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Should You Tip For Bad Service At A Restaurant?


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#121 kazin!

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

As someone who doesn't really like going out to eat, doesn't really care for good service or ambiance, I'm not a big fan of tipping, especially as a student with over $30,000 in debt. I personally like my server to greet me, bring me a drink, take my order and bring my order. S/he can check up directly once (been told there is a 1 minute or 2 bite policy for servers to check in on their tables once the food has arrived) or otherwise hover around but keep an eye out for my table in case one of us needs something.

Having said that, I generally tip minimum 10% on the tax-included number (pretty foolish) and round up to a whole dollar. If service is fantastic, I tip around 20%. In between I will give around 15%. One of my best friends is a server at Milestones. He is the type of server who feels he is entitled to a "good" tip. He does agree that tips should be earned and he has told me many stories of large tables who leave $0 where he in turn needs to pay out. I think that's unfortunate and it's not always as easy as "getting a new job". However with the minimum wage increases, this should hopefully be less of a problem.

Another problem with tipping is going out with your significant other, especially if, in my case, she loves giving big tips. She knows that we differ in this philosophy and generally doesn't look at the tab when I pay, but I feel pressured to tip an appropriate amount up to her standards.

I know this doesn't apply to all restaurants, but some pay staff a percentage based on total sales. You also have to consider why the price of the food is so high as is (is it possible to go to a sit down restaurant anymore and get a burger for less than $10 after tax and tip...?). On top of that, there is already a HUGE mark up on liquor. Factor in that you're tipping on top of the tax as well and altogether there are so many disincentives to go out to eat as is. As I said above, I personally do not really enjoy going out to eat, would much rather cook something at home or if I'm with the lady, cook something together. Now that's not always entirely possible and once in a while it is nice to treat her to a nice night out.

The whole attitude of being entitled to tips needs to change though. And that starts at the top with different pay scales and different incentives from management. Unfortunately, I think we all know that this will never happen in Canadian culture.

To the poster who asked if Chinese people don't tip, it's not a custom to tip in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. Many new immigrants (of which these days there are many) simply do not know that a gratuity is "customary" in North America. I believe Europe is similar, as well. And with this, I'm actually curious if I'm supposed to tip at an Asian restaurant...as many have said, I am greeted by a usually emotionless person, have difficulty ordering what I want due to the server's broken English, brought my food and then hurried out the door for another customer. Is that service?
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#122 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

Watching UFC 154 on Saturday. This is more of a drinking establishment than it is a bar and grill but we decided to order food anyway. For probably about 200 customers, the manager decided to have only TWO servers working, one bartender and ONE cook. It took nearly an hour to get two appetizers, one of which was like it was just taken out of the fridge by the time we got it. My mum (lame, I know, but I had nobody to go with that night LOL) ordered a burger, which also took way the hell too long and wasn't even properly cooked so she returned it and got her money back. I felt like tipping our server and the cook personally because I know they were busting their ass and doing their best despite the worst odds imaginable thanks to the manager who is known for being short staffed on busiest nights going. I've worked in a kitchen before as a cook for three years so I know what its like being short staffed; it's very hard especially with that many people and they tried their best.

So, yes, I would tip my server directly in this scenario. If they were properly staffed and the service still sucked, then no
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#123 Buggernut

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:41 PM

Not always - some establishments automatically add a gratuity.


Then they shouldn't call it a tip or a gratuity (ie. something to do with gratitude) then, and call it a straight up surcharge.
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#124 I♥Wellwood

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

I usually go with 10-15% if I'm at a restaurant. When I'm with a large group (over 14), I don't always leave a tip because it's automatically put into the bill. The service would have to be outstanding.

As far as waitresses asking you if you're done yet/if you want the bill.. one time this waitress asked us that at least 6 times. The restaurant wasnt full and we were still eating. Definitely didn't leave a tip. I did think about leaving a note saying "If you hadn't rushed us to leave, I would have left you a tip", but I didn't have a pen and two wrongs don't make a right!

I've only been in a cab a few times and I was never the one who was paying so I'm not sure about that one.

I honestly can't remember if I tip the lady who cuts my hair. I pay quite a bit for her to basically do 5 mins of work (set price) so I think I just leave whatever change I'm given.. so like $5 lol. We have some pretty good conversations though.

Edited by I♥Wellwood, 19 November 2012 - 03:58 PM.

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#125 Wetcoaster

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

Then they shouldn't call it a tip or a gratuity (ie. something to do with gratitude) then, and call it a straight up surcharge.

A rose by any other name and all that...
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#126 ccc44

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

Tips are earned , I dont tip unless i get amazing service because just like everyone else you already earn a wage and im not going to tip you for just doing your job
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#127 canucklax

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:29 PM

I feel its time for a story about my first time at a sushi restaurant.

