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

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,145
Dawg, tips are optional. If you don’t got it, you don’t got it. I feel bad for people scraping by who think they need to tip 20% or get looked at as the bad guy.
Sure, if you straight up can’t afford to tip, and want to enjoy a night out, I doubt anyone’s going to rail on you.

but lol, that’s a tiny fraction of non-tippers. Like, how many people itt who say they “don’t tip” do you think do so because they legitimately can’t afford to?
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,884
Oh boy a tipping thread on this site. Anyway here is how it goes.

If it's a sit down restaurant where the waiter takes your order, brings it to you, checks up on you/fills your shit etc etc.

You tip 20% baseline. No problem with going higher but if you are going to go lower there needs to be a very legitimate reason.

A lot of people shirk the server for shit that isn't their fault like the food being late or the food being not good. That's not their fault. Talk to the manager if you feel so strongly about it, don't pay the server any less. It's also smart to just take a look around and see how busy it is.

If the server is rude to you, straight up messes up your order (sometimes its the kitchens fault, but when I was a server I was not afraid to throw them under the bus and make it known I inputted the order right, kitchen messed up, and I am having them rushing a new one) or is just overall not doing their job right you can tip 10-15 based on the severity.

They would need to be like grade A assholes to not tip at all
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
7,613
Because servers get paid $3 an hour and deserve compensation if you are privelaged enough to go enjoy a meal at a sit down restaurant.
Again, though in most states on the coast they are mandated to make at least minimum wage. Can I withhold some tips? And if the argument is well minimum wage isn't enough to live on, why not tip everyone who makes minimum wage?

Like I said before, I tip but it's because it's customary, and the custom is 15% baseline at a sit down restaurant (though I usually go 20 unless service is blatantly bad, like they forget about us).

I'd love to see the justification for why the baseline is somehow now 20%, and don't tell me inflation because it's not like the cost of eating out hasn't gone up with inflation.
 

Dragonborn

Member
Oct 30, 2017
110
I’m not going to tip if service is bad. Like, if I sit down and the waiter never bothers to come check up on us, I won’t be tipping and I think that’s fair. Provide good service and I’ll leave a solid tip tho
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,766
You're pretty much always getting 20% from me.

Workers deserve to be paid. I may scale it back if the food is excessively priced and it requires standard service. However, at nicer restaurants, servers often have extra knowledge and skills that deserve appropriate compensation.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,884
I will say though, now that I'm in the seattle area it is a little confusing on if I should still be tipping 20 considering they make like 15 an hour already.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,349
Fuck this. 15% base for life. 20-25% if excellent. I'm not boosting it for bare minimum service. That entitlement attitude for shit waiters who expect tips for shit service can get the fuck out. I'm already tired of McDonald's of all places asking for tips or places that have no waiter or service element wanting tips.
 

Pet

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,171
SoCal
That’s fine, as long as those that refuse to tip stay out of restaurants where they’re expected.
Except that's not how it works, so no.

It's viable to have a restaurant system where no tipping is mandatory because the restaurant has already factored in the cost of staff into the meal price.

If the client base refuses that system and instead chooses a system where additional VOLUNTARY contributions are what pays for cost of staff...then amazingly, some people are not going to make that voluntary decision.

If you (general you) want a system where everyone is mandated to help pay for staff cost, then you need a system that mandated everyone pay. If there's just a voluntary tip system, well...time to change systems.

Tl;dr- fix the system.
 
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Oleander

Member
Oct 25, 2017
518
I'm thinking of taking out a loan before my US holiday next year just to cover the tips I'm expected to pay.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,145
Except that's not how it works, so no.
Cool, that’s a shitty thing to do though.

edit: I think of it like this. I can sit down, eat at a table in McDonalds, and leave my trash on the table/floor when I leave right? I mean, that’s technically how it works and it’s what the employees are paid to do (clean the restaurant). But that doesn’t make it not shitty.
 
