General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Do you always leave a tip?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11653points) April 23rd, 2010 from iPhone

How do you feel about tipping?Are you a generous tipper when the service performed was exceptionally good? Or do you refuse to tip? Do you think the employee is already getting paid to do their job and extra money isn’t necessary?

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31 Answers

jfos's avatar

When the service is good, I tip accordingly. I don’t tip on the quality of the food, because the server did not cook it.

jaytkay's avatar

I worked in restaurants for 9 years so I typically tip 20% out of empathy.

That’s for sit down restaurants. The tip jar at a coffee shop is annoying to me, where they just hand me coffee. I never indulge them.

Supergirl's avatar

@jfos I agree when it comes to restaurants. What do you all do with services like hair cuts and facials? I have a difficult time tipping 20% on those services.

Also—what do you do if the person owns the business? Do you still tip?

chyna's avatar

I tip. If the service is bad, I leave 10%. If the service is good I will leave 20% or more.
I agree with @jaytkay , the tip jar is annoying and I ignore it. They have one at the Dairy Queen and want a tip for an overpriced ice cream cone?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’ve been a server for the past 10 years, so yes, I tip because I know what it’s like. The only times I might not tip are when the service is downright awful, like the server was completely inattentive, never saw them, never got drink refills or anything else, and/or if they are rude or snotty. Usually even in those cases, I will leave a much smaller tip and then leave the server a note outlining where I found their service lacking, and how much they would have earned if they had met my basic needs.

chyna's avatar

@Supergirl If the owner of a hair salon cuts my hair, I don’t tip. If it is someone else, you are supposed to tip 15% as in restaurants. I find that a little hard to do when I’ve just spent $90.00 on my hair, so I usually give 10%. Yeah, I know, I’m cheap.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve never yet had service so bad that I didn’t leave a tip though I have made mention of lackluster service before and then left a 10% tip. I understand the server doesn’t prepare my food and isn’t responsible for the timeliness of the kitchen but I do expect them to respond to any requests quickly. I do expect them to see when I might want more to drink or to check any condiments have been suggested and brought. Also, I don’t like when the server wants to clear the plates away from guests at my table when there’s at least one other person still eating, I’ve always thought it rude and was taught (ages ago) to never do that lest the person still eating become uncomfortable and feel rushed. If service is good then I’ll tip a server between 15–20%

jfos's avatar

@Supergirl Haircuts… a few dollars. I don’t receive facials, and I have never been tipped for one.

I don’t think it is out of the question to leave no tip if the service was terrible.

hug_of_war's avatar

At a restaurant always, I mean that’s a big portion of their wages. Unless the service was truly not up to standard would I tip below 15%

BoBo1946's avatar

always, my mom was a single parent raising two boys by waiting on tables…I’m very generous with my tipping!

xRIPxTHEREVx's avatar

yes. unless I’m at a restaraunt and I get really bad service from my waiter.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I always try and tip generously. A few times, I’ve tipped something like 5% because the server has been rude and slow, but I have never left no tip.

I also usually leave money in the tips jars at non-sit-down eateries because even though all they’re doing is giving me an over priced cup of coffee, they also have to put up with nasty customers, bad hours and they are on their feet the whole time. They also often prepare the food themselves and if they are cheerful to me, that’s a bonus. I also take into account if they are a small business or not. There is this fast food sushi place near me owned and operated by a husband and wife. They have no other employees and keep the place open every day. I think they deserve a tip.

Zen_Again's avatar

Yes, but I go from 10–20 % depending on my satisfaction.

MissAusten's avatar

I always tip, and unless the service is bad, stick with the 20% rule. I don’t hesitate to leave a little extra if the service was better than expected, or if I have my kids with me and they leave the table messier than usual. And by messy I mean extra used napkins, straw wrappers, crayons and coloring pages supplied by the restaurant, etc. If they spill something or drop things on the floor, I don’t expect the server to deal with that.

For a haircut, I give a standard tip of $5. I don’t go to an expensive salon and the hair cut is always very simple. I give the same tip when my kids get their hair cut, even though it is cheaper, because it’s more difficult. Cutting a 5 year old’s hair must be a real challenge.

