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Tipping question

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So, we took our employees out for a very nice dinner last night. The bill came, and we had about $500 in food, and $500 in booze, and it was listed separately on the bill. The service was very nice, so I was planning on tipping 20%, a nice $200 tip. My business partner said that you weren't supposed to tip on the alchohol. I've never heard of this. I've also never seen food and booze split on the check. What's the proper tipping amount here?

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I always tip the percentage based on the entire bill.

 

In my case, I always tip AT LEAST 20%, usually more.

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20% would have been perfectly acceptable. The only thing I've evr heard you can tip less in a bottle of wine. If it is a $50 bottle, you don't need to tip $10 to the person who opens it for you.

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I always tip the percentage based on the entire bill.

 

In my case, I always tip AT LEAST 20%, usually more.

 

+1

 

Always tip on the amount of the ENTIRE bill.

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I am no expert but I have always tipped on the total bill. I am not a big driner at a resturant so I don't know what to think when at times those drins are up there in price. :D Seems like a bill could be way over inflated with a few rounds of tasty drins.

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Tip on the total bill.

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Tip on the total bill. I've seen discussions where people questioned tipping on a very, very expensive bottle 'cause it's no harder to open that than a cheap one. That has a shred of merit but if you've got the scratch to order a $200 bottle of wine in a restaurant, you should be able to drop the cash on the tip as well.

 

For your party racking up $500 in drinks, I'm guessing it was happening a round at a time. Many, many bottles, beer, cocktails, etc. That's as much work, if not more than running food, so there is absolutely no question.

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Tip on the total bill. I've seen discussions where people questioned tipping on a very, very expensive bottle 'cause it's no harder to open that than a cheap one. That has a shred of merit but if you've got the scratch to order a $200 bottle of wine in a restaurant, you should be able to drop the cash on the tip as well.

 

For your party racking up $500 in drinks, I'm guessing it was happening a round at a time. Many, many bottles, beer, cocktails, etc. That's as much work, if not more than running food, so there is absolutely no question.

 

The drinks were pretty simple, a round of cocktails before dinner, 4 nice bottles of wine, 1 round of after dinner drinks. I was by no means trying to cheap out, and have no problem tipping on the entire bill, I'd just never heard of the entire "don't tip on the booze" concept before and thought maybe I was missing something. I ALWAYS tip 20%+ unless the service is horrendous, but I've also never seen booze and food split on a bill before, which is why I even thought it might be commonplace to only tip on the food. I mean, why else break it down?

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I'll bet they broke it down because of the wine. There are a lot of people who honestly believe it's not necessary to tip as much to open a bottle at the table. I tip the whole bill but have heard numerous times of people who go less on bottles of wine.

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My general rule is to tip on the entire bill.

 

I can see tipping less on the alcohol if it's a large amount of $$ in expensive bottles. I don't necessarily agree with Detlef that "You've got the money, so you should tip the same percentage" as an approach for everyone, but I do tend to do this myself. I am just not sure that it should be expected of everyone.

 

More often than not, people at the table do not order their drinks in an orderly fashion. Running for drinks and water is probably the most time consuming part of the server's effort at your table, and water and bread are free/cheap stuff you get in most cases. Also, the server will often have to tip a percentage of their tips to the bar or to a wine steward, or even to the host/hostess.

 

I think tipping on the whole bill is the best practice, but there are times when you might use some judgement.

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tip on the whole bill, but i'll sort of mentally round down a bit if there's a bunch of booze on the tab. i mean, i know i'm more work if i order an iced tea that i need refilled 4 or 5 times ($2.50) than if i order a couple beers ($10).

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I tip on the entire bill if it's drinks/dinner but if it's just drinks I'll usually tip between 10-15%.

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Tip on the total bill.

Even the tax? I don't do that. Should I be?

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I tip on the entire bill if it's drinks/dinner but if it's just drinks I'll usually tip between 10-15%.

 

Interesting point....I tip differently if I am buying a round than if I am paying a tab. A round usually gets a buck a drink for your standard drinks. A bill gets tipped at 20% or better normally.

