Last night I went out to a fancy restaurant with a group of girls, and it was a lot of fun. I have made a decision though that I think should carry me through all other fancy restaurants with groups of people: I am never going to count the money at the end of the night again.
For the second time in a row, I felt like we came up short, and it was for a couple of reasons: everyone has a different opinion on tipping. When the tip came up 7%, I asked how much percentage-wise they put in for a tip, and everyone shouted out something different, but it was either 10% or 15%, with one woman adding in 5%. I, of course, believe 18%-20% is standard, particularly in fancy places where the waiter most likely makes nothing but tips. I also think that if you’re in a big group of people, stiffing the waiter means we either all stiff the waiter, or someone (like me) feels compelled to make up for it by adding in money on our end. There is one friend I hate eating out with for this reason: she is so cheap with the waiters, and doesn’t seem to realize her 10% is costing me money when I feel the need to raise the bill to at least 15%. Doing that on your own bill is fine, but not in a group!
“Was the waiter any good?” is the question most people would ask. To me, he wasn’t horrible, he was working a table that had five people at it, three with dietary issues and we all got something. Was my water glass filled as often as I like it? No. So, I tipped 20. But then I felt like I had to wrangle cash out of people to get to 15%. In the end, we all threw in more cash and got to the standard.
After looking on the Internet last night, I will concede that most people think of 15% as a standard, and that my worldview is clouded by having been raised by a woman who was once a waitress, and a group of friends that were waitresses and bartenders. So rather than be an overbearing jerk about the tip, because I was a total asshole about it last night, I’m going to have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy on the bill. Unless we’re short on the total. That is my new restaurant resolution and promise to large groups of people who eat out with me.
I promise not to be a Tip Asshole from now on.