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Thread: Restaurant Tipping Etiquette

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    My girlfriend made reservations two weeks ahead of time at a popular Mexican Restaurant for my birthday. When we got there on time, they had overbooked and asked us to wait 30 minutes or more. There was no waiting area as the restaurant was really crowded and small. We were very disappointed and tried to argue with the hostess.

    As we were heading to another restaurant, we got a phone call from the owner apologizing and offered to provide us with free dinner for the two of us for another day. We obviously accepted. We ended up tipping 75% of what we would have owed, just because the hospitality and the food was great and how great the owner handled the situation.


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    Incase you are wondering, it was not Casa Bonita.

  3. #18

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    My rule is to add 30% to the pre-tax total (the 30% including both tax and tip). It's easy to calculate off the top of my head and works out to 17% before tax/just over 15% after tax. From that, for good service I'll round up and poor service I'll round down. And it's always easy to add more for great service.
    Last edited by CDL.TO; 2012-Jan-26 at 11:33.

  4. #19
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    Default

    ^ ^ ^
    i do the same for similar reasons ... add 30% to the pre-tax total so the 30% includes both tax and tip.

    on a side note:
    went to the Blake House for prix fix dinner during Winterlicious.

    steamed mussels - seasoned just right, good flavour broth
    grilled striplion - described as 8 oz but was definitely less. the same comment from others at our table who orderd the same.
    the regular menu striplion is 10 oz, so i'm guessing they cut those in half and served 5 oz. ordered medium but was abit overcooked, probably due to the thinness


    service was okay - could have been more diligent with the water and bread.
    they asked if you wanted it, but then forgot to bring it
    Last edited by cdr108; 2012-Feb-04 at 20:08.

  5. #20
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    Jan 2012
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    A curious question: Do you tip more if the service was adequate but the meal was exceptional?

    In theory, the tip should only reflect the service but, I won't lie, I've tipped very generously for meals that were excellent even though the server didn't have a direct influence on it.

    I generally won't tip less if the service was good but the food was sub-par.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    I generally won't tip less if the service was good but the food was sub-par.
    I won't tip less either, but indeed I can tip more if the general experience is superior. Once I found myself at Toqué, in Montreal, alone on a Dec. 23 in the evening. They sat me at a table for 2, and I was surrounded by couples celebrating Christmas. I selected the tasting menu and at no time was I rushed or made to feel less important. I was delighted and tipped almost 30%. It was entirely worth it.

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    Excellent service: 20% and up.
    Good: 18-20%
    Standard: 15%
    Bad service: no tip.

    I don't care if it's part of their income. My mum was a waitress and raised 4 kids single-handedly on tips 'cause she was an excellent waitress who worked for those tips (and today she will not give a tip if she felt service was lacking; she's been and done it and knows what it takes to give good service). Just because it's part of their income does not mean I am obligated to tip. A tip is NOT mandatory (as it seems to be perceived). If it's part of their income, they better make sure they provide service that will get them a great tip. Having said that, I usually tip 18-20%. And people's idea of what is 'exellent', 'good', 'standard' and 'bad' differ.

    For the longest time I was tipping on the grand total not the pre-tax total. I shall tip on the pre-tax total from now on.

    If the food was terrible but the service was great, I would give 15%.

    Bad service but good food? No tip. Funny how I consider service more important than the food! Lol.
    Last edited by DTowner; 2012-Feb-06 at 15:01.

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    I think the concept of a "required" tip amount is ridiculous, and it just speaks to the flawed system. The whole restaurant industry is built around the 15% tip, so we have to do it to the extent that wait staff needs to make a fair wage, etc. but it causes all this confusion and this unending debate.
    An ideal system would have the waiter/waitress being paid fairly without tips, and tips would be what I consider their true purpose: a bonus for good service.

    The expectation to still pay 10%-15% extra for mediocre service is just strange to me...

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by a lark View Post

    An ideal system would have the waiter/waitress being paid fairly without tips, and tips would be what I consider their true purpose: a bonus for good service.
    True. That's why tipping is not expected in Australia; wait staff are payed something like 18 or 19 dollars an hour. Here, businesses are cheap (I don't know how expensive it is to run a business in Canada. I've heard it's cheaper in the U.S., but tipping is the same there as it is here) and expect the customer to fork over the extra to raise server salary above minimum wage.

  10. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DTowner View Post
    Excellent service: 20% and up.
    Good: 18-20%
    Standard: 15%
    Bad service: no tip.

    I don't care if it's part of their income. My mum was a waitress and raised 4 kids single-handedly on tips 'cause she was an excellent waitress who worked for those tips (and today she will not give a tip if she felt service was lacking; she's been and done it and knows what it takes to give good service). Just because it's part of their income does not mean I am obligated to tip. A tip is NOT mandatory (as it seems to be perceived). If it's part of their income, they better make sure they provide service that will get them a great tip. Having said that, I usually tip 18-20%. And people's idea of what is 'exellent', 'good', 'standard' and 'bad' differ.

