Re: How much do you tip?
20-25%or more for good service or if I know the waiter/bartender.
~20% if it's done decently.
less than 20% from me you screwed up.
If the service really sucks, I will stiff people. True story, I have eaten at Ruth's Cris on three occasions in my life. All three times I have had some of the worst service in my life. The last time I was with ~10-12 people, many managers, waiter, bartenders (OK, some strippers too but who's counting?) and it was truly the WORST service I have ever had in a restaurant.
This guy was supposed to remove things from our bill and comp a desert (his offer) for destroying several meals. What in fact he did was ring someone elses tab onto our bill and remove that! When I checked the bill and called him on it, he tried to tell me we had those items, which we had not. He angrily took the tab back and after 30 more minutes of waiting returned the check to the table. I do not overestimate this time frame as we had gone to find the manager, who was not an easy find to get it so we could leave. To cut to the chase, on ~$900 tab, we left 35 cents, and no, the waiter had not added the 'mandatory tip for parties of x or more'
Do I feel bad about that? Hell no! The guy ruined a meal and a friends B-Day, and the food was poor. I will never go back to this chain, so they too took a hit from this guy....
I do also tip the pizza guy and the chinese food guy (especially the CFG as it's always one of the family and they know me and get me my food super fast!) several bucks for each delivery, usually ~$5.
Ken Taraszka, MD