How and how much to leave for tea: basic rules
Tipping is the most controversial and discussed part of visiting restaurants and bars. It is complicated by questions about what is possible and what is not, feeling guilty, that you are not enough money, and the subtleties of mathematical calculations. And in different types of establishments - different rules depending on what you order. How much to leave the bar, and how much - in the restaurant?
Authors The Washington Post talked to insiders of restaurants and bars, to get their point of view on the amount of tips in different situations. Most advised to leave a generous tip - and this is not surprising, given that they themselves benefit from it. Below - the rules with explanations to understand what is happening on the other side of the bar.
Lunch or dinner in a full-service restaurant
Leave 20% of the bill.
What about 15% standard? Forget about it. Most dinner at full-fledged restaurants leave more, and not without reason. Look at the numbers: DC waiters earn an average of $ 27 360 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Who paid rent in this city, knows - to live here with comfort, you need more money.
Restaurant critic Tom Siecema wrote about this in his column: "20% is now the generally accepted standard, except that the service leaves much to be desired." He added that he came to this figure by researching websites on finance, etiquette and consumption, as well as based on his own years of experience in this area. In 2016, a tip of 15% is for the "average" level of service.
In addition, from the client’s point of view, “it’s much easier to calculate 20% of the amount,” says restaurateur Jackie Greenbaum, who often leaves 25% or 30% tips.
When you take only coffee
Round the amount or add a dollar if you are a regular customer or have ordered a complex drink.
As a rule, customers round off the cost, leaving a tip for coffee, says Chris Vigilante, founder of the Vigilante Coffee Co. coffee house. If they are regular customers and know their barista, then they do it more often. Sometimes a barista just pours coffee in a cup, but if you ordered a drink that requires more time and skills - for example, latte or cappuccino - then a dollar tip is quite reasonable.
Lunch at the Mobile Diner
Leave a few dollars in the bank for a tip, but less than in a regular cafeteria.
Mobile diner workers don't just give you food, says Najiba Chlemi, executive director of the DMV Food Truck Association. They also prepare everything in the morning, cook at lunch and wash the van-cafe after work.
However, mobile diners do not rely on tips as much as restaurant staff, so you can give thanks, but not necessarily, says Patrick Rathbone, owner of Mobile Diner, Big Cheese. He usually leaves a tip after receiving the food, depending on the service provided.
Takeaway at the fast-food cafeteria
If you are well served, leave a dollar.
For a while, the Taylor Gourmet sandwich café network removed the tipping banks, but at the request of customers wanting to thank for the service, they were returned back, says co-owner Casey Patten. In many cafes with fast service there are none at all. The average tip size, he says, is about a dollar - that's about 8% of the check. If the service is fast and the employee is friendly, more is left, says Patten. Nevertheless, you are not obliged to tip in such establishments, although with a strong desire to thank you, you can.
As in the case of a mobile diner, you can leave a tip after receiving your order.
When you give a free drink or dish
The size of the tip is as if you were paying the full price.
The cost of what you eat or drink does not change, even if you do not pay for it. Steve Ur, regional director of the restaurant group, says that people often forget to leave a tip for free food. You will not be convicted of forgetfulness, but still it is better to say “thank you” with a tip, he says.
When you use a gift certificate
Leave a tip on the full cost of dinner or lunch, and not on the amount paid.
Your waiter is not making less effort just because someone paid for your lunch. You leave a tip for the services provided to you.
When you drink expensive beer instead of ordinary beer
Leave a little more tip.
It seems logical to leave more tips for a porterhouse steak than for a hamburger. At the same time, many customers believe that it is normal to leave $ 2 "for tea" for 2 bottles of 4-dollar ordinary beer and the same amount for 2 12-dollar bottles of strong Belgian ale.
“I understand we're just turning around to get you a beer,” says Jack McAuliffe, bartender at Sovereign. “But the service that you get, as well as the time and effort spent on creating such a beer assortment, is something that is not found anywhere else. We put a lot of effort into finding this beer and helping people have more choices, ”he says.
When you order a takeaway in a restaurant
Leave 10-15% of the amount or at least a few dollars tip.
