How much should you tip? How to tip restaurants

We have all been there. You place your order in a cafe or pizzeria. The cashier turns the iPad screen and you have three tip amounts to choose from: 15, 20, and 25%, plus a no-tip option at the bottom. You feel the pressure from the cashier. Are you taking too much time? There are people behind you in line who can clearly see how much you will tip. You will feel like a moron if you don’t give anything.

It wasn’t that long ago that you didn’t tip at places like this. There was a jar you could put change or a few dollars in, of course, but tipping didn’t seem as widespread. Tipping via a swiveling iPad screen in places that aren’t sit-down restaurants started before the pandemic. With the dawn of Apple Pay, retail environments have incorporated tipping into their payment process to copy the restaurant industry model.

“They then try, in many cases, to drive workers’ wages down from minimum wage to sub-minimum wage,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of the advocacy group. A fair salary and author of Fork: A New Standard for American Dining. This way the company had less responsibility for paying its employees – they were tipped, just like the servers. “We saw cafes in [Washington] DC who first implemented this implanted tip and then tried to raise workers’ pay by $15 [an hour] up to $3.

This has created an environment where tips are everywhere and you don’t always know how much to tip. So we reached out to people in the service industry to get their perspective on tipping in different circumstances. Use it as a guide the next time you’re not sure how much to leave.

I order takeout from a restaurant. Should I leave a tip?

Yes, at least 10%.

“I always tip 20% for takeout, but it deserves at least 10%,” said Darron Cardosa, server and blogger at The bitchy waiter.

I order delivery from a restaurant. How much should I tip the delivery person?

Not less than $5.

Alejandro Rodriguez, waiter at the restaurant Melroseplace in Los Angeles thinks 15% is a good number.

Katrina Sobredilla, head bartender at 8282 in New York, think no less than $5. “I can’t even imagine delivering by bike and how difficult it would be,” she said.

What if it’s snowing or raining outside?

You should tip more.

“If the weather is bad, definitely tip more,” Cardosa said. “The delivery man is the one who saves you from having to go out in it.”

“For me, I always tip 20% down the line,” said Krista Lepore, who has worked in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years and hosted the Travel Channel show. American truck stop. “If the weather is bad, I tip more, especially if it’s a place where you always order.”

I buy a drink at the bar with my credit card. How much should I tip?

At least 20 percent.

“Always over 20%,” Sobredilla said. “If I need another, the bartender will usually come to me first or remember me for the next time I come in.”

Rodriguez and Lepore agree.

What if the restaurant food was bad, but the service was good?

Always tip at least 20%.

“Tipping is based on the service, not on whether the food was to your liking,” Cardosa said. “I would like customers to understand that tipping badly because the food was bad only hurts the server, which has nothing to do with how the food was prepared.”

Lepore echoed that sentiment. “The service staff are there to make sure you have an amazing experience,” she said. “If the food sucked, tell the manager. If the service was excellent, you tip the service, which is 20%. »

how to tip

What if the service was bad, but the food was good?

We all have bad days. 20 percent.

Jayaraman said it’s best to always stick to 20% or more. This way, your implicit biases don’t affect your tip. “Right now, in most states, people are still relying on that as a salary. If you think of any other client-facing profession – a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher – their income does not depend on their satisfaction,” she said. “If we understand that tips are still just payments for people to do work, then it shouldn’t be based on whether we like them or not. It should be just a flat 20 percent.

“Even if everything sucked, I would still tip 20%. We all have bad days or days off,” Sobredilla said.

“It would be even more helpful to let management know that the service hasn’t lived up to the standard of the food,” Cardosa said. “This suggestion should be made discreetly and not left in an online review calling the server by name.”

Let’s say I’m at a fast casual place and they have an iPad at checkout with options for a percentage tip. Do I tip?

Yes, even if only a little.

“If there’s an option to tip, I end up tipping, even if it’s only $1,” Sobredilla said.

Lepore said it could be a tricky situation. “If you think the service was excellent, friendly, engaging and they really wanted to make you happy, then I would tip.”

“It’s not rude not to tip, but obviously the working crew will be very grateful,” Rodriguez said. “Cafés are usually the easiest way to get recognized as a regular and hopefully have a faster wait time for your drink.”

Should I tip the barista in a cafe?

Not necessarily 20%, but yes.

“I tip the barista because when it’s busy and they see me, they always get my drink ready for me when I walk through the door,” Sobredilla said. “Even though it’s not a regular place. I need my caffeine.

“I feel like a barista is doing a service for the customer, so a small tip is warranted,” Cardosa said. “It doesn’t have to be 20% of the cost of the mochaccino caramel double strike.”

What if the restaurant says tip is included?

You don’t need to tip extra.

“If the restaurant says tip is included, it may be against server policy to accept an additional tip,” Cardosa said. “Read the fine print. Is it a service charge that goes to the restaurant or a tip that goes to the staff? »

“I leave it as it is, because sometimes they don’t have that possibility of [accepting additional tips]“said Sobredilla.

But Lepore said this model, popularized by restaurateur Danny Meyer, may be inauthentic. “It was a way of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and everyone who works in a ‘hospitality included’ restaurant earns 20% less than tipped employees,” she said. Model Danny Meyer, as she called him, pays her workers minimum wage plus the 11% of food and beverage sales from the day split among all staff. The model used by Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of NYC restaurant Dirt Candy, pays everyone between $25 and $27 an hour. “It’s not a living wage in New York anyway, unless you live in a two-bedroom apartment with four roommates,” she continued. “Bring cash and tip.”

Jayaraman recommends looking for places that pay their workers a living wage and provide benefits. “Support the thousands of restaurants who are now doing the right thing by paying full wages and adding tips or gratuities,” she said. Here is a resource to find restaurants doing this in your state.

Why have some restaurants abandoned the tipping model?

There are a few reasons. The most important are related to prejudice against servers.

“What was problematic before the pandemic about having tips as a salary replacement was not just that it was a very precarious and economically unstable way of life that resulted in tipped workers experiencing three times the poverty level of other workers,” Jayaraman said.

“It was also the reason why there was such harassment and such great racial inequities in the industry. More than two-thirds of tip workers in America are women. And it was so irrefutable at this point that people of color were always tipped less than white servers due to implicit customer bias It was never about quality of service It was always about looks, race, gender You know, if it’s a woman, if she lets herself be touched, the size of her breasts, the color of her eyes, the color of her hair.

how to tip

You foot the bill for a big party. Do you tip more than 20%?

Extra work means extra tip.

“I give a little extra tip at the beginning to thank you for having to take us,” Sobredilla said.

“If the server went above and beyond, it’s always nice to add a little more,” Cardosa said. “No server will be disappointed with more than 20%, but every server will be satisfied with 20%.”

Rodriguez said, “Tipping should be around 22-30% depending on the needs of the group.”

Lepore asked an important question: “Were you very demanding? Seriously?” she said. “Was it a birthday or a party with presents and decorations and you let the waiter clean it all up after you left? Tip more!

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