How Much Should You Tip?

tippingLet me begin here by saying that I hate tipping. Having lived 10 years in Japan where there is absolutely no tipping for anything, every time I come back to the US I cringe at the thought of having to figure out how much I should tip and who I should tip.

I could take the approach of one of my friends that simply refuses to tip. She takes the philosophy that you are paying for the service and that is all you need to pay (note: she was a waitress for a long time). I know, however, that many industries underpay their staff with the knowledge that tips should make up for that so I’m not sure that refusing to tip is a solution that I want to take.

Doing a bit of research on tipping came up with some interesting numbers. A recent survey from, not surprisingly, shows that waiters and waitresses earn more than half their income from tips. You may be surprised, however, at how much tips account for a variety of professions:

  • Tips account for about 81% of a casino dealer’s income and on average will boost it from $7.55 an hour to $40.20 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 67% of a manicurist’s income and on average will boost it from $11.70 an hour to $32.70 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 52% of a hotel room service clerk’s income and on average will boost it from $5.48 an hour to $11.91 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 45% of a bellhop’s income and on average will boost it from $9.13 an hour to $16.83 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 43% of a hotel desk staff’s income and on average will boost it from $14.87 an hour to $22.44 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 42% of a hair stylist’s income and on average will boost it from $13.95 an hour to $24.00 an hour. (hair stylists also have the opportunity to earn more with commissions on sales)
  • Tips account for about 41.5% of a rabbi’s income and on average will boost it from $43.27 an hour to $74.00 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 37% of a bellhop supervisor’s income and on average will boost it from $8.50 an hour to $13.50 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 31% of a chauffeur’s income and on average will boost it from $11.47 an hour to $16.78 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 23% of a ministry pastor’s income and on average will boost it from $21.62 an hour to $28.18 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 22% of a esthetician’s income and on average will boost it from $15.00 an hour to $19.25 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 21% of a barber’s income and on average will boost it from $12.95 an hour to $16.50 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 21% of a Barista’s income and on average will boost it from $8.12 an hour to $10.35 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 19% of a massage therapist’s income and on average will boost it from $33.00 an hour to $41.00 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 16% of a baby sitter’s income and on average will boost it from $6.52 an hour to $7.77 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 16% of a casino change booth cashier’s income and on average will boost it from $12.31 an hour to $14.73 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 10% of a dog groomer’s income and on average will boost it from $11.73 an hour to $13.15 an hour.
  • Tips account for about 5% of a nanny’s income and on average will boost it from $10.54 an hour to $11.09 an hour.

Knowing that these workers in the service industry rely a great deal on their tips for their income, the question still is how much should you actually tip? While ultimately you have to use your own judgement, this is what PayScale recommends:

Nannies, Babysitters, Maids, Yard Workers, etc

Consider giving the pay for one week, day or evening of work or simply give an extra generous tip. For live-in help, a month’s pay plus a small gift is appropriate

Barbers, Hairstylists, Massage therapists, etc

Consider giving the cost of one service or simply tipping a little more around the holidays.

Teachers, Sports Coaches, Nursing Home Employees etc

Small gifts like cookies, candles and decorative soap can go a long way and anything too impressive might be misunderstood as a bribe. A great gift for a teacher is a gift card for buying classroom supplies.

Letter Carrier, Garbage Collector, Package Deliverer, etc

Depending on how frequently you use a service, choosing a number between $10 and $30 that feels right is always a safe bet.

Casino Dealers, Hotel Staff, Luxury Cruise Staff, Valet Parking, etc

For parking and services, anywhere from $5 to $20 can be appropriate based on the environment. For betting, place a bet for the dealer about once an hour and let them “ride your coattails.” You’ll also want to give the casino cashier a percentage of your winnings.

Religious Leaders

Known as an honorarium rather than a tip, there is no specific range set as to how you should give gifts to religious leaders. You might want to find out if there are specific expectations in your congregation, ask others what they’re giving or just give what feels right to you. You can also give donations to a favorite organization or charity in place of cash.

As with most things concerning money, it’s best to come up with a system you feel comfortable with well before the situation arises. If you don’t have a plan ahead of time, you will likely end up giving more or less than you intended due to having to make a decision at the spur of the moment. Having a plan also will mean you won’t be second guessing about the tip you made hours after it was given.

While I truly wish the US would adopt a Japanese style system where tips are included in all service rendered, it isn’t going to happen. I guess that means I need to start laying out my tipping strategy. Anyone have one I can borrow?