    For the longest time I was tipping on the grand total not the pre-tax total. I shall tip on the pre-tax total from now on.

    If the food was terrible but the service was great, I would give 15%.

    Bad service but good food? No tip. Funny how I consider service more important than the food! Lol.
    While I agree that service is important, good service is dependant on more than just someone's effort. Service will suffer if a co-worker calls in sick, if the owner refuses to staff properly or if someone is being given a hard time by another table far beyond the norm. I think there are obvious cases of bad service, but if it's clear that the server is working hard then it should be acknowledged.

  11. #26
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    Default

    I, for one, would be all in support of higher wages for the hospitality industry but eliminate the gratuity system altogether. Hey, it works in other countries!

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    I bartend at Earl's on King St. and undeniably, you gain a sense of appreciation for the work servers and bartenders do. One of the misconceptions a lot of people seem to have about working in the industry is that their is a consistent flow of money coming in from the job. That's hardly the case unless you work a ton of hours. A servers salary is almost always below minimum wage to begin with, so a good portion of their income actually is reliant on tips.

    There are peak times and low times at any restaurant. Some people may make a good sum one day, and make thirty bucks the next. The amounts fluctuate. More tables and more people means more money, but usually less time and effort concentrated on customer service. Vice versa during a down time in the restaurant. The common adage that servers are poorly paid is somewhat true. A significant amount of effort must be made to garner a substantial tip, and most servers do make an honest effort. Regardless, it can be difficult working within such an environment. If you're serving some ungrateful, arrogant dick head, it really does put a damper in your spirit.

    Truthfully, most servers are content with a 15% tip, but regardless of what amount you prefer to tip, some people need to learn general behavioural etiquette anyways, never mind how much they should tip. It's the small things that go a long way. If you're going to ask your server something, ask in a polite manner. Don't demand. They're not your maid, or your servant. They're a person who's doing a job to make ends meet just like you are.

    Eating out at a restaurant isn't supposed to be a bargain wherever you go. It's the same if you go out drinking. If you're going to cheap out on a tip because you have exceptionally high standards of service and for whatever reason, your server doesn't "deserve it", then stay home, save some money and cook your own meals. Leaving a poor tip is worse than not tipping at all. It's a slap in the face to the server. The tipping standard exists for a reason, and with the way the restaurant industry operates, I think it's justified.

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    Don't tip there's a recession right now...

  14. #29
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    Default

    Here's a silly "news" story regarding tipping...or lack thereof by Mark Zuckerberg while honeymooning in Italy.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...ontent=2448383

    Zuckerberg sparks tipping debate after skipping gratuity in Rome

    Wency Leung

    Globe and Mail Blog

    Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:40AM EDT

    When travelling abroad, it’s advisable to find out beforehand the expectations on tipping for your destination. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.

    The Facebook chief executive officer has been singled out for reportedly failing to leave a tip after having lunch in Rome during his honeymoon with wife Priscilla Chan. As The Telegraph reported, staff at the Nonna Betta restaurant were stunned Mr. Zuckerberg left no gratuity on a €32 (approximately $41) lunch, not just because of his immense wealth but because Americans are known for tipping well. After all, it’s not as though he didn’t enjoy the meal, the newspaper said.

    “I asked him ‘How was it?’ And he said ‘Very good,’ ” the owner was quoted as saying.

    Mr. Zuckerberg also reportedly neglected to leave tip after dinner at a different restaurant in Rome the previous night.

    (In Mr. Zuckerberg’s defence, some have pointed out that a service charge is already included in the bill.)

    Mary Forgione, who writes a travel blog for the Los Angeles Times, suggests Mr. Zuckerberg, who has dropped off of Bloomberg’s top 40 billionaires list since his company went public, should have known better. As she points out, travel outfitter Magellan’s indicates it’s appropriate to leave tips of 10 per cent above the service charge. Condé Nast Traveler also suggests leaving up to 10 per cent.

    But some argue Mr. Zuckerberg has been unfairly cast as a tightwad.

    “It is not customary to tip for meal service in Italy,” Jodi Smith, of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, told MSNBC. In the United States servers have a lower minimum wage – tips are expected to supplement their income. “In Italy, servers are paid a living wage and tips are for extraordinary meals and/or service,” she says.

    But while it may be okay for locals to skip leaving gratuities, it appears travellers, particularly Americans, tend to be held to a different standard.

    “Zuckerberg not leaving a tip is a bit of a faux pas, but really because of Italian expectations of Americans,” Kathy McCabe of travel newsletter Dream of Italy, told USA Today. “Americans absolutely have a reputation for tipping, and many Italians have come to expect a tip when serving them.”

    What's your policy on tipping while travelling?

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    I almost always tip minimum 20% and if the service is very good, I'll go higher. But that comes from years of going out with my parents and feeling embarrassed when they would leave just over 10% tips, sometimes barely 15% for great service.

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