“Do You Tip in the United States? 5 Hilariously Absurd Ways to Annoy Your Waiter!”

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 11/03/23 •  4 min read

Do You Tip in the United States? 5 Hilariously Absurd Ways to Annoy Your Waiter!


Tipping is an integral part of the dining experience in the United States. It serves as a way to show appreciation for good service and helps supplement the wages of waitstaff, who often rely on tips for their livelihood. However, there are certain behaviors that can not only annoy your waiter but also disrupt your dining experience. In this blog post, we will explore the cultural tipping norms in the United States, discuss hilariously absurd ways to annoy your waiter with tipping etiquette, explore non-monetary annoyances for waiters, understand the consequences of annoying your waiter, learn about proper etiquette for tipping in the United States and address common misconceptions about tipping.

II. The Cultural Tipping Norms in the United States

A. Brief history of tipping culture in the US

Tipping has been a part of American culture since as early as the late 19th century. It was initially introduced as a way to reward exceptional service provided by waitstaff at hotels and restaurants.

B. Standard tipping percentages and expectations

In modern times, it is customary to tip waitstaff between 15-20% of the total bill before taxes. However, certain high-end establishments may expect a higher percentage tip. It is important to note that while tipping is expected in most situations, it is not mandatory and entirely up to the customer’s discretion.

III. Hilariously Absurd Ways to Annoy Your Waiter with Tipping Etiquette

A. Pretending you don’t know how to calculate tips

One way to annoy your waiter is by pretending you have no idea how to calculate tips correctly. This can lead to confusion and frustration for both parties involved.

B. Leaving an excessively small tip as a practical joke

Leaving an excessively small tip or no tip at all can be seen as a practical joke, but it is a surefire way to annoy your waiter. Not only does it undermine their hard work, but it also reflects poorly on you as a customer.

IV. Non-Monetary Annoyances for Waiters

A. Constantly changing your order after it has been placed

Waitstaff rely on efficient order processing to ensure smooth service. Constantly changing your order after it has been placed can disrupt the flow of the kitchen and annoy your waiter.

B. Asking for endless refills without ordering any food

While some restaurants may offer free refills, repeatedly asking for refills without ordering any food can be frustrating for waitstaff. It not only takes up their time but also prevents them from attending to other customers.

V. The Consequences of Annoying Your Waiter

A. Poor service or quality of food as a retaliation method

Annoying your waiter can have consequences, such as receiving poor service or even having the quality of your food compromised intentionally. Waitstaff have control over many aspects of the dining experience and can retaliate if they feel mistreated.

B. Negative impact on your dining experience due to tension

By annoying your waiter, you create an uncomfortable atmosphere that can negatively impact your own dining experience. Tension between you and the waitstaff can lead to heightened stress levels and overall dissatisfaction with the meal.

VI: Proper Etiquette for Tipping in the United States

A: Guidelines for calculating appropriate tips based on service quality and bill total.

When calculating tips, consider both the level of service provided by your waiter and the total amount of your bill before taxes. Use 15-20% as a general guideline but adjust accordingly based on exceptional or subpar service.

B: Tips on expressing gratitude and appreciation towards waitstaff.

Along with tipping, expressing gratitude towards waitstaff is essential in showing appreciation for their hard work. Simple gestures like a genuine thank you or compliments can go a long way in making their day.

VII: Common Misconceptions about Tipping Explained

A: Addressing misconceptions related to legality and fairness of tipping system.

There are various misconceptions surrounding tipping, including its legality and fairness. It is important to understand that tipping is legal in the United States and an integral part of the service industry.

B: Debunking myths about waitstaff wages.

Contrary to popular belief, waitstaff wages can be significantly lower than the minimum wage due to tip credits. This further emphasizes the importance of tipping as it directly impacts their income.

VIII: Conclusion

In conclusion, tipping in the United States plays a crucial role in showing appreciation for good service and supplementing waitstaff wages. While there are hilariously absurd ways to annoy your waiter with tipping etiquette, it is important to remember that they are professionals who deserve respect and gratitude. By following proper etiquette for tipping and understanding cultural norms, we can ensure a positive dining experience for both customers and waitstaff alike.

John Goldsmith