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Should You Tip More When Dining Out With Kids?

If you're making reservations for dinner, does the tip increase if you bring your kids? While some eateries welcome (and even accommodate or cater to) the smaller set, other restaurant employees cringe, no matter how well-behaved young diners may be. Do you tip more since becoming a parent, or do you think moms and dads should?

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Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
I have a two-year-old. I leave HUGE tips. Even when she's good, she's still two. She drops food, she occasionally spills her drink, she sometimes forgets to use her inside voice (we're working on it), and I usually have a few special requests (extra napkins, a lid for her cup, a small plate, etc.). Every once in a while, when she leaves a ridiculous mess, I give a separate tip to the busser.
Sarana Sarana 7 years
I tip for service, so any waiter that does not do more than their job will not get a tip. Waiting on children is part of their job. Of course I don't live in the US, because I realize this is not possible there.
Niami Niami 7 years
After having to clean smooshed pasta out of a carpet and getting less than a dollar tip for giving excellent service...I say people better tip more. Kids make messes. In all the years I waited tables I can say that I never saw a family enter a restaurant and not leave a mess. Now if the service sucks, the tip should be lessened or in some cases not given at all. I can honestly say that I wouldn't dare leave a mess that my child left in a restaurant. I cleaned up after my first child and will do the same with my second. Leaving food dropped and smeared all over the table, chair, wall and floor is just rude.
GMarie GMarie 7 years
I think I'm only more sensitive about it, because I was a server. My kiddo's not perfect, by any means, but I do clean up after him and myself.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
Well.. i wouldn't call 8 or so out of billions of people "so many", but really, not everyone is trashy and lazy.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
If you're the sort of person who lets your kids run wild and leave behind a huge mess, you're probably the sort of person who doesn't care how well you tip. I usually leave a 20% tip anyway, though if the waiter talks to my little one and goes out of his way to entertain her, I absolutely tip more.
kellys kellys 7 years
i clean up after myself and i tip more, especially if the server goes out of his or her way to befriend my daughter. but the main reason i tip more is mathematical. a small child's meal costs less (sometimes nothing if it's an "eat free" night or she's eating from our dishes), but she's a "full-sized" guest. even if she's better behaved than most adults, the server does the same amount of work for her $5 meal that he does for my $15 one. if he deserves $3 for taking care of me, he deserves more than $1 for taking care of her.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I agree about the tip and the service. I don't just tip to tip. Like GMarie though, i completely clean and organize my table after I'm done becuase it's just obnoxious to leave behind this gigantic mess. There may be someone paid to clean up after we leave, but it isn't well and it isn't an excuse to be a slob. We have a 2 year old daughter that has been dining with us from early on, and we always make sure any mess related to her is completely cleaned up - nothing left behind. I bring a new container of baby wipes with me and clean up the table, the high chair, and the floor.
GMarie GMarie 7 years
I waited tables for many years, and now I have a child, so while I absolutely think tips should be based on quality of service, I also think that some folks see going out to eat with their kids as an excuse to let the kiddo make the biggest mess possible and then leave it for the server to clean up. Because I remember cleaning up some major disasters when I was a server, when my toddler was smaller and would make a mess at a restaurant, I'd clean it up as well as I could, and if it was a BIG mess, I'd acknowledge it and apologize to the server and I would tend to leave a little more in tip. No matter what though, I'm one of those folks who stacks my dishes and groups my silverware before leaving the table at a restaurant - old habits die hard ;)
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
In all honesty, my 5 year old behaves better than most adults when we go out to a restaurant. He sits still at the table, says please when ordering and thank you when they bring the food. The only time I tip more than usual is when we have a large party (more than 6 people) with us. That is always extra work for the server, so I usually up the tip by at least 5% in those instances.
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