How do you tip waiters when you use a credit card?

I pay with cash and so just tell the waiter to keep the change or leave money on the table. But how does someone paying with credit card issue a tip?

When they bring you the slip to be signed, the final amount is not filled in. You just add the amount of the tip and then sign it.

On your payment receipt there is a space for filling in the tip (optional) and you just add that on to your total payment on your credit card.

“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

Or you could still leave a cash tip on the table.

Sue from El Paso

Which really is the considerate thing to do, as there is no guarantee the management will kick back the tip from the credit card slip to the server.

your humble TubaDiva

True, TubaDiva. A lot (majority?) of restaurants figure 15-20% is way too much for a mere waitperson to get and kicks back 10%, keeping the rest.
Also, leaning the tip on the table gives the server a chance to screw the tax man. taxing tipsis bullshit, anyway.

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

Uh, rather than leaning the tip on the table, you might want to leave it there. Otherwise it’s kind of hard to find. :slight_smile:

When you travel, you have to read the tourist guides, because lots of countries have an automatic tip figured in. I never know whether to tip cab drivers. I was surprised to find some European cab drivers take credit cards and have a card reader like anyone else, connected by phone, I guess.
My haircutter used to charge $9 so you just gave them a 10 bill, conveniently. But they now charge 10 for the haircut, They could put out some bowl or object where you easily stick the tip.But no.

The credit card company imposes a surcharge, depending on the business volume and other factors, that can range from 2% to 5% (if memory serves.)

The restaurant can pass that charge on to the wait-person.

So, for instance, if you have a $60 restaurant bill that you put on a credit card, and you add a $10 tip… the restaurant gets charged up to $3 on the $60. They can pass $0.50 of that on to the waitperson, who would only get $9.50 of your $10.

That’s why I usually leave cash, even if I’m paying by credit card.

One other hint – I don’t just leave the cash on the table. I make sure the waitperson SEES it. Either I give it to them (with a verbal “thank”) or I make sure they notice me pointing to it. Cash just left on the table is a strong temptation to anyone walking by.

But pointing out the money seems so bourgeois . . .

There’s a cab company in Virginia that also takes credit cards. Must be that yuppie demographic.

I never worked anywhere that didn’t give me all of my credit card tips. At Cracker Barrel they just gave us our credit card tips in cash at the end of the night. What restaurants take out part of the credit tips?

Some places just add them in to your paycheck, where they get taxed like everything else. Better just to leave the cash if you’ve got it, and contribute to the fine art of under-reporting.

Dr. J

Somewhat related question:
Why is it that waiters still only make $2.13/hour? It’s supposed to be half of minimum wage, and it was back when I waited tables and the MW was $4.25. Now, even though the MW has gone up, some serving friends tell me they’re still making $2.13. Is that right? How does that work?

Dr. J

I have worked in hotels for 15 years doing audit and I have never heard of managemet taking anything from the servers. I only work in hotels, not freestanding resturaunts so I cannot comment on that, but I am hard pressed to believe that when you write 15% on a charge slip the servers don’t get it.

I do know of some restaurants, however, who have a policy that tips are pooled, and shared between hosts, waitstaff, buspersons, and sometimes kitchen staff.

The total amount (less credit card bite) is distributed, but the individual waiter may only get half.

Sue from El Paso

I asked my daughter about this, and she said that when she waitressed, credit cards weren’t in such popular use. Customers would pay cash, and tell the cashier to give the change to the server. The cashier was the owner or manager in both places she worked, and would put the tips in a cup with the servers name on it. If the tip was large, he would skim it to 15%. He told them the tip was for the establishment. Pretty bold.

I like to go to foreign countries and tip in dollars.They don’t like it very much when I come back and tip in pounds.

Rich, that practice depends on the country.

For instance, if you’re in the UK and you tip in dollars, the waitperson has to take the dollars to get them changed into pounds. Banks do that but impose a service charge, usually only 2% or 3% on large amounts, like $100 but enough to be a nuisance. Sometimes there’s a minimum charge of a few pounds, so if the waitperson has only got a $5 tip, they may only keep $3 of it after the conversion cost.

If you’re tipping in a foreign currency, I hope to heck you’re adding two or three pounds more than what you want the person to have.

Not to mention the inconvenience that the person has to go to a bank to convert a small amount.

But basically, tipping in dollars is not seen as a joke, it’s seen as rude and costly by the under-paid server. I dunno, I don’t find such jokes by patrons or customers being pulled on servers or clerks to be very funny. Kind of like the master causing pain or annoyance to a servant, and thinking it’s funny. Comes across as rude at best, cruel and costly at worst. I hope I have discouraged you of the practice.

If you’re in a third world country with a soft currency, like Nigeria, it’s a different story, and they’re glad to get the hard dollars.

TubaDiva, if you leave cash on the table there is no guarantee someone next to you won’t take it…

CC slips in the USA have a line on it called TIP & put in the amount.

CC surcharge: 4%

Reminds me of a pizza place here with a jar on the counter that says on it ‘Tip Jar.’ I would tip the jar in front of the clerk but they never catch on.

I’ve waitressed in four different restaurants now, and none has ever taken any of my credit card tips. All had the same basic process at the end of the night: I total all the bills I had over the night, and subtract the total amount written on credit card slips and checks (and gift certificates). I then turn in, in cash, whatever is left over.

An example:
$600 in total sales

  • $100 in checks
  • $250 in credit + tip amount
    = $250 that I turn in, in cash, with the checks and slips.

I keep whatever’s left over, which means essentially that I get the credit card tips in cash, without my employer ever touching it (although they do check!).

I think restaurants get away with paying less than minimum wage by claiming server’s tips as wages. I now work two nights a week at $3.50 an hour to supplement my measly little web developer income, and I figured I usually make about $25 an hour, if I count tips. Not too shabby.

In each place I have tipped out 2% of my sales or 10% of my tips to the bartenders and busboys. All the rest is mine, mine, mine!

And don’t get me started on people who tip less than 15%…

“It says, I choo-choo-choose you. And it’s got a picture of a train.”