My 3 friends and I walked in, were seated, given our choice of water or tea and proceeded to converse. No problem. We ordered and waited. And waited, and waited. After 25 minutes, it takes one of my friends the line of "Is their food coming, they look like they are about to eat me" for them to remember our orders of Chicken Teriyaki. People who had sat down after us were already getting their cooked meals, yet we weren't. When we finally get it (35+ minutes after ordering) there is no apology from the waitress, or the manager, just handed our food. In my experience, someone will usually at least pay for your drinks, if not the meal after a delay like that. Nope, just handed what looks like roadkill, and smelled like burning tires. After eating it, I was even hungrier than I was when I got to the restaurant (0 mass food apparently). We were handed our bill, again no apologies for waiting. I pay, and give them a generous tip of 0. I'm usually a nice person, but when I feel wronged, I get my revenge. so before leaving, I proceed to the washroom, and to my surprise, find their mop quite close to the urinal. You can guess what happened there, but its fair to think I "missed"

TLDR: Waited 35 minutes for crappy food, no apology from the staff, I tipped nothing and pissed on a mop
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#128 aeromotacanucks

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

if the service is good I give more than 15% (20 to 35%), if not don´t even try ask why I´m not giving any tip.
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#129 Wetcoaster

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

I feel its time for a story about my first time at a sushi restaurant.

My 3 friends and I walked in, were seated, given our choice of water or tea and proceeded to converse. No problem. We ordered and waited. And waited, and waited. After 25 minutes, it takes one of my friends the line of "Is their food coming, they look like they are about to eat me" for them to remember our orders of Chicken Teriyaki. People who had sat down after us were already getting their cooked meals, yet we weren't. When we finally get it (35+ minutes after ordering) there is no apology from the waitress, or the manager, just handed our food. In my experience, someone will usually at least pay for your drinks, if not the meal after a delay like that. Nope, just handed what looks like roadkill, and smelled like burning tires. After eating it, I was even hungrier than I was when I got to the restaurant (0 mass food apparently). We were handed our bill, again no apologies for waiting. I pay, and give them a generous tip of 0. I'm usually a nice person, but when I feel wronged, I get my revenge. so before leaving, I proceed to the washroom, and to my surprise, find their mop quite close to the urinal. You can guess what happened there, but its fair to think I "missed"

TLDR: Waited 35 minutes for crappy food, no apology from the staff, I tipped nothing and pissed on a mop

Sounds like Nao Sushi in Burnaby where I had a similar experience (sans mop).
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#130 Riviera82

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

Heres a tip -- "do a better job".


That's the thing though. Some of these service workers can do everything right and still get skunked which I'm sure is very disheartening, then they probably wonder what they did wrong. Turns out they did nothing wrong, they just fell victim to a cheap pr**k who successfully ruined their mood and possibly effected service for subsequent customers.
When I used to go out, I would leave a decent tip even if the waitress or cabbie wasn't particularly pleasant, I just hoped that might raise their spirits. Those jobs aren't as fun or easy as people seem to think.
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#131 Riviera82

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

Tips are earned , I dont tip unless i get amazing service because just like everyone else you already earn a wage and im not going to tip you for just doing your job


So if you consider your service to be "amazing", what kind of tip do you leave? Looks like it would be more of an insult than anything, 2- 8% probably?
What's amazing to me is the volume of people on CDC with a self-entitled attitude who are just plain cheap. Consider the plight of these people you take for granted and maybe loosen the grip on your spare change.
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#132 Five For Fighting

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:20 PM

I have high expectations but if you give great service you get a great tip. If you suck at your job you get nothing.
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#133 Common sense

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:03 PM

That's the thing though. Some of these service workers can do everything right and still get skunked which I'm sure is very disheartening, then they probably wonder what they did wrong. Turns out they did nothing wrong, they just fell victim to a cheap pr**k who successfully ruined their mood and possibly effected service for subsequent customers.
When I used to go out, I would leave a decent tip even if the waitress or cabbie wasn't particularly pleasant, I just hoped that might raise their spirits. Those jobs aren't as fun or easy as people seem to think.


I find directly talking to them much better and much more effective than pretending like nothing's the problem and letting them be moody. Not only is leaving them a tip setting the server up for more bad service later in the day, but they don't even realize that they were like this when dealing with a customer.
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#134 Common sense

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:10 PM

Round it up to an even $10 and dont be a cheapskate. So you only tip when your'e with your girlfriend? How do you know that the server has a really easy job?


6.25+HST at 12% (or in this case, $0.75) comes to $7 exact. Putting an even $10 would mean $3 tips after tax, or 43% tips. Before tax at $6.25, that's 48% tips.

