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Holiday Tipping for Server
December 11, 2009 5:10 PM   Subscribe

What kind of holiday tip/gift should I give a server I see regularly (once a week) and regularly tip 30%?

I saw my favorite server last night, and he pressed me to schedule my next meal so that he could "see me before the holidays." That reminded me that I'd like to get/give him something for the holidays. What's the protocol on this? Should I just provide him a larger tip? Is a gift appropriate? If so, how much/what kind?

This is an upscale restaurant. Two of us dine together (myself and my brother) and we regularly spend $70+ and tip very well (30%+). We see Bill about three-four times a month.

Thanks for your help!
posted by MeetMegan to Work & Money (10 answers total)
 
As a sometime server, I'd like to recommend that your usual tip will suffice. It's already a gift every time you give it, and is probably always noted and appreciated. If you must leave something more, I suggest something incredibly general like a Starbucks card. If you look like you put a lot of thought or effort into it, it could send the wrong message.
posted by hermitosis at 5:18 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


How about tipping 50% and writing "Happy holidays!" on the receipt?
posted by timpanogos at 5:24 PM on December 11, 2009


Yeah, 50% seems exactly right to me.
posted by elizardbits at 6:02 PM on December 11, 2009


One week's salary for every week they've been working for you is standard tip for nannies...maybe a good gauge to use here? So double his usual tip.

As well as a lovely personal note, of course.
posted by kathrineg at 6:12 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Please tell me that one week's salary for every week they've been working for you is a typo. One week for every year, maybe?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:27 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


My GF is a bartender and we are regulars at a few places and usually tip 30%+ because I know how much they depend on tips. I usually tip 50% the last time I'll see one of my preferred bartenders, servers or my hair person, before the holidays.
posted by white_devil at 6:38 PM on December 11, 2009


Maybe a card with a little note, a small gift card to a store, or extra cash?

Thanks for tipping well, you have no idea how many people survive off one person's tips!
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 9:28 PM on December 11, 2009


If you feel the need to give him a gift, then give him a gift.
posted by cmoj at 9:39 PM on December 11, 2009


jacquilynne: "Please tell me that one week's salary for every week they've been working for you is a typo. One week for every year, maybe?"

Indeed, one week for every year, which I hope was made clear when I said "So double his usual tip."

If one year's salary were standard, I would be many thousands of dollars richer right now.

Yes, OP, if you get him a gift it will be great, but I would do it on top of giving him money. It's wonderful to get money at Christmastime, it relieves some of the financial stress and makes it that much cheerier.
posted by kathrineg at 5:13 AM on December 12, 2009


As someone who's been in food service for 10+ years, a larger tip or gift is appropriate. I don't expect my regulars to tip me more or give me things for the holidays since I already appreciate them enough, but it's always really nice when they do. People usually just tip me more money, but I have gotten gift cards also.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:23 AM on December 12, 2009


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