Alidar Warlock wrote:
See, from my perspective, I would be spending the rest of the night wondering what I did wrong. Since there is a social convention, such a dramatic departure from it would have to mean something and someone else's idiosyncratic tendencies wouldn't cross my mind. Instead, I would normally be expecting 9-12 dollars unless I gave bad service and always hope to get more if I gave exceptional service.
Keep in mind the server would probably be there for the hour with you plus near an hour after to clean up the restaurant. For this, she is compensated $2.23 an hour. That plus your five would be 9.46 for two hours.
Firstly, what you're saying is that I should buy the server dinner. $9-$12 is a dinner at Steak and Shake. Secondly, now you're asking me to contribute to the server's overall wages when I'm not there. She may make $2.23 to wash the table, but she made $7.23 for the hour that she was around for my table. Keep in mind that there were only a few people in the restaurant, and that she was only required to serve our table once.
As for the tip itself, a hypothetical: If two plates of food comes to $40, and I tip $4.00, that's acceptable. If two plates of food come to $70, and I tip $4.00, that isn't.
Aside from the price of the food itself, what change in the service is required? Because I pay more for the food I should pay more for the service? When did "I should spend more because I'm already spending more" become a reasonable budgetary decision?