You might think I'm cheap but I've grown up thinking that a tip should be between 15 and 20 percent under normal conditions. 15 percent if the service left something to be desired and 20 percent if I thought it was very good service. In NYC, it's typically closer to 20% on average. I only go over or under in the event that it was terrible or spectacular. Am I crazy to think that eating at the bar shouldn't necessitate as big a tip? It seems like the service you get has much less movement, servers, attention and distance to cross. When you are at the table the server is coming to you, checking on you and is tipping out to multiple busboys. Should I really be paying 20% tip when a bartender goes "what'll it be?" and plops a plate of food in front of me while taking someone else's order? People have long forgotten that TIPS stand for To Insure Proper Service. This is the power the customer has over the server who is handling our food.