The average tip could be reaching 25 percent

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It's a question we all face - what's a reasonable tip for your waiter?

According to the New York Post, tips may be adding a bigger chunk of your bill. Waiters in Manhattan, N.Y. now want a 25 percent tip, and some New York City restaurants that print "suggested gratuities" even have 30 percent as an option, the paper reports.

A study by Cornell University consumer behavior professor Michael Lynn, who studied 9,000 credit card receipts from a Poughkeepsie, N.Y. restaurant, found that more than a third of diners left tips greater than 20 percent.

Wait staff rely on tips, since tipped employees may be paid less, as low as $2.15 per hour according to federal law, although state law sometimes sets these minimum wages higher. According to Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, tipped employees may be paid $2.65 per hour, provided they receive and report tips that when combined with their hourly rate equals or exceeds the minimum hourly wage rate of $7.40 per hour.

The phenomenon of "tip creep" has plagued restaurant-goers for generations. Since 1918, the acceptable tip rate increased from 10 percent of the bill to 20 percent.

Nowadays, 15 percent isn't an average tip - it's a way of registering displeasure with the service.

How much do you normally tip when out at a restaurant? Is 30 percent a reasonable tip for great service?

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