Until I met my husband, I never thought about tipping people like movers, tour guides, or other assorted people. When he’s not home and I have to tip a delivery person (other than the pizza dude), I obsess over the amount. I don’t want to be stingy, but I don’t want to be extravagant either. The first couple of times we used some kind of service that my husband felt I should tip for, but I didn’t, I felt terrible. Thank God for cell phones, because now I can call my husband and get his opinion if I really have no idea what an appropriate tip would be.

Slightly random story… When we were on vacation last week, the one thing I splurged on was a horseback ride with my daughter. We had a guide from the stable who took us on an hour-long ride, no other riders. He was really nice and went out of his way to be friendly and tell us all about the scenery and wildlife we saw. Toward the end of the ride, I suddenly realized that I would probably be expected to tip him, and all I had in my wallet was a $20 and a couple of singles. I gave him the $20, because the only other option was to seriously undertip him. I don’t know if that was too much or what, but I really need to start planning ahead for these things. :(

kevbo's avatar

Now that I can afford it, I tip 20%—sometimes more if there especially good (and substantially less if they suck).

Having worked for tips, I know how a even a moderately generous tip can make your day. it’s a small price to pay to spread a little happiness.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Do you always leave a tip?
Provided the service isn’t deplorable, yes.

How do you feel about tipping?
One, it’s the restaurants responsibility to pay their employees; Two, honestly, why should you expect a bonus for doing your job right in the first place?

Are you a generous tipper when the service performed was exceptionally good?
35% if I really put them through the ringer.

Or do you refuse to tip?
If your service is rude, overly slow, or inattentive, your out of luck (as in you get nothing).

Do you think the employee is already getting paid to do their job and extra money isn’t necessary?
Yep. But I still do it because I know what it can be like. Though I whole-heartedly believe it should be phased out for all but the most exceptional service.

DrBill's avatar


JLeslie's avatar

At a restaurant I ALWAYS leave a tip. If the service sucks it might be as low as 10%, but that would be extremely rare, typically I tip right around 20% rounding down if the service met expectations, and rounding up if they were exceeded. To say a waitperson is already paid in America is an outrage, because in America they have a very low minimum wage for waiters, because part of their wages is expected tips.

Other services it depends:
– Hotel maid, if I have a multiple day stay.
– Hair Salon a tip for everyone who touched my hair
– People who fix things in my house or do yard work it depends on the situation

MissAnthrope's avatar

@wonderingwhy – You do realize that the tip-based minimum wage is about $2.13/hr, right? A lot of places require claiming tips before you can clock out, so that $2.13 basically covers taxes. So, your tip is not a “bonus”, it is our actual wage. I agree that restaurants should pay servers better and I think it’s appalling that the tip-based profession minimum wage hasn’t gone up in like forever. But restaurants know people like having the freedom to choose the server’s pay. Also, if you had to pay that up front in the cost of your meal, that would be somewhat preventative in getting customers in the door because the prices would be higher.

For example, in SF, they recently passed a law stating that all employers must offer their employees health insurance. In order to cover the costs for this, you get charged extra on your bill. It’s making people not want to eat out and is putting a damper on business.

JLeslie's avatar

@MissAnthrope I never thought of it in terms of the price of the meal going up, most people I think look at it in terms of the service might go down. They do not need to make the meal more expensive they can just make it an automatic 17–18% added to the bill, like they do on South Beach, because too many Europeans and Latin Americans were not tipping, or not tipping enough. Or, maybe I am alone in this thought?

wonderingwhy's avatar

@MissAnthrope I do realize that. It’s basically working for commission, with two key differences. One the customer decides how much to pay you. Two, there is no contract with the customer – hence I call it a bonus. Industry reform is long overdue, restaurant workers should be paid for their effort, by their employer.

Yes, this would cause temporary issues, but the industry would adapt quickly as would their customer base as it has elsewhere in the world. As a customer, if I’m paying 20% extra at the end of every meal I really don’t care if it’s included in the cost of the meal or as tip, call it whatever you like it’s money out of my pocket and the cost of doing business. If the industry is concerned about the customers retaining control over their server’s pay, forgive X% when a customer complains.

martyjacobs's avatar

In the UK, the standard tip amount is about 10%. If you get bad service it is quite all right to not tip at all. Also, we only tend to tip waiters/waitresses and taxi drivers.

