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I was always brought up that 15% tip was a standard rate. So it was surprising when my mom argued with me today that it is now considered rude to tip 15% and that 20% is now the standard tip. This is after I expressed surprise at her tipping over 20% for mediocre service from a delivery man. I have nothing against tipping, but to me, 15% is for average service, higher or lower for better or worse service. Since tipping goes by percentage I don't see any logic behind this supposed change. Being a college student I might be out of the loop. Thoughts?

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    diafol 3,669   7 Years Ago

    You're all bonkers. Why the hell don't employers pay their employees a fair wage - all above board. Then you don't tip - at all. I was in a top-ish restaurant in London some while ago and the bill came to approx £300. But, the git put 15% service on … Read More

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    some bartenders make money hand over fist. most do not. and even the ones that do, its a cycle of boom and bust. the bad days more than offset the good days. it's not a stable job. you dont see many men or women feeding housing and clothing their families … Read More

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    diafol 3,669   7 Years Ago

    Jeez. Tipping sucks. You all get your knickers in a twist about %ages. Pay the poor b*stards a decent wage, put the extra on the price of a meal. No problem. But no, you gotta go and complicate sh*t. Bonuses for this, tips for that ... sorry forgot which thread … Read More

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Some people are starting to tip 20 percent, while I just tip what I think they're work was worth tipping. If I get a $15 dollar haircut I may tip two or three dollars, depending on how they did. I think you're correct that you should only tip higher than %15, if they did better than a mediocre job, but if their manager had to salvage everything than they didn't do a good job. their manager did.

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Yeah, I think 20% is ridiculous personally, but considering that most people who get tips live off of those tips, I usually do not dip below 15% unless their service was particularly bad. I thought the arguments put forth about tipping in Reservoir Dogs were pretty interesting. At some point, a mediocre waiter/waitress deserves something, but I don't think that something is 20%.

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I think I disagree with mom. Dealing with restaurants, 15% is standard, plus or minus based on the service. What I dislike is 6 or more the tip is automatically added and calculated at 18%. I've even seen higher.

Other services have different rates. 15% is not universal.

This looks like a good writeup

More info here

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Any one expecting any specific amount in tipping money independent of service rendered deserves none at all.
I will therefore never give a tip unless the service is not only satisfactory but examplary, and then tip depending on circumstances.
20% is ridiculous, but so is (often) 15%. 5-10% comes first, and if there's a category "tip" included on the bill with a filled in amount when I get it, not only is that crossed out and the amount I pay reduced accordingly, they'll get nothing whatsoever.

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Haha. I started reading that first link before realizing I need to get back to my on-and-off studying. There are a heck of a lot of whiny waiters claiming they think people who "tip below 18% are cheap". The way I see it, an average waiter waits 3-5 tables an hour. With a completely made up (but low bill) of $50 per table this works out to $150 per hour in total customer bill. At a tip rate of 15% this is $20 in tip money the waiter pockets, minus taxes (except on tips that were paid in cash), per hour. Adding in their measly salary paid by the restaurant even a sub-par waiter is easily making above minimum wage. For a job that takes very little training.

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Any one expecting any specific amount in tipping money independent of service rendered deserves none at all.
I will therefore never give a tip unless the service is not only satisfactory but examplary, and then tip depending on circumstances.
20% is ridiculous, but so is (often) 15%. 5-10% comes first, and if there's a category "tip" included on the bill with a filled in amount when I get it, not only is that crossed out and the amount I pay reduced accordingly, they'll get nothing whatsoever.

I'm not sure where you're from, but you would be crossing out a lot of bills in the U.S., since every bill you get at a restaurant will have a tip category. I can get behind the concept of tipping, but only because I cannot change the status quo by not doing so - I can only make someone's paycheck lower. I also think it is neat that in some cultures, like that of Italy, it is considered rude to tip. Like you said, I also have a problem with people thinking that they are entitled to a tip, rather than it being a result of good service. But the way U.S. culture is, if restaurants were forced to start paying waiters, the restaurant's prices would go up. So in essence, the customer would still be paying something towards the waiter's salary.

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Wow, some people have never worked in the service industries. And never talked to any friends working there.

Any one expecting any specific amount in tipping money independent of service rendered deserves none at all.
I will therefore never give a tip unless the service is not only satisfactory but examplary, and then tip depending on circumstances.
20% is ridiculous, but so is (often) 15%. 5-10% comes first, and if there's a category "tip" included on the bill with a filled in amount when I get it, not only is that crossed out and the amount I pay reduced accordingly, they'll get nothing whatsoever.

