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Do you still tip after bad service?

Bangkok, Thailand
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14 posts
180 reviews
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Do you still tip after bad service?

After looking for restaurants options for my trip to NY in September (Trip Advisor, Menu Pages, etc) I can see that most of the complains are on bad service received in the restaurant, but not the food quality.

So, as I am not used much to tip in restaurants as you do in the States (since I am not American and not living there), what do you do when you suffer bad service in a restaurant, even if the food is good?

Do you still tip 15%?

Thanks in advance for your comments on this.

New York City, New...
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for Brooklyn
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55 reviews
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1. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

I would tip 10%.

West Allis...
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2. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

In my opinion it depends on how bad the service is. I generally will tip 15% for good service, 10% for acceptable service and somewhere between 5-10% for poor service. I think I have only once not tipped someone anything and that was basically due to the waitstaff being downright rude (which is never acceptable)! I anticipate that most decent restaurants in NYC are going to train their waitstaff well and be very particular in who they hire so I anticipate you will most likely get decent service. And if you really think that the service is that terrible, it should be brought up to the manager of the restaurant! I have no problem asking to speak to a manager if I feel that my food or service is not where I expect it to be. So if I am not tipping due to poor/unacceptable service I am most definitely talking to someone about it.

And on another note....if the service is beyone exceptional...remember tipping above 15% is a good way to show them that you noticed..plus it gives them incentive to keep up the good service!

Sterling, VA
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for Washington DC
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3. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

Actually, these days tipping 20% is more the norm for good service. If you get bad service, depending on how bad it is either 1) leave a smaller tip; or 2) don't leave a tip at all. However, in all my years of dining out, there have been only two occasions where we had such bad service that we didn't leave a tip. Needless to say, we didn't return to those places either!

Naples, Florida
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1,798 posts
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4. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

Many folks consider 20% to be a "standard" restaurant tip in recent years, but 15% is probably still not uncommon.

As for reducing the amount of a tip for poor service, I find it depends on the reason and attitude. If service is less than smooth, but the waitstaff is apologetic and keeps us posted on the reason for delays, then it may well be the kitchen's fault and not the waitstaff's. Or sometimes the staff in a very crowded restaurant may be overwhelmed -- unless service is unacceptable or we are ignored we will not "punish" the staff.

However, if a server is inattentive without any explanation , we reduce the tip accordingly -- usually to 15% and on occasion as low as 10%. Fortunately, we have never received such bad or rude service that we didn't tip at all.

And don't forget, it's nice to tip more than you usually would if you received exceptionally good service.

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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35 reviews
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5. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

I lower the tip if the service is not good. ( and once lowered it to under a $$) HOWEVER, if you are not tipping because of bad service it is important to let someone in the restaurant know WHY you are not tipping!

Brooklyn, NY
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7,999 posts
18 reviews
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6. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

I usually tip double the tax and round it up. That comes to about 17%. I'll add on a couple of bucks for great service, and rarely deduct a few for lousy service. I've been going to restaurants for a long time, and can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of times I've either stiffed the waiter or given a paultry tip. There was one time that I was so angered at the service that I left the tip in left over Mexican pesos.

I do not know where all these allegations of bad service come from. I've usually experienced pleasant and/or professional service in NY restaurants.

Oklahoma City...
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for Oklahoma City
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7. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

As a rule of thumb I tip 10-15% for acceptable service (which I occasionally experience), 15-20% for good service (most often occurence), and I have tipped more than 20% (up to 30%) for exceptional service (which is getting more rare these days).

The exact percentage will depend on the service level and the total cost of the meal. (I will sometimes tip 20% for a $30 breakfast whereas for the same service level for a $600 dinner I might only tip 17 or 18%.)

For poor service that is obviously due to the waitperson (which I find to be an extremely rare occurence - poor waitpersons usually don't last too long) I tip nothing and will let the management know about my experience. Why reward someone for doing a lousy job?

BTW: Some people I know have a maximum tip dollar amount regardless of the cost of the meal.

:)

Bangkok, Thailand
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14 posts
180 reviews
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8. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

Thanks for all your comments. It makes sense to tip over 15% (up to 20%) if service is much better than expected or they make you feel good. No doubt about it.

I guess is something is not that good, then I may decide on the spot, between 5 and 10% and I certainly will try to speak to a Manager about the problem if any.

About this topic, If anybody has the time to check some restaurants posts here (TA) or Menu Pages, you will see that some of the good restaurants has not that good ratings mostly in service, like the waiter took 15 minutes to take my order, or they make me wait for 15 or more minutes for my table, the waiter was not so friendly, etc, so I got the idea that it may happen to me too.

Anyway, since I will be in NY from 7 to 11th September I will post my comments on the restaurants I'm gonna visit.

Thanks.

new york city
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3 reviews
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9. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

I would say that today's standard tip in NYC is 20% but I do believe that that is regional and many friends from around the country tell me that they tip 15%-- for bad or unacceptable service I always ask to speak to the manager and I reduce from my usual 20% down but then only to about 15%.

Oklahoma City...
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for Oklahoma City
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10. Re: Do you still tip after bad service?

For some reason people think 15 minutes is too long to wait for your order to be taken. It often takes me that long or longer to choose from the menu items!

For my own taste, I expect to be greeted by my wiatperson within a couple of minutes of being seated and asked if I would like something to drink (ie: juice/coffee at breakfast and cocktails at dinner.) I will not normally order before the drinks arrive and and I do not like the waitperson to drop by the table every 30 seconds asking if we are ready to order as it makes it seem as if they want you out of the seat so they can "turn" the table.

The people in my country always seem to be in a rush to get somewhere else - even when they have nowhere else to go!

I personally enjoy the (old?)European way of dining - slow and unrushed.

:)