them in beneath the receipt before shutting the billlfold. I didn't draw any attention to the supplement, and I had a feeling that we weren't be dining out regularly (or again).

                                                                                                                          Anyway, I figured if he saw the additional cash, I'd just say I had a couple of extra dollars burning in my pocket, the service seemed to warrant the cash, and leave it at that. My longer "relationship" was going to be with the restaurant, so I figured the consequences would be fairly minimal! However, if it was a relative or someone I'd be dining with regularly, I might try to be more straightforward about wanting to contribute the tip (or part of the tip) without slighting my dining companion.

                                                                                                                          One thing that crossed my mind- did you and your cousin get separate bills? If it was a single bill for the table and cousin was hosting, then it might be easier to graciously supplement the tip. If you saw your cousin undertipped on his/her separate bill, then I would probably just "overtip" on mine to help the overall tip "for the table".

                                                                                                                          1. Reading this thread I am reminded of a recent drunken late night IHOP visit this past weekend with a group of about 6 friends. Everyone had separate checks except for me and one of my male friends who insisted on paying for my meal. So anyways, you have to imagine this is the grave yard shift at IHOP, a place that I'm sure in the best of circumstances your tips are never going to be very lucrative, and especially not at 2 am when you're getting the drunk crowd, and in the neighborhood where this IHOP was located, a lot of times a not very affluent crowd either. I would say we received very good service. Our server was prompt, polite, attentive, always had our drinks re-filled, etc.

                                                                                                                            So fast forward and everyone receives their checks. I could see my one female friend sitting across from me leaving a $2 tip on a $14 check. So just slightly below 15%. I remember thinking this was too little, and why not just leave $3 and make it slightly over 20%. What's another dollar? But I didn't say anything, and of course we had other people at the table hopefully making up for her under tipping. So our one male friend gathers all the receipts and upon seeing hers very loudly announces to the table "Insert name, $2?!?!, you only left a $2 tip?" It was all I could do not to laugh. The friend who made the announcement is especially known for his outspokenness, and no real offense was taken, but still.

                                                                                                                            In my other personal experiences, I have added to the tip by just walking up to the server and handing it to him/her. Depending on the person, I'm not sure how much I care whether I am offending them or not. It really depends on my relationship to that person. I find it offensive to under tip for good service, so......

                                                                                                                            20 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                              <and especially not at 2 am when you're getting the drunk crowd>

                                                                                                                              Drunk crowds give good tips.

                                                                                                                              <ery loudly announces to the table "Insert name, $2?!?!, you only left a $2 tip?">

                                                                                                                              That works better when the person is young and drunk.

                                                                                                                              <I find it offensive to under tip for good service, so......>

                                                                                                                              But what is under tip? Some believe 15% is the standard. Some believe 20% to be the standard, and some believe 25% is the standard. A person who regularly tips at 25% will surely look at the 20% person as a cheap under-tipper -- and as you put it: offensive.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                Drunk crowds do not always leave good tips. That is a misconception. Sometimes the lowered inhibitions and relaxing effect of alcohol will lead to better tips, but not always. If you're cheap and broke, you're still cheap and broke when you're drunk. I can tell you right now it didn't lead to my female friend leaving a good tip.

                                                                                                                                Under tip to me is under 20% for good service. Yes, I guess it does depend on what somebody elses standard is, but I don't believe 15% to be the socially accepted and recommended standard any longer. That to me is 20%, and if I see you tip less than that for no good reason, then you're under tipping. I was not too long ago seeing a guy who is a server. To him, my 20% was under tipping, and depending on the check, I am actually very likely to leave over 20%. For example, If I only ordered 1 drink totaling $5, I would leave a $3 tip, which is over 50%. But for him, say the check is $35, an appropriate tip on that would be $10. I wouldn't ever leave more than $8, but he would call me on it, and whatever. I would gladly tell him to put in the extra couple bucks if it bothered him that much.

                                                                                                                                1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                  "..... I don't believe 15% to be the socially accepted and recommended standard any longer."

                                                                                                                                  Who do you think is responsible for the standard being raised and, more importantly, why?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                    <Sometimes the lowered inhibitions and relaxing effect of alcohol will lead to better tips, but not always. >

                                                                                                                                    But it won't be worse, right? Like you said, if you are cheap and broke, you are still cheap and broke. I cannot imagine a person who generally gives 20% tip will give 15% after he get drunk -- unless math error. Most of the time people are happy when they are slightly drunk.

