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How Much Should I Tip at a Restaurant?

The class of the restaurant, the server and the size of your party will all influence how much you tip. Different cultures have different expectations so the exact percentages will vary depending on where in the world you live. Tips can be anywhere from 10% to 20%, depending on the cost of the meal, before taxes 

Common Tipping Methods

The tip in the United States is influenced by the class of the restaurant and where you sit. Patrons can enjoy fine dining as well as buffets and cafes. They also have the option to eat at a bar or counter. A tip is required for any waiter who serves you food.

A tip of 15% is a common tip for eating in a cafe or restaurant. Service is not considered an important part of the meal at a counter or bar so a tip of 10% to 12% is common. For larger parties with seven or more people, you should expect to pay at least 20%. This gratuity might be included in your bill automatically.

Tipping at a buffet can be difficult. Tipping is not necessary for fast-food buffets. It is acceptable to tip a waiter who serves drinks. High-end buffets may require a tip of 15%-20%. This tip will be included in your bill.

Tipping other staff

At a four-star restaurant, tips will be expected from many other staff members. Valets and coat-checkers usually receive a few US Dollars (USD). A significant tip should be given to the maitre d’, which is usually a lump sum and not a percentage. These tips should be made before you are seated.

While you wait to be seated at a restaurant’s table, you should stop by the bartender to receive 10% to 15% of your bar bill. It is best to pay the bar tab before you are seated. If you do not, you can tip $1 to $2 USD per beverage. After you’ve finished eating, tip the waiter at least 20%. For wine, a wine steward should tip 15%. However, if you have expensive bottles of wine, a tip as low as 10% is acceptable. Bathroom attendants are often given a small amount, up to $1 USD.

Takeout and delivery

Tipping is not expected when you pick up food from a restaurant. You should tip the person who prepares your food. However, it is not expected to tip more than 10%. A tip at the higher end of this scale is appropriate if your order was difficult or the person who prepared it was extremely helpful.

Delivery is offered by many restaurants. However, there may be a delivery charge. This does not replace tipping. In most cases, delivery people should be tipped 15%. You should tip 15% if the delivery person delivered the food quickly, or during heavy rain or snow.

Service

Keep in mind that service and food are two separate things. The quality of the service is what you tip, not the food or the ambiance. For example, if the food was not good but the service was excellent, you can complain to the manager and tip the server. If the food was delicious but the service was poor, a lower tip would be appropriate.

It doesn’t matter where you are dining, a tip of a few percent is a great idea if the server worked hard or went out of their way to make your experience enjoyable. This is a sign that you appreciate and acknowledge the high quality service received. Good tips will ensure you receive excellent service in the future.

The United States is not the only country that offers this service.

In all countries, tipping is not expected or required. In some cases, it is even considered insulting to leave a tip. Some countries have a tip or gratuity built into the bill. It’s common for this to be between 10% and 15%. Some cultures allow you to tip extra for exceptional service, or to round up the bill. In others, no additional amount is required. It is worth looking into the expectations regarding tipping in your destination before you travel.

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