Friday, November 26, 2004

Tipping is not a cow in China.

I'm not sure why tipping is such a hot topic, but it is. People get very worked up over the right way to tip. How much do you tip? Do you tip on tax or not?

In my early days, I thought tipping was a bad idea, but I went along most of the time with a very large variance in how I tipped. I basically agreed with Mr. Pink's opinion expressed in "Reservoir Dogs."

What I didn't know at the time was that it's legal for restaurant owners to pay less than minimum wage, counting on tips to make up the difference. In this light, tipping is not so optional.

The question I run into most often is whether to tip on tax or not. The Straight Dope answered this question in "Should a restaurant tip be based on the check before or after tax?" It says, basically:
  • You don't know what the waiter is expecting.
  • It's better to (perhaps) overtip a little than (perhaps) disappoint.
  • The cash difference is minor.
Do the math. On a $100 bill, with 7% tax, and a 15% tip, the difference between tipping on the tax or without the tax included is $1.05. I just bought a $100 meal, and I'm trying to save a buck-oh-five in tip by leaving out the tax?

Here are a few other pages with still more to say about this hot topic:Happy dining!
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