Appropriate Tip

Have you ever wondered what an appropriate tip is? If you are going out to eat with the family and you aren’t making a lot of money, you may be trying to skimp on the tip. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees and you shouldn’t feel pressured into giving more than an appropriate tip, right? So, how much is too much and how much is too little? Where do you draw the line when you are going out to eat?

Finding the Appropriate Tip Matters

If you think that a few dollars here and there doesn’t make that big of a difference, you should think again. First, let’s think about it from the server’s perspective. An average server may have anywhere from 10-20 groups a night (at the minimum). Sometimes way more than that and sometimes less depending on the restaurant. If a server even has 10 groups in one shift and each group gives $5 less per group, that is a difference of $50 per night. If you work 4 nights a week, that is $200 per week or $800 per month. I don’t know about you, but $800 per month makes a huge difference.

Let’s look at it from your perspective (assuming you aren’t a server). If you go out to eat once every two weeks, or 26 times a year, how big of a difference will $5 make? Well, spending $5 too much on a tip is about $180 per year. That may not sound as bad in comparison to the first example, but think of what you could do with that money. This all points out that finding an appropriate tip matters.

Stick with the Traditional Appropriate Tip

If you are wanting a rule of thumb, stick with tradition: 15%. If you stick with that, you won’t worry about whether you paid too much or too little. If you are feeling generous or cheated, you can always adjust it; but make life much easier on yourself and stick to a flat rate. Heck, these days you don’t even have to do the math in your head – they have apps for these kind of things. Use a calculator or an app and figure out what 15% of the bill is and add that to your bill. Problem solved – no headache.

If you can’t afford to pay 15% on top of your bill because of problems with your family’s finances, you probably shouldn’t be eating out in the first place. Find a cheap alternative at home and save yourself a lot of debt and headache. First things first – make the responsible choice. After that, I recommend sticking to the norm. It’s much easier that way.

15 Responses to Appropriate Tip

  1. I think recently the base level of an appropriate tip has gone up to 20%. 15% means that they did a mediocre job. I try to tip 20% or if they did a really good job I will just round up the check from 20% to the next whole dollar.

  2. weirdfishes says:

    I don’t agree with the 20%, seems like not too long ago it was 10%, then 15%. Why does it keep increasing? The cost of goods are always increasing, why should the percentage for a tip?

  3. I always try to tip 20%. And I agree, if you can’t tip, then you shouldn’t go out. Easy as that.

  4. I agree with LaTisha – my “this was adequate” tip is 18-20%. I’ll only go below 15% if the service was truly atrocious.

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  9. Really? The standard is 15%? My standard has always been 20% when food is involved, and $1 per drink when it’s just drinks. Being frugal with your tip is the wrong place to cut corners.

  10. Forest says:

    Where I find myself moving around quite a lot I get really confused as to what I should give where! Always best to fidn out and give the standard until you get used to a place.

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