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Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,884
You are allowed to tip less for bad service. That is kind of the point. But it needs to be
1. Actually the servers fault
2. If you forgo the tip entirely the server needs to have been like ABSURDLY bad.

If you got some white boomer lady standards and are not tipping well you will come off as an asshole.

If you are not tipping because you are morally opposed to it, or you can't afford it (at a sit down restaurant where you are served) than you are 100% an asshole.
 

moriquendi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
100
Hard disagree with this one. I pretty much always tip, but the quality of service is relevant. That said it is the quality of service - not factors that the wait staff can't control. If service is slow because the restaurant is very busy my server is still getting a good tip. It's only clearly inattentive or rude servers who will get a reduced tip. That's been really rare in my experience.

The decision is a little easier in my jurisdiction where servers must be paid minimum wage.
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,348
You are allowed to tip less for bad service. That is kind of the point. But it needs to be
1. Actually the servers fault
2. If you forgo the tip entirely the server needs to have been like ABSURDLY bad.

If you got some white boomer lady standards and are not tipping well you will come off as an asshole.

If you are not tipping because you are morally opposed to it, or you can't afford it (at a sit down restaurant where you are served) than you are 100% an asshole.
agreed.
 

Aestivalis

Member
Nov 4, 2018
1,894
No.
I got a meatball hardened as rock and the waiter barely tended us.
The manager apologized and took my spaghetti off the bill but I still tipped 10%.
I thought I was being way too nice.
 

SmAsH

Member
Oct 25, 2017
122
12-15% is fine.

Some of you have such elitist views on how tipping should be. Get over yourselves.
 

Pet

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,171
SoCal
Cool, that’s a shitty thing to do though.

edit: I think of it like this. I can sit down, eat at a table in McDonalds, and leave my trash on the table/floor when I leave right? I mean, that’s technically how it works and it’s what the employees are paid to do (clean the restaurant). But that doesn’t make it not shitty.
...you clear off your own table at restaurants? You go to Cheesecake Factory and throw away all your trash and put the dishes in a bin?

I personally prefer the no tip system, but I'm more of a socialist and think everyone should pay into the same service instead of hoping that trickle down economics is enough.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,884
Here is a good article on why 20% is the new standard if anyone is curious.


I will say, I think 15 isn't that bad of a standard if you live in a cheaper area. If you are tipping 15% for solid service in one of the more expensive metro areas in the country then I would suggest you up it.

Servers across the board more or less expect 20 as a base line in these areas.
 
Oct 26, 2017
813
Abolish tipping. Force prices to include sales tax. Tell people exactly what they'll be paying up front. You'll be amazed at how quickly prices will come down when people can see what they're really paying for what they're getting.
 

Cation

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,583
Booooooooooo

I tip 20% cause I like to flex, now your saying I gotta tip 25% to flex?

(jk @flexing, I just do it if its decent and I'm fortunate enough to tip that high. But f this 20% minimum/always bs)
 

LuigiMario

Member
Oct 28, 2017
924
Again, though in most states on the coast they are mandated to make at least minimum wage. Can I withhold some tips? And if the argument is well minimum wage isn't enough to live on, why not tip everyone who makes minimum wage?

Like I said before, I tip but it's because it's customary, and the custom is 15% baseline at a sit down restaurant (though I usually go 20 unless service is blatantly bad, like they forget about us).

I'd love to see the justification for why the baseline is somehow now 20%, and don't tell me inflation because it's not like the cost of eating out hasn't gone up with inflation.
Again, though in most states on the coast they are mandated to make at least minimum wage. Can I withhold some tips? And if the argument is well minimum wage isn't enough to live on, why not tip everyone who makes minimum wage?

Like I said before, I tip but it's because it's customary, and the custom is 15% baseline at a sit down restaurant (though I usually go 20 unless service is blatantly bad, like they forget about us).

