Entertaining & Etiquette

Early Bird Special

Discount tipping on early bird..a nuance

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Entertaining & Etiquette 100

Discount tipping on early bird..a nuance

Sinicle | Mar 6, 2010 07:17 AM

We recently took friends to an upscale restaurant. We ordered a la carte off of the menu. The meal and the service was excellent. When the bill came, the server explained that everyone who orders before 6:30 gets a 25% discount on everything and the amount, indeed, was deducted from the bill total. This was not stated on the menu and I was unaware of it. The question is this: certainly if I have a coupon that deducts from the total bill, or if I am comped in one way or the other, I base my tip on the bill before the discount. In this situation, my opinion was that this was, in effect, an early bird special which everyone is entitled to and I would tip on whatever the early bird special price was, not on the "pre-discount" price. Again, if lunch prices are less, I certainly would not tip based on the dinner menu. The other diners (who are best friends and OK to discuss these things) felt I should tip on the prediscount price. I tend to be a big tipper and feel if I can afford an expensive meal, I can tip well; nonetheless, in this case I felt a tip on the discounted amount was the correct choice. I did, under intense social pressure, including that from my wife, tip on the pre-discount price, but we agreed to see what CH said. If the restaurant policy (stated after the meal) is to deduct 25% for everyone before 6:30 does one tip based on what one actually paid or on the prediscount amount?

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