Dining Poll: Let’s Talk About Tipping and Totals!

My father, a big fan of dining out, always tips on the pre-tax total of his dining check. Despite my DNA, I always tip on the post-tax total, a direct result of having spent years working in restaurants and relying on tips. Which total do you tip on? Have your say in today’s dining poll.



  1. Amanda says

    Voted other, but generally post-tax. Especially if the service was really good.

  2. Vanessa says

    The difference is not usually that much. A couple extra dollars probably means more to your server than it does to you.

  3. bmg says

    I’m not sure what “other” would even mean. If you don’t base your tip on pre-tax or post-tax, what other amount is there? Can someone who voted “other” explain?

  4. Rose says

    The tax rate in our area is 8.5% so we typically just double the tax to determine a fair tip (rounding up, of course).

  5. says

    Other would mean you tip on service, which most times would mean a bigger tip. If I tip based on the amount of the bill I tip om the post tax amount.

  6. Ruth says

    I am disappointed to hear and see how many people still consider 15% an acceptable amount to tip. It really isn’t anymore. In my opinion, it should be closer to the 20% level.
    Most of the time your server has to split tips with the server assistant and perhaps a small percent to the kitchen.
    Also, your server would love it if when you sign your charge slip if you would write “cash” in the tip line and then leave them a cash tip on the table. Cash is always preferred.

  7. Steve says

    Waitperson performance determines whether the tip is 15% of pre-tax or 20% of the post tax. Generally 17-18% of pre-tax for average but good service. Going higher than 15% does not amount to much more money, but does become meaningful to the server if everyone would do it.

  8. rhadames says

    Pre tax however I think tipping should not be used anymore. Just add whatever is fair for service to the bill.

  9. cb says

    Not sure I agree with 20%. Bills are increasing as well so the absolute amount of tip will increase since it is a percentage of the total.
    Also, the only reason I can conclude that waiters prefer cash (“cash is always preferred”) would be to unlawfully avoid income tax. Can someone enlighten me as to another reason they may prefer cash. It seems to me the results are the same in any case…

  10. Dave says

    CB, from what I have heard, some restaurants will take a cut (2-3%, whatever the credit card fee is) from the server’s tip if the tip is left on the credit card. Cash, it all goes to them.

    As far as the “other” goes, I generally go with 20% post-tax. If it’s a small bill and great service, I’ll often leave more ($5 on a $10 burger and two beers). If it’s a big bill because I happened to order expensive stuff, but the service sucked and the waiter didn’t make many trips, I’m more likely to go closer to 15%. Never less than 15%. Better to take it up with the manager if you have concerns than put that much of a dent in someone’s livelihood on the off chance they are having a bad day.

  11. Marcus says

    I always assumed tipping is supposed to be based on pre-tax because any restaurant that automatically adds the tip to your bill will always calculate pre-tax. Since the restaurants themselves use the pre-tax amount, it never occurred to me to use the post-tax amount.

  12. Tony Burgett says

    I always tip according to the service and the attention given to my table. I never blame the waiter on the food received. It’s not the waiter’s fault because the food is not good, etc.

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