Who Are The Worst Tippers?

If you’ve ever worked for tips you’ve probably formulated your own, albeit unscientific, conclusions about what kinds of people are bad tippers. Women? Doctors? Wall Street Guys? Republicans? Democrats? Country Club Wasps? African Americans? Latinos? Rich people? Poor people? The young or elderly? Teachers? Canadians?

Tell me what you think! Let ‘er rip in the comments section! This is a non PC free fire zone. (And the usual disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the owner of this website!)

I’m sure there’ll be something here to offend everybody.


Who Are The Worst Tippers? — 938 Comments

  1. The worst were Canadians. I started to explain American tipping systems to them when they were seated in my section. The absolute best were the retired Jewish folks that lived in the area (South Beach). They were demanding as far as service requirements, but they were the absolute best tippers I have ever served. They were also the best in letting management know they had received good service.

    • In canada the worst tippers are chinese and east indians. They do not tip at all in pizza delivery some make give u the nickel back. I heard they do not tip at ALL>
      Whites are the biggest tippers and most canadian born people. Some whites are very cheap such as scottish people, dutch people etc so they I dont think would tip either. British whites also are very cheap. French are great tippers but demand great service.

      • I waited tables for years and in waiter speak Canadiens is code for Blacks, think I’m lying? Ask any waiter on a personal level

        • The new term for “Canadians” is “Irish” since the majority of the “Canadians” caught on to them being called “Canadians”.

          As the old saying goes “Everyone’s Irish on St. Paddy’s day” In America we love to extend holidays. In my restaurant it’s St. Paddy’s day year round and the effin Irish are always in town.

    • I worked at a Jewish Federation once and actually saw women there digging through the break room trash and eating food that had been thrown out from earlier meetings! Yeah….cheap doesn’t even begin to cover it.

      • I find that hard to believe. Some Jews might be a little bit thrifty, but they would never stoop so low and destroy their reputation, by rummaging through a trash can. I am a Muslim and I live in a Jewish neighborhood and I only see them as classy people.

    • I live in SE Texas and the worst tippers, by far, are Mexicans, especially Mexican nationals. Not only bad tippers, but uncivilized, rude, demanding, and let their litter of kids run wild. Like someone stated, around .25 for every $10.00. And that’s if they tip at all. Servers in Texas only make.$2.13 an hour so we rely on tips to live. I am an excellent server and have waited in other states, and rarely if ever got stiffed. Here in Texas some days I get stiffed three times a shift. Last night, I waited on 14 Mexicans and got a.$6.00 tip. One table with
      a $90.00 tab left nothing. These people are nasty too. They refuse to flush toilet paper and wipe the shit off their ass and throw it on the floor or on top of a trash can. I hate them with a passion. Fuck off dirty rude Mexicans!!

      • Did you know that the majority of Back House employees in Texas are Mexicans. Have you ever tipped out any of your cooks? How much money have you made in tips because of the hard work from the back house. Maybe those same dirty Mexicans worked the Back House as cooks and dishwasher. Perhaps they justify not tipping you because they are line cooks themselves and never ever have been tipped out.

  2. Well I’d have to say the worst tippers on the whole in my experience were middle aged guys who looked like they were in their 40s or 50s and probably blue collar workers. For whatever reason I always seemed to be lucky to get 15% from them, while ladies around the same age tended to leave me 18%-20% on average.

  3. As a Canadian (a good tipping one :-P ) and also a server I’d say the worst tippers are Brits who don’t live in Canada or the US and church people. The Sunday crowd is uber needy but they don’t put out. No bang OR buck. Also trust fund kids. No sense of what it’s like to work for their money. But this is all IMHO of course.

  4. Scandinavians. Used to wait on a group of SAS pilots every Sunday in Minneapolis, and I think they gave me 5% or so on average. Maybe three out of my five best tips have come from black people (or African Americans, whichever you prefer), and I’ve had ladies who lunch leave me 100% before. But the Scandinavians have always screwed me.

  5. Man, the church crowd. We would practically kill to not work Sunday mornings/Wednesday nights after the baptists got out of church.

    • Holy crap. Churchies are the worst! Sit in your section for 3 hours with all their nasty kids and give you 10% because they just gave all their money to Jesus. Awful. You nailed it.

      • Oh Yes!! I used to get this kind of crowd on Sunday afternoons in one of our local coffee shops and they ran me to death for nada..I told my boss do it again and I quit!!

    • That was always the worst for me. I used to get a church group every Sunday that was demanding, rude and never tipped anything more than a ‘million dollar bible bill’ and finally they came in on my last day so when I got the bill I handed it back to them and said if god cared he would make sure his people knew I need more than fake money to survive in life. They sometimes literally hide behind god to refuse tipping. Eat at home if you hate it that much

      • Mexicans are the worst tippers right around .25 per 10$. 2.5%. but they sure got their hand out to receive tips. lol when i go out to eat i like going to Mexican restaurants because i know i dont have to tip them nothing more than i get from them. so me and my friends go eat at a beaner restaurant and we had out bill at 50$ and we gave him $1.25 tip. it felt sooooo good to give the beaner the kind of tip % that they give. the waiter asked if there was a problem and we said nope. our tip % is solely based on the fact that you are Mexican and your people tip us the same way.and told him if you were black youd get NOTHING

        • My son just told me that yesterday (New Year’s eve) he got stiffed by a Mexican party of 3. They literally waited for him to get out of site to slip out. They paid bill but NO TIP. Co-workers said they new them.

          Next time they walk in, they should be seated next to the restrooms. (My comment).

  6. While I generally try to avoid stereotypes, the worst is if you are in a tourist destination. People love to think that since a restaurant is packed you’re just making money hand over fist. They don’t realize that 75% of your other tables are thinking the same thing. I worked in Hawaii for a couple of years and you can ring up some sales. $1500 and up was your average sales. But with the no-english speaking japanese that act ignorant of tipping customs, the europeans that either think the tips included or are just cheap, the australians who get paid a really high hourly wage so a tip isn’t usually required, and then your regular mix of cheap, rude, canadians, black, british, etc.., I was usually lucky to walk out with 10%. And while some stereotypes do prove over and over again while we pick on them, once in a while we are proven wrong and their status is redeemed.

    • I feel sorry for US servers. I will remember to ask if tipping is required when I eat overseas. In my country, the waiters get their income mainly from the hourly wage or salary. We are so stingy, we seldom tip them.

  7. I will preface this with one of my best tips came from a black british family on holiday. Also I base my tip expectations largely on education, class, and familiarity with the industry. (altho i’ve been screwed by a manager from my company)
    In my experience working right off of disney property (Orlando) for about the last three years the worst by far are the Brazilians. (uber rich used to getting everything handed to them and they have no manners. they drink too much { a few nights ago i cut of an entire 17 top } and their children are allowed to act like little hellians)

    other offenders include: (in order)
    smaller european countries (holland ect.)
    asian internationals
    less sophisticated southerners
    Brits (altho if you know how to handle them they can be awesome)

    but by far the worst are the Brazilians

  8. The myth of the black man as a bad tipper in my experience is true… but black women are often my best tippers.

    I also get horrendous tips from immigrants. I understand they weren’t brought up under this system, but I don’t understand why they just don’t accept the fact that we tip in this country (you know, when in Rome…).

    During the past few months, as the recession drags on, I found that people that I think would usually tip well are now tipping around 15%. I guess the recession is a good excuse to tip less…

  9. I used to work as a glorified busboy in a buffet-style restaurant, where you paid up front, so I only got tips in cash, usually a buck a table. I fetched drinks, cleared plates during the meal, etc., and in my several years of experience working this job I found that groups of three or more women almost never left a tip of any kind. Either they didn’t carry cash (a possibility), or perhaps felt awkward pulling out their wallets in front of the other women. Maybe it would have embarrassed those who didn’t tip or some other silly notion of social propriety. Groups of men (a much rarer breed in a buffet restaurant) averaged two to three bucks, suggesting that the social pressure for men is to follow suit and drop cash (and I have a hunch that men are more likely to carry loose cash instead of just plastic).

    Strangely enough, my most consistent tips tended to come from elderly couples. Maybe I reminded them of their grandsons or something. Dunno.

  10. Unfortunately, the area I live in is rifle with uneducated people from a really bad urban city (hi US Most Dangerous List!). Yes, a good quantity of them are black, but there are a lot of white people who don’t tip at all.

    But the worst? Sunday Church goers who sit for hours and hours and leave 3 bucks on a $40 bill.

  11. Thank you for this site. Waiting tables was the most degrading, and frankly hopeless (and at times depressing) time of my life. I didn’t get into a university right after High School, and spent the next three years trying to transfer into my top choice so I could realize my dream of becoming a Naval Aviator. I waited tables in Austin Texas all three years and never let go of my goal and endured more than the general public really knows (or cares to understand.) It’s dirty, shameless, thankless work. I’ve had some positive moments, especially when lashing out at my tables, and I met my wife at a job, but other than that I’m glad I’m out and hope all the best to all the countless, tired, salty under appreciated wait staff out there. To this day I tip AT LEAST 40% and when possible, I start shit with the managers. Hang in there guys.

    • Thank you, you hit this nail on the head. I was a waitress in more than one Casino restaurant in Nevada and when the customers are losing at the slots and tables, so will you. And their attitudes were even worse. Our cooks were brutal to the bus loads of tourists who were demanding and cheap..you don’t want to know what they did to their food before it went into the TO GO boxes but I am sure more than one of them fell ill, or if they didn’t they got lucky. What a business!

  12. Black, white, whatever, the worst tippers were always working-class people who didn’t seem to have a lot of education. (Or class.) Older people and Jewish people of a certain age were high-maintenance, but not necessarily sucky tippers. Foreigners visiting this country sucked, but it’s sort of not their fault and the British were always so nice that I couldn’t get too angry. Immigrants who’ve been here more than a year would also not tip, and had no excuse. Sometimes their American-born kids, too. I once actually ignored such a table so long that they left, and I am not sorry.

    I know a guy socially who was born rich and is a high-maintenance customer who tips poorly. So that supports the “trust fund babies don’t tip” theory above.

    I worked at a Jewish deli, so we didn’t get churchy crowds, but I’m not surprised to find out that the kind of person who would vote to take away gay people’s rights is also a bad tipper.

  13. Canadians! In New Orleans, many restaurants (including the one I work at) add gratuity to foreigners. Usually, this is only to foreigners that don’t speak English well. We can’t grat Brits, Aussies, Kiwis or Canadians. Western European countries have come a long way in the past 20 years, but not the Canadians. Occasionally, I’ll get a good tip, but usually it’s 10%. Ethnic groups are a different story. Most ethnic groups get substandard service on a regular basis and are usually expecting it. I find that these groups appreciate good service more and usually reward it well.

  14. Old people. My Mom was a waitress in a sushi bar in a tourist town here in California and she’d bitch about the old people who gave crap tips. Then insult to injury, she’d deal with our family of old people who left a dollar or two on a $40+ bill. She’d slip a decent amount to the wait staff before she left the establishment. And Koreans from Korea. They don’t get the tip thing either.

  15. The worst tippers: The Slumdog Millionaires from where else?…India. Worst tippers and worst humans to have to deal with in the restaurant and retail industry. They want everything for free and expect you to pay for it to boot. Yes, I’ve had to deal with the Sunday Church people, and I agree…they suck. So much for getting some Christianity enlightenment for the week or should I say, Weak? Once they leave the Church, it all flies out the window. Hypocrites.

  16. I’m gonna go ahead and say it: The CONSISTENTLY worst tippers I had were black people. Granted, I live in Atlanta where the majority of the population is black. Maybe it’s just a numbers game. But my manager, who is literally African-American, as in he moved here from the Gambia, told me that a slang word for black people is “Moulie”. His name was Abdul and he said his nickname when he moved here was Moulie Doulie. Anyway, we started a saying at work, “The Moulie 5″, because black people tend to think that $5 is an adequate tip, no matter the amount of the bill. It’s nice when it’s just, say, 2 people and their bill is $25 and you end up with 20%. But when there are 8 people and the bill is $75 and you still get $5? That’s bullshit.

    In defense of black people, though, my best tips ever have also come from them. One time this awesome group of black guys gave me a $60 tip on a $60 tab. We all hugged each other goodbye when they left. I treated all my customers well, whether I thought they were going to tip or not. Being mean doesn’t earn you any more money, and it makes the whole half hour or so pretty awkward.

  17. For those who listed church folk as the worst tippers: get in touch with the local nearby churches and let them know what is going on. As Christians, we are suppose to be the best tippers. If the pastor gives you some crap, tell him to read the Parable of the Dishonest Manager in Luke 16.

    On the behalf of all church folks, I am truly sorry.

  18. WoW! That’s the first time I’ve ever read anyone apologizing for church folk. Thank you Joseph L.! Never heard in my 50 years on planet earth that you were supposed to be the best tippers. Contacting the local churches is a good idea, as I’ve toyed with contacting the Embassy of India and telling them they are doing their people a disservice by not enforcing the “While in Rome…” theory. Then again, they probably don’t practice it either.

  19. As an ex-waitress myself, I will say something I know is likely to offend: expecting a tip of over 15 % is ludicrous. The customer should not be expected to be paying the wage of their server; their manager should be giving them a decent wage. Even if the wage is not fantastic, I always considered a 15% tip perfectly generous for the kind of work I know is done in restaurants (hard, but mindless).

    • If you don’t want to tip or leave a decent tip, then don’t go to a place where you have to tip. It’s that simple! N

    • As a waitress I feel that the best tippers are people who work or have worked in the service industry. It’s sad to hear that you tip so poorly. you may feel that it’s the responsibility of the employer to pay an honest wage but as you know waitresses work for tips in addition to 3.65 an hour which didn’t even cover taxes. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so cheap. You must have been an order taker not a waitress. A great waitress such as myself expects to be tipped at least 20 percent and would never tip

    • I want to curse now gracenow but I won’t obviously yo didn’t spend 9 to 12 hours aday running miles for ungratefull snobs. Or maybe you did you did such a bad job that’s all youcould get….

    • You aren’t an ex-waitress, very few places in america pay their servers over a couple of dollars an hour, everyone knows this. so expecting some common decency too ludicrous? Fuck you mam.

    • Grace,

      The cost living and inflation have both increased whereas the minimum wage hasn’t. If you think the company paying the employee is putting undue pressure on you to supplement the employee’s income, then you should never be eating out anywhere in the U.S., ever. EVERYTIME you go to a restaurant, be it for a sit-down meal or for take out, you are paying for the level of experience, attention, and investment that the server has in their position, serving you. The standard tip in the U.S. has gone up to supplement the income of the staff serving you because both the U.S. government and the companies whose products you consume will only give enough for the staff to simply survive. Whether or not “survive” means to live with 5 other people in a run-down apartment with no insurance and no hope for further education or advancement, you’re supplementing their income, either through tips or through your taxes.

  20. Well, I don’t know that we’re supposed to be the BEST tippers but we certainly shouldn’t stiff the waiters either…

    From what I remember from psychology classes it’s a bit like the mind keeps a running tally of good and bad deeds. If you walk up a street and someone ask you to help lift some crate into their car and you decline then you are more likely to drop some cash in the hat of the beggar further up the street. Your mind feels guilty for not helping the first guy so you compensate it with helping the second. Could very well be that it applies in reverse too for church goers who think they’ve done their good deed for today…

  21. Well, Grace…most work done anywhere is mindless, unless your a rocket scientist or into astrophysics. A 15% tip is archaic. It’s old school and not generous, but rather insulting. Have you heard of inflation? The only thing not going up are prices at Wally World or Micky D’s. I like how many think that the owner/manager of a restaurant should be paying a good wage here in the US. Yup, yer right they should. It won’t happen until the workers unite and write lots of protest letters to their Congress people and Senator’s. Have you done that Grace?? Has anyone here done anything to actually try to change this archaic system we live with day to day to support ourselves and families? I know that I have. I actually quit working for a restaurant when I found out that the owner was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the State that I live in. He didn’t pay over time, was cheaper than cheap, lived in a very expensive neighborhood and cried poor mouth all of the time. I’ve written to Congress and Senate people. I’ve tried to educate the masses. The major issue in the restaurant biz…most of those employed don’t give a rat’s ass, are lazy, and/or drug users and alcoholics. MOST…not ALL.

  22. I totally agree, if you’re not happy with your wages: unionize. But expecting equally hard-working people to pay over 15% of a bill simply for it to be dropped off at their table is ridiculous. Other countries (UK, Continental Europe and to some small extent, Canada) have not allowed the kind of inadequate wages and ridiculous tipping practices to prevail, why should the US be falling behind?

  23. I waited tables in college at a country club in a small town, and the older ladies who lunched were the worst tippers of that crowd ($1 tip no matter what they ordered). The older men were definitely better — probably because they wanted to show off in a crowd.

    My husband waited tables for several years in Chicago and Joliet and he reiterated the point about church goers and African-Americans (particularly black men) generally being bad tippers. He did say that gay men tended to be really good tippers…

    I’m glad to hear people say that they treat all their customers the same, no matter what, though. As a teenager, I frequently received terrible service by servers who undoubtedly thought I was not going to tip well. I remember being irritated, not just because of the bad service, but because I wanted to tip well. So, in that situation, should I have tipped poorly because I received bad service (and reinforce the stereotype) or well, even though the server was rude? I usually erred on the side of 18%+, even with bad service…

  24. Large groups in general, but especially the lunching wannabe business people who ask for separate checks. Hmmm…showoffs. Entree-splitters. Oh yeah, people who claim to be “in” with the owner. (Okay, asshole, this is the sound of me puking at your pretentious attempt to impress — who? Me? News Flash: I KNOW who my guys know, dumb shit. And IF you in fact DID know the owners of my restaurant you would know that if they found out what shitty customers you are they’d throw your cheap asses out the door and loudly tell you you’re not welcome in the place since you insist on treating us so disrespectfully. Yeah. I was one of the lucky ones — had GREAT owners. Grazie to my two Robertos.)

    COCAINE ANONYMOUS! Used to come into a glorfied coffee shop where I worked in my much younger days, friggin’ squat forEVER, MOVE TABLES AROUND to better suit their needs (GOD I HATE TABLE-MOVING PIECES OF SHIT), act like they’re better than you because you’re a server and they’re — what? Clean today? Snap your fingers at me again, asshole: you won’t have a working nose to snort up ANYTHING…problem friggin’ solved. You’re welcome.

    I got out of the business when I was to the point where I was accidentally saying that kind of stuff out loud. To my customers. Like, “WHERE’S MY BREAD?” was met with a dead stare and “Your bread is in the oven. Cooking. You want me to go get it? I’ll be happy to bring it out to you in the shape it’s in now. No problem.” So yeah…it was time to get out.

  25. Tourists from countries where tipping is not part of their culture and the waiters back home get paid decent, even above-average salaries.

    I think it’s always a good idea as a tourist to do some research on the tipping customs of the destination country. Things like what services are tipped, how much should you tip, etc. That way, an honest mistake can be avoided and there won’t be that shock when you’re expected to tip.

  26. I found the worst tippers – the ones who totally stiffed me or left 5% – were the ones who gushed about what great service I provided and what a wonderful waitress I was, sometimes interspersed with a comment or two about how broke they were.

    The good tippers let their cash do the talking and didn’t feel compelled to waste my time telling me I was the best waitress they’d ever had.

    The ones who felt compelled to *tell* me I did a good job invariably left little to no tip. Perhaps they felt guilty for stiffing me and wanted me to know they didn’t think I was awful? Or maybe they just truly believed their compliments could pay my bills as well as their cash could…

    These “gushers” as I called them, seemed mostly to be lower income caucasian folks. The African American and Hispanic folks who appeared to be lower income would generally leave a 10% tip (or possibly no tip) and skip the gushing about how wonderful I was. That was annoying, too, but at least they had the decency to slink away instead of rubbing my face in it.

  27. @Dragonfly

    I have to agree on Indians as the worst tippers in the world. At one point of my 8-year-career as a waiter I have worked in upscale French-Indian restaurant. We had a lot of Indian patrons, a lot of them from Silicon Valley, and I can tell you that the best you can hope for is 15%. I’m not talking about Indian tourists, for whom is very common to round up a bill from $97.56 to a hundred.

    What I disagree on is your categorization of restaurant biz. people as “Lazy”, “don’t give a damn”, “junkies” and “alcoholics”. I find it a bit offensive.

    Question for those who’re considering church goers as the worst – How do you know who they really are? Do you ask them after getting stiffed: “Mam, by any chance have you been to the church lately?” or do they tell you “God bless!” instead of leaving a tip?

  28. As a Canadian waiter I just recieved 50 cent tip from Americans. They always seem the worst. Followed closely by Britts and the Aussies who just NEVER tip no matter what.

    • I’m really surprised people are saying Canadians are bad tippers. I live in Canada, I myself am a very good tipper. I tip 15% for good service and 20-25% for superior service. I find that black people and east indians do not tip 95% of the time. People that don’t tip because they are cheap assholes and make terrible excuses that its their “principle” not to tip. If I don’t get tipped I do NOT make any money.

      @ Anonymous.. you’re a fucking idiot, not Grace.

  29. This is very old as I’ve been working in places other than restaurants since early 1992, but when I was there, the ardent non-smokers – those who complained if they could so much as see the smoking section – were the worst. In the normal sections, it was easy to average over 15% after tipouts to bar, busser, etc.; but in non-smoking maybe 12% at the most.

    • Blacks ARE indeed the WORST tippers. I had a client who came in for a deluxe $44 service. I worked hard on her feet and she paid with credit card. I saw what she put on her receipt under “tip”. She drew a horizontal line. So much for gratuity. I also had one woman who left me a $1 tip. Not to sound racist but from my experience black people where I work tend to be cheapskates.

  30. The damned church people were the worst. Seriously, if you leave your server one of those cheezy fucking tracts that are disguised as money, but are actually some bullshit about how your reward is in Heaven? You should be instantly struck dead. “Your reward is in Heaven” doesn’t pay the rent, bitch.

    Tied for first place in the Awesome Tipper department were the drag queens from the local show bar – sweet, hilarious, a little demanding, but very generous – and the little old ladies from the Jewish retirement home. I loved my little Bubbehs.

    • One theory about mean Xtians is that as they pony up 10% of their income (15% of their TAKE-HOME income!!!) to their greedy God or whatnot they are too broke to tip.
      As Waiter says, “If you are too broke to tip 20% — you are too broke to eat out”. 15% is what I tip for BAD service — even a rude waiter will get 15%. Average is 20%, a good waiter/ess gets 25%.

  31. I worked as a waitress in a small town and the people who thought they were hot shit (and very demanding) always tipped the worst.

    Later I worked on an Army base and suprisingly, single young soldiers(usually male), who came in alone ALWAYS tipped the best(even on a $4 to-go order). I think that single soldiers in groups of 3 or more and people with kids tipped the worst.
    We frequently had table set-ups like this- 2 adults and 4 kids out to dinner while the kids throw food ALL OVER THE PLACE while the parents act oblivious then not tip. That pissed me off and happened almost daily.

    I vollenteered to take 3rd shift on weekends while my husband was deployed(so no one else was forced to do it and then bitch-BIG MISTAKE)Single soldiers who came in from the bar at 2-3am tipped so shitty. Normally the drunk ones tipped better than the sober ones. They would come in 3+groups always and be obnoxiously loud and dirty. Then leave. 1/2 they didnt even end up paying.

  32. At my resturant we have a $5 lunch specials. ANYONE that comes for that is a terrible tipper. Also getting $12 off your birthday meal does not mean that you dont have to include that into your tip. ASSHOLES i dont fucking care if its your goddamn birthday

  33. The “Early Birds” hands down. They come in for cheap food & cheap entertainment because they are cheap! Unfortunately there is no catorgorizing them because they have infiltrated all social, ethnic and religious groups. Be forwarned :o) it’s like there undercover or something.

  34. DenverGregg, non-smokers should have eaten somewhere else. But if there were no non-smoking restaurant options in the area (something we have run into), then the low tip was probably due to having to put up with the smoke. I don’t short the tip due to that, but I can understand why some people would.

  35. Salesmen. Motherfuckers never tipped when I was a parking valet, because they couldn’t expense valet tips and too cheap to pay out of pocket. Assholes.

  36. The extra religious will leave a bible quote as a tip. And I have seen Indian IT contractors tip very little. As if they have no idea about money. Usually these people are trying to send money back home; and save for when the gig ends and they have to go back to India. But if you are going to go out for lunch, pay the tip. I will usually throw in an extra buck or two over my usual tip to model how it is done.

  37. @Vasil–I worked in a brunch restaurant on weekends (and weekdays, but not as many brunchers M-F) and aside from the church-goers being dressed up and the non-church-goers looking like they partied all night, YES I would ask them. “Aw, you all look so nice! Were you at church this morning?”. And yeah, some of them could be some BAD tippers. I had this one family (black, coincidentally!) that had 4 kids and would all cra into one booth with the high-chair at the end. In a crowded-ass restaurant that in itself is annoying enough. They would make the kids all split a meal and the adults would split one too, so for a 6-top their bill was never more than $30 and I was lucky to get $4 off of them. The worst part is, they were regulars so I had to be nice to them EVERY WEEK knowing what was coming. Technically we’re allowed to grat 18% on 5 or more, but 1)I don’t think that counts when 2/3 of the table is under age 10 and our computer system was beyond ancient so we had to write in the grat on the receipt, and you can all imagine how well THAT went over. We had (black) people arguing with (black) severs that maybe they WERE going to tip well but since you assumed they weren’t and added it to the bill, they were insulted and now weren’t going to tip at all. Nice logic.

  38. It’s been my experience that I can’t pin down the absolute worst or best tippers. I’ve received both great and lousy tips from just about any group. But if I had to single out one sector that was the most consistently bad, it would be black church people. They seem to spend all their money on red or purple shiny suits for men, big fuckin’ stupid hats for the women, 9-year old cadillac sedans, and huge gold-rimmed sunglasses. And they always seem to arrive in large groups, unannounced!

    They seem to always order things well done or deep fried, sometimes both! They search the menu up and down, forwards, backwards, and even inside out, looking for the soft drinks (it’s either Coke or Pepsi products, along with lemonade, juices, iced tea, etc.), ask if there are free refills, and then order water with 85 lemons and a case of sugar packets. Sometimes they order prime rib but expect ribs that come from pigs. And always extra napkins, extra sauces, and tons of togo containers, even for the stuff they didn’t like.

    Invariably, one of the group seems to be the Reverend of the church. If he pays the tab, (with a church credit card), the server might get 6-9% and be told he/she did a great job! But mostly, it’s separate checks, with each individual paying with large bills, $50 $ $100, all needing change. On a party of 20 people, the server might get a buck per person, maybe less.

    As I said before, there are good tippers and bad tippers in any socio-economic group. The black church people, were the most consistently least return on investment of time and effort.

  39. I love you OMC. I wonder if you worked in my restaurant, because you hit the nail right up on its head. “I need a bowl of lemons. And more sugar packets.” “Yeah there’s actually a jar of sugar on the table.” “Yeah but I like that raw sugar. And extra lemons.” “Oh really? Are you making your own lemonade? Because we SELL THAT HERE!! FOR MONEY!” “Uh..no.”

  40. I work in canada, and the worst tippers in my experience are the asians and indian (from india). No offense or anything, I’m chinese, and every once in a while the trend is proved wrong. They’re usually comepletely nice and will love you as a server, they just tend not show to that gratitude in extra cash.

  41. @Vasil – You can tell the church people usually because they tell you they are church people…often they try to convert you or leave you little religious tracts on the table. Sometimes the little tracts ARE the tip..like, “Here’s a tip: You’re going to hell!” Thanks for that one!

    I used to get one group in every Wednesday night, maybe 10-12 including the pastor, and they would order weird stuff..like hardboiled eggs with a hamburger patty and a bowl of pickle slices. And they always left a religious pamphlet and never more than $5. Sweet.

    I just started waiting tables again (after taking a hiatus to get a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a law degree…glad I spent THAT money wisely), and aside from the church folks, the other group I am dreading waiting on are the old folks that hobble down from the neighboring assisted living facility. Maybe 6 nickles was a killer tip in 1939, but not so much any more. I would actually love to consistently get 15%.

  42. my first waitress job was in the teeny-tiny town i grew up in, and while we got some tourist trade, most of the customers were people i’d known my whole life. most were decent tippers (at the time, pay rate was less than $2/hour) but the worst were the ones with kids my age. it was like i was stealing the money directly from their teenager’s social life by working my butt off on weekends. one weekend, a party of 15 of one of the town’s most prominent families was in my section, and their daughter was in my grade in school. the children ran around life deranged monkeys, the daughter busted up biscuits and threw them on the floor, and they sat at that table for three hours. it took 30 minutes to clean up the table when they left and they left me…15 cents. the bus girl and i were so insulted, we just tossed it into the give a penny/take a penny cup.

  43. Churchy people! Sunday afternoons totally suck. I was entirely stiffed twice yesterday, and it was not due to the service.
    They treat the wait staff like pieces of shit. They also tend to throw food and trash all over the floor and let their children run wild throughout the restaurant.
    Maybe it’s just in this area, but that’s what I experience.
    Not very Christian of them, is it?

  44. Agree with Melissa – church crowd is the worst. They need 100 cups of coffee, 10 baskets of breakfast breads, and fruit salad(free, included in the cost of brunch) oh, and bring me take outs for the “free” crap I don’t finish. And then they leave you a 10% tip w/ a scripture card. Whatever happened to “do unto others…..”

