Quick Tips for Tipping

It has come to my attention that many of my favorite humans on this planet do not know how to calculate a tip quickly while eating out.

For my international readers, when you receive service at a restaurant in the US, you are expected to tip 15-20% for the service. Waitstaff make the majority of their income on tips, so it is important to make sure you are leaving enough. You can leave less if the service is horrible, but often it is not the server’s fault. It is best to be generous of wallet and spirit.

Calculating a tip can be stressful (especially if you are trying to impress your dreamy date while trying to carry on charming conversation while also attempting to carry the 1….) but I can make it a little easier for you.

Quick tips for fast tip calculating:

1. Move the decimal over one spot to the left. Then approximately double. This will leave you with a tip that is about 20%.

For example:

Bill is $52.67.

Move the decimal left one spot= $5.26

Approximately double= $10 tip. This is a 18.9% tip. Great!

Another example:

Bill is $78.32

Move the decimal left one spot = $7.80, I would round to $8 just for quick mental math’s sake.

Double= $16 tip. This is a 20.4% tip.

It’s not hard. They key is not to worry being exact- if you just move the decimal over and then pick an easy number to round to then double, you will be close to 20%. Under is still in the acceptable 15-20% range, and if you go over…I promise your server won’t complain!

2. Trick 2: use your taxes.

This only works in some states/counties. If your state taxes between 7.5-10% (it usually says it right on the bill), you can just double the amount that they taxed you on the bill and you will be in the right range.

For example: Say I am in Tennessee. I pay 9.25% in sales tax. My bill comes and it looks like this:

Meal: $47.15

Tax (9.25%): $4.36

Double the tax- you get about $8. That is a 16.9% tip- solidly in your range.

See? Not so bad! And your date never needs to know that you didn’t calculate the tip down to the last penny.


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