Q&A Tuesday: Here’s a Tip

 Most every Tuesday I answer questions submitted by readers on my formspring.me account.  I invite questions or insight anonymously on the site and answer them in a post the following week. Submit your questions for next week’s edition by clicking this link.  Link opens in a new window.

Is how much (or how little) a guy tips a server a factor in your determination about him as a person?

I am always a conscious tipper, so I expect the same from anyone else I keep company with.  When I was an infant and toddler, my mother was a bartender and worked on tips and I think her attitude and emphasis on tipping for service has just carried over for me. 

Undertipping, even for poor service, in my opinion, isn’t very attractive.  I guess I will tip 15% even if I didn’t find the service outstanding.  Also, a dish that isn’t adequate, in my opinion, is no reason to punish a server’s gratuity.  I realize we all have bad days at work.  Sometimes things don’t go right; I’m apt to give the benefit of the doubt and still leave 15% of my bill at a restaurant even if I had to wait too long or went with an empty glass for longer than I felt I should have.

Overtipping doesn’t impress me, though.  The act of leaving a gratuity should focus on service rendered, not be directed toward the person you brought out.  Overtipping without cause can seem pretentious in some ways. I suppose there is some balance to be reached between tipping generously and tipping too much and appearing to be pretentious.  If you are given something for free at a restaurant or bar, it is customary to tip what would have covered the price of the item.  I appreciate individuals who notice this.

I am particularly sensitive to tipping well in situations like valet service, etc. I will notice if you don’t tip a valet or bell-hop (do we still call them bell hops?). 

So, to answer your question, tips and gratuity are a place to make your manners known on a date.  Yes, I do want someone I am with to tip well and would be terribly embarrassed if he tipped poorly, even with good cause.  However, I wonder how often I’ve been on a date and even noticed a tip.  Normally I don’t see the bill.  However, a friend of mine (Hi Micah!) recently brought to my attention via a blog entry that it is nice for the female to offer to pay the tip on a date! What a novel idea.


8 thoughts on “Q&A Tuesday: Here’s a Tip

  1. I really like the arrangement of the girl paying the tip, especially if the guy is insistent on always paying for the meal. My first boyfriend was like that, and we had this arrangement. It worked well.

    I especially don’t mind taking care of the tip because I tend to be a fairly large tipper, and I can’t stand people who spend a lot of money on dinner but won’t fork over more than 10% for service.

  2. I don’t like it when they try to hide what they are tipping!? I’m like what are you doing over there let me see what you’re tipping you freak! haha. I feel like over tipping is just boastful and done on purpose?

    And the whole girl pays the tip, is very kind, I have done this…in college. If I go dutch, I don’t go back! 😉


    1. Overtipping, unless something spectacular is most likely boastful. I think anything from 15-20% is probably average tipping, but over 20% is probably just to impress you. Then again, I’m no expert.

      Who knew there was so much to worry about when dating.

  3. I always watch when a guy pays if he’s tipping well. I’m with you though – over tipping is annoying, especially if you’re just doing it to impress me and later on I find out you’re a cheap-o.

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