 

I always get really good service when I am a regular :D

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Even the tax? I don't do that. Should I be?

 

 

:D I do. I never thought to try to back out the tax.

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For your party racking up $500 in drinks, I'm guessing it was happening a round at a time. Many, many bottles, beer, cocktails, etc. That's as much work, if not more than running food, so there is absolutely no question.

 

I waited tables in college and this is most certainly true.

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:D I do. I never thought to try to back out the tax.

But you receive no goods or services in connection with the tax. Seems odd to tip on that amount.

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entire bill, final answer.

 

always be sure for big parties that the tip is not already baked in.

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The drinks were pretty simple, a round of cocktails before dinner, 4 nice bottles of wine, 1 round of after dinner drinks. I was by no means trying to cheap out, and have no problem tipping on the entire bill, I'd just never heard of the entire "don't tip on the booze" concept before and thought maybe I was missing something. I ALWAYS tip 20%+ unless the service is horrendous, but I've also never seen booze and food split on a bill before, which is why I even thought it might be commonplace to only tip on the food. I mean, why else break it down?

You mean it was subtotaled? That could be to make it easier for people to expense it. I know that some of our customers don't get reimbursed for booze when they dine out for business. It didn't seem like you were trying to be cheap. It looked like your associate was trying to be cheap.

 

As far as the tax thing is concerned. It's always made sense to me as well but FWIW, waiters do not perceive it as such. I know, big surprise. The only reason I mention this is that if there is a calculated advantage one expects to gain by being known as a good tipper, this will undermine that strategy. Every server I've ever worked with looks at how they did relative to the total after tax. If you could care less what they think (which is an enormously valid stance unless you care so little that you leave crappy tips regardless of the pre or post tax amount), then carry on.

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My wife used to urge me to tip on the pretax amount too, but I've cured her of that.

 

And I don't know that I've ever eaten out where the bar tab wasn't separately itemized - am I missing something here? They often list the drinks on the back of the check, subtotal it there, and then bring just the subtotal to the front. :D

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Pre-tax vs. post-tax is a matter of like, what, 10% of the tip, at the very most? Why do you people put so much effort into being so cheap?

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My wife used to urge me to tip on the pretax amount too, but I've cured her of that.

It just never dawned on me to tip on the tax. Why not tip on the tip itself, while were at it? Though, as Detlef points out, all that matters is that the wait staff are happy with the bottom line amount of the tip itself: I doubt they give a rat's ass about how I calculate it.

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My wife used to urge me to tip on the pretax amount too, but I've cured her of that.

 

And I don't know that I've ever eaten out where the bar tab wasn't separately itemized - am I missing something here? They often list the drinks on the back of the check, subtotal it there, and then bring just the subtotal to the front. :D

I tip on the pre-tax amount. :D

 

And I could be totally wrong here, but doesn't it vary state-to-state on alcohol taxing? Isn't alcohol billed separately - at least on your check - because it's not taxed (at least at restaurants/bars)?

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I generally take the pretax total of a billy, figure out 10% (which is easy, just move the decimal place one spot) and then usually double that if I received good service. Tick it down a bit if it was shoddy service, tick it up if it was exceptional service.

 

Other easy rule of thumb here in SoCal (well, just about any where in Cali) is that since the tax is generally between 7.5% and 8.25%, just doouble the tax and there is your rough estimate of a standard 15% tip.

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but I've also never seen booze and food split on a bill before, which is why I even thought it might be commonplace to only tip on the food. I mean, why else break it down?

 

The only time I ever remember seeing this was in a place where the tax on booze is different than the tax on food. Not sure if it was a city or state thing but that may be the explanation. I also can't imagine a place where you'd have a $1000 tab not including tip of 18 - 20%.

 

Personally, I always tip on the total bill at 20% if the service is good, 15% if it's decent and around 30% if I want the tip to be noticed and appreciated because the whole package of food/service/timing was dead on. That's happened maybe 2-3 times I can remember.

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