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138 Responses to How Much Should You Tip?

  1. SCapitalist says:

    I believe a tip of 10-20% is in order IF you have recieved good service. Bad service should NEVER recieve a tip in my opinion. Tipping is benificial for both parties. The service person recieves a much needed boost in income for a job well done. The tipper is remembered by the service person, thereby recieving better, more prompt service in the future.

    I was a pizza delivery boy in high school. There was one customer that lived WAY out in the middle of nowhere. The first time I went there I was a little irritated, due to the drive. However, he gave me a $20 for an $11 pizza and told me to keep the change. This man ordered a pizza every Thusday night. Needless to say, his pizza was ALWAYS there in thirty minutes or less!

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  3. SteveS says:

    In the most states server (waiter)gets paid between 2 and 5 dollars/hr. This minimal hourly pay gets taxed to literally nothing when the server reports his take home pay, therefore, 99% of a servers income is based on tips.

    Don’t be cheap, and if you stiff a server (10% is considered a horrible tip by servers) and you revisit that restaurant in the future, have a good look at your food before you eat it. 15% is the minimum.

    Is it really going to break the bank to pay a couple of extra dollars? If you don’t want to tip, cook at home eat fast food.

  4. SteveS says:

    Or move to Japan!!!

  5. While I like the idea of no tipping in the US, I don’t think it would ever work. You were in Japan for 10 years, so I’m sure you would understand when I say this. Imagine if there was absolutely no tipping in the US. Do you think the service would be better or worse? I feel that Japanese culture is inherently more hospitable than the US (except maybe in the good ole’ South!), and that’s why no tipping works – for now at least. Americans like to pay and get paid for actual results. If that financial incentive isn’t there, neither will the result. Of course I may be biased 😉

  6. Andy says:

    I wonder where they get these figures from. I used to be a casino dealer in Las Vegas and I didn’t make anywhere near the money they’re stating. Also, I think the tip ratio of income was more like 60-70%. I’m guessing this information must have been collected only at the most upscale casinos.

  7. fractalbrothers says:

    Personally, I think tips are good, but just like so many other things here in the US, it has gotten way out of hand. Some people will get downright angry if you don’t tip, even if their service sucked. I think wages should be higher for waiters/waitresses, and a tip should only be given if the service was excellent. I also really hate when they add gratuity automatically. What if I didn’t want to tip? What if I wanted to tip more? too bad. Why not just make the meal more expensive in this case and skip the whole tipping charade?

  8. Mike says:

    $5 for valet? Damn!

  9. Steven L says:

    I like the idea of tipping for good service. In our culture people are rewarded when they do good (or look good). So some incentive to do a good job helps.

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  11. This article would’ve been a lot more readable if you just had a table instead of all of those bullet points. I’m sure there’s some interesting data there, but after wading through the first few I just skipped it.

  12. Taylor says:

    Okay here’s the deal. i’ve been a server for about 4 years now. Pretty much SteveS is correct about our hourly wage. It’s pretty much nil once tax is deducted and so tip pretty much becomes our “wage”. And the sad thing is alot of people don’t understand/know it fully so they end up tipping bad or the worse sin possible: nothing at all. If anything i blame the government for coming up with such a stupid system.
    We should just have a set hourly wage but then the issue with service comes up yada yada… long story short:

    You should tip 15% even if they give you bad service! why? I guarantee you that majority of servers out there only end up giving bad service because it was either VERY BUSY(if you have to wait 30 min to be seated don’t think they are gonna be able to bring out the special sauce you want in record speed. he prolly has 6 other tables asking him different things!) or they probably had BAD LUCK (for instance they forgot to put in one of your orders. c’mon. it happens to everyone as no one is perfect). I’m sure they weren’t trying to purposely give you bad service for the simple fact that every server WANTS good tip.
    And if they give you GREAT service tip them 18-20%. Don’t be cheap now. Your the one who CHOSE to eat out remember? What goes around comes around. That’s the golden rule.

    And one last thing: if something bad happens, say your food tasted not that great or got cooked wrong. DON’T PUNISH THE SERVER FOR IT! A server is like a mediator between the customer and the chef/restaurant. A chef makes a mistake and still gets to count every cent of his hourly wage while the server get’s zero tip cuz the customer feels unhappy even though he/she gave excellent service (ie refills, fulfilling requests, in other words: his duties). I can understand the anger but don’t take it out on the server for christ’s sake. if anything you SHOULD always leave HAPPY because if something did go wrong it’s the management’s duty to make up for it (say either re-cooking your mis-cooked steak or offering a free desert) if not it’s the management’s fault and not the server!

