Is Tax Applied Before or After Gratuity?

For restaurant wait staff, the gratuity is calculated on the total before tax is added. Ten percent is the minimum, even for poor service. Average service should receive a 15 percent tip, while excellent service calls for 20 percent.

Other restaurant staff also receive gratuities. A headwaiter often gets a percentage of the wait staff's tips; therefore, if there is a headwaiter, customers should tip the wait staff more. A wine steward is typically given 15 percent of the cost of the wine. A bartender receives 15 to 20 percent of the total drink tab but no less than 50 cents for a soda and $1 for an alcoholic beverage.