I've always had pretty strong feelings about tipping at restaurants. While my personal policy hasn't changed recently, my outlook has after learning about the tipping habits of others.

I have a number of friends who work in the restaurant industry, and I've been a little surprised to hear about some people's tipping practices.

In general, an average tip for average service is between 18% - 20%.

My thoughts on tipping go like this - I believe that the amount that you leave for a tip is a reflection of the service that you received. Average service gets an average tip. Above average service gets an above average tip. And below average service gets a below average tip.

Now, that being said, if the service is so bad that you're considering leaving little to no tip, a manager should be involved. If there was such a big problem, you shouldn't send a "message" with a small tip without voicing your dissatisfaction to a manager.

Hearing stories from my friends in service lately has really surprised me. It's apparently not uncommon to receive a paltry $2 tip on an $80 dinner check.

In fact, a friend of mine even told me about a customer recently who apparently had a great dining experience, was in a good mood, had no complaints, and said when handing the check folder to the server "there's something for you in there, buddy". It was that $2 on $80 that I just mentioned.

So it would seem that this person was either so naive about tipping etiquette that they thought that 2.5% was a tip to brag about, or, basically, they're a jerk.

When you go out to eat, how do you tip? Does it depend on the service that you get or do you always leave the same percentage? Tell us in the comments!