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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9 comments
Tracy
Tracy

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Air Force 1
Air Force 1

For years, studies of obesity have Air Force 1 found that soon after fat people lost weight, their metabolism slowed and they experienced hormonal changes Air Force 1 Shoes that increased their appetites. Scientists hypothesized that these biological changes could explain why most obese dieters quickly gained back much of what they had so painfully lost.

But now a group of Australian researchers have taken Air Force 1S those investigations a step further to see if the changes persist over a longer time frame. They recruited healthy people who were either overweight or obese and put them on a highly restricted diet that led them to lose at least 10 percent of their body Air Force 1 UK weight. They then kept them on a diet to maintain that weight loss. A year later, the researchers found that the participants’ metabolism and hormone levels had not returned to the levels before the study started.

lgnyc
lgnyc

Please, please, please always tip 20%.  Waitstaff and delivery persons do NOT make minimum wage, so they are counting on tips to make up the difference!!!

Cliffrod
Cliffrod

I agree that I can't see $2 for a straight pour, or even for a very basic cocktail -- for something more involved, yes.  I have another rule that I haven't seen mentioned here:  I generally exceed the 20% rule at very inexpensive restaurants, because that amount feels inadequate for the service.

NYCgal
NYCgal

My understanding is that a tip on a sit-down dinner should only be on the food. So, on the bottom of the bill where it separates Food from Liquor, you are only supposed to tip on the food. I don't ever end up doing that though, lol. I tip up to 20% max for good service. You do not get a 20% tip if you are a bad waiter (ie you are kind of rude, not very helpful, etc). After reading this article I do think I will tip on food pre-tax, vs the gross bill. I agree with Alex, tax has nothing to do with the service or your food! 

Mojomojoman
Mojomojoman

You people must live in New York;  get with the rest of the country.  Generally, I cut these back for things (meals, drinks, etc.)  I consider overpriced, but my standards are:

- Service exceeds expectations:  20% on the gross check.- Service meets expectations:  20% on the check net of taxes.- Partial service (order at the counter, served at the table, self bussing):  10%- Drinks of any kind:  10%, max.

Alex Schneider
Alex Schneider

tipping after tax should never happen, tax has nothing to do with the service or your food. before tax only.

and more than $1 for a straight pour? Idiots

JonnyDavies
JonnyDavies

As one who has been working in the service industry for 15 years, 20% IS the standard by the majority of my clientele. I might suggest to watch Mr. Waiter Man on Youtube, as he says what so many of us in the industry think and feel. He always says, "20 percent is the standard." He's bitter, cute, angry, funny, foul-mouthed and truthful. I've seen his page grow from 20 subscribers to over 2,000! He deserves more, I think.

Check him:  http://www.youtube.com/yourdai...

Blahblah
Blahblah

I think you understand wrong.  Yes, you have to tip on liquor - your server is paying the bartender 10% of their nightly take for the privilege of giving you the drink you ordered. Why would you think otherwise?  Did the drink fairy come along and hoof that part of the meal to your table? 

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