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Tipping in restaurants

shankar vembu
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 309
What is the norm at your local town? 10%, 15%, 20% ??? Does this vary from country to country. How about in European countries? How do you tip if you are paying by card?
Thanx.
stara szkapa
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Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
10% - 15%

It goes like that:
1) you give your card to the waiter
2) you get your card back with a bill
3) you write on the bill the tip amount (optional) and the waither takes it back
4) the card gets charged
Ashok Mash
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Posts: 1936
Originally posted by shankar vembu:
How about in European countries?


10-15% in Dublin, Ireland. I guess thats the norm in UK too.


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Joe King
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Posts: 820
IIRC correctly it does vary from country to country. In the UK its normally about 10%, but I've heard that its quite a bit higher in the US for example.

Does anyone else get really annoyed when restaurants automatically add a tip onto the bill? It kind of says that they'd expect you never to leave one unless they pressure you into it. It also assumes that tips are always given. I prefer to think of a tip as a performance-based bonus - if the service was good I'll leave a tip, and if its bad I won't (or I'll leave less than normal). When restaurants automatically add a tip onto the bill, they're almost saying that they don't care about your opinion of if its good or not.
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Assuming the service didn't suck, 20% seems to be the norm in the US, although I know some people prefer to leave 15%.
[ June 09, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Max Habibi
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20% in general, up to 30% for particularly good service( in the US). In Europe, I usually don't leave more than 5-7 Euro(unless it's just coffee or beer, in which case I leave 1 Euro). I'm under the impression that European waiters generally make a living wage.

M


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Chris Norris
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Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 8
Originally posted by Joe King:
It also assumes that tips are always given. I prefer to think of a tip as a performance-based bonus - if the service was good I'll leave a tip, and if its bad I won't (or I'll leave less than normal). When restaurants automatically add a tip onto the bill, they're almost saying that they don't care about your opinion of if its good or not.

Tips always should be given. In the US the wait staff is paid an hourly rate that is less than minimum wage, sometimes only a couple of dollars an hour. If tips were to be performance based and completely optional, then restaurant managers should start paying their employees living wages.
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
20% is my norm. But I am not ashamed to tip zero if this is how I value the service.
Warren Dew
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    2
The norm in the U.S. used to be 15%, I think; last I heard it was 18%. The latter is my baseline, but I'll tip more if the service was good, and less if it was atrocious.

I'll also tip more if my wife and I are splitting an entree, which happens frequently because portion sizes are so huge in the U.S.
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:

I'll also tip more if my wife and I are splitting an entree, which happens frequently because portion sizes are so huge in the U.S.


Portion splitting is an interesting phenomena. When I was poor, I used to ask for portion splits sheepishly, because I was somehow embarrassed about not having enough money.

Now, I order split portions as a rule, and never give it a second thought. It's funny that owning more money means that you don't have to spend as much.

M
shankar vembu
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Posts: 309
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
10% - 15%

It goes like that:
1) you give your card to the waiter
2) you get your card back with a bill
3) you write on the bill the tip amount (optional) and the waither takes it back
4) the card gets charged


Ok, I am confused now.
I thought it goes something like this.
1. I ask for the bill.
2. Waiter returns with the bill.
3. I place my card, waiter goes back.
4. Waiter returns with the card and the bill and asks for my signature(?)
5. I sign, waiter takes the bill. Is it here that I tip? And can I pay the tip in cash? 5-10�??
How will the money get into the waiter's pocket if the tip is charged on the card?
Ok, I admit this is the first time I will be paying using a card in a foreign land and a foreign language

Shankar.
stara szkapa
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Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
You can tip in cash, but in Canada the tip can be charged from the card as well. There is special place on the bill to write the tip amount. Sometimes the waiter will write down the tip amount himself, but most of the time he will expect you to write it down and sign.
[ June 09, 2004: Message edited by: stara szkapa ]
John Smith
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Posts: 2937
Sometimes the waiter will write down the tip amount himself

I've been to places where the tip is predetermined and is included in the bill, but I've never seen the waiter to determine it arbitrarily. Must be a Canadian thing, eh?
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
I have been to some places where if you tip you get a L<<O>><<O>>K from the
waiter. You have just dropped him a level below his station. They'd still accept it as though just given some dog-poo.

