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Not Another Tipping Thread - Default Tip Amounts at Restaurants

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  • #16
    While we’re at it, do you all tip based on the pre or post tax amount? I find the suggestions are often based on post-tax and that rubs me the wrong way. I grew up in a no sales tax state so the idea of tipping the extra 20% on the tax that the government is adding to the top is annoying.

    On the other hand, I have worked in the service industry (also in the no sales tax state) growing up and I try to be a generous tipper as a way of giving back. So if everyone else is tipping on the post-tax amount, I guess I would be inclined to follow suit.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Eye3md View Post


      i was talking with a young man who said the $15/hour would “screw me over”. He’s a waiter at a “fancy” restaurant in DC and said he typically clears $100k every year. Most of that is in tips, and I suspect he’s only reporting a proportion of that (thus the being screwed over if he gets $15/hr instead)
      I am sure tipping will not go away even if minimum wage increases. Especially in high end joints where people show off their money

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      • #18
        With takeout I don't really get who I am tipping. Pre pandemic on the rare occasion I had pizza delivered i would tip the driver. And now I am the driver.

        One benefit of this whole mess was the significant increase of our cooking at home.

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        • #19
          I tip 20% post-tax typically. 15% with poor service. 20%+ at breakfast diners since the meals are so cheap ($5 tip with total being $18). Most of the recommended tips are pre-tax from what I've seen. During the pandemic, I started tipping for carryout to support local non-chain restaurants.

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          • #20
            We eat almost exclusively at home these days. Pre-pandemic we would eat out 1-2x/week. We got takeout 1-2x/week for a while but often the food isn’t the same after it’s been packaged for transport, and we didn’t like all the excess packaging waste it created. I don’t mind tipping and generally just do 20% of post tax (for the people asking about who you are tipping for takeout—someone/a team of people still did all the coordination of that), but now that I haven’t done it for a while and have gotten more efficient about the way I cook I can’t see us going back to eating out weekly.

            Other countries do not have the tipping culture we have in the US. In some they will be offended if you leave a tip. And most of these countries IME have better service and food than in the US (I am comparing my personal experience regarding the quality of food you get at a particular restaurant price point). Have I mentioned that I can’t wait to travel again?

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            • #21
              I have increased my tipping for carry out (i.e. non-fast food) significantly this year as I know the workers are missing their table tips (even though they are doing less, big deal, not their fault and I can afford to do so). Tipped $10 for a take-out pizza at a local family Greek restaurant a couple of weeks ago and the cashier said, “hey, you don’t have to do that!” which I really appreciated (but didn’t take back). One thing we don’t have to worry about in a rural area, I suppose - getting screwed over by corporate in some distant city (and the pizza was superb). It’s not much money and it makes a difference to the restaurant workers, no matter who it ends up with - they are all suffering. Same for a local Chinese restaurant that used to depend on the buffet. Very grateful and I’m sure they’ll never forget - but that’s not the point, is it?

              That said, I w/b PO’d if a fast-food restaurant started implementing tips. That w/b my last visit. Send an email to corporate with your thoughts - they always have a number displayed by the pickup window asking for your feedback.
              Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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              • #22
                there is certainly data on this. square knows it. I wonder if they share it with merchants

                im sure merchants get to see their own data. How many customers tip. Average tip. Selection numbers when X, Y, and Z are the choices. Would be interesting to know.

                likely they have options 18/25/30 or 15/20/25 because lots of people will then choose 18 or 15, instead of 10 if that was the lowest option

                I carry $5s for this situation

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                • #23
                  i don't like the tip calculators for a few reasons.
                  1)Tip calculators usually include the tax. i'm just not a fan of tipping the city. I tip on the service provided.
                  2) Same goes at the hair salon. i tip on the service. i exclude the $25.00 bottle of shampoo i might buy while at the salon.... the calculators seem to include all the non-services.....
                  3) The calculators also tip on the total after discounts or coupons. i recalculate to tip on the original price before my discount i might have.

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                  • #24
                    As the cheapie, I do 15%(post taxbill). Wife does 20-30% depending on her mood. So our server pay can fluctuate a bit depending on who they hand the check to.

