1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We've had very few donations over the year. I'm going to be short soon as some personal things are keeping me from putting up the money. If you have something small to contribute it's greatly appreciated. Please put your screen name as well so that I can give you credit. Click here: Donations
    Dismiss Notice

Food Tipping ettiquette

Discussion in 'Tilted Food' started by Strange Famous, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Strange Famous

    Strange Famous it depends on who is looking...

    Ipswich, UK
    Allright, I know a girl at work who had this situation, and she was absolutely livid over it.

    She went out for a meal with a group of women (say 6, idk the real number) and they agreed to split bill 6 ways (which is normal - or at least its what Ive always done when I go out, unless somebody has consciously abstained from drinks or something and you have to make them an allowance)

    So anyway, she wasnt particularly happy with the service, and didnt want to leave a tip.

    4 of the others did, and basically bullied her into it by default (by adding 10% to the bill and then splitting by 6 - so if she refused it basically meant everyone else was going to pay her share of the tip, which would have made her feel guilty)


    I think this is completely wrong. I think you should split the cost of the meal/drinks 6 ways - and then anyone who wants to tip is free to do so. I usually tip if the service has been acceptable or better, but if Im not happy with it I dont and I dont EVER eat at restaurants that add service as a standard that you have to pay. Yes, I know its not that well a paying job waiting tables, and thats why I tip if the person is basically polite and brings my food in a tolerable timescale, but it should always be your choice imo.


    What do you think of this situation? In a meal with a group of friends where the bill's gonna get split, how should the tip be handled in your view?
  2. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    First World Problem.

    Well, almost all meals I have with others are usually covered completely by me or by the other party/ies. Never had that experience she had, though.

    I probably would not have paid my tip share, if I didn't want to leave a tip in the first place. Decisions taken by others on my behalf don't tend to change my response.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ayashe

    Ayashe Getting Tilted

    I can't think of a time that I haven't tipped something and I usually do so generously but I would leave it up to the individual. It really is that person's choice. I would still tip according to my own personal bill/experience.
  4. CinnamonGirl

    CinnamonGirl The Cheat is GROUNDED!

    Even if the service completely sucks, I'll still leave 10%. *shrug*

    If I go out to eat with a group, we only pay our own portion. That way, if someone orders say, steak and lobster, they aren't paying the same amount as the person who only got a salad. Tipping is then left up to the individual, and based on the amount of their check. Now, most of the people I hang out with these days are servers, or used to be, so making a point of not leaving a tip is a sure way to not get invited out again. Then again, I can't think of a time we've been out when the service was bad.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Strange Famous

    Strange Famous it depends on who is looking...

    Ipswich, UK
    So even if the waiter is rude, the service is slow, the food is poor, you'd leave a 10% tip?
  6. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    You know, other than the food being served cold, any issues with food aren't the waiter's fault.

    What makes the difference is the waiter's response when you complain about the food.
  7. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    My wife & I both have worked in tipping jobs long before this.
    So we make sure to tip.

    We prefer to do so in cash, even if we pay by credit/debit.
    Usually 20% of the subtotal is a quick figure, just move the decimal once to the left & double it.
    Sometimes we'll go 15% if they aren't as good,
    sometimes we'll go 25% if superior, plus we'll verbally compliment them.

    We both know that most often, it's not the waiters/waitress' fault for slow service or other issues, so we don't want to punish them.
    But if it's that bad and that obvious, on that once in a blue moon outing, we'll leave sans tip.

    However, this is very rare, and to that point...we'll take the time to say something too.

    But if we are with a group, we've NEVER not left a tip.
    Even if we have to make it up ourselves.
  8. Strange Famous

    Strange Famous it depends on who is looking...

    Ipswich, UK
    Sure, and most of the things that partners complain to me in my job about aren't personally my fault either... but I still take responsibility for them.

    The waiter is a representative of the company too (and many restaurants split tips amongst all the staff, not just the waiter who served you) and if I dont get a good service from the business, I don't see any reason why I should pay extra above and beyond to the quoted price of the service that has been delivered to me at a below expected quality.