  45. The worst by far? Teachers. a lot of them seem to hate their lives, so they go out of their way to be demanding, high maintenance and then don’t tip. That or young couples who are still paying off student loans…

    Although the worst I ever got was a group of servers from Boston pizza. On average they tipped less than five percent, and a few even walked out on their bill. Of course, they were a group of almost 20 who ran us like we were their own personal slaves…and they ate and drank a lot, not to mention sat until an hour after closing. That was a bad night…

  46. Hmm, in my experience, I wouldn’t necessarily remember the customers who would merely leave shitty tips. I remember the customers who were a huge pain in the ass AND left really shitty tips:

    Churchgoers – Yes, you can see these people coming a mile away. For one thing, it’s not rocket science to spot Churchies. Gee, it’s 11:30-1pm on a Sunday and you’re coming in with your whole family, all dressed up. And they ALL have the same attitude: Expression like they’re sucking on a lemon. Entitled rudeness- snapping fingers, demanding items with no please or thank you, complaining about the service being slow even though it’s obviously shit busy AND they have a large party to boot. And more often than not, someone would ask in a sanctimonious tone if YOU’D been to church. Once you get that, you KNOW your tip will be 5% at the most. And then there’s those fucking jerks who perform all of the above acts and then leave as a tip one of those church tracts that are folded and printed to look like money, but no actual money. I hope you someday run into a waiter who decides it’s his last day and beats the shit out of you for doing that.

    Ladies who Lunch – Argh, I HATED these uppity bitches. They’d always come in during lunch rush in groups of 4 or 5, yet get shitty if they ended up at a table not of their choosing (because how dare it be busy during lunch rush) or that their designer purses and coats would be dirtied. Then they’d get water with a lemon or worse, hot tea. Then they’d take forever to order because they had to modify the shit out of everything to remove all extra calories, fat and carbs. It seemed like a contest of who could find the item on the menu that could be most drastically altered with modifiers. Then they would camp at the table not-eating these items yet resisting any attempts to move them along. At the end, they would ALWAYS want separate checks and ALWAYS pay with either credit cards or ATM-fresh twenties. And of course, since they got a shitty table, their Prada got touched by the busboy, their food tasted funny and you took ten minutes trying to chase down $77.42 in change or running 5 credit cards, you’d get a really crappy tip. Also because since you’re one of the unwashed masses and live in the ghetto compared to them, $1 is obviously a lot of money to you.

    Moms with Kids – Even worse than the Ladies who Lunch, because at least with the LwLs you don’t have to listen to them scream for 20 minutes straight, they don’t tell you to hand over every maraschino cherry on the premises, and they don’t leave their table looking like a tornado went through Cheerio Town. Moms with Kids will also occasionally commit biological warfare in your section: Junior will puke or shit himself or Mom will change her baby on the table/leave the dirty diaper on the table, all for you to clean up. All for 5-8% if you’re lucky.

    Academics – Overeducated people who generally don’t have that much money because they work at a college and thus get paid 75% market rate. So they make up for it by acting like they’re your intellectual superior. (Ironic, considering that probably at least half of restaurant workers are putting themselves through schooling of some sort.) However, these Ph.Dickheads never seem to have common sense, so they come in on Friday night 45 minutes before their play is supposed to start, and then order a steak medium-well. And nothing builds confidence in your community of educators like waiting on a table of math teachers who can’t figure out how to split a check.

    Sexual Harrassers – These little assholes usually thought they were God’s Gift to The Ladiez but had all the pickup artistry of Johnny Drama from Entourage. So you’d have to deal with comments of increasing inappropriateness and possible Bad Touching until it became clear that they expected their meal to come with a happy ending if you wanted a tip. Since most waitresses can’t be bought for $5, you usually lost out. Some of these shit heads would even have the nerve to complain to the manager.

  47. In my experience it is the upper middle class 40 & 50 somethings that don’t tip well. They leave the lowest amount possible while not being outright rude, no matter how good the service is.
    True, some other groups (poor & elderly) often don’t leave generous tips. But they leave what they can and make up for thier lack of funds with kindness. The above mentioned have no excuse.

  48. This is from years ago, but I have to concur — the Sunday Brunch groups were the most likely to be bad tippers, relative to the amount of extra work they made. By that I mean, one person would ask for a refill on their soft drink, I’d ask if anyone else wanted anything, get noes around the table (or ignored) and when I brought the refill, would get a request from someone else for something that I could have brought just as easily with the refill, if I’d known about it. That they were parties or 6, 8, 10 or more just made it worse.

    On the other hand, the AA group would come in for coffee and sandwiches after the Tuesday night meeting and they usually left pretty good tips for the amount of service they wanted. Mostly they wanted to be given their stuff and left alone to talk. Keep the coffee cups filled and plenty of cream and sugar on the table and they were happy.

  49. Two friends who waited tables agreed that Amway and other multi-level marketing scheme salesmen are stingy bastards that frequently stiff the waitstaff. Oh, I guess they did give the “tip” to try selling Amway if they wanted to make more money.

  50. Christian church goers, hands down, are the worst tippers.

    My husband attests that Muslims are some of the best tippers. “Giving to those who have less than oneself” is a Pillar of Islam, so….I like that it doesn’t say “poor”, just “less”.

    Japanese people in Hawaii tend to be very wealthy people who wouldn’t ever think of getting a guidebook; it simply wouldn’t cross their mind. And having lived in Japan, they really don’t know what to do if someone tries to tip. They think you’re forgetting your money. My father went to China and says that they think it’s an insult.

    But really, you’d be amazed what doesn’t cross someone’s mind. My boss in Japan had gone on a road trip in the U.S. He asked me “where are the convenience stores? I found lots of gas stations, but I never saw a convenience store!”. He’d paid with a card at the pump every time, and so never went inside to discover that’s where Americans keep their convenience stores!

  51. Worst tippers, pizza delivery:

    College students
    Church groups (15 pizzas, check for exact amount)
    Dairy farmers
    Late-night business workers (exact amount)

    Best tippers, pizza delivery:

    Pediatrician’s wives
    Poker night groups

  52. In Canada,

    I agree with Amy. Asians are by fare the worst tippers second to Indians.

    Best tippers were usually middle aged, caucasian men.

    Young people generally sucked too.

  53. Worst tippers: Europeans. I am in the Midwest, and if we get anyone with an accent we can expect little to nothing. Probably because of the expectation that we are paid higher.

    Also – inflation is raising the meal prices, that’s our raise. If you think I’m going to go out to dinner in the year 2020 and tip 60%, you are out of your mind.

    20% may be standard on the coasts, but I am still happy to get 15%, and if I get 20%, I know it’s because I’m good at my job.

    I’m college educated, not a druggie or alcoholic, have an 8 to 5 job that I really like, but have a server job on the side because I love it. And right now, it’s really helping with the current economic environment, no raises, longer hours, insurance premiums being raised.

    Waiter – first time post, love your site!

  54. Not a waiter and never have been. That aside, after reading your stories, even though I consider myself a good tipper, I’m leaving more.

  55. I work in an authentic Japanese place, and the worst tippers are, by far, the Japanese. We get a mix of about 50/50 Japanese/not. I suppose it’s normal to stiff in Japan, and some people just haven’t bothered to learn societal norms here in Canada. I usually don’t hold it against them if they appear very new (I’m near to a university with a very high asian population) – when you’re new to a country, you have better things to figure out first. I get it. But when someone seems like they’ve been in Canada awhile and have a good grip on the culture and they still stiff, I get cranky.

  56. i too was a young server i worked at a locally owned brewery and my boyfriend at the time worked at a very nice place both in downtown des moines. i’ve always been a good tipper even when i was very young. but we went to a high end mexican joint and had the worse service i have ever expirenced. we spoke with the manager, told him about the expirence and he just shruged it off. we left a small tip and a note of why it was so small. our bill was over $100 and if there was good service i would have givin a generious tip.

  57. Only worked in one restaurant one summer for some extra spending money. Don’t know how qualified that makes me to comment but my experience seems to be par for the course. The lowest tip I received was from a group of Germans who rounded a $193 bill up to $200. They had a lot of questions and some extra requests but were very polite. I was aware of the low tipping expectations that came with non-Americans and usually saw them as an opportunity to interact with another nationality rather than potential for a big tip. I still always gave the best service because I generally like to see people happy and not have complaints related to my work.

    I worked at an ethnic restaurant in a very old money but extremely liberal/progressive town. The prevailing type of clients seemed to be comfortable people who enjoyed dining and even getting to know a thing or two about the staff and the ethnic traditions and other cultural facts. I give the owners and the chefs credit for this. 20% was the norm much of the time.

    This was in 2004 however. Im sure things have changed drastically.

  58. I worked at a local pub and the best tippers where always the construction workers. Maybe it was because I was young and pretty, and I served them cold beer, but they were by far the best.

  59. Europeans, I hate you, especially the French. Don’t get me wrong! I love and appreciate the culture, the philosophy, the food and the fashion. But you can’t claim to be sophisticated and continue to plead ignorance of tipping customs. The Irish were the exception, as I always found them to be fun and friendly. I waited tables in San Francisco at a diner that was open at all hours and located near bars and movie theaters, so I think I saw it all. The absolute worst, however, were the gypsies who tried to order off of the menu, ran us ragged and tipped pennies, scowling all the while.

  60. As a Christian, I’m offended by other Christians that leave horrible tips. I almost always leave 20% – it has to be bad really bad service for me to leave less.

    Also, I’ve tried to slip more cash onto the table if I see someone in my party stiff a server.

    And if you want to leave a tract, fine. The server can read it, throw it out, etc., but it DOES NOT make up for a tip. The “their salvation is more important than the tip” mentality may be true in the long run (from my/other Christians POV), but it ain’t payin’ nobody’s bills. Leave the tract and the proper tip.

    Like the other poster(s) above who apologized for poor Christian tippers, add mine to the list.

  61. Well…these comments are quite interesting as I was always curious to know who tipped the worst. Surprisingly, although many people stated tourists, elderly and churchgoers – I was surprised at the randomness of opinions.

    Which in my opinion tells me there really is no one set of rude tippers!!

  62. The Worst:

    1. Groups of the Red Hat Society.
    2. Over-entitled, middle-aged, nit-picky women.
    3. Church crowd.

    As a future teacher, I am disappointed to read that teachers have made some of the worst lists, but as a former waitress, I definitely will overcompensate for that!

  63. I’ve worked in mostly only establishments where I am required to tend to the bar as well as wait tables(on the typically slower nights). One place I worked at for 5 years, I even had to cook it as well. Where I’m at now, we get a Euchre crowd of anywhere from 15-30 people wednesday nights. Often times many of them come in early to eat before hand. I’m not sure if this one woman has a tad bit Alzheimers and is stuck back in 1930 or what. She often stacks the dirty plates for me and hands me my 50 cent tip while saying with a smile, “I used to be a waitress once upon a time.” I usually end up cocktail waitressing their tables throughout the night and making MAYBE 5$ total from the entire group. They do not have the courtesy to understand that they are taking my time and attention away from paying tables, or the fact that I have to re-set the tables and clean up after them for 4 hours. GGRRR.

  64. I forgot to mention that most of them are ridiculously unfriendly, will interrupt me when I;m taking another tables order so I can refill their water. And when they eat, they use their ‘Buy one cheeseburger and fries for $5.50 and get the second free’ coupons. And the only time they order drinks is when they have a drink chip that was given to them for free by my boss the previous wednesday. Some of them have even started bringing their own bottled water. =] Do you think I got that much dis-respect from seniors when i was a Nurses aide at the hospital??? Eff no, of course not.

    My boss looks at it like “People drive by and see the full parking lot.” I look at it from the standpoint that I’ve had people walk in to eat and walk right back out because it looked too packed. And what patrons want to eat in a dining room with the lights cranked as bright as possible creating the worst possible dining atmosphere.

    Thanks. I feel better even though it’s almost wednesday.

  65. I’ve been a waitress for over ten years in a small town in Indiana, and by far the worst tippers are Jehovah’s Witnesses. They leave no tip at all, no matter how high the bill. My fiance is a former Witness, and he noticed it every time he went to dinner with his family. I even knew some of them by name and would have friendly conversations with them, and they would still stiff me.

  66. Mexicans and Asians are the worst tippers…sorry guys, but I waited tables for 15 years and in 3 different states. It doesn’t matter which coast, either. There, I said it!

  67. I’m embarrassed on behalf of church people. I know Kempeth said it already, but I just have to add my apology to his. I’m so sorry!

    The worst tips I’ve ever *seen* came from old white people. I saw a 60-70 year old guy drop a quarter on the table for a tip once. Both my husband’s and my grandparents think that a 10% tip is standard and that you don’t have to tip at a buffet-style restaurant.

  68. The church people don’t tip when they get their hair cut and styled or just styled. I have been doing hair a long time, and they may share other things with you (things they no longer need) but not a cent of their money other than what they have to pay.

  69. i, too, am a recovering waiter. my consistently worst tippers were municipal elected officials: judges, councilmen, supervisors and mayors. this held true in four cities over a ten year period. minga, those guys (and gals) are cheap.

  70. i certainly have to say that as a career bartender i go into work every night with zero expectations. i tend to work in establishments that focus on craft cocktails where 20% is the standard across the board if not the benchmark. that being said i have worked every type of venue from college bars to fine dining to clubs and held every position at these venues over the years. college kids seem to be fairly bad tippers if not out of sheer lack of money and genuine embarrassment because of the fact or simply due to not knowing at a young age how to tip. latinos/asians have generally been a crap shoot for me over the years as i’ve learned to never judge a book by its cover. i’ve been stiffed by more minorities than i can count but also been blown away by the same. i used to run the bar at a prominent hotel in my city and was regularly surprised by out of town sports fans leaving obscene tips for good service (50 dollar cash tip for 6 dollars worth of beer). out and out though african-americans are the bane of existence when it comes to tips as a bartender. the pours are always “short”, the prices always too high and the customer never understandable (as much as i respect your ebonics, please respect the fact that i’m educated and not privy to them.) to that length though i would routinely have black customers stiff me or the very next customer leave 50% in cash. the fact remains, you can never really tell in the service industry.

  71. Yeah in my experience, the worst tippers are black people and church people. These are stereotypes and I know there are black people and church people that tip very well. But as a whole, if you’re playing numbers you don’t want to be sat a party of black people or church people in your section. Hey church folk, a printed sheet of paper about god, not so much a tip. Waiters are mostly looking for paper money. Spendable money. Not your church propoganda.

  72. After 20 years in the business, it’s a two way tie:
    1. NPR/PBS member card carriers are the worst tippers of all. The worst.
    2. ANYONE who promises to tip well. The kiss of death. I don’t even try to hide my tableside deflation when you tell me what a great tip I am going to get.

  73. As a Canadian who works in the food industry i have to say that Europeans are the worst. And they don’t even have the manners to say please or thank you! I hate to say it but especially Bosnians and Serbians.

  74. Waiting tables in Texas for a long time, Mexican nationals were terrible tippers, for the most part. Like churchgoers, they were extremely needy but did not compensate for the hard work.

  75. Let me add my apology for all the cheap churchgoers. I’m a chuchgoer but I, too, never tip less than 20% and will add to what is on the table if someone I am with doesn’t “get it.” I’ve explained to everyone I’ve seen do the drop a tract thing, that insulting people and demonstrating your own stupidity is not the best way to win souls. My daughter has been a server for 14 years and says the worst tippers are the Red Hat Ladies.

  76. I worked as a server in a restaurant in a small city in Arizona, and I had also heard people saying that church people tipped the worst. As a “church person” myself, I was embarrassed to hear that. However, and I don’t know if it was just a cultural thing in our town, but I *loved* working Sunday lunches, because I actually got much better tips on average from the church people than the other people in town. Like I said, it may be a town-specific thing, but I loved serving them – and it amused me when they left tracts along with their tips (the key is, they left it *with* the tips).
    Worst tippers were the Californians who had their second or third homes in our town to store their boats and toys, and would come into the local restaurants and tip 10%.

  77. I worked in a few different types of restaurant\bar during university. Not counting the poor students I served, the worst tippers were foreign non-english speakers and groups of middle-aged women. And middle-aged women were also the least forgiving and most stressful to serve. In any group of more than three women there is inevitably one uber-bitch who is so demanding and runs you so much that her friends are embarassed. They won’t make up for it with a nice tip, unfortunately.

  78. 28- i’ve always made it a point to pay compliments when i got better-than-expected service. Had no idea people do that to try to make up for a bad tip. Hopefully it is a nice surprise then, when they see i tipped 1/3 of the bill…

  79. I forgot about people who promises to tip well. If the customer mentions the tip at any point before actually leaving the tip, you should expect to feel ripped off at the end of service.

  80. malone and craig: YES, the ‘promisers’–lying, cheating bastards!! Right there in a special class with the infamous ‘i’m a friend of the owner’.

  81. I worked in a Chinese restaurant- the worst tippers by far were kids (they’re also the most likely to try to dine and dash…unfortunately most of them succeeded). Most of them were friends with each other and none of them tipped. Maybe occasionally there’d be a few cents left over in change that they wouldn’t bother taking, but we’d just shove those right back in the cash drawer; no one likes change.

    Another one of the more memorable customers was this lady who always brought her daughter in to eat with her and called her “Princess”. She’d always ask for lunch specials, even though they ended at 3 and she came in at 5…her tip usually consisted of all the dimes, nickels, and pennies she could find in her wallet.

    No Canadians where I work, though. Old people do tend to be not as generous with the tipping (maybe 10%).

  82. Yeah, I forgot to mention groups of middle aged women. Christ, they’re horrible. They’ll order water with lemon and salads. Sit in your section till you’re cut. Then ask for seperate checks. You’ll get a buck from each one. Not worth it.

  83. I have close to three years exp. delivering pizza, in E. Lansing, Mi. and Clearwater, Fl. My total tips, in three years, from black females is $1.58. The $.58 was only because I didn’t have any coins for change in my pocket, and she didn’t want to wait for me to go back down three flights of stairs to my car to get it.

  84. I can agree with most that church goers are in the top 5 worst tippers. But my experience is that lesbians are the worst tippers, followed by mexicans and mexican nationals, church group, europeans and then asians.

  85. Women in healthcare. Table full of ladies in scrubs? 8% if you’re lucky. Fucking cows, the lot of them.

    Hell, women in general, especially if they’re over 30 and there’s more than 2 of them. The more of them, the bitchier they are and the less you’ll get.

    Church people, especially those fuckers who leave you $2 on a $30 tab and a fucking Chick Tract. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The exception always seemed to be the Catholics. For whatever reason, almost all the Catholic people I knew tipped acceptably. Not stellar, but not the less than 10 that the Calvinists gave. No idea why.

    People with small children. Insult to injury, usually, given the terrible mess those little monsters would make.

    People who tell you “I’m a good tipper.” Riiiighhht.

    The restaurant I worked at longest was a place that desperately wanted to be “upscale casual” but was really just a “white trash beacon.” Anyone who came in wearing any sort of NASCAR paraphernalia were guaranteed to be pains in the asses. Without fail. Every. Single. Time.

  86. I know that a bowling alley doesnt fall under most people’s spectrums of where they should leave a tip. Where i work each section pools their tips among themselves: Desk, Kitchen, Bar. While everyone tips the bartenders and servers, most forget about the cooks and the desk people. I’ve worked both sections and although it will be the cooks who make your food and the bartenders whip up your drinks, its going to be US the desk people who will wipe down and clean up after you and your party of 4 lanes with wild children who throw your popcorn all over the ground. It’s also us who deal with you as you stare in shock at how much bowling costs and demand that you get a discount because you “didn’t know.” We have a sign that states our prices.

    Worst Tippers:
    -International Asians (the ones who can’t speak english and spend 20minutes deciding how to pay and then pay seprately in credit card in their group or 10)
    -Black people.
    -rich people

    -Gay men. (hands down these are my favorite customers of all time. They are friendly, funny, and tip well if not generously.)

  87. There is a reason I don’t work sundays, the church crowd refuses to tip well. I guess they put their tip money into the communion plate. Brits, teachers, ghetto fab, and last but not least, department store ladies!!! They come in 15 minutes before close, want rounds and rounds of drinks, think you want to hear them bitch about what a long day they had, and proceed to tip 10% IF you’re lucky!

  88. Oh and lets not forget the verbal tip. “You were the best server ever! You’re sweet and blah blah blah…” and leave $2 on $50. WTF?!

  89. my mom: white, middle class, middle aged, real estate agent and christian republican woman. i hate eating out with her. i have seen her take my tip off the table just because she could… i was so embarrassed i snuck back into the restaurant and personally talked to our server and tipped her over 50 percent…

  90. Aussies are consistently shit tippers hands down. I personally know quite a few of them and have had discussions with them on this topic. The ones I’ve talked to simply don’t understand tipping because it’s not a natural part of their culture. They feel waiters should be paid a decent wage, as they apparently are over there.

    As a Canadian server I was completely taken aback that my brethren are viewed as shitty tippers abroad. I tip 20% regardless of the tipping policy in whatever country I’m in pretty much just out of habit, and because it’s better to get caught leaving too much than not enough. And the societally acceptable tip here (15-20%) is basically the same as the US. So I can’t explain it.

  91. to Craig @ 10:42 — Women tend to tip according to how good they think the service was (as opposed to men who tip according to who they are trying to impress) so if one woman in a group of women is dissatisfied with the service, she shames the others into not tipping well either.

    We ate at a nice restaurant last night. We had two coupons. They added 18% tip to the bill — apparently they do that whenever there’s a coupon or deal. I left an additional $5 on the table because we thought he should get at least 20%. I hope he doesn’t think I didn’t notice the 18%.

  92. I have also experienced the scourge of the bitchy group of middle aged women. I used to work at a golf club and Ladies Day was an absolute nightmare. Regardless of the temperature it was soup of the day and waters with various combinations of lemon/lime/cranberry juice/straws/no straws, complaints when the soup did not appear instantly because “how long does it take to put soup in a bowl?” and gripes that bread was not free with the soup. All of these women (more than likely their husbands) paid 5-figure golf course fees and lived in mansions, yet felt it was appropriate to toss me loose change.

  93. @ 93 Leah: yeh, aussie waiters are paid pretty good wages. About 20 dollars an hour if you’re casual, or about 16 dollars an hour if you’re permanent. Even more if you’re working in fine dining. People generally don’t tip. Maybe a little tip if the service was exceptional, but nothing like 20%. I guess any tips are truly out of “gratuity” and not because the waiter depends on it for a living.

  94. In my experience the worst tippers I’ve ever gotten are entitled people. These are not necessarily people with money or white people or foreign people, they are simply the ones who were spoiled by their mommies and daddies into believing that *they* are the most important people in the world and can do no wrong. So essentially: a good portion of the Baby Boomers and their progeny in Gen Y.

  95. Wow – some funny comments. As an Aussie I am not surprised to see us get a mention – tipping simply doesn’t even cross our minds! It is probably simply because we are numerically few that we don’t get more mentions. I went to the US once as a 23 year old. Thinking back now I strongly suspect I completely stiffed some poor diner waitress but it was done out of ignorance – not malice. It simply never occurred to me that the girl who took my order for 10 seconds, delivered a plate then stood behind the cash register to take my money needed to be tipped! Lucky every other time I ate out was fast food. BTW, it would NEVER (even now) occur to me to tip the desk staff at a bowling alley – the food and drinks staff I guess I can now understand but the counter people?!?

  96. vasil –churchgoers are EASY to spot-one its just after a regular church service which in the Bible belt is sunday lunch mainly and less for sunday dinner and in between that volume for wed dinner. they tend to be in their “sunday best” attire. They tends to look down their noses at you since you have to work during their day of rest and worship to pay your bills-not sure how you spot them in areas where other faiths are3 big like say catholics since they have mass more3 often than other faiths-can you tell I learned the art of serving in church of christ/southern baptist area in a exican restaurant with a buffet on sunday mornings-only got 1 sunday off in 3 years.

    church goers sucked ass for tips but the folks from the great white north were bad

    a few faiths preach their followers to tip-Kenneth copeland is one and I caught a televangalist advocating proper tipping once

    ladies who lunch ie dont work and swill wine to get thru the day were bad tippers too

    but any1 who reads serve blogs KNOWS spring1 is the worse tipper who ever lived!

  97. I work at a Mexican restaurant / bar and we have 99cent ritas every Friday . Well every Friday we get large crowds of black people and they 1 never tip or 2 walk their tabs!!! Sometimes they complain that the salads are cold.. wtf?

  98. Asians. As an Asian who lives in Australia, and who tips, I often find that I actually have to ASK/MAKE my fellow Asian diners to share the tip with me!

  99. I would like to apologize also for the church goers. My family is part of that group but we always tip well, especially if we have our young children with us (we know that when children are at the table the wait staff has to work much harder then if it was a couple of adults). Yes we do leave a tract, but it is always with a tip of at least 20%. I am embarrassed to say that there are people from our church that we will not go out to eat with because they tip poorly and are so incredibly needy.

    I distinctly remember going out with a family one time, they had their children and we did not, they ordered an app. and of course their bill was much higher then theirs because there were 5 of them and 2 of us and I saw them leave only $5 on probably a $40+ tab. My hubby and I left $10 on our $25 tab because of that and we had chosen not order an app. so that we would have enough to tip.

    I wish I could take each of our fellow church members and make them serve one week, I think they would see things much differently then.

  100. In Denmark tips are included, hence a Danish tourist in the U.S., – probably all Scandinavians, would be the worst tippers – unless they read the “do’s and don’ts” before visiting the U.S. – an American would be a darlin tipper for us! – had he or she, not read the info on tipping being included.
    I actually started tipping in Denmark a while back, just because to me, it’s a nonverbal way to directly communicate a “thank you” for good service and great food.
    This blog has definitely not changed my mind about tipping, although almost looked upon as showing off over here! – Thank you for “a glance behind the curtains”!

  101. Hey, You waiters in usa have it lucky. In South Africa every one stil on the measly 10% tip. And yes some black people, and trashy Afrikaans people don’t tip. And our best tippers are middle men and other waiters.


  102. I will avoid all the racial and sociological stereotypes because, let’s face it, they exist for a reason. There is no logical argument against this, so just nip that right in the bud.

    For my money (no pun intended) the people who deserve their own little special circle in hell are the fuckers who DON’T TIP ON THEIR TOTAL BILL WHEN THEY HAVE GIFT CARDS/CERTIFICATES, COUPONS, OR COMPS.

    Happens all the time right after the holidays when people come out to use up those dining dollars. Couple comes in to enjoy a nice dinner, their bill is $125 (because they just drink diet coke and iced tea), leave a gift card and a credit card in the check presenter, GC covers $100, and you get a $5 tip on the $25 you rang on their CC. DOUCHEBAGS. And they probably think they’re being generous because they gave you what they perceive to be 20%.

    As for comps – I recently waited on a 3 top that started out wonderfully. Decent bottle of wine, nice witty banter, checked back on their food shortly after it was delivered, all is well. Then they decide to tell me that their steaks are undercooked, that their sides are too salty, that their meal basically sucks. Manager visits the table, gets their food re-fired, I send out free dessert, comps a bunch of stuff. What was a $400 check is now whittled down to $200 and they leave me $10. As if everything was my fault. Oh, and they took their food with them. FUUUUUUUUUCK YOU.

    Then there’s the manager’s VIP who he swears is going to take great care of you. Entitlement junkie runs you ragged but buys a whole bunch of stuff, most of which is comped by his buddy, then he leaves you shy of 20% on the total after comps. ASSHOLE.

    These people and their ilk are evil and deserve nothing less than total annihilation.

  103. Working in fine dining in DC, we have many of foreigners to serve. The worst Europeans by far are the Italians. At least with the British and Irish you know you’ll get 10%. By far the worst tippers are people from Central and South America. I’ve never had a problem with Japanese people. Most tip 18-20%.

  104. I was out to dinner with a friend once who was paying the bill.(American Jew) The manager came back with the bill to tell him that the tip he left was unacceptable and the minimum was 15%

    I’ve never seen this happen before or since, so why not? If the tip is really part of the bill, why isn’t a tip enforced since it’s required for waitstaff to live?

  105. Without a doubt, the after church crowd. The only reason I can get out with any money in my pocket on Sunday is because you can’t buy alcohol on Sundays in this state.

  106. my personal theory on how Canadians were “trained” to tip is b/c of the loonie & twoonie coins. it’s so easy to just dump a coin on the table without much thought or math.

    i find the comments interesting. stereotypes exist for a reason. but try to remember innocent until proven guilty ;)

    i find the entitlement attitudes telling. in a free market why should the servers dictate the percentage? it’s a tip, it’s not mandatory. period.

    tips are supposed to be a means to say thank you for your hard work. instead y’all sound ungrateful for our hard earned money and *we’ve* all lost our sense of manners and caught the entitlement bug too.

    you should do your job to the best of your ability regardless, instead tips are the anvil over your head to keep you even remotely professional. it’s sad.

    i knew from the time i was 11 i am not cut out to be in the service industry lol. but i’ve been a waiter/server for catering companies (0 tips) and work front desk at a hotel (i get marriage propsals more than tips).

    that being said, i’m the daughter of a Canadian poor tipper (and am often mortified by how bad 5-8%) and married an American good tipper (and often feel he way over pays, 30-35%).

    i often end up feeling stressed and anxious over the tipping b/c i want to do it correctly yet feel obligated to shell out too much for crap ass service. the attitudes here hardly alleviate it. silly me for expecting a pleasant dining experience when i’m paying for it.

  107. If I could afford to not work Sunday mornings I would. They kill me! The church crowd is so often needy, huge groups, and bad tippers. They leave tracts, but if I were at church, who would get you your 15 refills of diet coke? That being said, I have received some excellent tips from church goers, and a couple of weeks ago got a surprise 50% tip from some teenagers who had just been to church, so sometimes it’s not all bad. It probably just seems that way because you remember the bad tips more than the good ones in relation to the effort you put it.

    Best tippers? Bikers. I always have GREAT experiences with people who ride in on Harley’s and are covered in leather. I fight to wait on them! They’re courteous, good natured, and usually very generous.

