General Question

emt333's avatar

Do i have to tip at a restaurant I go to every day?

Asked by emt333 (789points) July 11th, 2008

I eat almost every day at one of two restaurants. I order at the register and clean up after myself and don’t need a waitress. should I be tipping?

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22 Answers

Spargett's avatar

I would just ask how they felt about it. You already seem to have a close relationship where a question like that wouldn’t be out of line.

tinyfaery's avatar

I eat out often, and at the same 5 places or so. I know the wait staff, and many of the owners and managers of these places as well. I tip more at these places than I would at a random restaurant. I know them, and they treat me very well.

Does the wait staff do anything for you? Bring your food? Refill your drink? Maybe you can just leave a tip at the counter, and let all the staff share it. You do not want to upset people who make/bring you your food.

arnbev959's avatar

You probably should leave a tip.

-Are you on a first name basis with the waitresses? If so, you can’t simply not tip, but you may be able to get away with tipping less than 15%. Or you could tip big one day out of the week, and skip other days. Or, my favorite, you could leave a lottery ticket every now and then (but not all the time) in place of a traditional tip.

-If you are not somewhat friendly with the staff, tipping could get them to turn on you, and put nasty stuff in your drinks.

As tinyfaery mentioned, tipping big will get you better service. If you’re not on a first-name basis with the waitresses now a few big tips will get you there.

If it’s only you eating there the tip can’t be too much. Usually a one-man breakfast meal is less than $8; lunch >$10; dinner >$15. The tip isn’t as back-breaking as if you were with three or four other people.

susanc's avatar

If they really aren’t doing anything for you, why do you go there?
This is a goofy question. We need a Goofy Question flag.

arnbev959's avatar

I don’t think this is a goofy question. It’s not as though emt333 said the food is bad, in which case the answer would be ‘go someplace else.’ It’s a practical, legitimate question.

susanc's avatar

Fine, it’s a wonderful question that I’m sure many of us have also pondered.

yes, emt333 should talk it over with the waitstaff of these places, who will probably be able to explain better than I could why tipping exists, what it pays for, why it’s ethical, and why he will be less welcome if he decides
to go against the mores of our culture.

ebenezer's avatar

tip. Tip well. It will make you happy. Unless you have a good reason not to?

Patrick_Bateman's avatar

EAT SOMEPLACE WITH NO WAIT STAFF IF YOU DON’T WANT TO TIP!!!

Thats how they make a living.

jonno's avatar

If the asker orders at the register and cleans up after himself (so therefore doesn’t even use a waiter) – doesn’t this “restaurant” sound more like a cafeteria then? I thought you guys didn’t tip in informal places like that, especially as there are no waiters.

And just wondering – if this is the case – who would you be tipping for then? The chefs? The person at the register?

emt333's avatar

there are 2 types of dining situations i am asking about. the first is a diner setup, where i sit at the bar every morning for breakfast, and pay at the register. a waitress takes my order and brings me my meal (but because i’m so close to the kitchen and very low maintenance she’s more of a food runner than waitress). the 2nd situation is a stand up at the register and order, then bring your food back to a table. in either case should i be tipping and is it appropriate to tip less (say 10%) because i’m there every day?

syz's avatar

Ask them what their base pay is – I’ll think you’ll be horrified. Most wait staff gets paid well under min. wage because tips are calculated as part of thier income.

I don’t think that going there every day in some way minimizes what they do for you (in fact, if you keep returning, the you apparently like something about the palce).

I think you should tip each time as if it were the first time you’d been there, based on quality of the service you get. If the service is bad, less than 15%, and if the service is good, more than 15%.

emt333's avatar

@bateman- caps not necessary thank you. my question is if there is no waitstaff am i expected to tip? or if the cashier runs the food out to the table?

Adina1968's avatar

Yes you should tip. Even though you are going there everyday, they are providing you with service everyday.

Patrick_Bateman's avatar

@emt333— caps are necessary.

Just tip.

You don’t want to be that “person” who comes in everyday and doesn’t tip or tip properly.

Thats like asking “Should I not be not as nice to a person I see every day but, really nice to a person I see once a year?” because you apparently feel it’s alright to tip at places you don’t go to as often.

They will learn to resent you and do strange and creative things to your food.

Just because your “clean” doesn’t give you a pass.

Trust me.

emt333's avatar

what about a food-place with counter service?

Patrick_Bateman's avatar

I think people on this thread have given you more than enough advice.

If you even have the slightest inkling you should tip, tip.

These people handle your FOOD.

I can’t stress that enough.

susanc's avatar

Bateman rules.
Going there a lot doesn’t entitle you to consider yourself
part of the family. The “food runner” is running food for you. If you want to diminish that as an act of service, eat at home; run your own damn food.

Bateman is also correct in telling you that you’ve taken up enough of our time. You aren’t paying any attention to what anyone has said. Are you zack?

emt333's avatar

i’m surprised by the hostility this question has generated. the tone of every answerer has been as though i don’t tip to begin with. i do in fact tip every day. i was seeking a general consensus on the matter, which is what i thought this website was for. and the question that has not been answered is do you tip in a food place with no waiters? for example, order at the register, take a number, and when they call your number get your food. sometimes, if the place is empty, the cashier will run the food out to you. what is the tipping etiquette for that situation? but please, lose the attitude and answer the question without judging me or my presumed tipping habits.. i’ve worked in restaurants too, and i know the deplorable conditions food service personnel face the world over. find something real to cry about…and bateman, you are not the arbiter of when i should be satisfied with a thread. now go look up arbiter

Patrick_Bateman's avatar

Stop being indignant.

You didn’t have the wherewithal to figure this out so you asked us and we answered.

I find you to be bourgeois.

Look that up

susanc's avatar

Oh now. Let’s slow down.

PB, I think you’re clever and fair, but really, maybe you and I didn’t envision the kind of place emt is talking about. Is it like MacDonalds?
Where we’re given numbered receipts and then pick up a tray when it’s ready? emt, is that what you’re talking about?
I don’t tip at McDonaldsy places because no one else does and there’s no tip jar and no time.

Where are we now?

breedmitch's avatar

The breakfast counter situation you described: Yes, tip.
The counter service place you described: If there’s a tip jar at the register it’s up to you, but if you’re there every day you don’t want to look like an ass. Plus you might find you get a better portion, or better service if they see you care about them.

I think the hostility arose because you made it seem like you didn’t want to tip. I’d leave 20% at the breakfast place. There’s no way your bill is more than $20 so we’re only talking about $4 at the most. That’s cheap. At the counter place I’d leave the silver change I got back plus a dollar bill. Also cheap.

Knotmyday's avatar

OVER tip, especially if you are a repeat customer. Service will become exponentially better.

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