(drizzt3117 @ Feb. 09 2005,02:22) I use a formula to calculate tips at US restaurants that are nicer than quick casual. I start with 15% and add or subtract based on certain events and guidelines. Generally if I ask for something, and it isn't done promptly, I will subtract 2-5% from the tip. If they attempt to remove plates w/o being asked or it being obvious that I want them removed (I will generally place them outside my eating area) then I will subtract 2-3%, I may also subtract 1-2% if my water (or wine) isn't refilled when it's obvious it needs to be. I always subtract 5% if I am brought my check before I ask for it, that is one of my biggest pet peeves. I will add 2-5% for good service and 5-10% for exceptional service. Jerry Seinfeld once said (and I'm roughly paraphrasing here) that tipping has gone from rewarding good service to rewarding "the absence of hostility." I applaud your willingness to deviate from the social norm that demands a 15% tip regardless of the level of service. Have you ever given a zero tip (which is theoretically possible under your guidelines) for bad service that met each one of your pet peeves? I am a fixed 20% tipper but also grade a little. I have only given a zero tip once, and it was a late night at a Denny's, a place I don't count on getting great service at, but it was obvious to my party that the waitress didn't want us there and did not want to serve us.