Monday, August 27, 2012

Your Turn

When you are eating out, how much do you usually tip? Do you tip when you get take out? What if you eat at a buffet?

121 comments:

geminigirl789 said...

12-15% (I live in the UK and that's generous here). Zero for take out, or anyplace with counter service. If I walk up and get my food or drink, it doesn't require a tip.

JJ said...

I always tip 20% because it's the easiest to figure out. Same goes for buffet. I tip $3 to $5 on delivery, depending on the order. It's usually not much.

Anonymous said...

Fifteen to twenty percent, more for special service. Sometimes when a server is very nice, I will go as much as fifty percent.

Take out? Not if it's from McDonald's, but if I order some pasta to go from Outback, I'll leave a small tip, usually just a couple bucks.

For a buffet...yes, I tip. Not as much as for table service, but they still have to clean up my mess, and they bring me drinks, so they deserve something.

Cryscee said...

I usually tip 20%. Take out? As in I order food and pick it up? No. If it's a buffet and all they do is bring me drinks and take my plate, $1 per person.

This reminds me of one time I was waiting in line at the Drive Thru at Sonic, and the guy that was walking out bringing the food to the cars in line complained about not getting tips.

Baka Neko said...

It depends on service. I will be honest I had service that made me tip a penny in water(they made us wait 15 minutes for menu then 1 hour before food). But for average 20 % and really great 30-40%.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, delivery...never less than five dollars. Those delivery guys have to buy their own gas.

FSP said...

20%
Delivery - yes
Buffet - don't eat buffet, that shit's nasty.

Henriette said...

No tips for take out, but I tip for buffet. Usually about $5 for buffet and 20% for regular table seating. They pay taxes on their tips anyway.

Texshan said...

About 15%, unless the wait staff was particularly good or particularly bad. Nothing if it's counter service, except at places with a communal tip jar -- I'll usually throw my change in there.

If someone else is paying, I'm assuming they are tipping. But if it's a long-term bf or something, in the past we have split it so that he pays the bill and I leave the tip, or vice versa.

B said...

Usually 20%...less for poor service, more for excellent service.

Texshan said...

Forgot -- I don't eat at buffets because I can't stand when different foods touch each other on the plate, and apparently that's par for the course at buffets. Also, I'm not 80 years old.

Delivery drivers normally get about $3 plus the change to round up to the nearest dollar.

Hammer_Girl said...

For myself it's at least 20%. My husband on the other hand will do less. He has an app on his phone that is a tip adjuster and it irks me so bad. Finally he has started just telling me how much the bill is and asks how much to leave.

At Sonic if the person comes out in roller skates I'll tip a buck or two. But if they just walk out I don't. Lazy bastards.

EmEyeKay said...

20%. I'll tip a buck or two when I pick up take-out. Haven't eaten at a buffet since childhood.

OT ALERT: wtf happened last Friday? Has B.P. been here since? It's a very confusing read if you're late to the game.

Unknown said...

@Cryscee - Everytime I go to Sonic with my mom, she's like "You don't give them a tip?!"

Am I supposed to tip the car hop? I could easily just go to the drive thru window for the same thing.

Anyone else have this dilemma at Sonic? To tip or not to tip?

Sherry R. said...

We always leave 20% except for very,very occasionally if the service really sucks we'll still leave 10%. Even when we're in Canada where the wait staff gets $8 or $9 an hour.

For take out I tip a couple of bucks, and maybe $5 for delivery.

a non a miss said...

20% or more depending on the service if I go out somewhere to eat.
Usually around 5 bucks for delivery, same for buffets. Nada on take out.

rhinovodka said...

Anywhere from 15-25%, sometimes more for table service. Rarely, eat at buffets but usually $1-2.00, same amount for carry out service. Walk up places like coffee shops, maybe spare change in the jar. Anywhere else, depends on the situation.

SusanB said...

We tip 18-20%. I once left a zero tip because the service was so beyond bad, but I did go to the manager and tell him why I wasn't leaving a tip. For delivery I tip around $3.00. At a buffet - $1.00 per person.

Merlin D. Bear said...

Dine in, 20% on average as a start, but if its crappy service, that drops.
Take out? No.
Delivery? 15%
Buffet? A dollar or two per person, unless it's service above and beyond their usual drink refill and cleanup.

smash said...

No buffet for me.

