(Closed) What do you tip when you go out to dinner? Marital happiness on the line :)

posted 7 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: What is your "base" tip amount at restaurants?
    0-4% : (3 votes)
    2 %
    5-9% : (0 votes)
    10-14% : (16 votes)
    8 %
    15-19% : (70 votes)
    37 %
    20-24% : (96 votes)
    51 %
    25% and up : (5 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    515 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2011 - Clark Gardens

    I usually tip at least 20% when I’m paying the bill. Most of the time, however, I’m going out to eat with Fiance and he pays. He tips pretty similarly to your husband, 15% for great service, and less if the service is bad. I try not to give him a hard time, since, you know, he’s paying for the meal and all.

    When I pick up the tab for our dinner or go out with my girlfriends, I usually tip at least 20% but more if I can, to try to make up for the people who don’t tip enough.

    Post # 4
    9029 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I agree with your husband. I must just be a stingy tipper but I wont pay 20% unless the service is exceptional

    Post # 5
    352 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I’m a very generous tipper, especially if you keep the drinks flowing 😉 I never “calculate” it but it’s always over 25%, granted that you’ve taken care of us. The lowest I’ve tipped for poor service was probably 5-10%. Since your husband is a *lousy* tipper (no offense) you should take care of this when you two dine out together 😀

    Post # 6
    5494 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2011

    18% is my base tip.  20 for great service, 15 for below standard service.  and if the service is terrible and something really unnacceptable happens, i have no problem leaving 10.  


    Post # 7
    668 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Well, for me it really depends on the service.  I’ve worked as a waitress as well, and I do understand how nice a tip is, but I’ve also come across waitresses who act as if they ‘expect’ a tip no matter how badly they treat the customer.  (or like in some restaurants where it’s a required 20% gratuity)

    My basic tip is $1 per head for poor service, or $5-$10 for great service.  I mainly do it this way because if we did 30-40% for a $30 meal, then that’s almost $15 which is tomorrow’s lunch for us.  While if the waitress waits 3 tables she already has enough for lunch, and possibly dinner tomorrow. (mind you, it depends on where you live, apparently I live in a really cheap state)

    Does that make sense?

    Post # 8
    2095 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I follow the 2 for every 10 rule and round up to the next dollar amount. ie with tip it takes it to $35.27 I make it $36. If the service is exceptional then I will add a few more dollars on.

    I recently went out with someone and they only put 10% on the cc tip. I added in a few more dollars cash to make up the difference. I was embarrased to leave somewhere with only a 10% tip especially when Fiance worked there.

    Post # 9
    2392 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    20%+ for decent to good service.  The way US wait staff wages are set, the service basically is not included in your meal.  10-15% for bad service (that’s clearly the waiter’s fault).  But generally I feel really uncomfortable leaving less than 18 – it may only be a few dollars’ difference on my bill, but this is how people make their living.  If I want to save a few bucks, I’d rather get takeout than stiff someone.

    Post # 10
    6661 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2010

    Luckily Darling Husband and I feel the same way about tipping, we always tip at least 20% at a restaurant. I think anything above 25% is somewhat unnecessary, but then again I live in NYC so that’s usually a lot of money. We have only left a 15% tip I think on two occasions and they were both for TERRIBLE service. Like not only were our orders completely wrong and took too long to come out, but the waiter in both cases was beyond indifferent about us to the point of being downright rude. And IMO a waiter should at least be pleasant because the whole point of going out is for the experience. I don’t dock the waiter for our food coming out late or incorrect. And to us leaving 15% is the equivalent of leaving 0%. And one more point, I think it’s actually better to leave a tip below 20% instead of talking to a manager b/c that way the waiter can learn he’s doing a bad job without being told on or getting in trouble with his boss.

    I’ve noticed though that people who come and visit us from different cities or more suburban areas with mostly chain restaurants usually leave between 10-15%. I think the disconnect is that where they come from, waitstaff are usually teenagers or college kids doing it for a part time or summer job, not mature adults waiting as their career. So what Darling Husband and I do if we go out to dinner with these people is secretly slip some cash under the bill when the OOT’ers aren’t looking, because we know what the local waiters around here expect and what is ‘fair’.

    Post # 11
    2701 posts
    Sugar bee

    I tip 15% for basic service, they do what they are required to do and make sure our glasses are filled, check on us twice, don’t have to wait too long for the bill.

    I tip 20% if they do everything they are required to do and do it with a smile and a pleasant attitude.

    I tip 25% if they are super busy (have a bunch of other tables) and are spread really thin, yet always make sure to come by. This is an experienced, good server in my opinion.

    I have been known to tip up to 35% if I get AMAZING service, I mean friendly, happy, upbeat, makes suggestions, makes polite, unawkward conversation, treats me and Fiance both equally, balances service between other tables, etc. I very rarely get this kind of service but I love to reward the few who give their all to their job. I consider people like these “career servers”.

    I have only not tipped one time and that is because I was called a “bitch” because my chicken breast was raw in the center. I guess that makes me a bitch that doesn’t want salmonella.

    Post # 12
    1815 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I tip at least 18-20%.

    Amazing service is 20-25%.

    Awful service is 15% or below.

    Post # 13
    677 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    We always tip 20% unless the service is bad, especially since we a regulars at certain places and being known as good tippers helps your service. In my area 15 -20 is standard, but when I waitressed I felt that a 15% meant the customers were unimpressed and 10% meant they were unhappy with me. However, you do get those elderly ones that leave a dollar for a tip no matter what they ordered, that was the worst. My philosophy is, I am grateful not to be a waitress anymore and out of fellow feeling for them I tip well.

    Post # 14
    2702 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    i always tip 20%. always. I was a waitress for 5 years and totally get it. Even if the service is bad I tip 20%. I understand how hard waitressing can be!

    Post # 15
    814 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    As someone who lives in a country where tipping just doesn’t happen (waiting staff get paid pretty well, I got $25 p/h back in the day) I’m curious. At a middle of the range restaurant in the US, what would you pay? Here it’d probably be $20 or so. I can understand tipping if food is really cheap. Just curious 🙂

    Post # 16
    13099 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    My base is probably around 18% (I never exactly calculate, just estimate).  I give 20-22% for great service and 10-15% for poor service.

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