So things fall in to three categories around here (Florida)
- Most Common - Bill then Tip
- Get your bill
- Review the bill and clear up any thing that needs clearing up
- give bill and card to server
- usually, you would get a check holder with the bill
- you can review the bill, and if you agree put your card inside, then leave it on the table.
- The server will come by and pick up the check holder and your card
- the server runs your card for the amount on your check
- You get back the check holder with your card in it, and two receipts. There is a line for the tip and the total.
- Write in your tip and total, on both receipts, keep one copy for you and leave one for the waiter.
- leave when your ready, there is no reason to wait around.
- Less common - Turn your check into the register.
- get your check on your table.
- take your check to a register
- give your check to the attendant (usually different then your server)
- they will ask you if you want to leave a tip
- They will charge your card for the entire check + tip
- Least Common - Card processing at table
- You will get your check
- the server will bring a tablet or the like around and process youb payment in front of you.
- They will hand you the tablet for you to sign or enter you pin
- It will have a place to select a tip
Number 1 is by far the most common at "decent" establishments. Number 2 is reserved for places that are almost fast food or take out. If a place does a large quantity of take out expect number 2. Number 3 is not very popular. To me there is a bit of negative of having the person stand there while you decide their tip (more on this later). It' s almost like begging. Number 3 is mostly used as a gimmick these days (though it may become more popular).
When in a large group, tips may be added automatically. Make sure you ask. It is rare but tips may be added for small groups or individuals as well.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TIP It is not a requirement. You should. however tip for good service. You SHOULD NOT tip for bad service., but do try to be objective.
A 15% tip is standard. I use this as normal service, normal tip.
A 10% tip is considered poor. I usually use this for poor service, that was technically acceptable, but, for example, very slow.
A 20% tip is considered good. I usually use this for good service. Most places fall into this category.
A 25% or more is considered excellent. I rarely tip this much, but if service was really that good, then they earned it.
A tip of more then around 30% may be considered rude. Like a hand out instead of a well deserved bonus. Some people may not like it, others just go "woo free money".
When in a business context. Tip more conservatively. If your tipping 25% all the time it shows that you don't value your own money.If your tipping 5% it makes it look like your broke, or don't know the value of the service provided.
In a social context a big tip may be considered "showy" make sure to account for that.
Tipping, in general should be quite. it's not polite to ask others what they tipped, or to tell others what you tipped. It is ok to ask others what they think you should tip.
In shared checks, its usually better to tip solo (each person leaves their own tip).
NEVER TIP IN CASH!!! It's very easy for someone to pocket your tip. Bus boys that don't get tips, servers that are supposed to share but don't, strangers just walking by the table. Just don't tip in cash. If you do tip in cash, hand it to the server directly.
Servers get paid less then minimum wage, and tips are expected to "make up" part of their earnings. Some servers make $300-$400 a night or more on tips, others are lucky to make $10 on tips.
Other members of the staff, particularly bus boys, cooks, and other service staff may get a share of the tips. This varies from place to place.