  13. Kayte says:

    Yay go Taylor and SteveS.
    I have been a waitress for 6 years and I have worked at places where we only got $2.35per hour then tips. But after we report our tips I usually got about $1 per hour on my checks. Yes, there are days were I can make $10-15 an hour because we are busy, but on a slow night, or ESPECIALLY if I am working a buffet then I only get about $6. Also, if there is a bad night and I walk out of the restaurant with $2 for working 3 hours…it doesn’t matter, because they say that I will make up for it another night. If I get a few bad nights in a row, the same reply! It’s ridiculous! But I just have to think of the good nights. So tip your servers! It’s what we live on, it’s how we pay the bills. I don’t like that the government makes it that way…but it’s the sad truth.

  14. john says:

    Tips account for about 81% of a casino dealer’s income and on average will boost it from $7.55 an hour to $40.20 an hour.

    WHAT?! LOL, I must be working in the wrong casino. Knowing just how off these numbers are makes me wonder about the validity of the rest of the article.

  15. Ted says:

    I know this is not going to be a very popular opinion here but I am trying to be very honest with the folks here. I am sick and tried of tipping. If you have TAKEN a job where your hourly wages are low, and then please, find a job that doesn’t depend on the customer paying addition money for you to do the job you have been hired to do. Yes, I do think waitress and waiters are unpaid, no doubt about it. But to depend on the customer to provide you with addition dollars added to the bill is really a crazy idea. Depending on where I chose to eat, the price of the meal dictates the service. The higher the cost of the meal, the better service is what I should be getting. I do leave a tip, if I happy with the meal and the service, but I will never go back if the service or the meal is below par.

    Just where does the tipping end? Should you tip the clerk at the store for carrying your bags out to your car? Do you tip the tow truck driver for coming out to towing your car? Do you tip your child’s school teacher who deals with your son or daughter all day? They don’t get paid as much as they should….Their a lot of folks who provide services to you and the idea of tipping never enters into the picture.

    I am open for any ideas, please be kind, I am only sharing the thoughts of a person who doesn’t work in the food industry.

  16. KM says:

    I have to agree with Ted. Really, if you don’t like the wage, find a job that pays better. The reality of the situation is, we don’t live in a Socialist country. Period.

    I worked as a bartender. I had good nights and bad nights. Generous customers and cheapies. But I never felt that any customer was obligated to pay me. And I don’t feel obligated to tip when I’m out on the town. I’m not going to let a server walk all over me and then reward them for it. (The only reason I have for not tipping is the server’s attitude.) But I’m definitely overly generous if I’m treated well. And 90% of the time I’m treated well.

    I used to bartend with a girl who was so surly. She bitched about her job all night long. She bitched about the customers all night long. Sadly, she was one of those “I deserve 15%-ers”. Man, she sucked. I don’t think she ever got that it was her personality–not the customer’s–that cost her a nice tip.

  17. cls says:

    I would rather just have the tip added to my bill then have to worry about calculating and deciding what the tip should be. Makes things simple.

    I find sometimes I am in a situation where I I have to give a tip unexpectedly. Well, I’m sorry but I don’t carry cash. Like ever! So sorry to the valet at a restaurant that I didn’t ever anticipate having valet parking. And sorry to the check out girl too. (Yes I am from the country. Valet and coat checker is rare)

    I don’t agree with tipping a massage therapist. They are professionals. So they should act like them. Charge the bill you want to be paid for. I don’t tip my lawyer or doctor or accountant.

    Tipping I dont mind overall. In a restaurant it is expected. But my goodness going out to eat these days is already pricey. Getting te bill and ten adding 20% tip is sometimes painful. Sometimes I order pick-up just to avoid the tipping so I can afford to eat out.

    The tipping I do mind is when I travel in the USA (live in canada). When people know you are on vacation they act like leaches trying to get tips. Its just painfully annoying. I am a young strong woman I don’t need help with every little thing.

    Again, overall I understand the need to tip. A lot of people really need that money. And I will do so as expected. But my goodness it seems too many people have there hand in my pocket.

