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Innovations in Restaurant Tipping: Just Do the Math For Us


At a local cafe in western Massachusetts the printed bill contains something I’ve never seen before: At the bottom is a list of percentages—15, 18 and 20—with suggested gratuity amounts based specifically on the bill’s total. While tipping is a social norm in the U.S., it’s a hassle to figure out the right amount to tip. The tip amount is rarely suggested, and never in specific dollar terms (though sometimes a gratuity is included for larger groups of diners).
So why not do this everywhere?  Perhaps it could be viewed as crass; but it saves time and makes the social norm explicit (as it already is in our minimum wage laws)—and it might shame those who refuse to tip.  I hope this innovation spreads rapidly in this time of apparently decreasing social cohesion.