Tipping for engineers
Ever been stuck trying to decide how much to tip a waiter that falls short of the mark? As an engineer type, I like to break processes down to their component parts. Take for example table service, which I've here conveniently parsed into 15 points, one for each percent. On days I'm feeling particularly prickly, I'll tip 1% for each of the 15 expectations I have of a waiter (when within his/her control) that are met:
Prompt, polite greeting
Prompt water, drinks
Knowledge of menu
Accurate recording of orders
Updates on progress of food prep if delayed
Attentiveness to special requests
Accurate delivery of food
Prompt delivery of food (warm)
Proper delivery of food (no reaching)
Attentive but not impatient during meal
Checks when requested or at end of meal
Check splitting appropriately
Checks processed promptly
Expression of thanks
I'll also add extra credit for special attentions or circumstances:
5% for panache, for that special waiter that makes dining a delight.
5% for acceding to special requests, such as taking a group photo, or quick turnaround, or special seating
5-10% or more apology money when one of my party (occasionally, me) turns out to be a real butthole, sloppy drunk, or wannabe comic.
5% when one of my party forces the waiter to decide for him/her what to order.
What criteria do you use in deciding how much to tip?