  18. mtnmedic says:

    I HATE tipping for service that I already paid for. Hey, I’m a private ambulance Paramedic…been one for 25 years and, after all those years in the business and with over 3 years of schooling, I make $14.50 an hour. Accepting tips is my industry isn’t acceptable unless it’s one of those pre-arranged privately paid transports from, say, a hospital to a home. But, to be clear, I haven’t gotten a tip and I don’t expect a tip, either. WHY should someone pay me a tip for service they expect to get for what they paid? My responsibilities, risks, long hours (sleepless 24 hour shifts), dangers, standards to uphold FAR FAR FAR outweigh those of the workers listed in this blog who DO get tips. Yeah I only make a tiny fraction of what my counterparts in the fire departments make (I’m hearing impaired so I don’t qualify for civil service) for doing the same thing they do in the field. Do I expect a tip? NO. A lot of these people in other service industries shouldn’t have to expect a tip. Why? MOST of them can come right off the street to work after a few days’ worth of orientation, etc. WE have to attend school for up to 2-3 years, THEN pass a slew of tests to simply get a license and THEN pay for, go through a SECOND internship process and then take tests to satisfy the local county governments for licensure in their areas JUST TO FREAKIN’ GO TO WORK! And the very second we do something wrong, we face the possibility of having our license suspended or revoked…which would effectively end our livelihood.

    I believe people should tip if only they feel they should because they got exceptional service. GOOD WORKERS SHOULD NEVER EXPECT A TIP. I go out of my way to make people comfortable and ensure their safety at their worst time of need and often it’s above and beyond what most people would want to do. But I don’t expect a tip, even if it would boost my wages to near what I SHOULD be making.

    I agree with the blogger…the U.S. should adopt the Japanese standard: if it’s expected we tip practically everyone, then let’s include a standard-industry specific-amount into the cost of those services so that the workers get a little more wages. It’s a simple as that. If you’re going to obligate people, do it in the cost, not by browbeating them.

    I stopped going to supercuts for haircuts because they’d always put me on the spot about adding a tip. If I’m wearing my uniform (going off duty for example), I have no choice but to smile and give them a good tip otherwise it makes our company look bad.

    While I agree that waitresses, bellboys, car washers, pizza delivery persons, massueses, etc. all work hard, they DO get a wage from their employer, although pretty crappy at times. Hey, my wages are pretty crappy but that’s the way it all crumbles down. Do you hear ME whining about not getting tips???

  19. Neji says:

    Well said mtnmedic. I’ve always felt that a person working in the service industry should NOT in any situation expect to be tipped. The idea behind tipping is that it is a bonus, not something that should be given because someone is not getting paid enough to do their job. People argue that if you tip the server, your next service will be better, but why should I tip for something that isn’t on par in the first place? Surely you need to have ‘earned’ the tip? Even then, should you drop your service level just because you didn’t get tipped?

    I understand that the minimum wage in the US is ridiculously low, It would be nice to see some restaurant owners take a step in the right direction and pay their staff more, instead of trying to force the customer to pay extra for something they may not even get, good service.

  20. Notacheapie says:

    OK, first of all, I’m not a bartender, server, dealer, or anything else. But consider the reasoning behind it. Many of these people aren’t making serving their career, it isnt a life choice they decided to make. Many are working their way through college, and wont be serving for ever, who couldn’t have used a couple extra bucks in college. Secondly, if you want to establish a relatioship with someone, this is an excellent way. You tip and you are the next served, ,food is always out quickly, always well done. My hair stylist loves me because i throw her a couple extra bucks. Listen, I am no millionaire, but I certainly can afford 3 dollars on a 17 dollar tab. if you are bent out of shape for those three dollars, maybe YOU should get a new job where you have a little more flexibility to help someone else out. Tipping is important, it shows respect, and appreciation.

  21. Pedro Talavera says:

    Does anyone know why people don’t tipp mechanics? Most don’t. Is it because they think we make a lot of money?
    Most of us don’t…