Your understanding of the industry is abysmal. People in service industries provide a service over and above the business they work in. And in the case of wait staff, their salaries are below minimum wage because they do receive tips. They are working for you as well as the restaurant. The bill is not for service, it's for the food.
So by deciding 5-10% is normal you are screwing staff. That level is generally reserved for sub-par service.

There are a heck of a lot of whiny waiters claiming they think people who "tip below 18% are cheap".

I suspect you'll find those are the one that give mediocre service, too.

The way I see it, an average waiter waits 3-5 tables an hour. With a completely made up (but low bill) of $50 per table this works out to $150 per hour in total customer bill.

What does that have to do with tipping? That is the money owed the establishment. You buy a book, you pay their price. You buy a meal, you pay their price. It's a business.

At a tip rate of 15% this is $20 in tip money the waiter pockets, minus taxes (except on tips that were paid in cash), per hour. Adding in their measly salary paid by the restaurant even a sub-par waiter is easily making above minimum wage. For a job that takes very little training.

You've obviously never been a waiter in a halfway decent restaurant or better. If you think it's easy, and does not need training, you are deluded. When done right, waiting tables is not as easy as you think. Ask your waiter next time you go for a good sit down meal. And I'm not talking about at Denny's.

I'm not sure where you're from, but you would be crossing out a lot of bills in the U.S., since every bill you get at a restaurant will have a tip category.

He's talking about those "for parties of 8 or more..." tip addons.

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Your understanding of the industry is abysmal. People in service industries provide a service over and above the business they work in. And in the case of wait staff, their salaries are below minimum wage because they do receive tips. They are working for you as well as the restaurant. The bill is not for service, it's for the food.
So by deciding 5-10% is normal you are screwing staff. That level is generally reserved for sub-par service.

No, it isn't. If they expect to be paid, they should provide decent service.
For sub-par service, I don't pay.
And yes, I am not in the US and when there do cross out a LOT of tip lines on bills.
It's a hidden cost not agreed upon in the contract between me and the service provider which is the employer of the person providing the service, the restaurant (or whatever).
If that employee is receiving below minimum wages, at least here, their employer is breaking the law and the employee can and should report them to authorities which will lead to very hefty fines and in severe cases revocation of business licenses and even jail time for the employer.

I will decide when and how much to tip, and base that solely on the level of service provided.
If I get exceptional service I migth tip $1 for a $1.50 drink. If I get piss poor service there's no tip and a complaint to the manager.
Anything in between is possible.
Automatic tipping and setting "standard percentages" just encourages poor service and work ethics, which is exactly what is seen a lot in the "services industry".
Having to wait half an hour to even be given a restaurant menu when the entire staff is sitting around goofing off rather than helping customers and still being expected to award their "service" is not something I'll ever have a part in, yet it's now fully expected.

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What does that have to do with tipping? That is the money owed the establishment. You buy a book, you pay their price. You buy a meal, you pay their price. It's a business.

the establishment employs their staff, it's their job to cover their pay from the sale of goods.
If they choose not to do so, they should be open about that and turn the place into a self-service restaurant instead and ask customers to bring their own serving staff.

I buy a book, I'm not expected to pay the cashier separately, or am I? Or the person refilling the shelves after I'm gone?
So why should I pay the waiter in a restaurant? Same thing.

You've obviously never been a waiter in a halfway decent restaurant or better. If you think it's easy, and does not need training, you are deluded. When done right, waiting tables is not as easy as you think. Ask your waiter next time you go for a good sit down meal. And I'm not talking about at Denny's.

Yes, WHEN DONE RIGHT!. And when done right it deserves a tip.
Sadly there's no incentive for staff to do it right if they're getting the same tip (because it's ingrained in the culture to the point the amount is automatically added to the bill even) whether they do it right or not.
If I get worse service in a restaurant offering a $50 a serving steak and $200 a bottle wine than I get at McDonalds (which is quite common, thank you very much) there's something seriously wrong.
Especially if I'm expected to pay that high paid waiter in that expensive restaurant a $100+ tip for that shoddy service afterwards when the kid working for minimum wages in the McD gets a pittance (using the same percentages) on that $3 burger she brought to me because it wasn't done yet to my liking when I ordered it.

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Walt - the money owed on your bill obviously has a lot to do with tipping, since people tip based on a percentage of their bill. I don't see how you can say waiting tables "takes a lot of training". Most people pick up waiting tables very quickly and there is little training by comparison to other industries. I'm not saying the job isn't difficult - for sure it can be hectic. Anyway, I have a few friends who have waited tables before, so I'll have to talk to them about exactly how much they made and how, exactly, the tips work out.

