Friday, December 10, 2004

waiter can we have the bill please?

what’s the deal with going out to eat? Why is the bill always short? With the amount of schooling that we take, it should be a snap for us to calculate the total of what we ordered (especially since there’s a printout “receipt” right in front of us) and then on top of that, tax and tip.

I think that’s where people get tripped up. Once some math comes into play, especially percentages, people get all flustered and crazy. Tax is about 7.5%, and a generic amt to tip is 15%. “What’s 7.5% and 15% and how do we tip and what do I do?! I’m so confused, here take my 20 dollar bill and give me back how much you think I need in change.”Beware, anyone who throws a 20 at me and expects their math to be done for them will find that they have also paid for ameer’s number crunching service.

Here’s a quick lesson (for those of you who whip out your cell phone tip calculators which I find extremely embarrassing!). If you get a burger and fries for $5.99 and then a soda for $1.49 your total is about $7.50. but if you throw in a $8.00, you’re shorting everyone and the inevitable “hey guys, we’re short” phrase comes out. So what does one do in order to correctly figure out tax and tip? I have an easy formula for all you. It’ll make your life, and mine, much eaiser.

$7.50 is your food. Approx 7.5% for tax, and 15%ish for tip. How does one take 22.5% of their total? It’s not easy to do. So then, we simplify:

10% of anything is just a decimal point move to the left. Ex: 10% of 19.59 is 1.959! easy!

Now then, allow us to apply this mentality to something we can use in daily life. 7.50 is our total for food, and we use our 10% trick, to find that 75 cents = 10%. Afterwards, multiply that by 2. and viola you’ve just figured out 20% of your food’s cost, $1.50.

Here we go: $7.50 + $1.50 is $9.00. if you threw this in you’d be giving a bit less than 15% for tip, since 7.5ish% goes to taxes, you’ll be tossing 12.5%ish to tip. If you feel that the waiter/waitress was awesome, then give them a buck more, and you’re up to 33% tax + tip. That’s a bit much, you want to aim for 23%

There we go. Using our heads, and some simple math… we’ve solved the age old tragedy of someone paying 16.00 for a meal that cost them 8.99 (78% tax and tip). As far as remembering what who ordered, that’s still a mystery to be solved. Finally, for the record, there are only two times which are acceptable for the bill to be bill is split evenly among the number of persons at the table. Those two instances are if the meal was eaten family style (everyone shares everything), or buffets. Other than that: DO THE MATH!! It’ll keep your neighborhood engineer sane.


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