  22. Waitress says:

    I have to disagree with Ted and KM because I used to work as a waitress for 8 yrs when I was in college, and I know how hard the waitresses and waiters have to work to make a living. A lot of people do not have many choices to select a certain kind of jobs they want to work, but they have to work around their schedules and take whatever jobs are available to them. In most of the restaurants, waiter and waitress have to tips the busboy, bartender, food runners, and even dishwashers and kitchen helpers. One of the worst place to work for is working in Japanese restaurants, the management makes us have to pool tips, and they make us tip the bartender base on 10% of the total food and alcohol sale, 15% to the bus boy, 5% to dishwashers and kitchen helpers, and whatever left divide between the rest of the waitresses. But when the customers sit at the sushi bar, the sushi chefs allows keeping 80% of the tips and the waitresses only have 20% of the tips from sushi bar. Waitresses do not have much left to take home, and on top of that we have to pay taxes so my pay check for every week is zero or if I am lucky to have $10.00 on the paycheck. That’s how bad it is. Most of the time, the bartender doesn’t even care to make my customer’s drinks even though I was waiting for him, he does not care my customers get mad or not, he always makes his customers’ drinks first because they sit at the bar and he will get more tips from them and let me and other waitresses waiting in line to get drinks from the bar. No matter what he still gets his cut at the end of the night. Chefs in Hibachi restaurants get half of the tips belong to waitresses, and yet the waitresses have to pay the busboy and kitchen helpers again. I am not sure is that legal or not giving half of the tips to chefs and they don’t even claim tax on that tips that they get. Now, I have a professional job, but I would never forget these old days. As a result, I always leave the waitress at least 18% to 25% tip in a buffet restaurant. The other day, I had such a rude and classless waitress in a Ryan restaurant, I was really upset due to her attitude and extremely crappy services, she though that I wouldn’t give her a tip due to my outfit and my nationality, but I still left her 20% tip. I know how she feel if I didn’t leave her any tips. I tried to tell myself that she had a bad day and she does not have an easy job. I think if you had worked in the restaurant industry, you will understand and sympathy for people who have the same job. However, I probably will never come back to that restaurant again.

    In addition, I don’t think people should tip the massage therapist at all because they charge $60.00 for an hour, and yet they still want tips tips tips. The government should make a law that the employees do not allow receiving tip if they are making minimum wage per hour. It’s annoying me that tip jars are all over the place these days, you go to star buck buy a cup of coffee, and pay $4.00, and you still have to tip? It’s ridiculous and I hate to see that people are trying to take advantage to each other. In addition, my boyfriend and I went on a trolley in Savanna and it cost us $46.00 for both, and yet the drivers are expecting tip as well whenever we get off a stop in a historic town. What the heck is really going on? The tipping things are getting ridiculous.

  23. Pedro Talavera says:

    Waitress. That was very classy of you to leave a tip to the nasty waitress. I did the same when I went to a cafeteria the other day here in Miami. I was dirty from working, all the other patrons were nice and clean men. The young waitreses were nice to them and nasty to my friend and me. I still left a 20% tip.

  24. C says:

    I feel that tipping is one’s choice. People say ‘A few dollars won’t kill you” because the other person doesn’t make much, but what about the customer?? what if they don’t have that much money either? i mean, we’re already buying overpriced food to begin with, i don’t feel i HAVE to give a tip, or if i do give a small tip it should be appreciated because i didn’t HAVE to leave anything. I”M NOT RICH EITHER!!

  25. Pedro Talavera says:

    Yes food is expensive. But the reason is restaurants and many other busineses are paying very high rent. So the ones really taking all the money are the landlords.
    If you don’t really have much money, stay home and buy some groceries and cook at home. You should not expend money eating out then.

  26. Pedro Talavera says:

    This an article I wrote.

    I have been working in automobiles for about 30 years. In that time I have seen the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to automotive things and tipping. Tipping seems to be something that creates stress and insecurity on humans. But it is mostly because people prefer to ignore the facts than to humble them selves and research the subject.

    Money represents many things to different people. Some service providers rely on tips to survive, others can do with out them finely. But I stress the point that a tip is not only the value as money but a gesture. A smile or a hand shake followed by a tip has much more meaning to a person.
    Doing research about this subject I found that the internet has little or close to nothing about it (tipping mechanics). The reasons why people don’t tip auto mechanics in my opinion are varied.
    People argue that mechanics make very high amounts of money. Not so. Only a very few mechanics get paid properly. The tools and training mechanics need to be able to be professionals are paid usually by themselves. So why should you be responsible for that? You aren’t, a tip is a gesture. It is not expected but welcomed. If you are wealthy I say to you, be generous. The money you save is not going to do any good sitting in the bank.

    Will a service provider be offended if you offer them a tip?

    I am a mobile mechanic and shop owner, I have never gotten offended because someone wanted to show me their appreciation.
    I read that in Europe in some countries tipping is not really practiced. If so, the tip is included on the bill.
    To me a tip besides the monetary value has a deeper meaning. When it is given along a smile or a hand shake does wonders for your soul.

