How Much Do I Tip in a Restaurant? | Manners & Etiquette

Tipping the Wait Staff

Tipping your waiter/waitress is a customary behavior in the United States and is considered a reward for good service.

But many people may not know that a large portion of the waitstaff community is underpaid (often less than minimum wage) and relies on tips to make their living, and they sometimes are required to share their tips with other wait staff and busboys.

Tipping is NOT required, however, and wait staff are wise to remember that the better the service, the better the tip.

When your party is large (over 6 people) or you have requested special service throughout your restaurant visit, please keep that in mind when leaving the tip amount.

Tipping the Maitre’d

A good maitre’d can make the dining experience an extraordinary one. On successive visits, the maitre’d can greet you by name and seat you at the best or your favorite table and make sure you have good service. To build a good relationship with the maitre’d, it is recommended to tip. Tip the maitre’d as you are about to get seated, not after you are seated to ensure your advantage.

Tipping Involving Liquor

  • If one bottle of wine was ordered, include its cost into the tip calculation.
  • If a lot of wine is ordered, or if the price of a single bottle is over $10, the cost of the alcohol should not be included in the final tip calculation.

The Tip calculation should be based on the PRE-TAX amount.
(Excerpted from

Tipping Recommendations
waiter or waitress 15% to 20% of bill.
If you receive excellent service or if it is a 4 star + restaurant or for large parties, a 20% or greater tip is recommended.
headwaiter / maitre d’ $20 – $100 or more depending on the occasion, the restaurant, your frequency, and of course, whether you like to be taken good care of.
owner none
wine steward 15% of wine bill
bartender 10-15% of bar bill
busboy none
servers at counter 15% of bill
coat check attendant $1 for one or two coats
rest room attendant 50 cents to $1
car park attendant $1

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