Do You Think That You Are A Good Tipper At Restaurants and Bars?

by Hank Coleman

My wife brings out the best in me.  She challenges me and the way that I think.  She opens me up to a whole new way of looking at the world.  I guess that is one of the reasons to marry the woman, right? 

I used to be a horrible tipper.  I have never worked in the service industry, not even as a summer job during high school, and it shows.  I have never waited on tables in a restaurant, and I have no real idea what waiters and waitresses go through on a day to day basis.  My wife changed all of that.

Good service barely warranted a 15% tip from me when I went to a restaurant during high school and college.  My standard tip was 10% for normal service and 15% for great or outstanding service.  I was definitely a cheapskate.  A group of friends and I were chased out of a restaurant in Mexico one time for leaving only 10%. 

My wife, on the other hand, is one of the most caring, kind, and generous people I have ever met.  When we were first married, I used to joke that a waiter could spit in her food and he would still get a 15% tip form her.  Of course, that was an exaggeration.  But, my wife was not voted friendliest girl by her high school graduating class for nothing.  After years of dating and countless debates on the subject, which she always won (my political science major wife always creams her business major husband in debates), my position on tipping slowly changed.  Now, I usually give 15% for okay to good service and 20% for great service.  I also go out of my way to praise a great waiter to the manager.  More restaurant managers need to get back to visiting tables at the end of the meals like they used to. 

My wife made me finally realize that servers are hard working people who make very little by way of an hourly wage from the restaurant and depend on tips for a majority of their income.  In today’s economy, they need our help more than ever!

What about you?  How much do you tip for good service?  Is 15% the standard now or has it changed and risen like inflation?  Is 20% the new 15?

I cannot let this subject go without getting a plug in for my mother (she hates when I do this by the way).  But, when I was a little boy, my mom used to always make me figure out the tip to leave the waiter.  She almost always gave a flat 15% tip no matter what the service was like.  We have all known people who carry tip cards in their wallets or purses, but my mom was a high school math teacher.  So, no tip cards for me.  I had to figure it out in my head or on a napkin.

So, just remember….move the decimal one place to the left giving you 10%, divide that by two, and then add the numbers together.  So, for example, a $75 meal, 10% is $7.50, half of $7.50 is $3.75, and then add them together $7.50 + $3.75 = $11.25 a perfect 15% tip.  Thanks, mom.  Another reason to give 20%….easier math!

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