The addition of tip calculators to just about every model of cell phone has made the basic math of leaving a tip in a restaurant almost obsolete for an entire generation. I have always been a heavy tipper, not bothering to figure out that whole “before tax” thing – I usually just look at the bottom line, move the decimal to the left one space, and either add another 50% to leave a 15% tip or more commonly, just double it to leave 20%. If the service was good, I’ll throw a little more in and if service was poor, I’ll round down. Rarely is service so bad that I take the time to figure out something less or figure it out to the penny.
Recently though, I came across one restaurant that had an interesting idea: at the bottom of the credit card receipt was a line that said “Be sure to tip your server” and then had the amounts calculated out for you at 15%, 18% and 20% increments. Personally, I think this is a great idea, since I hate light tippers – I’ve never waitered and that’s for good reason, since I’ve worked in a kitchen and I know how miserable it is to be on the front lines. Hopefully this gets people to leave a humane tip for these people who are usually otherwise sustaining on minimum wage and depending on tips to make their lives easier.