                                                                                                                                    <I don't believe 15% to be the socially accepted and recommended standard any longer.>

                                                                                                                                    I don't know. I think it is split. I pay 20% as my standard, but I know plenty of my friends still go by 15% as the standard. It may has to do with younger generation vs older generation or city vs suburban... Of course, I know few people believe 25% is the standard.

                                                                                                                                    <For example, If I only ordered 1 drink totaling $5, I would leave a $3 tip, which is over 50%.>

                                                                                                                                    You are very generous.

                                                                                                                                    <But for him, say the check is $35, an appropriate tip on that would be $10.>

                                                                                                                                    You both are more generous than I am. I usually leave 20%, actually more like 20% of the total bill and then round up or +$1.

                                                                                                                                    By the way, knowing myself, I would pay $8 for the $35 meal -- just like you.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                      Well for the high tipper guy I used to see, I will say he is at least some of time getting something out of over tipping. He's frequently hooked up on drinks at the bars he frequents, like really hooked up. He gets charged for about 50% of what he actually orders, if that. He'll talk to you about this calling over tipping an "investment," that will eventually pay for itself and then some.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                      FWIW, as a descriptive matter, 15% is still standard in most places in the USA (in terms of geographic area). 18-20% has become standard in dining meccas, but not uniformly so outside that.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                        One of the many reasons why I dislike the tipping system is that there really isn't a real standard. Just imagine that you finished your lunch and left a 15% tip thinking it is all fine as well, your next table neighbor looked over and think: "What an Ass#ole!"

                                                                                                                                        I am sure that when I leave ~20% tip, someone may also think "JacAss! Will it kill him to leave a 25% tip?"

                                                                                                                                        It is like you never know if you are constantly offending someone out there.

                                                                                                                                        Hey, for you all 15% people, don't worry. At this this 20% guy (me) does not look down on you.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                          I don't think anyone thinks 20% is an unacceptable tip. Maybe for their own standards, but I don't know any servers who expect more. With that said, they also won't be bragging about your 20% tip, but they won't be had mouthing you over it either.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                            <He's frequently hooked up on drinks at the bars he frequents, like really hooked up.>

                                                                                                                                            Ah, that is a bit different. :) I also overtip whenever I get "free" stuff. It all even out for me.

                                                                                                                                            <I don't think anyone thinks 20% is an unacceptable tip>

                                                                                                                                            Don't be so sure. I am pretty sure that some people think 20% is too low. Just like some people think 15% is too low.

                                                                                                                                            < I don't know any servers who expect more>

                                                                                                                                            That is probably true.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                            If you are THAT worried about what some asshole at the next table thinks about your tip then you have more problems than the size of your gratuity.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                              <If you are THAT worried about what some asshole at the next table>

                                                                                                                                              Well, a bit of an exaggeration, but my point is that you could be perfectly doing your own thing that you believe to be acceptable, but it is actually no longer acceptable by many.

                                                                                                                                              Just read all the posts here. Tons of people already believe 15% is no longer an acceptable % in today's society.

                                                                                                                                              While we wouldn't worry too much about what every single person think, I do think it is important we appreciate what the overall society considers to be acceptable.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                          I disagree! Although I generally tip 20% for good-very good service and 25% for exceptional service! I do not think it is correct to say that tipping 15% is under-tipping and socially unacceptable. For many folk, 15% has been the standard they were brought up with and continues to be the standard. I think that for many, eating out even at relatively inexpensive chains (like the Olive Garden, Applebee's, etc.) is a splurge, and tax + 15% tip is what seems right to them, what they can afford, and remains perfectly acceptable.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                                            I wasn't brought up with 15% being the standard. I would say 15% is the minimum socially accepted tip, but should not be the standard. Most people I'm friends with agree with 20%. I think if asked, even the female friend I was with last week at IHOP would agree with 20%, even though now we all know she doesn't always tip that. Maybe it's just the area I am in. I will say for larger bills, say $100, I would still tip 20%, but I would be less mad about someone tipping only 15% on that, versus on a $15 bill. I also know a lot of servers and bartenders, and not one of them think 15% is the standard either.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                              "I also know a lot of servers and bartenders, and not one of them think 15% is the standard either."

