Monday, April 6, 2009


Do you tip at restaurants? Do you tip well?

Well, statistically, black women are the worst tippers. I personally believe that it's a self-fulfilling prophesy. Waiters and waitresses know the statistics, so they treat groups of black women poorly. Groups of black women don't take well to being treated poorly and will not only omit a tip, but will have a waitress wanting to commit suicide at the end of the night.

I, personally, cannot STAND when people don't tip. And by tipping I mean 15 or 20% of the bill, not enough to round out your credit card tab, not whatever change is left, not $5 no matter what the bill is, not a sassy note on the napkin. I feel like it's my personal mission to tip, tip 20% and when possible tip more than 20% to 1) be seen as an individual and 2) to combat this wack statistic.

I believe since the tip is a part of someone's salary that I don't have the right to take away from that. If the meal was $10, I'm going to pay $2 no matter how the service was. IMO, my right is to complain (and complain I do when it's warranted). The same as a client, co-worker, managee or intern would complain if I was effing up. They don't have the right to dock my pay, but if what I did was grotesque, they have the right to get me fired or put a check on my spotless file.

I make mistakes daily. We all do. So if someone was slow with my water or forgot to put my order in, it's no less than me forgetting to spell check on a press release or missng a deadline. (P.S. your girl doesn't miss deadlines, just FYI).

It's also my personal goal to talk about the statistic to sistas so they can join the mission and talk about the statistic in mixed company so people can explain to their waiter and waitress friends to stop treating sistas like crap at restaurants so we can stop tipping like crap.

What's your take on it? (Good Lord, I hope I've changed your mind if you don't tip.)


JOE CASTRO said...

I feel your stance on tipping... all the way up until tipping regardless of the service. If the service is crap, my tip will reflect so; though I know I can never eat there again, because people remember... and the worst thing you can do is piss off the last person to touch your food before you consume it (I learned this from an ex-girlfriend... please don't ask).

However, I never thought of it in terms of messing up someone's salary; and that's a stain I don't want on my conscience, so I may have to incorporate that perspective somehow.

As far as y'all (black women, that is) being bad tippers, are you quoting an actual statistic or personal observation? Just curious, because I'm a nerd and things like that matter to me.

T said...

"As far as y'all (black women, that is) being bad tippers, are you quoting an actual statistic or personal observation?"

My boy, who's a lawyer said it's an actual statistic. I thought it was ludicrous, because my bourgeois friends and I tip well. But when I start bringing it up to sistas that are acquaintances they tell me that it's correct. A mess, I tell you, a mess!

ThummyB said...

15-20% no matter what. Actually, it's typically 20% simply b/c the math is easier.

Here's a horror story, though. A few weeks ago, I opened a tab at a happy hour. My co-workers reimursed me for their share, but I was disappointed that the money still didn't add up to the total bill plus tax and tip. Well when I was cleaning last week I found the receipt and glanced over it (sober, I might add). I realized that the waitress had already included the gratuity in the bill, and I had tipped on TOP of that. Oh...I was too sick about it. Talk about throwing money away :-( I guess that was a mighty blow against the 'black women = poor tippers' stereotype.

antithesis said...

i cant stand to be out with people who try to find any and every excuse not to tip. i will do 15,18, or 20% depending on the service, how much extra i asked (or someone's rude ass in my party asked), how much they went above and beyond, and how sad my account is but i never NOT tip. most things are not directly the server's fault and poor tippers need to realize or stay the fuck home.

Reese said...

20 percent as a rule for me.

T said...

@ thummyb, that same thing happened to me at Victor on your birthday. I think when they realize you're drunk, then they just add gratuity because they think you won't do it. I was LIVID. Lord knows I don't have money to tip twice.

@ Reese and Antithesis, good to know my friends and blog friends have some class about themselves!

Brian and Lauren said...

My dad told me years ago to always tip well to combat the stigma - good post girl! I agree!!

kay* said...

i generally always do AT LEAST 15% that's how much tax we pay here (well, now we pay 14% wow! big diff) so the math is pretty easy for me. but if the service was better than average i'll do more.

of course, if we're in a large group it'll generally be more. but if gratuities are already included in the bill (which it usually is if it's a large group) i don't feel the need to go above and beyond that.

Reese said...

Im back T!

Spiderlgs said...

I tried to send this comment DAYS ago, but I don't tip automatically. Well, when i enter a restaurant, I always have an intention to tip and tip well, at least 15%. And I don't delete a tip if service is slow or if you forget that I asked for no sauce. I however will DELETE your tip if you are an asshole. Any attitude means that your tip is gone. Now dont get me wrong. By attitude, I don't mean that you arent smiling and shucking and jiving and asking me how my day is every 2 mins. i mean if you roll your eyes or act like I'm bothering you when I need more ice or whatever. Because customer service is the name of the game. I don't get to be an asshole to parents who show up at my door unannounced at 8:00, before I have had the chance to take off my coat or grab a cup of coffee and neither should my local waitstaff.

And I always tip if I am with a group regardless of service because I mean its not fair for others to have to share your burden of the tip.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

Great post!!! I ALWAYS leave a 20% tip. My sister has a little tip calculator paper thingy that makes it so easy to figure out what we should leave. People who don't tip should be ashamed of themselves!! Wow, I didn't know that we BGs were the worst tippers. Ouch!

Lady Virgo said...

Speaking as someone who works as a waitress...and this is my personal opine only....You should tip only if I WOWED you. Because, really, at the end of the day, I took this job knowing that what I made in tips would be based on how I treated my customers. personal problem (and this happens only a couple of times a year) is that when I know I go above and beyond service, and you tip just enough for it to be an even amount coming off your debit card. That burns me up. But....again....I knew that coming into this job.

Now...when I go out, I am very particular on how I tip, and there are some instances where I don't tip. The service wasn't worth it. I don't look at it like taking away from someon's check...just because they could have done better. If I take my car to the shop, I expecect for it to be fixed. If it's not...I'll stop payment on the check. You don't get paid, because you didn't do your job. Same with waitstaff.

I think if you expect to make a certain amount of money, based on a service industry, DON'T become a waitress/waiter.