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May 19th, 2013
06:27 PM ET

A Good Tip

$446 is more than many servers make in DAYS of work...and yet, one young lady at an Indianapolis restaurant received that as a tip on a $6 bill.  It's not common, of course, but it got us debating about what a good tip is in general:  Is it 20 percent?  25 percent?

How much should diners leave for good service?

Carl Azuz, Anchor


Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Cheyanne

    I feel we should leave 20 % in tip. Workers cook, serve ,clean, and stay on their feet all day.20% is a fair amount

    May 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Richard

      It depends on the attitude of the server, if they were nice its a 20% tip. But if they were rude i'm walking out.

      May 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  2. Dylan

    I think people should get tipped for good service regardless because it is a polite thing to do, to show that you respect their hardest effort in serving you as a worker.

    May 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  3. Valerie

    I think a standard tip should be 20 to 30 percent. Waiters and waitresses depend on their tips to earn a living and pay the bills. If a waiter happened to be not as efficient as I'd like, I would give them 20 percent, and vice versa, if the waiter was exceptional, I'd give 25 percent or more.

    May 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  4. Miya

    If the Waiter/ Waitress deserves it, then they should get 20% of whatever bill. I don't think that would be any harm to the customer.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  5. Johnathan

    When I go out to eat, I always leave 15% for standard, 25% for excellent and 35% for above excellent service.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  6. Sandi

    I think if you sit a table and hold up the space for an hour, only ordering a coffee and dessert, you should tip at a higher rate. The bill may only be $7.00, but is $1.40 really worth the server's time? If you received courteous and quality service, you should most definitely respect the sever's time. A higher percentage is warranted.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  7. Colin

    Well, I'd go with 20% and for service 20% to 26%

    May 20, 2013 at 12:44 am |
  8. Paul

    For me it just depends on globe good the service is on how much of a tip I give.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:33 am |
  9. Rebecca

    I think that a polite and responsible server should be gaining more money than a server who isn't on time and is impolite. So, I think that based on how they act, speak, punctuality, and how accommodating the server is to the customer, the tip amount should range from 18% to 25%. I would give 25% to the best server, and 18% to the worst.

    May 20, 2013 at 7:52 am |
  10. Marilyn

    Tipping is always an extra. Even though it is not a requirement, it is the right thing to do. You should always keep in mind how well the service was and give more if your waitress or wait or was attentive and kind. A twenty five percent tip should be the minimum.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:23 am |
  11. Jerry

    A real good one.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:47 am |
  12. Maddie

    I would say it depends on how well your waitress or waiter did.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  13. Tom

    I feel tips should be given based on the quality of service provided.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  14. Jacob

    What! WE only leave $1 tip at the very least!

    May 20, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  15. Hamza

    I believe that we shouldn't tip waiters/waitresses that much. They should be payed by their employers rather then their customers.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • thomas

      When you go into a table service restaurant you enter into a contract. Tipping is part of that contract.
      If you do not want to tip than go to McDonalds. If the servers were paid a better wage the food prices would be double.
      I bet you never worked for tips. I hope you never go to the same place twice because you will get bad service a best and most likely they are spitting in your food if your lucky.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Vickiii

        I do not know of any contract I am entering in by going to a restaurant except. I am going to eat and pay the amount on the menu. That is the contract I am entering into. The tipping system has become ridiculous, patrons are subsidizing the staff salary. Restaurants are a racket.

        May 21, 2013 at 1:36 am |
  16. Baker

    We think you should leave a great server a 25%-30% tip.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  17. Lacy

    I'd say leave about 10 to 30 dollars for a great service! I've some really nice waiters and my family tipped them a lot!

    May 20, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  18. Mike

    You shouldn't leave a tip for bad service. I would give them $ 500.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  19. jerry

    I would give a few dollars and a bill.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  20. Kaitlan

    I would also give a few dollars except if the service is bad.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  21. Nataiya

    I would tip if the service is bad.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  22. Cornelius

    I would tip the service $20 if they got good food. If they got bad food I would tip the service $ 3.

    May 20, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • JoBeth

      usually bad food is not the servers fault.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • William

        i have to agree

        May 20, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  23. Lauren

    25%, more if they do an excellent job.

    May 20, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  24. Lilly

    Enough to make a difference to that person, if thats what the goal is.

    May 20, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  25. david

    If the server is nice, I would leave at least 25%.

    May 20, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  26. Ehren

    On a six dollar bill with a 20-25 percentage,the tip is usually about 1.20$. But I think if that woman/man thought CeCe devserved it then its ok but still kinda outrageous.

