How much do you tip at restaurants? Coffee shops??

@astromama (1226)
United States
February 6, 2007 1:22pm CST
In America, it is standard to tip at least 15% of your bill if the service was moderate, 20% is considered a 'good tip'. I usually tip substantially more than that if the service is great, because I consider everything the person has done for me.. gotten me a drink, taken my order, brought me my food, extra condiments, napkins, etc. And I know that after I leave after taking up their table for an hour or so, they will have to clean up after me. I feel like I should respect that person's work and pay them for a service I enjoyed... however, at a coffee shop I feel just plain wrong sticking a measly thirty cents in a tip jar. If I order two coffees for my husband and myself, I always put a dollar in the jar. For the amount of time and energy the person exerted pouring my coffee or making my espresso, that seems like an enormous tip! Not to mention the fact that barristas make a decent hourly sum compared to waiters, and they don't have a mess to clean after I leave. What are your thoughts on this? How much do you tip?
4 responses
@missinghim (1339)
• United States
6 Feb 07
I always tip at least 15 - 20% depending on the amount of the bill and the quality of the service. I've been known to give a $7 tip on a $20 bill, so it just depends.
1 person likes this
@astromama (1226)
• United States
6 Feb 07
That's great for a restaurant! Sometimes I think my waiter is just the sweetest, most helpful person and I want to tip them as much as I can afford. Other times I feel neglected and tip the minimum, but I'd never stiff anybody. What about coffee, though? Do you always tip for coffee? And how much is appropriate?
• Canada
6 Feb 07
for me it depends on how much money have on me, usually i use my debit card, so if i go sumwhere i might only put a dollar, i might put 3, other tymes i wont put ne thing there, it depends on wat i got at the tyme!
1 person likes this
@astromama (1226)
• United States
6 Feb 07
thanks for your answer... for some reason i feel guilty not writing in at least a dollar, but that's just me! I think I got into the habit of tipping a lot for coffee in the last city I lived in because the boys that worked there thought I was attractive and never charged me for anything.. so I'd end up putting a few bucks in the tip jar. Wrong, I'm sure... but you can't force someone to ring you up, can you?
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
6 Feb 07
For me, being English and believing tipping is a reward, i tip 10 percent if service is exceptional, if it isnt, i leave nothing. I firmly believe that an individual has earned their wage, then the person making the profit should be paying them, if they are not of value to the employer, then they are worth no more to me. After saying this, I will leave a token reward for someone if service has been first rate
@astromama (1226)
• United States
6 Feb 07
well, here in the U.S. where a 'living wage' is $10 an hour, waiters only make $2 an hour in most states, so your 'firm belief' that they have earned their wage is untrue... they earn their wage from the customer off tips. Waiters are seen almost as independant contractors. They have to pay taxes not on their actual earnings, but on estimated earnings... so if you don't tip them, and they still have to pay taxes on what you SHOULD have tipped them, they work for nothing. And they are of great value to the employer, a good waiter is hard to find... the customs are different here, and it is standard to tip for service you recieve... but at least I now understand why English people tip so lousily when they are visiting the States! And I'll bet American travellers tip far better when in Europe... it's the custom here.
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
6 Feb 07
if a good waiter was really that hard to find, wouldnt the rate of pay rise by the logic of market forces? or maybe not. Isnt tipping simply the way the employer gets away without paying a living wage? Certainly looks that way by the pay figures you quote
@astromama (1226)
• United States
6 Feb 07
I think in part it has something to do with employer's not paying enough, but you have to realize the service industry's wages have remained unchanged while other groups of workers have unionized and demanded better pay. There will always be students and starving artists that wait tables, but a truly great waiter is a rare find. Trust me, there is an art to it.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Feb 07
I only tip a couple dollars. I know the waiters and waitresses work hard, but the food's already expensive enough.
@astromama (1226)
• United States
6 Feb 07
True, but you wouldn't hire someone to do a job and not pay them accordingly, and walking into a restaurant is the same thing. These people anticipate if they do a good job, they will make X amount of dollars... at least 15% of the order you purchase. In my opinion, if you can't afford the service, you shouldn't be eating at a restaurant... it's a package deal... Or, you should factor in the tip before you order, so if your dinner budget is 25 dollars, you spend 20 on the food and leave 5 for the tip.