So: How much should you tip?
In my opinion, the bare minimum is 20%.
One should, however, allow for context on this subject.
For instance, my entire family recently shared a dinner special at a local joint.
We ate free chips and salsa, with free flour tortilla and butter. And we all drank water – like we usually do. The total bill was about $10 and I left a $10 tip.
My opinion on this has changed as I have gotten older. I become a little less selfish, I believe.
It’s a heart issue, if I can be honest.. Let me encourage you to be generous and kind too.
At the very least: You are investing in your reputation.
Jews of my father’s generation and mind-set have a favorite gangster the way Catholics have a patron saint: a mythic figure who has left them a life lived, a style, a way of doing things. There was a kid on my father’s block who would not fight on the Sabbath, who would rather let himself be whipped by a man half his size than fight on Friday night, because that’s how Red Levine did it. For my dad, who tried and rejected several gangsters as either too brutal or not brutal enough, the greatest of all the old hoods was Abe Reles. “I once saw the Kid come out of hiding to buy a newspaper,” my father told me. “The paper cost a nickel, but he gave the lady a fifty. That’s how you get to be a hero. Lay green on everyone you meet. When you overtip, you’re not throwing money away. You’re investing in your legend.”
-Rich Cohen, Tough Jews