    May 20, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  27. Reno

    I think that for a good service, the average tip for a restaurant should be at least 20% or more. The tip that Cece got was outrageous.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  28. Melody

    I think that a good tip is at least $5 or $6 for a good restaurant. But for an ok restaurant $3 or 4$.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  29. Josh

    I think you should tip about 20-25% which is about $1.20, but if the person thought she deserved $446 she should accept it

    May 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  30. Isabelle

    On the $6.00 tip there is a range of a $1-$15 to give to a waiter or a waitress, but for a waitress to get $446 dollar tip
    that's a bit unusual. The diner must have had really great service from the waitress.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  31. Arcadia

    I believe that we should tip 25% because waiters and waitresses work so hard to give us what they can if you are poor I understand but if you have a lot of money then you can have the courtesy to tip you don't have to tip $446 but you can still tip like 5 to 10 dollars at least.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  32. Briann

    on a six dollar bill with a 20-25 percentage, the tip is usually 2.00 or less but i think CeCe deserved it with the smile and freindly person she is i would also give her the same tip for the nice person she is to other customers.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  33. Stone

    I think that the appropriate tip amount is 20% because the workers probably do not get paid a lot at a restaurant. However if they did not do their job to the best of their ability the percent should be lowered.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  34. Sydney

    I think people should leave however much they feel is right

    May 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  35. Nickolas

    I think it was very nice of the person but I would put 20%-25% tip

    May 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  36. jake

    I think that normal tip is 20% but for good serves 25 to30%

    May 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  37. Angela

    To me it all depends on the service. If they did a poor job about 10%,good job 20%,an amazing job 30% i think 446 dollars is a lot of money but who knows Cece probably deserved and I hope she spends it well!

    May 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  38. Caren

    Not many people know that the average pay for a server, except in Ca, is around $2.75 per hour.. In Va its $2.88 and in DC where I work, I am paid $2.77 an hour.. If you go out to eat then you are excepting the agreement that someone else is buying, preparing and serving you your food for your convenience. Tipping is not only the way you show your appreciation but it is also part of the actual payment for services. From a servers point of view 15% is just fine, if the service was good. More is always appreciated but not expected. Also, on a side note, cash tips go directly to the server, credit card tips are taxed and a portion goes to the restaurant for processing and the remainder goes to the server. So I urge everyone to leave cash tips whenever possible. If you lave a $10 tip on a credit card, the server only actually receives about $4 of it. Food for thought.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • espe

      Thanks for the information and insight. I'll be leaving cash tips from now on.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Chelsea

      i'm a bartender in CA and I can't believe that the restaurant you work at takes credit card processing fees out of your tips. I would question the legality of that if i was in your situation. cash tips are the best though–no matter what you have to claim anything on a credit card

      May 21, 2013 at 3:02 am |
  39. Ducky

    I believe that the tip should depend on the food and the good attitude that the server has

    May 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  40. Brooke

    I believe that the tip should depend on the food and the good attitude that the server has

    May 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  41. Dylan

    I think he or she should get 5% of a tip or how much they should on how hard they work

    May 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  42. Sara

    I think they can give as much as they want because some witress/waiter need the money and they were really sweet.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  43. Ducky

    I believe that the server should get the tip depending on how much the customer wants to give them

    May 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  44. Dylan

    I think they should get a tip on based how hard they work

    May 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  45. Aelita

    I think they should get half of the money because although their service might be good, they're not the ones paying the fine.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  46. james

    10

    May 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  47. Shirley

    that really depends if they offer good service. If they offer good service then 20% or more. If they offer a sorta good job the 15% or a few dollars.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  48. Kyle

    I feel that a decent tip can range from 15-20% percent depending on the service. If the sercive is bad I will tip 15% percent, but if the service is good I will tip 20% percent or more if the sercvice was excellent.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  49. Darrick

    Well I think that people should just enjoy their meal and and worry about the check later.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  50. isaiah

    25% i would leave at the most maybe 50%

    May 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  51. Christiana

    In my book, it all depends on what level of service they give, if they are attentive and don't mess up my order than they get a full 25%-if they give poor quality service than I may drop it down to 15%. Like I said it all depends on how good-of-quality service they give.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  52. John

    When did we allow restaurant owners to transfer the expense of paying their employees to the customer? When I was a kid the standard tip was 10%, then 15%, then 18%, now they're talking about 20-25%, or more? I'm already paying $20 for a meal that cost $5 to prepare and $3 for 20 cents worth of iced tea. Restaurants need to pay their staff a living wage and not expect customers to cough up an additioanl 25% to subsidize the help.

