Tipping in restaurants

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by John Gates, May 19, 2003.

  1. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife and I have an ongoing tiff about how much to tip the wait person at a restaurant. I am much more strict, and tip for service. I tend to calculate a strict percentage.

    My wife insists on a couple of bucks, even if the bill is very low, sometimes resulting in a very high percentage.

    IRS assumes that waiters are receiving 15% on average, so there is a tacit expectation that 15% is standard.

    Personally, I tip 15% for good service, but my wife is appalled if I leave less. TIP stands for "To Insure Promptness," so if the service is not prompt or courteous, the TIP suffers accordingly.

    For really excellent service, sometimes I go as high as 30%, with 20% being a "good tip" in my mind.

    What do you all do about TIPs?

    Am I being silly? Am I a hopeless tightwad?
     
  2. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2000
    Messages:
    5,205
    Likes Received:
    1
  3. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    My baseline for tipping is 20%. Bad service gets less (10-15% depending on how bad, and good service gets a bit more (up to 30%).

    John,

    You do realize that most wait staff get paid a little over 2 bucks an hour and rely on the tips to make up the rest of their wages? When giving tips, I try to remember what a vital part they are to a waitperson's livlihood, and how tough it must be in the other person's shoes, attempting to please everyone they service, even those who are unpleasable.

    J
     
  4. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    0
    My page contradicts yours, Brian. [​IMG] http://www.acronymfinder.com/af-quer...g=exact&page=3

    I've eaten at a range of restaurants, which can be anywhere from the local Pizza Hut to the Blue Point in Atlanta (which is likely a $50+/plate dinner... whoever paid for it knows [​IMG] ).

    I've had anywhere from people using the term, "Pardon my reach" to having a waitress give a smug look when we place our glasses on the EDGE of the table awaiting a refill which she has apparently intentionally neglected to do.

    At any rate, I've left a tip as low as whatever change is in my pocket to over $5 for a simple $20 meal. It has everything to do with the way they rub me and how good the service is... and I guess it should be that way.

    I usually don't like to tip under $3, but I find that waiters/waitresses deserve less than that over 50% of the time, unfortunately.
     
  5. Maurice McCone

    Maurice McCone Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    tipping, is easily the most anxiety inducing issue for Brits visiting the States...[​IMG]

    to tip or not to tip....

    in Britain it is still largely seen as optional, although increasingly expected. Its not that we are mean, but we do not like the 'automatic' assumption of paying a tip.

    We do not generally give a tip for example, to a barman who simply hands us a pint of beer in the pub; and yet I had one rude barwoman chase after me in Miami, because I hadn't tipped her.

    Also, why do Americans leave theeir money on the bar, go into a pub in England and you will pay for each round as you get it and always pick up your change.....

    I would prefer to pay extra in restaurants and know that the staff got the money.
     
  6. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  7. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    1,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    My tipping schedule mirrors Justin's. For really small bills, I usually tip $1 on a $2-$5 bill, and ~50 cents for a total under $2 (flexible if it's primarily coffee with a number of timely refills)



    How does one file a claim under this type of insurance? "To ensure promptness" makes more sense, but then they would be "TEP"s. [​IMG]
     
  8. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    0
    If TIP means "To Insure Promptness", shouldn't you tip BEFORE being served ?


    I actually do this in the "all inclusive" resorts where there is supposedly no tipping allowed. A few $$$ goes a long way with the waitstaff in those establishments. The reciept always shows a fake gratuity, but you know they receive nothing.
     
  9. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    5,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    I tip around 20%, always round it off to the nearest even dollar or 50 cent amount. I have better things to worry about than wether a waitress deserves $5 more because she was good to me. OFten it's not even their fault.

    I used to be cheap, but then I just said "Screw this, I'll just add 20% to the prices and be done with it". The peace of mind alone is worth it.

    I don't tip because I want good service, I tip because I have to since restaurant owners are too cheap to pay their staff decent salaries.
     
  10. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the last 7 years I have worked in restaurants as a server. Right now I work very rarely (2-3 times a month for I have a primary job) but at one time the restaurant job WAS my primary job.

    What most people don't realize is that a majority of things that can go wrong with a guest's experience are out of the control of the server. If you order drinks from me and I immediately punch them into the computer, a ticket gets produced at the bar telling the bartender what to make. They make those drinks in sequential order of when they come in. I work at a very upscale and popular steakhouse in Glastonbury, CT. There are some Saturday nights when I have to wait for a LONG TIME for drinks if something unusual happens, like if the server gets an order for 8 frozen margaritas right before I punch in your two Bud lights. Sometime the service bartender can be helped by the main bartender, sometimes not.

    Also, how the food is prepared is out of my control. Assuming the order was punched in correctly (and we have review screens for that to assure this is the case), I am then at the mercy of the kitchen, their turnaround time and quality. The only thing I have in my control in the kitchen is the presentation of the plate before it leaves the kitchen. I usually cannot tell if the steak is overdone or underdone until it gets to the table.

    The server should be judged on his presentation, table manners, personality, menu knowledge and willingness to help. If you ordered a filet mignon and I bring you a pasta dish, obviously I have screwed up. But sometimes if you order a drink and it doesn't get to the table for 5 minutes, it may not entirely be my fault.

    Also, don't forget that servers have bad days too. Imagine your server just found out he didn't get into medical school that afternoon and then has to wait on 30 people that night to make a living. Whereas you can sit behind a computer and silently avoid people when you are in a bad mood, the server cannot. Not making excuses, because rude manners are rude manners, but it's a hard job (MUCH harder than most people give credit for, especially at "family" restaurants like Chili's or Fridays) and everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

    Imagine if you made a mistake at your job and then your boss came over to you and said "Sorry, that's going to cost you $25 out of your check this week." You'd be pretty pissed.

    Like I said, not making excuses for those who have gotten bad service, for I take pride in my service, but there are some factors that you need to consider when leaving the tip.

    15% is standard for good service, 20% or more for GREAT service. Leaving a tip around 10% sends the server a valuable message. Leaving less is too harmful in my opinion.
     
  11. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    One other thing, when I dine at a small bistro or greasy spoon where the check is definately going to be small, then I always leave a larger tip than is necessary, for THOSE servers really have to bust ass to make a living.

    But that may just be me.
     
  12. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2000
    Messages:
    430
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    5,058
    Likes Received:
    1


    Tip the staff properly, talk to the manager about what was lacking. You'll probably get a free meal out of it too.

    /Mike
     
  14. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    I tip according to service, I spent enough time eating in restaurants (former OTR truck driver) to know what is caused by a bad server and what is caused by bad kitchen help
    I hate to say it, but anymore at the places I eat, the tip is based on whether the server has managed to keep my drink glass filled without me having to throw things at them to get their attention, but I do make allowances for the place being crowded and understaffed (most places are anymore during the school year)
     
  16. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,759
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never leave less than 15% unless the service was hideous. 20% if I get good service and a bit more if warranted.

    One thing that is strange is the fact that tips go up depending on how expensive the food is. Why should the waiter serving me lobster receive more than one serving ribs?
     
  18. James T

    James T Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    0
    I usually tip 15% unless I get good service then it's a little higher. In another thread talking about being cheap, I described my friend, who does not like to tip anything. He likes Reservoir Dogs, so I think that had a little to do in influencing him not leaving any tips.

    The only time I go below 15 are at Buffets where very little service is required, so I'll leave about 10%.
     
  19. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,469
    Likes Received:
    3
     

Share This Page