'tipping' on Serious Eats

Ask A Bartender: What's The Best Tip You've Ever Gotten?

It's always nice when a customer slaps down an extra $20 at the end of the night, or when that cute girl scribbles her phone number on the coaster and leaves that, too. But tips, both monetary and not-so-monetary, get much crazier than that. We asked 7 bartenders what their best tip ever was, and they range from a Wii to cash from George Clooney to the love of one bartender's life. More

What's a Reasonable Automatic Gratuity?

There are some situations in which I'd expect an automatic gratuity—say, a party of eight at a restaurant on New Year's Eve, or a birthday party at a crowded restaurant on a Saturday night. But increasingly in New York, I've been noticing restaurants tacking on tips for parties as small as 4 or 5, and a few weeks ago, Eater NY even reported that the Ace Hotel was adding a 18% gratuity to every single drink served at the bar. What's a reasonable policy for automatic gratuity? More

How Much Should You Tip on Pizza Delivery?

  • $3 minimum tip. This is 15% on a $20 order. It is not my fault if you ordered less than $20 worth of pizza. Between one and three pizzas is the exact same amount of work for me.
  • Add $1 if you ordered something complicated and I got it right. It is my job to check the order before it goes out to make sure you have the right toppings, extras, and sodas. But be merciful if I didn't get it right. I will have to correct it and that means another whole trip out to your house, which is a big expense for me; I don't get extra gas money and I'm missing out on another delivery I could have taken. Even pros forget a soda now and then.
  • More tips on tipping, after the jump.
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Served: The Ballsy Waitress

I have never before said a word about a tip. Maybe my thank yous are slightly more emphatic when a tip is extremely generous, but I’ve never approached someone in the reverse situation and asked what was up. But Friday night, I felt different. More

Coat Check Tipping in the Recession

If you're eating in a restaurant where you're spending at least $50 for dinner, you check your coat. But if you're just having a sandwich or a burger or a couple of tapas or a pizza and you're spending less than $20, should you be under that same obligation? Shouldn't we be able to save those two bucks without feeling guilty? More

Served: My Plea To Tip Kindly

Until I started waiting tables, I had no idea that there were commonly held generalizations about how people act, order, and tip. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense. There are aphorisms about everything. Why should racism, sexism, and general ignorance disappear inside dining establishments? More

What Happens When Valentine's Day Is Snowed Out?

Waiter Rant asked his readers in the restaurant industry to comment on how their places fared on Valentine's Day, if they were in areas hit by snowstorms. It looks like a lot of restaurants may have lost money instead of making it, on what's usually one of the most profitable nights of the year, and also people were s-t-i-n-g-y with their waiters. Commenter Morgan: "Tips are notoriously worse on V-Day. They always have been, and they always are. My monthly average is 22%, and last night I was at 17%. It’s a little depressing to realize what I would’ve made if people weren’t used to going out to Applebee’s instead of fine dining, and had a concept of what they’re... More

It's Like a Waiter Wrote It

Augieland hits the nail on the head most of the time he writes, but his essays on tipping, respecting your server, and not ordering filet mignon in a steakhouse get it especially right. Augs, on behalf of food-service workers everywhere, thank you.... More

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