    Mechanics don’t actually rely on tips to support their families, but some will probably be very happy when you tip them. They are indeed welcomed.

    So what is considered adequate when tipping your mechanic?

    I suggest this. If you are tipping a mechanic on a shop, 5% of the total bill before taxes, if it is a mobile mechanic around 8 to 10% of the bill (consider the convenience of someone coming to you), If the mechanic is also the shop owner then it is a little bit more tricky. Yes he/she makes “all

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  28. jnern says:

    Speaking as a special educator – NO MORE CANDLES. Give me a spa gift certificate anyday – I promise I will not see it as a bribe. A gift card for the classroom? Are you crazy?

  29. Jacqueline says:

    How much do you tip household movers?

  30. exbarman says:

    I must say, I have never understood why people flatly refuse to tip based on the fact that they feel pressured by Society (not the government, people! The government only cares about tips when it comes to tax season!). Anyone ever watch Resevoir Dogs? That first scene is Classic! “I expect the waitress to fill my coffee cup 6 times” = Perfect. I was a bartender for 7 years, worked at 3 very high end restaurants, had to take multiple tests based on the massive amounts of information necessary to truly do your job WELL (!), and was rewarded by regular guests that appreciated everything that I was able to provide them! Bartenders are therapists, confidants, and friends as well as drink experts and joke tellers (or at least the good ones are). Sadly, we have become accustomed to terrible service, and now accept it as being normal; bottom line, I expected tips because I knew that my guests were very happy when they left the restaurant, that my service was up to MY expectations, and that if I didnt get a tip from a guest that was just cheap, well… I still did my job to my exacting specifications. If you don’t tip as a rule, try a little experiment: Go to a restaurant/diner/bar where you normally go, and find your regular server; tip them BEFORE the meal, and see if you get better service. If you don’t, well, they suck at their job and are just praying for something better to come along. If the service is better, maybe, just maybe, the tip makes a difference! Make someones day, tip them well, see how the karma works for you =) I am not in the bar business anymore, as the work hours aren’t exactly family oriented, but I tip heavily and often (maybe try an “over-tipping” policy??), and I will often tip the individual directly, telling them to put it in their pocket.
    Do some good for your fellow humans! =)

  31. Lilly says:

    Well mtn medic, I do hear you complaining about not getting tips, in fact thats what your entire rant was about! I am in school to be a massage therapist, and I will never expect to get tipped, but as for the lower paid people than what you are getting, why not? Giving a couple extra bucks never hurt anyone, and you never know, you might have helped your waitress feed her children that night, or make that couple extra dollars she needed for her tuition payment for college. I think that peoples driving force in life needs to stop being money and start being people.

  32. Jane LaRue says:

    servers/waitress get paid about 4.28 an hour by the place they work. They depend on their tips to make enough to live. If a server/waitress gives good service then tip them well. 15% would be okay for good service but more if you are really demanding. My daughter is a waitress she received 56 cents on a $7.00 drink. At least give a dollar. At the end of the night she has to tip-out the bartender and the person who cleans the tables. So your waitress needs the tip. Also certain groups of people tend not to tip hardly at all and that is why some people don’t like to wait on them. From her experience many black people don’t tip or tip very little, not all of them but alot don’t even leave 10% yet run the waitress ragged. People should tip for good service. Thankyou

  33. Brandon says:

    Well, I think the TIP thing is out of hand. First off I tip 20% and probably less or no tip for bad service. I do it to be nice but hope to get quick and good service. Usually a regular place I goto.Otherwise I am low tip person. I hit up a lot of high end places too in Dallas. Now my parents stick to the 10%-15%. After working in a real job I realize those people living on tips make too much money for what they do. I know hard working people making only $10 hr for the rest of there life. Where there is bartenders in Applebee’s making $20-30. I say good for them but it makes it hard for the average person to go out. BTW I am working toward a accounting degree. With gas price unless tip demand goes down you will see the industry hurt more and more. Wages are not going up for real 9-5 workers.

  34. Schwamie says:

    While I am neither for or against tipping, I can state that I too lived in Japan for six years. While tipping doesn’t exist, there is a service charge that is built into the tab at most restaurants. This means that you are paying a tip if the service is good or not. That was something that I was VERY much against (and still am).

