Tip: Do you pay at a higher % when eating alone?

Yes, our favor hated topic: Service Tip.
Don’t worry, I am not asking you how much you tip, nor am I asking what is a livable wage.

I ask this:
When you eat out by yourself, do you usually pay your tip at a higher percentage? Or do you pay about the same? Or possibly even lower. Thanks.

[Edited. Let me also add a twist to the question. Do you think you pay a higher % tip when it is a larger party or when it is a smaller party?]

I tip the same, party of one or party of 20. I’ll deduct a little for poor service (party of one or party of 20). I’ll up it for excellent service (party of one or party of 20).

It’s a milestone: HO’s first tipping thread. Can moderation be far behind?


I always tip exactly the same, irrespective of service or size of group, unless I’m a regular who gets special treatment, in which case I’ll consistently tip extra.

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I think I like the idea to pay at a higher % when eating alone, and in fact was told that I should because the servers disproportional more energy to serve one customer. However, looking back, I think I probably tip about the same. Maybe just a dollar more here and there for being the party of one.

That is for certain. One owner routinely gives me free sake even I told him not to (sushi restaurant). In that case, I always tip much higher to make up part of the sake cost. Same thing as some other restaurants which why give me free something.

Depends . If I have a couple drinks , and then all of a sudden I’m Santa Claus . Alone or other . Yea, I tip well .

Although if the owner is giving you the free saki, and the tip is going to the server, then it doesn’t really make up for the free saki!

:smiley: Ha ha ha. True, but at least someone else is benefiting.

No, not really. I pretty much always tip the same unless service was abysmal or stellar - then I adjust up or down.

But then I usually eat at the bar when I’m dining alone.

No, and levying a mandatory fee on “large” parties really gets my goat. Especially since some restaurants have now decided that as few as TWO people is a “large party” (though more often they go 4 to 6, where it used to be almost universally 8).

I’m all for doing away with tipping and paying a decent wage to servers, as it is done in much of the rest of the world. This whole “we can pay them only $2 an hour and then they have to make the rest up in tips” thing is just begging to be abused, and it has been abused frequently and will continue to be abused until we smarten up and stop treating employees like the trash they have to haul out to the dumpster.

I tip about the same regardless, a little more for excellent service, a little less for an MIA server.
In nyc most restaurants have a mandatory gratuity added for groups of 6 or more- and i’ve had some atrocious service as part of a larger group. I suspect those two facts are related

I sometimes tip a bit more when I’m eating alone, but that’s mainly because I tend to eat alone at cheap places and ask a lot more Chowhound-useful questions than is reasonable.

Eating at the bar just isn’t the same when you’re drinking an Un-sweetened ice tea. I see and hear all the cool kids like you snickering and pointing at me.

No Jr not pointing at you . I believe you’re just taking a break .

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Ice tea? Why, nevah.