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                    • #25
                      I've been tipping more in pandemic for the take out we get, usually from local spots. I loathe tipping based on taxed amount.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Eye3md View Post


                        i was talking with a young man who said the $15/hour would “screw me over”. He’s a waiter at a “fancy” restaurant in DC and said he typically clears $100k every year. Most of that is in tips, and I suspect he’s only reporting a proportion of that (thus the being screwed over if he gets $15/hr instead)
                        At some high end restaurants, waiters "pay" for the spot. Now the wine bit is very competitive even more so. Master is the top of the line! It will be interesting to see how "wealth redistribution" helps some and hurts others in the hospitality industry.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Anne View Post
                          Other countries do not have the tipping culture we have in the US. In some they will be offended if you leave a tip. And most of these countries IME have better service and food than in the US
                          I embarrassed both myself and our sever my first time eating out in Paris. I did not know that the check includes a 15% service charge as a tip (as required by French law), and I put down a tip of >20% the total for good food and good service. The server insisted that it was too much and refused to take it!

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                          • #28
                            I tip on the pre-tax amount, and usually in the 18-20% range for good service. I once left a $5 tip on a $120+ bill for a disastrous meal at a Brazilian steakhouse place pre-covid that we frequented 4-5 times per year for birthday celebrations or special occasions. I also called the restaurant on the way home and spoke to the manager because I didn’t want to cause a scene at the restaurant.

                            I usually only tip a couple of bucks for takeout meals for the family. A tip is designed for wait staff who are checking on you, refilling your drinks, bringing your food, replacing silverware that my kids drop on the ground, etc. I remember a great Chinese place in the town where I grew up used to have a 10% discount for takeout food. I’m certain that the expenses are less to the restaurant for food I take home vs eat in, so why should I pay the same (food charge plus normal tip) if I’m the one doing all of that? Not to mention the fact that I’m not occupying a table so they can theoretically serve more people at the same time. I sort of subscribe to the Dwight Schrute theory on tipping—I don’t tip for things I can do myself. Putting my pastry or donuts in a box is not something I need to tip you for (and no, I cannot yet pulverize my own kidney stones).

                            I also usually do a checksum when I leave a tip so I can check later to see if I’ve been shafted. So, for example, I’ll make the total come out to $98.17, where 9+8 = 17.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Eye3md View Post


                              i was talking with a young man who said the $15/hour would “screw me over”. He’s a waiter at a “fancy” restaurant in DC and said he typically clears $100k every year. Most of that is in tips, and I suspect he’s only reporting a proportion of that (thus the being screwed over if he gets $15/hr instead)
                              this sounds like the kind of thing that someone heard about rather than something that actually happened.

                              so many layers here.

                              i have been to some pretty fancy restaurants. fairly hard to believe someone is clearing 100k as a waiter even at the most pricey places. if that were the case then the wait staff at the nicest places would be fighting for unbelievably competitive jobs and that doesn't seem to be the case.

                              also extremely hard to see how minimum wage increase could affect him at all? there would still presumably be a provision to pay wait staff less as there exists now.

                              and the kind of people who eating at a restaurant where a waiter is ostensibly making 100k are not going to start tipping less. i've never even thought about what the wait staff was making, i tip on the cost of the meal, doesn't everyone?

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by MPMD View Post

                                this sounds like the kind of thing that someone heard about rather than something that actually happened.

                                so many layers here.

                                i have been to some pretty fancy restaurants. fairly hard to believe someone is clearing 100k as a waiter even at the most pricey places. if that were the case then the wait staff at the nicest places would be fighting for unbelievably competitive jobs and that doesn't seem to be the case.

                                also extremely hard to see how minimum wage increase could affect him at all? there would still presumably be a provision to pay wait staff less as there exists now.

                                and the kind of people who eating at a restaurant where a waiter is ostensibly making 100k are not going to start tipping less. i've never even thought about what the wait staff was making, i tip on the cost of the meal, doesn't everyone?
                                https://www.businessinsider.com/how-...-in-nyc-2016-6

                                It’s certainly not the norm but I wouldn’t call it unusual at the high end places in large cities.

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