There is a set standard for tipping, but there are a ton of variables that can make tipping very tricky.
The Base Rule For Tipping
The base rule for tipping in my book is to tip 15-20% of the amount of the bill based on the level of service I received.
If my meal was pleasant and I wasn’t disappointed by anything I’ll always tip in this range.
I’ll normally tip toward the higher end if I never had to wait for a drink and our server was attentive.
Service That Goes Above And Beyond
If service is absolutely amazing and the server goes above and beyond I’ll tip above my standard range. The server must do something outstanding, but if it happened I bet I’d be willing to go above my standard 15-20% range.
Unfortunately, this very rarely happens to me. I don’t know if my standards are too high or I just don’t go to the restaurants with great servers. Either way, I feel this very rarely happens at the standard chain sit down restaurants.
How To Tip If You Use A Coupon
If I use a coupon, I realize that the server still has to do the same amount of work. When I do use coupons I will tip based on what the bill would have been before the coupon reduces the amount of the bill. I still tip 15-20%, but this way the server gets what I feel they deserve.
What If The Service Isn’t Very Good?
If the service isn’t very good, but I got my food in a reasonable amount of time and I didn’t have to ask for something more than once or twice I’ll normally tip at the bottom of my standard range at 15%. Keep in mind, this isn’t how much I tip for flat out bad service.
Horrible Service Deserves A Horrible Tip
Now if the service is down right horrible I’ve been known to not leave a tip at all.
If you come to serve me with a I hate the world attitude, mess up my order (or don’t check to make sure it is right before you bring it out), never check on my table and just try to do the minimum you have to do, you probably won’t be getting a normal tip from me.
It takes a lot for me to not leave a tip, but once you get below my 15% level of tipping, you probably won’t be getting a tip at all.
Servers are not entitled to a tip and if they don’t do their job they don’t deserve to get paid, just like everyone else. If I could fire my server there are only a small number of times I would have definitely done it.
Yes, I’ve Worked In Restaurants Before
Before you get defensive and say that servers work hard and deserve tips no matter what because they depend on tips to earn a living wage, I want you to know I’ve been a server before and I don’t agree.
In my crazy first job I worked in many positions, including serving, at a pizza restaurant. However, if I didn’t do my job, I wouldn’t expect people to tip me just because I felt entitled to get paid no matter what level of service I did or didn’t provide.
I always feel like I gave great service but there are multiple times my tables didn’t leave tips and there were rare occasions where I received awesome tips.
The thing I learned is that most people don’t tip based on service. Instead they tip based on how much money they have at the time or they tip the same no matter where they go. I don’t subscribe to that theory, but there are many out there that do this. At least that’s what their actions show!
How Much Do You Tip?
I want to know what you’re thoughts are on tipping. How much do you tip for good service? What about service that doesn’t hit the mark but isn’t terrible? What about flat out bad service? How much do you tip when you use a coupon?
P.S. Here is another tipping article if you want to read about my views on tipping for takeout.
Photo by: Dave Dugdale Text added by: Lance Cothern