Personally, if I get terrible service I don’t tip. If I get great service, I tip more than 10%.

My last holiday was on the East Coast of America, and I noticed that not tipping is much more of a taboo here, even if you do receive bad service. I also noticed that a lot of Americans were not tipping 20%, as my guide book told me to. I put this down to the recession.

DarkScribe's avatar

In Australia or UK I will only tip if I appreciated my meal, both the food and the service. In Europe where a wait-person’s wage is expected to be composed primarily from tips I will always tip something. I have on occasion walked into the kitchen to tip a chef and ignored the waiter.

casheroo's avatar

@martyjacobs No, it’s because people are cheap. And assholes.

I always tip, anyone that provides me a service gets a tip from me. My family lives off of tips…my husband and I have both worked in the service industry (and he is still in it, he’s a bar manager/bartender/lead server)
We do 20% or more, depending on the service.

I also tip those people who get me the coffee at the coffee shop, because they remember who tips..and I frequently get free upgrades in size and other treats because people are just nicer when you are generous.

Not tipping, or tipping poorly is just a must in my book. I know a lot of the service industry despises Rachel Ray because of that stupid show she had, and it basically screwed servers over people she gave people an excuse not to tip properly. For example, not tipping on alcohol? Seriously? I find this to be incredibly rude. At least tip 10% on it! My parents are culprits of not tipping on any wine or alcohol they get, and it mortifies me.

kevbo's avatar

This question reminds me of a visit to Morning Call (the Café du Monde of a suburb of New Orleans) in 2006, which was not quite a year after Katrina. I paid 10 or 20 bucks for a $4 order of beignets and coffee, but looking back I wish I had emptied my wallet. The waiter was appreciative nonetheless.

Harold's avatar

If I lived in a country where waiters depended on tips to survive, I would. In Australia, they don’t, so I don’t. Here, it is not my responsibility to pay their wages. That is the job of the employer.

Other service industries don’t expect them, so why should restaurants?

JLeslie's avatar

@martyjacobs In countries where tipping is automatically added to the check or it is within the price of the food because the waiters wage is higher the customer does not even get a choice, they basically are forced to tip. In America it is taboo not to tip, because the customer is essentially paying the wage of the waiter directly to the waiter. I think the current minimum wage for waiters is something like $2.20, unless the tips will not get the person up to standard minimum wage (which I think is $7.25) then the employer has to pay more (someone please correct me if I am wrong). Even if they are paid more than minimum it is still very low.

Tip is calculated on the total before tax, so maybe it seemed like less to you because you were looking at the total check? 17–18% is probably the tip most often expected, although people do tip more, especially in nice restaurants in large cities.

skfinkel's avatar

Yes. I think people depend on getting tips as part of their wages.

JeffVader's avatar

Whether or not I tip, & how much I tip, are entirely governed by the service I recieve…

adreamofautumn's avatar

I’m jumping into this conversation a bit late, but it’s something i’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I wait tables, I have for a few years paying for school/students loans/etc. I ALWAYS tip (and for that matter, overtip because I live the same experiences). I understand the “the employer should pay the wage” argument, but in reality that just is not how it works. Yes, technically we need to be paid more if our tips did not bring us up to minimum wage, but I can pretty much guarantee that unless they are being audited no owner/manager anywhere is going to just cough up extra money. What makes me overtip is to counteract those that don’t tip at all. Some people don’t realize it, but waitstaff (especially in big/busy restaurants) have to tip out support staff, ie: bussers, hostesses, bartenders, food runners, etc.) and they get tipped out based on total SALES percentages not TIP percentages. What does this mean for the server? It means if you have a $100 bill and you gave them $5 (or any priced bill and you shafted them completely), and then they have to pay out all the support staff based on that $100…the server JUST PAID TO WAIT ON YOU. Literally, when all the math is done it cost them money to bring you your food.

That being said, not tipping on alcohol is insane, especially if your server is running drinks just as they would food and/or is tipping out the bartender as well.

A final note, just be nice. Yes, not tipping your waitstaff hurts them a lot in the wallet, but forgetting that they’re human and not your slaves is even worse.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@adreamofautumn – WORD. I’ve had this argument probably a thousand times in my life and I’m somewhat tired of it, so thank you for saying all that for me. ;)

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