25% is the new 20% — Tipping: I like it. You probably don’t.

11 Oct


Tip Jar, circa 1981.

Ok, I might be a little biased since I survive on tips.  From apologizing when I spill red wine on your pants to apologizing because the kitchen lost your ticket or because I have to cut you off…I’ve pretty much done it all.  Been yelled by my boss and guests alike.  Had plenty of nights that ended in tears and plenty of nights that middled in tears.  It is quite an experience to have to keep waiting on someone once they broke you down.


I admit, tipping procedures in the US have really screwed up the way the world works.  A lot of 40 year old servers make more than their middle management counterparts…and if you think there is corruption and bribery in politics, work a year at a restaurant.

This latest rant on Grub Street is interesting, and I agree with a lot of its points.

1.  Tipping has very little / nothing to do with how good the service was.  Only in extreme cases, where your server disappears for hours – or just happens to have that telepathic sense and brings you more ketchup right before you ask (hint: everyone wants more ketchup) – only then is the tip affected.

2.  I believe that tipping can involve some serious discrimination — people commonly think of beauty and politeness as the major factors, but I believe race/class/gender play a huge role.

Otherwise, its 1/3 personality of the server, 1/3 the mood of the guest, and 1/3 stinginess of the guest.   Oh and women always tip 15%, a few 20% if they dress nicely.  Men can vary from 10% to 40%, you just hope that 40% is on top of a fat bill when it comes.




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