  108. As a middle aged Canadian woman, I find the stereotypes mildly annoying. However, I am a good tipper (20-25%) but still resent it. Why can’t the restaurant owner pay decent wages like any other industry? I worked hard my whole life and never ever got a tip, yet restaurant owners expect us to pay for our meals and their employees on top (it should be included in the price of the meal). I also tip my hairdresser generously while she is overcharging me the whole time.

  109. I would love if the Church people were just given a couple of fishes and the bread basket, and you told them to feed themselves.

  110. It’s been more than 20 years since I waited tables (at a popular 24 hour diner in NY) but I still remember. It wasn’t a certain ethnic or religious group, but a time of day. The late dinner, early and late bar crowds and early morning breakfast people were all generous. It was the lunch time and early dinner crowds that were cheap with tips. Gonna sit for 3 hours with your bottomless cups of coffee, taking that table out of commission for me? Or are you going to cram 6 people into a booth, demand every damned accomodation I can give you and complain because you’re in a rush to get to a movie? Well then, I already know you’re going to tip for shit. Those early morning fishermen who eat a $4 breakfast will make up for your stinginess by leaving me a $5. You should thank them.

  111. My parents were terrible teachers when it came to tipping. They made tipping look painful–tipping to the exact amount but often less–for some reason they couldn’t throw that extra dollar or two on the table. Like that amount would change their lives.

    As an adult I realized that if I had the money to go out to eat then I could damn well tip. I never leave less than 20% but usually it’s 25%. And I always calculate it on the total before discounts,deals, whatever.

    I’m sure I fit the stereotype for some wait staff–I’m a middle aged white woman with kids who occassionally brings her kids, dines with other women or uses coupons. I rarely complain. My children know how to behave in a restaurant (they complain about bad kids at the nearby tables!). I leave the table neat and tidy as possible. AND I always leave a generous tip. If I’m dining with others I usually leave the tip. I hate it when my dining partner(s)are cheap on the tip. I hate the superior attitude. I hate it when they embarrass me by asking for special considerations. I hate the attitude that it’s their meal and their money and they can act however they want.

    When I go out to eat I expect it to be a relaxing, enjoyable experience. Complaining and having unrealistic expectations just ruins it. Why do those people even go out? They’re never satisfied!

  112. I saw lesbians mentioned earlier so I wanted to share this. I’m a lesbian AND British and I always tip a minimum of 20%, usually more. I played for a womens full contact football team (at least 75% lesbians) and one particular restaurant would stay open late after games for us (we usually arrived 30 minutes or so before closing, but always with prior notice)partly because of how well we tipped and treated the servers. I agree that gay guys tip REALLY well. My experience with bad tippers has mainly been older people and the church crowd.

  113. One other thing I consider the tip as part of the cost of the meal. And i try to give it as cash and not on the credit card–wouldn’t bother me if it doesn’t get reported to dear old uncle sam! ;)

    If owners paid better wages and thus upped their prices would the bad tippers still go out? I know my mom thinks she’s “saving” when she’s lite on the tip. She figures she can use that to go out another time.

  114. May we be judged and tipped the way we judge and serve.

    Pizza joints here give local businesses discounts (up to 50% off) as a means to advertise our good smellin’ foods. We stopped giving one place a discount b/c 1 of their staff would tip the change (72 cents on an $11.28 order) and the other would first try and swindle free pizza then tip only 10%, never mind how much he saved.

  115. I worked the majority of my FOH career in high-end establishments in NYC, NYT 2 and three start rated restaurants. I worked both as a server and a bartender. These were places where you expected the big tips because our level of service was outstanding. That said, I have had a more than a couple of interesting experiences. As for the worst tippers, I can only point to two major categories: Attractive women in groups, and people (especially on Valentine’s or Mother’s Day) who generally don’t eat out or are eating beyond their means. Oh, and rich South Americans. (That’s three!)
    The women: Young and attractive in groups, they are out fishing and are there to be seen by rich males. They are generally pissed that they have to pay for themselves. Older and attractive in groups, just out of Bloomingdale’s or Barney’s, do what another poster said — run your ass off, stay late and split the bill.
    The inexperienced: Usually reeling from the check and are out of money.
    Rich SA a holes: Have an outdated aristocratic self-importance, will snap at you, order pretty much when the kitchen is about to shut down, and parting with a penny for service is against the natural order of things.

    Best tippers: Other Service Industry folks and gay men and women. Hands down. And Wiseguys.

    Most interesting tip story: Working as a bartender in TriBeCa where we got a lot of the Wall Street crowd in the ’90’s. We used to pour an Uber-expensive Cognac for something like $200 for 1 1/2oz.

    One night, we got this trader-type who ordered two. He looked at the bill and asked my partner “How much should I tip?” Restaurant policy was that we weren’t to dictate something like that, plus with the 20% rule, that would have been an $80 tip for pouring two Cognacs. That’s a lot, even to a greedy bartender. So Vinnie told the guy he should tip only what he felt was necessary. The guy said “You sure?” like three times and then left $2.

    It was only until I got home that night that I realized what game that guy was playing. He was one of these ballsy traders who was addicted to high stakes. A month later he comes in again. Same order, same song and dance. This time, I cut Vinnie off, looked the guy in the eye and said, “I think 50% of the bill would be fair.” I could have gotten fired for doing that had it gone sour, but the guy said, “That’s what I’m talking about. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Here’s 75%.” So he left $240. Not the best tip I ever had, but easily the most interesting.

    You never know though, and in this economy that guy might be applying for my old job right now.

  116. Someone earlier mentioned “who wants bright lighting when they dine?!”. I do. I have poor night vision, and I enjoy seeing the food I’m eating. When a place is dim, it really bothers me. I want regular lighting like I’d have at home, or at least half strength lighting. Also, why is the music in restaurants usually so loud?

    Hm, back to tipping. I think the wealthier someone is, the less they tip, generally. My husband will deliver pizza to the trailer parks all night happily, but send him to fancy parts of town and he’s sure to complain. Sometimes they even jip him on the pizza itself, so he’ll *lose* a dollar or two in tips! It’s not that management makes him pay. It’s that they add up his sales, then add up all the money he “has” (it’s not actually in his pocket all night!) at the end of the night, and take the sales. But this also means he gets his credit card and check tips that night.

  117. As a restroom attendant, my customers are all women, and I would have to say it’s a toss-up between black women and Russian women. Not all; some have been very good to me, but for the most part, neither group tips, yet will avail themselves fully to all that I have to offer, therefore actually costing me money.

  118. The worst tippers I encountered when delivering pizzas (and it is the same I heard from my friends who served tables) – those who really are upper class. Those who wanted to pretend they were upper class but really weren’t were great tippers because they were trying to impress. Those who really have a lot of money don’t care if they impress anyone or not, and are generally lousy tippers.

    Incidentally, I am a preacher and thus part of the “church crowd” a lot have mentioned. I always tip between 15-20%. It’s a shame others don’t.

  119. Tellya what, I’m not a waiter, but I tip a standard 20-25%. Despite this, I get treated badly at the local diner here in Brooklyn (I’m from the South, and yes, I no longer go to the aforementioned diner). I’d be curious to hear the other side of things, if the Waiter agrees. Perhaps an article like this one where customers explain their tipping practices?

  120. My best and worst tippers have changed over the 15 years and many levels of dining establishments I have worked in. Back in the place my 16 year old self worked in that had both table service and a drive-thru, I (a white teenage girl), had a co-worker (a black teenage girl) BEG me to swap our new tables. My table posessed an elderly white couple, hers a twenty-something, upper middle class looking black couple. Seriously? I agreed, and my tip was folding money, while hers jangled.
    In a four diamond restaurant years later, I had the pleasure of having Brits with sunny dispositions, impressive food and wine knowlege (7 year old kids ordering foie gras? Sweet!), leaving $500 on a $495 bill.

    Back in the lower end day, yes, church folk were the worst…and who can get the friggin soup hot enough for the asbestos-lined elderly tongues?

    High class places, it’s the ladies I watch out for. Thank god the last place I worked had a computer system that could split checks painlessly- which you WANT to do for ladies- so they couldn’t pretend to mess up the math or forget about tax.

    Men in suits are some of the rudest and most lucrative! They COMPLETELY ignore you when you approach your table just to DO YOUR FRIGGIN JOB the way your employer expects you to. I’m pretty sure it is part of proper business dinner etiquette to be a dismissive dick. Know what? I couldn’t care less, so long as management isn’t on my ass about turning the table. I have actually been thanked for completely ignoring guys for well over an hour. They argue about the check, they defer the whole meal to some dude who isn’t even paying, they buy big wine, they tip rediculous to show off.

    I’m gonna send eighty church tracts in lieu of a check to the electric company now. They will appreciate it in the long run. Maybe I’ll just pray for the church lady’s eggs to be over easy.

  121. thank you Jeff for pointing out that as a percentage of the total the tip percentage does not need to increase to keep up with inflation

  122. Where I worked, we could generally foretell the tip we were going to get by the salad dressing they ordered. If they ordered blue cheese or the house dressing, we could expect 20%. If the ordered 1000 Island, 10% or less.

    I worked in a resort town and found “Car Cruisers” (those that restore old cars and take them to events) were horrid tippers. Bikers and guys from South Jersey were awesome tippers.

  123. The church crowd and devout Christians were the worst tippers, and were, more often than not, condescending in their dealings with me.

    The Alcoholics Anonymous were good tippers and by far the kindest class of people I served.

  124. I would have to say that the best tippers were truck drivers when I worked at a truck stop. The ones that hit on me a lot were the best tippers and if I teased them about it in front of their buddies I got really big tips. I guess it was entertainment for them. I mainly worked in the kitchen cooking.

    I work for a well known IT company and I eat out more often now but I still have it fresh in my mind when I worked the kitchen or the dinning room.

    Not sure if it makes you all feel just a little bit better but my Pastor of a big church and other pastors have made a point to do sermons encouraging church goers not to go out to eat, get gas or do anything that required anyone to help them out. I know guys who are well off but didnt dress like it. On the Holidays they would eat out at several places and pick one of the staff who REALLY needs it and give them a huge tip Sometimes $500 then race out of there. These people have encouraged others to call you all by name and to quit pretending you are not there.

    Pastors have even spit from the pulput, lashed out at church goers for asking employees, “Why arent you at Church today?” The pastors have said, “If you would quit running errands and eating out after Church, they wouldnt have to work” Some people just dont listen or act like going to Church is their good deed for the week. Which is wrong. :-) Its about always trying to be a good person, but failing cuz they are human. Contacting the pastor is a good way to point this stuff out to them. They are always looking for material for the next sermon. Yes they need to have than sermon more often. :-)

    I always hate it when the people I am with are mean or have their nose up in the air. I feel like telling the people at my table, “shut up! They are spitting in my food as I speak.” lol

    If the guy is a jerk to you, the guy ain’t getting laid. hee hee! Same if the girl is rude. Chances are the guy wont stick around. First dates take place where you work and I look to see how he treats the wait staff, if he is nice then talks mean when you leave the table, he is soooooo not getting a call back!

    I hate it when I am on a date and the guy is rude or is a terrible tipper. They cant interact with the server very well, or are fake about it to try and impress me. Or insist Im their princess and they should send something back to the kitchen so they can show off. They have no people skills and not the kind of guy I will call back. Keep that in mind when you see a new couple.

    At Mexican places, my mother will act like she knows spanish when she soooooo does not, and acts like she is better than them. I look at the server and tell them “Lo Siento” I get so embaressed. I know you all dont get paid much and when they tip so little I have to explain, you all make below minimum wage. The server might be a single mom, a college student, or a single dad who gives half his check to the ex wife. I put extra money out. I never put the tip on my credit card.

  125. “As a middle aged Canadian woman, I find the stereotypes mildly annoying. However, I am a good tipper (20-25%) but still resent it. Why can’t the restaurant owner pay decent wages like any other industry? I worked hard my whole life and never ever got a tip, yet restaurant owners expect us to pay for our meals and their employees on top (it should be included in the price of the meal). I also tip my hairdresser generously while she is overcharging me the whole time”.

    Not all industries “pay decent wages”. There are millions of salespeople who work only on commission (and a tip is more similar to a sales commission than the average person will admit). Why do people pull out this old saw? Why don’t they realize how expensive their menu prices would be if “the employer paid the full wage”? And why, oh why, would they want to lose the ability to reward or penalize good service without being automatically charged even when the service sucked (or have to beg to have something taken off their bill)? It’s just insane and the case of cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    I’d say that the only time your hairdresser is “overcharging you” is when you have no idea how much you’re paying ahead of time. BTW, how much is “looking good” worth to you? If you’re willing to pay the price to have your own hairdresser (which is how it seems since you talk about “my hairdresser”), then, almost by definition, you can’t be being overcharged because there are plenty of cheap alternatives. There’s probably a good reason why you aren’t going to a bargain basement hairdresser, right?

  126. Teleburst, “Why don’t they realize how expensive their menu prices would be if “the employer paid the full wage”?”

    Many of us do realize how expensive it would be, and would welcome the change. Ideally, it would be the current price, plus 18%-20% to make up to the servers et al. who would not be receiving a tip, but in reality, it would probably be more (some folks are wicked, and will take advantage whenever they can). I’d still prefer it.

    “And why, oh why, would they want to lose the ability to reward or penalize good service without being automatically charged even when the service sucked (or have to beg to have something taken off their bill)? ”

    Because some of us just hate doing performance reviews, especially for free after a relaxing meal. We don’t have to do them in department stores, and we like that a lot. (Also, why would we want to penalize good service – that seems odd.)

    We won’t beg – we are a proud people. We just won’t patronize establishments where the service sucks.

  127. I am a stylist, and I’ve unfortunately found that the elderly customers are the worst tippers. You do the most work on most of them, teasing the heck out of the 4 hairs they have left to make them look like they still have hair. Perming their hair with super tiny rods that you can barely get your fingers around. And then they tip you a dollar! I have younger clients that tip me 10 or 15 dollars on a haircut… and the older customers act like the dollar is SO much more than you deserve to get! I’m grateful to have a job during these trying times. But it feels good to get it off my chest! Thanks!

  128. Grace (Line 21) If you thought waiting tables was mindless, you either worked at a crappy restaurant or you were a crappy waitress. Serving food is more mentally and physically taxing than 95% of the jobs out there. It takes monumental abilities to multitask, educate, communicate and market (all while keeping a freakin’ smile on your face). If you work in a high end restaurant (I’m pretty sure you didn’t), it takes a considerable amount of knowledge of food, wine and service. Most people are incapable of it (including a lot of servers).

    By the way, I forgot to mention Alabamans earlier. Unfortunately, Alabama is only an hour and a half away from New Orleans. To the best of my memory, I have never once received a decent tip from an Alabaman. 5-10% is the norm.

  129. I have spent many years working in restaurants. I still work in the business part-time for extra money. I have learned never to judge a customer by their appearance. For example, I always enjoyed waiting on bikers.

    They came in with their long hair, leather pants, and motorcycle gear. Although they always looked rough, they were always polite to me and generous when it came to tipping.

    On the other hand, I found well-dressed men to often be snooty and tip under 15%. People don’t realize how hard servers work for their tips. It’s wonderful that your blog and book are educating people about the service industry and how hard these people work to make a living.

    Peace, WG

  130. One English couple asked me flat-out how tipping worked because it made them nervous- they didn’t want anything bad to happen. I told them that the standard varied between 15 and 20% depending on who you talked to (and there’s a guideline on the bottom of the check that says 15% for good, 20% for excellent), and they nodded, thanked me, and left 10%. I don’t understand.

  131. I used to work as a beer cart driver at a public golf course. A typical day would begin with somewhat stingy old timers early on, move into very generously tipping middle aged white dudes around lunch time, then taper off with cheap but consistant Koreans at later twilight special times. As it was a golf course, most of my customers were men, and the woman golfers I encountered typically did not tip as well as the men did. Of all my customers, korean women were almost the worst tippers, second only to adolescents.

    As far as foreigners go, I’ve had decent tips from british, italian, japanese, south american, and especially german people and not so good tips from the irish, indians and the aforementioned koreans. However these are gross generalizations as I have had some very good tipping koreans and have gotten nothing from white guys. Honestly I found that the economy, the weather, the time of day, the day of the week, the B.A.C. of the individual, whether or not the individual had a y chromosome, and the neckline of my shirt all had a much greater overall influence on my tips than just the race of the person.

  132. Well I think it works the other way too. I can tell what waiter will be good by how they are dressed and how they carry themselves. The worst waitress I have ever had by far was a middle-aged dyed-blonde woman who spent way too much trying to be prettier than she was ever gonna be. It was New Year’s in a decent NYC restaurant (I know New Year’s is amateur night but I tip a minimum 20% after tax, after wine, the whole nine). I had just given her back the check holder thingy with my 20% on a tab of $200 and she gave me the most condescending little nod as if to say ‘good boy. well done! here’s a bone little doggy!’. If I hadn’t been pretty far in the tank, it might have ruined my night. It certainly left a bad taste in my mouth.

    Best waiters by far are working class, slightly slovenly, the ‘salt-of-the-earth’ kind who despite being jibbed two seconds before, still give you a smile and great service. They’re the type of people who take everyone one at a time. I love to tip these guys above and beyond, they are the glue of society. Another great waitress I had was an elderly mexican lady who made me feel sorry for her. she totally succeeded in pushing the little old lady ‘feel-sorry-for-me’ button (and i’m a jaded paranoid guy, i pass by homeless people every day of the week). She was a master at that. Sometimes I think women are far more advanced than men, like just WAY ahead to the point that men are lucky women have emotions to keep them in check from just running all over us men. I live in NYC and damn that Mexican broad just worked people all over the show. She emptied my pockets!

  133. Jeff Lichtmann: Let’s talk theoretically here. If the menu prices go up $5.00 per entree, and you have 4 guests at one table, then you stand the chance of only making an extra $3.00. Most menu prices don’t go up that much. I don’t consider an extra $3.00 per table keeping up with inflation.

    Vasil: I said, MOST not all. So if you work in a place that has 20 servers, and 11 of them are lazy, etc., than that’s most, not all. As far as the “Church People” go, many here have answered that question. You see them in their finery and church clothes. I’m not Christian, so I really hate those Christian fliers they leave behind. Here’s your tip: Believe in Jesus and you will be saved. I wonder if Jesus will save me from my creditors?

    How about the ladies from the Red Hat Society? Any one had to deal with them?? Split checks all the way around. Or the woman’s book clubs? They’re really special.

    Having recently spent a month in Auz, I surveyed what the server’s were making. Anywhere from $14.54 to $25.00@hr. The worst service I have every experienced was in Auz. Ate in fine establishments to pubs.(Love the pubs though as they had the best food)…Got my own sugar, utensils, napkins, soda from the soda gun, and even cleared my own tables. In one hotel restaurant, I had to teach the cook how to make a lemon-butter sauce that was on the menu for fish. It was stupid. They were getting paid mainly for doing nothing, all over Auz.

  134. nyc diner: the question was who are the worse tippers. saying who is a good waiter or not based on looks its shameful . YOU should always remember that THAT waitress/er could have got a BETTER CUSTOMER/TIPPER than you instead .Someone who would not have judged her by looks or even efficiency but only the fact that is another human working under his or her service.

  135. isnt the servise wage regulated by the goverment? or each state? or city even? i heard minimum wage in san francisco was 8 dollars an hour. I wouldnt mind 15% tips for that

  136. The worst tippers in my experience are Indian, they want veggie meals and tip $2 on a $50 bill. I treat all walks of life the same. I think they tip so poor because they come from a Class system in India, well this is America and they can go back to where they are from if they can’t learn how to treat their new fellow Americans if they are living here. Also, Church folks, a Payer card is not a TIP, don’t leave them they are a waste of paper that get thrown away.

  137. I bought groceries today and the guy behind the counter not only scanned my items but also helped to bag them.

    Should this person be tipped? Do waiters feel bad that these hard working people don’t get tipped?

  138. Southern white ladies in large groups. They always order water and share meals claiming they don’t eat much while flagging me down for more bread. If they came from church it’s even worse. Plus if you’re a female they’ll treat you like a slave.
    As for the Canadian server who thinks the Brits are worse that canadians… Not so much. They both tip about the same (10%) but the canadians still have a bit of that obnoxious arrogance that Americans have while the British are lovely to wait on. If only they could tip approriately they would be perfect. They enjoy a nice drink ( and let’s face it servers, we live drinkers) and rarely get upset. Cheers!!
    And just a note to Grace (somewhere in the middle of this page) who claims to be an ex waitress but thinks expecting a tip above 15% is ” ludicrous” and management should pay us a wage, where do you come from? If the restaurant pays us more they’re going to have to pass the buck onto you anyway by hiking up the prices of the food and drinks. I have to wonder what kind if waitress you were if you never expected a nice tip. While I understand what you mean when say that waiting tables is “mindless”, I think anyone who has worked as a server for more than one month will understand that it fucks with your mind. I work at an extremely busy restaurant in Times Square and sometimes I get home and I am so mentally and physically tired I don’t want to leave the couch or have any human contact for a good 15 hours. That’s not normal behavior. I expect 20% because I know I’m a good server, and I deserve it.

  139. I’m a Canadian server working in an Asian neighbourhood.. and find that while the Chinese residents are cheap.. they are almost exactly on the 10% mark all the time (ie if the bill is 31.25 they will leave 3.12) so at least i can rely on that tip. And I don’t worry much about foreigners from countries where you don’t tip, I just suck it up for that one table per week. The very worst are Indian customers. They KNOW the tipping system and just are cheap and generally leave about $2 no matter what the bill is.

    I will speak up for Americans though. I get a lot of American customers working near our city’s airport and hotel area and they generally tip 15-20%.

    Oh, the VERY WORST tippers…. teenagers.. they don’t know what’s right or wrong and see nothing wrong with leaving the 37 cent change for their bill as a tip or nothing at all. That is also after each having five drink refills and ordering the cheapest thing on the menu. I actually request a different section if there are reservations for large parties of teens.

  140. Yay Kris!!!!!

    You are exactly right. If Grace thinks anything above 15% is ludicrous, she obviously is lying about being a server, or waited tables in the ’50’s.

    I agree- I am a good server and try to do a great job. So I would like to receive 20%.
    So if I mess up, I don’t expect 20%-but most people leave that anyway. :)

  141. *Complete honesty warning – You’ll probably won’t like this* –I think it depends on your race. Since I am a person of color I know that I will obviously get tipped less than the skinny white girl with long blond hair and blue eyes. But, I also know that because I’m not white, some people do not tip accordingly. For me, the worst tippers are “white trash” i.e. WT, tailor house living, uneducated, non-dentist visiting, welfare dependent…trash. Before I thought the worst tippers were Mexicans or dare I say, “blacks,” but now I know that it’s WT. They’re the worse because they stiff you and then still treat you like a piece of crap. From the WT I’ve waited on, they think because I don’t have white skin they are better than me in every or any way. Um, newsflash… I’m in school getting an education to get a decent job to pay f*cking taxes to pay for your stupid food stamps. So, “white trash” do me a favor and suck on your two teeth and shut the hell up.

  142. I just dont get when tipping went from 15 to 20 % automagically
    A 5 % raise , I cant remember the last time that happened at my job

  143. Pingback: Christians are Bad Tippers

  144. There are a lot of bad tippers, but the absolute worst is a large party of African-American churgh people. They are just as needy as they are cheep too. It’s like ok, so you want a bowl of lemmons for your water, then I am charging you for a bowl of fruit….. getto lemonade isn’t free mother fucker!

    Verbal tippers suck ass too. What are they retarted? I sure as hell can’t call the electric company and tell them “Man, you guys are doing such a great job. I have never had an electrial fire, never an outage (we all no thats bull shit) and every time I flip on a switch the light comes right on. I don’t have any money to pay you this month, but my thanks should be enough!” It would take about an hour for them to shut me off. FUCK VERBAL TIPPERS! I would rather be treated like shit and make money.

  145. I’ve never worked as a waiter, but I managed an ice cream and frozen yogurt shop for a couple of years. I also worked retail for several years. ssdf23 is exactly on: people who feel entitled are the worst. That’s why the range of who are bad tippers varies from region to region and town to town. My old money customers were usually kind, patient and thoughtful. New money? I wanted to drown them all.

    People who consider their religion as setting them above others, believe their wealth, race or special snowflakeness entitles them to special treatment are going to be bad tippers and petty, annoying, even abusive customers.

    I’m a middle aged woman who tips 20-25% and has left 50% for above and beyond. One waitress at a restaurant near my work (unfortunately, she has since left) knew me and she would arrange for me to fed and out the door in under 25 minutes if I told her I was in a hurry. She got 30-35% every time.

    In California, waitstaff are paid minimum wage, but it’s pretty much impossible here to live on that. From what I’ve seen traveling, food is not that more expensive here. It really doesn’t add up to that much more to pay staff minimum wage if you’ve got a decently busy restaurant. The real criminals in this mess are restaurant owners who grab every available penny for themselves and the legislators who kiss their asses.

  146. I think the 15% versus 20% has to do with region. I’ve worked in restaurants in the Midwest, and I also ask at my favorite places. 15% is a good tip in the Midwest. The cost of living is lower for all, and the minimum wage tends to be better for servers than elsewhere. Also, there are very few places out here that have things like food runners and bussers. The waiter isn’t going to have to split the tip.

    The coasts, of course, are a strange strange place of high cost of living and low wages for the service industry.

    So, 15% in the Midwest (I don’t know for sure about other non-coastal), 20% on the coasts. Of course, I generally tip 20% where I live simply because my servers are great.

    P.S. Claiming the tip percentage should go up due to inflation is very poor logic, never mind the bad math involved.

  147. Tourists. (Non-metropolitan and european are the worst. Especially the British!). I don’t care what your own tipping practices are. When you come to NYC you tip your waiter 20% for good service, and your coat check person AT LEAST 1$ per ITEM (no only per ticket). Why are so many people ridiculously cheap when it comes to coat check? Most high end restaurants don’t have a station. Guests should know that the coat check people depend on tips as much as the servers.

  148. I am a server and I have noticed that sleazy, flirtatious men in groups of 2 or more tip poorly. They speak somewhat condescendingly, ask if I have a boyfriend, follow up with something along the lines of “he doesn’t deserve you…”, and then stick it to me with a 12% tip. And I HATE to say this, but they tend to be from the middle east. Some other bad tippers are women who pay/sign the credit card slip while dining with their husbands, groups of homely middle-aged women, and college kids who have never had to work. I work by a private university and we get large groups of 21 year olds who order expensive wine, etc. and tip nowhere near 20%.
    I TRY not to judge people when they walk in the restaurant, because there is always the table who you never thought would tip well and they end up making your night. Seriously though…I despise being a server.

  149. Marsha Marsha Marsha wrote:

    “Teleburst, “Why don’t they realize how expensive their menu prices would be if “the employer paid the full wage”?”

    Many of us do realize how expensive it would be, and would welcome the change. Ideally, it would be the current price, plus 18%-20% to make up to the servers et al. who would not be receiving a tip, but in reality, it would probably be more (some folks are wicked, and will take advantage whenever they can). I’d still prefer it”.

    See, that’s where you wrong. It would be more like 30% more due to the economics of the restaurant. Do the math. Because we have to cater to your every whim and we never know exactly how many of you are going to come in, restaurants must automtically overstaff. To pay me my current $25 an hour (I’m in a high-end restaurant but it works for those who make the more average $15 an hour as well), the restaurant is going to have to pay me $22.87 an hour because I make 2.13/hr. Now multiply that by 10 – 15 other servers (depending on whether we have private parties), and then consider the bartenders who probably make more like $35 an hour currently and will have to be paid around $30 an hour for their services. Then there are the $12 – 15 an hour server assistants that you’re going to have to pay an extra $10 (more like $10 – 12 in more modest places). Then look at the balance sheets of the typical restaurant. In a restaurant of $6mil as the one that I work at is, you’d be paying out EASILY well over an additional $500,000 – 600,000/yr over what’s being paid now.

    Need a concrete, real world example? When Per Se went to an included service charge of 20%, prices went from $175 to $275 within a couple of years. It didn’t go up to just $210, which is what adding 20% would have been. It went up an extra $65 ON TOP of the service charge. That’s 35% right there and then you have to add the 20% as well. that’s more than the average rise in menu costs would be because they were also paying the chefs more out of that pie. But menu prices would rise AT LEAST 30% if you took away tipping (if servers weren’t to get a pay cut – if you think that we are overpaid, that’s a different issue entirely – currently, we’re paid exactly what the market will bear).

    “And why, oh why, would they want to lose the ability to reward or penalize good service without being automatically charged even when the service sucked (or have to beg to have something taken off their bill)? ”

    Because some of us just hate doing performance reviews, especially for free after a relaxing meal”.

    So aren’t you still going to judge the quality of theservice? I would think so, considering how judgmental some of you folks are (and how judgmental YOU yourself sound). I guess you’re going to be OK paying what you have to pay even if the server sucks. Right.

    “We don’t have to do them in department stores”,

    If only I could actually GET service in a department store. Do you really want to use department stores as some sort of standard?

    “and we like that a lot”.

    Wow. That’s about all I can say. heck, most of the time, when I go to a deaprtment store, I don’t even NEED any service, but let me try to get some product information about that “organic soap” or is this shoe made in a sweatshop in China. Hell, some of the time, you can’t even trust the answers you get when trying to buy a big ticket item like a TV or a dishwasher, unless you go to a big box store that specializes in them. Try getting a good answer at Target about a flat screen TV 9assuming that you can even FIND someone).

    “(Also, why would we want to penalize good service – that seems odd.)”

    I have no idea what this means. Of course you shouldn’t penalize good service.

    “We won’t beg – we are a proud people”.

