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Is it rude to tip a non-round number?

Is it rude to tip a non-round number?

Old Sep 8, 18, 11:03 am
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Is it rude to tip a non-round number?

My bill was $33.41.

I could have tipped $6, but that's a hair under the 18% custom. I could have tipped $7, but that's over 20%. I've seen some companies write into their expense policy that tips over 20% will not be reimbursed.

I tipped $6.59. That made the grand total $40.00. Was that rude?

Years ago I dined with someone who used to wait tables, and as I filled out the receipt, he noticed I was trying to make the total a round number. He said as a server he hated that practice. He didn't give a reason. I suppose there's an element of selfishness here: the round total is convenient to me, but not to the server.

Indeed, a quick Google search brings up one argument that some restaurants pool and split tips, and that oddball amounts like $6.59 make splitting more complicated. I'm not sure if that argument has any merit, but it was out there.

What do y'all think?
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Old Sep 8, 18, 11:43 am
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In countries where tipping is not compulsory (i.e. where serving the food is seen as an integrated and indispensable part of selling food to customers, and servers actually are paid the same way as other workers), rounding up to a logical round sum is both common and recommended.

If a server were to complain that a 19,72 % tip was rude, I would have rounded the tip down to a round and easily sharable $6.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 4:19 pm
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It's not rude to tip. I'm sure every server is happier with a $6.59 tip than no tip. They may find it annoying to get change when they cash out, however.

I personally always just round up in these circumstances. The difference between at good tip and a great tip is not much, and who cares about the extra 41 cents? If your employer is going to make a stink about 41 cents perhaps it's time for a new employer...or a review of policy.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 5:08 pm
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Moderator's note.....

Please note that the topic of this thread is "Is it rude to tip a non-round number?"

This is simply a friendly, preemptive reminder that general discussions about tipping, your opinion of United States tipping culture versus that in other countries, etc., etc. are NOT the topics of this thread.

Sadly, your forum moderators have seen too many tipping threads over the years devolve into acrimony and incivility. There's no need to go down that path, though.

Friendly and civil posts that are on the topic of this thread are always welcome; other sorts of posts on other sorts of topics will be removed.

Thank you,

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Old Sep 8, 18, 9:18 pm
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No -- I'm with you, I always try to make my tip push the final bill to a round number because I prefer them.

It probably ends up 50/50 whether it benefits the servers (aka 50% of the time I end up pushing the tip a touch higher than the average to get to the round number and 50% of the time it's a touch lower than the average to get to a round number)
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Old Sep 8, 18, 11:01 pm
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When I pay by CC, I round it up to the nearest $ 100 percent of the time. And I am not a rude person.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 6:56 am
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I always round the check to an even number if I'm paying by card. If I'm paying by cash, I usually leave a round number, as I'll tuck the change away in my change bowl for later.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 7:15 am
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I always round the check or charge to even number just so I know if it was me or my SO, when I look at the CC statement. They always add an even dollar.

When I use cash I just leave even dollars on the table.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
My bill was $33.41.

I could have tipped $6, but that's a hair under the 18% custom. I could have tipped $7, but that's over 20%. I've seen some companies write into their expense policy that tips over 20% will not be reimbursed.

I tipped $6.59. That made the grand total $40.00. Was that rude?
No, not rude.

Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Years ago I dined with someone who used to wait tables, and as I filled out the receipt, he noticed I was trying to make the total a round number. He said as a server he hated that practice. He didn't give a reason. I suppose there's an element of selfishness here: the round total is convenient to me, but not to the server.

Indeed, a quick Google search brings up one argument that some restaurants pool and split tips, and that oddball amounts like $6.59 make splitting more complicated. I'm not sure if that argument has any merit, but it was out there.

What do y'all think?
If they're pooling tips, adding them together, your odd number is not going to make a shred of difference in the grand scheme of things. If I encountered a server who had a negative reaction to an odd tip amount, their manager would hear about it.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 8:53 pm
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Not rude. I use CC most of the time and I notice that many CC machines now offer 18% as a default percentage.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 9:26 pm
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I always tip in dollars only (no cents) or by using the C/C machine's default function % key.

Any tip is a good tip and not rude.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:11 pm
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If it was rude to tip a non-round number, I imagine the "suggested" tip amounts on receipts would be different than they are now.

(On that note, I don't see anything wrong with making the math easier on oneself. Especially when the tip has to be calculated/written down after the fact in the first place--at least in the US anyway.)
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Old Sep 10, 18, 7:31 am
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This is not something most people would lose sleep over.

It does remind me of the OMNI post I made about rounding gas purchases to multiples of $0.05. - something my father did to avoid receiving pennies in change back in the days before credit card use was so common. I still do it, for no apparent reason.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 7:44 am
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As Archie Bunker would say, “Oh, geez Louise”.

$0 is a round number.

In the US I start out at 15%, on the pretax cost of food. Service bad, it goes down. Really bad, I talk to the manager. Service good, it goes up. 20% is the top end usually, unless they’ve done something special.

I do prefer it in much of Asia, where there is no expectation of a tip, or a moderate 5-10% service charge added to the bill. As many past tipping threads have pointed out, in the US, there is a steady and gradual creeping up of what is acceptable. Not even going to get into the silly tip the bill stuff.


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Old Sep 10, 18, 7:48 am
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I was a server a long time ago as my family owned restaurants and I never cared if someone made the total with tip a round number. People who pay with cash almost always total up to a round number so the credit card portion doesn't impact it at all. Even if everyone paid by card, no one would care that someone tipped $6.59 instead of $6 or $7. Not sure what the issue could even be.

Now I often make the grand total a round number especially when I travel on business. My company has a really silly requirement that the meal reimbursement for each day cannot exceed $50 not even by a penny and not even if you go under on other days, it's a hard limit. After having to reimburse the company for $3.10 when I first started, I now round up to make it easier to remember what I have remaining for a day. If I spend $12 on lunch I know I have $38 left for dinner.
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