The waitron at London’s Whisky Mist bar will never forget Naomi Campbell. The supermodel, who came over to sip some champagne with actor Cameron Diaz, reportedly left a tip of $7,893 (approximately Rs 3,60,670) before making an exit.
Closer home, the most generous tip, say five-star managers in the city, has been a watch worth lakhs — just for serving a burger! “I remember, when I used to work with The Grand in Vasant Kunj in 2002, an NRI left an Omega watch for the waitron at the coffee shop, saying that was the best burger he’d had,” says Debjeet Banerjee, director F&B, The Park, Parliament Street.
This hasn’t been the only generous offer. “Two years back, a couple from Dubai left a tip of Rs 36,000 at Aqua,” says Banerjee. It’s not just NRIs who’re making Indian waitstaff rich. “A senior member of the youth Congress left Rs 10,000 for a server on account of “great room service,” says Gaurav Bhagi, restaurant manager, The Grand. Another ministerial delegation left a sum of Rs 1 lakh for the waitstaff at Le Meridien, reveals a source from the hotel, wishing not to be named.
Bollywood celebs, too, are an openhanded lot. Actors Deepika Padukone and Akshay Kumar, for instance, left Rs 10,000 when they came to The Grand for a drink together, recently. Other stars have gone a step further. “Actor Sanjay Dutt was so impressed with the service of two of our staff members, that he invited them to the premiere of his movie Knock Out!” says Kumar Saswat, F&B manager at Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon.
Biz barons come next. “Recently, two gutkha barons tipped all the servers at the high profile wedding they had organised at our hotel, with Rs 11,000 each ,” says Saswat.
But, not everyone believes in tipping big. “25% of the total bill is the highest I’ve ever paid as tip,” says actor Pooja Bedi. Designer Riddhima Kapoor Sahni says, “I go by the standard 10% rule.”