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Readers Respond: How Much Do You Tip?

Responses: 68


How much do you tip at restaurants? It's one of the most sensitive issues in culinary travel -- if you leave too little, too much, or in some countries, anything at all, you can cause offense or create a scene. Get to know tipping customs around the world, and then it's your turn: How do you handle the gratuity when you're traveling? And why?


Being a waitress, myself; I often sympathize with servers when dining in other restaurants. I know the feeling of running around with your head cut off for a table who tips $5 on an $80 bill or not being tipped at all. With that said; I tip 25%-30% when dining out. Also, the minimum wage for a server is $2.83, so we rely on the customers to give us an adequate tip when they're given great service. Like previously stated; everyone should be a server at least once in their lives; especially the rude customers who think they are above their server. Little do those people know, their server is probably the next neurosurgeon or CIA Agent.
—Guest Sia

Optional but Shame if You Don't!

Personally, I always tip $3, at least -- that's mandatory service keeping my drink full gets that etc. There are a few places I tip very high ($10 $20) for just my personal meal. The reason I tip at least $3 (unless the waiter or waitress treats me like crap) is you never know there situation they might have a kid or something. The tips do pay their bills. So sure, you don't have to tip, but in the same restaurant I'll get better service than you every time. I've seen it happen. My table is treated better than most are cause I'm a regular tipper and if you're not I'm not sorry for ya, and nope the management will not care cause it's the wait staff that keeps me coming back week after week. I've seen some managers ask people to not come back cause they ran up big tabs, were loud, hogged a table all night and didn't tip. Like I said, it's up to you, but karma has its ways.
—Guest big tipper

Paid by patrons, not by restaurants.

Jessica - The things you mention - "you can go to the kitchen, put in your own order, carry your own hot plates to the table, refill your own drinks, make your own coffee, clear plates between each course & clean up after yourself. You can also set up, assist in food prep, roll napkins, clean the bathroom, break down & clean equipment, polish glasses & silverware" are all done in Australia, and we don't have to tip. We only tip if we get good service.

I Pay for Service not Attitude

People are full of it if they think it's mandatory to leave someone a tip "just because". Yeah I wouldn't mind tipping for good service, it would be ignorant of me if I didn't, someone who's not giving me good service doesn't deserve crap. If you can't make enough because your job performance is lacking, that has nothing to do with me. If I half-ass my job I would like to get a nice big tip too so I could afford to live and pay bills.
—Guest jessdoit

They don't even

The waiters /waitress don't put the full amount of tips they get for the night y'all shouldn't worry about them it's the bussers bartenders who don't get paid right there the ones working the hardest servers have the easiest job in the restaurant and don't deserve any tips to be honest they don't share any of it
—Guest Blah

Dear Sasha, and Kmp 11

First I would like to address Sasha's comment. If you can't afford to tip then you have no buisness eating out. Most resturants require servers to tip out the rest of the resturant, i.e. the buser, dish guy, the cooks, and the bar staff. So when you eat the meal your hardly have enough money to pay for, then don't tip you are not only telling that server that she/he did a terrible job but you are also now requiring them to tip for you. They have now been burdened to tip out the support staff for your meal. And maybe they only work a few nights a week, go to school full time, and would like to occationally go out for dinner. You suck for ruining peoples days because of your ignorance. Secondly Kmp11, Tipping is mandatory for those who need it to live on. No one waits tables because they love serving people, they do it because they need to pay there bills. Serving jobs are neither easy to get nore easy to keep. They are very stressful and strenuos. Tip well in apperciation. Thankyo
—Guest Joe public


For the people who think that they should not tip then go to a fast food restaurant! As a server we have to tip out a percentage of every customers dinner to the bus boys. So not only are you ignorant but if you don't tip we are paying to serve you!
—Guest dawn

Anything less than 20% is a bad tip

If everything is right and timely that server did their job, they served you. 10%is a slap in the face, and embarrassing to only the payee of the bill. You go back and they will drop your food on the floor and serve it to you, believe me. They get paid two dollars an hour and work harder than most people.
—Guest DD

