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Giving Tips At Restaurants.  
User currently offlineAdam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3038 times:

I have a question for you all. When you go out to eat do you feel obligated to give a tip? Even if the service sucked beyond your wildest dreams.

I recently took a bunch of my friends to a large well know Italian restaurant (cough...Olive Garden...cough). One of my guy friends was not eating and he just had a drink. During the course of the meal the waiter stopped by once asking if we wanted refills, we said sure. He brought back 3 glasses, but did not get one for my friend who was not eating (even though his glass was empty). When he brought the mints he brought 4 mints (there were 5 of us). Not to mention when he said "You are finally ready to order." or when I wanted the bill I had to go find him to get it.

Anyways this really rubbed me the wrong way. The bill was alittle over $50, when I went to pay and signed the credit slip the guy said straight up to me "You forgot to fill out the tip." I grabbed his pen and tipped the jackass $1 for being a complete dickhead.

I felt this was a very generous tip as he completely sucked. Was I justified in what I did, or was it kind of a dining no no. I honestly feel he did not even deserve $1, I was so tempted to even file a complaint against him.

What do yall think anyways. Thanks in advance

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlinePilothica737 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 297 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

I work in a Restaurant, and I know how it goes. I almost always leave a tip no matter how horrible the service. Now that is not to say that I leave a BIG tip, it just all depends on how well I am treated. I work at Old Country Buffet (to many in may be Country Buffet, or Hometown Buffet) At a Buffet, I really don't do too much... I bring refills, and clear dishes. It's amazing how much I get in tips just for flashing a warm smile, and taking the time to introduce myself. I usually get into trouble from my boss, for taking to much (although the customers love it!) I have mad 190 in a 10hour day once... Pretty much from smiling and being very nice. While it irks me when I get a sucky waitress, I always leave something.

User currently offlineB747ca From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3025 times:

Personnaly, I think you left too much of a tip. I used to serve as well and I NEVER acted as that person did. As a matter of fact, I have left the exact amount one time.

So IMO, you acted appropriately.

ma va funk ulo
User currently offlinePaulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3019 times:

I only tip when I feel that people have gone that little bit further to be helpful etc - and many places (in the UK) now have a service charge to cover for this. Tipping in the USA is everywhere - it if moves. tip it seems to be the theme - and if you do not tip then you get asked for it which is cheeky.

English First, British Second, european Never!
User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3014 times:

I once tipped a woman 74 cents. That is the amount that she overcharged me for coffee (I ordered one cup not two: Jacob never has a second cup of coffee when he's at home  Smile) She was rude the whole time and when I poinyed out the overcharche she said : "So..you want it back?" as if i was nuts to request my $$ back for such a small amount.

User currently offlineSEVEN_FIFTY7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 957 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3003 times:

Anytime the service sucks and you dont want to leave a good tip, you're supposed to INFORM the waiter/waitress as to why you're dissatisfied and why you're leaving such a small gratuity.

If you don't alert them, they'll just assume you're a cheapskate and then talk shyt about you to their fellow coworkers.

ALWAYS let 'em know why you're dissatisfied.

User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2977 times:

I generally tip generously unless it's horrendous.
I figure maybe they were just having a bad day or maybe the kitchen wasn't cooperating.
If something is particularly off...I'll let them know (I have this thing about brown lettuce in my salad...).

User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3222 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2970 times:

Out of interest - are you guys expected to tip in places like KFC and Mc D's?

Also, is it virtually obligatory to give a tip in the US because the staff get paid peanuts, or do they get paid okay like here in the UK?

I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Reply 8, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2969 times:

I tip depending on service. If the service was "average", or "ok", then I'll generally leave about 15-20% of whatever the bill was. If I feel the server went above and beyond the call of duty, I'll tip extra. If the service was mediocre, I'll tip less. If it was really atrocious, then I'll leave nothing.

Regardless of what the service was, the one thing that will instantly kill any chance of a tip is when the servers get presumptuous and ask me if I want my change. Here in LA, they are notorious for doing that....especially if your bill comes to something like $16.58 and you pay with a $20.

When they have the audacity to ask, I demand every single penny due back. Sometimes I'll tell them that had they kept their mouth shut and used a little tact, they would've gotten a tip.

But more often than not, they are left wondering where they made the mistake.

User currently offlineMcringring From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2959 times:

Fast food places generally do not have tip jars. But they do have "charity boxes" which probably just go to the employees anyway. But now places like Dunkin Donuts have tip jars. If all you do is get me a coffee and bagel, you're sure as hell NOT getting a tip. Still, everyday I see other people putting their change in. I guess some people are just guilted in to leaving a tip.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13604 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2943 times:

Yes I generally do.
In 1988 some friends and I went to the US for the first time, I knew the deal on tipping in restaurants and bars.
One of my friends wasn't into tipping and had to be grudgingly forced into it, (he soon loosened up when he had to wait for ages to get a beer or Jack Daniels!)
Remember that scene from the start of Reservoir Dogs? When that film came out a few years later the restaurant scene was like a flashback for me!

