Entertaining & Etiquette

Tipping: why a percentage?

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Entertaining & Etiquette 30

Tipping: why a percentage?

Anne | Oct 21, 2008 01:14 PM

Disclaimer first so I don't get flamed: I always leave 18-20% as a tip, never less than $1 per person.
But...why is the tip supposed to be a percentage---any percentage---of the price of the meal? It just doesn't make sense.
My husband and I recently went away for the weekend, so we were eating breakfast, lunch & dinner out. At one of the places we went to for dinner, our server took our order, then brought our drinks (1 each), then our dinners---which were each on a single plate. The next morning at breakfast, we each ordered coffee, then juice, then breakfasts that each consisted of 3 plates (toast on separate plates, etc.). The price of our dinner was roughly twice that of our breakfast. Both restaurants were casual, neighborhood places. By conventional tipping "rules" the dinner server should have gotten twice the tip of our breakfast server. Yet the breakfast server worked harder---more trips to/from the kitchen and a heavier load of dishes. How is tipping them a percentage of the meal cost fair?
In the same vein, our local Mexican bar & grill charges much less for their meals than similar meals at say, Chili's. Why does the server at Chili's get the bigger tip?
Thanks for your input!

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