Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from lrecliner. Show lrecliner's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    I usually tip pretty well- 20-25%. I worked in the industry and know what it can be like. Most customers are great, its the one or two bad ones you run into on every shift that make it tough.

    What I do find annoying is that little tip cup they have at coffee shops and delis. I rarely if ever put any change in those. I just don't see that as tip-worthy
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhatItIsNow. Show WhatItIsNow's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)? : I tended bar thru college in the 80's.  Put me at the coldest bar in the joint, and I'd make more tips than the hot bar (and had no problem with pooling). The secret?  Get those sitting at your bar to call you by name.  Your tip will go up 20%, and when they come back, they'll ask for you, say they can do it again. 
    Posted by GreginMeffa


    I waited tables, and interestingly the opposite was true. I found the whole "my name is X and I will be your waiter"-thing bothered a lot of people. Instead I introduced myself to regulars when it felt right, but ignored any restaurant policy about introducing yourself as a matter of routine. I think you are on to something. When people know you by name, and you know them by name, they are bound to tip you more.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhatItIsNow. Show WhatItIsNow's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    I am surprised that the barbaric laws we have do not allow for wait staff to earn minimum wage. Why are we not changing this law? Then we can reduce tipping to a more reasonable sum (a fifth of the value of the meal/drink/etc is ultra-steep. If we lobby for them to be paid a reasonable sum then tip, say 10%). I have to say that I am quite happy to tip whatever, thats why I originally posted. Also, it seems that there is no real consensus whatsoever. From people who actually do the paying most are saying pre-tax. For people that are wait staff obviously they are saying more, and post-tax. Another question - Do we also tip on take-out food? A service was still provided to us in that they prepared the food for us. However, we still have to do our own dishes at the end of the meal. This one I really have wondered about. If anything the tip should be much lower as it only covers the kitchen-staff and not wait staff. Any rules on this one?
    Posted by plasko


    Having worked in the industry, most people doing the paying, calculate after the taxes. So I think there is consensus among the general population.

    We don't change it becuase the current situation kind of works. Despite the occassional bad tip, most waiters and waitresses can make a half decent living, which makes it a good job for single parents with no other marketable skills. I knew tons of women who were able to take care of their children doing waitressing, where they would not have been able to do so on something like a walmart or stop and shop paycheck. It is also good for students. You can work in the evening, go to school in the day, and make enough money to get by until you earn your degree.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhatItIsNow. Show WhatItIsNow's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    And another question.........what is a fair amount for delivery.  I know people who think that giving the delivery guy $2 or $3 is adequate, but we tip 20% or so for the person who brings our food out from the kitchen.......what about the guy that drove it to our house all the way from the restaurant.  He should get at least 15-20% also, even though we are cleaning up after ourselves.
    Posted by crlsnjnn


    I did delivery as well. 20% is good. But generally speaking anything under 3 dollars is a waste of the delivery guy's time (depending on his exact arrangement with the restaurant). When I worked delivery, I relied on tips almost exlusively. I considered a 5 dollar tip a good tip (unless it involves carrying extra bags, I didn't really care about the percent of the total amount). If it was a large order (say something for a party that is over 100 dollars) a good tip could be between 25-50 dollars (with 30 being the most common in my case).

    For delivery, here is the biggest piece of advice, if you have a dog, keep him inside and don't rely on your leg to prevent him from bolting out the door. And yes, your dog does bite. Every time I was bitten by a dog (and I was bitten a number of times) it was preceded by the owner crying out "don't worry he doesn't bit". Just about every dog will bite a total stranger who keeps coming to the door and leaving. Ask any mailman.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    You seriously think waiters and waitresses can live on their $2.00 and something wage???  It is their job to be nice, that is called earning a tip or living.  I have done waitressing and the crap you put up with and it is usually with the cheap people is unbelievable sometimes.  I give them full credit.  Take the amount of the bill and add 15%.  If they were really good, be human and give them 20%.  Can't believe anyone would consider tipping on the pretax....  As far as etiquette, there really isn't a "rule"

    Pre-tax or post-tax?

    This is a common question. Custom says that tips are calculated pre-tax, but many people just use the total bill either for the sake of simplicity or to be more generous. In other words, either way is fine. If you are in a situation where the tip is automatically added in, it should be pre-tax.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from KatieKates. Show KatieKates's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    Waitstaff and bartenders rely on gratuity for their wages. Most establishments only pay the industry minimum $3.00/hour. If you were provided good service, you should tip 20% of the total bill. Anything lower is frowned upon, anything more is appreciated.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Floundah. Show Floundah's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    Plasko, I bussed and waited on tables to get me through college. Now I am someone who gets waited on, so I see both sides. I am not rich either. However, I still say that you should tip based on the post-tax bill, not the pre-tax bill. I follow my own rules, BTW, and tip generously.

