Tips About Tipping for Cafes, Bars and Restaurants

Tips About Tipping for Cafes, Bars and Restaurants

Restaurants across America are slowly reopening or returning to full service. There has been much discussion about how to tip, especially considering the industry’s difficult economic realities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s best to be observant when tipping, but important guidelines and etiquette rules are to remember. You should consider new realities as you decide how much to tip a server at a restaurant.

The National Restaurant Association estimates that there has been a loss of $240 million in industry sales since the pandemic. A One Fair Wage report was published in November. It revealed that 83 per cent of respondents to a survey said that their tips have decreased in the past year. Although we can’t all make up the difference by giving a generous tip, it is not the right time to tip poorly. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

A Server’s Tip is a big part of their income

Restaurants in the United States pay a minimum salary, which is a departure from many other countries. As of January 1, the federal minimum wages for tipped workers is just $2.13 an hour. States are legally permitted to set their own minimum wage guidelines for service providers, and many do.

Servers in some states are paid an hourly wage between $2 and $3 per hour. It can go as high as $14 an hour in others, such as California. California is an exception to the rule, as are Washington and Oregon. The vast majority of Americans still tip servers. 43 states allow them to receive a minimum wage.

Tipping in the Era COVID-19

We won’t abandon outdoor dining as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This dining style often requires less service.

Despite this, it is good to tip generously, considering the overall tip decline restaurant workers experienced this year.

Another factor to be aware of is that diners are choosing to order takeout at restaurants that used to only allow diners to eat in. Takeout is generally not a tip-required. You might consider tipping generously if you want to show support to the workers who prepared your meal under difficult conditions. According to the Huffington Post, it’s not unusual to tip a waiter 15% to 20% for take-out.

Who benefits from the tip?

Remember that it is not only the server who gets your tip in restaurants. Many restaurants have a server tradition of sharing their tip with other staff members, such as bartenders and dishwashers. According to TableAgent, this tipping pool is more than 14 percent of full-service restaurants.

Group Tipping Standards

Even though large groups are less common due to the social distancing rules of the pandemic it is still important to be aware of any group tipping guidelines that restaurants may apply.

Restaurants are not afraid to gratuity large groups. TableAgent says that this is often applicable to parties of six or greater. The gratuity charged by the restaurant in such cases may be around 18 percent.

It’s a smart idea to inquire about a restaurant’s policy before you go if you are dining out with large groups.

Calculating Tips before or after Tax

It is a good rule of thumb to base how much tip you leave to a server on the meal price. If the meal cost $20, and the tax was $2 you would tip the server based on that $20.

TableAgent says that you can calculate your tip by using the bill’s total cost.

“Servers must pay tax on the tip they give and also share the tip with support staff. The website states that many people believe that tipping after the tax amount is fair and ensures that the server receives more.

Bottom line: Tipping is not optional

Tipping is an important part of dining out. If you have been informed in advance by the restaurant, tipping is not an option.

Tips are a way for service workers to earn a living. The best tipping practice is: Make sure you tip when you dine out. Period.


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