Thursday, September 1, 2011

How Much Tip to Leave in a Restaurant

Have you ever wondered how much tip you really have to give for the service rendered by the waiter or waitress who attended to your needs? Or, have you ever felt guilty of not giving out any tip? I have been asking myself these and other questions at the back of my mind about "tipping."

Whatever is the world's standard amount for tips? Should the tip be based on total bill amount or the number of people being served?

I have attended a seminar before about social dining etiquette, and giving out tips happened to be part of our topic. In addition, I have read one book on restaurant etiquette and have surveyed some of my professional colleagues and asked them to feed my curio.

These are my findings:

The tip should be based on the total bill. It should be automatically given in response to the service provided. Good and friendly service from the attendant amounts to about 18% to 20% of the food bill. Servers are generally very underpaid and the only way they can survive is to get good tips. In this economy, if you have it, share it. Those at the bottom end of the pay scale need all the help they can get. Hence, if you feel that the service is quite excellent, have a philantrophic heart and tip a little more if you can afford it.

For mediocre service, (i.e. attendant not following up with the table's needs), you can pay 10% to 15%.

If it's a poor service, then you can just shell out a dollar or less as a polite way to say that you're not interested in asking for their service either. But if there's really something wrong with the service, it's better to speak to the manager.

As for social dining courtesy, never leave the server with nothing. But at the end of the day, it's still your call. The waiter or waitress might be 100% lousy that you feel they don't deserve to be paid even a broken quarter of a coin. If that's the case, which should be a very rare one, then don't. Just pray for them. :D

If you are in with a group splitting up the bill, include your share of tip based on the meal you ate. Be careful though of some diners already having service charges built into the bill, so make sure you're not tipping twice.