Tipping on Total Tab

Why do we tip on total tab and not work involved?

  1. We went out to an upscale Breakfast only place. The Server was helpful and got the order right returning to refill the coffee several times. The Bill was about $30 and a $6 tip.

2 Later we went to an upscale Restaurant and had steak… mine medium, wife medium well. No help was needed, we knew what we wanted. Wife was into her steak as I was mine when she said “I think I got your steak” Looking at the red of her steak, it was obvious she was right. We then swapped steaks. Mentioned it to the waiter who apologized. The tab came to $160. $30 tip.

Was the second Waiter worth 5 times as much for essentially the same effort… even with perfect service?

Would you have dinged the second Server’s tip for the mistake?

The second waiter performed the same task (not as well) only difference was one refilled coffee, the second, water.

I would have done exactly what you did. Would have been nice if the restaurant comped you a dessert or something for the mistake.

Fine dining places may have only two seatings per night. People linger longer so server may not have as many checks. Breakfast places turn their tables over pretty quickly so server probably gets a higher volume of tips.

True. Decades ago I dated a woman who changed jobs from a high end place to one with quicker customer turnover. More tips added up.

I sometimes tip a larger % on smaller tabs and a smaller % on larger tabs. Especially if it includes drinks. But the same goes with real estate. 6% of the sale price (typically). Does a $1million house take 3X as much work as a $330,000 house to sell?

Bingo…i agree with you on both issues…I often leave a far larger percentage tip for breakfast than i do for an upscale restaurant. tab…

Also, i have had breakfasts where my friends and I linger for as long as we do in an upscale restaurant, and the breakfast waitresses (good ones) are constantly refilling coffee.

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A similar issue is tipping a food delivery person, when the tip is often based on the dollar amount of the order and not the time and effort of the delivery person, or the distance driven. I tend to use a hybrid approach, combining all those factors.
If there are any delivery drivers in the group, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this.

So the server at the breakfast place really is doing a lot more work for the same money.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Usually I tip 20% on the food at low-end and 16.25% at high end. It’s the same amount of work to get a drink or get a water. Hopefully this on average is the same as leaving a 15% tip on the total tab

I’m assuming the food costs $16 and the drinks $4 and $40 and $4 at the upscale restaurant.

A couple of restaurants we go to have started adding a small charge (3-4%) to the bill for tipping the non customer facing staff. I subtract that from the tip I leave the server.

I base my tip on the cost of the items I purchased only. I do not tip on top of added fees or sales tax. This is usually invisible to recipient of my tip though, as I tip well and tend to round up.

16.25? Holy Moly!

Yep drinks are usually a lower percentage of the bill at high end restaurants. This way I tip the same 16.25% on the food whether I get a water, a beer, or a soda

I don’t want to tip less because I get a water and I want to tip approximately 15-20% of the entire bill. I guess I could change each drink to $2 and tip the 15% (20% for great service) so that every server gets the same.

If we paid workers at least the minimum wage, how much would we need to tip to be at parity with the tip credit? If someone works hard and gets $40,000 in tips, how much would they need to earn if they had the minimum wage? Would it be 10% instead of 15-20%?

Lots of states pay minimum wage to tipped and non-tipped employees. My state of Minnesota is this way. Servers can make good money.

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