Restaurant Tipping Tips — How Not to Impress Your Date

Restaurant Tipping Tip #1

If you make your tip a percentage of the bill, you should apply a much lower percentage to the portion of the bill that covers alcoholic drinks since the markup on alcoholic drinks in restaurants is so high.

Restaurant Tipping

Restaurant Tipping Tip #2

The “standard” tip percentage has increased over time. It used to be 10 percent. Then it became 15 percent. Now sometimes one hears that the tip should be 20 percent. The amount of tips should of course be increasing over time to cover inflation. But there is no good reason why the percentage figure should be increasing. This has generally been happening because times have been good and people feel freer with money. You’re not being “cheap” if you resist tip-percentage inflation. You are being cheap if you still tip the same dollar amount as you did “in the old days,” however.

Restaurant Tipping Tip #3

Part of the reason why restaurant service is paid through tips is that service is an important part of the restaurant dining experience and giving control of the payment for this service to the diner is a good means of insuring that good service is provided. So it is proper to tip better when service is good and less when it is bad (some people feel funny about this). But it is extreme to leave a zero tip or an insignificant tip. In cases in which service is so bad that you feel justified in leaving a zero tip, you should be talking to management. In these sorts of cases, the problem is more than a problem with one particular waiter or waitress.

Restaurant Tipping Tip #4

Your date will notice how much you tip. Properly so.

Restaurant Tipping Tip #5

The fact that your date will notice how much you tip does not mean that you should always be exceedingly generous with tips when on a date. Your date wants to know that you are charitable, so generous tipping is a plus. Your date also wants to know that you have enough self-confidence not to feel a need to impress her or him with such tactics. Going overboard can backfire.

Restaurant Tipping Tip #6

How Much to Tip You should provide a reasonable tip even in restaurants that you do not ever expect to visit again because you are only traveling though the town in which they are located. But it makes obvious strategic sense to tip more generously at restaurants you expect to dine at frequently.

Restaurant Tipping Tip #7

Sometimes, you cannot afford a big tip. If that’s the case, that’s the case, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. If you order the most expensive item on the menu, though, and then try to persuade yourself that you are not leaving a suitable tip because you cannot afford to do so, it’s not going to work. You should take the need to tip into account when deciding what to order.

Restaurant Tipping Tip #8

When dining with a group, do not fuss over the amount of the tip. In these circumstances, the most important thing is to avoid social friction. Include an extra big tip as part of your contribution to the cost of the meal to cover for someone who doesn’t come up with his or her share. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Restaurant Tipping Tip #9

The rule in #8 holds even more when someone in the group took on the task of calculating each person’s share and you ended up being the last person to contribute and you see that the waiter or waitress will be stiffed if you leave only your fair share. If all of the calculations have been made, you should put in something extra to make it work, even if that is not an entirely “fair” result. This does not apply, of course, if it appears that the initial count was wrong by a large amount. Make a fuss only if you are talking about a big number.

Impressing Your Date

Restaurant Tipping Tip #10

There’s power in determining how much to tip. Don’t let the power go to your head. Yes, you want to tip less when service is poor. But don’t start thinking that it is your job to “punish” waiters or waitresses who don’t do a good job. Make your little “statement” and let it be.