    Restaurants are not going to change the payment system, so we have to work with things as they are, not as we would like them to be.

    For take out and that sort of thing, I'll throw something in the tip jar if there is one because it feels like the decent thing to do, especially if I am a regular somewhere. To me, it does not matter if I am obligated to do so. I want to spread a little happiness around. I always tip the delivery person as well, regardless of whether delivery is free. Again, I know how hard this work can be, so I prefer to be generous. If i can't afford to eat out, I don't go out. 

    I am surprised that the barbaric laws we have do not allow for wait staff to earn minimum wage. Why are we not changing this law? Then we can reduce tipping to a more reasonable sum (a fifth of the value of the meal/drink/etc is ultra-steep. If we lobby for them to be paid a reasonable sum then tip, say 10%). I have to say that I am quite happy to tip whatever, thats why I originally posted. Also, it seems that there is no real consensus whatsoever. From people who actually do the paying most are saying pre-tax. For people that are wait staff obviously they are saying more, and post-tax. Another question - Do we also tip on take-out food? A service was still provided to us in that they prepared the food for us. However, we still have to do our own dishes at the end of the meal. This one I really have wondered about. If anything the tip should be much lower as it only covers the kitchen-staff and not wait staff. Any rules on this one?
    Posted by plasko

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    Thanks for all the advice. The reason for asking for what the "rules" are is that I come from somewhere where you do not tip someone for simply doing their job. Its their job, thats what they get paid for. To me, its quite silly to give them even more cash just for doing what they are supposed to be doing. Always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, never quite sure if they were being nice to me to get some cash out of me, or just because they are genuinely nice. Just a bit wierd that in this country you basically have to bribe someone to be nice to you, and call it a tip.  If they don't get paid enough from their job, then they should ask their boss for a raise. Why should I be supplementing their wages?  Anyhow, I digress. The point is that now I know its pre-tax, that will help with my calculations in the future.  Thanks.
    Posted by plasko


    When I was a waitress in college, minimum wage was somewhere around $7/hr.  I got $2.10.  The rest was made up for in tips (and then some).  My Canadian patrons (I was in Maine) had no idea I got 2 bucks an hour and would leave a dollar on a $50 meal to show their enthusiastic approval for my great service.  One time, with regulars that I know liked me personally and I thought they were really sweet, I told them.  They were horrified, but glad to know. 

    I hate the whole system and wish wait staff got paid what they are worth to the business like any other job.  To heck with the tip system.  People are so often stingy and unfair about it.  Sometimes, I got as high as 50% (hey, I was 18 and flirtatious), but other times for good service I got 10% or less.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    @GreginMeffa

    "Ever tend or wait plasko?  I understand your math, but split checks, or rounds, svck out loud"

    I would fully answer this but it doesn't appear to be in english. But this system is either a Boston problem or a more general US problem. I lived in a city where it was standard to ask groups of people how they would like to split the check before they ordered. 
    Its just logical. Why have 10 people all with their calculators out, analyzing the bill for their share, some paying too much, some paying too little? When the alternative (separate checks) is 100% fair, and would result in this example in 10 tips for the wait staff, and a speedy departure with happy customers? 

    Even if 1 eating place adopted this here, word would catch on and people would flock to the place. Their loss in revenues in credit-card payments (paying visa or mastercard 10 times, versus 1 time, in my example), would be more than made up for in increased business. And from the point of view of the wait staff would be good too. 

    Guess I have just been to better places, like Montreal, where this is the norm. If the wait staff finds it too difficult, then maybe they should look for a different job as customer satisfaction really isn't their number 1 goal. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    As a former waitress and also paying customer at restaurants, I agree with both of these points of view. 

    Yes, it's convenient for the customer to have the bill split as they prefer.  The visual of the group with the calculator is heinous; it's frustrating!  BUT, the server usually gets less that way because there's no accountability for tipping.  Someone can not tip at all or very little, and no one at the table, presumably friends or family, would know so there'd be no embarrassment over being a cheapskate.   When the bill is consolidated, everyone wants to appear generous and "throws in" extra or at least the decided upon percentage.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    Yeah, I see your point karigiver.