    As am I. I’m proud of my service and I expect for you to reward me properly. If I screw up, then dock me. If I give you a great experience, by all means reward me. Let’s not forget, tipping isn’t a “true gratuity” or a “gift”. From a tax standpoint, a true gratuity or a gift is not taxable up to a certain level. Tips are totally taxable.

    “We just won’t patronize establishments where the service sucks”.

    Nor should you have to. But you have to ask yourself, which gives the server more motivation – a system where he or she has to earn their money directly from the person to whom they’re giving the service, or a system where they’re going to get paid regardless of the level of their service? Sure, we get screwed on occasion. the thing is, for the vast majority of us, about 95% of guests either tip appropriately or tip generously. The rest either are medicore or bad tippers.

    I average right at 19% over the time frame of more than a shift or two. And that’s 19% of post-tax totals, baby. If you go to pre-tax, which is how some people like to tip 9and that’s fine with me), it jumpsto about 21 -22%. And I’m not all that unusual.

    Only on the internet do people get wound up about tipping. Most people find it quite routine and some actually enjoy the act itself. It makes them feel good.

  150. I’m not surprised that Aussies feature frequently in these comments. The only reason I know to research the tipping practises while abroad is because of this blog. It’s not necessarily something we would normally think about.

    It certainly doesn’t help when some establishments have the gratuity built-in to the bill. Are we to then assume that all eateries do the same?

    It’s these inconsistencies that will cause a waiter to be burned by an ill-informed tourist, rather than deliberate stinginess.

    We Aussies can be a generous bunch when we’re not confused!

    Steve, it sounds like you need a holiday. Come to Melbourne for a couple of weeks and I’ll buy you dinner!

  151. It was a tossup between blacks and church people. Blacks don’t tip and church people think a tract is a tip.

    Interestingly enough, I also spent 5 years working the front desk/switchboard at a local tv affiliate and I have to say the religious people were the top of the list of the worst callers I had to deal with there too.

  152. Older women. Not only do they leave bad tips, but they leave it in the amount of coins. They also have to calculate everything and make sure that they tip an exact amount. God forbid if they round up on a tip. They’re the neediest people and just horrible. I have had some likable little old women at my tables before, but I mostly do not get good tips from them.

  153. I’ve waited tables at a fine dining restaurant for over five years, and I would say generally the worst tippers tend to be black people and also foreigners. Older Jewish people may sometimes be demanding, but they always tip 20%. Best tippers I would say are upper middle class couples, and also younger people as well. They tend to drink and spend more $ too.

  154. First of all, let me state I am a black. And a woman before a bunch of the brothers and feminists want to start a cyber attack: So I’m gonna say it: BLACK PEOPLE SUCK AT TIPPING! Yeah, I said it. In fact, I’m always the one server who doesn’t want to serve them and considering I’ve been almost always the only black server in most of the bars and restaurants that I’ve worked at, the other servers don’t know wether to laugh or cry. But I digress. I think we’re getting better at tipping but we still have a long way to go. And LESBIANS! Holy crap, I don’t get it. Maybe its because women typically get paid less than men in America and this only becomes worse when the two incomes combined are both from women? I don’t even know anymore. I quit the service industry three months ago after four long hellish years. Damn me if I ever go back.

  155. I worked a sunday lunch once and i had a party of 12 or 15. They all ordered water and shared ONE dessert. No tip. I’m not gonna say what ethnicity they were, but I can tell that they just came from church.

  156. I work in am upscale Italian restaurant in Bucks County, PA and in my experience the worst tippers are: Doctors, Lawyers, Business men using their corporate credit cards (GE employees to be more specific), Teachers and women. As for, Black people they are not all bad, I have gotten some really good tips from them.
    I feel like I need to go back to the business men with corporate credit cards, if their company won’t let them tip more than 15% these guys really need to reach into their own pockets and tip to make up the difference. It’s not like you didn’t just eat for free anyway.

  157. I live in a fairly small town, maybe 35,000. I moved from a big city, 900,000.
    there, the worst tippers were nurses. in this small town, it’s a bit different. but noone really stood out as the worst tippers.

    I would agree with most comments here.
    no offense intended but the worst tippers in this town are African Americans. then white trash.

    it gets pretty ridiculous.

    but I think it also is going to depend on where you live. and there are always those crazy exceptions that surprise you. ;)

  158. Rahul,

    Assuming that the waiter makes none of their income through their hourly wage (a plausible assumption in some states,) tipping 20% on the bill instead of 15 percent would constitute a 33% wage increase, not a 5% wage increase.

    E.g, If the waiter received a $10 on a $66 bill (10%), they would receive a $13 tip on the same bill at 20% (do the math, if you don’t believe me.)

    With that said, I don’t agree that it’s ‘a wage increase.’ For it to be ‘33% wage increase’ as described earlier, it would require that every patron increase the size of their tip by said amount. As aptly illustrated above, many, many patrons still tip well below the 20% mark.

    For what it’s worth: I have received a 33% wage increase on several occasions.

    Regarding other posters who suggest we should eliminate tipping:

    My experience dining in London was that the food generally cost more, which strongly offset the savings of not having to leave a tip. However, because the servers are not directly incentivised to provide the service by means of a gratuity, the quality of service wasn’t quite what I had come to expect from living here in the United States.

    I would be *very* interested in hearing stories from other patrons who have spent a lot of time in countries where the waiters do not rely on gratuities.

    ‘You should be paid a living wage’ comes off as a cop out from people who begrudgingly leave a gratuity. Realize, the waiters are ultimately paid by the patrons, whether that money comes in the form of a gratuity, or through menu prices. If the gratuity system were eliminated, the wages would not end up being paid out of the resturaunt owner’s profits, if for no other reason that a large number of restaurants don’t make enough money to be able to pay those wages out of their existing profit margins.

    Tipping is part of dining out. Budget for it when you read the menu.

  159. also.

    I would also rather be treated badly and tipped well. I don’t care about getting my feelings hurt. I’m at work to make money. end of story. tip me well, I won’t care how you treat me.
    of course, this goes to a certain extent, but you get the point.

  160. third comment. I know, right?

    Moe, I don’t think baggers should be tipped, personally. they make minimum wage. we, servers, make a mere 2.13. wtf.

  161. Definitely teenagers and Church-goers. I once had a nice man and his girlfriend come in with a nametag from the local methodist church. I gave him the best service I have ever given anyone. When I saw that he had left me 10% on a 34 dollar tab I was mad. Then I read the note he wrote on the back. It said and I quote, “The service was excellent, better than I have ever received, but I only give God 10% so……” Yeah but you give God 10% of your salary, not lunch. It made me really mad and everytime he sat in my section I would make it a point to give him 10% worth of service.

  162. I have worked for years at a restaurant in the deep south. i notice that most non-tippers share common characteristics nationwide. I will say that in my town the worst tippers as a demographic tend to be african americans, depending on what time at night people come in has an impact as well. the later people (all people, not just black or white or whatever) come the more rude and less they seem to tip. (we stay open past midnight.)
    as far a the church crowd goes, i have noticed they dont tip well either. I attend church regularly and was frankly quite disappointed when i discovered this. i do the best i can to help counter this with my tipping.

  163. Groups of women, Scandinavians and people who overcompensate with compliments. When people tell you they’ve had a perfect evening, with fantastic service and the best food they’ve ever had. And thank you for your wonderful wine choices, really really excellent work all around, etc etc. Yeah that’s code for I’m totally going to “forget” to tip you…

  164. The worst tippers I have found is black women. They nit pic all during the meal, disect the check, and most dont tip. The best are the gay men and women. Just treat them normally and the tips are great.

  165. butch lesbians never tip me well. i have nothing against anyone, really don’t give a shit ’bout ur personal life but they seem to not want to give me money. and what makes me laugh is that half the shit they drink is owned by people who don’t support them. *shrug* sorry i ain’t butch.

  166. I’ve put a few days of thought into my answer.
    I’ve been serving for 6 years and have been in the industry for 8. I am a college student living in southern California. I love to serve and I take pride in my work. This is what I have put together from my own personal experience. As always, there are exceptions to every rule. That being said, these are the groups who frequently tip significantly below average:

    –People with the black titanium mastercards.
    –Black people (I would love to be proven wrong- just once even)
    –Mexicans- all Mexicans (and I’m not referring to Mexican Americans)
    –Rich white women at lunch *(not at dinner)
    –Men from Israel (and they are SO rude!)
    –“Entitled” children/young adults (leaves Ferrari keys on table next to their iPhone)
    –Foreign Asian women. The older they are the worse the tip gets. This is funny because Asian men, especially those out with families, tend to tip well.
    –High School Prom/Formal groups (if non-gratuity)
    –Sunday brunch crowd (but at least it’s only on Sunday’s)
    –Red Hat Society women.
    –“Regulars” who either dine alone or are a married couple.
    –Anybody using a corporate business card.
    And this last one is kind of strange:
    –Somebody who boldly states “Oh I understand, I’m a server too,” (or a similar quote) when it doesn’t come up comfortably or in a natural conversation.

    • You are SO RIGHT!! Only I would group anyone raised by Mexicans (American or Not) to be sh***y tippers, This year at Valentine’s I had a Mexican American couple running out on their tab, I caught them in the doorway and then he tried to say he left a 50$ bill on a 23.00 tab…. LIAR and this kind of thing happens mostly with White Trash, and Mexicans! PS: I AM A WHITE GUY, but don’t have any problems with races, I have lived all over New England, Texas, SoCal, Colorado and 6 Southern cities including MIAMI(highly latino). Also Spent my teenage years in Europe. So I love all cultures and races, but the resistance to tip or even pay a tab at a RESTAURANT is beyond my understanding!

  167. As a Canadian, the worst for me is Americans because they will leave a US dollar and grin at me like it’s a fifty dollar bill. Our dollar isn’t that weak anymore!
    As for travelling to the States and tipping, I know a lot of people don’t realize how little American servers make. As a waitress (in an establishment that doesn’t serve alcohol – it’s like a truck stop type restaurant) I make $9.50 and hour, plus tips and we choose how much in tips we declare on our taxes. However, living as close to the US border that we do, most people I know are aware of the low wages servers recieve.

    Another bad group is the Sunday church crowd. They are the most demanding, act like they’re our best customers because they show up every week and we should be honoured just to serve them.

    Not far behind is the regulars that have “just a cup of coffee” and the 20 free refills that go with it, then leave me a quarter. Sure, it’s 15% but I’ve done more running for them, than tables that eat a full meal!

  168. Worst? Those from India, many old people, and teenagers. God, the teenagers. VERY high maintenance and you will be lucky to get a dollar out of them. We all cuss when they are in our section.

    Many of my fellow servers gripe when we see blacks sit in our section because they are SO picky about their food and will run your arse off, but I have found (after 11 years waiting tables) that as a whole, their tipping has improved.

  169. lennysgurl are you saying that so as long as the tip brings a server’s wages up to the minimum wage that would be sufficient in your eyes?

    Sounds like you think an 8 dollar tip for an hour long meal is enough.

    If not what is your rationale for not tipping the people who scan and bag your groceries?

  170. I agree with Jeff. BTW- My customers NEVER see me angry or mean. Yesterday a man-an ele. engineer no less, was eating at one of my tables. I spoiled him as he was working off his laptop while he kept the table for an hour.
    He left me a $1 tip and a tract about Anger!

  171. @Moe –
    The distinction between a bagger making minimum wage ($7.25) and a server making minimum wage ($2.13) is that the employer is paying the bagger’s salary, but the customer is paying the server’s salary. While any tip is ultimately voluntary, when you are giving a tip to someone who already makes what the federal government considers to be a living wage, you are saying “you did an exceptional job and I want to give you exceptional thanks.” When you give a tip to a server, you are only doing what the federal government, the employer, and the server expect you to do. You are saying “you did your job, you deserve to be paid something.” You can certainly say “you did it poorly” by leaving 10% or “you did it very well” by leaving 25%, but the fact is that you are expected to do it. The minimum wage for servers wouldn’t be so pathetically abysmal if you weren’t expected by every person in our country to *at least* make up the difference.

    And this leads me to my theory: I have wondered why the acceptable percentage to tip has gone up so quickly recently. I remember when 10% was an okay tip. Then %15 percent was the standard. Now 18% is kind of the default for decent service. People are quick to dismiss inflation as the reason, but after some thought, it makes sense to me, especially in cheaper, high-volume restaurants. Bear with me: Since I started as a server in 2001, the federal minimum wage has gone from $5.15 to $7.25, which is an increase of about 40%. The minimum wage for servers has stayed the same, $2.13/hour. The prices in my restaurant have stayed the same, or even gone down for some “special” menu items in the last year or so because of the struggling economy and the desire to keep people eating out. So, where is the difference in server’s wages coming from? Not from federal minimum wage, not from increased food costs…so it must be from the customer — the *real* employers of the servers. The percentage of the bill that the tip comprises would have gone up to cover that difference.

    Now, I would be all for the federal government upping the server minimum wage (and actual minimum wage) to a realistic living wage, such as $10/hour (here in the Midwest, anyway). After that, tips would truly be voluntary, instead of just per se voluntary. That way, I could decide which tables I want to be nice to. Since the half-senile retirees are never going to tip me anyway, I might as well ignore them completely and treat the nice 20-something couple exceptionally well and hope for a little money to come my way for the effort. I could be free to judge all of my customers by their looks and sneer openly at the ones that I didn’t like. I would never again have to smile and laugh at the inappropriate comments from some old lech or run and get 2 more sides of butter for an obese troglodyte. Yes, I think that would be a good idea. Anyone want to help me get the ball rolling on that one?

  172. @Moe again…
    Oh, and I don’t know about anyone else, but if I only had to take one table an hour and they were guranteed to give me $8, I would be super thrilled by that. They would get the best service ever. Instead, I have 4-12 tables/hour and they leave me religious tracts, messes to clean up, and pocket change. Sweet deal.

  173. During university I ineptly waited tables at a busy mid-range restaurant for all of two weeks (they fired my incompetent ass), and went on to “waitress” at a touristy tea hall in Niagara-on-the-Lake. In actual fact I artlessly served surprisingly good tea, questionable sandwiches, so-so meat pies and frozen baked goods such as scones, pie and fruit bread. Perhaps I was too excited by my tips to notice any trends other than said tippers being bipedal and exceedingly kind. These experiences taught me to tip 20 per cent or greater for decent to good service, and just a smidge less for inferior service.

    Excuse the slight digression, but two weeks ago I was the victim of a hideously botched hair cut. The stylist (who was over 40 minutes late) cut off more than three inches when I asked for a half-inch trim, and completely screwed up the ends. I had brought a picture, clearly explained what I wanted, and he still botched the job. I was so upset that I was almost in shock. Yes, hair grows back, but as a 45 year-old woman I’m proud of my thick, wavy, naturally-colored auburn locks. Knowing I was upset he offered to fix my ends, yet that would have meant losing another inch or two of length. Here’s the bit that might interest your readers – when paying my bill I still tipped the guy 20 per cent.

    Tipping is just part of the deal, even if you’re not happy with the service. Even a (somewhat well-preserved) middle-aged Canadian woman knows that. Everyone has off days, and unlike administrative staff hidden behind cubicle/office walls, people in the service industry have to smile despite having sick children, dying family members or any number of personal tragedies to deal with. Cut them some slack. If your experience is incredibly bad, tactfully inform the management in a diplomatically worded letter or e-mail. The process of writing might cool your temper, which can only be a good thing.

    Love your blog by the by!

  174. Pingback: Christians are Bad Tippers « Kirby Oaks

  175. Just a diner, not in the industry. However, I am a business traveler, and my company has a 15% limit on tips. Fortunately, I am not required to use my corporate card for meals, so I can tip decently on my own card, and expense the total without breaking out the tip. If I used the company card and the tip showed up on my statement, it would raise flags.

    Some may not be so lucky, and may be required to use the company card for all expenses.

  176. The worst tippers are:
    4-Jews orthodox
    6-Seniors citizens
    10-Ethnics groups
    11-Church folks
    12-goverment workers
    14-Intoxicated customers
    15-White collars workers
    16-Early birds customers
    17-Family with childrens
    18-Brunch customers
    19-Sport fans
    20-Special celebrations
    21-Set menues with no service charge

  177. I am an older black woman who until ten years ago tipped poorly as a reflection of the service I received. If I were alone I was mostly ignored by waiters. Good service came with white companions at the table. In the past ten years my policy is to start the restaurant experience with a 20% tip and see if the waiter earns it. The tip is reduced only if the waiter is awful, condescending or neglectful (I still tip for ineptness if they are new). This means I begin my meal in a good mood and dare the waiter to make it otherwise; I am as understanding as he is attentive. I’ve never walked out on check and since I’ve instituted my “it’s-up-to-you-to screw-this-thing-up” policy, I look forward to establishing a relationship with my waiter and enjoying my meal. I like it when they pay attention and pace their inquiries to my progress.

    Is there anything worse than a waiter who asks if your meal is OK every five minutes?????

    By contrast, my 91 year old aunt refuses to tip anyone, anytime, anywhere and I leave a tip as she is hobbling towards the front door so that she can’t pull it off the table.

  178. As a waitress, overall, I can’t think of any one group that stands out more than the rest. However, there seems to be a trend with the people that seem slightly agitated and uneasy in social settings giving less than 10%.

    I’m guessing they don’t get out enough to know which resturaunts have a gratuity and which ones don’t. Either way. I get the table with the quiet, jumpy, jittery fellow and I know what I’m in for; a customer that doesn’t let me know what they need, allow me to give them the EXTRA in extraoridnary service, and if not a stiff, then a less that standard tip. (Lets hear it for water and a half sized fried chicken salad!)

  179. In regards to all the people saying the church crowd doesnt tip well, I have wonderful experiences with that crowd. I have a giggly, innocent nature and it appeals to them. Most of my coworkers would say the Rodeo (yes, Rodeo) crowd doesn’t tip well, when in all honesty its the server. I don’t get anything less than twenty percent when I wait a Rodeo table. True I’ve probably competed with them at some point, or my Mother has at the least, but that doesn’t seem to make any difference. It’s all in how I present myself. People would be amazed at how much a hair cut, lack of body piercings and/or tattoos, and makeup if you’re a woman, can help your tip out at the end of the night.

  180. Hey Kat (post #1), maybe Canadians were the worst because you “explained the American tipping system” when they were seated in your section. Guess what: the American tipping system is exactly the same as the Canadian tipping system! If you had tried to explain the “American tipping system” to me (a Canadian), I would have been offended and probably left a bad tip too!

  181. The verbal tipper. The guest that thanks you profusely for everything you do for them: refilling their water glass, bringing their entree, smiling at their table. If you get thanked more than four times, best believe you’ll receiving a less than 13% tip.

  182. #178 ~ Jackie~ “Is there anything worse than a waiter who asks if your meal is OK every five minutes?????”

    Yeah. A server who never comes back. What would you like them to do? That’s their job.

    Worst tippers.

    Church goers.(Anyone else get the fake $100.00 which is a tract on the other side? That was just cruel.)
    Elderly people.

  183. don’t you hate it when people pay, they have like 8 $100 in their wallet or pocket. they pay with a $100 bill. then tip you shit. wtf. seriously?

  184. Native Americans. Im sorry but we hate it when they are sat in our sections. They come in huge parties and never leave even a penny for a tip, even when you bend over backwards for them. I suppose it is in their culture…we took their land so they feel they dont owe us anything? I dunno, but it sucks.

  185. Oh and I also forgot… THE HIGH SCHOOL CROWD. They come in, order all waters, the cheapest things off the menu (even try to order off the kids menu they are so cheap, have you split the check 10+ ways and then leave you a couple bucks with no thought to what the overall total was…I feel like I lose money when they come to eat (after tip out)

  186. FrequentDiner: Then put some cash down, the server shouldnt have to be punished for your company’s policies. I commend you for using your own card to make up the difference

  187. For Canada (Ontario) waiters:

    Just one of the reasons why we tip less (in Ontario) than our American counterparts is that we pay a whooping 13% in taxes for restaurant meals.

    As Ontarians, we are accustomed to automatically inflating prices by 13% in our heads when we look at any price tag, so we are expected to pay the socially expected 15-20% on top of the tax. However, it does add up and thus I almost never go over 15%. I do recall visiting BC, and was only taxed 5% on my meals I was a bit giddy and tipped 25% to make up for the provincial tax that I didn’t have to pay.

    I usually stay between 12-15%, depending on whatever rounds better. I always thought this was an appreciated percentage but after reading this forum, I’m a bit embarrassed about how many waiters may have sneered at me behind my back. I will do better.

  188. As a waitress in Canada I have had many horrible tips from Americans. I guess they still think that their money is worth soooo much more than ours. So many times I have had them leave exact change in american bills assuming that we will make a buck off of the exchange. To bad we take it at par so more often than not we are left with nothing.

  189. I worked in several chinese restaurants that are more or less only patronized by chinese students wanting an authentic meal. They are the worst tippers. They always pay with a credit card and only round up to the next dollar. Needless to say, I couldn’t afford to work in authentic chinese restaurants anymore.

  190. Well in my experience Black people do not tip… Though i have had a few that have contradicted my theory. Brits are awful, french are evan worse..Rednecks.. well enough said.. can i tell you imbreeds something. just because im a guy waiting tables does’nt make me GAY.And even if i were does that give you permission to treat me like shit?? Your wife did’nt think i was gay when she was riding me cowgirl style last night.

  191. I haven’t waited tables in 20 years but back then the church crowd never tipped, old people left $1 ’cause that was a lot in their time, but the worst were the AA groups.

    Not only did the AA groups not tip they always shorted the bill. What pissed me off the most is the manager wouldn’t do anything about it. The new wait staff always got stuck with that group too so if you were low man on the totem pole you knew were serving 40 people and getting nothing.

    Finally when that manager was fired for peeking at men in the restroom we got one that had some balls. When the group returned he stopped them at the door and told them they were not welcome and explained why. They were all huffy but you could see it in their eyes, they KNEW they were ripping us off. Bastards.

    Oh and to the idiot woman that says she was a waiter SHOULD get paid more well DUH! But I imagine that’s just your excuse for not tipping well, “Well I’m making a statement! I’m proving to the waiter/waitress that they are stupid and should get a better job that pays what it should.” FU lady.

  192. Black people from all varities… “ballers” and professionals.. they will even shake your hand and still leave ten percent.

    Also europeans… and from my understanding (at least they have a logical excuse).. its because in europe they make hourly and you tip BEFORE the meal.. either way if you come to america, you should learn the culture. In some states you only make 2.13/hour.

  193. Oh, and I never tip less than 20%. 20% is crappy. I usually tip about 25% or even 50% for a great waiter. And you know what? The next time I go to those places they treat me well. There’s one place I go that will seat my party even if there is a line, pretending I have a reservation, because they KNOW I tip well and am not a dick.

  194. @Redwine: Funny you say drunk people don’t tip well. Those were my favorite customers but in all fairness no one else liked them. I just treated them in my natural convivial way and they were, mostly, the best tippers.

    I even took the late shifts on Friday and Saturday at the Steak & Shake because I made a killing those nights. This was over 20 years ago but I could easily pull in $50 to $75 a night. Doesn’t sound like much but back then my rent was only $200 and an average day was maybe $25. My best night was around $150 but it was because one drunk guy who only had coffee tipped me $100.

    Being nice pays.

  195. People paying with MasterCards regularly tip significantly less than those paying with any other form. I don’t know what it is, but at soon as I see a MasterCard on the table, I know I’ll get 15% at best.

  196. @Bridget– depends on the MasterCard– I’ve had good luck with the World Perks/ AAdvantage cards, but fairly average tips from people using Discover. The worst? Mexican nationals with black cards.

  197. I’m with Joe L. As a Christian, I once apologized to a fellow-server who was tipped with a million-dollar bill gospel tract. If you can afford the bill, you certainly can’t pull a biblical ‘Silver and gold have I none’ shtick.

    Also, “Canadians”. One of my best friends is black but that doesn’t change the facts. I had to follow a professional football player to the parking lot for a $50 tip on a $1,000 tab.


    You still can’t beat Sunday afternoons, white, black, Indian, etc.

  198. I’m single and travel alone alot. I tip 20-30%. I’ve been seated near the bathrooms, the kitchen, even next to mops. I rarely complain, but due to health issues I do request special things (no cheese, dressing on the side, etc.) I’ve been ignored, condescended to (oh, honey, what are you doing alone?), and given crappy service consistently. Still, I continue to tip well in the hopes that someone will treat me well.

  199. yes, black people. old ladies who split the check. drives me nuts. i refuse to wait on them. then there are the regulars who get a discount, are rude, and run you ragged. as for teens, yes, never looking forward to that table, but my kids shock the waiters when they eat out w/ their friends. i have always told them never leave less than five and always at least 20%.

  200. Not a waiter and have never been one. I typically tip 20% on the total, partly because it’s really easy to figure out, and because I think that makes me a slightly above average tipper.

    I have often wondered if I leave a tip less than 20%, will the waiter recognize that I was unhappy with the service, or will they just think I’m a crappy tipper? Where is the dividing line?

  201. I think my fellow servers A HUGE DROP in Tip is coming, from now on.why? because of Oprahs comments on the economy being bad so its ok to tip 10%. iF YOU DON’T BELIEVE the influence she has just watch when she recommends anything, their sales skyrocket!!

    Who is influenced by oprah and whos gonna be the future “kinds of people that are bad tippers” are her audience and look how long it is…
    **Oprah’s audience is predominantly female, white, and over the age of 55. Nationally 7.4 million people watch Oprah daily — about 2.6% of American households. Four percent of American women (about 5.7 million) watch her daily, compared with 1.2% of men (1.7 million people). Overall, 2% of all 18- to 49-year-olds watch Oprah.

  202. @kathy bravo for your generosity but i truly believe if the service is crappy you shouldn’t tip good at all. Now that doesn’t mean don’t be understand when a waiter is busy but as a guest you should be treated with awesome hospitality. Don’t let the incompetent waiter off the hook and let him know what he could have done differently that would have gotten him a better tip. On the flip side if a waiter gives great hospitality they should be rewards 30%plus tip

  203. I waited tables in college, so I can relate. That said here are my tipping guidelines, maybe this will help increase your tips.

    1) I always start at 20% your actions or lack there of make it go up or down
    2) Are you nice, nothing worse then a mean waiter
    3) Did you come to my table in the order that we were seated, can be tough but if not sure ask the hostess
    4) Did you come to my table soon after we sat down or did we have to wait anything over 10 minutes is bad
    5) Do you know the menu, and if you can not answer a question do you ask
    6) If it is your job is my water / beverage kept full (sorry but I drink a lot)
    7) Did you bring the food hot
    8) Did you check back to see if all is ok
    9) Did you ask if we would like desert
    10 Did you make me wait for the check

    Extra credit Did you engage the table, did you bring some bread for the kids, Did you offer a free ap or desert if we are good customers, If I asked you to order for me did you or did you refuse, did you do something to make the meal stand out.

    I have been known to tip up to 100% (on a $200 bill) for mind blowing service. If I need to tip under 15% I will ask the manager for a different wait person. Now the surprising part other then my beverage I am a low mantainance customer.

  204. I’ve question to all you folks who’ve said, “Church people and people who talk about how well they tip”:

    Do you believe the folks who say, “I’m part of the Christian lunch crowd, but I always tip well”?

  205. lleecarpenter— Does that mean I should start saying “thank you” less? I smile and say thank you a lot, but tip 18 1/2* to 20% generally. Sometimes less or more if the service is out of the ordinary one way or the other. Lately, though, I’ve been tipping 20%, now that I’m employed again.

    *18 1/2 is because we sometimes double the tax, which is 9 1/4% around here.

  206. @pmk- Why do people assume I have the ability to give them free stuff (Appetizers, drinks, deserts)??? Do you honestly think the amount of ‘hook-ups’ should affect the tip amount??

  207. I work in a casual greek rest in the burbs of Chicago.
    I agree that Church people, especially Black Jehovah’s witness are the worst! There is a huge Kingdom Hall, not to far from the rest and near a very big interchange……. I-55 north to Chicago, south to Danville. They come in big parties, tie up your time. They don’t know what they want, and run our asses off.
    Also, they all want to convert me…… You people are really nice. I WORK weekends. I don’t have time for any kind of church!
    I had a table that gave me the money for this big check. He acted like a big shot. Maybe, he couldn’t read. He shorted me 15 bucks and NO tip!
    I had to pick up the slack. It cost me money to take care of this table!
    A white minister and his wife come in. I tactfully approached them. They made up for it and gave me a sweet card.
    The other worst tippers in the Chicago area. Real Esatate agents….
    They are tieing up the deal, They come in my rest, only order drinks. Tie up my tables during the dinner hour. They leave only change,,,,,,,, gimme a break!
    How am I going to make any money if they are ” Lollygagging ?”
    Go to Starbucks or Barnes and Noble?
    Am I jaded? Maybe I am…….
    There was a comment made about a server’s job being mindless??????????
    Are you freaking kidding me?
    There is multi-tasking going on BIG Time!
    This is the scenario………. You have five tables. One table sits down, you need to greet them so, they you are aware of them, so they don’t feel slighted or ignored. I have a table, that needs soup and salad, I have another table that is eating slow,, OK I have time to spare!
    Ok, get a bread basket and drinks to hold them for a few!
    I have regulars that I know what they need, whatever, let me slip this by and get this out of the way!
    I hope this helps!

  208. I agree with many others here, the Sunday Church crowd as a group are among the crappiest of tippers. It is had to describe the hell of having 20 or so members of a church decend upon your section with the members of the same family sitting at different tables and asking for split checks (yeah, the blond haird boy at that table and the woman in the blue flower print dress at that table all are both with me.) all the while occupying your section for 2 hours making sure that the 5 to 10% they average and a tract on how to be saved by Jesus is all you’ll take home that night. One of the reasons I liked working the smoking sections (back in the day when there were smoking sections) was that I never had to deal with these people. Or am I just bitter?