  35. Michalyn says:

    I’m not originally from the US and while I usually tip I hate doing it. I don’t understand why I can’t just pay the true cost of the meal/service/etc including the true cost of the server’s labor. Part of me suspects that a lot less people would take jobs as servers if there was a standard wage. High risk = high reward. Sure no one is getting rich off being a waiter or a waitress but overall I think it balances out well enough that people want to do it. Otherwise they’d take other jobs.

  36. Giving tips should depend only on your satisfaction and delight which you get in many ways i.e
    – service of the waiter
    -behavior of the waiter
    -tone in which the waiter is dealing with you etc.
    It should not depend upon the whims of the waiters.If you feel delighted by their service then you can pay as much you want but giving tips should not depend upon the discretion of waitors

  37. Charlie says:

    Even as a server, I do think some of the tipping hype is out of hand. However, I do think those that are generally paid minimum wage should be tipped for their services.

    In a restaurant, servers are typically required to pay tax on 8% of their sales and tip out anywhere from 2 to 5% of their sales to other employees. So if you don’t tip AT LEAST 10%, your server is actually LOSING money by having you as a customer.

    Some of you say you don’t tip if the service was bad. My question is: what constitutes “bad” service? It’s a pretty vague term. Are you sure it was the server who sucked? Or did their grandma die last week and they’re having a rough day? Or were they managing twelve tables at once because they were busy and shorthanded? Should they let you know ahead of time if they are short-staffed? Most customers don’t like it when we do this because they think we’re trying to make excuses.

    Restaurant work is some of the most demanding work you can do without a degree. Waiting on 4, 8, or 12 tables at once may not sound difficult, but I assure you, it is. And when you don’t tip or tip very poorly, your server WILL remember you and the next time, they won’t go out of their way to pay extra attention to you because they know they’re basically paying to have you sit there.

    So what do we think you should tip? Well, it really does depend. I would say if the service royally sucked, tip 10%. Remember, any less actually loses money for the server. And while you may like that idea, no one arbitrarily removes money from your paycheck just because you had a rough day.

    If the service was average, tip 15%. By average, I mean you got what you expected, but nothing more.

    If the service was good, tip 20%. By good, I mean your server was at your beck and call with anything you needed at any time.

    Now, if you have a server that blows your mind with how excellent and friendly they are, 20% is the minimum.

    As an average, I make about 21% of my sales in tips, so I must be doing something right!

    There are a couple of other rules, too…

    Don’t ever leave less than one dollar, even if you only had a $2.45 glass of pop. Less than $1 is rude–especially if you’ve taken up a table for 45 minutes drinking that pop.

    If you want to signal excellent service but don’t want to tip more than 20%, leave your 20% (rounded) and two pennies. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know. I just know that’s what it means.

    Last but not least, like some others have said, if you cannot afford to tip your server, you cannot afford to eat out. Period. Like it or not, they do depend on tips for income. Why knowingly punish them?

  38. Alexis says:

    I am a server and I make sure and do my best everytime I wait on a table. I am in charge of the whole restaurant which equals 11 tables. It really bothers me when I extend my hospitality and friendliness and then I don’t get a tip. I only make $4.00 an hour and people don’t seem to realize that. Generally 15% for lunch and 20% for dinner is the customary percent for tipping. And yes I do remember you if you tip me well, and I will go out of my way to make your experience the best. I’ll charge you for water instead of a soda, I’ll give you free chips and salsa. We both win in this situation. So please be generous and tip your server well. They will greatly appreciate it.

  39. Ruthie says:

    I think the worst thing I’ve read on here is how some of you guys said that you do to-go just so you can afford to eat out. Got news for you, even the to-go gets paid based on the idea that you’ll tip. And the worst part is for me, I can’t pay my bills because no one is tipping me.

    I hate it when people say, go get a better job if you don’t like your wage…. um hey we take what’s available. If I didn’t have to work at a resturant, I wouldn’t. The hours suck, you have no life, its draining, and ect. At least I’m in school so I don’t have to do that the rest of my life. But I feel bad for those who make it their living. And so should everyone else. So help everyone out. Help stimulate our economy and spend your money and TIP!

  40. Marcia says:

    I’m one of those people who resent giving tips, just because I’m supposed to tip!
    Give me smiles and very good service, then I’m pleased to tip.
    Why is it my responsibility that the waiter and mail carrier and clergy have taken a job that depends on tips?
    I’m employed for a salary that has been set in stone for 4 yrs and the owner says he will never raise salaries. We received a bonus 2 yrs in a row. Not this year, not even a holiday gift.
    And I’m supposed to tip someone or be considered cheap? Give me a break!