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My sister used to wait tables for a bit in highschool. That place has a "tip amount" on the bills.
That amount was pooled among the entire staff and split according to pay grade.
So at mimimum wage she got a pittance out of it while the CEO got the bulk.

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The whole thing is screwy in my opinion. There's tons of people who work very hard for little money who don't get tips. Does the guy cooking the burgers at Burger King work less hard than the guy cooking your meal at a 5-Star restaurant? Does the guy who wipes down the tables in a cafeteria work any less hard than the guy who busses the tables at same 5-Star restaurant? Frankly it's getting awkward to walk into a nice hotel. The doorman who opens the door for you wants a five spot. You have to tip the guy who punches the elevator button for you and the guy who hands you the towel in the bathroom and the guy who hails the cab for you, etc.

I'm an excellent tipper for good service, way over 15%, but I've been starting to rebel when I sense that waiters feel they're ENTITLED to a 15% tip for mediocre service. I'd rather pay more for the meal and have it go to higher wages and get rid of this whole guilt trip, where I'm a cheap bastard if I tip less than 15%. Pay people what they're worth to begin with, then if they give you good service, tip them. At one time tipping was considered OPTIONAL.

[EDIT]
Apparently "b@stard" gets filtered out as a naughty word.
[/EDIT]

Edited by VernonDozier: n/a

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well said, Vernon. Exactly my point.

Tipping used to be an incentive for staff to go beyond the expected when it came to providing service. If you went the extra mile you got a reward.
Now it's seen as an entitlement, and they get angry when they don't get piles of it despite doing shoddy (if any) work.

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Sometimes I think even 15% is too much. For example I went to a restaurant and spent $100.00 USD, the 15% tip is $15.00. That's pretty good pay for about 10-15 minutes worth of work for the waiter ($60.00 per hour).

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and remember that waiter is serving 4 more tables at the same time (roughly) so he's getting not $60 an hour (tax free...) on top of his wages, but $300.

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and remember that waiter is serving 4 more tables at the same time (roughly) so he's getting not $60 an hour (tax free...) on top of his wages, but $300.

In US tips are taxible just like other wages. And the $60/hour assumes the waiter serves 4 tables in an hour and gets $15 from each table. Of course the waiter does not get to keep all that money himself -- AFAIK it is normally split with the busboys, cooks, etc.

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sure it's taxed. But if you leave cash on the table, do you really expect it all to be declared?
Of course not, the bulk of it will not be declared.

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and so much more appropriate for the level of service usually provided (if not actually overly high for the service provided at the moment which is usually abysmal).

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standard tips are now 20%

tips are taxed, whether they get it or not. if you stiff a waiter on a tip, you actually cause him/her to lose money because they are taxed on gross food sales AS IF they were tipped.

waiters DO NOT make that money you calculated. most of their work is untipped, a lot of prep and cleanup you don't see. they make less than minimum wage for their regular hours.

buncha cheap basterds

Edited by jephthah: n/a

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standard tips are now 20%

tips are taxed, whether they get it or not. if you stiff a waiter on a tip, you actually cause him/her to lose money because they are taxed on gross food sales AS IF they were tipped.

waiters DO NOT make that money you calculated. most of their work is untipped, a lot of prep and cleanup you don't see. they make less than minimum wage for their regular hours.

buncha cheap basterds

From where I sit, a waiter waits around 4 tables per hour. Assuming an average of 3 people per table and a (low) per person meal cost of $20 including tax, that's 3*20= $60 per table. That's $240 per hour in "potential tippable money" that the waiter has coming their way. If the waiter gets tipped 20% then that is 240/5 = $48 dollars tip per hour minus taxes.

Dropping that figure down to an average of 3 tables per hour instead of four, you get $60 per table * 3 tables = $180 tippable money, which at a 20% rate of tipping comes out to 180/5 = $36 in tips minus taxes. If you assume there are only 2 people at each table then that's 3*20*2 = $120/5 = $24 in tips minus taxes for the waiter per hour.

If there is some problem with my calculations or my logic I'm not seeing it. Even the last estimate, which I think is really a lot lower than the traffic a typical restaurant would see, would mean the waiter is making good money at 20%. I have no problem with a waiter making good money if they're good at what they do, but I think it is unreasonable to expect people to tip 20%. If you want to prove to me why what I said above is wrong instead of saying I'm a cheap bastard, then I'll reconsider my tipping techniques and you'll make some waiter happy. Otherwise.. meh.