Depends on the Service

I almost always tip between 15% - 20%, and usually on the high end of that. Even pretty awful servers usually get at least 10% - I try to give them the benefit of the doubt for a bad day. I have tipped up to 100% for exceptional service. Only once have I left a restaurant with no tip (and a note for the manager) but that's only because the waitress had a horrible attitude. I also try to tip in cash, even if paying the rest of the bill with a credit card. Tips are not "optional," people. Unfortunately the US government allows restaurants to pay waitstaff a much lower wage than the minimum wage for most other jobs. If the owners paid waitstaff a higher wage... guess what... menu prices would skyrocket.
—Guest Jenny


As a server, I make 2.13 an hour. That's my hourly wage. All servers, whether you realize it or not, go above and beyond their call of duty to make sure you leave happy. Our only job isn't just sitting there and waiting for you to need something. A restaurant is like any other business and servers are usually responsible for doing a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. And when you're one of a servers 3-5 tables, YOU DON'T TAKE PRIORITY OVER EVERYONE ELSE. We do a good job of taking care of every single person that sits in our section, all for 2.13 an hour, so don't be a stingy, heartless, and uneducated moron. Tip your server accordingly.
—Guest Server Guy


of course nobody cares what problemas other people have financially, but hello, if you don't want to tip just go to a self-service place, servers in fla get paid almost half minimun wage, because it is asumed that they'll get tipped, you can all be as selfish as you want, but for people like you is that at some places the tip is included and sometimes it's much more then you are actually willing to pay, in order for you to get money you have to give it, it's a cycle dude and if you stop it well we'd all be poor, so give the poor service at least five bucks!
—Guest fairyqueen

I don't care about your problems

I make minimum wage. I have my own mortgage, car insurance, gas, groceries, phone bill, electric, property taxes, etc to pay. I could really care less about a stranger's financial problems. If I have $30 left after bills and I feel like eating at a non-fast food restaurant, that's my business. Am I going to only order water and the cheapest entree so I can afford to tip you? Hell no. Not to say I never tip, but I only tip when I have enough money and the server went above and beyond their job description. Many have said tips are needed so the servers can pay their bills, sorry but if tipping you means I can't pay my bills and enjoy a sit down meal once every couple months then too bad. I don't tip at mcdonalds and guess what they do pretty much what you do as a waiter: clan tables and washrooms, smile, give me food, take my payment, pour my drink, refill ketchup and napkins, even bag my food and bring it to me in my car. So don't act like you deserve 20% more than them or work there.
—Guest Sasha

you are tipping for being served !!!

When I first started my server job, I remember thinking this is crazy people are paying me extra for this!!! But then another server explained to me (and I agree) that we are providing the guest with the convenience of not having to get your own drinks, get or clean any of your dishes, clean up the table in between courses, and not have to serve themselves food. Your bill pays the restaurant for the food, your tip pays the server for providing you with everything that went along with that meal. Just think, you did nothing to eat that meal except sit and put in your mouth! You do owe them something, and if you disagree, dont eat at sit down restaurants. I believe in tipping based on service, 15-20% based on how good it was, but NEVER leave nothing, as servers have to tip out other employees. Regardless of how bad you experience was, they dont deserve to have to come out of their own pocket for you eating a meal. Leave at least 5% to cover what they have to tip out other people.
—Guest vanessa

no tip is better than a nickel.

i'm a waitress and often people don't even tip. better yet, some left a nickel or a dime. that's very insulting. yes, i served the meal with a smile; checked to see if they need anything else; keep refilling drinks...what did i get? nothing. and these people are regular customers..
—Guest waitress

Why should I TIP TIP TIP Hooray

I was once a person that didn't tip because I jus didt know better and I always thought of myself after i had achieve the success in what I started I invested in a few bars and restaurants so I had the chance to dig deep in the business and now even tho I OWN when I'm out with my wife I have a over $15 dollar limit and I judge accordingly to the service I even once tip a female $100 people I know we all feel it on the inside that we should not tip but really the people that we in this world that service us are human with real problems and family we all got are own problems but we shouldn't go out in the nice restaurants if we cnt even TIP
—Guest Chris lighty
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