How do you determine how much you tip?

This thread is for those who leave tips for service - please don’t threadshit with comments about how you refuse to tip, etc. There have been plenty of threads about that over the years.

I’m more interested in any tipping idiosyncrasies. For example, my husband would tip with amounts that would result in an even dollar final amount. When paying cash, it makes sense to me, but he’d do it on credit cards also.

My mother will do 15% to the penny. Period.

I prefer to tip in even dollar amounts (I almost always pay with plastic, not cash) so I’ll figure 15-20% (depending on how good the service was) and I’ll round to the nearest dollar - usually rounding up unless service was particularly abysmal.

Do you have a tipping quirk?

I tip 15% for normal service, 20% for good service and $1 (in loose change if possible) for bad service that was directly caused by the server. Orders get messed up by the kitchen and that’s OK, dont blame the server when they try to make it right. Speak to the manager about bad kitchen service, dont take it out in the server is my general rule.

Working on holidays calls for a bigger tip. Someone who is obviously covering for missing people may also call for a bigger tip.

Generally 20% maybe a little more. If the service is crappy, 15%.

I’m about 30 percent but that’s just approximate. But–I tip more than that for delivery. For example, my two Chinese delivery meals come out to $22 and a few pennies. I’ll round it off to $30.

When I used to hang out at my local bar, I’d usually tip a buck for every beer I had (beers were $1.50). So if I had two beers I’d leave two bucks. Three beers, three bucks, etc.

If I was at a wedding reception or something, I’d tip the bartender $20 right off the bat.

I’m not good at math. double the tax and round up to nearest whole dollar amount.

(I’ve always lived where sales tax was about 8%). I might have screwed up once or twice when traveling to lower sales tax states.

I ramped up to 20% as a base tip a few years ago, partially because I gained more empathy for servers trying to make ends meet, but also because… it makes the math easier!

But I tipped much more during the lockdown, when places were trying to survive on takeout alone. A lot of our favorite restaurants, coffee spots, and sports bars closed for good.

I’m also trying to eat healthier, which is incompatible with my local tavern where friends and I watch sports (that was us, pulling the Bucks to victory). So I just buy a beer or two and an appetizer…

… but I’ve started tipping as if I’d bought a burger and fries like everyone else. I mean, it’s not the server’s fault that I’m not eating as much.

I round up the change then double the tens place depending on how I’m feeling I’ll then adjust up or down to get to the nearest 5 or 10. I do this with cards since it makes it easy to scan my credit statement and see any fraud since most fraudsters won’t pick up on my idiosyncrasies.

We just had a terrible experience at dinner last night and the initial service was great until the first round of drinks and the food was delivered and then the waitress disappeared and didn’t come back until almost an hour after we’d finished eating. I gave her a 15% tip because she was also the bar manager and they were clearly short staffed.

I’m an inveterate overtipper. There are places I go that don’t charge nearly enough for their services, and I can’t stand to tip only the usual percentage. For example, I used to get my eyebrows waxed for an absurd $7 at an Asian nail salon, in an area where you can expect to pay $15-30 if a white lady is doing it. I am always very satisfied with my results, so I tip based on what the price could have been. (I haven’t been back since the pandemic, but maybe it’s time?)

I also don’t discount the tip based on coupons or specials. If I’m paying $20 for something that would normally cost $40, I’m tipping at least $8, regardless of whether I would’ve ever actually paid $40 or only came in because of the discount.

I also started doubling my crew tip on dive boats because they’re running limited loads during COVID. I don’t know how they’re surviving, frankly. It seems like the least I can do, as someone who can still afford such frivolous activities while so many are hurting.

Anyway, my baseline is 20%, rounded up to the next dollar and sometimes up to the next five or ten, plus however much it takes to assuage my liberal guilt.

At a restaurant, it’s 20% rounded up to the next dollar.

My barber charges 15 bucks and deals only in cash. I give him a 20 and tell him to keep the change. He’s always happy to see me walk through the door.

I tip 20%, usually in cash rounded up. If the service wasn’t good I’ll tip to the penny on my card.

At a bar I only drink pop so I tip kinda based on how long I sat there.

For pizza I tip $3-5. I asked my buddy who was a long time driver if that was ok and he said yeah.

I was taught 15% before tax. But that was 40 years ago.

In recent years, given that wages have not kept pace with costs, I always tip about 20% after tax, and in whole dollar amounts.

ETA: In the USA.

Double the bill
Move the decimal point
Round up

So a bill for $43.66 (total incl tax)
Doubled = 87 ish
Move the decimal = 8.70
Round up to $9
Pay the tip in cash even if I charge the meal…

Usually 20%, upped a bit if service was particularly good, down to 15% if the server was inattentive or there was some other issue (without clear extenuating circumstances like it being a busy restaurant).

Also, at least pre-COVID, I’d sometimes eat out alone, and even 20% might only be $2.50 or $3; in that case, I’d usually bump it up another dollar or so.

Post Covid, I’ve had a lot of bad service. I really try to be patient. I understand bottlenecks and lots of new people.

I never tip on tax, so I usually try to tip close to 20% on restaurant tabs. It’s ended up being closer to 18% a few times. Last night the server didn’t bring the main herself and basically disappeared, I couldn’t get another drink. Thankfully, we had water.

This is in the USA and in Chicago where the tax is fairly hefty.

That’s what I do, but I’d probably even round up that $9 to $10 to make it easier. I’ll leave the tip in cash if I happen to have cash on me (which I rarely do, although the last couple times I’ve been out, I happened to have a good selection of bills for tips. In that case, meal goes on the card, tip is in cash, and the tip line gets CASH written across it to avoid confusion.)

Usually 15-20%, if the service and product were fine.
Sometimes 20-30%, if excellent.
I’ve occasionally gone 30-50%, if truly superb.

Sometimes 10-15%, if subpar.
Rarely, 5-10%, if very poor.

I almost always pay with plastic. I always round up to the nearest whole dollar. Always.

My COVID tipping has tended to be higher - especially all the times we had delivery. It seems sad that as retirees, we may be better off than some working folks these days, and we’re by no stretch of the imagination well-off.

I tend to look at it from a Dolly Levi perspective: “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.” If an extra buck or two from me will help feed someone’s kids or put a little extra gas in the tank, then good.

This is basically what I do most of the time, but I usually put the tip on the card.

If I’m paying happy hour prices, I’ll try to figure out what the bill would have been during regular hours and tip based on that, but I don’t work too hard. So, when paying happy hour prices, I’m tipping a little above 30% usually. So, three beers at $4 instead of $8 – bill is $12, but would have been $24, so I’ll leave $4 or $5.


Usually 20% - just easier to figure out.