Originally Posted by drizzt3117
A $50 bar bill isn't the same as a $50 food bill. The server is taking your order, putting 4-5 drinks on a tray, and carrying it back, for $10. I don't think that's too bad, do you?
It depends. If you're ordering from a cocktail waitress, you should definitely follow the same standards as if you were ordering food, because waitresses will have to tip out the same on drink sales (or even more, if it's a place where an additional cut is given to the bartenders on alcohol sales) as on food sales. You'd actually be surprised how tricky carrying a tray full of delicate, liquid-filled glasses can be for a waitress having to squeeze her way through through a large standing and moving crowd; it's a different dynamic than carrying a tray of food through a clear pathway of tables to some seated diners. Bartenders have it a little easier in that they typically don't have to tip out a percentage of sales and have their own space to move around and drop off drinks in, but they're still expected to crank out drinks at a high rate and juggle a large number of server orders, customer orders, tab records, etc. Beyond that, tipping a bartender admitedly also has its bribe-like aspects: being known as a good tipper tends to result in getting faster attention to drink needs, more attention to the preparation of individual drink orders, and in less well-ordered places the occasional free drink, or extra-strong drink. I don't do the latter at work, nor do I go out of my way to provide shitty service to bad tippers, but any bartender is conscious of the fact that it is more efficient and beneficial for them to place a priority on serving people who tip well over people who don't, and that can come into a play on a busy night when you see the high-spending regulars being offered new drinks the second their current ones look low while the curmudgeon in the corner has to struggle to get his order taken. Anyway, it seems to me that Jared's point was not that $10 on a $50 tab constitutes a bad tip: any server would be delighted to get a 20% tip. However, his observation was that there is a huge disconnect between the OP's apparent attitude that his 20% tip was an exceptional favor only done because he got $50 worth of free drinks (thereby implying that he probably would have left a much lower tip, perhaps to the point of being way out-of-touch with conventional etiquette low, had he been presented with the proper total on the check), when in reality even a mediocre server/bartender at a bar will see more than a handful of 20%+ tips on an average day at work and not consider 20% an unusually large amount, let alone something that will cause his jaw to drop in awe. To reiterate, Jared is saying that while 20% is a damn fine tip, it's not too far off from the average and certainly isn't unheard of; the implication being that the OP's impression that his 20% was an enormous gift (his shifty behavior in the thread notwithstanding) suggests that he is probably a poor tipper on average.