You must either be incredibly frivolous in spending, or have excellent excellent service to justify 43% tips. Even a high tipping percentage of 20% would put the overall bill at $8.25.
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#135 Peaches

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:20 PM

Who are you tipping? The lunchlady?


How come everytime I post something you make fun of me?
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#136 Dral

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:21 PM

My grandparents told me in the old days, if they didn't get good service, they put a glass of water upside down on the table and left it for the server to clean up.
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#137 Riviera82

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:26 AM

6.25+HST at 12% (or in this case, $0.75) comes to $7 exact. Putting an even $10 would mean $3 tips after tax, or 43% tips. Before tax at $6.25, that's 48% tips.

You must either be incredibly frivolous in spending, or have excellent excellent service to justify 43% tips. Even a high tipping percentage of 20% would put the overall bill at $8.25.


I hardly even bother going out anymore, but if I do and my service is not terrible, the people who serve me will be compensated properly.
Now think about a $6.25 tab, you cant round it up to an 8 dollar bill, the next closest is a 10. Are you really going ask for some of your coins back and be so much happier with that extra metal in your pocket? Those coins make a big difference to people in the service industry, just let them have it. If you have a large tab somewhere then yes, worry about percentages or whatever, nobody expects a 100 dollar bill for a 55 dollar meal or cab ride.
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#138 n00bxQb

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:51 AM

My rule of thumb:

Unacceptable service = half tax plus file complaint with manager/head office
Acceptable service = tax
Phenomenal service (or friend) = double tax
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#139 Common sense

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

I hardly even bother going out anymore, but if I do and my service is not terrible, the people who serve me will be compensated properly.
Now think about a $6.25 tab, you cant round it up to an 8 dollar bill, the next closest is a 10. Are you really going ask for some of your coins back and be so much happier with that extra metal in your pocket? Those coins make a big difference to people in the service industry, just let them have it. If you have a large tab somewhere then yes, worry about percentages or whatever, nobody expects a 100 dollar bill for a 55 dollar meal or cab ride.


Those coins also make a difference to me. If you believe that $10 is the same as $8, then you are incredibly frivolous in spending. That $2 difference adds up to one meal after 4 times.

But hey...who am I to talk? It's only some extra metal, right? It's not like that's a 20% difference in the overall bill (oh wait)


I frequent a pub in Richmond once a week - my portion's pretty standard: 7-10 wings (30 cents each), plus a pint at 4.25. That comes to about $6.35 before tax, which puts my bill at $7.11. The difference of leaving $10 altogether and a 20% tip comes to about $100 in a year. I've been doing this for 4 years now and have gotten what I describe as beyond excellent service.

Edited by Common sense, 20 November 2012 - 11:04 AM.

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#140 Riviera82

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:37 AM

Those coins also make a difference to me. If you believe that $10 is the same as $8, then you are incredibly frivolous in spending. That $2 difference adds up to one meal after 4 times.

But hey...who am I to talk? It's only some extra metal, right? It's not like that's a 20% difference in the overall bill (oh wait)


I frequent a pub in Richmond once a week - my portion's pretty standard: 7-10 wings (30 cents each), plus a pint at 4.25. That comes to about $6.35 before tax, which puts my bill at $7.11. The difference of leaving $10 altogether and a 20% tip comes to about $100 in a year. I've been doing this for 4 years now and have gotten what I describe as beyond excellent service.


So "beyond excellent service" only earns your server a $1.42? Now your total is $8.53 and you ask your waitress for $1.47 change? I certainly feel fortunate now that I dont work at a pub in Richmond.

I'm not a frivolous spender whatsoever, like I already mentioned, I dont bother going out anymore because it's not in my budget. When I did go out though, if I was well taken care of, I would take care of whoever was serving me even better. Their job is not always easy and most often they deserve more than the few cents they can manage to pry from your grasp.

You can call me a frivolous spender, I can just as easily call you a cheapskate.
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#141 Zamboni_14

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:50 AM

Tips are earned , I dont tip unless i get amazing service because just like everyone else you already earn a wage and im not going to tip you for just doing your job


Mr. Pink is a poster here?

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#142 red&white

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

I had some terrible service one night from a waitress at central city brew pub. After leaving exact change for the bill with no tip, she had the gall to chase me out the front door and ask why I didn't leave a tip
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#143 Argon

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:35 PM

I always tend to tip between 10-15% based on service, but tipped nothing recently to the worst service I'd personally experienced. Sure me and my girlfriend were at a more laid back pub, but it took 15 minutes to be asked what to drink, half an hour in for us to even get offered menues, and by the time she bothered to take our order we had been there nearly an hour. And the kicker is that is wasn't too busy so the waitress was talking to her friend/coworker who was offduty for quite some time during, at the table next to us!

the only reason we stayed was because we were there for the dail special and didn't want to travel to and wait at another place
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#144 Canuck Bunny

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

.....no but they get commission


I've worked at The Bay, Home Outfitters, Garage Clothing, Esprit and Bootlegger none of those stores gave commission
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#145 Gumballthechewy

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

How is this even a question!?
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#146 Lychees

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

I don't tip if its a crappy service, I've been told before that I didn't leave a tip and I just said "I know" and walked out, seriously there's no freakin law that says we MUST tip.