    May 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  53. Kaitlyn

    I think that was cool that she would give that much, I think Ce Ce deserved it for being nice, a good waiter, and maybe it was even good food.

    May 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  54. Randy

    If you think about it, people who give really good service deserve large tips. Some of them may have been working all day and are still giving excellent service to all who come. I say the better the service, the better the tip. At the least, give 10% or some leftover change from your pocket. You never know how much the tip could help them.

    May 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  55. thomas

    Remember when going to a table service restaurant you are entering into a contract. Part of that contract is tipping the server appropriately. I worked for tips but only in 4 star restaurants. I always tip a minimum of 30% but usually 50% if the service is outstanding.

    May 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  56. Ryuku

    I truly believe that a tip is from what the customers feel is appropriate. I don't consider having statistics or a percentage the best thing to use when tipping a server. Some servers may not be the best as others, but we must consider their willingness to serve you and keeping a smile all day; being a server is much more frustrating than most people think of.

    May 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  57. Sophia

    A 20% tip is a perfect amount for a nice dinner service just as long as they were fitting and not interuptive.

    May 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  58. Bryan

    throught i never leave more then a 15% tip i think for good service mean better tip

    May 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  59. Cassie

    I think that if they are a good waitress/waiter the you should give them a bigger tip. If they are not, a lower tip.

    May 20, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  60. Jacob

    I think that people should only tip what they can afford when they receive their checks. if they can tip 10 percent good for them if they can only tip 5 percent then that's that.

    May 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  61. Louis

    It doesn't make much sense to me that the tip is proportionate to the bill. For exceptional service i would give around four or five dollars; but and for inadequate service about 2-3. However, it would make make more sense to me if you had a larger group. But honestly, I most likely not going to be doing the math anyway. I would just give a tip that is reasonable, and more proportionate to the service rather than the bill.

    May 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  62. Rebecca

    I tip 20% max with a few extra dollars for excellent service. However, I feel it is a requirement that I HATE doing! Employers should be responsible for paying their employees and we give a little extra on the side if we like what they did for us. Gosh we get things from the grocery store and don't tip the bagger, hardware store and don't tip the poor person loading our vehicle with 10 bags of mulch or sand for the kids. We don't tip our mail delivery person do we? They drive all the way to our homes and deliver our mail to us. What about overnight services? We don't tip the people who deliver our packages on time and with care. We are only tipping servers in restaurants so that the next time we come back they don't spit or do worse to our food.

    May 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  63. Luke

    Well I think the tip depends on the service from the waiter/waitress. If they did a poor job they don't deserve a big tip, but if they were good then they should get a tip between 20 and 30%

    May 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  64. Emma

    I would leave 20% for good, 25% for great, and 30% for outstanding! But, that's unbelievable!

    May 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  65. Mary

    It all depends on the service and the attitude of the server. They should not automatically get a tip because they are a server, they have to earn it. I cannot help they choose to be a server. If they do not like their job they can get on that does not rely on tips. I choose to eat at their establishment because the food is good but if the service is bad we tip the cook and not the waitress.

    May 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  66. Kira

    I think if the waiter/ waitress has a good aditude and does a good job then they should get a genorous tip.

    May 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  67. Violet

    I think that 25% is a fair tip. Servers have to bring out heavy trays of food, have to put up with ANYTHING, and put up with some awful stuff for their job.

    May 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  68. Kylie

    Well, it depends. If you are at a fancy restaurant and there is amazing service then, yes tip large, but not $465! maybe $45.
    If you went to McDonalds and you had bad service then tip small like, if your meal was $3.50 then tip $2.00!
    And vise versa

    May 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  69. Bert-Jan

    50% to 75%- the latter for excellent service

    May 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  70. Rylee

    A 20% tip would make my day and any other server or employee that I know. But a $446 would make my year!

    May 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  71. Matt

    I think a tip should be decided by if the waiter or waitress does his or her job well. Meaning if the know what they are doing and if they do a good job.

    May 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  72. Javen

    I think the average is 20% but if they were outstanding 30-40% maybe

    May 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  73. Josh

    Let's not forget... some servers don't get to keep the entire tips they receive, they are required to tip out at least half of what they made amongst the bus boys and dishwashers for helping clear and clean the tables. So 25% or more should be tipped if the server did a good job.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  74. juliana

    Honestly in my opinion people need to stop being greedy and give at least a 25% tip or higher because waiters and waitresses work there butt's off and barely get paid. so come on start appreciating people serving you food!!!