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You're all bonkers. Why the hell don't employers pay their employees a fair wage - all above board. Then you don't tip - at all.

I was in a top-ish restaurant in London some while ago and the bill came to approx £300. But, the git put 15% service on top without asking. An additional £45 for what? For doing their jobs? Livid.

In the US, do teachers get tipped if the students enjoyed the lesson? Do cops get a few dollars for directing tourists to a particular attraction? Huh, that would be disgraceful, wouldn't it? Taxi drivers? Waiters? Bell boys? Porters? Yeah, there you go, hold out your hand and I'll chop it off you cheeky sod.

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I have been in at least one restaurant that does not allow tiping. There was a sign on each table that read something to the effect that "we pay our waiters a good salary, so tips are not allowed."

According to Wikipedia we can blame the Brits for the practice of tipping. It all started over there sometime in the 16th century.

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I think waiting tables is one of the few jobs where you're actually allowed to be paid UNDER minimum wage.

As far as taxes go, at least where I used to work, we got paid minimum wage and they just made up some B.S. figure that we all got $1.50 per hour tips, whether you were a cook, bartender, a busser, or a waiter, yet the split wasn't anywhere near even. Bartenders and waiters got the most, bussers got some, and the cooks got a little, but it was WAY over $1.50 per hour for all of us.

I knew a guy who was working through college as a bartender and never bothered to finish because he was making so much in tips (WAY more than I made in my warehouse sweeping job - didn't get much tips in that one), and most of it went into his pocket. Hey, more power to him, he's a great guy, but that's when I stopped feeling sorry for the hard lives of bartenders. Believe me, Jephthah, they're making a KILLING as far as taxes go.

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some bartenders make money hand over fist. most do not. and even the ones that do, its a cycle of boom and bust. the bad days more than offset the good days.

it's not a stable job. you dont see many men or women feeding housing and clothing their families by workign in a restaurant or bar. the ones that do have to support their families on this kind of job, they have it rough.

i waited tables through college, some fairly decent restaurants, and i think i know what i'm saying when i say waiters do not make the kind of money you people seem to think they do.

so, Jew, your figures don't reflect reality. here's why

(1) tables are not always filled. tables are often empty depending on night of the week, time of night, local economy, host(ess) playing favorites, all sorts of other reasons.

(2) tables do NOT turn themselves over every 15 or 20 minutes. i dont know where you go out to eat. Subway? McDonalds? People sit at their table for upwards of an hour or more, getting refills of iced tea or water all night long.

(3) people who have a clue, tip 20%. ignorant provincials, tightwads, jerks, old people, large groups of women, minorities, and all sorts of other people might tip anywhere from 0-10%.

(4) waiters tips do not go in their pocket. they have to "tip out" the hostesses, the bussers, the bartenders, and sometimes the food expediters. they may lose up to 1/4 or of their total tips.

(5) waitstaff do NOT just wait a crush of tables, rake in the cash, and go home. the typical evening dinner shift is a 6 hour shift, from 4:30 to 10:30. of which only about 3 hours are peak, from 5:30 or 6:00 to 8:30 or 9:00 or so. the rest of the time is slow, tables are spotty, and furthermore waitstaff are required to do additional work like cleaning, rolling silverware, additional prep work, expediting other's food... all of this at below minimum wage levels.

(6) old timers remember the days of under reporting tips. it's not like this anymore, hasn't been for a long time. waitstaff are taxed on 8% of their food sales; the IRS will taxes them on this amount as income. whether they got it or not. there were times i got less than 8% of my sales for the night, on a bad night. well, guess what, i was taxed on money i never made.

for you to just say x tables per hour times y food sales per table times flat 20% .... is just ludicrously simple-minded.

you need to accept the fact that eating out is a luxury, and add 20% to the bill. if you cant afford to eat out like you have some class, then go to Burger King or stay home.

Edited by jephthah: n/a

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(3) people who have a clue, tip 20%. ignorant provincials, tightwads, jerks, old people, large groups of women, minorities, and all sorts of other people might tip anywhere from 0-10%.

Stereotype much?

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Stereotype much?

Nah.
But people like him are the reason I generally don't tip. They see it as an entitlement and expect it for any piss poor lack of service.
I tip IF the service was good, more if it was excellent.
Usually, and worse in expensive than in cheap restaurants, the service is abysmal and not worth rewarding.

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