Analyzing a percentage of anything you have to pay for, you want to have a lower-the-number-the-better take, generally. However, my big butt stops this idea at tipping. Twenty percent minimum should be factored into your budget for the hardworking people who provide a service for you. Yes, I mean even if it isn’t great service, that should be the minimum. For someone who dazzles you, even more. You see that percentage pays for more than just the attention from the person who is serving you. The support staff isn’t free.
I have worked on the other side of that line and while I always did my best for my customers, it is wearing and draining. And, when you provide a perfect experience and still get slammed by those people who are just never pleased, it is even more exhausting. I am the first one to say, “Well, you pick your job” when anyone complains, however in this circumstance, it is not about the job. It is about the thriftiness (aka being a cheap ass) of people consuming and not giving what is worked for and in most cases deserved.
I could detail every painful process one goes through to bring a super experience to their guests, but instead, I will simply say most people are busting their ass for your pleasure. If they don’t meet your standards pay the twenty percent so they can still pay their tip outs and their bills. If they exceed your standards, give them more. I promise no one is walking into a bar or restaurant and coming up with ways to make your drink or your dinner suck, they are simply trying to get through their shift the fastest, best way possible. There are exceptions, of course, piss poor attitudes, lack of training, short staffing, tons of factors that could alter an experience… but at the end of the day they showed up to work and their pay comes from the patrons. Part of your bill is the tip, just my two cents of course, but if you are a shitty tipper, we can’t be friends. Also, if you order a beer and leave less than a couple bucks, same. Further, if you’ve never been on the other side, don’t even attempt an explanation, there is not one for you.
If you cannot afford the gratuity then stay home.
And if you are a good tipper, well then hell yeah and a high-five for you!