Actually Applicable Application Problems and Brainteasers/Tip Estimation 1

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Tipping is a method used in restaurants to thank the server by leaving some money behind. It's important to be aware that in restaurants where tips are expected, the owner is allowed to pay the servers a lower hourly wage and expect the tips to make up for it. So, it's important for everyone who eats at those restaurants to tip appropriately. Usually, 15-20% is considered a reasonable tip -- though if your server has worked particularly hard, such as by bringing you many refills, it's good to leave a little extra.

This type of problem is Actually Applicable for anyone who cares about being a nice customer (or, about getting good service next time they come to the same place).

General Method

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  1. When you find out how much you must pay for the meal, round up (or down but only a little) to a nearby multiple of 5 to make the numbers convenient to work with.
    • For example, if the bill is $15.75, it's OK to round to $15, but if the bill is $18, it would be nicer to round it to $20.
  2. Divide the rounded amount by 5.
    • 20 is a fifth of 100, so a fifth of the bill is 20% of it.


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Tip Calculation

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Estimate the tip on these bills:

  • $23.47
  • $32.50
  • $19.45


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If a server needs to earn $150 in tips and the average bill in a restaurant is $25, approximately how many tables must he wait on?

Make Your Own Problem

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Next time you eat out, try this method out to calculate a tip.