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View Poll Results: When Eating Out, Do You Tip On The Bill Pre or Post Tax?
I tip on the bill before taxes are added in. 61 41.50%
I tip on the bill after taxes are added in. 76 51.70%
other 10 6.80%
Voters: 147. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-25-2016, 08:17 PM   #21
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20% on the total bill as a base. Will only go lower for terrible service, but will go higher for someone that goes above and beyond.

A story on this subject. DW and I once went to a restaurant and experienced pretty poor service. I had to go to the bar to get drinks and the timing was really bad. The catch...we could tell that the waiter was running as fast as he could, but they had obviously had staffing issues. Since it wasn't his fault and knew he'd likely see a lot of small tips we left him about 25%. We didn't think about it again until we went back to the restaurant about 2 weeks later. He remembered us and came over to thank us. He said that he didn't expect anything and said that it made his night. A little money had a big effect.

I worked years in service so I know about nights like that. It was great to pay it back a little.

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Old 02-25-2016, 08:30 PM   #22
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I usually take 20% of the bill before tax and add that to the bill, but I normally round the tip down so that the total bill is in whole dollars, so in most cases it ends up being slightly less than 20% of the bill before tax.

So if the bill before tax was $25.42 and the tax was $2.54 and the bill before tip is $27.97 I would typically tip $5.04 so the total credit card receipt would be $33.00. So the tip would be 18% of the bill including taxes and 20% of the bill before taxes.

If service is particularly good I may a a dollar or two more and if it is really bad i may subtract a dollar or two but both is rare.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:33 PM   #23
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im doing well in my life. At one point and time I was in the service industry and counted on those tips. So I do it after tax and something extra if service was outstanding.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:43 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Come to think about it, I've been lazy and generally double the tax as the tip. So, I really don't calculate based on before or after the tax added in.

I do the same, double tax and round...

But, by definition that is before tax as the tax is based on only the cost of the meal... since our tax is 8.25% it starts at 16.5% before adjustment...
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:46 PM   #25
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I do the same, double tax and round...

But, by definition that is before tax as the tax is based on only the cost of the meal... since our tax is 8.25% it starts at 16.5% before adjustment...
So it ends up being 16.5% of the bill before tax and ~15% of the bill after tax.
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:54 PM   #26
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I voted other. About 80% of the time we eat out we are using a coupon of some sort or another. I always tip generously on the amount that the bill would have been without the coupon. For example, we run a (pretax) tab of $30 but the coupon reduces it to $20. I would likely tip $7-$8, better than 20% on the pre-coupon amount. We've had more than one server give us a double take on this practice, but it works well when we return. The owners may not like us, but the wait staff does.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:04 PM   #27
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+1 it is important to add back any coupons or discounts or gift cards in figuring the tip to be fair to the waitstaff. Easy to forget about if you are rushed.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:09 PM   #28
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20% of the total bill tax included. We tipped 25% on few occasions when the service was exceptional.
I do the same--except I don't figure out what 25% is. I just kick in a few extra dollars over the 20%.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:46 PM   #29
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20% rounded up, post tax. On a small bill (just me for lunch) five bucks minimum. If I go to a buffet (I like Chinese, what can I say) I leave a couple bucks for the girl clearing the table.

My wife and I just started frequenting a mom and pop out of the way in the next town over. Wouldn't know it was there unless somebody showed you. Great food, great service. The last time we went, I checked my CC receipt in the car and told my wife, "I know I put a 20% tip on this. It's not on here." My wife told me our server was the owner. She doesn't take tips. First time that's ever happened to me.

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Old 02-25-2016, 10:56 PM   #30
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Doubling the tax is easy math, but I am also an engineer so can do math in my head. I usually do 15-20% of the post-tax bill. Always base on any pre-coupon total amount.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:09 PM   #31
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Never thought of calculating a tip pretax. Maybe I will do that, at risk if having to wait longer at the overall gates.

I used to calculate 15% on the total. Now I use 20%, or higher. Much easier to calculate. I always round up or down to a dollar.

One kid waited tables during college, so I'm aware of the tricks many employers play on the wait staff. In general the wait staff deserve better pay.
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:11 AM   #32
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When my dad was retired he belonged to a very nice golf club in Naples, Fl. He had one golfing buddy I didn't care for. He retired at 55, no kids, had been a successful attorney. Drove a Benz and a Corvette. After golf the custom was to run the carts to the shed where retired men would wipe the clubs off, take them off the cart and put them into storage. The routine was to tip them a buck a bag. My dad said, "watch this, old Rollie (mr. cheapskate) will ask me to tip the boys, he has to go to the head, but he'll 'catch up to me' later. Never has, never will"...
One day we had lunch with this guy, and a few of my dad's other cronies, and he was "the guy" we all know who wanted the check broken down, because he had a lemonade, and not a beer etc etc and then calculated, with his phone, 12% BEFORE TAX...I couldn't believe it.
I told him, "Rollie, you are going to die, soon enough, with more money than this person will earn in a lifetime. Would it kill you to just drop a 5 down and walk away?" He never liked me after that.
I'm not sure whether my dad was more embarrassed by Rollie or by my saying something. I think on the way home was the first time I ever heard the saying "money is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master".
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:36 AM   #33
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OMG, life it to short to worry about if I'm tipping someone an extra quarter or two. I look at the total bill, add 10% if the service is poor but adequate and 20% if it's good and I usually round it up to the nearest dollar. Don't need any calculator or smart phone app to figure that either.
Yep. Keeps things simple
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:55 AM   #34
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We're all looking at this from US American eyes. In Italy you don't tip - they pay the waitstaff living wages. You might round up to the next euro when paying il conto.