                                                                                                                                              Big surprise!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                Maybe it's an age thing. You know, how your grampa still thinks a loaf of bread is 15 cents? Maybe older people still think a dollar is a good tip.

                                                                                                                                                I don't think it would be a problem if servers were not automatically taxed on set amounts that they must pay whether they make it or not. I think that's what I heard.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                  Servers aren't taxed on the assumption that everyone leaves a 20% tip.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                  Not surprising at all, you're right. But I will say that at least among the bartenders and servers I know, this standard of tipping is reciprocated by them when they are dining out. All the servers and bartenders I know are very generous tippers, with something over 20% being their standard.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                    Kind of a mutual admiration society. I get it. As I've said many times, I tip 20% or more the vast majority of times, but it really irritates me when I hear that waitstaff thinks that anyting less than that is cheapskate behavior.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                                                                                      Ehh.....I can understand their view point. They are giving everyone the same level of service regardless of how much that person ends up tipping. I find that a little unfair, personally. Fact of the matter is, they are not serving you for their $2.13 an hour that the restaurant is paying them. They are serving you for the tip they are hoping you will give them, and they are hoping for a good one. They certainly aren't busting their ass for a 10% tip. Honestly, I truly believe that if you can't abide by the tipping standards, stay your ass home. Tipping is part of dining out, whether you agree with it or not, and if you can't afford to tip or are too cheap to tip, then clearly dining out is a luxury that you can't afford. Not fair at all that people who are not tipping are receiving the same level of service that I am, as a good tipper. For those that think tipping is truly "voluntary" let's see what happens when everyone decides to be a cheap ass such as yourself, and nobody tips. I promise you, nobody will be there to serve you either.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                  <I will say for larger bills, say $100, I would still tip 20%, but I would be less mad about someone tipping only 15% on that>

                                                                                                                                                  You bring up a very good point which I may want to start a new thread. When you said "mad" or "less mad", are you saying that will be mad as the waitress in question to receive a 15% tip? Or are you saying that you will be mad another customer seeing someone pays a 15% tip? Or both?

                                                                                                                                        3. What I've done when family and friends buy is to insist on paying the tip and thanking them for the company and the meal.

                                                                                                                                          If you're on very good terms with your cousin is to give her the business and jibe her for leaving a poor tip.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                                            Ha ha! We are on good terms, but my cousin is most certainly NOT someone to whom you "give the business". She is in her 50's and although older than me, we more or less grew up together and are more like sisters. However this would not be something I could joke about with her. It would hurt her feelings and maybe make her mad. I do think it was an honest mistake. However, if it wasn't, saying something to her would put a huge strain on a good relationship. I should have tried harder to make up the difference discreetly.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: gardencook

                                                                                                                                              When someone undertips, I always add more. Either just sneak back ("I forgot something...."), or just put it down right in front of her and say "I like to overtip!!", or just say nothing, or just say "adding my share".... pretending that you didn't realize she left a low tip on purpose. There are many ways.... this is not a complicated issue unless you make it one. And perhaps that leads to a discussion of tipping amounts, and how "times have changed...." if she pretends to be ignorant.

                                                                                                                                              It is all in the tone.

                                                                                                                                              It's sad to hear that someone who is a life-long close close friend could be so easily offended. That suggests other problems.... Still, consider educating her with a simple, non-judgmental tone and act like it's no big deal. Perhaps mention that when ?you (or a friend) waited tables in the past, and you remember the low pay and how getting "stiffed" on tips was a blow.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: gardencook

                                                                                                                                                It's sad that someone (only) in her 50s is so old already.

                                                                                                                                            2. The OP and cousin stayed a little longer, and the service was so good it was worth remarking. The best way to rectify a cheap-tipper situation is to excuse oneself to the bathroom (or the bar, where servers seem to congregate in some places 'cause the POS terminals are there) and make-up the difference.

                                                                                                                                              Servers rely on tips as part of their wages. It's the way it is in this country and not your individual server's fault. To fail to compensate a hard-working server for his/her efforts is, at the very least, a poor karmic decision.