I worked as a chef for 7 years and that has made me have a different outlook then most here. Sometimes wait staff have to split the tip with other staff. So usually always 20% more if I get great service. I always round up.

We only her delivery from pagliacci pizza and I over tip just because we love them and their pizza. Delivery drives have to split with the other staff so I always tip 20% or more never less. I treat them good because they treat me good. As in all food service, they remember when you tip bad and also when you tip good.

smash said...

We only get* (my phone is bad today)

Cryscee said...

@Looziana - I don't tip at Sonic anymore. I did for a little while after I saw someone else do it because I had never thought about it. And interestingly enough it was an older person that did it.

And I did not tip the guy I mentioned above. He wasn't even a car hop. He just brought stuff out to people a little further down in line so they wouldn't have to wait for whoever was at the window.

Sadie said...

The new tipping percentage is 20% not 15%. I nearly always leave a base of 20% - I go higher if the service is excellent. And if the service is poor I leave 15%.

I've worked in the service industry - many don't realize that most servers don't get paid minimum wage. They get paid way under that and need their tips to make a decent wage.

Those that don't tip for whatever reason, have no business going out to eat in the first place. PERIOD.

Comma Chaser said...

I always tip a minimum of 20-25%. I can afford this, so I do. Esp if it's a place I go to regularly.

Lots of embarrasing memories as a child watching my dad stiff waitpersons on the bill after they'd served our family a dinner that went three digits.

Comma Chaser said...
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SevenRaina said...

I've worked the Call-In To-Go for a well-known sit-down restaurant chain (think Outback or Applebees or O'Charleys etc) and most people -- I mean the vast majority of people -- tip when they order this way (they phone it in, it's prepared for takeout, and then carried out to them in their car).

Really, I think I could probably count the number of people who didn't tip. I don't know if that falls into the same category as take-out exactly, but I just wanted to bring it up because it's very much a category now. (And it actually takes quite a bit of organizational skill to do this well and fast and accurately, because if it's wrong people don't discover until they're at home and they very well might never come back.)

RenoBlondee said...

15 to 20% usually. If we have cocktails with our meals we add a few extra dollars as well.
At Sonic I just let them keep the change if I pay with cash. I don't tip if I pay in the order machine with my card.

Jolene Jolene said...

At sit down restaurants we'll always tip 20% if someone does their job--which is bringing me what I order in a timely fashion, no more no less. That will go up if it's done exceptionally well--server is very friendly, gives good recommendations when asked, etc. It'll also go down to 10-15% if it's done badly. Any server who expects that 20% and does a sucky job is an entitled a-hole who should get into another profession. I really don't care if they "need that tip to make a living."

Maja With a J said...

Usually 20%, less for buffet and takeout, but it depends on the service. If it's really bad, I don't tip at all. Poor customer service shall not be rewarded! *L*

Saffron said...

I don't visit chain restaurants, fast foods or buffets, but on very rare occasions I'll select superior restaurants known for excellent chefs and service, and then tip much more than 30%.

Texshan said...

Sadie, I don't think that the "new" normal tipping percentage being 20% is universal. It's still usually 15% in smaller cities and throughout the South, at least in most of the places I've been. And if someone does a barely adequate job and then expects me to leave them 20%, they are doomed to disappointment.

djphob said...

20% at least unless you're really crap. Bartenders get higher the lower my tab is. Works pretty well. I even tip a few bucks on carry-out.

I do NOT tip @ Starbucks! Those people make more than me, I think they have some nerve asking for tips when they make a regular wage.

AKM said...

I tip 20%, more or less depending on the service. Like if it was 10 bucks and the service was adequate = $12. If it was wonderful, $13. Pretty bad service and I ask to speak to a manager. (And still probably give a $2 tip. I'm a sucker who's served and had family members who did as well.)

Take-out is the same. Buffets, I leave a dollar (cheap buffet that's less than $10 or whatever) or a couple dollars (more upscale).

What confuses me is the places where you order at a counter, get your own silverware, seat yourself...but someone brings it to you. And there's a Tip spot on the bill that I signed before I even sat down. Am I tipping the counterperson? The person who brought out the food? The busser? I get confused, and usually just leave a dollar or two on the table.

Kelli said...

Texshan are those your dogs? They are adorable! Are they pomeranians?

My husband is in the biz and depending on the service, we'll usually tip 15% if it was poor, and 20 and up for good service. We always tip the delivery guys and take out, usually 10% for take-out and delivery. Actually he probably tips more but just doesn't tell me.

michelelala said...