  209. As a bartender, I have noticed Australians are the worst tippers when it comes the bar tab. In addition to their bad tips, they always want to tell you the “correct way” to make a drink. Thanks guys but I know how to make a great old fashioned, the correct way. The other big group I have noticed while working in Boston were the people that probably have like 25% irish blood but yet they “know” the correct and irish way to pour a stout and are very vocal about it. (“Well when I visited the Guinness brewery…”). What happened to trusting someone when it concerns their profession?

  210. 1. Churchies.

    2. Canadians. By the way, non-servers may wonder how we know they’re Canadian. They tell us. They always manage to slip it in so they won’t be confused with us ugly Americans. And then they leave 5 on 75…

  211. Hooters Girl, actually at a lot of restaurants it is the waitstaff that is able to do just that or they can say to the manager “I have 2 top that is here all the time how about we send a little something over”. Now should it affect your tip, never in a negitive way but yes I do feel that it is ok to tip extra at such times. Also a note to owners that might be looking on, the cheapest thing that you can do to retain customers it to give a freeby every once in a while. Case in point a place that use to go to 3-5 times a week for lunch for more then three years never sent over as much as a free soda, we went to a new place with a friend and liked it so we went back 4 times in a 2 week period. On the 4th visit the owner came over Thanked us for the business. When we asked the waitress for the bill, she said that the owner picked it up. Guess where we go for lunch now. Don’t get me wrong I am not looking for free food, but a little something 2-3 times a year goes a long way. And yes we did tip the waitress 30%

  212. Reading these makes me laugh! The church crowd is generally terrible tippers, I agree about them thinking they have done their good deed. Or leave church pamphlets. Also, the verbal tip. “What a great server you are!” Wow, thanks. I will take that church pamphlet with me to pay my electric bill, tell them what a good waitress I am, and see how long my heat stays on.

  213. Teachers!!! As a teacher and a server I must say that teachers are horrible tippers. I am embarrassed to go out with my teacher friends sometimes, I end up overtipping to compensate. I am also Canadian and don’t find Canadians to be bad tippers, I think that they may be playing that “ignorant tourist” game while on vacation.

  214. I would have to say after working in a country club, an upscale D.C. restaurant, and a few family style places…the worst tippers were different in every restaurant, because of the different customer base. In the country club, they didn’t tip at all, believing I got paid at least minimum wage. In D.C., the worst were political housewives that came in with their ‘accessory’ children, nannies in toe, who have never worked a day in their lives. And now it is most certainly nurses getting off their shifts, super religious people, and regulars.
    The worst time would have to have been in D.C. The plastic rich housewives came in for a busy lunch shift. Kids going crazy everywhere with no nannies to actually parent them. After two hours of the women getting hammered on chocolate martinis, one of the children went missing. I looked around in the bathrooms and stuff for the woman. I found the kid under one of the tables crying and when I returned them to the mom, she went ballistic on me, telling me I should have been a more attentive waitress and should have been paying more attention to their table, then the kid wouldn’t havent gotten lost. She told me I didn’t deserve a tip and that she should get her food and drinks for free. The check was nearly $400 with over half of that being their martinis. I wished I had a xanax, but I didnt, so I replied, telling her there is no way she is getting anything for free and that I was going to talk to her husband about the tip when he comes in later that night. She asked me how I knew her husband and I told her that he came in all the time with a 6′ tall blonde calling herself Candy and tipped very well. Of course, I didn’t know who the hell her husband was, but I figured all is fair in war and waiting tables. She was none too happy, but I got great satisfaction out the look on her face.

  215. PMK- Most chain restaurants will not give free food or drinks to patrons unless there is a circumstance where it is absolutely necessary. If you do get free food no reason other than being a regular at restaurant be certain it is either a mess up from another table, an unclaimed item from the expo line, stolen from the kitchen (most cooks in these restaurants will not give a server an item without it being rang in) or the server bought it for you themselves.

  216. LESBIANS.
    First of all, I love the idea of this blog, I just stumbled upon it looking up blow jobs.
    Back to lezzies- They would serve themselves in order to not tip. They are the worst! They wish they could pay in licks to ma muff but they can’t!

    I could give my whole pecking order of tipping, but I would come off a big bigot.

  217. @pmk,
    “Case in point a place that use to go to 3-5 times a week for lunch for more then three years never sent over as much as a free soda”
    So you obviously enjoyed the place to go there quite often but decided that because you werent getting sent free drinks from there you should stick to going to a place that you got a freebie from. Big spender.

  218. Black-French-Canadian-Jewish-lesbians, there arent very many of them, but they were widely regarded as the cheapest tippers where I worked in Florida. Difference between a canoe and a Canadian? Canoes tip.

  219. What the hell’s wrong with 10%?
    I usually tip at least 20%, (to make up for those years I couldn’t afford to tip at all), but nobody EVER tipped me anything, much less 10%!

  220. In my 17 years of serving experience, I’d have to say the worst tippers are (in no particular order)

    Ladies who Lunch- eating disorder wannabes who come in at the peak of lunch rush, bitch about their table, modify their orders beyond recognition, and invariably need the check split 4 ways so that each lady can pay with either a credit card or a brand new $20 bill so you need to either set up camp at a micro station or ask the manager for $77.92 in small bills. Then they sit there trying to think of the 47 ways you detracted from ideal service so they can smugly leave you 5%. Lovely!

    Churchgoers- Every Sunday, they come in, all dressed up, with their entire family. Then they run you ragged, act like jerks the whole time, then have the nerve to be sanctimonious because they went to Church and assumed you didn’t. Then they leave you a shitty tip or worse, a church tract saying why you’re going to hell. I hope that when they die, Jesus hands them a folded up piece of paper that says “VIP Ticket to Heaven” on the front and opens up to say “Why you’re going to hell” on the inside.

    Sweet Sixteens- Groups of obnoxious, over-privileged adolescents wearing $185 jeans and $80 shirts, who take up your entire section and either order the most time-consuming items on the menu (N.A. smoothies, peanut-butter hot fudge sundaes) or a bunch of waters and an order of french fries to split between 6 kids. They also try to claim it’s some kid’s birthday for the free dessert. They sit there for 2 hours making a mess of the place and leave you $15 on their $14.62 bill.

    Amway Victims- They’re almost exactly like the Sweet Sixteens except that they’re older, a lot more broke, much less well-dressed, and try to tell you how YOUR job is dead-end because they’re poised to make a million dollars any day now. And they’re more likely to leave you $14.62 on a $15 bill.

    Mothers of Young Children- They park a stroller the size of Shaq’s golf cart right in the aisle, tell you to empty the bar of maraschino cherries, expect you to sit there while they teach Jr. how to say “chicken nuggets” and then remain calmly oblivious while Jr. has a shit fit for the next 40 minutes. After they leave, your section looks like a tornado went through Cheerio Town, there may be bodily fluids to clean up, and the rest of your section hates your guts because Jr. ruined their meal and Momma changed his diaper at the table while you weren’t looking. 5% from everyone, yay!

    Sexual Harassers- desperate dudes who think that flair or polo shirts are just really conservative g-strings. Their behavior gets more crass and inappropriate as they hint increasingly blatantly that they expect their meal to come with a happy ending. For the $5 on $65 they were planning to leave, of course. When you turn them down, the real dickwads have the nerve to complain to the manager about how frigid and standoffish you were.

    Man, I do not miss these people. I say you can tell a person’s true character by the way they act at a wedding, a funeral, and a restaurant.

  221. People who come in the last fifteen minutes and expect their food to be hot. I don’t care if you love fresh and great service, if you come 10 minutes to 11, your food is being mircowaved or heat lamped.

  222. First off, I’ve never worked in places that weren’t fine dining/high end and maybe my expectations are different. And while I hate stereotyping and I feel somewhat prejudgist saying this, here it goes anyway:
    (in no particular order)
    1. Groups of women-horrible to wait on and horrible tippers. SOS, split checks, extra this and that….
    2. Black folk-the ones with gold teeth and their pants around their knees. Not the ones who come in dressed like they were going out for a great meal.
    3. Canadians-even though I’m Canadian and made great money waiting tables at home, here in Orlando they are pretty bad. (PS when black folk screw you over it is more kosher to call them Canadian)
    4. British- Figure we should be paid a living wage or “forget” where they are visiting. This does not pertain to the many Brits who live and work here in Orlando. These are the ones who you can spot from a mile away by their white legs and fanny packs.

  223. I think pmk has a point, but maybe I’ve worked in different restaurants than most. At the current place, I’m given a fair degree of autonomy on comps. A regular guest came in tonight and requested me. It was her friend’s birthday, and while my restaurant doesn’t normally buy birthday desserts, my managers had no problem doing it. We also do it with some frequency for regulars regardless of the significance of the day. We’re even encouraged to send out and comp shared appetizers for people when the kitchen’s weeded and the guests haven’t ordered a first course. Our guests are happy and we’re happy.

  224. College kids who pay with a plasma donation credit card have no problem leaving a dollar tip on a 40 dollar bill. I get it you’re broke, but when you’re broke a 50 oz margarita isn’t a priority.

  225. A few people said restaurant owners should pay their servers more. I don’t know how it works everywhere else but in California servers can ONLY make minimum wage (which is currently $8/hour). Why? Because our tips are considered part of our income. So inflation is a reason to tip your server more.

    To answer The Waiters question:
    Australians, Canadians, Church people, and the “verbal tipper”

  226. INDIANS!!!!!

    They are the WORST WORST WORST tippers in the world. And to make matters worse, they’re picky and hard to please. They’ll order an entree and split it, only order waters w/ lemons (so they can mix their own lemonades instead of buying one). “Slum Dog Millionaires” describes them perfectly… in my area many of them are wealthy (buy their BMWs, Benzs, Lexus, etc) yet they can’t even leave 15%.

  227. Hootersgirl you miss the point on the free stuff. It is not about getting something for free, it is about the owner making you feel that you are a valued customer. It does not have to be something free sent over. Send a card on a birthday, an invite to taste test new menu items, anything that shows the customer that you are thank full for their business. I own a business, we do things like this. We send holiday presents, at the convention that we go to twice a year we host a party for our customers, we do some otherthings through out the year. Nothing a huge but our customers are very loyal and have been with us for years. Right or wrong in the restaurant business the way to show gratitude is usually to send a little something over.

    To oh so anyonypants on this one, if you are a waiter you only wish that all of your customers were like me, you’ll say not but I know better.

  228. Man, this was one fun 45 minutes of rants. Couldn’t a loved it more. I’d leave 40% tip for this. One question? I live in a a summer resort. I lunch out a lot. Because most customers here are here for a week or less, the service in most restaurants is horrible. What do you do then? I tip 20% standard and 25% at the places I go to regularly. When did tipping not become a reward? If I tip 0-5-10% tip, it’s based on the bad service. But the servers just think I’m a jerk.

    Also, I hate restaurants where the workers act like the place is their club for their friends. That sucks.

    ps: love the fact that Churchers are the worst and gay men are the best tippers. That speaks volumes.

  229. In Maine servers are paid 3.25/hr. If you don’t make enough tips to bring you up to minimum, the owner has to kick in. Never seen that happen. I average $20-$30/ hr. After 30 years in the biz on both sides of the line, and 13 years as an owner, I make the best money waiting tables as a side job.
    Worst by far was church people, after church Sunday mornings. Perplexing!
    Alex T- great story, thanks
    I have been surprised so many times I try not to generalize anymore. I do this more as a hobby now, and am not getting bitter and burned out like I used to. Took me 3 years after selling my cafe before I was able to do this again.

  230. As a cocktail in a casino for a decade. . .by far the best tippers were asians. As a -group- they were the very best. Older white men did pretty well. . . the worst as a group were college students and blacks. They wanted top shelf stuff and usually would not tip. . and thought nothing of sitting in my section the entire eight hour shift and not give me a nickel the whole night. Bimbos with a guy never tipped, if he was busy when she ordered, you got nothing. And celebrities were usually very lousy tippers or total stiffs.Occasionally one would give up a few bucks. The groups of Indians they called Gypsies were horrible. . they trashed the hotels, and never gave anyone a penny.

  231. Um.. Alex T YES thank you. Loved it.

    to SJ –> In Jersey you make 2.15 an hour :( and that usually turns out to be a paycheck of 0000000 since it goes to taxes.

  232. I love the sense of entitlement coming from some of the comments here.

    When did 15% become ‘archaic’ – you kids claim inflation, but the prices of meals have gone up, which means your tip has automatically gone up as well.

    If service is bad I’ll leave a terrible tip to teach them a lesson. It’s up to them whether or not they learn the lesson. But if the service is exception I’ll go much higher.

    I wonder how long before self-entitled waiters of the next generation start demanding 25% and 30% tips and whining when they don’t get it.

  233. Church people. Especially, during Sunday brunches when they’re just leaving church and all straight with god so nevermind mankind…

    The best tippers are men on dates who are convinced by the end of the meal that they will get laid.

  234. I wonder how long it will take people like Edward to stop lurking on sites like this making nasty remarks before he gets bored and looks to harrass another occupational website.

  235. indians are the worst tippers ever. after i spent the past 45 minutes running around getting you extra hot sauce, water with no ice, bread and butter with crushed red pepper and parmesan cheese shakers, and reading you every single thing on our 5 page menu that can be made vegetarian, you’re going to leave me a 50 dollar bill on a 47.98 check? go back to india, or just don’t come back here.

  236. Edward,
    If service is bad, than by all means, leave little to no tip. What many servers are complaining about here is doing everything possible to make an experience enjoyable and than getting stiffed on a gratuity because, lets face it- these people we are catagorizing usually dont know better. We take it personal when we get a bad tip on a good job. If this thread was titled “Who are the Worst Tippers when you do a shitty job” than sure you can assume we are acting self-entitled to other’s money. Also, if a server is just shitty at their job then all they get is shitty tips, so trust me they wont even notice your “lesson” because it is normal to them to get bad tips and they dont know better. The best thing to do is tell them they did a bad job and let the manager know…chances are that person isnt cut out to be a server in the first place.

  237. I am a little disappointed at the regular mention of the Church crowd, both that they are notoriously bad tippers but mostly that they come straight from Church. Don’t they know the 4th commandment?

  238. I’m going to address Edward first. I’m not a kid. I’m a Grandmother for 2. How is a 15% tip archaic? Well, let’s see. 15% for a tip has been around now for how long?? Hmmm…at least a good 20+ years. Talk about not keeping up with inflation. I’d add to my list as the worst tippers: older white men who are demanding and rude to boot.

    Aussie Ben: The best service and food I had in Auz was in Melbers. Love the “Lane ways” and a certain hotel that served 2 for 1 dinners on Monday nights, back in September.

    Hooter Girl: People DO know better. They just choose to act ignorant.

    AJ: Your comments were funny! I’ve worked with many black servers who tried to get me to take the black tables. I figured if they didn’t want to wait on them, I sure as hell wasn’t. White Trash people don’t discriminate. They are equal opportunity stiffers.

    As far as the teens go: Ignore them. Their parents didn’t raise them right, and it’s not our jobs to do it. I’ve had many tables of those ignorant inconsiderate brats. I wait on them after everyone else is taken care of, and I don’t care if they have a limo waiting for them. To this day I’m not sorry they got sub-par service. Go home and tell yer Momma, and gawd help her if she comes in and bitches while I’m working. Server jobs are a dime a dozen, and if you look on craigslist under restaurants, you’ll be amazed how many restaurants need help.

  239. @DragonFly:
    Percentages do not have to go up with inflation as long as the value they are based on does.

    If your meal costs 20$ and you get a 20% tip that’s 4$.

    Now comes inflation. Let’s take something easy to calculate: 50% inflation.

    Now your meal costs 30$. A 20% tip of that is 6$ which is exactly the same 50% more as your inflation.

  240. I agree with comment #198. I fit the “bad tipper” profile, middle-aged woman who drinks water. The reality is that I tip 20%, even on take-out. I’m tired of getting sat near service stations and bathrooms. The issue I have is I can’t hear when there is a lot of background noise. I want to enjoy my meal out, not have to read the lips of my dining companions.

    What troubles me with this thread is that on one hand, we’re told that tipping is to make up for the sub-par wages that servers get paid and on the other hand, if we get rid of the tipping system it means we’ll all have crappy service. Talk about mixed messages?!?!

    Every time there’s a thread like this on Waiter Rant, I become more and more convinced that it’s not the tip of 15% that’s archaic, but rather the whole system of tipping that’s archaic and needs to go the way of the horse and buggy.


  241. People who have never worked any form of service job — those who have never gotten their hands dirty while performing their work — they are the shittiest tippers.
    They tend to feel entitled to leave small tips because the work that we do ‘isn’t hard enough,’ or doesn’t require a college education — and that’s reason enough to leave a crappy gratuity.

  242. Blacks are the worst by far. No matter how high the bill is you will only get five bucks and if they order a heineken or henessy than forget it no tip for you.

  243. By far the the worst tippers are Indians. I have almost a decade of food service experience and while most people are hit or miss about getting stiffed on tip Indians will ALWAYS stiff you. It is so bad that the hostess will never sit more then one table of Indians in a section (unless 6+ when we add gratuity.)

  244. For sure it is any person from Asian countries. In thier cultures, it is concidered rude and disrespectful to tip, as if you are paying a maid to serve you. They find that appreciation of the food is good enough. I lived in Hawaii for may years and worked at several restaurants and bars. At one place we had tip suggestion cards in Japanese that we would give them along with their bill which explained how to tip waiters. We still never got what we expected.

  245. As a missle age Canadian woman who worked for many years in the food service industry, I never would have thought that other Canadians would fall into the worst tipper catagory. After all, even here we’re tipped employees and make less than minimum wage based on expected tips.
    But in my personal experience, the worst tippers were Quebec french. Maybe because I am english, and although I’m bilingual my accent clearly comes through. But I know that when the same customer was served by another member of the staff who was french, the tip would be higher than if I served them. And especially if they were trash french – like being stuck in the 80’s with mullets, Maybelline blue eyeshadow, hot pink Wet’N’Wild lipstick…
    As a general group Asians were the worst tippers overall no matter what langualge they spoke as a 1st language. The best tippers were the police – hands down. Tips were usually 50-100% for small orders, and 25% on larger ones.

  246. Being raised in the business and working every job from the back to the front of the house I have to agree with most of the worst tippers mentioned Asians #1 Japan not included they are generally very generous, French Canadians but only the ones who wear way too much cheap gold oversized chains and speedo’s down in Hollywood Florida the rest are generally good, Americans from small town anywhere demanding, arrogant, ignorant and cheap, anybody who comes from old money(how do you think they got it), depression era seniors,30 year old kids taking mom out for mothers day and lawyers. The best are most food service people especially ones that work bars and high end dining,accountants(as strange as that may sound), surgeons, kept women, guys on a Valentine date, hookers and drug and car dealers.

  247. Officers.

    I grew up Air Force and used to work as a waitress on a military base at the Officer and Enlisted clubs.

    The Enlisted, making half the money of the Officers, went above and beyond in tipping with 25% or more.


  248. People who claim gluten issues…what’s up with this?…almost always guaranteed to leave a bad tip even though you bend over backwards to recreate the dish they really want and get utterly weeded in the process.

  249. I have been a Bartender and Server for 19 years and have lived in New Orleans and the Midwest. I have worked in sleazy bars and now in high-end restaurants. I give excellent service, unless I’m getting absolutely crushed, and then above average at the very least. The worst tippers in no order are Blacks, teachers, Guvment(Sp) workers (especially the Sunday before a bank holiday), farmers, Europeans (notably Dutch, French, German, Scandinavian, and British), groups of middle aged women and doctors.
    When I run across bad service as a customer, I always observe and assess the situation and tip accordingly with a note explaining why they have gotten a small tip. 10% is my lowest I will give, as they still have to tipout. If the service is absolutely horrible due to neglect or poor attitude, I will speak to a manager.

  250. Edward- you are exacly the kind of person I hate waiting on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- 15 percent is an insult.

  251. I only worked as a waitress for 6 months at a low class diner in Zellers (not sure if American’s have Zellers, it’s like walmart but shittier). You can imagine the class of people that came in – usually the elderly were bad tippers, generally I didn’t get a percent but pocket change. The job sucked and I was exhasted by the end of the day, but at least up here we get paid minimum wage no matter what – I realized that the tips were icing on my student life cake, I’d be busting my hump just as hard at some other job to put myself through school instead, and waiting gave me a nice little chunk to play with. The harder I worked, the more play money I got, so I relished a busy day or difficult customers to please. Usually the picky ones tipped well if you doted on them. When people tipped badly, or the other waiters literally stole the money off the table, I didn’t care too much and brushed it off – I was still grateful to be getting the extra. Tips weren’t part of my pay, they didn’t say anything about the service, they just WERE. I had this mindset until I met “the couple”.

    The couple were legendary non-tippers. It’s not that they didn’t know, they apparently tipped once and only once, and I got to work with the waitress that lived to tell the tale.
    They came in and spent a huge amount of money, badgered and demanded superior service, talk at length about their problems, cause a huge mess to clean up and use to SNAP THEIR FINGERS at us to get our attention. Nobody wanted them in their section, but being the moron I was at the time, I took pity on them and invited them to sit with me…before, it was Russian roulette were they would go and what unfortunate soul would have to deal with their shit.

    As time went on, they learned that sitting in my section was best. I even got to the point where I had memorized their order, and when they sat down I would bring them their usual drinks, spend the time chatting with them instead of asking what they’d like, and throwing in a pre-cursory “would you like your usual today?” instead of just assuming. The meal was always prompt, perfectly in order (they were picky – extra lemon, turkey gravy, salad before entree, over easy eggs, extra bacon, No butter brown toast, extra jam…crap I still remember it) and they never had a complaint in the world. Yet, they never tipped. They paid to the penny on everything that came to the table.

    Now, I wasn’t smart enough to offer them a declining service when I knew they didn’t tip. I like to think everybody has good intentions at least in their heart, so I actually turned UP the volume instead of down to try to reach a level of satisfaction where they said “God, she really knows us and treats us well every single time we come in, no matter what else is going on. Maybe we should leave her a little something for this superior service.” I guess I was waiting for that validation – but it never came. Eventually, it started to effect my self esteem. If people are wondering why waiters are so bitter over low tips, this is why – you’re not just saving a buck, you’re complaining about the service. If I get shit service, I leave a shitty tip – it goes to reason that if you leave a shitty tip, no matter what your reasons might ACTUALLY be, you’re saying the service was bad. My robust sense of self and cheerful good nature began to dive. Eventually, I left. The money just wasn’t good enough to put up with the shit from the kitchen, the shit from my co-workers, and least of all the shit from the customers, even though it’s literally the best paying job I’ve ever had. I’ve never had another job where I’ve felt so unappreciated, even with all the great people who let their money talk about how the liked the service.

    Bad tippers come in all shapes and sizes, but the non-tippers…they’re recognized not so much by sight as by their reputation.

  252. I’m British so can offer some explanations for why many Brits don’t tip well.

    Our minimum wage applies to all workers, there aren’t lower amounts for servers. It’s currently £5.80 an hour. To put this in perspective the median weekly pay for full-time employees is £489.

    In the UK 10% is seen as a standard tip. Some places automatically add 10% or 12.5%. I’ve never seen more than 12.5% added automatically. When service is added there is nearly always a note on the menu that says it is optional, this is a legal requirement. The whole tip should go to the server but some places stiff their servers, or use the service change to make salaries up to minimum wage. This is illegal and owners can be prosecuted.

    When the tip isn’t included the natural inclination of a normal Brit is to work out 10% and then round up to the nearest pound. Tightwads either don’t tip at all or round up to a figure they believe is convenient, e.g. leaving £80 on a £75 bill.

    I’d like to hope that those of us (a small minority) who have read Waiter’s book and enjoy his blog aim higher. I may leave 20% if service is good and I’m eating somewhere I will return to. However as no more is expected I’m perfectly happy to leave 10% somewhere crappy, this isn’t looked down upon. I generally settle around 12.5% to 15%, this probably puts me in the upper 25% of tippers in the UK.

    I have been to the US enough to have a rough idea when and where tips are expected, but a Brit who hasn’t been before is left feeling that everyone is asking for extra cash. It’s actually quite intimidating for us. Lots of us know 20% is the going rate in restaurants, but knowing how much to tip other workers is a minefield.

    I suspect there also are plenty of Brits who know that 20% is expected but use being tourists an excuse to pretend that they don’t know and leave less.

    Being married to a Scandinavian woman I can understand why they are seen as poor tippers as it’s just not in their culture. Leaving 500 kroner on a 475 kroner bill is perfectly acceptable. Scandinavians are almost universally polite and friendly people who would be mortified to learn that they have caused offence. Perhaps a card explaining the US tipping culture in airline seat pockets might be the way forward?

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  254. Christians were always the worst. The nightclub I worked for used to do occasional Christian rock shows and it was excruciating. Only sodas ordered (with extra cherries) and plenty of pious lectures from the customers. The waitresses and bartenders would start drinking early out of sheer boredom and be completely hammered by the end of the show.
    Also bad were anyone getting free drinks/food.
    Also anyone that would promise a great tip at the end of the show-almost always a lie.
    Best tippers-gay men hands down. And other restaurant workers of course.

  255. I was a 3rd shift waitress for all of two and a half months, so I’m not sure how much my opinion counts. But when has that ever stopped me? :}

    My absolute WORST tables were the high school and college students. They would leave a huge mess and fill the salt shakers w/ cream as a joke. They would ask for constant refills and extras; tips were whatever change was in their pockets.

    One of the things I really hated –*not* limited to students at all– was when a table would leave a crappy tip AND their phone number scrawled on a napkin or biz card. ‘Cause, y’know, a future date w/ a jerk is equal to at least a 50% tip…

    Best? Probably the older married couples w/o kids (maybe they’d been in food service once themselves).

    I also had a table of Somalians who tipped me 30%… despite the fact that I had dropped a drink on one of them. :( Nice folks. Really hope that stain came out!

  256. I have worked in the same restaurant for almost 10 years, and here’s my take:

    The WORST tippers overall are the Sunday morning church people. 10% is a pretty common amount.

    The most INCONSISTENT tippers are high school and college kids. I might get stiffed, and I might get a 100% tip, all without rhyme or reason.

    The BEST tippers are generally men in their 30s and 40s. Men almost always tip much better than women, in my experience.

  257. Church goers are terrible. The worse table I ever had were a very rude older couple that constantly called me “little girl” as they complained about the tempurature of the restraunt, the food and pretty much anything they could think of. When they finally left an hour and a half later I walked up to pick up the check and it seemed to have a hundred dollar bill sticking out! I opened the book and it turned out the hundred dollar look alike was a christian tract asking if I had heard the good news! That’s all they had left me.

  258. the worst tippers are always the ones you had to do the most for. i dont care what color they are, or how old they are. if they’re those people who need a new fork every 30 seconds and their coffee’s too cold and their meat just didn’t chew quite right, then they’re gonna leave you a shitty tip. they’re convinced they know more about the restaurant business than you do, and therefore, know that you were a horrible server and don’t deserve more than 5%.

  259. I work at a fine dining restaurant in New Orleans, and the worst tippers here are black folks. Most of them don’t understand what those numbers are beside the entrees and apps (Uh…the price!)and when they find out that those are the prices they become visably mad… AT ME! They make faces and act really sassy and shitty, sending perfectly good (and half eaten)food back for some imaginary problem, and leave nothing or five bucks on an $80+ check. If you realize that a place is too expensive to dine at, stand up, apologize, and say it’s a little too expensive. Most times your server will tell you that they can’t afford to eat there either!
    The funny thing is, I’ve had great experiences with these folks too, and I still make that kind of tip. I ran an experiment on (the black) kitchen staff (they don’t rely on or see our tips)asking what they would tip on a $75 dollar tab if everything was amazing…across the board $5. Why? Because many have never heard of tipping on a percentage scale, or have been taught that that’s an acceptable tip.
    Also, people who scan the restaurant for a better table when the hostess brings them to theirs (unless you are super shitty from the get-go, you’re getting that table because someone reserved “The good one by the window” and you just walked in)
    People who never look at the menu, and just bark things out that they want to eat, “I’ll have the caesar salad!” When we clearly have only a spinach and romaine.
    People who either see you approach the table and don’t stop their conversations (I have a fucking job to do. You are not my only table, if you do this to me I will ignore you) or look at you like you slapped them when you begin talking. These people have no idea how to dine out and they feel entitled.
    People who snap their fingers at you.
    People who are sooooo engrossed in their conversations that they “shut down the restaurant and didn’t even realize it!” While you were having a lovely romantic time you had your servers (I work on a 3 man team)the manager, and the entire dish crew glaring at you because it’s two hours after close, all you’ve been doing for an hour and fourty five of that is drinking an inch and a half of water that’s left in your glass, and I’m lucky if I got fifteen% never mind the tip you should have given me for the table I could have turned when your ass was lingering.
    I feel much better now! I want a topic for best tippers next!

    • I’ve been a server for nearly five years.
      Let’s start positive.
      Best tippers:
      Drunk people, other servers, people sitting alone, Indian folks who live and have lived in the us for awhile
      Worst tippers:
      Christians, old folks, southerners with children (see also Christians), black people on dates (lots of extra work while hoping you don’t get stiffed), sober college kids (especially If I carded them), anyone European .

