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How Much Should You Tip at a Restaurant?

Should You Tip 15 Percent Just For Being Served?

There's no question in my mind that great service should be rewarded with a 20 percent tip or more. When service is less than satisfactory, not everyone agrees on what type of tip is deserved.MSNBC talked to business psychologist Debra Condren, who says 15 percent is the minimum for just being served, even unsatisfactorily, at a restaurant. Do you agree or disagree with her?

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tigerusfk tigerusfk 5 years
Normally I tip around 20% rounded to the next dollar. This is for average to fairly good service. Great service gets more. However, I do not tip for bad service. I will sometimes leave a penny just to make sure that there is no doubt that I did not forget to tip, and just left what he/she deserved. To the person with the undercooked steak. What makes you think your server cooked your meal? duh
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 7 years
I agree exactly with bellasugar.
dani17731 dani17731 8 years
For those of you who say you still tip even when service is bad, where in the world do you live?!?! In my neck of the woods, crappy service=no tip at all! When me and my cousins were at TGIFriday's, it was around 3 p.m. It was practically empty and it took almost 40 minutes to get our food, and the server didn't even come back to check on us or assure us that our food was coming. Then I asked them to sing Happy Birthday to my cousin and he said OK. About 15 minutes later I asked the hostess about it and she said "oh we don't do that anymore" WTF?!?! We were pissed. And he didn't even come over to apologize or explain the misunderstanding. Another server gave us our bill, so we gave him exact change, down to the penny! And he had kind of a shitty attitude throughout the few interactions we had with him, so he definitely wasn't getting a tip.
rach1007 rach1007 8 years
like many others who have commented, I am a server who makes my living based off of tips. The real issue is not whether you want to leave 15%, 5%, or whatever else--the issue is that servers are not fairly compensated employees. I work just as hard for your table whether it's a busy night or a slow night, but if it's a slow night, I'm making less money. We should change the pay system so that servers are paid a fair minimum wage (not a tipped employee wage) so that guests really can leave a "thank you" for excellent service.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Mimo, I do agree with your point that you should be forced to tip, but it works differently in the U.S. There is a separate minimum wage for tipped employees, so tips are expected to be a part of their wage. However, employers are legally required to pay the difference between regular minimum wage and what a person is taking home. It's nearly impossible to find another serving job that pays even as well as retail jobs, but servers tend to take home more money than their counterparts in retail anyway because of the tips.
mimo1992214 mimo1992214 8 years
but i also think that people SHOULDN'T be working below minimum wage, or living off their tips. i didn't get alot above minimum wage [£3.75 an hour - about 25p over minimum wage]. but if you have to live off tips, then move jobs. i realise it's easier said than done, but still, that is appalling.
mimo1992214 mimo1992214 8 years
i used to be a server, but i really disagree that you 'should' be tipping 15% unless the service was really bad. i don't think that there should be any occasion when you 'should' actually tip at all [im not insinuating that you shouldn't tip, just that there is no rule that says you have to], unless you know you have been a really bad customer [as a way of an apology] or that they have provided outstanding service, because a tip is a reward for doing well, not something that you get anyway, that is called a wage. i never once actualyl EXPECTED a tip, because i should be doing my job well anyway, i shouldnt have to guess whether i have done well or not. but i guess maybe it works differently in america, but that is my view on it. besides all of that, there are some people who can't afford to tip, and i don't think that they should feel pressurised into doing it.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I leave 20% if they deserve it. I know people have to live off of their tips but they should also work for it. If they never come back and check on you and see if you need anything else and are rude they they do not deserve 20%. I think there was only once that we did not tip, we went out to lunch with my sister for her birthday and it was just a horrible experience and ruined our time out so instead of leaving money for a tip we left a note that said worst service ever! I still feel kind of bad about it but it was really bad service and it was not busy and it still took us an hour to even get our food and even then my sisters hamburger was not ready! This was at TGI Fridays.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I've not tipped a few times, but the service was truly awful. I'm usually at 20% tipper for average and above service.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i understand that the servers are trying to make a living, but if they are HORRIBLE - then no - i won't even give them 15%. it's my hard earned money too - and when i go to a place that's 'full service' it's because i want my experience to be easy and relaxing, and when i have awful service and i have to wait for AGES for anything, then it's truly not worth rewarding with more than maybe 10%
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 8 years
I rarely, if ever, tip less than 20% If I am getting bad service, I let someone (my server, the host/hostess/manager) know. Usually they will comp drinks or dessert or something or somehow rectify the situation. I think a big problem is that the concept of "good service" is completely subjective. Sometimes good service just means not messing up. For some of my friends, it means happy, witty banter with the server. For others, it means getting their butt kissed like they were shopping at Saks. I find it ironic that the people with the highest standards, are the ones who tip the least. Tipping is part of the restaurant experience. If someone doesn't want to tip, get take out or make your own food.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I always tip 15% for average service (server asks at least once if you want a refill on beverages, checks in with your table more than once, doesn't screw up your drink/food orders, and is at least pleasant) and I tip 20-25% for excellent service (refills BEFORE you have to ask, asking if they can get you anything else, making sure any special requests on the food get sent to the chef, putting up with little kids that may spill stuff or make a huge mess, being very friendly and courteous and not just acting like they really don't want to be there). If I get crappy service, I tip the bare-minimum 10%. There's a reason servers get tips; it's an incentive for them to work hard and do their job.
katie225 katie225 8 years
let me correct what i said above, i mentioned moving the decimal point (rather than "place") one space to the left, it should read TWO SPACES to the left. i'm a middle school math teacher on summer vacay, so my brain is totally not in school mode. :)
katie225 katie225 8 years
i usually tip 20% because i can calculate it in my head (move the decimal place over one space to the left, multiply that number times two). however, here's the breakdown for tipping that my brother-in-law (a former waiter) gave me: 10% base, 15% for good, 20% for excellent. tips are called "gratuity," a thank you for a job well done. i read all these waiters/waitresses ranting about bad tips, but you're in the food service industry because you make good money getting tips! people, don't feel sorry for waiters/waitresses because the restaurant pays them less than minimum wage. that's their base pay, and they make well over minimum wage including tips. if they don't make enough tips to get over min. wage, the restaurant HAS to pay them at least min. this doesn't happen, however, because they make such good money!
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I generally tip 15% for decent-but-not-great service, 20% for good service, and 25-30% for excellent service. (I also overtip at places where the food is inexpensive, because if your bill is $7 and you leave $1.05, you are being cheap.) I've not tipped twice, and both times, I felt bad about doing it. But it was just horrible, rude, unreliable, awful service with an attitude.
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