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What is the Appropriate Amount to Tip Wait Staff?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

I always wonder what the viewpoint of a wait staff is when it comes to tipping.  When eating at a restaurant I always figure it to be 20% of the bill plus or minus depending upon the level of service I receive.  If the service is exceptional, I will tip up to 30%.  If it is poor, I will tip 15%.  Regardless of how bad the service has been, I will never tip less than 15%.  Wait staff earns much less than minimum wage so I feel it is my duty to help keep the restaurant industry alive.  Karma may come back to haunt me with future bad service if I don’t tip 15%, even for bad service.

In the interest of saving money I always look for coupons or specials before I go out to a restaurant.  I have always tipped on the final bill amount after the coupon.  In the opinion of many, the appropriate thing to do is tip on the amount before the coupon because the service isn’t any less because someone pays less.  This is very debateable.  Here are a couple examples of why I don’t agree.

Example one of why I disagree with the writer.  Say you go out to two different bars in the same city and only beer bottles are purchased.  Assume you are buying for a group of friends and ten bottles of Sam Adams are purchased.  At bar A, these bottles cost $3 each and at bar B, they cost $4 each.  So the bar tab is $30 at bar A and $40 at bar B.  Assume I have a 25% off coupon for bar B, bringing the tab down to $30.  In my opinion, I am going to leave a 20% tip of $6 at both bars.  I am getting the same product delivered on a tray in both places, so why should the waitress at the bar with higher priced beer get more money for providing the same exact service considering my smarts has afforded me the opportunity to save money?

Here is example two of why I don’t agree with the writer.  I enjoy finding deals on food and beverages.  Happy hour specials are my favorite. Generally, the drinks are priced at 50%-75% off their normal price.  Five $4 drinks would normally cost $20, but during happy hour the total cost might be $5.  A 20% tip based on the normal cost would be $8.  Therefore, the tip would be more than the charge for the drinks! In this scenario, I would probably leave a $3 tip, but cannot fathom leaving a tip that is actually higher than the bill itself.  What are your thoughts on the subject of tipping, mainly on discounted food and drink?



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