You’ve enjoyed your meal, shared good conversation with friends, and now it’s time to pay your bill. Ever wonder how much is enough to tip your waiter or waitress? Should you tip more for good service or less for poor service? Here are few tips to help you “tip” (no pun intended).

  • Tip 15 to 20 percent – Tipping 15 to 20 percent of the total bill is one of the best rules of thumb. Tip closer to 20 percent if your server offered extraordinary service, and 15 percent if you were satisfied. Generally, it’s not very nice to tip less than that, even if your service was less than satisfactory. There are exceptions of course (such as rude behavior – we don’t condone this!), but remember that your server is responsible for sharing his or her tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders. Servers also don’t get much of a paycheck outside of their tips (if at all).
  • Tip on the full price, not the discount – We love discounts – using them and providing them! But, your server shouldn’t have to sacrifice his or her earnings for your savings. That’s why we add gratuity to our Gift Certificates. It’s not to “tip” you off, it’s to ensure the restaurants on our program can keep their servers happy. Without our restaurants, we wouldn’t exist! And even if you’re using something other than a Gift Certificate to save on your meal (we promise not hold it against you – this time!), it’s still proper tipping etiquette to tip on the full amount.
  • Tip more for large parties – Many restaurants add gratuity to the bill for large parties (you should be aware of this ahead of time). They do this to protect their staff from being stiffed on a large bill. Managing a large party with different food and drink orders is a difficult task. (We know this because many of us at started out as waiters and waitresses!) If the gratuity added was 18 percent, and you would have normally tipped 20 percent, leave a little extra on the table as a thank you for your server’s hard work.

Bottom line: be generous, but be fair. Do you have any tipping stories to share, or suggestions to offer?