Originally Posted by Brian278
If you do order the $2000 bottle, be prepared to tip at least 15% (assuming the overall service is satisfactory) on that. The argument that they didn't do anymore for it than a $50 bottle doesn't apply here, because that's not how the social custom of tipping works. If you order 2 waters that are refilled 4 times each, 2 $6 appetizers, 2 $16 entrees that comes with a salad, and two $7 deserts, you don't tip more than if you ordered 2 $30 entrees and two $20 single malts, do you? I think not. Then you don't get to cheap out on tipping with the expensive bottle of wine. Plus, if you're throwing around $2000 on a single bottle of wine, I'm guessing the $300 to $400 on a tip isn't going to kill you.
Well, that's an issue I have with our standard in general, but the idea is that it all evens out, because in a food situation, most of the prices are close to each other. I order a $3 appetizer, you order a $6 appetizer, the average tip for an appetizer at that restaurant is 45 cents. If you go to a more upscale restaurant where a an appetizer ranges from $16 to $20, then the average tip for an appetizer will be around $1.80. If there is caviar on the menu, there is some skewing akin to the wine issue, but let's ignore that for now, because it is a singular anomaly. Now go to the average upscale restaurant. Let's say the average tip on an entree is $10, app $5, Dessert $3. Sure there's some variance, but it works. Over time, all waiters serve the a bunch of each and end up with close to the average tip. With the wine list, the range of prices is much wider. I agree that an upscale restaurant may feature a sommelier, however he will give you the same attention if you order a fine vintage of Chateau mouton rothschild as if you buy a recent California table wine. Similarly, if you were bellied up to a bar, would you tip differently for a shot of Johnny Walker Blue vs. Black? probably yes, but I would tip $2-3 for the black and $10 maybe for the Blue...certainly not $30 as I think it is up around $125-150 / shot in some chicago bars. NOTE: The finest restaurants in this country (Per Se and FL) are service included. I believe any restaurant that is in that calibre will soon follow suit as it eliminates these odd inconsistencies with the current social convention and also promotes an atmosphere where servers have an incentive to make a career there instead of treating it as a temporary job.
Originally Posted by Huntsman
I've tipped 0% for inappropriateness. 10% for really poor service. Last Thursday was 25.6% on a $214.00 bill, and Saturday was 31.6% on a 190.00 and 120% on a ten dollar bill. ~ Huntsman
I would never tip 0-10% without having a discussion with the manager about the specific reason for my action. The only thing that happens if you do otherwise is you walk out and the inappropriate/poor server talks about what a cheap bastard you are. If you are going to do that, you should really give a reason.