- Men are worse tippers than women. I guess because they're worrying about the difference between 15% and 20% or how much it amounts to by hour.
- Sometimes the credit card companies demand adding a tip and checking out if the credit card money is there. Be smart - understand that's not the restaurant doing it.
- Some restaurants dictate a tip. This is like a contract. Read the fine print and agree to it or not. As long as they are up front about it.
- Yes, check your credit card bill immediately before it passes through the bank. That's just smart. It can take a week for the real bill to show up rather than the pre-authorized amount.
- Waiters are trapped by software, just like convenience workers. Give them a break.
- Don't argue with others at table about the tip, the bill or anything else. This is bad manners.
- If you're on a date you'll make a great impression if you're a generous tipper. Remember the words of - who was it? - a person who is not nice to the waiter is not a nice person.
- You are not paying them only for time spent, but for what they know ... like the wine list, and how to placate the grouch at your table, and how to move the order through the kitchen, where to find the butter when someone forgot to put it out. Ever been in a kitchen a meal time? I used to work for the head chef at a 5-star resort. You would not believe what can go wrong.
- Remember, it's the credit card company that does the pre-authorization thing.
- If you are getting "terrible service," call the manager over. Likely they will comp your meal, which leaves you with the question of the tip. But this isn't exactly brain science. Why not leave them something? Is it so much to ask? The waiters going to catch hell from the manager, isn't that enough?
- It is typical to tip the lesser amount (15%) at breakfast or dinner. Why? Just because.
- If it's a special occasion and the restaurant has raised their prices, make your tip the same. It's designed to be a special occasion.
- Should you be charged a gratuity at a buffet when you bring your group? Are you a rube? CALL AHEAD OF TIME AND FIND OUT THESE THINGS. If you disagree, don't go there. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Of interest - some servers have to what's called "tip out" as many as 5 other people - bar (even if they served no alcoholic beverages), good runner, host, busser, service manager - do you even know who these people are?
Lastly, there's eating out and there's eating out. On some occasion you wish to impress. A first date with your dream girl, your mother on mother's day, and anything to do with boss and colleagues come to mind. EQ-smart people call ahead and check on things.