  260. I had a Sunday brunch 2-top about 15 years ago with a lovely couple in their 70s. They still seemed so in love that I showered them with affection and my best possible service. They just touched me! They were incredibly sweet to me throughout the meal, and I just adored them. I hoped they would come back often, and I told them so. At the end of the meal, after paying the tab, the husband grabbed my hand and said, “You are the BEST waitress we have EVER had, in all our many years of dining out. THIS is for you!!!” And he presented me with… a quarter. On a 40 dollar tab. I can JUST about laugh about this now…

    • Oh I hate people who think compliments replace paying me. When people start spouting how great you did you know you’re getting stoffed

  261. Been a serer/bartender for the better part of 12 years. And I have to agree the churchies are the worst. Needy, demanding, entitled, and CHEAP! I had a 6 top from Holland at my bar rack up a 40$+ bill at my bar and not even leave a 1$. Then of course there is the stereotypical african americans, mexicans, asians, lesbians (although I have some regulars who buck this trend) and white-trash. The “verbal” tippers can shove it. I have kids to feed. My pride won’t put dinner on the table. The usual rule is the needier the table, the worse the tip.

    My faves (in no particular order): former and current waitstaff (although demanding), construction guys, blue collar workers, bikers, gay men, police, middle aged couple my parents age, and having just experienced recently, vets.

    • As a lesbian and a server I tip above twenty everytime for good service. But I had to fight it out with my girlfriend to get her over 15

  262. ASIANS! I don’t work in a heavily touristy area, but I work near an artsy design school where a lot of asians attend. They ask for hot water! And generally leave 2 or 3 bucks on any check. And ALWAYS share entrees. I automatically bring share plates, cuz you know they will be asking for them. My definite answer is Asians!!! ugh!

  263. The worst tippers? Without a doubt, it’s the Gypsies that used to descend upon our casino like a plague of uncouth barbarians. Not only were we ran ragged by the countless refills of Shirley Temples in a Styrofoam cup with olives (who does that?!?), we also had the illustrious honor of picking up their countless chicken wings that were thrown on on the floor after being bathed in 10 gallons of Ranch dressing. Amazing that a ten dollar comp will feed the whole family. And even after refraining from punting their future juvenile delinquents across the room whom decided to use the restaurant for their own personal playland/jukyard, we still had to put up with the mile of ass crack shown.

  264. Almost forgot, based on orders:
    – Anyone who orders couvoissier and coke
    – interplanetary masses who order virgin strawberry daquiri’s or worse yet Miami Vices
    – anyone who askes what sort of Manischewitz wine is served.
    – anyone who asks for Kreplach or Lavasch
    – “skrimp cocktail”

  265. As a waiter in Australia, surprisingly I can without any reservations say that Americans are the worst tippers. I’m not sure why Americans don’t tip when they are holidaying over here but it just never happens, no matter how good a service they receive. I did see an interesting comment on topix recently from a guy in Hawaii stating that it is considered disrespectful to tip the waiters in Australia! Let me make it clear that a waiter in Australia never ever feels disrespect when he receives a tip for his services.

  266. People who don’t get it…my sister and her friends used to order coffee and sit around at Denny’s for hours until one of the waitresses cornered my Mom when she went to pick her up. My parents lectured my sister for about an hour…because she did this about every single day….and there after my sister wasn’t allowed to go unless she was leaving atleast a $20 tip to make up for lack of food being ordered and the time being spent at the table.

  267. For the last 4 years as a server, it’s Black people. In Ohio, they don’t make up a HUGE portion but only 1 out of 50 will leave a good tip. Servers COMPLAIN about getting them. It’s literally worse than NOT getting a table.

    • Amen to that! I live in Ohio and work in a salon. Most of the black people that came in were rude, shitty tippers, and just plain cheap. Worst tip I got was from a black woman who paid for her pedi with a credit card. She tipped $1.00.
      We also had a group of 2 Jamaican women who came in for polish changes and waxing. They didn’t leave any tip.

  268. Indians Indians Indians. Absolutely the worst motherfuckers to have to deal with in any service industry. Shamelessly cheap, rude, inconsiderate, horrendously behaved children and smelly to boot. And forget black people, Indians steal like no other. Working food service/retail has made me so fucking racist against those fucking Apus (as in Apu from The Simpsons). Fuck.

  269. I worked in a high end hotel restaurant in northern Saskatchewan for 4 years as a youth and the bad tippers varied from day to night.

    Obviously the late night coffee crowd that think sitting in a restaurant drinking cup after cup of coffee is a night out and that the servers have become friends with them because they are ‘regulars’. You are not regulars, you are losers who need to go home and get a life.

    During the day though, real estate agents and American men on their way up north to hunt. It was luck of the draw, generally the loud ones were great tippers, but then every now and then you would get the complete stiff job after busting your ass all night on a single table of eight.

    On the flip side, best tippers, Hells Angels from Quebec when they would come through town on their way out west…you fight for those tables. Great guys and great tippers.

  270. cant be bothered to read thru all the replies to see if this has been posted but…

    if you own a canoe, paint it black. that way it will never tip!

    and also yes the verbal tippers are the worst “i’ve been all around the world, and you by far are the best waiter i have ever had, thank you”… i cant tell the electric company “i got 20 thank yous today, that should cover my months bill”

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  273. I have to say that some of the worst tips I’ve received have been from church folk that leave a “have you been saved?” pamphlet in place of a tip. It happens about 6 or so times a year. I admit, I meet a lot of people over the course of a shift and that might be the reason I get more than the average person’s share of evangelizing, but what is it about this profession that causes that?

  274. Women in groups. They only drink with approval of the rest of the flock, never finish their food or listen to recommendations, stay too long, demand separate checks after dinner, and then tip like garbage. And there’s always one woman who starts by saying SHE’s not drinking and looks around the guilt the rest of her friends into being miserable, too.

  275. I’m going to be the villain here, and admit that I refuse to tip if the service is awful. If I have to hunt down my waiter to get my check because s/he kept walking past me ignoring me, or if s/he forgets the wine I ordered (twice) then it’s no tip plus a note on the check detailing exactly why there was no tip. On the other hand, if the service is excellent I’m happy to tip 20%. But I don’t see any reason to reward the sullen, inept or rude.

  276. @BlueWindKami: none of us will ever tell you to tip well for poor service. Knowing the industry myself, I still tip horrific service with 10-12%, but that’s only because I know they have to tip out. Writing a note is a good idea. Speaking with the manager is better. Also, I take someones attitude heavily into consideration. If they keep messing up but are constantly smiling and trying to make up for it and are clearly having and off night, I just take it all to be “the evening entertainment” and let it slide. But all of this is off topic. if you have served before, you are welcome to post in response to who tips the worst. There are LOTS of other entries discussing poor service and tipping. :)

  277. 6 year waitress in California

    Best Tippers:
    – Gay men – I’ve never gotten a bad tip from one. Even more generous when in groups (and funny).
    – Policemen
    – US-born Asians in groups (excluding Indians)
    – Anyone that helps you out (ie: stacking their plates neatly, moving drinks out of the way when trying to deliver food)

    Worst Tippers:
    – Lesbians
    – Nurses
    – People who say they’re great tippers
    – Anyone who talks on their cellphone while you’re trying to take their order (usually after flagging you down to do so)
    – Middle-aged women in groups
    – Any table that pays the bulk of the check in cash and the rest on a credit card. You KNOW they’re only going to tip on the amount on the credit card.

    I have gotten some of the most insulting tips from black people, but I have also gotten some very generous ones, so for me that one evens out.

    oh and @ BlueWindKami, you sound like a customer that probably needs something every 2 minutes and is never satisfied. A note detailing what you think your servers flaws are? Seriously? I’d ignore you too.

  278. Great post!

    As a server, you just have to take it in stride. I’ve been surprised for good or ill by all manner of folks.

    That said, we had a running list of the red flags. Let me see…

    1. People who tell you what the prices used to be like you have anything to do with that.
    2. People who ask what the Soup of the Day is and – whatever it is – grimmace and say “Blech!”
    3. People who claim to know the owner. (The owner memorably said that he “would never befriend someone who would ask for special favors.”)
    4. People who make their toddler children do the ordering for the table.
    5. People who shuffle their seat around after ordering.

  279. Professional athletes tend to leave next to nothing for tips. You’d think anyone who clears two mil or better per year would drop at least 15% on a bar tab, but alas, no.

  280. I’m sorry the Christians are so cheap, but I’m not surprised. I’m Catholic and I observe the Sabbath – I don’t go out, but stay home and rest. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing, not going out and giving people agita.

    Also, as a middle aged bat, I always tip 20% minimum because I know the waitstaff expect me to be cheap.

    You whippersnappers might be surprised that some women know their own mind. I go into my favorite breakfast spot, order when the waitress comes over to give me coffee and place my order. I don’t substitute, I don’t try to get away with anything. Just bring me my pancakes still steaming off the griddle and life will be fine.

  281. I routinely tip well (20%), but what a bunch of whiny complainers. I mean, is there no group that has been spared the wrath of you waiters?

    Makes me not want to go to restaurants anymore if the prevailing attitude is that of the ones on display in here. I don’t ask for anything special, I have no loud kids that make a mess. I don’t camp out at the table for hours. I just want a nice meal out sometimes. I leave an appropriate tip even if service wasn’t up to snuff, if only to help alleviate the rampant “Blacks don’t tip well” stereotype.

    Please remember that you chose to work in the service industry. I’m not looking down my nose at you, it’s a true statement. While I appreciate the hard work you do, you have to accept the good with the bad. I’m sorry that every customer you have ever had annoys you in some way, but think about it from their standpoint. Even a customer that doesn’t tip is still helping pay your salary by their mere patronage at the restaurant you are employed by. Eliminate all the people that don’t leave the tip you expect and are so incensed at having to serve. Let’s just say they stop coming altogether. The owners of the respective establishments you work at might not need as many of you to wait tables. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to lose my job.

    For those that have stiffed you, who knows what their situation is? It could be a poor guy that wants to do something nice for his family by taking them out to eat one night and he simply has enough $$$ to get him in the door, not leaving much of anything for a tip. You really turn your nose up at him? You dare talk horribly about him and his family behind his back? Pardon me, but fuuuuuccck youuuuu!

    I’m not saying every situation is like that. And I’m not saying you should have to endure abuse at the hands of certain customers either, but hearing all the venom and scowling over not getting an appropriate tip from time to time is pretty disheartening, especially in our current economic climate.

    • Sorry I’m not happy when I’m paying out of pocket for the privilege of serving you. I tip out 5% of my sales for the day, if I’m not tipped I’m paying for the right to be your slave.

  282. Pro Basketball Players. Without doubt the worst fucking tippers on EARTH. I won’t name names cause there are too many to remember. Came into a restaurant to celebrate cause you just signed a deal to play the next 3 years at 15 million dollars a year and have a tab of over $2000 for a four top and leave me FUCKING TEN DOLLARS!!! TEN!! THAT IS LESS ONE PERCENT!!! FUCK YOU.

  283. I am not a waiter, but I am a hotel shuttle driver. We provide a complementary shuttle to and from the airport and the surrounding areas to our hotel. The people that stiff us the most are Airline crews especially cheap ass continental express. Republic airlines is just as bad. They are overzealous, selfish, and demanding…for nothing. Usually anybody associated with Union Pacific, ConAgra Foods, Gallup University or any airline above you can definitely count on volunteering your time.

  284. Although always exceptions the only statistical correlation I have found consistently for the past ten years is socio-economic class and income level.
    multiple kids?
    lower tip.
    well, statistically they make less than whites and their tips often reflect that same gap.
    ask for mt. dew or sweet tea?
    lower tip.
    xtra well done meat?
    lower tip.

  285. I say, Canadians are the worst people to even serve, let alone think about getting a Tip from… first I feel they are the rudest people to ever come across and if they are golfers it is even worst, since they are very perverted and constantly harass the hostess! I can not tell you how many times I had to tell the Golfing Canadian Fuck ball to leave the host alone… also for some reason Hicks are also a major problem. Since a lot think that leaving only 95 cents as a tip is an adequate amount for a tip??? Really who in there right mind would think leaving only 95 in change a gratuity? And if you get me on room service stiffing the room runner/ or bell hop really WTF? This is why I really hate working for hotels and for snobs, and first chance I get I will reinvent the whole system of tipping…
    As for this person called “C” I ask, Hu? and for “K” well said when dealing with groups you can get big tips but as for the statement about Nurses being bad tippers I would have to disagree on the fact that my sister is one and she is one of the most generous tippers I know, and I feel grouping individuals as a whole in the spectrum of getting good tips and bad tips is kind of hard, and may sound hypocritical since I went on a tirade about how Canadians and rednecks are the worst but that is only based on a great deal of experience and repeated actions but yeah I go to school for Hotel and restaurant Management and feel I greater understanding of what goes on in the mind of servers from both school and working in the industry, and I justify with that people are ass wipes and it is like playing the blackjack, some times you win 21 some times you bust, it is all about the luck of the draw!!!

  286. I find this discussion interesting. There is a clear pattern in the groups that don’t tip but I wonder if it’s a chicken and egg situation. i.e. maybe a server says a black or church table and consciously or subconsciously provides crap service so the table doesn’t tip – only confirming the stereotypes on both sides.

    To the complimentary shuttle driver: so one has to tip the driver on a free shuttle? As a Kiwi who has recently immigrated to Canada I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    Re: Canadians as bad tippers. I suspect that that is Canadians who aren’t in Canada. I’m not in the service industry here but the Canadians I see tip in what this blog would consider a normal fashion. The difference is that who one should tip is very small: waiters, taxi drivers and hairdressers.

  287. @ A. Woods

    Tell your sister to keep doing what she’s doing. She sounds like a good one. But in general, when I see women in scrubs, I know I’m in for two things: a bad tip, and abuse. I’ve worked in two different restaurants on two different sides of the city where we get lots of nurses for lunch and they are generally awful. They want to modify every menu item, get all individual checks, complain about everything, drink their waters inhumanly fast and then get indignant when I’m not immediately standing behind them with a water pitcher when they’re done. Out of all eye rolls I have ever gotten from customers, I think nurses account for 82% of them. They always want to make requests that I can’t accommodate (ie: I tell them they can’t order last week’s special today. Why not? Because we simply don’t have the ingredients on hand. *eye roll*). Then they leave generally 8-12%.

  288. ugh women are the worst! any age, any race, rich or poor, doesn’t matter they always want split checks and almost always leave a crap tip. Now a group of men are always easy to please, they want one check and almost always leave a decent tip, but maybe my being female has something to do with it. Oh and parents, we have a lot of people come in with their kids, and the worse the kids act, the crappier your tip is! I shouldn’t have to tolerate your screaming brats for 8%!

  289. Waiter,

    I didn’t read every comment but I think you’ve discovered something really important here- at least I have. You wait folk are incredibly talented writers? What’s with that?Are you all closet journalists, you get your writing game on when invited to speak reality and not hold back? What gives, it’s fascinating!

    Never even got to wait tables ONCE in my life. I did want to. Yeah, idiot gal. I used to tell myself I could know what people wanted before they did (on the other hand, I’m sure that wouldn’t have prevented some of the abuses you’ve all chronicled here). Yeah, my hands are soft; yeah, I worked in a dining hall kitchen on dishes though…and cleaned houses for the uber rich so…I’m with you in spirit, especially the “busfolk,” known in my generation as the politically incorrect “busboys.”

  290. Well, I have not read every one of the 300+ posts here, but I must say many of the comments I did skim are incredibly offensive. Obviously the intent was to be provocative…more material for the next book, perhaps?

    As a woman, I am particularly offended by some of the latter comments by the “talented wait folk.” I tend to leave a minimum of 20% for even sub-par service but am now reconsidering that practice.
    It does, after all, just reinforce poor service, rather than reward good.

    I love to dine out and for the most part enjoy good to excellent service. There are, however, those occasions when indifference or incompetence in service mars the experience. In such instances, tipping etiquette becomes problematic. I would never not leave a minimum gratuity, but frequently feel social pressure to leave more than I truly feel is deserved. In my opinion, there has come to be a bit of an ‘power’ imbalance in the relationship between the customer and the server. I no longer feel that the amount of the gratuity I leave is at my discretion or a reflection of the service. In fact, I feel I am judged if I leave anything less than 20%…no matter what the quality of service.

    This is doubly strange because when an “auto-gratuity” is added to my bill, it is generally 18%. If the management doesn’t value the service as greater than 18%, why would the customer? How do the servers feel about this? Surely, they hope the customers will leave an additional tip? However, asking for 18% seems to send a contradictory message to what is really expected today…well, this is another whole suject, I guess…

  291. Democrats! I was taking care of a 30-top group of Hillary supporters who tried to weasel out of the charged 20% gratuity, complaining about being college students too poor to pay. I told them it was a part of the check, and we had college students who had to work for a living. And they gave me a button with their credit cards (attempting to split it 30 ways), which got tossed in the trash.

  292. @Just a Diner: If there is something wrong with the service, tell management. They deserve to know what kind of servers they have working for them.
    By and large, most servers treat their patrons equally well, especially when busy. We don’t have the time to try and hate people. But after seeing so many groups of only women camp out in my section when I could have turned it a few times, and they don’t tip on the time they are taking (which is leeching money from my pocket with every second), I see what I see. A group of 5 women today did the same thing, a pair last night, and a group of 9 earlier in the week, who tipped like garbage (14% post-tax), then stayed in my section for an hour afterward. It seems you tip humanely, and I and the rest of the service industry are grateful for the patronage. If more women thought like you, I wouldn’t dread it so much.

  293. Without a doubt the worst tippers are Amish people. Where I went to school and waited tables, there was a fairly large Amish community nearby and occasionally they would come in for something to eat. They were always extremely pleasant and polite, some of the best customers you could ask for, but they absolutely never tipped more than 5%. I always did my best to take good care of them, but I knew I wasn’t going to be making very much.

  294. It’s been a few years since I worked as a server and bartender. I never noticed patterns along racial or national lines, but the places I worked didn’t get a lot of international trade. The worst were always:



    Women in groups of three or more, not age-specific: every check was followed by a wrangling discussion to see who could contribute the least to a check and the tip. Like a game, except I was the one who always lost.

    Also, my penniless friends who drank at my bar, but they earned their keep in entertainment value.

    Folks who worked or had worked in the industry were always among my best tippers. Empathy goes a long way. So I’m in favor of the creation of an official license to dine out, which you can’t receive until you’ve worked in some front of the house job yourself for a period of weeks. I think that would change a lot of crappy tippers into good ones.

  295. My dad could be the best tipper and the worst tipper. If we went out to eat at a resturant,no matter how cheap or pricy, if he got great service, whatever the bill was, he would match it in tips. The meal could be a hundred dollars and the lucky waitress would find herself with a hundred dollar tip. But the waitress had to give VERY good service. By that, it means if we had to ask for ANYTHING, especially drink refills, he considered you a bad waitress and at the end of the meal, he would throw a penny on the table.

  296. Oh, damn! Speaking of church people I forgot this one pompous jerk left a folded card that said, “Looking for a tip?” and there was some religious propaganda inside. I “prayed” that jerk would come back, he never did, but I was all ready to take his order, make him wait 45 mins to an hour, then when he was about to leave I’d give him a folded piece of paper that said, “Looking for your food?”

    What an a-hole.

  297. the guys that my friends & i refer to as dudebro fantastic. you know… the guys with frosted tips, wicked dark tans from the bed and/or spray and wear tap out, affliction or ed hardy. super obnoxious, cheap because they spend all their money on their faux tans & bedazzled shirts and really whiny/needy. sorry buddy… sitting there for SIX HOURS with your two buddies & leaving me three dollars collectively?? not. okay. dude bros are the worst. (girls can be dude bros too)

  298. previous comments touched on tipping your hairstylist on top of “inflated prices.” i would just like to pass on a little knowledge… most times, those prices are not theirs to set. they have to stick to the prices the salon they work for sets. also, of those prices, most stylists get only a percentage of that cost, on top of having to pay a weekly or bi-weekly booth rent to work there. just a little FYI for you :)

  299. asians. but after having gone to korea, i can see why they’d see it as weird. almost everybody delivers really good home-style food…i’m not talking just pizzas. And if you try to tip the poor bastard who braved the asian drivers in the pooring rain, and ran your food up 7 floors of stairs cuz the elevator was broken, and you tried to tip him he’d give you a weird look. On the rare occasion they’ll accept the equivalent of 75 cents for a 10 dollar delivery.

    But don’t get me wrong…when in rome right? asians should be tested on societal etiquette before getting that green card.

  300. I’ve worked in several different types of establishments over the last several years.
    At one, I bartended and served. The city was a diverse mix of every type of person you can think of. My best tippers were when I worked daytime bar, my business guys. They’d come in, sit at the bar, drink and eat. I could always count on between a 30-50% tip. They were chatty with me, addressed me by name, and were just all around good people.
    I’d also get the white trash there (I’m white myself, btw). They generally were at least polite and friendly, but the tips were horrible. They could have a tab of $40, and I’d be lucky, and I mean lucky to get $3.
    Black people, I can’t really say. I’ve had some who have stiffed me completely, or left less than 5%. Yet, I’ve also had some whom I remember leaving me 50% tips before. I’ve had some of my worst, and some of my best tips from them. Like this couple I had at the place I currently work (sports bar and grill). They came in a half hour before close (we serve food til 2am). Ordered one drink, one water, and two entrees. VERY low maintenance, never even wanted a refill. Their check was $35.00, and they tipped me $15. =)
    My worst experience was at a small diner in a small town. The town was small, and more or less an old money town. The diner was the type of place that you had your 6am coffee regulars, and the typical sunday church crowd. The 6am regulars were notorious for occupying your section for upwards of 4 hours drinking coffee and eating with a check of about $8-$15. COUNTLESS refills. And you’d be lucky to get a .50 tip. In that case, in my opinion, if you’re going to sit at a table THAT LONG, tip accordingly. Don’t tip according to the damn check. You are sitting there in my section, occupying my table that I could have turned and hopefully gotten better customers at, and you leave me .50. That, and most were over the age of 70, and hitting on me the entire time.
    And of course, as everyone else mentioned, the sunday church crowd. It was during this rush that I walked out of that job. lol After several months of dealing with these a-holes and their tract cards left with $2.00 on $70.00 bills, I just had it with them, and the place I worked for (management was horrible there). I was waiting on the regulars who never tipped and were ALWAYS rude no matter how friendly and personable I was with them (despite their shitty tips and behavior, I always made sure that the table they usually sat at was available for when they came in), and the one man started yelling at me that the coffee wasn’t fresh enough (it was made less than 15 minutes prior). I was personally already a ticking time bomb at that point and just said, “Take your coffee, your tract cards and your meager pittance tips and shove them up your ass! You think you’re some kind of a good Christian? You are a total hypocrite, along with the rest of you pricks. It’s a shame that church can’t teach people how to have decent manners and restaurant etiquette.” And then I walked out and never went back. That felt good. lol
    Asians are definitely up there with the worst. They generally give you a blank stare when you try to take their order, don’t even look at you when you deliver their order, look pissed off when they get their check, and don’t leave anything to write home about as a tip.
    Some of my best tippers are the Russians. Where I currently work, we get a lot who come in to drink and play pool. They rack up a massive tab, they are super friendly, chatty, fun and always tip generously. They hit on me sometimes, but are always cool when I explain that I’m spoken for. They never get pushy and still tip great. I love waiting on them.

  301. Alaska Natives. by far the worst tippers.
    I had one lady specifically ask where to write the tip in on her credit card receipt, and after I told her, she wrote a big “ZERO” in and I got nothing. Absolutely nothing on a $65 tab. I have NEVER gotten anything above 5% tip from a native.

    Also teenage boys are pretty bad. THeir parents send them out with some pocket change and they’ll buy as much food as they can with that money and have nothing left over for the tip. little punk bastards.

  302. This whole thread is just one big example of good old American hate. Asians, Canadians, church-goers, rich people, salesmen, blah blah blah. I wonder how many of these commenters drive cars with those bumper stickers that say “Hatred Is Not A Family Value.” Some of them need to look in the mirror.

    • Seriously? In the service industry we can not complain to the costumer. Most of us receive 2.13 an hour. Tipping is how we survive. If you don’t like the complaints. Do not read. Also, if you don’t want to tip the STANDARD 15-20%, don’t go out to eat.

  303. The post-Sunday church crowd is always the worst. Yes, they are usually extremely polite, but I feel lucky to scrape by with 15% at cash out.

    Teenagers are either really great, or really terrible.

    Also, women in groups of three or more. They generally tip poorly and they also sit in my section for two hours or more. They always manage to be there over Friday lunch rush without fail.

  304. This may be a bit off subject, but I find it interesting anyway. A female at brunch today tipped $4.50 on a $38.50 tab, but also left her business card with “20% off my great service in recognition of yours!” She’s a stylist in a local “Great Clips” style salon. Um…thanks, but I already have someone that I trust. I see him every six weeks. Plus the whole “Hey, I’ll give YOU a crappy tip…and then you can come give ME money!” idea is hilarious.

  305. worst tippers by far, and not to be racist, this is from experience, indians )arabs) and african americans. I know people are doing to be insulted by this but its true

  306. Hh-mmm. I am an actual server in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our livelihood depends on the gratuities from tourists and the thing that keeps me focused when I work is to realize that everyone works hard for their money and regardless of, but at the same time emphasized by the recession,one must be a professional with everyone that crosses your path. That means that you are in charge of an experience that could possibly make a difference in the lives of the people sitting at the table. They could have picked another place to dine and what goes around comes around in every sense of the phrase. I do have some good ideas of when to add a tip to a check but I have also learned to read tables. Bottom line, if you have a job, do it to the best of your ability as if your life depends on it and everything will fall into place. Being a server is about the conviction you have or not in life to being comitted and consistent with excellence. I am a student and worked at a fast food establishment for over 2 years before moving on up through a hotel as a busby/host and then from a server at a diner to more developed restaurants. I know I would not like to do this forever but it is enough to get by and shapes you into an outstanding individual if you allow it to.

  307. The worst tippers are the elderly, Puerto Ricans and African Americans. All feel that 5 dollars on any amount is the best tip ever.

  308. Two pet peeves of mine with regards to tipping:

    1. The people who think that they should not have to tip, and stiff those who depend on tips for their livelihood. The non-tipping rebels think they will change the world by bucking the norm, but all they end up doing is stiffing honest, hard-working people from a fair wage.

    2. The media reports that insist that one should tip 20% if the service is passable. Where the hell did that come from ? Since the beginning of time, it has always ben 15%. That is the number that I have gone by my entire life. I give 10% for bad service, 15% for acceptable, and 20% for exceptional. If servers are hurting, then the industry should raise their pay.

  309. Definitely blacks, Brits, Germans and church people for the worst tippers. In my experience, other servers/bartenders and gay men tend to tip the best.

    And, Andrea, 15% has not been the standard for at least ten years. 18 to 20% is now considered the norm.

  310. I have to agree with Grace. 15%-18% is the standard and fair. I can justify 20% when the service merits it. Maybe more if it’s REALLY great. But expecting 20% or more (like someone said 40%???)on every service – that’s pretty far out.

    I spent years as a waiter through university and know how tough the gig can be. But now, as a customer, the times that I actually get service that is *worth* more than 15% are few and far between.

    You want more? Then don’t correct pronunciation. Don’t insult me in front of my guests by trying to bullshit me into an upsell wine choice. Come around more often than to ensure that needs are taken care of. When something’s wrong, fix it. And don’t treat me like it’s my privilege to be sitting in your section and it’s your chore to serve me.

    I find this to be the case at every level – from diner to $200/person meals…

  311. Pingback: Hedonism with Henry » Blog Archive » Tipping

  312. Working in Dubai, at my hotel with a minimun service charge of 18% was always included in the bill, which always leads to the questions of patrons> is tip included? and the confusing answer…> well there is a national (by law..) service charge in all bills, its like tax sir/mam… and then again the question of patrons,> but should I tip the waitress? well hello!!! of course! I must say being European in Dubai cuts the possibilities of getting good tips from westerners, thats why the way to get your tips is to fully serve the local Arabs, they love having Europeans serve them! and 30-40% is the norm!

    However, I must say that mid-aged Americans are also great, they are so afraid of the “oh my god middle eastern experience” that any kind conversation or as they call it “life changing conversation” makes a goot cut at the end of the night!

  313. I’m an older guy of modest means, but always tip at least 20% of the food and drink bill, rounded up to the next dollar. The area I live in has a restaurant tax of 11 1/4% and I tip on the bill but not on the tax. Am I shorting the server by doing it this way?

  314. @Garfi: Not really. You sound like a nice, generous guy. Some servers will undoubtedly argue that they would prefer to be tipped post-tax, but fact is, most of us tip out based on pre-tax (net) sales.

  315. I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I’ll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doing their job.

  316. Andrea/#350: Point #2 contradicts point #1. Plus, again I will state 15% for a tip is archaic. I used to pay $5.00 for a visit to my Dr. when I was a teenager, now I pay $75.00 and don’t even see the Dr.

    Garfi/#355: You’re doing good. I don’t tip after tax either. No one should tip on top of tax. It’s tax, not part of the meal nor service.

    Mr. Pink/#357:You’re the guy we all watch out for, and the one I will find out where it is that you work in my sly unconventional way. You’re the one that other servers will figure out rather quickly and decide whether or not to mess with your visit in many unconventional ways. Keep that in mind when you dine out, from here on out.

  317. I worked in Miami for a few years and I would have to say my worst tips always came from Argentinians, Brazilians, and Gypsies, with the Gauchos being particularly bad.

    Gypsies would come in and run scams, like ordering our biggest steak as an appetizer for 6, each taking a bite (thus eating 3/4 of the steak) and then complaining about how bad it was to get it comped. They would then enjoy their replacement steak and each get a salad and leave about three crumpled up dollar bills. At least they ate fast and you knew what you were dealing with when they came in and they were usually in and out within an hour. The management finally stopped comping their steaks and they stopped coming in. One particularly frustrated evening, I did some beefing up on Gypsy info. They believe that they are permitted to trick and steal by God. The story goes that the Romans went to a gypsy blacksmith to get four spikes for Jesus to be crucified. Knowing that the fourth spike was intended for Jesus’ heart, the crafty blacksmith palmed the fourth spike thus protecting the heart of Jesus. As a reward God allowed all Gypsies to steal by trickery.