  41. Mary says:

    I agree with what Charlie said. I work as a server, it’s not because I’m stupid,I has to do with my schedule. I have children and I go to school full time. Tipping should be thought of as part of your bill. I work at a dinerm my section has 22 tables. Guess what? If I fill up unexpectedly, I am attending to the needs of over 80 people at once. If any of you non-tippers think you can handle that- get your sneakers and fill in for me on a Friday when the bars let out. My job is hard- tips, having cash everyday is the reward. I have nights I walk out with 20 bucks, and nights where I make over 25 an hour. That depends on you guys, wheather you think that sucks or not- it’s the truth.

  42. Heather says:

    I work in the restaurant industry..and worked fast food for 6 1/2 years for McDonalds…one of the best things that ever happened was McTeacher night.. you have all of these teachers who come in and work in the store with you who have usually never worked this type of job before and I would get so many comments of, “I will never get angry at a fast food place again” they don’t realize how hard the work is…so my thought is everyone should try working in this industry just once so they can see what really goes on behind the scenes and the type of money you bring in maybe then they will appreciate us more and tip better!

  43. Pelu says:

    No ever tipped me when I had a job… needless to say what I do….

  44. stillaserver says:

    Although I do not believe that bad service deserves to be rewarded, please realize that .08 of every $1.00 you spend on a meal, is considered income by the federal government

  45. Waitress says:

    i am a server andi will tell you all of my income is based off my tips I DO NOT GET PAID it is very wrong not to tip you dont know what the job is like until you have worked it, and p.s gratuity is added because even though you may tip us well, other may not and it is ensuring our income based on that table. We add gratuity to larger parties and we deserve it, you put a lot of time into a big party and you lose out on taking other tables and making more money, all it all dont be cheap and tip well, we work hard!!

  46. Tipurwaiter says:

    If you go out to eat, you should leave a tip for your server. No, you don’t tip everyone you come across in every industry (those comments are pretty sarcastic.) However tipping your waiter/waitress is common knowledge in my opinion. How much, well that’s up to you/the service. For the person up top who commented on gratuity being added to the check and said “what if I wanted to tip more?” Duh, add the cash on top of the check. Really people. Also, for those of you who think that people took the job for minimum wage so if they don’t like it they should get another job/wage. If that happens you’ll be ordering at the counter and taking a number to wait for your filet mignon. Haha!

  47. Bayley Rose says:

    There are times when I don’t feel like a tip is in order, but I will usually leave something, anyway. I always think that maybe someone is just having a bad day, Or that if they get a tip even though their service wasn’t up to par, it might just make him/her rethink the lousy attitude. But, most of the time, I tip a waitress/waiter 20%. I’ve worked in the food industry and know how difficult it can be. And, I rarely get what I would consider to be bad service.
    Two things I hate when it comes to tipping: 1) When someone in my party tries to tell me I”m leaving too much. It’s my choice, and I hate it when someone argues with me.
    2) When a generous tip isn’t acknowledged. I recently left a $7 tip on a $13 bill (a 54% tip) and the waitress never said a word. Up until then, I was impressed with how well she did her job, and how great her attitude was.

  48. Courtney says:

    Here’s the deal:

    The reality is most servers do not make enough hourly wages to pay for anything. period. I am a server who makes $2.13/hour. All of my paychecks really do say “$0.00” because every red cent goes to taxes.

    Several of you have said, “If you don’t like working in an industry where you rely on tips rather than hourly wages for your income, then don’t work that job.” Believe me, I don’t want to. I work in this industry not by choice but because it is all I have available to me. Other full time jobs will not work around a full-time school schedule (that

  49. Wendy says:

    You failed to mention servers in any of the information given and the state that I reside only pays their servers and average of 2.50 an hour so they really depend on tips to make a living. I propose at least 20% for good and raise it from there dependent upon the enviroment but more so the quality of your service. Food service is one of the most difficult aspects of the service industry.

  50. Cardshark says:

    I work as a card dealer in a casino and personally I dont agree with their tipping strategy. Customers placing bets for you, while being a nice gesture, is mostly pointless. Most dealers prefer to just get the money than have a chance to win double the ammount. There is a reason we stand on the house side of the table, its usually the winning side so tips that are made as bets don’t generally make it to my paycheck. I recomend giving the dealer between 10 and 20% of a single bet per hour, but if you really want to gamble with it bet a lower ammount but more frequently.

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