I usually tip 15-20%. Even on delivery. As a result, my pizza is too hot to eat when I get it. Yum!!

AKM said...

"OT ALERT: wtf happened last Friday? Has B.P. been here since? It's a very confusing read if you're late to the game."

Huh?! Wha' happened? (Said as Fred "Spanky" Willard.)

Roman Holiday said...

20% but at a buffet no sireee!!!

Oh and when I buy coffee I do not tip - they make minimum wage and they are only pouring a cup of coffee - just because they changed their name to "Barrista" doesn't make me feel like I am getting better service that they need a tip!!
If I am getting take out food - yes I tip, not 20% but whatever I have like a few bucks or something!

KS said...
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Roman Holiday said...

I also tip the guy at the car wash but my husband thinks this is uneccessary (sp?) so I stopped:( Sucks for them.

Sunny said...
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KS said...
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MadLyb said...

>20%.

Agent**It said...

@michelelala - indeed !Pizza delivered is considered an entertainment expense in our house. I always tip 20% (cash, no cc) - even if the driver gets a delivery fee.
Always local pizzerias,always good!

YourNameHere said...

At a restaurant I'm a pretty good tipper if I'm happy with my server. As far as take out places, I can't say I've tipped since I'm driving to get it. I mean would you tip someone at a retail store for ringing up my sale and bagging my purchase?

A buffet is a tricky one because the very few I've been to, there has been a server take your drink order and clean up your table if you go back to the buffet. So yeah I'd say I've probably left a little something for that. There are so many "tip" rules that I can't keep up. Bottom line, if you give me great service you will get a decent tip.

Sunny said...
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Lisa said...

Table service is 20% standard... but we've tipped up to 30% and as little as a dollar... enough to know they screwed up. But we don't do that unless the waiter has a really bad attitude and we have to ask for everything. They shouldn't be working! For delivery, my husband said it used to be $1.50 per item. So for pizza, 3 pies and a salad and breadsticks, you'd tip $7.50. At buffets, if they've been on the ball and made sure drinks are full and plates are picked up in a timely manner, we'll tip 15%. Otherwise, we'll just leave a couple dollars for whomever has to clean up the table.

One day this past spring, my siblings and I were out for breakfast at a decent restaurant with my mom. Everyone was in town for a family function. Our waitress was a sweetie. She was attentive and put up with my brother's ribbing... she was just good and had a cute personality. She asked us about our gathering and we told her it was for a birthday and she said excitedly, 'My birthday is Monday!' so we asked her what her plans were and she said she had to work. She's wanted to be with family but her brother was out of the country training for the Olympics in their native country (she held dual citizenship) and her father had gone down to be with him and she had no other family around. She was going to be 20. So...when mom insisted on paying the bill, we insisted on paying the tip and everyone put $15 in the tip pile. We stuck it in the bill folder with just a $1 showing. It looked like a stack of $1s. When in reality it was a $75 tip with a note to have a great birthday! I would hope to think we made her day! :)

Anonymous said...

At least 40%. But if the service is bad, 15%. If the waiter is hot...then even more. lol

I know what it's like to be a waitress and not get a tip. Being very nice to bitchy people takes a lot of guts. So, I always try to be nice to the waiter/waitress and tip good.

DewieTheBear said...

20% on the total, excluding tax.

Up to 30% if the service is exemplary.

10 - 15% for takeout - someone did take the order, pull it together, package it, etc.

Amartel said...

15-20, depending on the quality of the service but it's gotta be pretty bad service to get below 20%. No tips for take out or buffet b/c no service. The tipping situation has gotten a little exploitative. People want a tip for getting me a coffee? I'm open to hearing another POV on this but c'mon now! (Like most people in America I've worked in the service industry so the guilt trip card will be rejected.)

Terri said...

I always pay my tips in cash, and will figure 20% and usually round it down to the nearest dollar.

Now I feel bad about doing a tad lower than 20%!!!

Anonymous said...

Geez, I'm with smash. Always always tip. My husband makes 3$ an hour as a server, and he is a great one, but people don't realise waiters have tot tip out, and he may come home from work with $20 to show for his shift.
I always tip at least 20% on delivery, because they deserve it. I mean, I get food brought to me while I sit around in my underwear watching L&O? Of course I tip more.
If you can't afford to tip well, don't go out to eat.

