In the restaurant industry, workers earn hourly rates far below minimum wage. This is because it is expected they will receive tips from customers to make up the difference. Because there are no stringent guidelines on what to pay, confusion may arise, especially when no cash is involved. When paying with a credit card, tipping can be as simple as figuring an appropriate addition to the bill and adding it to the credit card receipt.
Check that you have two credit card slips, usually one white and one yellow. Align them so they are directly on top of each other, both face up.
Determine how much of a percentage of the bill to leave as a tip. The University of Arkansas recommends 15 to 20 percent, with tips at the higher range for good service and higher quality restaurants and 10 to 15 percent for tips at a counter service or diner-style restaurant. If necessary, use a cellphone calculator or scrap of paper to figure out this number. Be sure to use the original figure as the base price for the percentage, before any coupons or discounts.
Write the tip amount on a line below the bill subtotal; this line is usually called “Tip” or “Gratuity.” Make sure your tip amount transfers through to the second credit card slip.
Sign your name on the line for “Customer Signature.” Since the bottom copy of the receipt is for your records, your signature need not transfer through to the bottom slip.
Place the signed credit card slip in the billfold or tip tray and keep your copy.
Although there are general guidelines for tipping, there are no stringent requirements. If you feel you received extraordinary service, you’re free to financially compliment the server with a higher or extra tip. The reverse is also true.