Do YOU Tip?

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Now I always tip at least 20 %  of the bill. I have never been a server – but I know it is a difficult job so I try and show my appreciation.

Well that changed last night – I went to a restaurant I have been to before and enjoy. This time around was different. The service was horrible – took 10 minutes for a server to take our order. Another 30 minutes — food comes with no napkins – plates. The food was pretty good.

After we finished  – we asked for the check.

5 minutes go by

10 minutes….


The server is about 5 feet away this whole time – not really doing anything other then pick her nails.


15 minutes

20 minutes go by…

Finally I got the manager to get the check…


Would you of left a tip? If so how much?

Do you always leave a tip? If Not When have you not left a tip



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  • Alicia

    If I receive bad service I give little to no tip. I think a minuscule time may be more insulting than no tip at all. I have left pennies before. I almost always leave a 20% tip often more for great service. So sorry to hear about your bad service.

  • Jaime

    As a teen I was a server. I worked very hard at my job. I had alot of very good tips. But now if I get bad service I won’t leave a tip. Server’s need to earn their tips. That’s my opinion.

  • april yedinak

    I always tip really well, unless the service is terrible. Mind you, I am very understanding about waiting if they are busy or even about my food being messed up by the kitchen (not the server’s fault), but when you have a server too busy gossiping, flirting or just finishing their ‘side work’ so they can go home, then I will not tip. I used to wait tables and loved it (until carpal tunnel made it impossible) and when I get exceptional service I always make a point to tell a manager.

  • Dorene Whitmire

    being a former server i’ve always given the best service because you want your customers to come back. but being a server u also like to be waited on by quality. we went out for lunch once, ordered appetizers which came after the meal, our drinks took over 1/2 to get to our table, the sat us under a vent that leaked water, and the waitress brought us the wrong check at the end of the meal. got the manager and explained. left no tip. but in fairness to my waitress sisters, waitresses make $2.65 an hour. most run their butts off to insure good service. so i usually tip 20% or better. but poor service will not bring your customers back.

  • debra affrunti

    I always leave at least 20% or more but if they were horrible i leave 10 % usually i get an attitude from the girl waitress . Also i noticed at tgif takes forever to get your check and takes forever to get your change

  • amanda wyrick

    I used to be a terrible tipper. I have been a server and know that yes it can be a difficult job, but it’s NOT difficult to do it well. I tip the usual amount required unless I get phenomenal service and then I tip a very nice amount. Now in this case if I were to get terrible service, I tip change. This not only lets the server know that they did a terrible job, it’s also an insult to them. I firmly believe that you shouldn’t pay someone who is put in charge of making sure you have a decent meal experience UNLESS you have one. That is their job, that is what they get paid to do. Whatever business they are in, if they did not do their job, they would not get paid. This is no different.

  • Rachel

    I was a server for 6 years and I cut them a lot of slack when its busy, but when its not then I get pretty nitpicky. We do 20% average tip (it can definitely go higher if they take pride in their work) but it has dropped to 10% if our drinks are empty the whole time or we don’t get napkins after asking a few times with our daughter along (she’s 2 and really needs them).

  • Jes

    If I think service is bad [and it’s the waiter and not the kitchen] then no I don’t leave a tip. If it’s the kitchen that’s slow and the waiter is apologetic about, I’ll still leave them a tip.

    I try to always leave at least 15%. If you’re exceptional, you’ll get more. If you’re bad, I won’t leave you anything. You are not entitled to a tip, IMHO, just because you’re a server.

  • Brenda

    Well, depending on the restaurant, I don’t think 10 min to take your order is all that long. And 30 min. to get your meal isn’t the waitress’ fault, in most cases it’s the kitchen that’s either backed up or mismanaged. And if the waitress was just standing around after you’d asked for your check, it’s obvious to me that she forgot… I’ve been a server, and when you’re busy it’s easy to forget someone’s request for something – but if she was just standing around with nothing to do, that to me is the most inexcusable of the things you listed. In that case I’d be reviewing my open tickets, checking in with my tables – if she’d done either one of those the problem would have been fixed sooner. Why didn’t you get her attention if she was standing so close to you – remind her that you were waiting for your check? All that being said, for really awful service (which truthfully I don’t think this was) I’d leave 5% – if you leave nothing, the waitress thinks you just forgot. A pittance of a tip says volumes more. JMO.

    • Stella

      Just what would you consider bad service? Does the waitress have to spit in your food and cuss at you? No way would this service be considered acceptable to me. A tip isn’t deserved until the customer is happy. If you are a waitress you know that everyone has a different idea of what exactly will make them happy and if you want to make a living you better darn well figure out how to make your tables happy or find a different line of work. This waitress obviously won’t be one for long.

      I have left no tip, dollar tips and I have also left $100 tips on less than $100 bills.
      No one is obligated to pay a waitresses salary because they take up space and happened to bring your food.