Tipping is a disease in the US. I assume our waiters are paid reasonably well.Hope. I won't tip at MacDonalds or Burger King or Pizza Hut (I think in the US you would to subsidise students). At an Italian/Chinese/Indian restaurant I would do the regulatory 10% at least. At least where they have some decent china.
But I'd hesitate at an English restaurant. Haven't eaten at any lately. So perhaps tipping is required. They usually charge much much more, anyway. Ping the crystal to check. If it's ordinary glass , tip. You cannot tell by the ambience these days.

You could tip at a Full English Breakfast Cafe I suppose. But honestly can't recall people doing so.
[ June 09, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

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Warren Dew
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    2
stara szkapa:

Sometimes the waiter will write down the tip amount himself

Does he take into account how good his service was when determining the amount?
stara szkapa
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Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Sometimes the waiter will write down the tip amount himself

I've been to places where the tip is predetermined and is included in the bill, but I've never seen the waiter to determine it arbitrarily. Must be a Canadian thing, eh?


I witnessed this when my employer took us (about 20 people) for a lunch and the waiter wrote down the tip to ensure 10% which suprised my boss since he tips much higher.
Gail Mikels
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Joined: May 07, 2001
Posts: 634
Here's my $.02 (+ tip)
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Sometimes the waiter will write down the tip amount himself
I've been to places where the tip is predetermined and is included in the bill, but I've never seen the waiter to determine it arbitrarily. Must be a Canadian thing, eh?

It's common with groups of about 8 or more to have the restaurant tack on a tip - I've usually seen 18%. This irritates me because they usually figure the 18% on the total bill (including the sales tax). Usually the tip should be figured on the food/drinks.
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
...I won't tip at MacDonalds or Burger King or Pizza Hut (I think in the US you would to subsidise students).

I've never seen tipping at the chain-type fast food "restaurants", but at some other fast food places I've seen a tip jar at the cash register. I never tip those because I always thought a tip was for someone bringing the food to me, not for just taking my order.


Gail Mikels
Max Habibi
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OTOH, I'm always happy to tip: generally, waiters and barkeeps make a fraction of minimum wage, and the rest of their salary comes from tips. My family has owned restaurants for years, so I tend to be sympathetic to the wait staff: Of course, if I didn't have the money, I wouldn't be generous

M
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Is there a difference for waiters if you pay with card or leave cash?


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Max Habibi
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This is a cause for great debate within waiting circles. Some prefer cash, as it's easier to spend, and they might not have to declare all of it for tax purposes. Others like CCd, arguing that people tend to tip more that way.

Drinks have been spilt over this issue.
M
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
This is a cause for great debate within waiting circles. Some prefer cash, as it's easier to spend, and they might not have to declare all of it for tax purposes. Others like CCd, arguing that people tend to tip more that way.

Drinks have been spilt over this issue.
M


My neice is a waitress and her answer is, whichever will get you to leave more money.


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Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
..waiters and barkeeps make a fraction of minimum wage, M


Well, I thought minimum wage is the err.. the minimum wage for any kind of employment. Its around �7 (about $9) per hour here.
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:
For everything you ever wanted to know about tipping, see Reservoir Dogs (diner scene in beginning of movie).


I saw that scene, and I remember thinking: wow, what a cool sounding rationalization for being a cheapskate. It's very in character for goateed, mid-ninties hipster wannabe loser, which is what Tarantino was going for. You're supposed to think the character's a slime bucket.



M
[ June 09, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Jeffrey Hunter
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Joined: Apr 16, 2004
Posts: 305
Excerpt from Uncle Bob's Pancake House Scene, Reservoir Dogs script.

DISCLAIMER: Strong language, so be careful if you have a delicate personality.


WAITRESS
Can I get anybody more
coffee.


JOE
No, we're gonna be hittin it.
I'll take care of the check.



She hands the bill to him.

WAITRESS
Here ya go. Please pay at the
register, if you wouldn't mind.


JOE
Sure thing.


WAITRESS
You guys have a wonderful day.



They all mutter equivalents. She exits and Joe stands up.