    But some people just don't walk around with a pocketful of cash. I pay 90% of my purchases anywhere with credit card. 
    I don't want to be stuck with some several-hundred dollar bill (which I can't afford but which is genrated in big groups), and then chase people around who owe me money. For one thing, its plain rude to chase my friends or colleagues for cash. 
    I do always try to stock up on a range of bills before eating out, but its not always possible due to busy lifestye. 
    However, as a kind of compromise, what we have done in the past is split the single bill between us in the end. Those with no cash on them pay their share by credit-card, those with cash can leave their share on the table. This is the best compromise, although still results in the wait staff having to swipe a few cards a the end. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    Mm.  I can relate to that, too.  I also am a big credit card user and don't want to be stuck with the bill bugging people to pay me back.  I've started carrying about 30 bucks in random denominations in my purse for just occassions and use my credit card for everything I can.  Then, I can always have that monkey off my back even on short notice.

    I'd be all for the splitting to many bills per table if I didn't know that the server gets a lot less that way.  I would never have known that had I not experienced it from the server's perspective.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ProfessorPain. Show ProfessorPain's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    Man there are some cheap bistords on this site.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhatIsItNow. Show WhatIsItNow's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    I generally aim for 20% of final bill.

    If they do something abnormally good, a few more percent.

     If they really screw up, 10-15%.  As in, they sit us and don't show up for 20 minutes,then take drink orders and don't deliver them until they bring the meal or something...
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhatIsItNow. Show WhatIsItNow's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    [QUOTE]And another question.........what is a fair amount for delivery.  I know people who think that giving the delivery guy $2 or $3 is adequate, but we tip 20% or so for the person who brings our food out from the kitchen.......what about the guy that drove it to our house all the way from the restaurant.  He should get at least 15-20% also, even though we are cleaning up after ourselves.
    Posted by crlsnjnn[/QUOTE]

    I usually aim for 20% there, too.  Depends on the order really.

    If it's a pizza I'll still give them 4-5, which ends up being 25-30%....  unless they take an hour+ or something obscene.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    Do you people seriously go over the bill this carefully?  I look at whatever the big number is at the bottom where it says TOTAL [which I'm guessing is the after tax amount] and tip 20% on that.  I start at 20% and only deduct if the service is really deplorable.

    It never occurred to me to calculate the tip on the before tax amount. 

    I also do not tip the food delivery guy 20%.  They are not paid the $2.10 or whatever that a waiter/waitress is paid.  They get paid minimum wage, or should b/c they are performing a delivery service not a waitstaff service. I think people around where I live are pretty cheap b/c I generally tip the guy about 10% or round up, and they guy from the Thai place is always very excited. 
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Irish-lad. Show Irish-lad's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    Everyone forgot to mention tipping when you have a coupon for a discount or even a free meal. I tip at least 20% on the pre coupon total. Just cause the establishment is cutting the price don't stiff the waiters and waitresses.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ProfessorPain. Show ProfessorPain's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)? : Plasko, It is not a Boston nor a US problem.  It is just the restaurant.  But, I agree.  If the customer wants seperate bills, it should be seperate bills.  After all, they would gladly take the single customers if they seperately showed up alone.  At least this way, they sat together and saved on tables. But, in general, Montreal restaurant are a lot more customer service oriented (compared to your average Boston restaurant) as a matter of survival.   Montreal has a lot more restaurant per capita than Boston.  A lot more competition means they have to go the extra mile both with service (and quality).
    Posted by Charles2008[/QUOTE]

    It may also be that they are paid more in Montreal.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    @Irish-Lad

    It actually says on the coupons (eg Groupons) that you should tip on the bill amount before you calculate the coupon deduction. (Read the small print). 

    What you are doing is normal. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Charles2008. Show Charles2008's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)? : It may also be that they are paid more in Montreal.
    Posted by ProfessorPain[/QUOTE]

    But, this has nothing to do with paying seperately.  This has to do with customer service.

    Though you are probably right on payment.  I don't know whether they have different minimum wage for restaurant servers. 
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Charles2008. Show Charles2008's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    I quick Google search indeed shows different minimum wage in Montreal for "workers receiving gratuities": 

    $8.25 vs. $9.50

    Either way, I am not sure this adds much to the conversation.  Tipping is based on custom.  This is why we try to figure out what the custom is in each country, because we don't want to be outside the norm.

    But, I don't understand the reluctance to break a bill.  It is illogical.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)? : Kargiver, I disagree.  Although I have never worked in the industry, but as a customer, I always put more when the bill is smaller.  You always round up (I think the vast majority of people do that, but maybe I am naive about it).  For a bill for 1 person, you end up tipping over 20% (and without trying to be generous, just how the math works out as a nice number). Will that restaurant server 4 people separately  if they showed up alone?    If so, then it should be no different if they showed together and wanted to order separately. Besides, it is not consolidated.  Each is paying their bill, and their tip.  
    Posted by Charles2008[/QUOTE]

    Sounds like you disagree based solely on how you graciously handle it when the bill is split.  As someone who waitressed for years and in varied restaurants, I know you are in the minority.  Most customers were not like you, they were cheap and took every opportunity to save a buck especially when no one was looking.