Jeneral said...

EmEyeKay and AKM, spare yourselves the hours of frustration the rest of us experienced and don't read the 500 + comments from the Four for Friday blind. In a nutshell, B. Profane hinted that he found some obvious link to Enty's identity, then posted a slew of cryptic clues that many of us tried to follow, and this went on for two days! In the end, most of us decided it was all just pointless conjuncture. Whether or not he really believes what he was saying or was just seeking attention is up for debate. I haven't seen any posts from him since Saturday.

EmEyeKay said...

@AKM - I'm still confused. I gather it was a witch hunt (for Enty), led by B. Profane. As I said, it was hard to follow with so many comments deleted. Check the FFF post.

EmEyeKay said...

@Jeneral, we posted at the same time. Thank you for the warning, it came too late - I slogged through it early this morning and just ended up confused.

Benny, if you're reading - you rabble rouser, you!

AlexT said...

20% For eat-in or delivery (25%if I'm with my mother), 10% for takeout, a couple bucks if I have htm on me for buffets.

I'll tip crap for crap service, but that's rare. I waited tables for years myself so I can tell which issues are the server's fault or the kitchen's.

AlexT said...

20% For eat-in or delivery (25%if I'm with my mother), 10% for takeout, a couple bucks if I have htm on me for buffets.

I'll tip crap for crap service, but that's rare. I waited tables for years myself so I can tell which issues are the server's fault or the kitchen's.

Mary Ann said...

When I go to a sit-down restaurant, I tip at least 20% (and I round everything up) unless the service is bad.

When I call in and do take-away, I leave a tip, too, but not as much. More like 15%.

I tip at coffee shops, even Starbucks.

At buffets, I also leave a small tip (about 15%) if they bring a drink and if I don't have to ask multiple times for a refill. If I'm completely ignored -- and as a single, older woman I can easily be ignored -- I leave less.

I have left almost no tip twice in my life. Both times were the result of extreme rudeness on the part of the wait staff. (Once the staff mocked me, thinking I spoke no Spanish. The other time, the waitress literally threw my plate at the table, gave me my change in pennies -- which I left her for her tip -- and didn't bring silverware till I'd requested it three times. By the time I got a fork, my eggs were inedible.)

DewieTheBear said...

Not tipping at buffets is odd. You may not need to leave 20%, but someone is still bussing your table (cleaning plates away while you get seconds or thirds), bringing drinks and attending to any other needs you may have, including the check. It's hardly a 100% self-serve experience.

lolaluvs2snack said...

I always tip 20% unless the service was lacking, in that case I can be down right evil. I don't go to buffets, its against my religion:-p

redronnie said...

I tip everyone..simply because people who work in the service industry are generally low paid they provide me with a service, so I tip according to the service provided but for those who are rude or treat me as if I am somehow imposing on their space they get the standard and a polite note on the bill explaining why

Texshan said...

Thanks, Kelli! Yes, they are my little puffalumps. The ginger is Stiglitz, and he is mostly Pomeranian but also has some Tibetan spaniel in him, I think. The white one is Beckett and I believe he is almost all pompom, but he is very large for that breed. He's about 15 pounds, same as his brother. I got both of them from the county shelter, so I don't know anything about their backgrounds. If you go to You Tube and search for "The Texshan," you can see some videos of my sweeties!

Roman Holiday, I tip the guy who hand finishes my car at the car wash a couple of bucks, too.

Frufra said...

We're 20% folks, sometimes more. No one waits tables for the glamour and high pay. We can afford to be generous, and try to pass a little on to people who might need it.

Karma, baby!

Plus, it's a good example to set for your kids. I'm with Comma upthread - my dad and grandfather used to leave humiliatingly small tips, and treat the waitstaff like servants to boot. I've got to try and restore harmony in the universe :-)!

Frufra said...

Also, I'm going to be preachy here, so be warned - tip those poor kids at Sonic! Throw a dollar or two their way if you've got it, please :-)?

M said...

I was a server and bartender for a decade, so at least 20%.

I did have HORRIBLE service a few weeks ago and tipped $4 on $50. I felt half guilty, but I'm positive our server was stoned out of her mind.

Mhdz said...

I tip minimum of 20% (and I usually round up) unless the service is terrible, then I leave 15%. If there's a jar for take out I'll leave a buck or two. For a buffet same thing.

Scallywag said...

