How Much Should You Tip at a Sports Bar?

Category Dining Out
Enjoying a game at your local sports bar means that you will be spending a lot of time there, unlike a dinner out at a sit down restaurant. This does sometimes make it difficult to decide on a reasonable tip for your server. This is a page about how much should you tip at a sports bar.


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November 2, 2009

My husband and I spent over 6 hours at a sports bar and grill today while watching 2 games. We had the same sweet, attentive waitress the entire time we were there.

We had lunch, an appetizer later on, and many drink refills in between. Our bill was very reasonable, only about $27. My husband told me to "tip like we always do" meaning 20% of the total. That can't be appropriate for 6-1/2 hours of great service.

I slipped her more money when he wasn't looking. We'll be going back to watch more games, so I would really appreciate some advice on the proper way to tip in this particular situation. Thank you.

By Julie from IN


November 2, 20090 found this helpful

Wow. 6 1/2 hours. That is a really interesting question and I don't really have an answer for you. I have never been a waitress so I would be interested in what others have to say on the situation.


One thing you could do in addition is to write a note to the management complimenting the service you received & mention your server. I know cash is best but after the fact it would not hurt. Often times employers reward employees for good customer feedback. So often people are quick to report bad service and never think to mention when it is good. I worked in retail for a while and it was always good to hear the positive.

You could always post a question at the tipping forum below and ask their opinion:

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November 3, 20090 found this helpful

Ten dollars would have been about right. In non-game
hours, she could have waited on 4-5 tables in that time.

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November 3, 20090 found this helpful

Since I was a waitress for awhile, I definitely would have tipped $15.00 to $18.00 her time and waiting on you was worth that or more. A Sports Bar, people get drunk and barely pay for their booze and food let alone realize a waitress or waiter is trying to make a living and most restaurants and sports bars pay little per hour, thinking patrons will tip.


Well not in the worst depression in 80 years they are not! Be kind and generous that person is trying to make a living and the establishments don't pay much at all.

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November 5, 20090 found this helpful

At that point, you are tipping for the use of their facilities and your servers attention, not just the food. $4 is just not enough. She could have waited on 4-5 tables in the time you guys were at that table. So I think it's your responsibility to cover the loss of money she had during that time. It's totally okay for you guys to sit and enjoy yourselves, that's what the bar is there for, but the server should be compensated. I'd say $10 minimum. And since I'm a server, I would have probably given $20. She still has to give a lot of that away to bartenders, bussers, etc.

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