I'd love to see the justification for why the baseline is somehow now 20%, and don't tell me inflation because it's not like the cost of eating out hasn't gone up with inflation.
I think the baseline for "decent" service is 20%. If my meal went without a hitch and everything was good, they are getting 20%

If the server made a great suggestion or did something that really raised the bar for the experience, or solved an issue with the meal in a timely and effective manner, they get 25%. If anything was subtracted from my bill, I always do my best to tip on the original cost. Server shouldn't make less because I paid less on something with a higher cost.

Service has to be bad-miserable for me to tip 15%. Like if it’s slow, food is disappointing, and the server is bad, they’re gonna get 15%. So I guess I disagree that 20% is the minimum, but 15% is also rare to me, if that makes sense.
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,348
ok? so tip 20%


20% is easier to calculate and is more in line with the cost of living and lack in rise in wages.
I know, I tip 20% pretty much across the board. But I take exception to the idea that somehow this is the bare minimum when it's 30% more than the broadly accepted standard tip.
 

gozu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,287
America
10% and below: subpar service
15% - 20%: normal to good service
20%+: very good service

All these amounts are PRE-tax.

Done.
 

Dan-o

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,139
vote for people that will introduce a law that disallows counting tips as part of their base earnings.
Sure. I'm all for it. But holding out on a tip today isn't going to send a message to anyone but the person serving you.
In the meantime, I'd support some kind of network of independent or small-chain restaurants that share a common policy of paying their employees a living wage (for their area), regardless of tips. If someone makes an app (or suggests an existing one) that highlights these places, I'll exclusively go eat at those places when I eat out.

I'd love to see the justification for why the baseline is somehow now 20%, and don't tell me inflation because it's not like the cost of eating out hasn't gone up with inflation.
Cost of living has gone up, while wages for that type of labor have not. That's why some suggest 20%, and why, in 5-10 years time, if nothing changes, people will suggest 25% as the new baseline, then 30%... and so on... until the system implodes and we can start over, or whatever.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
7,613
Cost of living has gone up, while wages for that type of labor have not. That's why some suggest 20%, and why, in 5-10 years time, if nothing changes, people will suggest 25% as the new baseline, then 30%... and so on... until the system implodes and we can start over, or whatever.
I understand wages not going up. But the cost of food/dining out has gone up, so that means that the amount of money made from the 15% has gone up as well, so why is the baseline going up? Or is cost of dining out stagnant? I know it seems almost prohibitively expensive for me, but I've also added kids in the past decade or so which also raises the cost, so maybe I just have no idea?
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,145
...you clear off your own table at restaurants? You go to Cheesecake Factory and throw away all your trash and put the dishes in a bin?

I personally prefer the no tip system, but I'm more of a socialist and think everyone should pay into the same service instead of hoping that trickle down economics is enough.
I think that not tipping at a “tipping expected” restaurant that pays its servers less than minimum wage doesn’t do anything to solve the issue. In fact, the only person it hurts is the person serving you as the business that incorporates this unfair practice is still getting your time and money.

and no, There isn’t a societal expectation that you clear your table after eating at a sit down restaurant. There is an expectation that you clear your table at a fast food place however, which is why I would never leave my trash on a table at a fast food place even though it’s “allowed”.
 

Sybil

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
608
I usually tip 20%, then a bit more if either they had to deal with additional bullshit from me or I go there pretty often (and so they have to see my stupid face too often).
I live in a state where servers are paid less than minimum wage - I cannot fathom tipping a server less than 10%. One of my friends tips like 10% and says it's because she has "no money" and it's like... shut up, last week you spent your money on the wireless galaxy buds on a whim.
 

kvetcha

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,348
I understand wages not going up. But the cost of food/dining out has gone up, so that means that the amount of money made from the 15% has gone up as well, so why is the baseline going up? Or is cost of dining out stagnant? I know it seems almost prohibitively expensive for me, but I've also added kids in the past decade or so which also raises the cost, so maybe I just have no idea?
Food has definitely gotten more expensive. Stuff costs double what it did 15 years ago.
 

