Tipping Etiquette - Restaurants
the usual tip is fifteen (15) to twenty (20) percent on the pre-tax amount of the bill
self-service restaurants: 10%
extra accommodating waiters: an extra $5.00 for extra special service
lingering at your table on a busy night: an extra ten (10) to fifteen (15) percent
bartenders: fifteen (15) to twenty (20) percent of the total bill
Guidelines for Tipping:
A gratuity is already included in the bill. Check the bill to see if a gratuity is included (or a service charge).
Your meal costs much less than the restaurant average. If you eat light, or use a coupon, it is thoughtful to leave a tip commensurate with a full-priced meal.
A line for the captain's gratuity. Most restaurants with captains combine tips, with seventy-five percent going to the waiter and twenty-five percent to the captain. If there is a separate line for the captain, you can ignore it and increase the tip if you like.
Unless you are a frequent patron, it is not necessary to tip the maitre d'.
How much you tip a bartender depends in part on whether you're waiting at the bar for a table in the adjoining restaurant or you're at a bar for its own sake.
- Tip the parking attendant $2.00.
- Give the tip when the car is brought to you, not when you arrive.
Busboys are usually not tipped, with two exceptions:
- You spill something and the busboy cleans it up - you may give him or her $1.00 or $2.00 as you leave.
- If a busboy in a cafeteria carries your tray to the table, $1.00 or $2.00 is appropriate.
- In nicer restaurants with piano entertainment, do not tip the piano player unless you see a tip jar - that is unlikely.
- You may tip musicians in more casual restaurants - $2 to $5 on leaving, even if you've made no request - receptacles for tips are usually in clear view.
- If you have made requests, add an extra dollar or more for each song.
- For strolling musicians, the basic tip is $1 per musician, $2 for a party of two; a total of $5 is enough for a group.
- If you make a special request, add an extra dollar to each musician's tip.
- You needn't stop eating when musicians perform table side. Just smile and thank them as you tip when the musicians finish.
Related Tipping Etiquette:
We have complied thorough international tipping guidelines in this section. If you are traveling on business or pleasure, investigate this valuable tipping resource.