    There are always exceptions, but you are not the rule, sadly.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    It seems though that in NYC, since its so populated by tourists who have no idea of customs, most of the waitstaff of various places automatically add the tip of 18% onto any bill. 
    Then when the bill comes, they usually say something like, "to save you calculating the tip I have included it in the bill". 
    Now, if you have never experienced this its probably because you do not have a foreign accent, as I do, but it has happened to me several times. 
    Initially I was shocked as it felt like I was being robbed, removing the option of something that should be by personal choice. It was therefore not based on any quality of service and was an "enforced tip". 
    However, after careful thinking I do see that they must get stiffed a lot by people who just do not understand the rules. 
    Maybe it should be automatic after all? Much better than having people calculate anything. 
    In Arizona I experienced the middle-ground, where on the bottom of some receipts it had a statement that says:
    If you wish to tip 18% please add $X.XX
    If you wish to tip 20% please add $X.XX
    If you wish to tip 25% please add $X.XX

    This way you have to calculate nothing, but you still get the option of choice. 
    I must admit I liked this (not being mathematically-minded). 



     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Charles2008. Show Charles2008's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)? : Sounds like you disagree based solely on how you graciously handle it when the bill is split.  As someone who waitressed for years and in varied restaurants, I know you are in the minority.  Most customers were not like you, they were cheap and took every opportunity to save a buck especially when no one was looking. There are always exceptions, but you are not the rule, sadly.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    kargiver,

    I accept your insight since I have no personal experience in working in the food industry.   Frankly though, I am shocked that the numbers don't work out better the other way.

    Let's say you have 8 people for lunch.  On a consolidated bill, let's say $180, tip is added at 18% pre-tax.  This is under $30.

    If people pay separate bills, the average bill is about $22-23.  So, the normal tip is about over $4.50, and unless people are paying cash and leaving change, most people will just add $5 (rounding up) to their credit card  (or so I thought, being my normal behavior and most people I see).  Unless everybody at the table is a cheapskate, the waitstaff should make up for the odd short tipper.

    What is the percentage of cheapskates in the population?


    On a separate note, I like what they do in many European countries, e.g. France.  You pay a certain percentage for "service".  It comes detailed on the bill, and also it is included in the price on the menu. No issue with people stiffing the wait staff (if indeed this is prevalent here).  Tip becomes really an extra (a couple of $) and not expected.

     

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Charles2008. Show Charles2008's posts

    Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?

    In Response to Re: Tipping: 18% on pre-tax, or final bill amount (including taxes)?:
    [QUOTE]It seems though that in NYC, since its so populated by tourists who have no idea of customs, most of the waitstaff of various places automatically add the tip of 18% onto any bill.  Then when the bill comes, they usually say something like, "to save you calculating the tip I have included it in the bill".  Now, if you have never experienced this its probably because you do not have a foreign accent, as I do, but it has happened to me several times.  Initially I was shocked as it felt like I was being robbed, removing the option of something that should be by personal choice. It was therefore not based on any quality of service and was an "enforced tip".  However, after careful thinking I do see that they must get stiffed a lot by people who just do not understand the rules.  Maybe it should be automatic after all? Much better than having people calculate anything.  In Arizona I experienced the middle-ground, where on the bottom of some receipts it had a statement that says: If you wish to tip 18% please add $X.XX If you wish to tip 20% please add $X.XX If you wish to tip 25% please add $X.XX This way you have to calculate nothing, but you still get the option of choice.  I must admit I liked this (not being mathematically-minded). 
    Posted by plasko[/QUOTE]


    plasko,

    Has nothing to do with foreign accent, nor with state.  Different restaurants have different practice.   And it seems that short tipping has more to do with being a cheapskate than not knowing the custom.

    Although I am sure some tourists may seems very cheap if they don't know the customs here.  Tipping customs are very different in different countries.   I travel a lot both here and internationally.  At least the custom in all states is the same.  So, not much to think about.  But internationally, every country has a different custom, and expects it to be followed just as much as we do expect it here.  Some countries (mostly in Asia), tipping is considered insulting, if you can believe it.  Others, it depends on what and whom.  For example, you get a hair cut, you should tip the hair washer, but not the hair cutter.  In some countries, it depends whetehr owns the place or employee. It is hard to keep up.  I am sure I insulted or stiffed my share of people while traveling.

      
     

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