# How to Teach Students to Figure the Gratuity at a Restaurant

Schoolchildren begin to learn basic percentages around third or fourth grade. One practical application for using percentages in day-to-day situations is tipping in restaurants. Parents model this behavior when they take their families out to eat. A child as young as 9 or 10 can learn how to figure out the right gratuity at a restaurant without using a calculator. This will strengthen his math skills and teach him the value of using math in daily life.

#### Things You'll Need

• Paper
• Pen or pencil

1. ## Gratuity of 15 Percent

• 1

Look at the total amount of the bill before taxes.

• 2

Figure 10 percent of the bill. For examples, if the bill totals \$55.15, move the decimal point one space to the left. This amount, \$5.515, equals 10 percent of the bill.

• 3

Drop off the last digit of the number.

• 4

Divide the resulting number, \$5.51, by 2. This answer is 5 percent of the tip. In this case, the answer is \$2.755. Again, drop the last digit.

• 5

Add the two answers together. The amount of 10 percent is \$5.51 and the amount of 5 percent is \$2.75. The total equals 15 percent — in this case, \$8.26.

## Gratuity of 20 Percent

• 6

Look at the total bill before taxes.

• 7

Figure out what 10 percent of the bill is. For example, if the bill equals \$32.69, move the decimal over one place to the left to determine 10 percent of the bill, in this case \$3.269. Write this amount down.

• 8

Drop off the last number, in this case, the "9." That leaves you with \$3.26.

• 9

Double this number to arrive at 20 percent. Add the two numbers together or multiply, using the paper and pencil to figure out your answer if needed. In this case, \$3.26 plus \$3.26 equals \$6.52.

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## References

• Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

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