Fair tip percentage for average service at a restaurant?

Zunardo

Well-known member
Given that our current rate of inflation has brought greater Cleveland an $18 burrito plate about 30 years early, maybe that’s been addressed already ? Definitely not at first though. I would imagine that for some, rising meal prices have the opposite effect, unfortunately. That’ll make some wait staff find a regular job, huh ?
Actually, I was looking for a dollar amount. For instance, the federal min wage for non-tipped is $8.55, but I see where McD's or Walmart already are paying $12-$15, even more in some places just get some warm bodies.

I think the tipped minimum is something like $4.25, was curious if any restaurants, at least these higher-end ones, are paying $7-$10 or more?
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Actually, I was looking for a dollar amount. For instance, the federal min wage for non-tipped is $8.55, but I see where McD's or Walmart already are paying $12-$15, even more in some places just get some warm bodies.

I think the tipped minimum is something like $4.25, was curious if any restaurants, at least these higher-end ones, are paying $7-$10 or more?
I have no idea.

I waited tables in a pleated white shirt and black bow tie for $2/hr in the 10-15% era. It no longer looked like a good side job for me once the government decided to start making servers claim at least 8% of what they had served as tip income. Dropped that black leather notepad like a bad habit!!
 

14Red

Well-known member
I have no idea.

I waited tables in a pleated white shirt and black bow tie for $2/hr in the 10-15% era. It no longer looked like a good side job for me once the government decided to start making servers claim at least 8% of what they had served as tip income. Dropped that black leather notepad like a bad habit!!
Our government disincentivizes people by taxing them too much. One of the most needed, least appreciated jobs in America is waiter / waitress at restaurants. I would think you 'd want to encourage people to do those jobs.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Our government disincentivizes people by taxing them too much. One of the most needed, least appreciated jobs in America is waiter / waitress at restaurants. I would think you 'd want to encourage people to do those jobs.
Especially second jobs. I have 0 incentive to improve my station in life. :confused:

A retirement job hourly income for me individually is like a young mom with a decent-earner husband and an OK job potential buying more gas for a second car, insuring it to commute, putting her kids in full-time day care, and taking a receptionist job into the total tax burden. Aside from emergency cash flow if needed, the math makes no sense. Knock yourself out to net little. Not me
 

gneiss rocks

Well-known member
Our government disincentivizes people by taxing them too much. One of the most needed, least appreciated jobs in America is waiter / waitress at restaurants. I would think you 'd want to encourage people to do those jobs.

No plantation owner wants less control or less slaves. They can accomplish both with more taxes/revenue.
 

Eagles74

Active member
I used to start at 15% and go up for there depending on the service. Since Covid, I've been starting at 20%.

We were in Ireland in 2019. They love to see Americans because we all tip. The norm for them is no tipping. It sounds like it's that way in all of Europe.
 

CatAlum

Well-known member
We were in Ireland in 2019. They love to see Americans because we all tip. The norm for them is no tipping. It sounds like it's that way in all of Europe.
And they don’t tip in Ireland (and the rest of Europe) because restaurant and bar workers are paid like “regular” workers here…like a US factory worker, or a bank teller…by the hour, understanding the tips received will be minimal.

I disagree somewhat with your characterization. Most Americans read up on the tipping customs in Ireland and the UK, etc., and don’t tip…or not very much...no doubt we’re tipping more than the Irish natives. I do agree that the Irish love Americans…and we spend a lot of money there.
 
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irish_buffalo

Well-known member
Service has to be awful for me to give 15%. Has to be downright inexcusable for anything less which may have only happened once or twice in my life. I always give 20-25%, especially when someone is hustling. Service might not even be great but as long as they are trying it is good in my book. Gal last night had our party of 7 and never wrote a thing down, checked on us enough to not be overbearing without not coming around enough. Orders were right and food was good. 25% it is.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
I have a niece who was working a Sunday shift at an Elby's. A group of 11 came in after church and she arranged for them to sit together for Brunch. She waited on them by herself and was shocked to find they left her a penny on the table. She saw they were still talking in the parking lot. She ran out and handed the penny to one of them and said "one of you forgot this on the table", then walked back inside.
There are certain cultures in America that believe getting good service from someone making $2.00 an hour is a right and do not tip worth a F. Everyone in the business knows who they are.
 

14Red

Well-known member
There are certain cultures in America that believe getting good service from someone making $2.00 an hour is a right and do not tip worth a F. Everyone in the business knows who they are.
That's great. I think the older generation get tabbed, fairly or unfairly as being bad tippers, and some of it is understandable. I mean many of them probably grew up poor - and this is truly poor, not today's version of the poor. Tipping back then was 10-15% tops. Many who know enough about things know that many of the staff make $2-$3 an hour and rely on tips. I normally observe how busy the place is. If you're making $3 an hour and it's slow, it's a real grind. That's was suprises me that there are still so many restaurants open. How do these places stay in business - and keep any staff?
25% is HUGE,
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
Because 20% is the easiest to calculate in my head using whole dollar amounts, I generally base it off of that. If the service was bad...the lesser full dollar armount (so likely 18-19%) and if it was good...a little higher
 

19AL63

Well-known member
I am old but when I was a young man the average tip was 10% Now they are working to go above the 20% mark. My question is why do we have to have increases in the percentage when the tip is based in the bill for food? Inflation has caused the bill to become much larger so the tip also goes up without an increase in percentage.
 

