What’s The Proper Amount to Tip a Waiter?

American diners are a fickle bunch. We love going out to eat but when the check comes we don’t know what to do. How much should we tip? Is it 15%, 18%, 20% or more?

It’s gotten so bad that many restaurant chains now place a “tip guide” on the bottom of their checks that list the recommended tip in percentage and dollar amounts. Yes, this makes it easier to figure out the totals but what do we base these amounts on?

Well it depends. It depends on:

1. Did the waiter greet you with a warm sincere smile?

2. Did the waiter make you feel welcome?

3. Did the waiter inform you of the various possibilities of food substitutions for your meal?

4. Did the waiter make your children feel important and not like a nuisance?

5. Did the waiter get your order correct and present it to you as advertised?

6. Did the waiter check back with you in 2 minutes or 2 bites to make sure you were fully satisfied with your meal?

7. Did the waiter make sure your beverage was always full and you had enough condiments?

8. Did the waiter look for an opportunity to follow-up on something that came up in your conversation? Example:

  • If you mentioned it was your birthday, did the waiter make arrangements for a special dessert, and at no charge?
  • If you were taking photos of each other at the table did the waiter offer to take a group shot for you or even recommend another location with a more appealing backdrop?
  • If you asked about local shopping in the area, did the waiter make a sincere effort to find an appropriate answer for you?

9. Did the waiter talk-up his fellow team mates and inform you that they could assist you during your meal in case he was not in view?

10. Did the waiter make sure that you, the customer, felt special and that YOUR enjoyment was HIS primary concern?

11. Did the waiter thank you for the opportunity to serve you and invite you back again?

If you can answer yes to these questions then by all means tip your waiter as much as you can. If he/she made you feel special then show your appreciation back and tip well.

Filed Under: F&BHospitality

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