If you think the restaurant is overpriced, does it affect your tip?
In the USA (for those unfamiliar with US customs), a tip for service at a restaurant is generally in the 15% – 20% range, based on the cost of the meal + drinks.
This afternoon I took my uncle to a restaurant in a nearby town, a place that I didn’t know at all, and with which he was unfamiliar. It seemed like a nice enough place, and though the ownership had changed at some time, he had eaten there years ago. The food was so-so (and so was the service), but the meal (and the drinks) were priced quite a bit higher than I would have expected for this area and type of food.
He had a bacon cheeseburger with fries, and I had a plate of various appetizer items as a meal, plus a cup of chicken soup. We each had a drink (he ordered “a bottle of the cheapest beer you have” – Bud Light, and I had a gin-tonic with the bar brand), and neither of us had a dessert. The bill was just short of $40! (It wasn’t an unpriced menu; we knew what the prices were – except for the drinks – when we ordered, but we weren’t doing the math as we added up the dishes during the order.) Paying $27 – $30 for that lunch would not have surprised me; paying $40 + tip for a pretty mediocre lunch for two amazed me – especially at this little place in this little town. This is a family-owned, independent, non-chain restaurant, and I’m pretty sure the server is part of the family, too.
So I’m curious to know if you would tip “the full percentage you normally would” on a bill that was pretty significantly out of whack to begin with. I wasn’t going to tip in the high end of my range in the first place, because the server wasn’t too attentive to the orders from the outset, but I’m curious to know how others feel.