                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                                                                I agree I could have "tried" harder, but the restroom was by the door, on our way out and my cousin was heading there, too (we're both female, so it's not like I could pretend I was using the restroom, then sneak out). We stood at the table gathering our stuff up and it was pretty obvious that we didn't forget anything. My plan was to pass off the bills to the server on the way out. If Karma works the way I expect it to, my effort was enough for the universe and the universe will excuse me for not thinking of something else in the 30 seconds it took us to walk from the table to the front of the restaurant, where along the way, I expected to see the server. I agree, I should have tried harder prior to that (and like the idea of hiding $$ under the plate), but at least I had the bills in my hand. I don't think I did anything wrong, but NEXT TIME, if it ever happens, would like to have other ideas, which was the actual reason for this thread. We all know how tipping threads go, so I shouldn't be surprised. I'm in the wrong because I didn't make Herculean efforts to correct someone else's wrong. I was once a server... I know the job and the universe knows I'm a good tipper, so I've got a lot more good Karma going out than bad. I'm OK with that.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: gardencook

                                                                                                                                                  "We all know how tipping threads go, so I shouldn't be surprised. I'm in the wrong because I didn't make Herculean efforts to correct someone else's wrong."

                                                                                                                                                  IMO you shouldn't feel bad and people here shouldn't doubt any effort on your part as a sincere desire to allign the stars. However, it's the internet and the goal of a great number is to make you feel like you're lower than the lowest whale crap at the bottom of the sea. Based on your post above, they can't delare "Mission Accomplished".

                                                                                                                                                  Honestly, I've taken people to dinner and been taken to dinner countless times and I don't make any effort to see what they tip. If you're treating, what you tip is your business, my business is to be a pleasant guest. I've been on business lunches or dinners where the customer has actually picked up the tab, the last thing on earth I'm going to do is stick my nose where it doesn't belong and try to see what they tiped much less try to fix it. The next time we're out to dinner, I'll pick up the tab and then I get to determine the tip amount. Personally, I think you did just fine, you obviously picked up on the tip doesn't equal food cost and inspite of your good intentions were unable to caryout your plan and managed to maintain your relationship with your cousin, which IMO is the most important thing in the entire discussion.

                                                                                                                                                  Occasionally one of my kids will stick there nose in when I'm paying, which is always when the kids are there, and yes I get extremely peeved. They have jobs and are welcome to pick up the tab any time they like.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                                                    Thank you, I appreciate that. And, I did try the "I forgot" routine, but it was obvious that we didn't forget anything and she was returning to the table with me. I DO value my relationship with my cousin and it's more important than making sure that the server is happy.

                                                                                                                                                    The bill was only $23, she left $2. It was actually probably close to 10% of the bill before taxes. The difference between a good tip and a poor tip is not a fortune. It's 2 or 3 dollars.

                                                                                                                                                    For starters, if I were to drive to this town to give the server a few extra dollars, it would cost me about $10 in gas and a whole afternoon. I wouldn't be eating there, as I really dislike their food. Chances are, the guy wouldn't be there and I don't remember his name or what he looks like.

                                                                                                                                                    I can imagine how odd it would seem if I were to show up and say, "We were in here two weeks ago, and there was a college-aged server that we stiffed by $2. I don't remember his name, I don't remember what he looks like, but I want to give him a few more bucks." They'd probably look at me like I'd grown another head. It's Olive Garden in not an affluent area... they would probably be wondering, "Which of the hundreds of people that stiffed the servers were YOU that week?"

                                                                                                                                                    The thread wasn't about making amends, it's about how to avoid it in the future, but as you point out, Mikie, these threads become about persecuting the author, not really helping.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                                                                                                                      <the last thing on earth I'm going to do is stick my nose where it doesn't belong>

                                                                                                                                                      It does seem to be the prevailing theme on this thread…
                                                                                                                                                      I'm amazed at the amount of people who think they're entitled to rush to judgment and try to change someone's personal decision on how to tip.

                                                                                                                                                2. The more I read this thread the more I'm starting to realize the discussion of tipping is the equivalent of talking religious beliefs.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm going to bow out of this thread at this point. I'm going to continue practicing my tipping habits and I encourage and respect all of your individual tipping practices.

                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                    <The more I read this thread the more I'm starting to realize the discussion of tipping is the equivalent of talking religious beliefs. >

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, a little bit. In the sense that,
                                                                                                                                                    1) People are very confident of their own beliefs
                                                                                                                                                    2) People have no problem of casting the opposition as morally corrupted
                                                                                                                                                    3) People talk, but often do not listen

                                                                                                                                                    This is why I largely peach religious freedom or that people should be free to tip what they believe to be correct. In my view, tipping is largely between the tipper (giver) and the receiver (wait staff), much like religious belief is between the person and his/her own god(s).

