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How much should I tip a waitress at a restaurant?

How much should I tip a waitress at a restaurant?

After enjoying a wonderful dinner with friends, I asked the table a simple question that surprisingly extended our evening’s conversation in to two (2) additional drinks.

What percentage of a tip to you default to when dining at a restaurant?

The answers were across the board and inspired debate among the spouses including accusations of being “cheap” or even “knowingly impacting the income of a hard working mother because you want to save $1.”

As my wife glared at me for always seeming to create a debate with my magnificent talent to slow pitch a new lively conversation… I grinned because I had a solution.

My default to smartphone searches under the table discovered An evolving community calculator that combined the personal Tip Averages from thousands of consumers arguing at their dinner table, just like us.

But the reason for additional drinks was because the community opened our eyes to the real questions. Why are we tipping? Why hasn’t minimum wage increased beyond $7.25 for decades? Why is it legal to pay this job type $2.13 per hour? Why is our country the only one of 200+ countries that force this guilt ridden, awkward step in completing the event of dining out?

In the grand scheme of things, when there are this many questions – it means there is an imbalance in the world of “right and wrong”. It isn’t fair to pay 14 year old $7.25 to referee a soccer game of 4 year old children. And then pay a 36 year old mother of 2 children only $2.13 because “consumers might provide an additional monetary tip as an act of gratitude”.

Thank you for bringing the issue to a forefront for conversation and even inspiring many states to revisit their conversation on a consistent minimum wage. As the wealthiest country in the world, hard working citizens deserve a living wage that covers the true cost of living (and hopefully more).

Oh yeah, Average Tip showed the community average of 20% tip for “dining at a restaurant”.

As each of our friends scribbled their totals, while tilted the cover of the booklet housing the check, I can only assume they may have defaulted to their own preferences of tipping value.

I however went home and sent an impassioned email to my state legislator. I hope you will do the same.

How much to tip editor

Matthew McCoy

Editor and Writer

Matthew McCoy is a author, blog contributor, and editor for

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