How Much to Tip? Fork in the Road Weighs In

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Fifteen percent? Eighteen percent? Twenty percent? Knowing how much to tip these days can be tricky. Jonathan Gold suggests 20 percent, all the time, no exceptions. But what if the tip is already written in? Do you add more on top of that? The economics of tipping can be confusing, so the Fork in the Road team outlined their general tipping practices. But we want to hear from you, too. Tell us what you tip in the comments, or if there are any rules/exceptions that we're missing.

Tipping in restaurants

Lauren Shockey: I always tip 20 percent, even if service is less than stellar. I think this is usually fair for restaurants of a high caliber. The only time that I get nervous about this is if it's a fixed price where the tip is already factored in -- in that instance I usually don't add an extra amount even though there's generally a line to do so. However, I've heard mixed things about whether one should tip 20 percent pre- or post-tax, so I'm actually quite interested to hear what you guys have to say about that. I do post-tax, but I've heard some industry people say they do pre-.

Robert Sietsema: I always tip around 20 percent, though the amount varies since I always round up or down for my own monetary convenience, just like the federal government. I don't make any distinction between expensive restaurants and cheap ones, in general. And I certainly always tip the usual amount in Chinese restaurants, where people often reduce their tip for one justification or another. When I'm in a restaurant where not tipping is customary, I tip anyway.

Chantal Martineau: I always tip at least 20 percent. But I've never subtracted the tax, so I guess that's more than 20.


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