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Do you tip above the 18% added gratuity?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
When you're in a large group and they add the 18% gratuity, do you tip above that?
post #2 of 54
I usually do. Especially if it's a large group and/or we have kids with us. The server didn't really make the policy about 18%, you know? That's management's call. And, I usually tip about 25% if it's a bad table (large group and/or kids). So, I don't want to short the server that 7% just because of management's greediness.

Doesn't mean that I don't complain about a mandatory 18% though.
post #3 of 54
No and when I waited tables I never expected more than that. Sometimes people would tip more, but mostly not.
post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post

Doesn't mean that I don't complain about a mandatory 18% though.
Oh yeah. People complained about it all the time. It was such an odd business -- one table would be shoving an extra $50 bill at me while the table next to them was griping that 18% was too much and they were only going to tip 15%.


"Was the service unacceptable?"

"Oh no! You were wonderful, but I never tip more than 15%."
post #5 of 54
You have a mandatory tip where you are? Wow. Since when is a tip mandatory?
post #6 of 54
I usually tip 20+% when the service is good, just as a rule.

If it's mediocre service I leave it at the 18% (or only tip 15 if it's not already added)

But, even bad service gets at least 10% if it's not already added...


I was a waiter. I know that a lot of places have "tipshare" and it can be a real pain to work your butt off and not get to keep most of your tips.
post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaluvspirates View Post
You have a mandatory tip where you are? Wow. Since when is a tip mandatory?
A lot of restaurants add gratuity for larger groups (usually 6 or more).
post #8 of 54
We usually round up to 20%

The mandatory tip does bother me. I think it is because I worked my share of restaurant jobs and therefore I believe I am a good and fair tipper.

I also will tell a server why she/he didn't get 15% or 20%.
post #9 of 54
We also round up to 20% for good service, sometimes more if we have a lot of children and some big messes to pick up.
post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
A lot of restaurants add gratuity for larger groups (usually 6 or more).
And some places will show you the recommended tip for a party of your size. A place I went to recently did that...on the ticket it had the 18% tip shown so you could see...
post #11 of 54
I worked restaurant for years and the gratuity is not supposed to be mandatory, however, it is often presented that way. I usually leave more, (especially since we have kids) and if the service is good. I consider it part of the expense of going out to eat. But if a server is bad, I don't 'reward' the behavior with a good tip. They get a minimum of 10% to cover their taxes and I tell the manager.
post #12 of 54

Spinoff question, hope this is okay to put here

This is a tangent, but I have a terrible time figuring out what is a fair tip, especially if the server doesn't really do much. I get totally stressed about it, so maybe someone here can help me settle it.

Two of us sometimes attend an evening event that takes place at a pub/cafe. Long story and I won't get into the details of the relative frugality of it here, but the value of what we get when we are there far outweighs the cost of the food.

Typically our server (who knows us and remembers what we usually order) checks in and asks if we want our usual - water, water, fries, fries, and a plain burger - and then brings it to us. Generally that is all she does - she doesn't ever offer us water refills, so usually we just bring our glasses up to the bar and ask there for a refill. We are quiet and tidy and don't take up a lot of space. The bill comes to about $17 with tax (yes, I know ack). What is a fair tip?

If money is super tight, we just get water, water, and fries, and the bill totals $8. What is a fair tip on that? Same situation, same number of customers...

I would really appreciate help with this because I'm always afraid I'm tipping too little or too much. I can't afford to tip too much, but I want the waitstaff - there are just two of them - to get their fair amount. WWYD?
post #13 of 54
yes, the minimum I tip is 20%. We are our own big group, though and four are children. I start at 20% and go up for excellent service. Like Friday night, we went out to a nice restaurant and I rounded the tip all the way up to 30% because the waitress was awesome (and I was a bit tipsy from my 40 oz margarita )

oh, and I love, love, love the quick tip app on my iphone. Otherwise, I was just guessing (I mean, I can do the math if I really want to but most of the time, with small antsy children, we are ready to go once it's time to pay).
post #14 of 54
It really depends... on how busy the restaurant is, how demanding we were as a table, the attitude of the server, how long we were taking up space, etc.

If I feel the server deserved more than 18%, I'd leave more, if I didn't I wouldn't. But that also presumes that I'm paying the tab... if the tab is split then I'll usually leave more just to cover the fact that there's always at least one person who skimps on the tip.

But I know I recently went out to dinner with a group of older folks (my grandmother and her contemporaries), we were a table of 8, they refused to split the check and added the gratuity to it. Let me tell you! The amount of b!tch!ng that went on about that for the next 2 days!! And that poor server didn't get a penny above his added gratuity (15%, IIRC) - but he should be thankful he got that, because they wouldn't have left him even that if they'd had a choice (I was responsible for calculating each person's share of the tab, but I wasn't actually paying myself).
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
This is a tangent, but I have a terrible time figuring out what is a fair tip, especially if the server doesn't really do much. I get totally stressed about it, so maybe someone here can help me settle it.