    May 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
  75. Elaine

    I thik maybe like 25% of what the meal costs but for really good service probably like 30% or so.......

    May 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  76. Umad

    If the server has done a really nice job and you liked your meal it is worth giving a 25% tip it does not do any harm.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  77. Eden

    A solid 15% should be given. If they offer fantastic service, more should definitely be given!

    May 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  78. Gordon

    You never tip because no other retail harder working employees get tipped. Forget that don't feel the guilt trips food clowns pull on you. You shouldn't be penalized to eat if you don't like it get a better job. So if your consistent on 20% or higher for some you leave atleast a dollar for your nearly 5 dollar sbucks every time right?....because they have to make it. My guess is no. Flat out hypocrites.

    May 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  79. Kylee

    Does your hourly job pay you based on your 'service'? If you went to an office job and spent all day on facebook instead of doing what you are supposed to do, do you not get paid? No, you still get your hourly rate. Of course, you would get fired if it was continuous, which would be the same for the server. But if you just have a bad day and dont get anything done, you still get paid. Servers have to be on their A game every single day or they dont get a paycheck. If they forget to bring you an extra side of ranch, you automatically reduce your tip. Or, if you are just having a bad day, you decide to put your misfortune on the server and not tip them. TIP YOUR SERVERS REGARDLESS OF SERVICE!!! you still took up their table and prevented them from getting paid by someone else. of course you should tip more for good service, but tip well for service-period.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  80. Arnob

    We consider this tip to be so magnanimous in the sheer volume of currency that was exchanged. See that's the problem with human beings, our materialistic mindset. A customer gave Cece Bruce that tip because of her love and appreciation at the service she was giving and how she was coping harassment from other customers. A tip of any amount can be given by anybody because of this.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
  81. William

    To me, i think that if the waiter (or waitress) is nice, great attitude, conversates with you and doesn't spill anything on you, that you should give them up to (at least) a 23% tip.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  82. Jaimee

    Both of my older sisters work in a restaurant and make most of their profit from tips. I think it's only fair that diners leave good tips. 20% seems like good pay-off for a day of work. It's only fair!

    May 21, 2013 at 12:06 am |
  83. Will

    Well it depends if it was 1 star:0$ 2 star:1$ 3 star 5$ 4 stars:15$ 5 stars:50$

    May 21, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  84. former server

    Tipping your server is a reward for those who hopefully make an effort to forget your troubled day or bring a smile to your face. Perhaps you are already in a pleasant mood, than fantastic, keep riding that wave. Waitors and waitresses are not slaves. They are generally outgoing, smart, and more classy than most, people. They work in this field because they enjoy the time they get to spend with the variety of people they meet day to day. Servers can be therapists, support groups, friends, lovers, teachers, students, life savers, stress relievers, and the list goes on. Of course there's always a rotten egg or two where ever you go on this earth. It's how you receive the company of another that makes dining out an experience. Learn to speak with your server, not speak down to them. Remember they are spending their life serving you, while you are only spending money.

    May 21, 2013 at 2:48 am |
  85. BB

    When did polite and manners get thrown out? The rule of thumb is 15% for bad service, 18% for average service and 20% for good service in the US for restaurant eating. International eating is totally different. And, yes, you do tip your bag boy from the market or anyone else that helps you with anything to your car. It is the right thing to do. Check with Miss Manners, Emily Post, or your MOTHER!!!!

    May 21, 2013 at 5:22 am |
  86. Mary

    I think diners should leave as much as they desire. If they only want to give ten, they can. If they want to give five hundred, let em'.

    May 21, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  87. Jakob

    I think that depending on whether the service was good or not you should leave a 10-20% tip. You also have to understand that it is not the waiters fault if the food is cold or takes forever to get to your table. You have to be a little more patient and look at what the waiter can control and what they can't. You then leave your tip based on that.

    May 21, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  88. Leeah

    For good service I think about 25 or 30 percent of the total amount of the bill. If its not good service then whatever you feel they deserve.

    May 21, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  89. Tom

    Food isn't free. Why should I tip? So if I take my car to the dealer for service, I should tip too? Home service, child care, laundry, ...ect... should we tip too? Rich folks made up the rules so idiots like us pay the bills instead of them. Why did the congress make up minimum wage rule separate for restuarant workers and non-restaurant workers? In other countries, restaurant owners are happy for you to come to their restaurant and no body know what tip is.

    May 21, 2013 at 11:04 am |