Breakfast tipping

The kids and I meet up with Ivylad this morning for breakfast. He’s working a convention and stayed at a nearby hotel for the past two nights so he wouldn’t have to make the drive back home.

We stop off at IHOP, have a nice breakfast (pigs in a blanket for me, stuffed French toast for my son and husband, and a “my-eyes-are-bigger-than-my-tummy” omelet for my daughter.)

The check comes, it’s about $30. Ivylad breaks a twenty at the register, then I offer to walk back to the table to leave the tip. He hands me $3.

I ask him when we get to the car why he only tipped 10%. His explanation?

“It’s breakfast.”

I’ve been a waitress, albeit not at a place that served breakfast. I asked him what difference it made what meal it was or what time of day it was. He said he always only tipped 10% at breakfast.

Have I been whooshed? My husband normally tips well for good service, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of this. Is it SOP to only tip 10% for breakfast meals?

I don’t think so. In fact, if anything, I’ll tip more at breakfast, as sometimes it tends to be cheaper. If I just get a coffee and a muffin or something, and the total is only 3 bucks or whatever it may be. I’ll leave a two dollar tip anyway.

I’ve never heard of leaving less than 15% because it’s breakfast.

I would tip at least $5-6 on that meal. I’m in need of constant coffee refilling, so I’m probably more work as a breakfast customer than as a lunch or dinner customer. 10% is pretty lousy, IMO.

I have never heard of tipping less than the standard 15-20 percent tip at breakfast. Maybe he’s getting it confused with the practice of tipping less for a buffet style meal? (Although, I tend to still use the standard tipping rate for a buffet anyway.)

I tip the same at breakfast or sometimes, like Eonwe, more.

If anything, I tip more at breakfast. The meals are usually cheaper, and breakfast servers run their asses off.

Breakfast or not, servers still have to claim the same amount of taxes and still tip out the busboys.

As a former waitress, as long as the service was good, a 10% tip at any time would be insulting. I would remember that table and give them one more chance the next time they came in. After the second shitty tip for good service, I would never bust my ass for that table again.

Let me be clear: I would not give BAD service, I wouldn’t have ever done anything heinous like spit in the food, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for that table. If the poor tipping table and another table both needed something at the same time, the other (potentially better tipping table) would get it first.

Plus, in my former restaurant, it was very easy to swing free stuff for tables you liked. Let’s just say there were no free sides of sour cream for people that tipped poorly.

The TIME OF DAY is taken into account when you tip? I’d just leave nothing, if i were you. Jesus. A 4.50 tip is called for here. You should have smacked the shit out of the idiot who did this digusting thing. Never have anyting ever to do with him againg until he shapes up. How embrrassing. a 10 percent tip.

I just tipped $4 on a $13 breakfast, and the service wasn’t that great. I always tip more at breakfast, because when it’s 2 people and you’re each only spending $6, 20% just isn’t that much.

I think that the idiot is her husband, or at least SO. So you might want to cut some slack. It’s not a crime to be unaware.

I took the Olethlings[sup]TM[/sup] out to breakfast yesterday. The check was just a hair over $20, before tax. I finally left $4, since $3 seemed to little and I didn’t really have any change. Plus the waitress was efficient and helpful; her recos on meals for the kids saved me some money. Otherwise I’d have probably gone the 15+% route.

And for you foodies, we had breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Kids had strawberry and chocolate chip pancakes, each with a rasher of bacon. I had ham and eggs with a small stack. Very good food.

Shibboleth says:

Shibboleth, you have very good taste. I love The Original Pancake House. I love the San Francisco pancakes, you can smell the yeast a long way off.

I think somewhere like IHOP, assuming a decent level of service, gets the standard 15-20%, I’ve never heard that you’re supposed to tip less for breakfast. OTOH, if you’re going somewhere that isn’t IHOP, like somewhere a little more upscale (not talking 5-stars here, just non-IHOP), I tend to give them a little more than usual, since breakfast time can be a bit of a pain for them. And especially if they refill my coffee every 5 minutes like I want them too.

[slight hijack]
Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever tipped above 10% at an IHOP in years, since the ones we go to around here have HORRIBLE service - I’m not talking about just being a little slow, I mean servers going out of their way to ignore you, being rude, etc. I give them the 10% instead of nothing since I figure it’s a crappy job and I wonder how I’d handle it if it was mine, but still…
[/slight hijack]

I agree with the above posters. You should generally tip a higher percentage for breakfast. For example, if she refilled your coffee five times, you should tip about $2.50 on that cup of coffee. Also, she is getting taxed on those tips, whether or not she receives them, and the IRS doesn’t care what time of the day she was working.

My mom used to shlep tables, and she preferred lunch or dinner to breakfast, as she found that breakfast tips were often less, usually a buck per adult.

I always tip 20% regardless of the meal being eaten.

At the diner where I often go for breakfast, I often tip three bucks on a seven- or eight-dollar check. The waitresses know me, have my coffee waiting, and rarely leave the cup more than half-empty.

I don’t tip less for breakfast when I go elsewhere. In fact, I often tip more. The servers run around like crazy, refilling cups and clearing plates and putting up with kids and all. So, they deserve more, IMHO.


My brother worked as a server for a while, and he told me to always tip very generously for breakfast. First, the total amount billed tended to be lower, but it is the same amount of work for the server. Second, most of the people working the breakfast shift really need the money. In his opinion, the other times of the day had more people who had other resources, but people work breakfast because they are desparate.

So I always tip a minimum of 20% at breakfast, often more than 25%.