Normally I tip 20% for table service, 10% for buffet, $3-10 on delivery depending what I order. Take out varies by the attitude, wait time, etc. I have a Chinese place I usually tip at, but last week I ordered online, appeared to pick up 20 minutes later, and waited 15 minutes. No tip.

jp said...

20% minimum.

However, I never tip the tip jar at coffee places or cafes. Those popped up later in my life and were certainly not around when I was a kid.

car54 said...

Lisa, that birthday story is a great one! Good for you --that young woman will never forget you guys!

Service jobs are very hard and I don't eat out often due to serious food allergies, but when I do I try to tip at least 20%. I think the world would be a nicer place if everyone had to work one job that is dealing with the public--either food service or retail--you do that kind of work and you become a much nicer customer.

Roman Holiday said...

When I said no tip for Buffet - I meant I do not go to buffets! But at a breakfast buffet when I am on vacation which is the only buffet I ever go to - i do tip a few bucks! I have germ issues with the buffet and salad bars at restuarants yuck!!!!

@ Texshan and I thought I was the only one!!

KS said...

Sunny, did you happen to get my e-mail yesterday? If you got it, e-mail me, if not I'll post it quick and take it down.

Sunny said...
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Treesap-Covered Lady, the Humanist said...

Everytime I sit down at a table the tip starts at 20% and fluctuates, depending on the service, from 30% - 15%. If I call something in for pickup (not curbside) I don't tip; buffets don't happen. Bar tenders get $1 per drink, if they piss me off I still tip but order copious mint julups as revenge. Delivery is $2 + change for $15 and under; $3 plus change for $20 and over; $5 for anything over $30.

Treesap-Covered Lady, the Humanist said...
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KS said...
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Mango said...

20%
$5.00 for delivery
a couple of bucks for curb service like at Carrabbas, which I miss - no Carrabbas in California :(

Sunny said...
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El Roy 13 said...

Usually 20 to 25%. And I do the same for delivery.

__-__=__ said...

I truly can NOT believe anybody here goes to buffets after the food poisoning Your Turn! Fast food either !!

I'll tip 20-25%. 10% is for bad service. If I'm at the table extra long I'll tip more to compensate. That way they want me and my friends at a table for 3 hours and serve us well!

feraltart said...

Hi, hubby and I are back in America next year. On tipping but off-topic, we know to tip at restaurants. How much do we pay people who take our bags at hotels and what do we leave on our pillow for the housekeepers?
Thank you in advance. It really is a minefield for tourists. We once gave an envelope with money to be distributed at a hotel in Seattle because we had no idea of the breakdown.

KS said...
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cece said...

This.

DewieTheBear said...

@feral, $1 per bag is customary for bellhops. As for housekeeping, I would recommend a couple bucks per night. It's a nice way to remember some of the hospitality industry's most invisible workers.

Mother Campfire said...

As someone who has been in the restaurant industry as well - jeez for far too long, actually (15 years? Holy asdf!), I have a completely different perspective than my chef friend. I have worked both front and back of house and spent the majority of my restaurant career in front serving.

What we make (minimum wage) has nothing to do with how much you tip. YOU DONT OWE US ANYTHING. I honestly have no idea where people come up with you having to make up the difference because we get taxed 8% and share tips. SO? That is not your responsibility. We signed up for this job. And yes, someone can make $20 and get cut early but that same person can easily make $200 the following day and not have to tip out more than 5%. There are too many variables and there is no way for the public to keep up. And it's not your responsibility to.

Good table side service is 20% as a standard for most large cities. 15% is the norm in smaller towns, buffets, etc. 10% is what I do for delivery. Oh and for whomever said the drivers pay their own gas is full of it. Not only do a lot of drivers have their mileage paid for (which is gas + wear and tear, currently at 51 cents per mile), but a lot of delivery guys make more per hour.

You should never tip on bad service. Ever. In fact, we usually know you're going to do it before *you* do it. And whomever said above that they tip more the smaller their bar tab is...I am assuming they simply didn't charge you (theft) since it didn't sound like you were friends and put it on his own tab. The more you encourage that behavior, the sooner your favorite restaurant will go out of business. It happens more often than I would like to see. \-:

Yes, you can disagree with me, it's all gravy, but there was a lot of misinformation above and I just thought I should share my experience.

El Roy 13 said...

