To Tip or Not to Tip

 After a recent outing, my wife and I were discussing tips. We
approach tipping in two very different ways. I have a set amount of
$2.00.  I tip more or less depending on the quality of the service. 
She on the other hand tips 15% or more. Again it depends on the quality
of service.

Fundamentally, I believe the percentage method is
flawed.  For example, if I go to restaurant on Day 1 and order a coke,
then I will probably pay about $1.50.  Say on day 2, I order a glass of
wine for $4.00.  Using the percentage method, I am paying more for a
tip on day 2, even though the waitress is doing the exact same amount
of work.   Where as, if I use the standard rate method, the waitress is
tipped the same for the same quality of work.

So which are you: standard or percentage? And why?

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16 thoughts on “To Tip or Not to Tip

  1. Usually I pay around a $1-2, depending on the cost and the service. I never pay more than just a $1 if I just got a coke. If I go well over $10, then I start looking at percentages, and even then, I’m more likely to think, “It’s worth this much” and pay more or less depending on my mood and the service.

  2. Well, I’m partial to the percentage because I was a waitress. Most people ended up leaving about $1 per person, which was less than 10%. I quit that job after three months because I simply was not getting paid enough to make it worth it! It was fairly normal for me to come home with $5 in tips and I waited on two tables, with at least two people each who ordered a very expensive meal.
    The public should also note that it’s not the server’s fault if the food is not cooked to specification. More often than not, it’s the cook. Actually, food arriving late is usually also the fault of the cooks. At least, that was the case at Cotton Patch.
    I also realized that the general population believes that about 10% is standard tipping. It’s not. It’s 15%.

  3. I go with standard (although my standard is $3.00) — my reasoning is that the waiter/waitress has nothing to do with the price of food in the establishment. Why would percentage make sense?
    Personally, I believe that restaurants should be required to pay wait staff at least minimum wage — and that the whole tipping system should not be viewed as mandatory — rather it should be seen as a bonus for REALLY good service.
    By the way, 10% used to be the standard for tipping — it has changed in the last 10 or 15 years.

  4. I agree with you, Dann. If restaurants were required to pay (at least) minimum wage then this wouldn’t be an issue. However, that’s not the case so I think that, unless the service (not the food) is horrible then you should tip according to the American standard.

  5. How standard can this standard be? I notice that there are a number of different rules, mine, 10%, 15%, and Kevin’s. There are four different people posting, and four different rules cited. Can we, then, even talk about a standard way of doing it? I’m not sure that things would be much different if we asked the general populace. It reminds me of the difference between a salad fork and a regular fork, where it is technically exists, but most people don’t know it any more than they mind the rule about putting elbows on the table (which I heartily do).

  6. With so many “standards” I might as well throw in another one. I start at %15 and go up from there. There have been a some occasions when I felt lead to give a big tip (somewhere over %25). Of course, that’s easy for me b/c I am a giver and not a saver.      I also did some fun things with my tip when I was younger (before I was married, someone didn’t appreciate my weird humor  lol). om

  7. Society makes even one such as me make compromises. I mean, times arise when I must wear shoes, and people generally frown on me running around naked, so I can only do that in my room. So, yes, tables are too refined, but what can I do? :p

  8. This is definitely an interesting subject. I leave at least 10%. I leave 10% when I feel the service wasn’t up to par. I leave 15-20% when the service is good. This is how they make a living. My sister was a waitress for many years and it upsets me to hear about ppl who don’t tip well and many ppl don’t even really know how to tip.

  9. Ok, so most of you lean towards my wife’s POV. I will give her that. However, I think I am going to move my standard up to $3.00 like Dann.Just doesn’t make sense to tip on the price of food which arbitrary and has nothing to do with the quality of service. Besides, if we took was a typical meal cost us ($20.00), then $3.00 is 15%. At any rate, great conversation guys. Keep it up!

  10. Percentage dude. It’s used to protect the worker. While you might be generous and if someone gives you good service you’ll give a good tip, there are some whose “good” tip is a dollar and who just dont leave anything when the service is bad. So percentages even everyone out.
    Being a waiter is a shit job, there were some nights I made great money (mainly weekends) but there were many many a frustrating night where I pulled in 25 bucks, and then your weekly paycheck comes out to $8 or less. So tip fairly, waiters live off of it.

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