TIP WARS: WaPo food critic says you have to tip 20 percent, no matter what

Syriel

Member
Dec 13, 2017
6,083
Narrator: He's wrong.

I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about tipping in America. Diners have been led to believe that tipping should be based on the quality of the service. But this is not the reason we tip.
I think diners need to ask themselves a basic question: Do you get paid when you’re having an off day? When you’re not at your best? When you’re in a bad mood?

What’s more, waiting tables is hard work, and servers are only human. They may be having troubles at home, or they may be worried about a loved one. Or maybe they’re just spacing out. Who among us has not done that at our desks?
Bottom line: Diners should always tip 20 percent. Always.

If the service is terrific, you should add more to the tip. But never subtract from the 20 percent.
Source:
 

overcast

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,445
Idk about always, but 20% is my baseline and I only go below if it's poor service.
 

Tanooki

Member
Oct 25, 2017
999
Canada
I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about tipping in America. Diners have been led to believe that tipping should be based on the quality of the service. But this is not the reason we tip.
It's the reason I tip.
I think diners need to ask themselves a basic question: Do you get paid when you’re having an off day? When you’re not at your best? When you’re in a bad mood?
I do commission-based contract work, so no. I don't get paid if I'm having an off day and let that be projected onto my work.

I give 20% or more tips all the time, but there's certainly no obligation to do so. 15% is the regular, and it goes up or down based on the service provided. Keeping in mind that tipping isn't like, legal. I don't have to do it at all if I don't want to.
 

Dreams-Visions

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
16,389
Miami, FL
Nope.

That said, I haven't had service bad enough to make me tip less than 20% in quite some time. Like, you literally have to make me feel like you don't give a fuck about my table to get me to give less than 20%. My list is:
  • letting drinks get to the bottom without refilling
  • food coming in cool/cold
  • not informing the table on when food is coming if it's coming out slowly
  • unpleasant attitude
All you have to do is not do any of the above and I'm happy to give a solid tip. In fact, now that I think about it, it's either you were good enough for 20% or so...or you probably aren't getting anything at all from me except an ear-full vicariously through your manager because I had to summon them to discuss my deep dissatisfaction.
 

Contramann

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,595
I've worked in the food industry before and be on the other end when I've been shafted on tips. Still no.
 

Akira86

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,583
how about you stand before me and I put on my shiny black dress shoes and kick you in the shin?
 

Sirhc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
797
The argument of "you still get paid on an off day" is really undercut when you say tip more if the service was great, make up your mind food critic.
 

Baconmonk

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
4,455
Or pay staff an actual livable wage?
Some folks tried, and it didn't work so well. Customers didn't want to pay the higher prices.



Which is a damn shame. Servers need tips to live as is.
 

Dreams-Visions

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
16,389
Miami, FL
Some folks tried, and it didn't work so well. Customers didn't want to pay the higher prices.



Which is a damn shame. Servers need tips to live as is.
Then the industry needs to be reformed. I'm happy to tip, but pay workers living wages.
 

Mint

Member
Oct 26, 2017
951
Canada
If it’s 20% no matter what then just fold It into the fucking price and fuck off with this shit
 

Contramann

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,595
I've had some horrifically bad service where the server omitted details about the menu and what I ordered that resulted in me paying a sizable amount of extra money when I got my bill. No way in hell would I ever give that person 20%. Critic is, without question, wrong.
 

saenima

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,884
Employees should be paid living wages. Always.

Everyone should tip. Whenever the fuck they feel like tipping.
 

Baconmonk

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
4,455
Then the industry needs to be reformed. I'm happy to tip, but pay workers living wages.
Who leads the charge to reform? Successful servers can make extremely good money on the broken tip model. Restaurant owners don't want to lose customers. Customers don't want to be forced to pay more.

Its a fucked system. I've worked in the industry my whole life. I assumed these places in NYC, SF and the like would lead the charge to change, but it turns out to largely be a failed experiment.

But as it stands, if I chose to eat out I tip. If I can't afford to tip I can't afford to eat out.
 

Keldroc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,450
I usually tip 20%, but I still don't buy that it's the standard. 15% is the default and always has been. You don't need to up the percentage as the food prices rise. That's why it's a percentage. 20% is just easier to calculate.
 

Raonak

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,075
bwahahaha. fucking what?
good tips for good service only.
 
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