Here's a tip: 20% is the new 15%
But it's not just my imagination that 20% isn't considered all that generous anymore. It's become standard.
It's easier to figure out 20% of a bill on the fly than it is 15%. You simply round up, move the decimal point one place and double the result.
If your pre-tax bill is $34.85, for example, you round up to $35, move the decimal place one notch left to get $3.50 and double that to get the tip: $7. If you get great service, you leave a little more.
While the calculations may have gotten simpler, the culture of tipping has not. I've worked in restaurants, and now I travel a fair amount, so I've seen a big shift over the years:
- Guidelines used to be simple; now, gray areas abound.
- Tips are handled much more sensibly in other countries, but the prospects for reform here at home are pretty dim.
- The ground rules seem to change frequently, so you never seem to feel as if you've tipped the right person or the right amount.
15% to 20% of pre-tax bill
$1 to $2 per round or 15% to 20% of tab
15% of bottle's cost (less as price rises), clearly earmarked on bill
15% to 20% of pre-tax bill (if not already included)
$2 to $3 when car is returned
15% plus $1 to $2 per bag
$1 to $2 to hail cab; $1 to $2 per bag for help with luggage
$1 to $2 per bag
$2 per night, paid daily, clearly marked 'Housekeeping'
$1 to $2 per bag, $2 minimum, in addition to any fee
15% to 20%
15% to 20%
15% to 20%
10% to 15% with $2 minimum
$20 or 50% of the caddy fee, whichever is greater
But what if you get lousy service? then talks to the manager or maitre d' about the problem. "Not tipping doesn't correct bad service,"
Stiffing is also a bad idea because:
- The poor service you got may have been beyond the wait staff's control, such as problems in the kitchen or management's failure to have enough workers on the floor.
- The federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour, so wait staff depend on tips to earn a living wage.
- Wait staff often must divide their tips with other workers, such as bussers, bartenders and head waiters, so stiffing a bad waitress can end up hurting innocent parties.