I don’t know the answer, but I wish they were! The cooks, busboys, greeters, cashiers are all paid that way. It’s just the waiters who aren’t. Very confusing.
The rationale is that typically more expensive meals require a lot more time and energy from the server - i.e. one server may look after three or four tables at a higher end restaurant, versus 8 or 10 tables at a budget restaurant. So servers at each stand to make about the same in gratuity per hour, but in higher tips from fewer customers vs lower tips from more customers.
Me too! Holy cow. The idea of my work being a complete meritocracy - i.e. if I’m a terrible server I may only make $3/hour - makes my little Canadian neurons want to explode.
This is interesting… but our 3 hour boat cruise was $400, so I’m supposed to tip the driver $45?? This seems a little out of hand.
What boat cruise is it?
sarahraegraham, I see your point. However, tipping based on the total cost of the meal does have some merit. You mentioned that you have a $5 base line. No problem with that, but do you still give that $5 even if there are several of you? The tipping based on meal cost means that they are getting more tip for serving more people. And it’s more work, of course. But if you are not tipping on a per person basis (i.e. $5 per person being served, or perhaps $5 for the first person and $4 for each extra, etc.), then they are getting the same tip regardless of how much extra work they are doing. Tipping based on the amount solves this problem.
What I don’t understand is that tipping a % seems to include the tax recently. I’ve always calculated the tip based on the pre-tax amount.That seemed to be the standard rule in the past, but now it’s an amount based on the total including tax. The state sales tax in my state is just over 8%, so I generally double the tax amount and then round up a little bit. I don’t object to tipping a % based on the total, but I do object to tipping based on the total including tax.
Normally when I eat out, it is just myself and my husband. If we are a group, my amount goes down, as the others add in a tip as well. Normally if there are 4 of us, it works out to around a $10 tip total.
It’s a cultural thing. Not that the US is so differernt culturally from Australia, but being a server has not traditionally been thought of as a long-term career here. People certainly do make careers of it, but not in the way that they do in France for instance. Being a waiter there seems to come with a sense of pride and stature, and the community as a whole recognizes that.
Since that “is the way it is” here, we’ve traditionally gone with the percentage thing. No one else has mentioned it, that I saw, but tipping is exclusive of tax typically. We tip on the total, pre-tax. And, for the record, we tip 20% with little exception. (the exception being buffets, where we usually land between 12 - 15%)
And to offer my opinion about tipping, we start at 20% and only go below that if there is a serious problem with the service. The exception is if a tip is automatically applied to our bill and then we usually default to that. So honestly, if Disney didn’t automatically do the 18% for our group size, our servers would have probably received more from us. Although I can see the point about other strategies, tipping by % of total bill is the prevailing practice and expectation in America right now. So unless or until that changes, I don’t feel that it is fair to the servers who are hired with that as the assumed practice to operate very far outside of that. We would much rather err on the side of being too generous.
In terms of the honesty of servers. At our first meal at Disney with the 18%, my husband didn’t realize it was there and so he wrote in a 20% tip. Our server brought back our bill to us and made sure that we were aware that the 18% tip was already applied and that we intended to add the additional tip on top of that. We weren’t aware until she showed us and she did not have to do that. The fact that she did demonstrated her great integrity.
One of the fireworks private boats a couple years ago. Just two of us for a super special celebration.
20% is standard.
Love me some Dave Ramsey!!!