You have just enjoyed a great dinner at a restaurant, you are finishing off your glass of wine and your server comes to you and drops off your bill. You look at the total and ask yourself: How much should I tip?
In our social society, and most countries, leaving a tip or gratuity at a restaurant is expected. The tip is for the service you received by a server or a bartender that is not covered by your tab or bill.
When deciding how much to leave, people should take in to consideration a number of things while dining said Paul Schickler.
Schickler is the general manager for Austin’s American Grill, located in Old Town. Schickler has been in the restaurant business for 17 years, starting as a dishwasher back in Rochester, NY.
People should notice how soon they were greeted by a server, how courteous he or she was, if dirty dishes were removed, if a rapport was established and how quickly the check came when requested.
“Servers rely on tips, most are only paid $2.13,” Schickler said. Also he said most servers do not receive a paycheck because their tips usually exceed the amount they are paid hourly and Uncle Sam voids their checks.
In a town of thousands of students, how generous are students when it comes to leaving a tip?
Schickler pointed out that a good number of students have or currently work in the restaurant business, and have a better understanding of how dependable servers are when it comes to leaving a tip.
The industry standard for leaving a tip is generally 15 percent. But for people who are in the industry should, as a good rule of karma, leave 20 percent.
Tips originated from patrons tipping their servers beforehand, to ensure better service, said Schickler.
“If you felt like you received good service, tip accordingly,” Schickler said. “15 percent is minimal, if you are satisfied…20 percent if your server did a stellar job.”
If you feel uncomfortable leaving 15 percent because of bad service or bad food, still leave 15 percent but make sure you inform someone, the manager or even the server.
As an insult in the early part of the century, if someone received poor service he or she would leave a penny behind to let the server know.
Now drinking at a bar carries some different rules. If the bartender is also your server (you are eating at the bar,) then the 15 percent rule is still in affect. But if you are just having drinks, a good rule to follow is generally about a $1 a drink – yes, even during happy hours. Ordering wine also has some special rules.
In most dining experiences, if you order a bottle of wine, you should still tip on the total amount of the bottle even though the server might have only opened the bottle for you. If your server has great wine knowledge, that is also ground to include more in the tip.
If your server can suggest a great wine to go along with your dinner, you should tip on how much product knowledge your server has. But if you ask your server what wine would go best with your Delmonico steak and they tell you, “well, let me go check,” then they do not know their product and they need to be retrained according to Schickler.
If you are out with a group, restaurants generally include gratuity for parties of six or more. When splitting the tip between groups, spilt the tip by the number of people not by what you ordered.
In the opinion of this writer, tipping is not an option when dining out. If you are sitting down in a restaurant, then you should consider a tip as important as the bill. When your server drops off your ticket, that ticket only includes your meal, not the experience. Schickler and I both agree that servers complete the dining experience. Your tip pays for the service your server, waiter or waitress provides.
When I dine, my general rule is always leave 15 percent. For me to leave more than that, I look for how often my server came to check on my meal, if I had to ask for a drink refill, good rapport, if my meal is correct and how long I had to wait for the bill.
Remember you should always feel comfortable with the tip you leave. Everything said was only suggestions. Tip on what feel you is appropriate.