@_-__-_= I'm with you on Buffet's. But I am a sucker for McD's ice coffee's (black, no cream or sugar) bagel breakfast sandwiches.

Reese said...

For good service, 20%. For adequate, 15%. For less than adequate, I'll talk to the manager.

Maja With a J said...

@Lisa - loved that story, that was very sweet of you and your family!

Snakeoiler said...

If it's full-serve, I start at 20%, go lower for bad service, and higher for good. If the food is really inexpensive, I tip even higher--like $2.50 on a $7.50 tab.

Buffet, if they serve something (e.g. soup and tea), then I leave something, around 10%. If they don't serve anything, I don't leave anything.

Take out? I don't tip at all. They are getting paid at least minimum wage, unlike waitresses and waiters, who get paid less on the assumption that they make it up in tips.

feraltart said...

Thanks DewieTheBear, appreciate the answer.

Agent**It said...

@ Mother Campfire , well stated !

BerniniBellini said...

I always tip 20% in a restaurant, and don't go to buffets, salad buffets or fast food restaurants for the same germy reasons as others on here.

At a top-notch hotel, I will tip $5 per bag for the porter and bell hop, and usually $5 per day for the maid.

For a mid-level hotel, I tip $1 to $3 per day for bags and maids.

I have never stiffed a service person, but have reduced the tip for unusually bad service.

I did once slap a male waiter (I'm female) in the face when he grabbed my boob and twisted it while announcing that our table was ready. We were waiting in the bar. This happened in San Francisco at a very nice restaurant. I was with my mother, both of us on a business trip, in business attire, and had just finished up a long day of work. Granted, my girls are on the large side, but hey, what was he thinking? I can tell you now that it IS possible to see red! The blood must rush to your eyeballs or something. I was blazingly furious and after I slapped him, we just left and had room service in our hotel. I should have sued him and the restaurant for assault.

Eeekalicious said...

I tip at least 15% for either table service or buffet - in Canada the wage for wait-staff is a couple of dollars lower than regular minimum wage....I figure the buffet restaurants likely pool their tips, so either way the staff still need their wage subsidized.

mooshki said...

20-40%. The place my friend and I usually go before the movies, we don't spend much, and spend a lot of time talking over the meal, so I usually double the tip. 15% or even 10% if the service is really bad. I think 10% is common for take-out. Someone goes to the trouble of making sure your order is correct. (Hopefully!) Buffet, usually leave $5-10 depending on how many people in the party. Delivery, $5 or 10%, whichever is higher, and more if the weather is crappy.

feraltart said...

BerniniBellini, thank you as well. Both answers are appreciated as we are staying at a range of accommodation during our stay.

BerniniBellini said...

You're welcome, feraltart! I hope you have a great trip when the time comes. :)

Del Riser said...

We tip a minimum of 20% for a sit down dinner, more if service is more than expected. Recently a young lady pointed out a couple of items on the menu that would get us what we wanted at a much lower price, she got nearly 50%.

We live in Vegas a buffet when guests are in town is sometimes unavoidable, but I do breakfast only. If you have them make you an omelet, $2, the bus person gets $1 per person at the table.

If we get a bottle of water while playing, $1 per bottle, an actual drink or coffee with cream or sugar gets $2. When flying everyone who helps load a bag gets $1 per bag. Valet parking $2-5.

Texshan said...
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brakewater said...

I can't believe everyone who thinks 20% is the base. 15% has always been the base. At least in my opinion. 20% is easier to calculate so it usually leans to that, but rarely over unless exceptional service.

Different Guest said...

Each state has different rules on what tipped employees are paid. Mine it is minimum wage period. I have heard in other states it can be as low as $2.50/hour with tips expected to make up the difference to minimum wage.

DewieTheBear said...

@brakewater, base is 18-20%, with 15% the red flag for poor or "meh" service. It's been that way for some time. I haven't tipped at 15% in at least a decade.

WednesdayFriday said...

@MotherCampfire-

Thank you for reading my mind. I could never have put it so nicely. I usually get really heated over this topic.

EGB said...

I'm with Smash, as someone who still has waitressing nightmares almost 20 years after my last shift, I believe in over tipping when the service is incredible, it makes it easier to become a regular in the places you love! That goes for take out, delivery and places with counter service. A couple of dollars will not break me, but it will make an impression if you do it enough.
And Lisa, great story! Your family sounds awesome!

Thomas said...

