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Old 11-18-2012, 07:09 AM   #31
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

I don't tip above 15% pretty much ever, and usually around 10%, and if the service is terrible, they get maybe a dollar or two or nothing. I think it utterly obscene that some places can pay servers third world sweatshop wages because customers will tip them, and only slightly less obscene that some places will include a tip in the price as if they can read my mind how happy I was with the service. Here the minimum wage for alcohol servers is only slightly below what the regular minimum wage is(which is over $10), so I feel no need to pad the server's pocket book any further. I deal with the public too, have with every single job I've had but one, and no one ever gives me extra money just because I do.

If an establishment added 18% to my bill and told me that was the tip, I'd complain, pay it, and explain that I'd not be coming back because of it. A tip should never be expected.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:49 AM   #32
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

If there is forced gratuity, I will not pay a penny more. If there isn't, chances are about 75% that you'd getting more than 18%.

My FIL works with a man who has 10 children. He argues the party gratuity every time saying it's not a party, it's a family. If they take the gratuity off, he tips well. If it were my family, I'd ask for it to be removed, or not return to that establishment. I think it's ridiculous that a family gets gratuity added, but if it's a party of 8 adults, that's fine.

Last edited by hbee; 11-18-2012 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:52 AM   #33
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If its included, we don't ever tip more even if they are fabulous.

I hate when it's included and I don't get a choice. Such a turn off to ever go to the restaurant.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:56 AM   #34
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

I didn't know that there would be such intense emotions on this topic!

I just wanted to make sure the standards for gratuity hadn't changed drastically. So, it really sounds like anything in the range of 15-20% is socially acceptable for decent to good service.

It sounds like we weren't out of line for leaving it at 18% - it was just that she was so appalled by it that I thought we were way outside of the norm or something.

Anyway...thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:44 AM   #35
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Same here. The difference between a stingy tip and a good tip is just a couple bucks. Say we spend $35, I could tip $5.25 at 15%, or $7 at 20% -- why not tip 20%? I'm already out $40.25, why not just be decent to her at make it $42? If someone's really gone above and beyond - talked us through some picky options, helped us clean up a spilled drink or something -- I'll throw a couple more on.

I even had a table once where they were acting apologetic and saying they were on a budget, and tipped really badly (around 5%). Really? Your budget is so tight you can't spare an extra dollar or 2 to make it a decent tip, but not too tight to take your family of 5 to a sit-down restaurant? Do you think the server is just there donating her time to wait on you?
Yup I totally agree! I have been given no tip on large tables before. I budget 20% into my meal. If I can't afford a good tip, I don't go!

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Old 11-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #36
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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Originally Posted by hbee View Post
If there is forced gratuity, I will not pay a penny more. If there isn't, chances are about 75% that you'd getting more than 18%.

My FIL works with a man who has 10 children. He argues the party gratuity every time saying it's not a party, it's a family. If they take the gratuity off, he tips well. If it were my family, I'd ask for it to be removed, or not return to that establishment. I think it's ridiculous that a family gets gratuity added, but if it's a party of 8 adults, that's fine.
To the bolded, no that's not fine. It's discriminatory to not have a set policy applicable to all diners. A restaurant can not add gratuity to a table of 2 adults + 6 kids, but then give a pass to 8 adults.

To those that get turned off by added gratuity for large parties:
I look at it a couple of ways.
a. If it's restaurant policy, then all servers should stick to the policy to avoid potential ill will down the road. I.e. applying it to a group of ladies spending 3 hours eating salads and splitting appetizers, then not applying it to a party of couples spending $100/head that may include some of the same women who dined frugally in the previous party.

b. Servers may tip pool. We tip pool at our restaurant, and everyone knows that you don't "let it ride" because you feel good about the table when your splitting your tips with 5 others. Guaranteed 20% is better than hoping for 22-25% and getting 12%.

I've also done this on/off for almost 2 decades, and I can tell you that it's better to be fair across the board than risk guts feeling discriminated against, and I can also tell you that taking the guaranteed money has resulted in me getting extra much more often than not including the restaurant's agreed upon gratuity. Then again, I try my hardest to give everyone the best service I can because I respect the money they are spending, and in the case of large parties, I always make sure to tell the guest that gratuity was included, per restaurant policy.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:50 AM   #37
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Same. I'll always tip 20% unless service is abominable. I can't think of a time I've ever had bad service though. I think it's dumb when restaurants include tip because odds are I would have tipped more had they not.

I've never worked food service, but I can ony imagine it's less than enjoyable at times.
I had two times where it was horrible. One I was comped and had no cash so no tip. Honestly I wanted to give the server, not mine a tip. Mine ignored us totally! The other was combo of waitress ignoring and talking to Co workers for 10 min laughing and grand opening chaos. She got a tip, small one.

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Old 11-18-2012, 09:00 AM   #38
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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To the bolded, no that's not fine. It's discriminatory to not have a set policy applicable to all diners. A restaurant can not add gratuity to a table of 2 adults + 6 kids, but then give a pass to 8 adults.

To those that get turned off by added gratuity for large parties:
I look at it a couple of ways.
a. If it's restaurant policy, then all servers should stick to the policy to avoid potential ill will down the road. I.e. applying it to a group of ladies spending 3 hours eating salads and splitting appetizers, then not applying it to a party of couples spending $100/head that may include some of the same women who dined frugally in the previous party.

b. Servers may tip pool. We tip pool at our restaurant, and everyone knows that you don't "let it ride" because you feel good about the table when your splitting your tips with 5 others. Guaranteed 20% is better than hoping for 22-25% and getting 12%.

I've also done this on/off for almost 2 decades, and I can tell you that it's better to be fair across the board than risk guts feeling discriminated against, and I can also tell you that taking the guaranteed money has resulted in me getting extra much more often than not including the restaurant's agreed upon gratuity. Then again, I try my hardest to give everyone the best service I can because I respect the money they are spending, and in the case of large parties, I always make sure to tell the guest that gratuity was included, per restaurant policy.
Absolutely. 100 percent bang on.

The next time I'm in RVA, I need to come to your restaurant.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #39
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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I am super harsh! Poor service gets $0. Acceptable gets 10%, Good 15%, Excellent 20% or more, depending on how far above & beyond they went.

When 18% gratuity is included, I usually don't tip anymore.
This is how we tip too. Although for very poor service we might leave a buck and some change. But maybe they are used to big tips at a country club? IDK I've never been to one, I don't know what theyre like.

But, to me, no it seems fine that you didnt add to the 18%
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:43 AM   #40
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

Did you have a large party? When I was a waitress 20% gratuity was added with a party of (I think) 8 or more.
I don't think you did anything wrong though! I tip 10% for poor service, 15% for good, 20% for great.
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