Does Promising a Higher Tip Mean Better Service?

Categories: Chow Bella

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Pauline Martinez,
Chef and Owner, Perk Eatery

It shouldn't, but it usually does -- especially if you're a regular patron. Servers live off of their tips. Isn't Santa nicer to good boys and girls, too?

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Dave Andrea,
Owner, Brat Haus

No, the person that says that is usually the one that runs you around the most and then finds an excuse to stiff you. Tipping upfront is a different story.

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Bernie Kantak,
Chef and Partner, Citizen Public House

God only knows, but I'd be pretty insulted if I were a server and someone asked me to take better care of them and flashed some cash at me. Not saying I wouldn't do it, though.

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Chef Stephen Jones,
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

Not necessarily. There are no guarantees in this business, but most importantly, if a server is thinking that he/she should only deliver their best service for a customer based on the promise of a large tip, they're in the wrong business. Not everyone tips well, but sometimes the biggest tips come from people you'd never expect.

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Verbal tipping or the promises thereof are about as genuine as claims of being "well endowed." I agree with Christopher and Dave, it is usually offered up by people who want "special treatment," or who look for any reason to deduct from said tip. Not a good sign. When you frequent a joint, and tip well regularly for good service and food, you get a reputation with the staff. Dine REGULARLY at LOCAL RESTAURANTS! Build your credentials, support local establishments! I have experienced both waiting tables and restaurant ownership. It matters very much where you place your dollars.


As a server, my putz-radar goes off when this occurs. Usually a disappointing ending. In reference to the "loaded handshake", now your talking! Unless I sneak a look as I walk away and  its a Washington and not a few Jacksons or better.

Chris Stuckey
Chris Stuckey

Dave Andrea has it right. Others have good points, but overall they are all chefs/owners. What do they know about working for $2.35/hr? Or delivering said service? Sounds like a bunch of armchair quarterbacks.

Chris Stuckey
Chris Stuckey

As a former server, it certainly illicits it. But depends in what you mean by better... Spend a little more time, maybe. Sacrifice other guests service, no.


When a guest promises a "big tip" up front it means if your lucky you'll get a tad over 15%.

I've never had one of these self proclaimed "big tippers" actually give me a good tip.  I served for a decade and have had my share of stiffs, walk outs, and massive tips over $100.00+ when the bill wasn't enormous. 

Kimberlynn Hall Tovrea
Kimberlynn Hall Tovrea

ha! I've done it before with apathetic newby waitstaff at our football view in bar - lay out a stack of one dollar bills and let them know my expectations (centered around the service we were accustomed to)... took a dollar away anytime we had to sit and wait on drink refills, hadn't seen them come by in a while to check on us, etc. Only had to do it once, then they were "trained"... sorry if that sounds harsh - but we understood the realities of the restaurant we were at and how a view in could prohibit the turning of tables and thus their overall take home on tips - we tipped VERY well.....

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