    Like I said, I probably leave a tip most times I eat, but I absolutely want it to be my choice to do so or not. And if I am not happy with my meal, or how the waiter interacted with me, or speed of service... I pay the bill. I dont complain if the food isnt any good, I just dont eat in that place again.
    --- merged: Apr 18, 2012 at 7:23 AM ---
    Come on, thats a bit much. Not leaving a tip is hardly a "punishment". These people are still paid a wage whether you tip them or not. I think that this is a cultural difference. In the US it seems to be almost automatic that you tip and the waiter considers it their right to be paid an extra % as well as their normal wage for doing their work. In the UK I think most people leave a tip if they get a waitress service (but 10% is the standard) but it isn't so mandatory.

    There are plenty of people working in factories and as care assistants etc that would love the pay and quality of work a waiter gets even if no tips were involved... sure it isnt a great paying job, but plenty of people do jobs which are tougher and pay less without any chance to supplement their income with tips.


    Let me give you an example.

    I was eating in this once place, with a girl I know, and the waiter comes and sits down next to me at my table (without asking) and starts chatting to me like he's my mate. It was a couple of minutes before I figured out even what was going on. Because I was with someone I couldnt just walk out which was my first feeling, but I certainly see no reason I should give the buffoon a tip.

    (and this isnt about thinking Im better than anyone... I wouldnt expect the owner of the restaurant to come sit down at my table without asking, anymore than I would expect this waiter to be happy if I walked through his front door and sat down at his dinner table in his home... I dont expect my personal space to be invaded in this way under any condition by any person)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2012
  9. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass

    I always leave a tip. If the service or food sucks, I'll never come back. It doesn't really matter who is at fault.
  10. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany

    So basically, what you're saying is this: "Your cook/any other staff screws up, you lose out too!"

    Maybe the problem is with your logic, when you make someone take full or partial responsibility for someone else's mistake.

    Also, political responsibility falls onto the leader/owner of a group/organisation, not the lower-ranking people on the front-line.
  11. Cayvmann

    Cayvmann Very Tilted

    I always ask for a separate bill, so I can do my own tipping. Somebody always feels screwed when you split bills. Usually me ( heh )
  12. Strange Famous

    Strange Famous it depends on who is looking...

    Ipswich, UK
    The fundamental point we seem to not agree on is I am not saying that I want the waiter to "lose out"... I am not saying I am going to go his boss and ask his wages be docked, or report him.

    I am saying that I am not going to give him an "extra" payment, on top of the advertised price of the meal which I have paid for.

    ie - I am not giving him the stick, I am just not giving him the carrot either.
  13. Cayvmann

    Cayvmann Very Tilted

    If your service sucks, cut the tip, but if service was good and the food bad, talk to the manager. Your meal might be free. I still tip of the meal sucks, but the service was responsive. I may or may not give the restaurant a second chance though, usually not.
  14. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    New York City
    In today's restaurant computer world the POS system handles multiple checks for same tables. Usually I ask as soon as we're seated that we have separate checks. Sucked that one time skogafoss ordered eggs and someone else ordered appetizer, salad, milk shake, cheese burger deluxe, soda, and desert. Her share was like $12 for eggs. $12 for fucking eggs. Or the time that some group left early but drank like $200 of pitchers of sangria only to leave $260 and no tax, and no tip, but the group was over 8 so there was a 18% gratuity added. Yeah, got tired of that shit.

    Now those are, those kind of places to eat, that is NOT family style. If it's family style and it's all community plates of food, then it's all split evenly all the way around EXCEPT the bar bill. Sorry I drank a lot, I did not subject my friends to paying a share of my $80 bar bill. I like when they used to show you the bar bill on one side and the dinner on the other side. Rarely does that happen these days.

    I can then tip as I judge on my own which is 20%, pretty much always. If you did shitty, you'll get 10% or maybe a little lower. You'll still get a tip, because I know I can't stiff the rest of the crew in that tip pool.

