Not About Food

Must we give larger tips on bigger checks?

Share:

Live your best food life.

Sign up to discover your next favorite restaurant, recipe, or cookbook in the largest community of knowledgeable food enthusiasts.
Sign Up For Free
Not About Food 43

Must we give larger tips on bigger checks?

Akatonbo | May 31, 2006 09:45 AM

My husband and I are planning on dining at Alinea in Chicago, and I got to thinking about what the tip might be on a meal that will cost close to $800. I just don't know if I can bring myself to tip my usual 20%. We have eaten at some pretty pricey places (Charlie Trotter's, Avenues, for instance), and I never quailed at the tip before - but really! Shouldn't there be a cut-off point? The funny thing is that I used to be a waitress (at Arnie Morton's parent's place - which in the 60's passed for fine dining), so I'm sympathetic to waiters in general - but now I'm an architect, and in my profession, in many cases, the bigger the construction budget the smaller the percentage that the architectural fee is based on - so for a smaller job it may be 15%, but on a large multi-million dollar job it may be 5% or less. The fee is still a larger dollar amount, but the percentage is smaller. This reflects the fact that though there will be more work required for a larger project, it won't be, say, three times as much, so the fee percentage shouldn't be three times as much, either.

So to get back to tips - shouldn't the same philosophy prevail? I know a waiter at Alinea has a much more demanding job than one at, say, Chicago Chophouse, and must present a much more polished and sophisticated image, but does he really deserve a $160 tip? Isn't $100 just fine? I am usually such a generous person, and love to reward a good waiter with a good tip. Maybe I'm a closet cheapskate. Maybe the genetic influences of my Scottish forbears are finally making themselves evident. Advice please?

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound