Originally Posted by Jodum5
a $9 tip on a $0.41 bill is really good. Where is this 20% coming from?
You ordered $40-50 worth of drinks and clearly were well aware of what their expected cost was. This is a little more of a gray area than the firm percentage rule, but, when getting a discounted tab, it is also considered good form to take into account the amount of service received and base your tip off the standard cost of the goods ordered. In other words, if you're using a waiter or bartender, but have the bill substantially reduced or whittled down to nothing by virtue of comps (the obvious exception would be if the comp was a manager's response to an unsatisfactory experience), gift certificates, or the use of promotional items, that doesn't make it ok to stiff the server just because your bill was zero or a negligible dollar amount. You still fill space that could otherwise be used for standard customers who would tip according to social norms, you still require the efforts of the server to bring you your drinks (and prepare them, since you ordered from the bar), and you still require time and energy from the server that, again, could otherwise be used to wait on other income-providing customers. One common standard I've often seen used for bar tipping (and that comes close to what I average during my shifts) is that $1/drink is a not unreasonable amount to tip for a bartender who does a proper job of preparing the drinks and bringing them over in a timely manner. You ordered 8 drinks from the bar, and many people would argue that it would be rude of you to tip much lower than $8 regardless of how much the tab was presented to you as. From that perspective, your $9 tip was only a little bit above the norm, enough to make any bartender perfectly happy, but by no means enough to act like you were doing the bar an exceptional favor and going way above and beyond. Edited to include a brief response to:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
I imagine they are using the $40 as approximately what you should have paid given what you ordered. As far as that goes, what do you guys think about tipping when you use a coupon? Let's say your bill was $40 but you have a coupon to make it $20. Do you leave a $6 tip, or $3?
See my post above. Some places treat comps/coupons as a part of the sales total that gets counted into the required tipout, most don't, I believe. Again, it's going to vary, but some places will also count them towards the sales total that is used to calculate taxable tip income for reports to the IRS. Regardless of how the establishment's figures may work, you're still taking up space that could be used for other customers, recieving service from the server, and taking up a share of the limited time that the server has to expend on customers for the purpose of income. Reducing your tip because of a coupon is arbitrarily slashing a proportionate amount of a server's income and penalizing them for something beyond his control, despite the fact that you required the same service that would be bestowed onto a full price diner.