Tipping is important and you’ll understand its importance once you understand the low wages servers make in restaurants. When you’re stingy with your tipping, you are causing a dent in their lifestyle. I can see what you’re thinking, “Why should you care?” Simple answer, because you’re not a self-centered asshole……that’s why! If someone is going to devote time to making sure your dining experience is perfect the least you can do is leave a decent tip. Seriously guys, who is a better wingman than a server who knows how to serve without inconveniently interrupting your conversation with a potential hunny? And ladies think about the bartender who treats you and your friends like Beyoncé clones during ladies night. It’s not just serving food and drinks ladies and gentlemen, you must understand that when you’re tipping!
Walking into a restaurant, a normal tip starts at 15%. 15% is what is given for just putting food on my table and making sure my water cup doesn’t go empty. 15% doesn’t imply that the service was bad; it just says it wasn’t spectacular enough to garner a higher percentage of the bill.
I’m a southern man at heart, whose life goal is to have a reserved seat at my favorite restaurant for my wife and I. When I go out to restaurants I like the waiter/waitress to engage in conversation with me. If I’m out of town I view them as the expert of their city, and will often ask them to suggest other activities while I’m in town or ask for suggestions on the menu. If I feel above standard service was provided, I provide a tip into the higher side of 20% of the bill. I’ve also been known to tip more than the bill. One time, while sitting in a waffle house in Phoenix, I had the pleasure of having a waitress from Mississippi. We shared a 30-minute conversation about the magical feeling you get when having your grandmothers grits. Sometimes, your heart leads you to give more than the standard tip amount, follow this notion. I’m not saying make this your normal tipping behavior. However, if you meet a special waiter or waitress do your part and give them a monetary blessing. There’s no better feeling than paying it forward if you’re capable.
When do you tip?
If you’re dining in a restaurant, you should tip! Pick up orders do not count in this, unless there’s above standard service being offered. I’ve picked up orders and the cashier offered assistance to my car, which in my eyes, warrants a tip. If I’ m just picking up a meal then no, I don’t tip.
If you’ve been invited to dinner to discuss business, you don’t tip! Don’t even offer!! Thank the host for your meal and get up from the table and send a thank you card later. You’re the guest and its extremely awkward asking the host about assisting with the bill. Seriously, nothing annoys me more than the “Are you sure about that?” No, I just grabbed the bill and placed my card down for practice. Shut the hell up and be thankful clown! On the flip side, if you’re hosting a dinner don’t expect others to pay the tip. Don’t invite people to dinner if you can’t afford to finance the entire meal. Yes, you can always go Dutch but make sure this is pre-determined before even arriving at the restaurant.
In the unfortunate situation you feel you received bad service, before you decide on the tip, you must be realistic as to why you felt the service was bad. Simply stating the waiter/waitress was busy does not define a bad dining experience. Sometimes they do not have the time to engage in lengthy conversation and must get orders in a timely manner. Try to show some compassion for them and have your order ready. But if the service was truly bad, tip the 15% and the next time request a different waiter/waitress. Never get up from the table and leave nothing!
It is not necessary to tip to validate your wealth. At the end of the day, the wealthy and not as wealthy should receive the same care when it comes to dining experience. Regardless of your income, tip as necessary and within your means. Exceptional service= exceptional tip, crappy service= average tip. Regardless of the service, always tip.