Young people in large groups that come exclusively for happy hours tip poorly. At tables they drop out one at a time and always underestimate the cost and number of their drinks. They also forget about tax, which at 10% eats half a 20% tip. With them I automatically add gratuity. The last guy standing is usually screwed but that’s life.
I don’t automatically add gratuity to large groups of old people. They tip very well.
Gay people tip the best.
People give higher tips when paying by credit card than cash. I suppose because in the latter case they see their money physically leaving them.
No matter how expensive a drink is, most people will not tip more than a dollar a drink at the bar. But if you’re serving them at a table, they will give you a tip at around 20%, even though it took no additional work than walking a few extra steps.
People don’t understand that when a bartender gives them something for free they’re supposed to give more than a dollar extra. The bartender is not stealing from the bar (because that’s what it is) to save you save money. If a bartender gives you two $7 drinks for free, the tip on those drinks alone should be at least $10. You can’t go wrong if the tip on a free drink is the cost of that drink. That ensures you’ll be treated extremely well on all your visits. For this reason I very rarely hook up people I don’t know, even if it’s a group of girls that are flirting with me.
If the manager tells me to give a regular customer something like a free appetizer or drink, I don’t say it’s “on the house.” Instead I say it’s “on me.” That ensures it’s a higher tip because it makes it seem like I went out of my way, not that it was a business decision by a manger or cook.
The tip is always dismal when one person pays by cash and one by credit card. The guy paying cash puts his share along with the tip in the billfold on top of the credit card. They give it to me and say, “Put it on cash first, then the rest on the card.” The guy with the credit card then adds a tip only for his portion, not remembering (or caring) that he just used the tip his friend gave me to pay a few dollars less. This problem would be solved if the guy paying cash would hold that tip until after I run his friend’s card.
The percentage tip I get is strongly correlated to the amount of times I make the patron smile or laugh. I used routines on bar patrons, not unlike what I would use on girls in the club.
It’s hard for people to give more than 20% tips no matter how amazing the service is. After a certain percentage it feels like throwing money away, because it is.