    Right, and if you automagically put a tip on the check, you'll get that amount, even if I would have tipped you higher.
  15. Hektore

    Hektore Slightly Tilted

    Our (the US) custom is different than the UK in that the tip is 'expected' as a part of the service - to the point that the federal government allows your wages to be docked in anticipation. In the US service personnel in jobs where tips are 'standard' are allowed to be paid a considerably lower wage. The math works out to less that $5000 a year in wages for a full time 'tipped' employee. So if you don't leave a tip you really are sticking it to the person more so in the US than the UK.
    • Like Like x 3
  16. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Servers in Canada earn as much as $1.25+/hour less than the minimum wage. The minimum wages across Canada aren't too bad though, so this still amounts to $20,000 or so a year. This assumes full-time. How many servers are given the benefit of full-time hours? And who can live off of $20,000? The LICO (low-income cut off, i.e. poverty line) calculations in several cities come dangerously close to $20,000.

    I therefore view tipping as that margin padding a server's income above the poverty line. I will tip according to service quality. Poor quality as low as 10%, while good quality is 20%. No tip to me equals no service. I don't tip those who don't serve me. I have never left a restaurant without leaving a tip.

    As for the OP: The tip should always be left out of calculations in bill splitting. Always. Tipping is a decision to be made by individual payers, not as an average amongst a group.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  17. Strange Famous

    Strange Famous it depends on who is looking...

    Ipswich, UK
    Ok, well to be fair that does make a difference.

    if someone is earning $5000 a year without tips for working fulltime, I probably would tip regardless of the quality of the meal. It would only be if the waiter himself called me a prick of something like that that I wouldnt leave a tip

    But in the UK waiting staff will get at least minimum wage (and at most places at least a bit more), so it really is the case here that a tip is "above and beyond"


    i agree that the tip should definitely be left out of the calculation where splitting the meal. I always prefer to split the bill in equal parts rather than sit there and work out who had what... but at the same time I appreciate for someone who money is tight with that can be an issue, so I dont object to paying for what you had if thats what the people Im eating with feel more comfortable with. I normally just carry £20's when Im out for a shared meal so I can cover someone without it being embarassing for them with the old "ah, I havent got any change, can I pay for both of us and you sort me out later" gambit.
  18. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Also, within the US, it depends on where you are located.
    The Mid-Atlantic, from Washington D.C. and on up... it's definitely more tip-oriented.
    Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and some more of the big cities...this is true too.

    Once you get beyond these areas, then the volume of tipping and amount fades.

    Then again, cost of living in the cities are more substantial...so wages and expectations reflect this.
    There seems to be more disposable income, but then again servers live for tips too...

    Often a person from rural inland visiting the city, will not realize or be in the habit to leave a tip.
    Ooo, the frown often doesn't come from just the server, but those with the person or people sitting close to them. (the whispers...)
  19. SirLance

    SirLance Death Therapist

    To go back to the OP, I think your SO should have just asked for her own check. If you're going dutch as us old folk call it, it's the best way.

    There are 3 components involved in service: bus service, table service (wait staff) and food prep service (kitchen). TIps are typically split among all three. I think once in my life I left no tip. It would take all 3 to be bad for that to happen.

    Otherwise I tip according to a mental scale: 10% means something sucked (and I'll usually complain to the manager), 15 - 18% means everything was good, and 20% means it was spectacular (and I'll usually tell the manager). 0 means everything sucked, I will tell the manager, and I will never be back.

    Many places add 18% for large parties, I understand the reasoning but frankly, that means they won't get more, even for spectacular service.
  20. Hektore

    Hektore Slightly Tilted

    I too, am not fond of the 'mandatory gratuity'. Most restaurants that I have been to are accommodating if you inform them that everyone will end up better off if they can find a way to leave it off the bill.

    If they can't, I make sure they earn it.


    Perhaps my favorite tipping story involves a big dinner out my parents held. They made a reservation for about 20 people at what was supposed to be a rather nice restaurant and naturally fell under the 18% gratuity clause. Almost two hours passed from orders to meal arrival. Service was across the board terrible - multiple wrong orders, about 1/2 the food arrived cold enough to be unpalatable and one person was never served at all. Management was totally unsympathetic: What do you want me to do about it? Everyone finally had enough and decided to head to the big buffet place down the street - on the way out the door the manager came over to inform us that leaving the minimum gratuity for a party of that size was 'unacceptable' and we needed to leave more - naturally my parents refused and somewhat unbelievably to me one of the other guests gave the guy another $50 to get rid of him. My father is apparently a virtuoso of patience because I would have totally lost it on that jack-ass of a manager.

    They've gone out of business since then, naturally.