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Tipping schemes aka make your tip mean something!

I was reminded of my friend Mike when I ran across this article today about Fight Thieving Restaurant Servers With Checksum Tips. Mike has this scheme in mind (correct me if I get this wrong) where you use the cents (at least the last digit) to indicate quality of service and satisfaction. He thought about leaving a little tip guide or perhaps a card pointing them to a web site to explain the different values. This article takes the make your tip mean something to an entirely new geek level. I had never even considered using binary to encode features or ratings! On and by the way there is a cute little cat in the corner of the page if you visit that site!

This article takes it to a new level of making sure you are not being taken advantage of by, dare I say, evil servers who feel that just having brought you a drink entitles them to huge piles of money. An alternate approach is offered by a comment on the site for using palindromes to compute the tip. I would agree that most servers out there are decent people working hard or even working the resraurant as second job because tips can be a decent income according to a friend of mine.

In the past I have been all over the spectrum of tipping from exactly 10% (I remember my grandmother having a tip calculator card she kept in her purse) to 15% for lunch, 20-25% for dinner depending on the quality of restaurant. I also went through the “rounding phase” where I just figured the tip roughly (not the Canadian tip trick like Aaron’s friend Shawn) and then rounded to the next even dollar, and finally today when getting take away I just usually add $2.00 maybe $3.00 depending on the price of the meal.

Overall I am trying to be more aware of tipping and trying to keep cash on hand for tips. After asking one server about tips they indicated that if a tip was left on a credit card not only would the house keep a percentage because of the credit card fees but that percentage was higher than a cash tip so the management felt they deserved more of the server’s money. In tipping with cash I feel like I am letting the server know that they were appreciated.

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