JOE
I'll take care of this, you guys
leave the tip.
(to Mr. White)
And when I come back, I want my
book back.


MR. WHITE
Sorry, it's my book now.


JOE
Blonde, shoot this piece of shit,
will ya?



Mr. Blonde shoots Mr. White with his finger. Mr White
acts shot. Joe exits.

NICE GUY EDDIE
Okay, everybody cough up green for
the little lady.



Everybody whips out a buck, and throws it on the table.
Everybody, that is, except Mr. White.

NICE GUY EDDIE
C'mon, throw in a buck.


MR. WHITE
Uh-uh. I don't tip.


NICE GUY EDDIE
Whaddaya mean you don't tip?


MR. WHITE
I don't believe in it.


NICE GUY EDDIE
You don't believe in tipping?


MR. PINK
(laughing)
I love this kid, he's a madman,
this guy.


MR. BLONDE
Do you have any idea what these
ladies make? They make shit.


MR. WHITE
Don't give me that. She don't
make enough money, she can quit.



Everybody laughs.

NICE GUY EDDIE
I don't even know a Jew who'd have
the balls to say that. So let's
get this straight. You never ever
tip?


MR. WHITE
I don't tip because society says I
gotta. I tip when somebody
deserves a tip. When somebody
really puts forth an effort, they
deserve a little something extra.
But this tipping automatically,
that shit's for the birds. As far
as I'm concerned, they're just
doin their job.


MR. BLUE
Our girl was nice.


MR. WHITE
Our girl was okay. She didn't do
anything special.


MR. BLONDE
What's something special, take ya
in the kitchen and suck your dick?



They all laugh.

NICE GUY EDDIE
I'd go over twelve percent for
that.


MR. WRITE
Look, I ordered coffee. Now we've
been here a long fuckin time, and
she's only filled my cup three
times. When I order coffee, I
want it filled six times.


MR. BLONDE
What if she's too busy?


MR. WHITE
The words "too busy" shouldn't be
in a waitress's vocabulary.


NICE GUY EDDIE
Excuse me, Mr. White, but the last
thing you need is another cup of
coffee.



They all laugh.

MR. WHITE
These ladies aren't starvin to
death. They make minimum wage.
When I worked for minimum wage, I
wasn't lucky enough to have a job
that society deemed tipworthy.


NICE GUY EDDIE
Ahh, now we're getting down to it.
It's not just that he's a cheap
bastard--


MR. ORANGE
--It is that too--


NICE GUY EDDIE
--It is that too. But it's also
he couldn't get a waiter job. You
talk like a pissed off dishwasher:
"Fuck those cunts and their
fucking tips."


MR. BLONDE
So you don't care that they're
counting on your tip to live?



Mr. White rubs two of his fingers together.

MR. WHITE
Do you know what this is? It's
the world's smallest violin,
playing just for the waitresses.


MR. BLONDE
You don't have any idea what
you're talking about. These
people bust their ass. This
is a hard job.


MR. WHITE
So's working at McDonald's, but
you don't feel the need to tip
them. They're servin ya food, you
should tip em. But no, society
says tip these guys over here, but
not those guys over there. That's
bullshit.


MR. ORANGE
They work harder than the kids at
McDonald's.


MR. WHITE
Oh yeah, I don't see them cleaning
fryers.


MR. BROWN
These people are taxed on the tips
they make. When you stiff 'em,
you cost them money.


MR. BLONDE
Waitressing is the number one
occupation for female non-college
graduates in this country. It's
the one jab basically any woman
can get, and make a living on.
The reason is because of tips.


MR. WHITE
Fuck all that.



They all laugh.

MR. WHITE
Hey, I'm very sorry that the
government taxes their tips.
That's fucked up. But that ain't
my fault. it would appear that
waitresses are just one of the
many groups the government fucks
in the ass on a regular basis.
You show me a paper says the
government shouldn't do that, I'll
sign it. Put it to a vote, I'll
vote for it. But what I won't do
is play ball. And this non-
college bullshit you're telling
me, I got two words for that:
"Learn to fuckin type." Cause if
you're expecting me to help out
with the rent, you're in for a big
fuckin surprise.