Two of us sometimes attend an evening event that takes place at a pub/cafe. Long story and I won't get into the details of the relative frugality of it here, but the value of what we get when we are there far outweighs the cost of the food.

Typically our server (who knows us and remembers what we usually order) checks in and asks if we want our usual - water, water, fries, fries, and a plain burger - and then brings it to us. Generally that is all she does - she doesn't ever offer us water refills, so usually we just bring our glasses up to the bar and ask there for a refill. We are quiet and tidy and don't take up a lot of space. The bill comes to about $17 with tax (yes, I know ack). What is a fair tip?

If money is super tight, we just get water, water, and fries, and the bill totals $8. What is a fair tip on that? Same situation, same number of customers...

I would really appreciate help with this because I'm always afraid I'm tipping too little or too much. I can't afford to tip too much, but I want the waitstaff - there are just two of them - to get their fair amount. WWYD?
Okay, first rule of serving is that drinks are never supposed to get below half full if you can help it. IF you're that busy they aren't supposed to remain empty for very long. That is a tip killer for me, personally. In that case I wouldn't tip more than $2 on the $17 and no more than $1 on the $8. That, to me with the service you described, is a fair tip.
post #16 of 54

Tipping Above

I hate mandatory tips and I don't tip extra when they are added to the bill.

I will tip more than 18% on my own if we are a big group, or a difficult table, or the server really went the extra mile. Usually we tip 15% and round up to the nearest dollar for typical service, and give a larger tip if we feel it's deserved.

However, if an establishment wants to set their tips and tell me that I can't tip less when service is horrible, then I won't tip more when it's good.
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
This is a tangent, but I have a terrible time figuring out what is a fair tip, especially if the server doesn't really do much. I get totally stressed about it, so maybe someone here can help me settle it.

Two of us sometimes attend an evening event that takes place at a pub/cafe. Long story and I won't get into the details of the relative frugality of it here, but the value of what we get when we are there far outweighs the cost of the food.

Typically our server (who knows us and remembers what we usually order) checks in and asks if we want our usual - water, water, fries, fries, and a plain burger - and then brings it to us. Generally that is all she does - she doesn't ever offer us water refills, so usually we just bring our glasses up to the bar and ask there for a refill. We are quiet and tidy and don't take up a lot of space. The bill comes to about $17 with tax (yes, I know ack). What is a fair tip?

If money is super tight, we just get water, water, and fries, and the bill totals $8. What is a fair tip on that? Same situation, same number of customers...

I would really appreciate help with this because I'm always afraid I'm tipping too little or too much. I can't afford to tip too much, but I want the waitstaff - there are just two of them - to get their fair amount. WWYD?

There are 2 people, probably a decent amount of time at the bar/restauraunt, meaning the staff cant 'turn' that table that night?? I'd probable leave $10 each time. IMO the fact that staff 'knows' you but doesn't really service the table is a reflection of how they have been paid in the past.
post #18 of 54
To the OP, we usually tip between 15-25%, it all depends on how long we are at the restaurant, if we take the kids and have a mess, etc... I really feel if we linger and stay longer thats less 'turns' they can get out of the table and I do leave a bit more for that. I tend to tip more for dinner then lunch. (% wise)
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
But I know I recently went out to dinner with a group of older folks (my grandmother and her contemporaries), we were a table of 8, they refused to split the check and added the gratuity to it. Let me tell you! The amount of b!tch!ng that went on about that for the next 2 days!! And that poor server didn't get a penny above his added gratuity (15%, IIRC) - but he should be thankful he got that, because they wouldn't have left him even that if they'd had a choice (I was responsible for calculating each person's share of the tab, but I wasn't actually paying myself).
This whole story makes me giggle. My grandfather was a horrible tipper. We ate out together quite a bit when he and my grandmother were still with us. Our favorite place was a social club where the food and beer was very reasonable - like all four of us could eat and have a drink or two for $40-$50 for all of us.

On a $40 check, my grandfather would think $4 was PLENTY of money for a tip. (this was sit down, full service place) This is after he (and my grandmother) would run the waitstaff back and forth during the entire meal.

My nana would whisper to DH "make sure he leaves enough" When Pappy walked away, one of us would throw more money down so she got a 20% tip.

Pappy would have had a fit if a restaurant added a tip. I can sort of understand why it is necessary sometimes.
post #20 of 54
It really depends on the service. I normally tip at least 20% so I would add something extra onto the bill if the service was good, but I have eaten at places where the server knew that the tip would be added onto the bill and the service reflected that.
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