Haruko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
493
I tip 15% if service was extremely poor, otherwise I always do 20%+.

Usually I'm calculating off the total as well because i'm too lazy to look through the receipts for a pre-tax subtotal.
 

Lexad

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,090
what bothers me is fast food or places where i pick up the food and they have that on there asking for tips .you literally did what mcdonalds does and are paid min wage.
 

Pet

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,171
SoCal
I think that not tipping at a “tipping expected” restaurant that pays its servers less than minimum wage doesn’t do anything to solve the issue. In fact, the only person it hurts is the person serving you as the business that incorporates this unfair practice is still getting your time and money.

and no, There isn’t a societal expectation that you clear your table after eating at a sit down restaurant. There is an expectation that you clear your table at a fast food place however, which is why I would never leave my trash on a table at a fast food place even though it’s “allowed”.
You're right, we don't pay $15 for a McDonald burger partially because the price of the food reflects the level of service we expect. We also pay a flat fee there and behave as expected.

That's why we should do away with tipping expected restaurants. Many Michelin places also have fixed service fees.

Tipping culture hurts servers at the expense of the restaurant owner. Restaurant owners need to be forced to pay their workers living wages and to take the effort to figure out what appropriate prices should be. Restaurant patrons will pay the price by increased food cost, but then every person that eats there will contribute to the service.

I don't understand why people cling to tipping. It benefits the least amount of people. Move to fixed pricing and so many problems disappear.
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
918
10% was the norm at one point...This percentage creep is amazing. It's not like the cost of food has held steady either. I predict we'll have a debate on 50% being the bare minimum in my lifetime.
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
918
You're right, we don't pay $15 for a McDonald burger partially because the price of the food reflects the level of service we expect. We also pay a flat fee there and behave as expected.

That's why we should do away with tipping expected restaurants. Many Michelin places also have fixed service fees.

Tipping culture hurts servers at the expense of the restaurant owner. Restaurant owners need to be forced to pay their workers living wages and to take the effort to figure out what appropriate prices should be. Restaurant patrons will pay the price by increased food cost, but then every person that eats there will contribute to the service.

I don't understand why people cling to tipping. It benefits the least amount of people. Move to fixed pricing and so many problems disappear.
It doesn't. Tipping culture hurts back of kitchen staff and diners the most. Servers benefit greatly from this system as long as diners can be guilted into tipping a higher amount, which is why the staunchest defenders are servers.
 

Bigwombat

Member
Nov 30, 2018
859
Yeah if the service is shitty or takes forever sorry but I'm not gonna tip 20% to get scrambled eggs. Go and tip shame all you want.
 

meow

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
932
NYC
I'm tipping 15% as the starting baseline and I'm never moving from that. If the cost of living is scaling faster than the price of food (and thus the percentage isn't working out for the servers), people should be raging at the restaurant owners, not the customers.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,884
10% was the norm at one point...This percentage creep is amazing. It's not like the cost of food has held steady either. I predict we'll have a debate on 50% being the bare minimum in my lifetime.

You're right, we don't pay $15 for a McDonald burger partially because the price of the food reflects the level of service we expect. We also pay a flat fee there and behave as expected.

That's why we should do away with tipping expected restaurants. Many Michelin places also have fixed service fees.

Tipping culture hurts servers at the expense of the restaurant owner. Restaurant owners need to be forced to pay their workers living wages and to take the effort to figure out what appropriate prices should be. Restaurant patrons will pay the price by increased food cost, but then every person that eats there will contribute to the service.

I don't understand why people cling to tipping. It benefits the least amount of people. Move to fixed pricing and so many problems disappear.
Bruh, everyone here would largely be in favor of that except for maybe career servers who could maybe stand to lose money. In Seattle servers make 15 an hour and many restaurants add a service charge on top of the meal. People can still tip if you want but a lot of restaurants here encourage you not to.

But not tipping out of protest literally only hurts the workers. The establishment gets their money and their workers get nothing.