Thursday, December 3, 2009

To Tip or Not To Tip

Restaurant Tip Slip
Racist Rage?

The above image comes from the website Post Secret. Well, if you want to get technical, it comes from Google's image index. Semantics...

I've actually heard this discussed quite a bit while waiting tables. While it's never been my personal experience with the restaurant industry, I have many co-workers who have said this is the case. Do you guys feel that certain races, sexes, age groups, etc... are better tippers than others?

While I may say things like "white trash" or "old people," the more I think about it... it is case specific. I have had very old people tip me well, or even go out of their way to get me a tip that they forgot to leave on a previous visit (The coolest Old Man Ever!). I have also had people that look like they just crawled out of dumpster, leave me a very generous tip too.

The restaurant is a crazy place where it is easy to get frustrated. A place where residual rage from a bad day can fester for weeks after. For me, at times... it's even had me lose faith in the human race. So, I can see where it would be easy to make a snap judgment on a bad day. However, I guess for some... it is fact (or so they think).


  1. Men tip better than women. Maybe that's because I am a woman, though my male co-workers seem to experience the same.

    Teenies don't tip.

    Elderly (not old!) women drink hot tea and do not tip.

    People who spend a lot tend to lose their ability to calculate percentages. I do get a better tip from avarage checks.

    Same over there?

  2. The only group I consistently get bad tips from are tourists from other countries. I am always glad when they have a large enough party to add gratuity to the check.

  3. For some, it becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy. IF you believe they will leave you a bad tip, then they will leave you a bad tip. Said believer might not notice it, but they may decrease their level of service at times when they think they will be stiffed anyways.

  4. I wouldn't say it's a hard fact, but there's certainly a trend. I would say 90% of people from Mexico--not Hispanics in general, but people who obviously grew up in Mexico--don't tip. And probably 50% of Hispanics tip less than ten percent, at least here. Probably 50% of old people around here are good for 10% or less. 90% of teenagers don't tip. And I generally expect a better tip from a table of two men than of two women.

    Of course, you never know when you have one of that 10% of teenagers who DO tip, so I don't treat anyone any differently--other than people I get a truly bad vibe from I won't try to upsell.

  5. I have certain groups that when I get sat with them I mentally cringe, but I still don't treat them any differently. Sometimes they actually surprise me,,,,even though usually they don't.

  6. I work with Black people who hate waiting on black's just known. They're horrible tippers. Though I do have a theory that they tip be worse because I'm white (still working on reasons). Hispanics? I guess we don't get a lot, but those we do are bad tippers too.
    And yes, women are way worse than men. Ugh. Middle-aged women are the WORST. They want the soup and salad, they want to MODIFY EVERYTHING, and they leave a buck or two.

    But you know what really makes me mad? I'm a church-going Christian (please forgive my near racist tendencies, it's the industry talking..) and "After-Churchers" are awful! Those big families that come out after church for Sunday lunch? I dread them! And why? Aren't we supposed to be generous? And kind? And GENEROUS?! I once had a pastor tell me "God gets 10%, why would I tip a server more than God?" Are you kidding me? God wants your 10% to prove your loyalty. I need 20% because I had to DEAL WITH YOU. And the worst part of that table? I didn't charge them for $13 worth of soft drinks BECAUSE he was a pastor. Live and learn...

  7. To all: I wish we were able to know the tip a head of time. Then... then give service accordingly.