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Old 08-11-2016, 07:50 AM   #21
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20%, round up or down depending on the service. Simple.

Waitstaff are getting less than minimum wage, and since we're almost always out for dinner on (slower) weeknights now we ER'd, I know they appreciate the extra dollar or two far more than it costs me.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:52 AM   #22
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Done.
Actually, if I'm eating really cheap I usually leave more than 20%. The waitress (and it's almost always a woman) works just about as hard as some on in a more upscale establishment.

For example, if I stop in Bob Evans for a quick breakfast. Maybe eggs and sausage and coffee that comes to a bit over $10. I usually leave a $5 tip. It has zero impact on my life and if that helps them out a bit and maybe even makes them smile for a moment, it's worth it.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:16 AM   #23
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If the service is bad, I pretty much just don't go back to that place. I still tip them some (they aren't bad people - I hope - and need to feed themselves).

Otherwise, I don't sweat the details. Roughly calculate 20% and round up to a full dollar amount.

It's easy to do in your head - move the decimal point over giving 10%. Double this giving 20%. Round up to an even dollar.

Done.
I try to keep in mind that we ALL have bad days and have to think about the struggle that some of these servers might be enduring. If they are having a VERY bad day, they may not have to ability to just "stay home" or leave early. So, even if service is crappy, I will still leave a fair tip. Now, if they are just absolute asses, then all bets are off. I think that in my entire adult life, I have left a ZERO tip about 3 times.

As far as not going back..well, again, this could be chocked up to someone having a bad day. If I experience more than once, then I will have a talk with the manager or email/call with my concerns.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:38 AM   #24
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Bad at math.

K.I.S.S.

Food bill X 2 and a moved decimal (20%) = Tip

Life's too short to worry if I'm giving some waitperson an extra buck or two.

My dear 87 year old mom however is another story. She eats out 4-5 nights a week and will tip as much as 50% if she likes the waitstaff. (There goes my inheritance!)
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:40 AM   #25
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Having worked in a restaurant, I can tell you tips can be divided by the wait staff, the busboy, the cook and the hostess. So tip on everything you encounter, not just the waiter.
We tip 20% on food and 10% on booze. That usually works out to about 15%.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:51 AM   #26
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All my kids and GCs have contributed to put themselves through school in the food service business so I view tipping as paying it forward. My standard is 20% but I often adjust for breakfast (up) and wine (down). I get personal thank yous from the servers so I know I am on the high side. That's the way I like it.

(I also tip the baggers in Mexico generously.)
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:53 AM   #27
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Years ago, a friend and I would meet regularly at a restaurant. We would get a table out of the way, and let the server know in advance our "rules". 1) We aren't in a hurry and expect to be there a while, 2) We recognize that we will be taking up a table and therefore affecting your tips, so we will be generous IF THE SERVICE WARRANTS IT!. We ate at the same place every other week for about 2 1/2 years, and spent about 3 hours every time. We always ended the evening with coffee, and expected that the servers would keep our cups topped off. Our average tip was in the 30% range, and our bill was about 2-3 times the average bill for the restaurant, so we figured that the staff was well compensated. The staff knew us well, and if someone was passing by our table with a pot of coffee and noticed we were running low, they would top it off without our asking.

After a while, the staff were fighting to get us to sit in their area because we were easy to serve, tipped well, and very forgiving if something didn't go right. One time we had a new server who completely ignored us. It took about an hour to get our food, and forget any refills on the water or drinks. We didn't let it bother us too much until we told her we were ready to go and it still took about 30 minutes to get the bill. The place wasn't any busier than any other night, so this was a service issue. We paid our bill and left a $0 tip. We heard the server when she picked up the cc slip, and the manager came over to us as we were leaving (we knew him by this time) and we told him what happened. When we came back the next time, we had the same server, and the service was back to the level we had come to expect (good, not perfect but always pleasant) and left a tip that more than made up for the prior visit. We made our point, and never had a problem again.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:54 AM   #28
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I've noticed that a lot of restaurant checks that sometimes include the gratuity (like for a large table) figure it at 18 percent on the whole check, including the tax. I wonder if that's meant to come to about 20 percent not including tax.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:01 AM   #29
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Years ago, a friend and I would meet regularly at a restaurant. We would get a table out of the way, and let the server know in advance our "rules". 1) We aren't in a hurry and expect to be there a while, 2) We recognize that we will be taking up a table and therefore affecting your tips, so we will be generous IF THE SERVICE WARRANTS IT!. We ate at the same place every other week for about 2 1/2 years, and spent about 3 hours every time. We always ended the evening with coffee, and expected that the servers would keep our cups topped off. Our average tip was in the 30% range, and our bill was about 2-3 times the average bill for the restaurant, so we figured that the staff was well compensated. The staff knew us well, and if someone was passing by our table with a pot of coffee and noticed we were running low, they would top it off without our asking.