But I've also left tips for people who deserve it, like others have stated, it's earned not expected. We shouldn't be rewarding inadequacy
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#147 Common sense

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:08 PM

So "beyond excellent service" only earns your server a $1.42? Now your total is $8.53 and you ask your waitress for $1.47 change? I certainly feel fortunate now that I dont work at a pub in Richmond.

I'm not a frivolous spender whatsoever, like I already mentioned, I dont bother going out anymore because it's not in my budget. When I did go out though, if I was well taken care of, I would take care of whoever was serving me even better. Their job is not always easy and most often they deserve more than the few cents they can manage to pry from your grasp.

You can call me a frivolous spender, I can just as easily call you a cheapskate.


Beyond excellent service means I get treated like a regular - the server knows my order right when I sit down, sneaks me a drink every now and then, and comes by to chat about everyday life. In return, I treat her like a person, make my additional orders succulent and to the point, and I generously tip her. My drinks come within one minute, wings within 3-4 minutes, and my orders are sometimes bumped up in priority. That 20% might not be much from one person, but from a party of 5-6 that frequent the pub every week (and sometimes as much as 10-15 people), that gets big.

Where exactly do you come from and what authority do you have in calling me a cheapskate because I don't tip an extra $2 on a $6.25 bill? That money is my hard-earned cash, and given my consistent generous tips of 20% and frequent visits, you are in no position to call me out. Go throw your keyboard into the trash bin; it belongs there.
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#148 ronthecivil

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

6.25+HST at 12% (or in this case, $0.75) comes to $7 exact. Putting an even $10 would mean $3 tips after tax, or 43% tips. Before tax at $6.25, that's 48% tips.

You must either be incredibly frivolous in spending, or have excellent excellent service to justify 43% tips. Even a high tipping percentage of 20% would put the overall bill at $8.25.


Well I would up it to at least 9 bucks. It's $0.75...

At the same time when the bill is mighty (like say when i went out for dinner with the gf in Whistler on Saturday night) and she still left a 20% tip on a $180 that was expensive food and drink but not exactly a pain in the neck to serve.

When the tip is less than a buck I really don't mind being way above the so called percent and if the tip is more than 20 bucks I certainly won't cry given out a measly twenty dollar bill......
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#149 ronthecivil

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

Beyond excellent service means I get treated like a regular - the server knows my order right when I sit down, sneaks me a drink every now and then, and comes by to chat about everyday life. In return, I treat her like a person, make my additional orders succulent and to the point, and I generously tip her. My drinks come within one minute, wings within 3-4 minutes, and my orders are sometimes bumped up in priority. That 20% might not be much from one person, but from a party of 5-6 that frequent the pub every week (and sometimes as much as 10-15 people), that gets big.

Where exactly do you come from and what authority do you have in calling me a cheapskate because I don't tip an extra $2 on a $6.25 bill? That money is my hard-earned cash, and given my consistent generous tips of 20% and frequent visits, you are in no position to call me out. Go throw your keyboard into the trash bin; it belongs there.


Well for awesome service it's a different story. At the end of one year of hockey me and my buddy tipped the beer lady we usually (and frequently) went to a total of 140 bucks at the end of the last game of the year for doing such a good job. (In a rush I could order beer without talking).
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#150 Common sense

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

Well I would up it to at least 9 bucks. It's $0.75...

At the same time when the bill is mighty (like say when i went out for dinner with the gf in Whistler on Saturday night) and she still left a 20% tip on a $180 that was expensive food and drink but not exactly a pain in the neck to serve.

When the tip is less than a buck I really don't mind being way above the so called percent and if the tip is more than 20 bucks I certainly won't cry given out a measly twenty dollar bill......

Well for awesome service it's a different story. At the end of one year of hockey me and my buddy tipped the beer lady we usually (and frequently) went to a total of 140 bucks at the end of the last game of the year for doing such a good job. (In a rush I could order beer without talking).


I will reward excellent service, particularly if it's my preferred/frequented pub. What I will not do is provide extra (on top of my plentiful 20%) just because Riviera82 believes I shouldn't "ask for some of [my] coins back and be so much happier with that extra metal in [my] pocket." That's a toonie to me, but as I said, I usually go with 5-6 other people, and that adds up to an additional $10 in tips.
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