Tips at RestaurantsNow here is a sensitive topic! How much should you tip for service at a restaurant and when should you hold back or exceed the recommended amount? There is bound to be a lot of disagreement on this topic so we are looking forward to hear what other people think about tipping and how much you should tip.

We decided to add this post to our blog, because it really does affect how much money you spend, although it is not really related to home maintenance. Let us know what you think the tip should be. One thing for sure, never leave pennies as a tip. They are not worth much and are heavy. Who wants pennies these days as well?

We have two friends who work in the service industry and obviously have strong feelings about tipping. They both feel that you should tip 15% automatically whether the service was great or not and only decrease your tip if the service was really bad. Actually they feel they always provide great service so why would you not tip a good amount?

Formula for Tips at Restaurants

Someone once wrote that you should break down the tip as follows: 5% for the decor, 5% for the food and 5% for the service . If all three met your expectations then 15% was the correct amount to leave with your meal. If they exceeded your expectations, then by all means leave more. Many people have a problem when they receive bad service or their food was not up to par and they still leave 15% to avoid any kind of conflict or confrontation.

We have found that mentioning the issue, whatever it is, bad food, your meal not cooked as requested, etc.  during your meal usually brings a positive response and the restaurant usually goes overboard to correct the problem. When they do not correct the problem cut the tip. They need to understand that their income is related to the level of service you receive at the restaurant you are at.

But they Only Make Minimum Wages

In some locations this is absolutely true and if they received no tips, the salary the waiters and waitresses would make would be very low indeed. However as with all jobs there are good people who do excellent work and then there are those who only do average work at best.

Should those that perform average work make as much as those who do excellent work? Personally I like to reward those who work hard and provide excellent service and have no problem leaving a good tip. But when it comes to less than average servic,  leaving a good tip is only reenforcing bad service.

We know a couple, who have dual incomes. One was a NASA scientist, while the other was a waiter in a very popular restaurant. The waiter made more money from tips than the scientist did from his salary! They were both good at what the did, but the waiter was really  good at what he did, provided excellent service and was rewarded for his efforts. The good ones do very well and deserve it.

Tips as High as 20 % or Even Higher

Both of our friends who work in the business have received tips that are 20% or even higher. Typically this has been with a large group and the group was very happy with the service they received.

This is the way it should be and please do not hold back if you find yourself in this situation.

Groups Were the Tip is Automatic

I detest this rule that many restaurants have for large groups. They automatically add 15% or sometimes more as a gratuity to ensure they get their tip. I have been to places were they have done this and the service has been excellent. They deserve 15% and more.

On the other hand we have dined in restaurants were this rule was applied and the service has been terrible. It is almost as if they do not care , they know they are going to get paid anyway. I always make a point of mentioning that the service should be excellent if they are going to apply this rule.

They usually get the message and we are often very satisfied with the service in this regard. One place to avoid in a situation like this is the Matchbox Restaurant in Palm Springs. They applied this rule and then proceeded to give us rude service, mixed our meals up and were extremely slow. Why would I ever go there again?

Your comments and opinions on this sensitive topic are more than welcome. I am sure there are lots of other opinions out there just waiting to be heard.