MR. ORANGE
He's convinced me. Give me my
dollar back.



Everybody laughs. Joe's comes back to the table.

JOE
Okay ramblers, let's get to
rambling. Wait a minute, who
didn't throw in?


MR. ORANGE
Mr. White.


JOE
(to Mr. Orange)
Mr. White?
(to Mr. White)
Why?


MR. ORANGE
He don't tip.


JOE
(to Mr. Orange)
He don't tip?
(to Mr. White)
You don't tip? Why?


MR. ORANGE
He don't believe in it.


JOE
(to Mr. Orange)
He don't believe in it?
(to Mr. White)
You don't believe in it?


MR. ORANGE
Nope.


JOE
(to Mr. Orange)
Shut up!
(to Mr. White)
Cough up the buck, ya cheap
bastard, I paid for your goddamn
breakfast.


MR. WHITE
Because you paid for the
breakfast, I'm gonna tip.
Normally I wouldn't.


JOE
Whatever. Just throw in your
dollar, and let's move.
(to Mr. Blonde)
See what I'm dealing with here.
Infants. I'm fuckin dealin with
infants.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

Originally posted by Ashok Mash:

Well, I thought minimum wage is the err.. the minimum wage for any kind of employment. Its around �7 (about $9) per hour here.


There are a few exceptions to the law -- basically those jobs where you make money in tips on top of your regular pay, and very small businesses.

The minumum wage here is much lower; $5.15 an hour.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Elaine Micheals:
Here's my $.02 (+ tip)

I never tip those because I always thought a tip was for someone bringing the food to me, not for just taking my order.


Yes that must be the hard work. Dealing with customers and making them want to come back.
I am sure they have a system where they collect tips wherever and share them out right down to the dishwasher. Just to keep the team happy.
Bell boys (luggage handlers) could be expected to keep their tips. approx $10
but cleaners don't get tipped. In a good hotel you won't expect cleaners to pick tips. In a ski chalet cleaners do - that student thingie again.
[ June 09, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Well the snooty restaurants' (mentioned previously) prices were around 20 quid per dish.

In defence of dining. Note no tipping mentioned.
This is morally outrageous. Even our penny scrimping Queen would have banquets at �10 per person : Baked beans and dauphinoise potatoes on a royal platter.
[ June 09, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
No tipping in Korea. Pay what's on the bill and leave. I like it like that. Koreans don't expect it and get embarrassed if you try. Never had bad service either. You might let a taxi-driver keep the change but that's about it.

I went to Turkey last year. Seems you have to tip for everything - restaurant staff, room cleaners, toilet attendants, porters, even the reception staff get tip box (for handing out keys?!). Of course I don't know how much of that was 'traditional behaviour' and how much was just 'getting all you can from the tourists', probably the latter. Not really a problem money wise (it probably added up to about 10 pounds in total) but keeping all that loose change and small notes in your pocket is just a pain in the arse (back pocket).

There was an episode of this US comedy program, HBO, starring the writer(?) of Seinfeld, bald guy, looks like Jnr. Soprano ... anyway he was getting hastle for not tipping the restaurant 'seating captain' or something, the guy that gets you the table!

Remembered! - Curb Your Enthusiasm. Annoying mostly but the scene where he's trying to wrangle how to sort out the tips was quite funny.
[ June 09, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
If the tip is written on the bill when I get it I strike it out and don't tip at all.
Tips should NEVER be taken for granted, they're supposed to show appreciation for services rendered above and beyond what can reasonably be expected.
If establishments lower salaries because they calculate in a percentage in tips that staff make that's not my problem.

In Turkey tipping is customary, in fact in many Muslim societies it is.
Haggling is also expected and sellers may be offended if you don't do that (in Turkey this is changing somewhat, goods with printed instead of handwritten pricetags are usually set prices now).

In Germany on the Autobahn you'll often be asked to pay for use of restroom facilities. This is actually illegal! They all get union wages and are well paid, the money goes into their pockets.
If the facilities are exceptionally clean it's of course OK to tip, but shouldn't such cleanliness be the standard rather than an exception worthy of special compensation?
Restrooms are paid for by the German highway authorities, or if in truckstops are heavily subsidised by them.