      This service deserved $1 tip. In quarters.

  • Miriam

    We usually tip over 20% unless the service is just awful. Then we tip a penny so the server gets the message and doesn’t think we just forgot.

  • Dani King

    I tip based on the service. If the service is good the tip is good and if it’s a holiday I tend to over tip because I want them to know how much I appreciate being able to eat out on a holiday. But if the service is bad then I do not leave a tip. The way I see it a tip is earned and when you tip bad service then that tells the server that it’s okay to do a bad job, when you don’t tip them maybe they will think twice next time.

  • Bethany

    @Dorene: Wow, I never knew servers made so LITTLE .. or that it was even legal! We try to leave 15%, but that’s because we obviously didn’t know 20% was the norm. Now that I’m informed, I think we will do better if the service is good. As for BSD’s experience, I definitely would have complained to the manager and, knowing my husband, we would not have waited as long to get the manager’s attention. ESPECIALLY if the server was close by and obviously doing NOTHING. Ugh. And we would probably have left as much of a tip as the effort she put out .. so maybe 1%.

  • Angie A

    We are usually really good tippers (up to 30%) but we do feel that the server must earn their tip. We do our part – by this I mean we order promptly, keep our noise to a minimum (we have a toddler!), we wipe the table crumbs up, neatly stack our plates, and quickly pay upon receiving the check. I do not expect someone to bend over backwards for us but I do expect courtious, attentive, friendly service.
    One night, a nationally know pancake house, we had the worst service ever!! The order was wrong, not once but 3 times! The waitress acted as if we were wrong to walk into the establishment and interupt her argument (complete with many “f” bombs!) with her boyfriend on the front lobby telephone. Her attitude and service just got worse!
    When she brought the check to the table, she had the gal to tell us to please tip well as she was trying to get enough cash together so she and her boyfriend could move in together!!
    I tipped. I left .38 in nickles and pennies scattered in syrup on the table! The next morning I call the manager, explained the situation and even told of my tip.
    I received a free meal for my family and have never seen that waitress again.

  • Nathalie Smith

    You should of complained to the manager about EVERYTHING that just happened! He would of (or should of) compensated your meal!

  • Amanda

    I tip based on the service I receive as well as if the server hooks me up with free or discounted food. I will add half of the discount difference to the tip if not all of it depending again on the service provided.

  • Stacy Van Kleef

    I always try to tip well as I was in the industry for several years, but the type of service I receive also determines the tip. I have only once never left a tip, but it’s pretty bad service when you receive your meal in reverse order…..entree….salads….drinks. We ordered our drinks before our meals. If the service is bad, I will reduce the tip but still try to leave at least something. The service has to be horrendous for me to leave no tip.

  • Laurie


  • Nell

    I have been a server for years so I know how hard servers work and what is in their power to do. Servers can greet you quickly and take your order. They can keep drinks full and give you napkins and your bill on time. They can not rush your order or cook your food. I tip based on what they can control. If service is really bad, I leave some loose change and a note saying why the tip is small. If service is great, I hand the tip to the server and thank them personally. I hate it when big groups trickle in taking up your tables for maybe an hour before the all arrive and then they have to have bread and drinks before the meal, run you back and forth for extras and then leave a dollar for 8-12 people. If I am in a big group, we wait until all are there to be sat and we tip not only based on bill but on time and number of tables we take up. I want the server to make $10 hr or more so I tip accordingly

  • Kristie

    I was a server for years and there is a hard and fast rule. When you get bad service you leave a penny, face down on the table. This is old server code. It clearly states that you were not happy with the service. If you just leave a small tip the server assumes YOU are cheap and does not change their attitude. Not tipping at all also does not send a message. I also would have complained to the manager on the way out, not only could you have gotten a coupon for your next visit, but also the server has to understand in this economy, one cannot afford to do a bad job. There are probably 50 over qualified people out there who could use that job. Shame.

  • Lauralee Hensley

    Only once have I left a penny because the service was bad, brought the wrong food, brought the wrong drinks, weren’t asked once if we needed anything else or a refill on the drink, etc.., and yes the help staff were standing around with each other laughing and messing around. I don’t think the manager was there at the time, or if so was not following up on his/her crew.
    Usually we leave 18 percent tip.

  • janet

    My hubby was a chef for 20 years and he says if your food is late it is most likely the kitchen, but all other poor service is on the SERVER! We either don’t tip or leave small change…but it has to be REALLY BAD!!

  • picklejuice

    We have a saying “YOUR TIP WILL REFLECT” meaning, our tip will be a mirror to your service. If its bad, little to no tip, and I will write down why on the receipt too. They need to know. Usually we are treated quite well, and therefore we tip well! My hub used to run a restaurant so he’s much more critical than me lol