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Tipping in bars

Yorkshire, England
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24 posts
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Tipping in bars

Let's say I buy my friend and I a beer and the bill is say $9. Do I tip even if I have gone to the bar myself? and how much?

In most bars do you go to the bar to buy or are they mainly waitress served tables?

I always have this dilemma when visiting America. In New York last year I was tipping about a dollar every time a waitress brought us 2 beers. It all adds up when you are drinking about 8 beers a night.

Help appreciated please.

Sheffield Lake, Ohio
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2,266 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Tipping in bars

I am sure that people working in the service industry will probably have a different take on this, but this is how we do it:

If we get our own drinks at the bar for just the 2 of us, we usually leave $1.00 per round. If we have a wait staff that brings our drinks (disclaimer: we drink alcohol, not beer), we try to give him/her 20% of the bill. Depending on your change, sometimes that does not work out every single time, so we make it up to him/her at the end of the evening. For example, if we know we haven't given the wait staff a full 20% each and every time, we will leave a few extra dollars before we leave, as long as we received good service. Yes, it can definitely add up, but we budget tips into our drinking money. These people work very hard, and very long hours; they depend on our generosity.

key west
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62 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: Tipping in bars

"we budget tips into our drinking money. These people work very hard, and very long hours; they depend on our generosity." -RandiMoH

She said it right!

Every bar is different. Use your best discretion. If you walk up grab a beer, and immediately head out, a buck each beer is great. If you're going to hang around, listen to the band, order food etc, tipping 20% is greatly appreciated. It's just like going out to dinner, if you can't affford to tip, stay home!

Ramrod Key, Florida
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386 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: Tipping in bars

The rule of thumb in the US is if you can't afford the tip you can't afford the meal or the drinks. Florida's minimum wage law for tipped employees is $4.23 an hour or something less than three pounds to stand up all night long.

If it is any consolation it is just as culturally confusing to go abroad and have to force oneself not to tip after an adulthood spent supporting the ghastly habit of making workers bow and scrape for their wages. It's all terribly feudal but we are stuck with it.

Key West, Florida
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1,507 posts
34 reviews
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4. Re: Tipping in bars

"If you walk up grab a beer, and immediately head out, a buck each beer is great. If you're going to hang around, listen to the band, order food etc, tipping 20% is greatly appreciated."

Yes! Another tip (pun intended)...some people like to run a tab and pay the entire check at the end. If you are sitting at the bar enjoying yourself and it is crowded, you may want to pay for that first round right away with a 20%+ tip...that tells the bartender you are taking care of them and they will be very attentive to you in that crowded bar. After that first round, feel free to run the tab.

Memphis, TN
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5,100 posts
26 reviews
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5. Re: Tipping in bars

As a rule of thumb, I tip a buck a drink, unless it is a really high end special drink, then I'll tip more. I usually order at the bar unless I'm with a group at a table.

Pennsylvania
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1,025 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Tipping in bars

i tip 20%... one drink or ten... at the bar or at a table.

belladona is absolutely right, tip well with the first drink and you are remembered for the remainder.

Edited: 27 March 2010, 18:58
Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
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35,148 posts
106 reviews
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7. Re: Tipping in bars

Be advised that there are a very few places in Key West that add an 18% tip automatically to the bill, bar-tab, whatever. El Meson de Pepe just off Front Street is the one I know of. Check your tab before leaving a tip.

Pjk

St. Clair Shores...
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107 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Tipping in bars

We almost always tip a dollor per drink even if we go to the bar to get drinks.

St. Louis
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923 posts
40 reviews
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9. Re: Tipping in bars

I always tip 20% anywhere I go in the USA unless the service/beverage/food was exceptionally horrible..................

Providence Forge...
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421 posts
69 reviews
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10. Re: Tipping in bars

For someone who worked her way through college in VA Beach (graduate of ODU) and bartended at not one but FOUR major bars there for over 9 years, if I did not give you #1 service, I did not deserve your tips. But I usually always did but only on the few rare occasions, I always strived to get 20-30% of the bill and usually I did. They didn't call me smiley for nothin'!

I believe that you get what you deserve in life and I didn't do too poorly.

My motto-you take care of the customer, 9 times out of ten, they will take care of you.