Restaurant Tipping Etiquette

You’ve finally made it to a sit-down restaurant to enjoy a chef you’ve admired during cooking school online. You’ve eaten your way through three courses and dessert. Now the hard part: the check. Deciding how much to tip can be a daunting task. Some people tip the same percentage, no matter the eatery, and others have different formulas for various places. Here are some helpful tipping suggestions so you can properly thank the restaurant staff and leave feeling like you’ve done the right thing:

Always tip
When you tip the wait staff they are likely not keeping the money for ​themselves. They spread it to other people working at the time, like bus boys and dishwashers. Even if your server was not great and you are tempted to leave him or her with nothing extra on the bill, you should still tip a little because other people are receiving some of that money. Many individuals in the restaurant industry do not make enough money from their hourly wages to pay rent and other necessary bills. They depend on tips to keep the heat on and food in the fridge. If you are unhappy with a server, don’t decide not to pay a tip. ,nstead, speak with his or her manager if you really feel he or she was not providing quality service.

Tipping amounts
Traditionally, restaurant servers should be given a tip that is 15 to 20 percent of the bill total. If the waiter gets the job done but doesn’t do anything particularly fantastic, a 15 percent gratuity percent is OK. If the server spent more time at your table answering questions about menu options or offering to check with the chef about a dietary issue, you may want to increase the tip to 20 percent. For wait staff who really go out of their way to make your evening the best possible (like if they are constantly on the lookout to fill up your water glass or spend extra time being funny and kind to your children), consider tipping even more than 20 percent.

Differences in locale
The guidelines above are in place at any sit-down restaurant that is not a corporate chain. You’re not likely to tip at McDonald’s or Popeyes, because it’s not customary. At coffee joints, however, you should tip. When a barista takes his or her time to make you a piping hot soy vanilla no-foam latte with a rosette design at the top, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. Remember, that’s not much when it comes to a $5 coffee.

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