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                      Haha! As if you were participating much to begin with. I'm the one who took the brunt of the force.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                        I like discussion boards, where you can go and have discussions with people of varying views. For some reason it seems people like to change discussion into debate, I don't have the patience for that.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                          Why do you think I stopped responding? I actually don't mind debating at times, but after awhile of debating on the same subject, I get bored and move on.

                                                                                                                                                          Edited to say, I left a $4 tip on one drink last night. This particular bartender dates one of my good guy friend's. She is one bartender who would like to be doing something else and is trying to find a different profession. She has 2 kids and actually would prefer a more set and predictable income.

                                                                                                                                                          I'm actually not rich myself and financially struggle from time to time, being single and living alone. But I still try to be as generous as possible with what I do have. That's why I'm irritated when I see people who I know are more financially stable than myself tip 15% or less.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                            I'm a very generous tipper.

                                                                                                                                                            I leave $5 tips for my very favorite waitperson at a diner I frequent by my home because I love her…she's why everyone comes in. The food's not that great but knowing I'll see her is important to me.
                                                                                                                                                            She, literally, makes peoples' day, including mine.
                                                                                                                                                            She waits on me like I'm her long lost daughter.
                                                                                                                                                            Would I do that for someone else? Absolutely not but because she's who she is I do it with pleasure. I sit at a counter and do I watch to see how much someone else tips? I think I have better things to do with my time.
                                                                                                                                                            What's the point of worrying about how much someone else tips? I don't understand that.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                              I mean I don't lose any sleep over it. I'm not the one who started this thread, but given the subject this is where the conversation lead and I gave my opinion. I'll admit that I am a little curious as to what other's tip, especially guys I date, or see as a romantic interest. It wouldn't be a deal breaker for me, but a good tipper definitely earns points in my book. There's a fine line, though. I actually think significantly over tipping for no reason is a bit obnoxious and wasteful. On one lunch out with a friend and I was paying, I tipped $10 on a $35 check (more than I normally would've because this friend worked with our server at a dif restaurant, he'd be embarrassed by tipping her small, yadda, yadda, yadda) she did nothing extra for us, actually even charged us for sodas when I knew she didn't have to, and spilled a plate almost getting the contents of said plate on me (I would never dock tip for this, but I'm not tipping extra for this either) anyways, he was tempted to add to my $10 tip. I told him if he did I would take some of my money back and he decided against it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                As I've stated before, I'm a very generous tipper WHEN the waiter has earned it.
                                                                                                                                                                In other words…
                                                                                                                                                                Just because a waiter is a waiter it doesn't mean they're entitled to my 20-25% tip for the total bill, including tax.
                                                                                                                                                                If a waiter does a half-ass job i.e.: my food comes out later than what I think is normal, my water glass isn't filled consistently and a list of other expectations, they're not going to get my very generous tip.
                                                                                                                                                                They have to earn it. When they DO earn it I'm one of the most generous people on the planet. As I've also stated I've been known to tip upwards of 40% because the waiter(s) have made my meal, with those close to me, one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
                                                                                                                                                                Given that, I don't expect others to feel the same way I do. I certainly don't expect them to tip the way I do and I'm really not interested in how they do it.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                          <I'm the one who took the brunt of the force.>

                                                                                                                                                          I do realize that you were somewhat lonely in defending your view. I appreciate your efforts.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                              Beside your opposite view point, you were polite and pleasant to talk to. These are the reasons why you got many responses -- more than you can handle. Have a fun weekend.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks! You too! It is my good friend's, "the bartender that makes $300 a night" Birthday today, so it should be a fun night going out for that.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm making a filter so as not to have to view any more tipping threads! :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. My mother is so cheap I have to physically restrain her from pocketing money I have left as a tip.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: whs

                                                                                                                                                            Does she take the salt and pepper shakers too? I have an aunt like that, has the salt and pepper shakers from every restaurant she's ever visited. ( I'm not joking she is actually proud of her "collection" )

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                              What is wrong with taking salt and pepper shakers? They put the shakers out there so we can take them home. They are like those samplers shampoo you get from hotels.