42
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Chris Norris:

Tips always should be given. In the US the wait staff is paid an hourly rate that is less than minimum wage, sometimes only a couple of dollars an hour. If tips were to be performance based and completely optional, then restaurant managers should start paying their employees living wages.


This is really bizarre. Here in the UK, IIRC it would be illegal to pay someone less than the minimum wage, unless they were on commission. What's the point in a minimum wage if its not implemented?

Also, what about the people working in the kitchens? They probably get a similarly low wage, but won't get any tips.... unless customers happen to wonder through the kitchen and get very excited about the quality of the washing up

In a way I agree with the Resevoir Dogs view point - the wages of the waitor/waitresses are set by the market system we all so love, so if the pay wasn't high enough they should (theoretically) go somewhere else. If people stopped automatically tipping, and only tipped when service was good, it could have the twin effects of encouraging good service, and pushing wages up. Rather than tipping the waitor/waitress, a customer may be able to better help him/her by lobbying the government to enforce the minimum wage (although that may well cause restaurant prices to go up).
Max Habibi
town drunk
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Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
In Turkey...Haggling is also expected and sellers may be offended if you don't do that (in Turkey this is changing somewhat, goods with printed instead of handwritten pricetags are usually set prices now).

This is a persistent myth that I've never understood: anyone who know anything about the culture knows it's not true. maybe it helps the tourists rationalize haggling? At any rate, for the offical record, it's not accurate.
[ June 10, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Max Habibi
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Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Joe King wrote:This is really bizarre. Here in the UK, IIRC it would be illegal to pay someone less than the minimum wage, unless they were on commission. What's the point in a minimum wage if its not implemented?


The government's rationalization is that tips are expected for service: thus, employees are legally allowed pay wait staff less than minimum wage: I think 1/2 or 2/3 rds.


Also, what about the people working in the kitchens?


they get minimum wage.
Damien Howard
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 01, 2003
Posts: 456
In the US

Standard tip is 15%
Some people are trying to push it up to 18%
If you go to a restaurant with a party of 8 or more they usually add the tip for your convenience, but you are not obligated to pay that amount. You can pay whatever you feel ther service deserves, but if you order a lot it is usually nice to leave a little extra.

Waiters get paid much less than minimum wage because they are expected to make it up in tips. If after tips they still do not make min wage then the restaurant is obligated to make up the difference. I doubt that they do though.

Paying tip with cash means the waiters can get it faster.

Sometimes the waiters have to bribe the busboys with some of their tip money to clear the tables so that they can customers in quicker.

Some restaurants though are all family owned and run so tipping seems silly because you know that the family will take care of their own, but you can never tell if they are an all family run place so you always have to tip just so that you aren't screwing over some poor lady.
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Thinking about it, I think I also prefer 10% because it easiest to work out (especially of one has had a few beers with the meal).
Bob Reardon
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 01, 2000
Posts: 160
Originally posted by Joe King:
IIRC correctly it does vary from country to country. In the UK its normally about 10%, but I've heard that its quite a bit higher in the US for example.

Does anyone else get really annoyed when restaurants automatically add a tip onto the bill? It kind of says that they'd expect you never to leave one unless they pressure you into it. It also assumes that tips are always given. I prefer to think of a tip as a performance-based bonus - if the service was good I'll leave a tip, and if its bad I won't (or I'll leave less than normal). When restaurants automatically add a tip onto the bill, they're almost saying that they don't care about your opinion of if its good or not.


If you have a large party, 8 or more, some restaraunts will automatically add a 15% tip to the bill.
Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Sometimes the waiter will write down the tip amount himself

I've been to places where the tip is predetermined and is included in the bill, but I've never seen the waiter to determine it arbitrarily. Must be a Canadian thing, eh?


I think in france it is already included in the bill(according to something i read recently).


Kishore
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alex morgan
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Posts: 1
Giving tips to waiters can be a great help for them aside from their salary. It used to be that everyone paid with cash, or possibly a check, for everything, everywhere. However, we now live in the credit and debit card age and are heading for cellular payments, but one should always make an effort to tip waiters with cash whenever we can.
 
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subject: Tipping in restaurants