I've been meaning for a while to ask for your thoughts on tipping at pubs. A few weeks ago I was having a beer with Charles and casually posed the question of how much to tip. Without hesitation, he said "a dollar a beer". Turns out that's pretty standard -- here's a Beer Advocate screed that recommends the same thing.
Confession time: that's toward the upper end of my tipping habits to date. Long ago my wife whipped me into shape on restaurant tipping, so that I go a little over 20% unless I've really been abused. When I run a tab at a bar, I apply the same formula. But if I step up to the bar and pay cash for two or three beers for the table, I tend to cover the whole trip with one dollar, or maybe a dollar and some change.
For a single beer, 50 or 75 cents seemed reasonable to me. Now that I've been corrected I will amend my skinflint ways, but some questions still come to mind:
- Tip one dollar for one beer whether the beer cost $2 or $6?
- How much for a pitcher?
- How much for three or four pints?
- Same tip for walk-up service as for table service?
- Same tip at dive bars as at nicer places?
- What is your remedy if the service is bad?
- Tips are meant to supplement slave wages. Do you tip differently when the bar's proprietor is serving you? (Geoff, Sara, et al., please don't hate me for this question.)
- How much do you tip when a bartender fills a growler for you?
- When running a tab, is 20% good, or should you still do a dollar a beer?