What is the new etiquette for tipping?

I recently went out with some friends to celebrate a birthday. The restaurant billed us individually, but automatically added a tip to each bill (which is cool). However, as I was filling out the bottom of the receipt to add the recommended 20% tip I noticed a tip of $12.83 had already been added. I was about to tip again on that total amount. I felt some "type of way." 

I added the 20% - which brought my bill to just under $100. My meal was $60 and I only ordered a soda. Here are my thoughts....

Whether you should add an additional tip on top of the amount already included depends on a few factors:

  1. Service Quality: Evaluate the quality of service you received. If it was exceptional and you feel the server or staff went above and beyond, you might consider adding an extra tip. My server was okay. I asked him the difference between the different types of crab legs and he said he didn't know; that he hadn't been trained. I felt badly for him. 

  2. Customary Practices: In some places, it's customary to add an additional tip on top of the included gratuity, especially if you're dining in a larger group or at a high-end establishment.

  3. Personal Budget: Consider your own budget and financial situation. If you can afford it and you feel the service warrants it, adding a little extra can be a kind gesture.

  4. Local Culture: Customs regarding tipping vary greatly from one region to another. In some places, tipping is not expected at all, while in others, it's customary to tip generously.

  5. Understanding the Included Tip: Ensure you understand what the included tip covers. In some cases, the included tip may already be substantial, covering service charges and other fees.

Ultimately, it's a personal decision based on your own experience, the service received and your willingness to tip additionally. If you're unsure, you can always ask the staff or check the bill to see if the included tip is standard or if additional tipping is expected.

Happy Dining :) 

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