After a while, the staff were fighting to get us to sit in their area because we were easy to serve, tipped well, and very forgiving if something didn't go right. One time we had a new server who completely ignored us. It took about an hour to get our food, and forget any refills on the water or drinks. We didn't let it bother us too much until we told her we were ready to go and it still took about 30 minutes to get the bill. The place wasn't any busier than any other night, so this was a service issue. We paid our bill and left a $0 tip. We heard the server when she picked up the cc slip, and the manager came over to us as we were leaving (we knew him by this time) and we told him what happened. When we came back the next time, we had the same server, and the service was back to the level we had come to expect (good, not perfect but always pleasant) and left a tip that more than made up for the prior visit. We made our point, and never had a problem again.
Great story. This illustrates why DW and I are looking for a place where we can become regular customers. Life can sometimes be a lot easier when you are interacting with "people" rather than anonymous "staff", and vice versa.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:10 AM   #30
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Having a "regular" server or salesperson really is nice. Since you are working to one another's benefit, it can become a mutual admiration society. You get better service; someone who is always glad to see you; they get a predictable (instead of moody/fussy) customer, who rewards them in the manner they feel they deserve.

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Great story. This illustrates why DW and I are looking for a place where we can become regular customers. Life can sometimes be a lot easier when you are interacting with "people" rather than anonymous "staff", and vice versa.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:27 AM   #31
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I usually tip between 15-20% of the total bill including tax. If we had expensive wine or drinks, I tip toward the low end of that range. I rarely tip below 15%, even for sub-par service. I'd rather just avoid the place in the future or write a bad review on Yelp. It's been my observation that sub-par service is usually a larger operational issue unrelated to the individual server, such as inadequate staffing. For exceptional service, I might go as high as 25%.
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:12 PM   #32
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I can understand the reason but still thought it was odd to expect a tip on the tax as well. This forces me to continue to calculate the tip.
geez man live a little. servers don't make that much
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:33 PM   #33
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geez man live a little. servers don't make that much
+1 We all realize that in most states we're talking about an extra buck or two on a $100 bill right?

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Old 08-11-2016, 04:07 PM   #34
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The tip should be based on the pre-tax figure. Let's say you had a meal in a place where there is no sales tax on restaurants. You bill is $50. You had great service, you tip $10 (20%).

Now, you just had same meal, same great service, but the restaurant has a 12% hotel and meal tax. So the bill is $56. same great service, you tip $10, 20% of food cost.

I understand some people may not wish to quibble with the $1.20 you could tip on the tax, but that is a different matter I think (convenience).

I was a waiter in college. One of the best jobs I ever had. I tip 5-25% depending on service. I might tip more on a very small bill.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:53 PM   #35
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I've noticed that a lot of restaurant checks that sometimes include the gratuity (like for a large table) figure it at 18 percent on the whole check, including the tax. I wonder if that's meant to come to about 20 percent not including tax.
If it's part of the bill, then it's not a tip.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:56 PM   #36
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No, it's not a tip, it's a gratuity!
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:10 PM   #37
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If it's part of the bill, then it's not a tip.
Not quite. I have run across this several times where they automatically add an 18% gratuity for the total bill. Plus, it was not real obvious, and the slip still has a line for tip. That makes for a pretty generous tip if you give them 20% on top of the 18%.

I will have to see if I have a copy of one of those slips in my receipts drawer. When you went down the receipt, it showed meal 1, drink 1, meal 2, drink 2, meal 3, drink3, meal 4, drink 4, gratuity 18%, subtotal. Then a line for tip, and a line for total.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:26 PM   #38
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The tip should be based on the pre-tax figure. Let's say you had a meal in a place where there is no sales tax on restaurants. You bill is $50. You had great service, you tip $10 (20%).

Now, you just had same meal, same great service, but the restaurant has a 12% hotel and meal tax. So the bill is $56. same great service, you tip $10, 20% of food cost.

I understand some people may not wish to quibble with the $1.20 you could tip on the tax, but that is a different matter I think (convenience).

I was a waiter in college. One of the best jobs I ever had. I tip 5-25% depending on service. I might tip more on a very small bill.
d00d it's $1.20. I spill that much on a weekend
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:33 PM   #39
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Not quite. I have run across this several times where they automatically add an 18% gratuity for the total bill. Plus, it was not real obvious, and the slip still has a line for tip. That makes for a pretty generous tip if you give them 20% on top of the 18%.

I will have to see if I have a copy of one of those slips in my receipts drawer. When you went down the receipt, it showed meal 1, drink 1, meal 2, drink 2, meal 3, drink3, meal 4, drink 4, gratuity 18%, subtotal. Then a line for tip, and a line for total.
I guess it's more common in the US than Canada. I don't dine out a whole lot, but have yet to see a tip/gratuity added to the bill.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:38 PM   #40
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If it's a restaurant chit, they will all have a line for tip even if it's already added.
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