I'm an overtipper. I always tip 20% for bare-bones, adequate service (anyone who waits on me without getting on my nerves or making me wait on THEM, ha ha.) But I'll drop it down to 10% for shitty service, which I've only wound up doing maybe less than five times my entire life. And only one time did I not only not tip, but I skipped out (walked out rather leisurely, actually) on a check (when the service was so crummy that I just literally gave up on my waitress bringing me the check). Molly's La Casita on a Sunday morning in Memphis TN, in the mid 1990s...

Lelaina Pierce said...

@Mother Campfire - Interesting perspective!

I had no idea there was a difference in tipping in big vs. small cities! I have always used 20% as my base. I don't recall ever leaving less than 10-15% even for crap service.

I usually do tip a small amount on takeout.

I haven't eaten at a buffet in years. When there is no waiter service I will tip if they have to bus the tables.







FlirtyChick74 said...

@MotherCampfire

Thank you. I've been saying the same thing for years. I do 20-25% on exceptional service. 10-15% on average service and 0 for bad service. If it is really bad, I'll talk to the manager (which I very rarely do).

Eeekalicious said...

I just wanted to point out that late food or understaffing is rarely the fault of the wait-staff. As long as the waiter/waitress is pleasant and trying his/her best, I don't leave a crappy tip, because it is usually beyond their control.

Slow food usually means a holiday, someone called in sick, or a problem in the kitchen of some sort.

Becca said...

I am a delivery driver so I always tip everyone at least 20% unless you make me mad. 10% is the absolute least I will tip and that's only if I get really bad service.


We delivery drivers don't just have to buy our own gas. I get dropped down from $7.25 an hour to $4.25 an hour when I am dispatched on a delivery. And I have to pay for all of the various repairs to my car due to wear and tear.

I recently got a new car. It had a total of 5 miles on it when I got it. This Wednesday (8/29) I will have had the car for 2 weeks and I will have already put 1000 miles on it.

I do not get the delivery fee. At all. The company gets that. They say it's to "cover the costs of running a delivery business" but I know that's a bunch of bull.

I spent $4000 last year just on gas. That doesn't include getting as many as 8 oil changes a year, new tires every year because I put about 20,000 miles a year on my car, then there's brakes as well. I have to get them changed out more often because of the additional driving. And when you look at my gross hourly income it came to a little over $9000 FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. We delivery drivers literally live off of tips.

And now I will step down off my soap box. Thank you.

Sandy said...

I was in the restaurant business (chef) and I know firsthand what crap servers go through, so I never tip less than 20% unless the service is atrocious (it rarely is). Never less than $5 on delivery; take out depends - if it's from a restaurant at which I often eat in, then 15-20%; if not, 15%. I'll usually leave a few bucks at a buffet or when I order at a counter

Believe me, in the US restaurant servers have it tough, particularly in places like New York where there are no laws to protect them. In NYC Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich made a fortune skimming off their servers' tips before they were sued and forced to pay it back.

Becca said...

I had a manager that got away with stealing money from drivers all the time. There were a couple of ways he would do this.

Let's say there's two drivers. We'll call them A and B. A is very good friends with the manager and B is not. The manager dispatches B on a delivery and sends them out the door. Now, while B is on the delivery, the manager clocks them back in on one delivery and dispatches them on another. Then he gives the second delivery to driver A. When B gets back from the delivery, B believes that they are clocking back in on the first delivery. A takes the money from the second delivery and pockets it, then B has to pay for that delivery out of their tips at the end of the night.


Another way was that when the drivers were being cashed out at the end of the night, the manager would have to subtract out the tips written on the credit card slips before collecting money from the drivers. Most of the time, he would not subtract out the credit card tips and just take the money from the drivers.

I had one night that I know for a fact I made at least $75 in tips. I walked out the door with only a $20 bill in my hand because the manager wouldn't let me go back and look at my delivery log so I could figure out where all my tips went. And that was one of many occasions.

Becca said...

I should mention that ever since then, I have always had a tip book and keep careful account of how much I make. I write down the order total, how much they gave me, and my tip amount and have been doing that for 6 years now. I've only had an issue pop up 2 times in the 6 years that I've been doing this.

nova said...

I worked at a Starbucks-type chain in the downtown of a large city. We worked like dogs and made minimum wage. I understand not wanting to tip if they're just pouring the coffee (though most people still tossed in their few cents of change) but if they're making you a bar drink (latte, cappucino, etc.) it takes a lot more time and effort and training, especially to actually make it RIGHT.