    Brazilians were just a pain in the ass. 10% usually but fingersnapping all the way. Not the epic bad tips the Argentinians would leave but definitely not worth the effort.

    Argentinians were so bad that I would go to Argentinian restaurants in the South Florida area (The Knife, in particular) that staffed nothing but Argentinian people and I would exact my revenge. 1 or 2% was pretty standard from them, so I would usually repay the favor.

  318. When I worked at a diner in rural Oklahoma, I found left-handed Hawaiians with beards to be the worst tippers by far. Most leave absolutely nothing and some even tell other tables not to tip.

  319. As a server at a dinner theatre, where the servers are actors, let me tell you, Sunday matinees are the worst. All of the old people take their coats out of the mothballs and roll the walkers out. Then they come in, bitch about sodas not being free, and tip nothing since they paid for a ticket. Sometimes I want to ask them, “Do the water glasses fill themselves? Do the plates just jump off the tables and wash themselves?” Then I have to tip out my busser and bartender. THEN they shit all over the bathroom because they eat too much! And they whine that their decaf coffee isn’t hot enough. GAH!

  320. I’ve been freelancing in Asia for a couple years, where tipping is not expected at most establishments. The service is incomparably better here than at home in the US. The waitstaff typically make $2 or $3 dollars a day, provide excellent service and take pride in their work. Reading stuff like this makes me think American waitstaff are whiny, entitled and filthy rich by comparison and my experience is that they are not nearly as good at their jobs.

    I’m a long time fan of this blog. I tip waiters 20% at home because it keeps the math simple and no one complains. I love places with career waitstaff who are very very good, obviously love the job, and take pride in the work. I tip them well and am happy to do it. Mostly I can’t afford the kinds restaurants that can employ this kind of waitstaff, but every so often I get lucky.

    What I read here and what bothers me is that it seems like the majority of tip workers fail to recognize that not all people are inclined to be generous to the service-sector class and that not all people are in a position to be generous. It appears that many posting here believe that thrift, not tipping or tipping below 18% is bad behavior. Any comment I might make on why this is bothersome is likely to be insulting. No need. It’s all been said before, I’m sure. I submit that paying a little more attention to those sentiments might be in order.

  321. My ex was a pollack and he was the worst! He would eat slowly and expect the best treatment, complain about everything and leave NO tip! I finally browbeat him and embarrassed him to the point that he wouldn’t dare NOT leave a tip!

  322. “not all people are in a position to be generous.”

    Then they are in the wrong restaurant. If you are dining in a place where the filet is 45$, the wine list has cult cabs and first-growth Bordeaux on the list, you better believe that 5% or more of every morsel you order is OWED by the server to other workers in the house. You tip accordingly, or go somewhere else. There’s a buffet down the street, I’m sure.

    I don’t care how your Asian massage parlor boys get paid, it has nothing to do with the realities of the American economy. We can’t live in a box with 12 other people on 3$ a day, your majesty. (tugging forelock) In America, restaurants can and do pay servers slave wages, and take a percentage off the top of everything the server sells to pay the other employees of the restaurant. That’s the system in which we live. Comparing it to service you receive for 2$ in Asia is patently ridiculous.

    You know what I find whiny? An obviously upper-middle class “freelancer” working in Asia complaining about having to tip working-class servers in the United States. If you think servers is this country are “rich” or “whiny” you obviously have never been one or met one. Most pros work 10 hour days 5-6 days a week. Their income varies wildly from one day to the next, and one season to the next. They are required to work before and long after the restaurant closes, cleaning and stocking for 2$ per hour. They never get a holiday off, have no benefits, vacation time, job security, sick pay, and are never entitled to raises. I guess we are whiny in that “turn-of-the-century-steelworker” kind of way.

    As to your comment about “thrift”? I grew up in a poor, blue collar neighborhood in New York City. We went to a restaurant about once a year. This wasn’t in the 50’s, it was in the 1980’s-90’s. Eating at home is evidence of thrift. In my eyes, anyone eating out in a full-service restaurant on an ordinary evening is fabulously wealthy.

    If you are in a restaurant trying to make ghetto lemonade, getting your overworked server to box up the free bread for you, beating your server down with requests for hot water so that you can slip your own tea bag out of your purse when no one is looking, then tipping 10%, you aren’t thrifty, you are a douchebag. If you are out dining on steak, lobster, and Bordeaux, and your service is good, you tip 20% of the bill. If you tip less after a luxury meal like that, you either should have spoken to the manager about the poor service you received, or you are an ungrateful, spoiled, douchebag.

    It isn’t a question of inclination or means, it is a question of acting in a context-appropriate fashion, or being a douchebag.

  323. I know how much to tip the waitstaff, 20%+, always. I’m a regular at a higher end place here. The AGM and GM take great care of me (free drinks, hold tables, etc). How much do I tip the GM at the end of the year? I figure AGM gets $200. Help?

  324. the fat black Americans who eat the, Red Snapper
    We used to call them snappers , cuz all they did was tip 5 bucks , so i think they are the worst , other blacks were kool , and also city workers are cheap.. I also waited on grand masters flash
    he spent over 250 bucks and left a 10 tip cheap bastard rich F**k that he is .. go back to hence ye came yarrrrrrrrr

  325. After reading a bunch of these, I have to say: this is part of the reason I don’t eat at restaurants anymore. All of this bickering is ridiculous. Some of you have a valid point, but some of you seem to expect way too much from the average person. A smaller tip from people who still go to your restaurant is better than no tip because people can’t afford to go there anymore.

    Which is what will happen if the tipping expectations continue to rise.

  326. All i can say is tipping has been here for a while and will contu. to be here for two main reason
    1. It encourages and creates incentives for servers
    2.it keep foods cost down because thru tipping because restaurant don’t have the full burden of paying employees full amount-shared between guest.( restaurant is small margin business)

  327. @ Just A Diner:

    “As a ______ (fill-in-the-blank), I am particularly offended by blah blah…”

    Generalizing isn’t the same as totalizing.
    So if you are an exception why are you so defensive?

  328. Yeah, it’s time for a new post, this thread has run it’s course.

    I think the reason we still have tipping and allow for an “exploited” class of worker is stated in post #261 — servers actually make 20-30 dollars an hour after the tips (cheap or otherwise) are accounted for. That’s a lot of money. It’s hard work, but there are many hard jobs out there.

    As for comment #367 — why shouldn’t someone pull together a little scratch and go out to a restraunt that is normally above their means? Why should only rich yuppies go out to eat? Waitstaff are not the only ones with hard lives and hard-luck stories. If only those with money to burn went out, then there would be many less restraunts to work at.

    However, with that said, I know this thread is about blowing off steam and as such it did succeed.

  329. I always hated the crowds that came in all dressed up after church. The tract phamplets that they left just wouldn’t add up to anything when I tried to deposit them in my bank account… I especially loved the people who told me that my reward would come in heaven. I had a secret fantasy that someday I would tell them all to go to hell!

  330. My experience as a Canadian server is:

    Bad Tippers:

    Native Indians (some are very good, but the rude ones with crappy attitudes usually leave 5% or less)

    Mennonites/Amish/Hudderites (rarely leave anything)

    Overly needy/demanding people (will keep you running so you can’t get to your other tables, then leave you a garbage tip)

    White trash (i.e. people who wear sweat pants and don’t shower when going out for a meal)

    Groups of middle aged ladies (who order hot water with lemon/tea and mod their entire order)

    Some Asians.

    The best tippers are gay men. Other than them, almost anyone else can give you a terrible tip. And the elderly are not that bad of tippers where I work.

  331. I’d definatly have to say mostly the bad tippers are sunday customers expecialy after church lets out. The run you and then tip crap. Also about half of the Europeans who get sparkiling water tip like crap the other half tip ok.

  332. I’d say to those who are disappointed in church people and call them hypocrites is that you may not understand the nature of their true character. Church people are not ethical, nor moral, in a humanistic manner. They have values, that is, values that matter to them. They are largely people who fear death and are motivated to go to church to overcome that fear. I don’t know the meaning of life but one thing I do believe is absolutely certainly true is that church people don’t know the meaning of life either.

  333. For the longest time 15% was the norm for tipping. Then sometime in 1990’s it went up to 18%-20%, though I never got the memo. Who decides what it should be? Congress?

  334. As a Brit who generally tips around 20% when I’m in the US (thanks to the concerned and lovely waitress in Downers Grove many years ago who sweetly explained the rules), I’d be interested to know how many of you pre-emptively put less effort into serving people (Brits, Canadians, middle management…) you assume will tip badly?
    Could that end up being counter productive?

  335. Church people, little tips if any and if I got another flyer about converting to their brand of God I would have broken the sixth commandment.
    Blacks families are 10% all day but the shit they pull is what takes the cake. I’d bet 75% of the black families I’ve waited on complain until something comes off the bill.
    Black professionals were mostly good tippers.
    Canadians are bad, but at least they don’t know it.
    Japs know it and hide behind, a usually false, lack of language.
    Australians are the worst, i once got $5 on over $500 from an Australian who played Hockey for a semi pro team in Canada, the double whammy. Incidentally, the Australian term for cheap person is “too hot skillet”.

    Give me a table of servers and bartenders over any other group in the world. Also, in the category of “I’d have never thought”, leather wearing Harley riders are generally great tippers and extremely nice.

  336. “…Give me a table of servers and bartenders over any other group in the world. Also, in the category of “I’d have never thought”, leather wearing Harley riders are generally great tippers and extremely nice…”

    True. MOST people who work for tips, leave decent tips. Gay guys, bartenders, strippers, and people who truly work for their money.

    I have to say, that when ever I go out, unless the service was so-so (even then, I still leave 15%) I never leave less than $5. If i’m at luch and my bill was $24 and change, they still get AT LEAST $5.

  337. Also, If I budget a certain amount for my meal, say twenty bucks for lunch, and I only spend ten of it? If the service was good I’ll leave it all. It brightens my servers day and I’m not any poorer than I thought I would be. I’ve been serving a long time, and when this has happened to me even on a very small check, it’s made my day. Tip for service and always, ALWAYS over budget for yourself. This way you can spare yourself the worry about being able to afford something and still leave a good tip.

  338. Chinese, Black people (sorry to be unPC), very large people where you need to pull out the seat with no arms (embarrassing), couple’s in a fight, Men who think you’re hot (when they’re with their wife).

    One time I had a woman stick her cigarette into my leg because her husband gave me a tip she deemed “over generous”. I was 13. No Joke. Been waiting tables for many, many years. I started out illegaly in a Greek cafe at 13 and that was one of my worst experiences to date. Of course, now, you can’t smoke in restaurants (thank GOD) even though I smoke…..you get me. But I digress…. and my name? It’s an anagram for “College Educated Waitress”.



  339. Old people are by and far consistently the worst, in my experience. They try to save money by splitting entrees and/or using coupons, then they only tip $1.

    Not to be left behind, though, are the uneducated and the hicks (sorry, country bumpkins) – I once waited on an 6-top to whom I quite literally gave the shirt off my back (we sold shirts with our restaurant on them, which we also had to wear as a uniform, and the one I was wearing was the last of that particular style) and only got $4 on a $100 check – plus they were VERY high-maintenance and sat in my section for two hours!!

  340. 8 Top Rob – as an Australian, I have never heard that expression before. I think someone’s been pulling your leg.

    I would have no idea of the American tipping system if I hadn’t found this blog – we just don’t tip as a cultural thing, and Americans seem to be too busy ridiculing us to mention it.

  341. black people, hands down. most of them that come in my restaurant are super demanding, super rude and super cheap. second behind that, indian people. and right behind them, filipinos and asians. they come in big groups, order two pastas and seven hot waters, and share everything. the best? in my restaurant, it varies. usually middle class families, or if i’m cocktailing, groups of guys just there to watch the game and snack on apps.

  342. People who pray before they eat, wear a cross around their neck, or other assorted “Jesus Freak” totems. They seem to think that Jesus will account for my income or something.
    Also, snotty middle-aged white professionals never seem to tip well–perhaps that’s because they dislike the attitude I dish up with their pancakes. I don’t give a damn how entitled you think you are, you really have no right to make me feel inferior.

  343. #393/Lauren: Had you read the previous postings here, you would have seen it mentioned that Australian’s don’t tip and why. That’s because you get paid a pretty good salary for some of the worst service I’ve ever experienced. When in Rome…know before you go. No excuse not to know what the tipping culture is in a country. Google. Visit travel websites.

    #395/grayce: Amen Sister!

  344. The worst tippers, in my 2 and a half years as a host and 9 months as a server in a diner style setting, would definitely have to be the Russians/Ukrainians. They generally leave $2 on a $40 tab, next would have to be elderly couples, it’s not the 50’s anymore a quarter is not an acceptable tip anymore.

  345. Heyyy Steeeve!! Helloooo! We’re at 300+ comments. Post, please. Seriously, have you gleaned any new information? You already KNOW who the crappy tippers are, you’re just encouraging us to entertain each other while you take a pass. Finish your coffee and get the eff out of my section already. Love you, mean it!

  346. In my experience I think that the worst tippers tend to eat at “common” places. When I was working at corporate, one on every major intersection chain restaurants, I found that people of all types fell that they can walk all over you, whereas working in a, not upscale, but more unique establishment, I don’t have that problem anymore… as much. Although if I could isolate a few groups of people, “church goers” rank pretty high. Or campers… you know, take your table for 2 hours and leave 15%. Time is money people. Underage patrons. Just because I asked you for your ID doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a tip.

  347. Some vicious lot you are, waiters! I’m a waitress at a diner myself and I DON’T see my customers as walking dollar signs, as some of you apparently do. Yes, good and even average tippers are great, but you seem to have forgotten that you’re also receiving something called a SALARY. We’re all getting paid to do what we do, and dealing with people is part of the job, whether they’re kind, rude, polite, or demanding. If you can’t handle that, then you’re probably in the wrong profession. Am I a saint that absolutely never gets fed up with my customers? Of course not. But the of the remarks made by some people here are downright cruel and very uncalled for.

    Pertaining to my experiences on the question that was actually put forth by the Waiter, the worst tippers, in my experience, have to be middle-aged to elderly women who wear lots of makeup, jewelry, or perfume. The correlation between these traits and bad tipping is almost freakish. Do I treat them with any contempt or spite? No. They’re nice people (for the most part) and get average but substantial service. My regulars and everybody else gets great service. But, God, people, there’s more to a person than how much extra money they think is fit to give you for doing your job.

  348. @Dragonfly who wrote:

    Well, Grace…most work done anywhere is mindless, unless your a rocket scientist or into astrophysics. A 15% tip is archaic. It’s old school and not generous, but rather insulting. Have you heard of inflation? The only thing not going up are prices at Wally World or Micky D’s.

    Well, this is a poor argument because as inflation rises, food costs and bills rise which would mean a higher overall bill to apply the 15% gratuity to. The percent of the gratuity should not go up with inflation. I waited tables for about 6 years and I was quite happpy to get 15%. I usually tip 20% now, but no higher. Also French Canadians and Blacks are the worst tippers beyond the renowned West Virginians who feel 2$ is always a good tip.

  349. Well,Tibby it’s not a poor argument. It’s a rather sane one. Not every restaurant has gone up in prices. Had you read further down from where you copied and pasted my comment, you would have seen my explanation about it. Your viewpoint about the percentage left for tips leaves me scratching my body parts wondering how you can justify how wonderful and thankful we should be about working for less than min. wage and be happy to get 15% for a tip, inflation or not. So everyone else has the right to make a decent wage except restaurant workers??? That’s frickin’ insane.

  350. I’ve been a server for six years and the worst tippers are the elderly and young people. Restaurant etiquette should be a required course in high school.

  351. WOW, DragonFly. If your service is as good as your demeanor here I bet you get tipped squat.

    When you calculate in tips, wait staff make a decent wage in most places. Anywhere between $8 – $15/hour. So don’t tell me how bad a waitress/ waiter have it. Waa waaa waaa, everyone else has the right waa waa waaaa. So do you. You want better, get another job.

    Looking at all the shi**y attitudes here I can see why so many of you get low/ no tips. Biggest bunch of crybabies: waitstaff.

  352. The worst tippers are the people who are also the most high maint! They’ll have you list every ingredient of everything they might order, go back to check twice with the chef, make you mix a drink you nor your Bartender’s Guide Book have ever heard of, want a water refill at 3/4 full and then…not tip well.

  353. Actually Pinky my demeanor makes me an angel compared to your rude comments, foul language, and demeaning comments about servers. I hope when you eat out, you get found out. $8.00-$15.00@hr. is a decent wage?? That’s rich! I made great tips when I served.:) :) :)

  354. Uhm.. Dragonfly $8-15 per hour IS A DECENT WAGE. You aren’t a rocket scientist or even an engineer or accountant or … Its insane how much I made serving, was nice but was way more than the work involved and was even more than $15 an hour.

  355. Dave: How would you know what field of work I am in right now? Are you a psychic? You and Pink are clueless on that one, I assure you. Obviously you really haven’t been following the postings here from the get-go. I suppose one would think those wages are good depending on which area of the country one lives in and how many people one lives with. Try supporting a family on that wonderful hourly wage. Good luck!!

  356. Dave,

    You’re the reason we have a pro-labor President instead of the upper middle class twit we endured for the last 8 years. Have fun paying our health insurance bills! We’ll have fun spending your money organizing with SEIU, striking for a living wage, and living the dream while you refill your own damn water glass. Mmmmmm! Naked Hostesses!

    Soon, no one will have to tip, but since we will all be unionized, protected by jobsite rules, and health-insuranced (thanks taxpayers!), we won’t be too concerned that your steak is undercooked. Enjoy the feeling of your head exploding when a server says in response to your request for dressing on the side, “talk to my union rep, fat ass!”

  357. Hi! We don’t always feel the need to tip in Australia, although we do for great service. Sometimes we even pay by EFTPOS where there is no opportunity to tip (unless we have cash).
    At best, we tip 10%. We frequent restaurants where wait staff do their job as a career. They are paid a living wage and tips are the cream to their milk. So you can imagine how difficult it is for the Aussies when they travel to the US?! Who do you tip, who don’t you tip? Do you tip everybody? I went to a Brisbane restaurant yesterday and they added $2.00 to our bill to help the homeless – glad to do it. Check out http://www.streetsmartaustralia.org However, the brochure on the table said “Please consider donations to StreetSmart as over and above any tip you wish to leave for the staff.”

  358. Hands down, my worst tippers have ALWAYS been the disabled. I have no clue why, but the majority of my experiences with bad tippers are handicapped people. They’re also usually the mose demanding, unfortunately. Please note, by demanding, I’m not referring to reasonable requests to accommodate disabilities, I mean being horifically DEMANDING.

  359. i am echoing indians, but i’d like to narrow it down to indian males. if you manage to squeak out 15% out of them, you should consider yourself lucky as hell. it’s usually under 10%. and if you’re a female, prepare to be treated like you’re not worthy to lick the fucker’s shoe, let alone serve him a meal.

  360. Hold up bigtime, people. I’m sick and tired of reading all the geezers who make fun of the servers saying 15% is lousy. It is. No, the price of the food is NOT going up in most cases, places cut corners to keep the food at familiar prices so diners keep coming back. The ONLY and I mean ONLY prices that are really going up is the cost of living and the amount of options for employment is plummeting. Be kind to your servers when you eat out, or park your cheap ass at home.

  361. wow. Servers, actually expect more than 15% on the regular?

    I am North American- lived here and abroad and I have always been told these are the rules…

    15% for regular service
    15% or more for great service
    less than 15% for sub-par service

    I am aghast to think that servers at run of the mill places expect more than 15%. If you are working at an upscale, then ok, but Applebee’s, chilli’s or locally owned grills and family joints should not expect this.

    am I wrong?!?!

  362. Worst tipper: my stepmother, who is a middle-aged churchgoing white woman. Not only does she tip less than she should, but she’s demanding and makes life hell for restaurant staff.

    Once, while visiting my family, we all decided to go out to a Mexican restaurant run a local immigrant family. She proceeded to play “lady of the manor”, demanding to know where her iced tea or this or that was, grabbing the server away from other duties. All commands were issued in the snottiest voice imaginable. THEN, near the conclusion of the meal, she announced that she and the other people at church had decided that it wasn’t necessary to tip more than 10%. Furthermore, she made this announcement within earshot of the server, who had worked very hard and was consistently polite and patient.

    When she and the rest of the family made their exit, my husband and I lingered behind to throw some more bills on the table to compensate for her pathetic tip. Lo and behold, she spotted us, marched back, and told us that we shouldn’t leave the money and were over tipping! My husband managed to get her out of the restaurant without her grabbing the cash we’d left, but it was a close thing. Later, he muttered in my ear “No more than 10%, eh? That’s mighty Christian of them.”

  363. The worst tippers are blue collar, 27-35 year old women. Sometimes they can be the best tippers (possibly because they too worked in the serving industry, once upon a time). But if I were to look back at who tipped me the least and was also the most demanding, it would be this group.

  364. Your Slave: uhm we have a psycho path as President currently.

    NorthAm Tipper: as a longtime server 15% is fine for decent/good service, prices of food have gone up right along with everything else as ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN KNOWS. Yeah those new to the business have gotten greedy but 15% is still fair leave 20% if a server does something for you above and beyond. Of course leave less than 15% for poor/terrible service.

    Remember, servers can’t earn less than minimum for a period (restaurant has to make it up if necessary) and in practice never do. Heck in many states tips are all gravy since they already have to make a good minimum BEFORE tips (eg Calif $8.00, Washington State $8.55, Oregon $8.40)

  365. To NorthAM Tipper:
    I’ve heard that the standard is now 18% of the bill BEFORE taxes. But typically I get 20% of the whole bill :) I work in Minneapolis where tippers in general are pretty generous.

  366. Urgh, what a load of crap. People tip at the end of a service right? So if you are ignoring people, giving the bad service, with the expectation they are going to give you a bad tip, OF COURSE THEY WILL!! You just gave them bad service because you thought they wouldn’t tip your good service and as a result you get a bad tip!
    This is why I hate tipping. You should be giving good service regardless, and have it as part of the cost. If you give EXCELLENT service then people could give you a tip on top of that cost. Simple really, and happily the way it is in MOST OTHER COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. Hell, lots of places DON’T EXPECT A TIP AT ALL!

  367. I’m surprised that Canadians made the shitty tipper list. Where I work the worst tippers are the Americans! They still seem to think that their dollar is so much better than ours and that leaving a tattered 1 dollar bill is like leaving us 5! It’s pretty much on par, 1US = 1.065CAN , so keep it comin’ yanks!

  368. Christmas tips on listed on this website:

    Lots of talks about servers again but most of this is a little more… balanced…

    10%/15%/20% is perfectly fine in the midwest and was how I was raised. Maybe 20%/25%/30% is what the coasters expect. If I visit, I normally tip 20% which is the high end of my scale. If it is the low end of yours, well, it’s better than 5% or nothing.

  369. For the last time folks, on both sides of the debate, a percentage is NOT a fixed cash amount so it should never need to be adjusted. 15%, or whatever, will automatically give the server more money every time the prices go up.
    15% of a $20.00 meal is $3.00 but if the meal goes to $30.00 the tip goes to $4.50. Higher prices produce higher tips even at the same percentage rate. Over and out.

  370. With regard to tourists, I agree wholeheartedly that some people feign ignorance, but for a proportion of people holidaying in the States a reduced tip could be an education issue. Sure, the majority would be aware of the tipping culture, but many wouldn’t understand WHY that culture exists – ie servers are paid reduced base wage.

    I’ve always tipped $1 a drink and 20% for food whenever I’ve been there – coupled with my accent that’s lead to numerous free drinks that were “accidentally” poured. Good times.

  371. Maybe we should just be done with it and change the name of the blog to “The Tipping Rant”…
    I don’t want to but feel I have to say that asking a waiter whether they should get tipped 15% or 20% is rather like asking anybody to set their own pay – they’ll always err on the high side.
    If you asked me what I should be paid I know what I would say.

  372. Black people, hands down. Doesn’t matter if they’re rich or poor, unless they are educated, it’s a cultural thing. I’ve been asked more than once by them, “what is a gratuity? Do I HAVE to leave it?”

    I don’t find middle class white women to be awful. They’re average, but they tend to not find anything wrong with camping all night so they can chat with their friends.

  373. Leftover Hippies have been some of the best tippers I have encountered as a waiter. I work at a Mellow Mushroom, and we get a lot of their business. Living in the “Bible Belt”, I have also been privy to the church crowds on Sundays, and while they are needy and often demanding customers, the tips they leave are lackluster. We also have a lot of “red neck” customers, and while a handfull of them have been great tippers, most tend to leave a small tip. (Ex. $2.99 on a $42.01 check = Shitty) Lunch goers tend to have a different attitude about tipping. Thier idea of a tip tends to be between $1-$3. Lunch is viewed as a quick meal, and business is often conducted during it. I’m lucky to pickup 15% at lunch even if I work my ass off for a table. I also agree with many of you above, that nurses are some of the worst tippers.

  374. I tried to bartend briefly when I was young. They made me coctail waitress, which I found to be one of the most painful-difficult-impossible things I’ve ever done. Or not done. I sucked at it and it was nothing short of a nightmare. I’m always amazed by people who can manage their tables and not lose their minds, so I leave wildly high tips. (To the point where friends take me aside and tell me it’s too much. I ignore them, because I can do the math – it’s never about miscalculation.)

    I also am nearly always hurting for money, mainly because of chronic illness. So while I’m leaving lots of money on the table, it’s not because I can actually afford to do it. (It’s also very infrequent that I do eat out, because I know I can’t afford to.) It’s important to me at that moment to leave what I’m leaving. But Christ, these comments make me want to walk out without even paying for the meal. I won’t do it, it’s just what you’re making me feel. I always felt good about those tips, because I chose to give them, because it was me, doing something good, that the waitstaff would find and know they were hugely appreciated. But now I’m hearing that it’s expected? That we’re being judged and compared based on money? That just so profoundly sucks and these aren’t the people I thought I was cleaning myself out for.

    I get it that waitstaff are grotesquely underpaid. I remember it. How about, though, directing the anger and disgust at the people who are actually to blame? The owners, the restaurant industry, those people?

    Our culture has contorted things beyond recognition, but really (and this has been said in earlier comments) a tip is supposed to be at the discretion of the person giving it. It’s supposed to be optional. If you think there’s a minimum, then up to that figure is *not* really a tip and should be incorporated into the bill. Not just the bill, but the prices on the menu, and the prices put forth in ads. And it’s not your fault that it isn’t. It’s your bosses’ fault, and the industry’s. But it’s not the customer’s fault either.

    Any promotion, or any service at a particular price, is going to attract people who need that particular deal in order to take part. I remember when Scott Adams was giving away electronic versions of a book and then tried to sell his next book to the same audience. He was all disgruntled that it didn’t fly – what was the matter with these people who took advantage of the free offer, not paying for the next book? I don’t know why he didn’t get it: the free offer attracted people who didn’t have any money for books. Of course they weren’t going for the paying one.

    Similarly with restaurants. If food is advertised at a particular price, people who have that amount of money to spend are going to be drawn by it. Some of those people may feel like they’re already at the end of their rope (trying to deal with their horrible kids, trying to make ends meet, whatever). Some of them may feel like they really need a night out, and look, here’s a flier saying we can have it, thank god. So then what happens? You get to the restaurant and you have enough for the food, but the waitstaff comes to the table and asks you what you’d like to drink. Drink? I just wanted to get that special they offered. And god forbid if you try to limit yourself to water – it’s like you asked them to clean up after your dog. So there’s this brutal interchange where you’re fighting not to feel like dirt, when you were just responding to an offer that was sent to you in the mail. And unless you put forth a huge amount of energy to resist all the pressured offers and to endure the attitude that you’re worth less than the scum on the bottom of their shoes, the drinks and tax and tip (would you care for some dessert?) are going to easily double the figure you’d counted on, which was a stretch for you in the first place.

    I don’t take it out on the waitstaff – I come up with the money to give them. But it’s not so hard to imagine what might be happening here, is it? The waitstaff isn’t the culprit, and neither are the customers. It’s a really messed up system, and the people running it and propagating it are the ones to blame. (Maybe it’s easier to blame the customer, since they’re relatively powerless and present only briefly as compared to the owner/managers.) Please, can’t you see this?!

    (calming down, slightly.)

    Then again, you guys are able to do it, and I’m not. That counts for alot. I just had to write after seeing some of this stuff.

  375. Wait a minute – do I hear music? Yes, it is – it sounds like bagpipes playing “Taps” signaling the death of a blog! RIP Waiterrant – you will be missed

  376. Im afraid, terribly afraid, that my favorite blog is enduring a terrible, painful death. I will miss it like id miss my best friend. Please get well, dear friend, please get well.

  377. I haven’t read every comment here, but I think I can spot a trend here. Servers from the US are identifying “Canadians”, “Scandinavians”, “French”, “Asians”, “Brits” etc. Servers from Canada are identifying “Americans”, “Scandinavians”, “French”, “Asians”, “Brits” etc. It seems to me that the issue is visitors in general. It’s likely that when people are visiting a place they know they will never return to, they won’t feel as compelled to leave a good tip.
    I live in Canada, and waited tables for several years. Believe me, our tipping system is the same as in the States, and I could expect to receive the appropriate tip based on the size of the bill and level of service I provided.

  378. In my experience African-Americans are the worst tippers, it was a buffet restaurant in the south it sucked working there. The sunday crowd ie: church crowd nothing christian about them I guess they left all their money at church, a party of 20 would run us to axhaustion drinking like it was the last day of their lives, tip? $5.00 attitude don’t get me started the ruddest people ever. Please I do not want to sound racist but it is my personal experience and of my fellow workers.
    Hispanics: always hitting on female servers, I even had one hit on me with his wife present, needless to say I got nothing from them.