Here in the US the percentage has been rising. I remember my parents paying 10% tips. I remember 10-15% was the norm when I was a young adult. Now it's 20%. This is confirmed in an article here
Tipping Guide: History, Myths about Gratuities for Waiters, Maids
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Waiters haven’t always gotten 20%, or even 15%. It makes sense that we tip more as time passes, just to keep up with inflation. That doesn’t explain why we’d be expected to tip at an increasingly higher percentage, however, because as our restaurant bills have gone up, so have the gratuities. (If a fancy dinner in 1950 cost $50, a 15% tip would be $7.50; if a comparable fancy dinner in 2000 ran $100, the tip at a 15% rate would double too.)

Nonetheless, the standard percentage to tip waitstaff has risen over the decades. According to a PayScale study, the median tip is now 19.5%. In recent years, some waiters and restaurants have suggested that 25% or even 30% is the proper gratuity level, and that a 20% tip, once considered generous, is just average today. As recently as 2008, though, an Esquire tipping guide stated “15 percent for good service is still the norm” at American restaurants. An American Demographics study from 2001 found that three-quarters of Americans tipped an average of 17% on restaurant bills, while 22% tipped a flat amount no matter what the bill, and the gratuity left averaged $4.67. Meanwhile, in 1922, Emily Post wrote, “You will not get good service unless you tip generously,” and “the rule is ten per cent.”
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:59 AM   #35
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OMG, life it to short to worry about if I'm tipping someone an extra quarter or two. I look at the total bill, add 10% if the service is poor but adequate and 20% if it's good and I usually round it up to the nearest dollar. Don't need any calculator or smart phone app to figure that either.
+1 I tip 20% of whole bill. It's easy to figure out, and the difference between that and any pre-tax basis is truly a nominal amount.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:02 AM   #36
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Depends upon the restaurant price. Rule of thumb, if $100 or more, tip based on pretax. If less than $50, post-tax. But we also vary the percentage based on service, and tend to tip higher percentage at cheaper places/meals.
This is what I do. My wife and I have a favorite restaurant that isn't expensive. Bill is usually around $25 - $30. I typically tip $10 to them. Otherwise I give around 20% of the total bill unless service is bad.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:12 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
We're all looking at this from US American eyes. In Italy you don't tip - they pay the waitstaff living wages. You might round up to the next euro when paying il conto.

Here in the US the percentage has been rising. I remember my parents paying 10% tips. I remember 10-15% was the norm when I was a young adult. Now it's 20%. This is confirmed in an article here
Tipping Guide: History, Myths about Gratuities for Waiters, Maids
In Rome, whenever I asked if the tip was included, BEFORE I SAT DOWN, the answer was "yes, all included", but if I forgot and waited until the check arrived I would get an embarrassed apologetic smile and a "no, not included".....
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:16 AM   #38
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20% of the after tax bill mas o menos - and if it works out the tip is in cash and the bill on a card.

Though I still have bad dreams about a couple times there was a high-ish bill and I tipped generously, then discovered later the gratuity had been pre-figured and added to the total I used to figure the tip.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:34 AM   #39
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In inexpensive places, where the total bill is $50 or less, I'll not go below 15% unless the service is really horrific.

As with coupons, I try not to penalize the server. So at my local watering hole, if the beer is on special price that day, I usually go with $1, which works out to over 30%.

My problem is at fancy restaurants where the servers are snooty and think they're doing you a great favor by serving you. They are certainly skilled (have the spiel down for what the specials are with fancy wording to describe the dishes), but many times that's the last time they spend any considerable time serving us. Others do robotic and impersonal delivery from the kitchen and water refills. I get much better, more personalized, higher concern for my satisfaction at my informal local $10 per meal place, so I have a hard time justifying even 15%, pre tax at the expensive places. When it's been poor and particularly sparse attention, plus a snooty attitude, I've been known to ask the server how many times they visited our table and that becomes their tip, in dollars (I hope they get the message). One time the guy inserted a "1" in front of my single digit tip and then changed the total. I'm glad I don't encounter those kinds of servers very often.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:59 AM   #40
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I pay cash so I leave 18-20% pre-tax, rounded up. For exceptional service and/or a place I eat at frequently I'll add an extra buck or two - I want them to remember me in future visits, which they do. For subpar service I'll lower it to 15% but also speak to the manager or comment in the place's website and ask to speak to a manager (they always reply) which I find more effective.


Some places post tip percentages (15%, 18%, 20%) of pretax amounts on the check which I actually find helpful even though I can do the math in my head. I have also found that places vary how they handle coupons or discounts on the check even though I make sure to add back any discounts before calculating the tip if the check doesn't already show any pre-discounted figures.
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