What is your philosophy on tipping waiters?

Cruel_Sandwich
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I got into a very Reservoir Dogs-esque argument with a friend of mine who refuses to tip waiters and waitresses the other day. I tend to always tip, even if I'm short on cash, simply because waiting table is a hard job and I usually give them points just for trying.

What do you guys think?
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nitsua
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I usually start with $5 and work my way down, but it depends on the restaurant.

If it's one of the more pricey places on the strip, I'll start with $10.

I agree with you, though, on the your last part. In Texas, minimum wage was $2.14, so I thought I was very generous.
"Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for love, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money." ~ Moliere
Cruel_Sandwich
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My friend's argument, which was surreal because it was exactly like RESERVOIR DOGS, was that "You don't tip people in McDonald's!"
SweetQintheLights
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Yes, if you are sitting down and they are serving you, you need to give them a tip.

I (and most other people I know) don't tip when I ordering to take out and go inside to pick it up.(something as simple as soup and salad). If I do not give them a tip, they often get quite pissy- I'm kinda afraid what they'll do to my food next time I order.
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scott68
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I've worked as a waiter, and it's a crappy job at best. In my experience (and I think in most situations), waiters' salaries literally only covers taxes, so tip money is all you're making. I always try to tip at least 17%, and almost always 20 unless the service is terrible.
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nitsua
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Ivan doesn't tip to-go either. I worked both jobs (serving and to-go) and working to-go was much harder. Instead of four or five tables at a time, I had to shuffle up to 20 phone orders and walk ins.

I tip to-go better than regular wait staff, but to-go usually makes more. It was $6.50 when I worked to-go.
"Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for love, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money." ~ Moliere
Cruel_Sandwich
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Now I've had some ****ty waiters but I always tip. always.
bwaylvsong
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17-18%- average service
19-20%- above average
14-15%- below average

I've never really gotten amazing or horrendous service personally, but I've heard of people leaving 25% for great service and a handful of coins for terrible service.
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Wanna Be A Foster
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I tend to leave 20%.
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ray-andallthatjazz86
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I once left a penny or a nickel to someone who gave me some of the worst service I could have gotten at a restaurant. That's the only time it has happened though.
In my hometown I usually tip 15%, a bit more if the bill is too small or if I got amazing service, since I really work a crappy job that pays nothing, I don't have much of a choice. However, when I'm in NY I try to tip 18-20% just because I know how expensive living here is.
I don't tip when I do take out though.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Craww
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Good service? Calculate 20% in my head. Round up to the nearest dollar for great-good, round down to the nearest dollar for average-good.

For me, even bad service gets 5 to 10%, depending on the circumstances. Mediocre (ie, bad service, but they're swamped/forgetful and adequately apologetic) usually gets 15%.

I don't tip take out, and I tip less at buffets.


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Mamie
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I'm the same as Craww. I've never worked as a waitress but I have plenty of relatives and friends who have and I know how hard they work and how little their base salary is. Unless the service is really bad, I ALWAYS tip - usually 20%. Also like others, I do not tip for take out. I always tip the driver $2 or $3 for delivery too. I know a lot of the restaurants add a delivery charge but I don't know how much of that actually gets to the driver.
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mamie4 5/14/03
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lesmis
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20% always
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louisamayfoster
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20% and always respectfully look servers in the eye when talking with them. I'm grateful to be served rather than do the serving. The only time I can remember totally NOT wanting to leave a tip was in Paris and my husband did it anyway.
blueroses
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At least 20%.
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caitiesus1522
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15% if it is bad service, 20% if it is good.

But i have gotten into the habit that if I use my credit card I ask if they have to pay a service fee out of their tips because I know some people who have had to. If they do, I pay the tip in cash.
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tazber
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20%
More if they're cute.
Even more if they're cute and they flirt.
....but the world goes 'round
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Mamie
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see what they have to go through for their pay? Always tip them!
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mamie4 5/14/03
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ahmelie
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I'm a teenager, and my friends hate me for insisting we never leave a restaurant without a decent tip on the table. The annoying thing is that most of my friends are artists planning to pursue arts as a career, I just wanna yell at them "This is you one day!"

Karma's gonna bite them in the ass.
Theatre is a safe place to do the unsafe things that need to be done. -John Patrick Shanley
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madbrian
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My tipping varies greatly depending on the service. I never leave no tip, even for horrible service, because that could be construed as an oversight. I usually tip much more on holidays.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
Phyllis Rogers Stone
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I almost always tip at least 20%, unless the service is abysmal. Even then, it's hard for me not to, because I waited tables for a long time and I know that some nights are going to be off nights.

If you aren't prepared to tip at least 15%, you aren't prepared to go out to eat. Do the world a favor and stay home.
Updated On: 2/12/08 at 09:40 AM
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madbrian
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Phyllis,
I would turn that around and say if you're not willing to be attentive and courteous, don't expect a 20% tip. And if you're not even willing to be available and polite, don't expect a 15% tip.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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tazber
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You can tell when your server is in the weeds though. When it's super busy and he/she's harried and rushing, that's when I leave a bigger tip, even though I may have gotten less attention.
....but the world goes 'round
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Jane2
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15% for okay-fair service

20% for good service

A little more for really good service, for those servers who know how to make money!
<-----I'M TOTES ROLLING MY EYES
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javero
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I waited tables as an undergrad so I always leave a standard 20% unless the service is really bad in which case I discount. However I would never stiff a waitperson because often the busser is depending on a cut too. It can be a thankless job despite fine food and good service. For some reason, there are otherwise mild-mannered people who become unbearable while dining out.
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