Although you are not provided with a full-fledged catering service, someone has spent time and effort in accepting an order, packing it and giving it to you. At least a few dollars a tip would be a good gratitude for this, according to restaurant insiders. You can also leave a dollar or a few in the tip bank at the bar when you pick up your order.
When you order food delivery
As with take-away - 10-15% or a few dollars.
Experts believe 10-15% of the bill or $ 2-5 will be enough for pizza delivery, depending on the size of the order and the complexity of delivery. Couriers need to pay more, they say, because you get food straight to the door.
When the owner serves you
Leave the same tip as the waiter.
And you do not need to think much - if the owner serves you, then he performs someone else’s work. Just because he owns the institution does not mean that his services do not have to be paid for.
Mamadou Fall, co-owner of Chez Dior in Hayatsville, often works in the hall with customers. He noticed that, as a rule, he was given less tip than the waiters, although, according to him, he serves the guests better, and maybe better, often spending more time with them.
Some restaurants practice a common “bowler hat” for tips, which are then distributed over the shift depending on the hours worked and the position. So, if you don’t leave gratitude to the owner, it can be worth the money earned by his waiters.
When you drink only water at the bar
Leave "for tea" as if you drank alcohol.
Not all bar visitors want to drink alcohol or even non-alcoholic beverages. But even if you drink only water or soda, leave a tip, as for alcohol. After all, you occupy a place where someone could order cocktails for $ 10. If you do not want the bartender to lose earnings because of your reluctance to drink alcohol, leave him or her at least $ 2.
When you calculate tip size from before or after taxes
Count from the total bill.
Steve Ur says that most restaurant visitors calculate a tip from the amount after taxes. Why? Because of his dislike for mathematics, he says: “I think it's easier to count that way.” Jackie Greenbaum adds that “generosity is always better.”
When you are offered a tasting or you buy a bottle of beer to go
Add a $ 1-2 tasting tip. If you take with you, leave 15%.
In some breweries, visitors receive coupons for free tastings. In such cases, there is no fact of payment, which can be calculated tip. It is recommended to leave a dollar or two in the bank for a tip as a sign of gratitude to the person who poured you a beer. If they recommend something or provide information, leave more.
When buying a bottle of beer to go, leave a tip, as with any other takeaway food service - about 15%. This is a payment for the services of the person who fills the bottle and ensures that everything is good, and you get the beer that you ordered.
Well, it goes without saying that if you came to the brewery at the brewery to buy a takeaway beer and drink beer, while waiting for your order, leave a tip, as if you were served at a bar.
When you spend the whole night at the table with the same waiter
Leave a 20% tip plus a few dollars.
From the point of view of the waiter, there is a difference between a group of people who hangs in a bar for hours and a couple who order 2 glasses of wine and leave. The size of the tip definitely depends on the amount of time and services the group needs, says Brian Harrison, bartender at Jackpot and Lost and Found.
If the group orders a lot of drinks and shots, it distracts the bartender from other customers. In this case, "you can and should leave a little more tip."
When you order drinks at happy hours
Leave a tip at full price.
“It's a tricky question,” says restaurateur Trevor Fry. - Let's say you sell a beer for $ 8, which costs $ 5 during happy hours. On every order, you lose 20% of this $ 3 difference. When servicing hundreds of people, a considerable amount runs up. And you are selling the same product with the same service. "
Fry recommends leaving 20% of the regular price, if you know it, and if not, add 20% to it and count the tips from this amount. Not all bartenders agree with this. But the general rule is this: you save money on beer, and saving money on tips, you substitute bartenders as well.
When you pay for each drink separately and when you pay the entire amount together
It depends on a few points.
If you leave a dollar after each beer you drink, then you pay the bartender less than a visitor who drinks on credit and leaves 20% of the total bill. However, both methods are considered fair.
“If you walk up to the bar, order a drink and take it to the other side of the room, then $ 1 is enough,” says McAuliffe. But if you sit at the bar for 20 or 30 minutes and drink water, while asking the waiters for advice on which beer to drink, “then it should be 20%,” he says.
If we are talking about complex cocktails, then you need to leave $ 2. With an average cocktail cost of $ 12, a $ 1 tip is not even 8%. For the exact amount of 20% of the price plus tax, it can be difficult to find cash, so it is better to leave $ 2, experts say.
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