Unless you're in the habit of tipping with a handshake, sliding a $20-or-whatever directly into your server's hand, here's the reality: your tip does not go directly to your waiter.
Read that last bit again, it's important. Probably the biggest misconception of the dining public.
Many restaurants allot payout via a points system, in which tips are pooled, then distributed at the end of the night. Think that the extra amount you're penciling in goes into the pocket of helpful waitress Lauren or bartender Steve? Well, not quite.
Read on for the full explanation.
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Previously on Ask the Critic
- Here's How Tipping Actually Works
- On Restaurant Critics and Expense Accounts
- What Celebrity Chef Restaurants Are Really Worth It?
- What Can I Bring to a Dinner Party?
- 'Real' Chinese Food in NYC
- What 'New York' Food Souvenirs Can I Bring Home?
- Can I Do Tasting Menus with My Food Intolerances?
- Best Date Night Restaurants in NYC
- 'Good Steak and Good Whiskey'
- Quiet Restaurant for a Goodbye Dinner
- Are Cronuts Worth the Line?
- Where to Eat Lunch in Soho, Best Italian Combos
- UWS Date Spots, Franklin Avenue and Crown Heights
- Non-Alcoholic Cocktails; Where to Eat in Ditmas Park and South Slope
- Group Dinner Questions
- Where to Eat in Downtown Brooklyn, Best NYC Pizza