Tipping

When the bill arrived after lunch in a casual, sit-down Mexican restaurant, I noticed the “tip amount” help printed at the bottom of the receipt.

I’d never seen it before, so I tweeted out “Terrific or Tacky?” The responses that flurried back were roughly split 50/50.

Some thought it was helpful, acknowledging a lack of math skills or as a reminder of more important things, like paying attention to you guests.

@RellaBellaK I like it, but then, I’m terrible at math

@ericeatsout I actually like it. A tactful reminder that 15% isn’t acceptable these days, and that most servers deserve a healthy tip

@jwillensky I like it. Convenient, and nice to focus on dining companions instead of math.

Others thought it tactless — even offensive.

@Dinnersforayear tacky. very tacky

@ttolmachoff tacky

@TheLargWhiteMan I’ve always found it unnecessary. #ijustusemynoggin

And still others were ambivalent — and funny.

@andrewkfromaz tacky but kinda handy at the same time. I guess it’s like a fanny pack.

It struck me as funny, too. How many people go to the trouble to calculate the tip to an exact amount, with no rounding?

On the same trip, I encountered another restaurant, this time a brewpub, that printed the “convenience” math.

What is the right amount to tip, anyway?

Everyone has their own idea of how much to tip, so I’m not going to tell you how to tip. That’s your decision, based on your experience.

I once got a $100 tip on a $50 tab from a couple oil men celebrating a strike over burgers and brews.

Another time I got one penny from a group of snooty women, one of whom I “accidentally” spilled a drink down her back. (Ladies, please don’t insult your server until after you’ve been served.)

In the end, it’s up to the server to give good service. It’s up to management to schedule appropriately so that servers can give good service.

And finally, it’s up to the diner to grade the service in the form of a tip.

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