User currently offlineGumah From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2933 times:

Here are some of my "tipping" rules:

GREAT/FABULOUS/OUTSTANDING service: Usually I tip 20%. I calculate this based on the amount of the bill BEFORE THE TAX IS ADDED IN. While 20% may sound high, some of this money may be split with the busboys. And, I usually only do this at finer restaurants, where the bill exceeds $100.00 (my hubby and I usually order a bottle of wine).

AVERAGE SERVICE: 15%, or 10%, it depends.

LOUSY SERVICE: I leave a penny on the table. Someone once told me that this sends a message that they completely sucked.

User currently offlineDinker225 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1080 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2909 times:

I read a sign a few days ago that said tip well and you will be tipped. So I started. Just yesterday I sold a guy a lift ticket for just $16 and he gave me a $20 tip. I guess I sold the ticket in a fast proffesional manner. The sign read true!!

Two rules in aviation, don't hit anything and don't run out of gas, cause if you run out of gas yer gonna hit something.
User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1976 posts, RR: 30
Reply 13, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2896 times:

You people that don't give tips need to realize something. Waiters and Waitresses get paid FAR BELOW MINIMUM WAGE and they basically make their only money on tips. As a waiter, I was paid $2.15/hr and the minimum wage was about $5.50 I think. It was legal for the owner to do this because we were supposed to get tips. If you no one tipped me I made 2.15 an hour before taxes (although this never happened to me because I gave good service and usually got 15% or more unless the people were old, mean, cheap, or hispanic. Yes I said hispanic. Hispanic people don't tip for crap, I don't know why that is but it's true. And before you go off calling me racist I dated a hispanic girl for two years and have nothing against the people, I think it's just an unfortunate cultural difference).

Waiting tables is freaking hard work, especially when the restaurant is busy. As a customer, I always tip at least 15%, and go from there giving more if I feel the waitperson went above and beyond.

User currently offlineDelta777-XXX From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1017 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

I did this most horrible thing Friday night. I took this really really hott guy to this Italian resturant and we were kinda in the middle of talking about something as we were leaving... and I completely forgot to tip the waitor! I feel SO bad about it, and the guy I was with laughs at me everytime he thinks about it. The guy really didn't deserve much of a tip. He didn't bring out the bread (standard in this resturant) until after we were almost done with our food. He forgot what we ordered and had to come back and ask... AND he kinda acted discusted that he was having to serve gay kids.

haha, I still feel bad about it though. What if it had been someone that was really really nice and did a great job?



User currently offlineBlink182 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 5499 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2847 times:

Even though I hardly pay(parents do). Over my years of eating out in different countries, I have established a ground set of rules for me.

Bad food/nice waiter= good tip
good food/nice waiter=great tip
good food/bad waiter=fair tip
bad food/bad waiter=small tip

Normally, I try not to let the food depend much, especially for seafood whereas at the same restaurant I was at a few weeks earlier, the salmon was incredible, but more recently, the salmon sucked. It really isn't their fault, so I don't let that get in the way.

At some restaurants in the United States, they have mandatory minimum tip percentage depending on the size of the party/adults. Oddly enough though, when that has happened, the waiter always seems to have done more than the minimum percent.

Obviously in Europe, there is mandatory tipping. Just out of curiosity, what if you thought the waiter was terrible but yet, you are forced to leave a tip?


Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlinePaulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2828 times:

tipping here is not mandatory - a lot of places have a service charge to cover that but it is normally up to the individual whether or not to leave a tip.

English First, British Second, european Never!
User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2820 times:

Tips ... humph!!!
The land of opportunity and it's workers have to beg customers for more money when it's the employer's responsibility .. anyway don't get me started.

Whatever happened to "keep the change"?

On my first visit to the US from Downunder 2 years ago I was forewarned about this quaint custom and generally tipped around 10% and rounded that amount up to the nearest $5.

One night in New Orleans after paying for a meal at the TGF's in Royale St the female waitperson came back and asked if we had any complaints about the food or service - we had none - it was all pretty standard fare but nothing flash and I said so.
So she said the "required" gratuity was 15% and my rounding up had only produced a tip of about 8%!!
She then gets out a calculator and proceeds to calculate the exact 15% tip to the nearest cent while explaining that as a poor English (yes she was a Pom) girl waitpersoning in the USA she had a very tough life, not like us well paid Aussies back home!
When I explained that I was barely getting 60c US for each Australia dollar I spent there she didn't know what I was talking about.
So I tipped exactly 10% (to the exact cent) and told her to take it or leave it.
She took it and stormed off.

Given that TGF was next door to the Holiday Inn we were staying at and we had had at least one meal a day there over the previous week I was pretty pissed off.

However, on occassions it was a pleasure to tip staff who had done that bit extra.


