food How To

How much do you tip your waiter? Chances are, you’re paying them way too much

How to Make Money and Bigger Tips as a Waitress
How to Make Money and Bigger Tips as a Waitress

How much do you tip your wait staff when you visit a bar or restaurant?

Some people go for the standard 20% off the final total of the bill — just take the total, move the decimal point, and multiply by 2… voila! No math required and you left a 20% tip.

Some people jump through complicated hoops to come up with a 15% or 18% tip.

We’ll be honest here – there have been times that Web Watch has left less than 15%… but trust us, the wait staff didn’t do their job that day by listening to what the customer wanted (they didn’t bring us the requested drink, the requested condiment on the side rather than on the sandwich, etc – and it wasn’t because the restaurant was busy that day… it was just bad service all the way around.)

In Toronto, they’re looking at many restaurants starting to encourage a 20% tip for their staff rather than the previous standard of 15%.

The problem here is the same thing that we have seen in other restaurants (and in those who do bad math as we mentioned above):  nobody knows how to do the math to leave a tip.

You’re not supposed to leave a tip on the final total amount of the bill.

You should leave the tip on the pre-tax subtotal of the bill. 

In other words, you shouldn’t be paying a tip based on the governmental taxes that the restaurant asks you to pay as a part of doing business.  If that were the case, then you could pay more tip money for the Exact Same Meal at the Exact Same Restaurant simply because the government decided to raise the tax rate from 6% to 10%.

There’s no reason for the server to receive money based on where the restaurant has chosen to do business.

So what should you do?

Start calculating the tip based on the pre-tax amount that’s shown on the check.  You can still leave 20% off that figure and feel good about yourself, and you’ll end up saving a bit of cash on your own as well.