Most Americans think that the standard is 15-20% for decent service while eating at a restaurant. So what are the rules? It seems like all credit card receipts have a place for adding a tip - even if it isn't clear if you need to leave one. What about when picking up take out? Do you tip on a delivery after they've already added a delivery fee? Do you have to worry about getting your food messed with if you don't tip at the counter?

We've decided to lay all of the questions to rest - leave your rules below, in the comments..


Here are Bama's rules for getting good tips:

  1. As the blouse buttons go down, the tip goes up!
  2. Phony compliments like, "I love it when my customers get food all over the floor and table!" will get you big money.
  3. Commenting on how cool I dress always works. "That hot-rod shirt is just so cool and colorful! You can't even see the mustard stains!"

...and his rules for getting BAD tips:

  1. Hey Mr. Buffet manager - I know how many times I've been to the buffet. I don't need your help counting for me.
  2. Hey Ms. Judgmental waitress - saying "wow" after I place my entire order will get you nothing. I have to eat a lot because I never know when I may get to eat again!
  3. Listen Mr. Manager - I have to unbutton my pants. Your food is good and I eat fast, and my belt will only go so far.


Here is what Emily Post (etiquette expert) says:


Photo: Getty Images / AFP