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2816 times:

Why the difference between places? If you go to a restaurant you are supposed to tip. If you go to a shop and buy a shirt, for example, then you don't tip. Both sets of staff are on low wages. It seems a big con to me.

Waiters are paid low wages because the resaurant owners can get away with it. The 'you can boost your wages with tips' attitude would soon go if nobody tipped because resaurants would get no staff. Sure prices would go up, but only to the amount that you would have paid with a tip anyway. At least this way waiters would get a decent wage. You can't even say that service will not be as good because even with the incentive of a generous tip at the moment, you find that service is very hit and miss.

BTW, I was recently out having a meal with a French colleague and he was horrified that someone suggested a tip. Not the French way apparently. Any other countries that don't like tipping?

User currently offlineNonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1326 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2807 times:

My wife and I have tipped 15% or higher every time we went out to eat except for one time. About a month ago, we went to a popular Mexican food restaurant on Sunday well before the church crowd showed up. This waitress only had two tables to worry about the whole time that we were there. It took forever to have our order taken, we had to pull teeth to get our drinks refilled, the food took a long time to arrive, the chip basket was empty most of the time, and it took an even longer time to finally get the check. She just disappeared for most of the time. My wife was furious, and I was very thirsty. We did not tip this time. As we were walking out, I was wondering if we should have left something. Then, the waitress said behind us as we were leaving, "Nice tip.". It quickly erased any guilt I had about not leaving a tip. My wife called the place when we got home.

We have had times where service was a little slow, they brought out the wrong thing, or it has been difficult to get refills. However, nothing reeked of bad service and attitude like this one person. To not get a tip from me, you really have to just let go and drop the ball. It is a hard thing to do.

User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2804 times:

BTW, I was recently out having a meal with a French colleague and he was horrified that someone suggested a tip. Not the French way apparently. Any other countries that don't like tipping?

In France, as in many other countries, service charges are automatically included in restaurant bills, hence no need to make a separate tip. You'll seldom see this practice in the United States except occasionally with respect to larger parties.

"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineAmerican_4275 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1076 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2798 times:

We once gave a $.02 tip to a waitress who was a complete and utter b*tch.

User currently offlineJAL From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 5095 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2785 times:

I always gives bigger tips if the service is excellent.

Work Hard But Play Harder
User currently offlineJessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2784 times:

I will generally tip at least 15%. I will give more if the service is good. I will not tolerate poor service or rude/impatient waitpeople. They either get nothing or my pennies. luckily I generally don't have any problem with my waiters or waitresses. I left pennies for a waitress at a perkins who let me sit for twenty minutes before even asking if I wanted a drink. After I ordered she also let my food sit until it got cold while she talked with someone on her cell phone. I was not pleased.
My pastor and I were discussing this same thing a couple of weeks ago and he had an interesting story. He was at a Cracker Barrel by himself and he realized that all he had was a single and a twenty for a $15 meal. so he already had the single on the table and went to the cashier to pay and get some change, the plan being to leave a $3 tip. As he was in line the waitress came by, threw his dollar at him with the words "I think you left this behind"
Well, she didn't get a tip and the restaurant got a phone call.

User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3081 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2764 times:

If the tip is added to the bill, that's it, no more no less. If I don't get to choose in the matter, I'm not going to worry about it.

In most fast food restaurants and at consession stands in the USA there is no tip expected or else there may be a tip jar but I wouldn't say it is customary to leave the full 15%, just your spare change if you feel like it.

At a bar a tip is expected when you buy a drink, I usually buy two at a time so $1 will generally cover it. I still hate tipping at bars when I get a bottle because all the bartender does is open it for you. Mixed drinks is another story but I don't get those. One time at a bar I got shitty fucking service (10 minute wait right at the bar, getting passed up many times, didn't even get the type of beer I ordered) so I left no tip but that alone didn't do enough justice so I went into the bar's only shitter and pissed all over it including the toilet paper roll and dispenser. At some bars a waitresss will come around so it doesn't bother me tipping her around 10% because she actually brought me my drink.

At restaurants where you get personal service (i.e. your food is brought to you) there is almost always a tip expected somewhere around 15%. I'll tip somewhere around that depending on the service but I won't go over the 15% by much even for outstanding service because I think that is too much. On the otherhand I almost rarely have to leave a horrible (less than 10%) or no tip so I guess it takes a lot to piss me off at a restaurant....but at a bar when I get pissed off, they'll get pissed on! Ha ha ha!

Aussies are the cheapest bastards in the world. They don't like to tip but that's just the way they are. I think tipping is a good custom because it ensures the service level. Basically if the wait staff treats their customers like crap they'll get shorted the tip.


25 PROSA : One time at a bar I got shitty fucking service (10 minute wait right at the bar, getting passed up many times, didn't even get the type of beer I orde
26 RogueTrader : KAUSpilot points out something very important that many may overlook: wait people in America are legally allowed to get paid much less than the offici
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