Long story short, without the $200-300 extra dollars I raked in through the tip jar every month I would have been unable to live even my extremely frugal life (including rent in a hell hole). So now I always toss my change in. Big deal.

Alita said...

Its weird reading this as an Australian - everyone with a job here, including waiters, buffet staff, baristas, etc - earns a defined, country-wide minimum wage and conditions (eg sick, holiday leave) so, earning a 'proper' wage, the tipping thing happens but it's wayy different. Like when you're out even at a fancy restaurant, there is no onus to tip. We (and many) do - but even if the bill is like 300, the waiter is happy to get $20. That's $20 on top of a working salary. Many people don't tip at all, and that's okay. It'd be the same as tipping someone at a shop that helped you find a dress, you know? But we're acclimated to tipping from travel (that's something many Aussies worry about when going OS, esp to USA - "what do I tip??!!" - they have guides with the on-flight stuff to give us a helping hand and not embarass the nation! I worked in a mid-tier restaurant in a backwater town in New Zealand - boy I LOVED it when Americans came in!!!

tamarind said...

20% always. or more. (i was a waitress)

AKM said...

"Each state has different rules on what tipped employees are paid. Mine it is minimum wage period. I have heard in other states it can be as low as $2.50/hour with tips expected to make up the difference to minimum wage."

Yes, that's what it is in IL. My brother and his fiance made about $3 an hour when they were servers, and tips provided the rest.

Granted, I'm a good tipper, but I often feel like Mr. Pink and wonder -- as you also pointed out, M. Campfire -- why I should have to pay servers. Shouldn't their employer be paying them, after all? It's the system I disagree with, I suppose.

It's my understanding that it is different in other countries -- servers are paid a decent living wage -- and therefore when travelers come to the States, they often do not tip because they are not used to doing so. My brother and I used to go around and around over that one.

Becca said...

Customers are saying "why should I tip, the employer should pay them better?" All the while the employers are saying "why should we pay them better, when they get tips?"


It's a vicious cycle really. I completely agree that the employers should pay the employees better. Especially delivery drivers. It's been proven that drivers are the 3rd most likely to get murdered on the job. That's after police officers and taxi drivers. Is it the customers responsibility to keep up with that? No, it's not. The problem is that there are a lot of employers that use the potential for tips as an excuse to under pay the employees.

In Texas minimum wage is $7.25 an hour for anyone other than servers. For servers it's $3.25 an hour and tips are supposed to make up the difference. It's a stupid system.

AKM said...

I read that same statistic about delivery drivers, Becca. SCARY. And yet Dave Ramsey thinks it should be the solution to everyone's debt...deliver pizzas, and put yourself in unsafe conditions, and say good-bye to your car being in decent shape without socking tons of money into it constantly. Oh, and there are the unsavory bosses like you mentioned. Jeez.

Kinda makes you wonder why anyone would do it at all. Therefore, I applaud all delivery drivers, and I guarantee that I tip them well.

Becca said...

In my case the only reason I am a delivery driver is because I have absolutely no college so it's hard for me to get a decent job. Apparently no college means I can't apply myself or something like that. Never realized 2 years in the Army means I'm a slacker.

AKM said...

I know this is kinda OT, but Becca, as a veteran, you could apply to be a civil service gov't worker and get bonus points (or whatever they call it) for that, right? Or you could be a state civil servant like I am; college isn't a requisite, AND since I'm working at a state university, I get my grad school tuition paid for. Not to mention health insurance and the like. (The pay is peanuts, though. Still, I'm saving five figures on student loans.)

Not to overstep or anything. Like I said, I applaud you being a driver and performing the tough job that you have. :-)

Becca said...

AKM I could do that if there were jobs available. Here in Texas there's a waiting list. Plus, I don't test well and there is a test required for any civil service job as I'm sure you know. I am applying for veterans health benefits which will help greatly because that will cut some of my expenses if the government decides that I qualify.

AKM said...

Oh, okay. I'm sorry if I overstepped. Just put on my social worker hat and thought I'd throw out some options if you hadn't thought of them. :-)

Becca said...

You didn't overstep. I always appreciate suggestions. :-)

Bit dams said...

20%. we go tothe same 4-5 places over and over. just a little extra gets us the table we like next time and more attentive wait staff.

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