IVCguy

Well-known member
When I was first married, my wife came home from her waitressing job smelling like grease and cigarette smoke - and worn out. She worked hard. So, I have always had a soft spot for young people doing that job and I was tipping 20% in the mid-80s and if the service stunk, you got 10%. Sometimes its not the server's fault if there is dysfunction in the kitchen.

I'm not sure that a lot of people realize that servers make under min wage and when you don't leave a tip, it really hurts. My son and dau also did it as teens. It was interesting to hear their complaints about who doesn't tip. There is a profile of low or non-tippers that is incredibly accurate. Due to sensitivities, I won't talk about it except for one group - Amish. A group of 20 would come in and leave $1 or nothing. I think it is simply because they were/are ignorant of what the servers are making and that the tip is what allows them to break even or do well.

But most people tip decent and a few tip really, really well. On the whole, most shifts, they did very, very well and that tended to negate the shifts where they worked 6 hours and made 20 bucks. But it didn't negate the complaining! Lol.
 

TroyTrojan05

Well-known member
I will leave a standard or " minimum" of 20%. If they go above and beyond and are great at what they do, I will give them significantly higher like even 50%. They need to make a living just like anyone else.
 

thePITman

Well-known member
Worst service I've ever had =10%
Poor service = 12-13%
Average service = 15% (maybe round up to the nearest $0.10 or $0.50)
Good service = 18%
Best service I've ever had = 20%+

Tip to servers: If the party has a young child (2-6), talk to the child. It wins brownie points with the parents.
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
Tip to servers: If the party has a young child (2-6), talk to the child. It wins brownie points with the parents.
Just remembered Mrs. Z and I taking our son out to a Bob Evans right after he graduated high school. We had a cute waitress about his age, she was very subtly checking him out, and kept refilling his water glass every five minutes.

I believe he got her phone number before we left, but I don't remember tipping her extra for that. 😄
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
Just remembered Mrs. Z and I taking our son out to a Bob Evans right after he graduated high school. We had a cute waitress about his age, she was very subtly checking him out, and kept refilling his water glass every five minutes.

I believe he got her phone number before we left, but I don't remember tipping her extra for that. 😄
He likely gave her the tip later ....
 

thePITman

Well-known member
Just remembered Mrs. Z and I taking our son out to a Bob Evans right after he graduated high school. We had a cute waitress about his age, she was very subtly checking him out, and kept refilling his water glass every five minutes.

I believe he got her phone number before we left, but I don't remember tipping her extra for that. 😄
That reminds me of a funny story. My parents came to visit me in college when I was around 20. My parents took me out to eat at my favorite restaurant (Hound Dogs Pizza in Columbus). They asked if I could tell that our waitress was into me. I denied it; "no way." After she left our table the next time, my parents said, "she's definitely into you." For this next part, I have no clue why I said this, but, her hair was up in a ponytail or bun or something, and I remember telling my parents, "Okay, if she comes back next time with her hair down, I'll believe you." Sure enough, when she came back to our table next time, her hair was down. Shook my world.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Tips go up with inflation. Tipping 10-15% is no longer the standard. Most meals for 2 at a decent place cost about $80, an $8 tip for what is typically an hour or more of a waiter/waitress time is no longer adequate. Double that unless the service is bad.
 
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Zunardo

Well-known member
Tips go up with inflation. Tipping 10-15% is no longer the standard. Most meals for 2 at a decent place cost about $80, an $8 tip for what is typically an hour or more of a waiter/waitress time is no longer adequate. Double that unless the service is bad.
One of these days Yahoo will post an article saying the tipping standard is now 50%. Any day now.
 

thePITman

Well-known member
Tips go up with inflation. Tipping 10-15% is no longer the standard. Most meals for 2 at a decent place cost about $80, an $8 tip for what is typically an hour or more of a waiter/waitress time is no longer adequate. Double that unless the service is bad.
Food prices have gone up with inflation, therefore my 15% is still valid.

And not only is that waiter/waitress getting my $12 on that $80 bill, he/she is also getting $12 from the other 3-4 tables he/she waited during that hour. That's a pretty good "livable wage," if you ask me.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Food prices have gone up with inflation, therefore my 15% is still valid.

And not only is that waiter/waitress getting my $12 on that $80 bill, he/she is also getting $12 from the other 3-4 tables he/she waited during that hour. That's a pretty good "livable wage," if you ask me.

Not really. Restaurants do their best to keep tight margins to be competitively priced. And that’s not how pot tips work
 

Indiandad

Well-known member
Not really. Restaurants do their best to keep tight margins to be competitively priced. And that’s not how pot tips work
Not really....

I ate at a national chain steakhouse this weekend. A Sirloin was $24 a pound with 2 sides. Top Butt Sirloin wholesales for about $3.50 pound right now.

Their margin was extreme.
 

coldshoulder

Active member
Going back 10+ years ago, I would tip between 15 to 20%. Now, I have been blessed to be in a strong financial position despite 2 divorces :oops:, and adjusted my thinking after my father once stated at a restaurant we frequented "They (the server) need the money more than you." So now I always start at 20% and often go as high as 30%.
 

Thavoice

Well-known member
Tips go up with inflation. Tipping 10-15% is no longer the standard. Most meals for 2 at a decent place cost about $80, an $8 tip for what is typically an hour or more of a waiter/waitress time is no longer adequate. Double that unless the service is bad.
80 for decent place? Wtf dude.
 
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