  379. Right..we are not supposed to go to a restaurant if we don’t drink or just don’t want to that night.

    We should order appetizers and a desert or the pwoor waiter will get upset. Our whole meal should be structured in such a way that it ensures the waitstaff’s enrichment.

    And we are expected to pay OVER 15% of the already overpriced entries. No wonder so many restaurants keep going out of business.

    I suppose this blog has reached its end of life. How much can you talk about essentially a brain dead job of shuffling food from kitchen to the table without descending to the lowest form of insults, racial ephitets and name calling?

    The funny thing is waitstaff will not lobby for regular salaries because they know it will inevitably be lower than what they earn now with tips even after accounting for lousy tippers.

  380. Generally, I think customers tip the same no matter the service.

    The worst tippers are the ones that come tto a restaurant expecting bad service. These are the ones that hassle the servers, ask about when their food will be delivered three minutes after they have ordered it, and generally are expecting a bad time at a restaurant. These people can be of any economic class, race, or social status.

    The best tippers are ones who allow themselves a enjoyable experience, treat the servers like the individuals they are, and appreciate good service when they see it. Some of the best tippers I have had are grouped into the categories listed above.

    In regards to other comments–

    Waiting tables may seem like a mindless job, but it requires an amount of multitasking that some do not appreciate. It creates a stressful environment for all involved, but the goal is not to let that reach the customer.

  381. In all my years, I still have to go with Black men, especially the ones who like to stop in right before close. Thanks for running me ragged and sorry there were not enough “scrumps” in your pasta. That and Church people, like they always say 10% to God and 5% to your server.

  382. As a teenage, Caucasian female, I always tip. Even if the service was horrible, I tip anyway. You’ll get a good tip if you were good, and an okay tip if you were bad, but you’ll get tipped anyway. I know how shitty it is to put up with people who seem to want nothing more than to rip out your still-beating heart, eat it on their sandwich, and then tell you that you’ve got some nerve to lie there dead on the floor instead of serve them.

    And, living in the deep South, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that 90% of the time, very religious people are the worst to deal with. Not only are they most likely bad tippers, but they are the whiniest, neediest, holier-than-thouest people I have ever encountered in my entire life in nearly all situations.

    Granted, I worked at ChikFilA and got an hourly wage (and I’m not saying in the least I had it worse, because I was very happy to have that job) but dear lord, many religious customers of this particular establishment are crazy and not to mention rude. I have seen people step -over- a woman comatose on the floor who was being treated by paramedics so they could get in line.

  383. Worst tippers…. LOVE this topic.
    1) Latinos- sorry but I’ve been completely stiffed ($0 tip for excellent service after they had come in 10 min. till close and stayed over an hour) TWICE in two weeks.

    2) Religious – Can’t understand it! But even when I go out to eat with my religious family members, I cringe at how they poorly they treat their waiters and how little they tip them after such torture (I always carry extra money so I can slip it on the table on my way out)

    3) The Elderly- I don’t blame them always, I mean, I have to believe that it’s just common for them to not tip very much. But it still sucks.

  384. it was on the news this mroing a mother in ar who had kill her three kids . they are taking the three babby back to new york too lady to rest my pary are with the father who lost his chrilden ; i am truley sorry for your lots

  385. To The Ghost-
    Your expectations of servers to act like tipping is a plus, not a necessity, is seriously un-realistic. When the government raises the minimum hourly wage that servers are paid (my last waitressing job was I believe around $2/hour) to something that we can actually live off of, then we might be more inclined to not be so pissed off about the shitty tips that the masses leave us.

    I can’t believe the people that leave bad tips because they feel that just because it’s not their fault we get paid like crap doesn’t mean they should leave a decent tip. Honestly, where is the good heart in so many of these people? The generosity and the understanding? Yes, we should get paid more by the hour so that we don’t have to pray that we can pay rent and bills on time, but until that happens, the people that dine are desperately depended on. It’s not the best system, but that’s just how it is for now.

    That being said, by far the worst people I have gotten tips from tend to be those that use coupons and gift cards. Also church people, no matter what faith. What makes you think that I’m even Christian? Self righteous, needy, annoying people. As well as the groups of teenagers sponsored by an adult- whether a birthday, sports team, or other special occasion, it was hardly ever that the adult present would make up for all of the hard work that their devil spawn would cause. And even if the minors brought their own money their parents gave them, they wouldn’t think about using some of that for a tip and would spend it all on their meal.

    The way I see it- If you can’t afford to tip, you either shouldn’t be dining out, or should order something lower-priced. If you can’t afford the tip, I can’t afford the time.

  386. Merry Christmas to you all..

    And to the Waiter
    Sorry, NO TIP

    The Service here is slow and seems in the alley on a smoke or coke break .

  387. To the waitstaff who say “if you can’t afford to tip you shouldn’t dine”…who the hell are you to tell a diner that? You are just a coke addled loser who can’t get another job. Shut up and serve and be happy with the $2 or whatever you make per hour.

  388. Love this thread. I’ve been in fine dining for 8 years and currently work at a high-end restaurant in New Orleans. In my experience, the worst tippers are….
    1. Church people
    2. The elderly
    3. Anyone, of any age or color, who orders
    A. well-done meat
    B. cocktail sauce, ranch dressing, steak sauce, etc, when we clearly don’t offer it.
    C. Beringer white zinfandel

    4. Europeans – specifically Scandanavians, the French, Dutch, and Greeks.
    5. Most people paying with an amex black card.

  389. former waiter, bartender & pizza delivery driver

    Hands down BLACK PEOPLE, who we called “Canadians” as code when speaking in somewhat public settings.

    Sorry but it’s just the truth.

    Even the other black people at these service industry jobs complained constantly about having too many “damn Canadians” in their section.

    No idea how good or bad REAL Canadian people are to wait on, I’ve never served one.

  390. To Jackie(comment 200): you and your good for nothing aunt have eaten gallons of spit over the years.

    Us servers/bartenders can’t sense a vibe from guests. Whether you’re tense, upbeat, or clearly a cunty drag who is out to cause problems, we’re ready for it. And, if you are in fact acting like a cunt from the get-go, we’ll write you off and focus on the people who are worth our time.

    If I had to guess, I’d say you’re one of those everybody-is-crazy/wrong/failing-but-me people. Those people are almost always projecting as they, in fact, are the ones that are crazy/wrong/failing.

  391. Wow! I’m blown away by all of the people who think black people are the worst tippers. No wonder people start out treating me like they don’t want to be bothered – You would really have to do something awful – like leave me waiting while you wait on the table that came after me for me not to tip 20%. I leave 20% unless you are awesome in which case I’ve been known to leave as much as 100% of my bill as a tip – for maybe a single mom – or college student – or a server that goes out of the way to provide A+ service. So, I would say that while I know people can be cheap and unexposed-be careful not to confuse african american and “ghetto” – If I sense for one second that you are sizing me up like that – as much as I hate it I will leave 10% and a note telling you why I did that and hoping it will be a lesson learned.

  392. Bad:
    asian guys who do not drink alcohol
    asian girls
    white girls wearing northface jackets
    anybody wearing hip-hop style jewelry (doesn’t matter the color of their skin) but isn’t actually well off at all
    college athletes

    asian guys who drink alohol
    middle-aged women in groups (especially black women because they tend to be flirtier)
    middle-aged men wearing a suit jacket but no tie
    frat guys with fake id’s
    anybody who is or was a waiter (though they also have the highest expectations because they know how easy it really is)

  393. I agree. Where is the waiter????
    I love blogs because of the interaction. Hey, the only interaction currently is between the bloggers, not the author (whos book I bought) This site will become boring without the input of the owner!!!!!!! (it’s been almost a month without a new post). We seem to be writing the book (that we will buy) without any input from you,the waiter. Get cracking with some input baby!!!

  394. Cypriots !!! I’ve worked for a few months in this country, doing this job and believe me…compared to what happens in USA, UK…man…you guys are uber-lucky…
    In Cyprus, you normally give 1% of your shift sales to the manager (out of your tips obviously) and you’re lucky to walk out with an additional 3-5% for yourself..On a busy day with over 1000 sales (Euro..that would be about 1500$) if you manage to have 40-50 at the end of the shift for yourself you had a marvelous shift..
    On top of that, most locals in this country drive Mercedes and BMW’s, dress very fancily and even show off their thick stacks of cash at the table but most of the time they leave pathetic 2-3…5% is actually very good…sometimes absolutely nothing, or even worse..the “copper” coins (1-2-5 cents).
    So , NEVER work as a waiter in Cyprus

  395. Large church groups on Sunday brunch or dinner. Run your legs right off your ass for every little thing then don’t leave a dime. We used to hate getting Sunday shifts because of this. I finally wangled my way out of not working any breakfasts. I’m good at what I do and my boss knows it so he finally relented. But god we’d do just about anything to trade out shifts to not have to work Sunday’s. Church people are the worst!!

    Second worst: Ladies that lunch. I would count my mom among this group. She’s never worked this type of job and sees a restaurant as an extension of her living room. These are the Hamptons set. God save us from the water and salad table for eight who all want separate checks!

    Third worst: Some frat boy types who think it’s okay to make sexual innuendo throughout your meal. Drink too much, are basically obnoxious as can be then leave a big tip of five to ten percent after hogging a table for over three hours of delightful twelve year old humor. God I hate even going to the table and ought to get twenty percent just for walking over there sometimes! Some of you are NOT as “cute” as you think you are!

  396. i was a server only for a short time.

    my first job was at a small diner in a little river town in middle of nowhere illinois. EVERYONE who lived in that town who came to the diner was a horrible tipper. i don’t think made more than a $2 tip regardless of the size of the bill or the party form locals. however, the city people who came to town to make use of the marina usually tipped 15 – 20%. i am not sure if it was because the locals were poor, working class people and could barely afford the luxury of eating out or if they were just ignorant (or stupid).

    the second job i had was at a nicer neighborhood restaurant/bar in the chicago suburbs. the worst tippers there were businessmen and nurses. i never got any religious paraphanalia or anything as a tip before so i don’t know what that is all about. the sunday breakfast buffet was when everyone wanted to work because the tips were awesome and i am sure that lots of those people were church people.

    i have to admit that i HATED being a server SO MUCH, that i no longer enjoy dining out and when i do dine out, i have utmost respect for the servers and i am not demanding and i leave huge tips regardless of the service because i understand that servers have fights with their kids/spouses or maybe have a dog that died before their shift or whatever just like everyone else and that this is how they pay their rent and feed their children.

  397. I work in a decent mid-western country style steak-house and usual take home 15-18% after the 3% tipshare the computer system takes out (uncool!). Aside from people with disabilities (I was once stiffed by an 8 top of mute people on a Saturday night!) the worst tippers are by far TEENAGERS! You know, the kind who come out in hoards for proms and homecoming dances, expect to be waited on hand and foot (just like mommy does for them) and then leave a pile of small change, or try to pay at the hostess stand. Oh how I hate teens!

  398. Having only scanned the first few dozen comments, I’m surprised how few people mentioned teenagers. They are the absolute worst! Most of them are spoiled rotten, have never had to earn a dollar in their life, and Mommy and Daddy gave them the money to pay for the food – they’d rather keep the change for themselves than use it for a tip. Teenagers drive me nuts, especially those that leave a bunch of change, often under a dollar. I’d rather you didn’t leave any at all, thanks; at least then I can pretend you forgot.

    I do agree that church groups are also horrible at tipping, and I’m a church goer myself, so I don’t understand it; Christians are taught generosity, but for whatever reason people throw that out the window when it comes to tipping. I always get those “Do you know Jesus?” track cards. Yes, I DO know Jesus, and I’d prefer money over another card, thanks.

  399. I agree that you shouldn’t dine in if you can’t afford to tip. Waiters/waitresses are not just bums who can’t get another job; often people work in the restaurant business as a second job if their career is not yet fully on track, to pay for college, etc. If you don’t want to fork out at least 20% for excellent service, go to a drive-thru or a Subway. Don’t expect someone to wait on you hand and foot, refilling your water glass every two minutes, if you can’t even treat them like a decent human being and give them a tip in return.

  400. I’m quite angry after reading the comments on here. I’m a white teen girl who’s been serving in places similar to Outback, Applebee’s, Chili’s, ect. for over a year.

    Yes it’s painful to ‘give’ someone a 20% tip sometimes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t anyway! Think about it, in a steakhouse your meal (if you don’t go water and salad on me) should cost you about $20 per individual. You’re willing to spend that when you could save your money by 100%, 50%, 25%, ect by: eating a a cheaper place, ordering a smaller meal (since you rarely, if ever, finish everything you order), going fast food, or heaven forbid EAT AT HOME!

    I’m a teenager working a job I despise, being ordered around, treated like crap, and more than once being brought to tears by rude customers or management. I go home to my economy apartment, try to pay my bills, and eat a peanut butter sandwhich, or a frozen pizza. My meals never cost me more than $3, and since I do the work myself, and clean up after myself I don’t have to pay a tip.

    Even broke as I am, I tip 30% or more ANYWHERE, even pizza hut! Yea, I make ‘at least minimum wage’ with shitty tips, however, if I wanted to make minimum wage I would find a job somewhere else, ANYWHERE ELSE! The hostesses make minimum wage to stand by a door and put your ass in a seat. Serving is a lot harder!

    Yes, technically a tip is optional. Otherwise it would be included in the check (which no doubt you would bitch about). Still, consider the basic option: tips = rent $ = I have a place to live. No tips/shitty tips = no rent = homeless. End of story.

    So, if you want to eat out but can’t afford a tip EAT AT A FUCKING MCDONALDS!

  401. Really overweight, middle-aged men. They order enough food for four people, expect a refill every time they catch sight of you, ask for extra sauce every time you bring their refill, complain about the thickness of their burger/heat of their soup/amount of mayonnaise…and then leave less than 10%.

    Also, you know if someone complains about prices, they won’t tip. Contrary to popular belief, wait staff don’t decide prices. If we could, we’d give it to you for free and collect a nice tip. Unfortunately, that’s not up to us, so I’m sorry that you have to pay an extra 49 cents for grilled onions, but please don’t make me pay for it (or yell at me for it!)

  402. Be nice.
    Be understanding.
    Tip 18-20%.

    If you recieved poor service LET SOMEONE KNOW.
    Don’t be afraid to tip less for poor service, but it is common for servers to pay a percentage of their tips out to the bartenders, hostesses, and/or bussers so please never leave less than 8-10%. Just speak with a manager, or better yet fill out a comment card and send it in when available. DON’T leave it there or give it to the server. Mail it in to the office when you can, and when you can’t speak with owners or management.

  403. Oklahomans! Why? Because they are ignorant of the fact that waitstaff only makes $2.13 an hour and pay taxes on 10% of their sales. They think waitstaff makes the $7.15 min wage or somewhere close and reality is they don’t even make 1/3 of that. So you basically work your butt off for very little in the form of tips.

  404. I lived and worked in south FL (Delray Beach), and I would have to agree with those that have commented about Sunday patrons. But, I would also so have to say that some of my best tips came off the “after church” crowds. The worst I have tippers have really been South Americans, from any of the countries there. They act as if the world should stop just for them and that they deserve to be treated like royalty

  405. Maria, once for an wink of time I worked in Oklahoma and found that some of the more down to earth hard working people were great tippers. I’ve even had them say to me while leaving “We appreciate how hard you work, we know what it’s like to work hard.”

    I’ve worked a lot more higher service places in big cities than I ever did there but, the over all experience I had in my admittedly short time was quite good really. Salt of the earth people seemed to understand things like being polite and being appreciative. It’s odd how different some people’s experiences can be.

    *Ahem* NOT that I’d want to give up working better restaurants in bigger cities for going back there though. lol.

  406. Just a question for the waiters. I always pay my bill on my debit card. I calculate my 25% tip and then add enough extra change to make the bill end on a whole dollar total. Is this offensive in some way to the wait staff? I heard on waitress think this was odd. I never thought of this practice as offensive in anyway. I don’t want to offend my wait staff.

  407. The Sunday morning crowd do have a rep for being bad tippers. Its like they have gone to church, and there for have done their good deed for the week. I once had a table of 8 come in one Sunday afternoon. Since it was a larger party, a 15% tip was automatically added to the check, just like the menu said it would be. I saw the man at the table write something on the check, but had not pulled out any money yet. I went into the kitchen for a minute. When I came back out, the entire table was gone. The man had left the exact amount of the bill in cash, but had also left me a lovely little note. “I only give God 10%, why should I give you 15%”. Hey, if you want to leave me 10% of your yearly earnings, I will gladly take that instead of 15% of your $50 check!

  408. I can’t believe the bitch that said “you waiters are just coke-addled losers that can’t get another job.”

    You’re right, I can’t get a better paying job at the moment because I’m in the middle of getting my college degree so that I CAN get a better job. Since I’m still in school, being a waitress is the best option for me because it offers flexible hours and I get to work with other college students that all help each other out when we can’t make a shift, whether it’s because of a project or test coming up, or there’s a family emergency at home, or when we’ve had a shitty night with customers like you and haven’t made enough money to pay the bills and everybody chips in to help out.

    How dare you assume that I am “a coke addled loser,” when you don’t even know me enough to know that I’ve never used any drugs even once in my life.

    Fuck you and your idea that two dollars/hour is enough.

  409. Very informative conversations. It seems that there is a disconnect with respect to those in the know (generally those who are in the industry) and the rest of the folks. I did a quick google search on “how much to tip”. All of the sites (e.g., cnn.money and HowStuffWorks.com) on the first page of the results recommended 15-20% for good service. Generally these are broken down to the already mentioned 15% for adequate service, 20% for good service and so on.

    It seems that the expectations of the folks who find 15% insulting or ludicrous is out of step with the broader culture. It could be that in your specific city, the norm is different, but it seems that there is a broader culture out there saying that 15-20% if acceptable.

    Now, before you jump on me, I did not make this up. And yes, I have worked for tips and do tip generously (usually >20%). However, wanting, say 20%, to be the norm, does not make it so.

  410. Disgusting AA motherfuckers are the worst tippers I’ve ever had. While in college, I worked the night shift at a 24-hour diner next to a church where bi-weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings were held. Every night after a meeting, HUGE groups of the most foul looking people you’ve ever seen (think the gangs from Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD or the zombies from DAWN OF THE DEAD) would roll in, push several tables together, chain smoke, order coffee ($1 for a bottomless cup) that needed to be refilled every five seconds and the cheapest thing on the menu (usually a plate of fries or an egg sandwich) and sit for HOURS discussing how unfair life had been to them and how everyone else was to blame for their alcoholism. Sometimes they would sit for up to six or seven hours, slugging down cup after cup of coffee, smoking entire packs of cigarettes, generally pissing the hell out of me. And then when they get up to leave–PENNIES on the table. A buck if I was lucky. And always a religious tract, since AA is a Christian cult. So, recovering alcoholics have and will always stand as my worst customers ever.

    In my experience, best have always been gay male couples (they’re fun, love a drink and order pricey entrees, and almost always leave at least 20%) and, surprisingly, singles. Show them a bit of kindness and they’ll reward you.

  411. Oh Anonymous, anyone who looks down on waiters is not worth replying to. After all these elitists are not very bright to disparage any hard working person. Let their ignorance show itself as it so often does and ignore their snobbery.

    The hard part of waiting tables isn’t the lack of tipping, it’s having to put up with these types AND then not get a decent tip to top it off. Karma baby. I hope these people get everything in life they so justly deserve.

  412. Stephanie:
    No, it’s not offensive unless you round off and it’s a small amount. For example, I’ve had a bill that was $48.01 and they rounded up to $50. THAT is insulting. As long as it’s an adequate tip, though, there’s nothing wrong with rounding up to a whole dollar. Although I don’t see why people make such a fuss of doing it.

  413. Indians. Of the dotted (not feathered) variety. For sure. I read once that most people there believe food/beverage service to be a profession for lowest-class citizens only… Those who apparently aren’t worth a tip. But I’m not bitter!

  414. Chinks? Cause until I read your book, I was tipping BEFORE tax and now, I feel like a total asshole. Thanks.

    Besides, they’re cheap as hell anyway. You should see me haggle. It’s beyond embarrassing. I have no shame.

  415. Worst tippers….retired old ladies and foriegners. They never tip and they are so demanding. In the last 13 years that I have been a Server/Bartender and never been tipped well from either of them.

  416. I am still amazed about the level of tips in the USA. I am living and working in Australia. From a “good” costumer you will receive up to 10% tip. It is sad even we are earning around $18-$35 / hour.
    It is still common to leave nothing, but more and more tourists and new settlers are changing it a bit.
    New Zealanders are the worst. They never leave anything. I hate when costumers are hugging you, shaking your hand for excellent service, but leaving nothing.
    BUT you understand their tradition. My worst tippers were Australian girls around age 25. 20 of them had a Hen’s night in our restaurant and the bill went over $900. They left 50 cents on credit card. That is bad. “Maybe” I was not too nice with them when I explained we can not charge the 50 cents on the credit card, because it cost more for us and gave them the 50 cents back before I asked them to leave.

  417. Soccer moms, allow me to digress.

    Reason 1: The most common stereotype for worst tippers are foreigners, mainly because they don’t know any better. Soccer moms though, THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER!! They we’re born and raised in a country where tipping is the social norm. It’s not out of choice that they tip poorly, it’s out of pure choose to do the cheapest thing.

    Reason 2: The groups of soccer moms. 1 check split 8 ways with every item going to a different check and they all got places to be to pick up their kids, so they want it now and they want it fast. All so they can leave you that buck twenty on their 14 dollar check. Sadly most of the times this has happened my the restaurant I worked for there had to be 9+ to get gratuity. Chain restaurants, ain’t those a bitch.

    Reason 3: These take charge mothers have no qualms with hunting you down in the restaurant to let you know their food is taking too long. For some reason the calculation for time to cook a well done steak should be 5 minutes or less.

    …okay, that last one doesn’t have anything to do with their tipping. But why waste a good rant?

  418. How shamelessly can you people whine about tip! We come in the restaurants to eat, we pay for the food. We all know that the menu is overpriced, when we’re paying $5 for a cup of coffee instead of some cents, why should we pay the waiters who get the salary for what they’re doing. You’re not doing us any favour. Oh wait, I get it, you must be one of those people who don’t want to work and then live off on Govt. money.

  419. So I just got turned onto this book by a coworker of mine and I love it. I work in Louisiana, one of the low paying states. The establishment I work likes to think it is upscale, but it really isn’t. We have too many bad customers to be upscale. In my year of working at this establishment and my 3 years in the food and liquor service industries, the worst tippers are sportsfans. I recently waited on a table during the Saints Dallas game, let the guests move to a different table to see the game better, and kept there bar drinks coming. The food was out quick and had no complaints. Then toward the end of the game they asked for their check, which was upward of $250. Got them paid out and was giving the usual sports chatter, helping them cheer for the Saints. Saints lose, no tip. I was livid. I had no complaints from these asses and got nothing. Made my night. Not to mention my coworkers tried to go on a power trip at the end of the night with the vaccuum cleaning. Made me stay later than needed. Did management do anything. Nope. Managements too busy talking to boyfriends or smoking a cigarette.

  420. Although I haven’t recently been working in the Biz, I did for 20 plus years.People w/seperate checks are a red flag for lousy tips.Once I accidentaly sneezed while waiting on a couple(couldn’t stop the sneeze) and apoligized and was embarrased and yes, I did cover my face, but they still chose to leave me a PENNY!This was 30 years ago & I still remember.They have no class or compassion!That type will LOOK for a reason to be an ASS!!!Where have you been waiter?By the way, I walked out to the parking lot and gave them the penny.

  421. @ Beggars: If you’re paying 5 bucks for a cup of coffee, than you’re even dumber than your post suggests. If you have NEVER worked in the food service industry, which also judging by your post says you haven’t, you would KNOW the basics of the business. You would know waiters don’t get salary, food prices have only one purpose and one benefit for servers, it bumps up the tip we SHOULD get, but half the time doesn’t because of jerk-offs like yourself, and we probably make half as much unemployed as we do employed, because UE bases mostly off your standard wages + part of your earned tips. Do yourself and the world a favor, don’t have kids, cause chances are they’ll turn out to be even bigger douchebags than you clearly are. And if you already have kids, put them up for adoption. Simply spare them a lifetime of having to put up with your holier than thou attitude and belittling comments directed at some of the hardest working people who should make more than a lot of the assholes in charge but never will, partially thanks, again, to people like you who would probably be happy being served by a robot whenever you go out to eat.

  422. As a Brit who visits the States quite regularly – I want to tell you that in the UK a normal tip is about 10% of the bill if you received good service and nothing if you didn’t. My partner is american and when we are out for a meal – whichever country we are in his instinct is to tip at least twice as much as me – whether he has had good service or not!!
    So there is an education thing here – if tipping practice varies from culture to culture then stick a notice on the menu which tell customers what the cultural expectations are – or incorporate a service charge in the price and make damned sure your staff receive it!!

  423. I am going to go with college boys (I moonlight at a bar and when they are paying for beer in quarters you know you are screwed!) and women when left to tip because their guys are gone, not sure whats with that!

  424. @ Oh You Beggars, you clearly haven’t read the book. Go fuck yourself.

    @ Patient Rage, I’m a soccer mom and I tip AT LEAST 20% even before I learned about not tipping before tax. My feeling is, if anyone has to deal with THAT many children, I’m going to compensate them for it because no one’s compensating me for it.

  425. I’m a special ed teacher and I tend to tip on the higher end because I know it’s a job I couldn’t do. My sister was an office manager and she is horrible to eat out with because she wants to be cheap. I always end up covering at least part of her tip.

  426. As a “church folk ” my minister preaches from the pulpit , that we should be the best tippers. so don’t assume everyone who goes to church is a bad tipper. I know my family tops at leasst 20-25% more if we are more work.

  427. I’m an Australian who lived in the US for 3 years and received my share crap service, unless my American husband was with me… I did take it a bit personaly at the time, now I see wait staff ‘expect’ no or small tip from foreigners so adjust service accordingly.

    I’m heading over for a vacation next week, what to do??? advise the wait staff on arrival that I know about ‘propper tipping’ and get good service or leave a buck and a note to advise that us in the modern world know how to read a guide book and happily accept the customs of the country we are visiting.

    In any case its cheaper to eat out in the US even after currency exchange and 20% tip

  428. In the 80’s I worked in a place that had great food and equally terrific jazz. I had a party of 20 African Americans w/ a reservation for 8 o’clock on a Saturday night. Naturally we start saving the table an hour before hand. Once they found out it was one check 15%…beelines for the bar. 4 hours later my total was $15 for the entire table…nuf said.

  429. I spent 14 years in food service, and in my experience the worst tippers were church people and black people. When I first started waiting tables, I was told by my trainer that “black people are shitty tippers” and I vividly remember my righteous indignation rising up. I made a promise to myself that every single time I waited on black customers, they would get the very best service. I wanted to be absolutely sure that if I got a bad tip, it was not because I failed to give exemplary service. (Sometimes to the detriment of my other tables.)

    In 14 years, I got a 15% tip ONE TIME. (It was technically a bit less than that, but close to 15%.) Every other time it was 5-7% range, or no tip at all. This was in many years, different style restaurants, and in three different states and regions of the country. I am glad I stuck to my “Make sure it’s them and not me” policy. I just wish my trainer had been proven wrong more often.

    And church people? Church people *suck*. They’re rude. They’re dismissive and demanding. They run you to death. They have a generally unpleasant demeanor (despite your best efforts at killing them with kindness.) I was never so glad as when I had the “seniority” on staff to get out of Sunday shifts.

  430. I’m surprised to see so few “women eating together” comments here. I usually tip 20% or more, but often when I’m with other women (for business or pleasure) I notice that we get bad service. Always assumed it was because they figured we’d tip badly. Maybe it was just cuz they sucked anyway. :) I give 15% for extremely bad service.

    We do often ask to split the bill evenly on our cards, but I frankly don’t see what the big deal is. Most restaurants in my metro area are able to do this with no trouble, and if you cater to business customers who need their own individual record of payment for expense purposes, it’s essential. When people give us a hard time about this, we go elsewhere next time.

    Most of the time the difference between a 15 and 20% tip is well under $5 per person. I always figure the extra few bucks don’t mean that much to me but it will mean a lot to the starving student bringing me my meal. Why not throw the extra few bucks in there? People are just cheap.

  431. I had to laugh when the first comment said “Canadians”. I live in Maine and we get a few cannies down this way, I ALWAYS get a manager to auto-grat their checks because they don’t seem to understand that I only get paid $3.75 an hour and i RELY on tips… Do Canadian wait staff get paid more?? Maybe that’s why they suck at tipping!

    Other than that, the teenage girls that string in 10 at a time ALWAYS tip close to 10%.

  432. You think tips are bad now, just wait until the tax bill kicks in in 2010 for “health” benefits you won’t see until 2014, if you ever see them at all, because all that tax money will go to ACORN and other DNC organizations to prop up the puppet Obama.

  433. Yeah, Hymienator and BornInTheUSA, this is definitely the appropriate place to hold a political discussion. Also, you two are fucking idiots.

    Steve, I hope everything is okay with you – over a month of radio silence leaves your faithful readers a little worried.

  434. Groups of 4 or more women. Hands down. One – or more if they’re accountants – will whip out a calculator and sort each person’s meal and drink; multiply that subtotal by the local tax; then add on exactly 15%, IF you busted your ass and made them feel pretty and important. Oh… you didn’t? Expect in the neighborhood of 10%. That’ll teach YOU!

  435. i worked in hawaii— the Japanese that only speak english when it suits them.. are the WORST tippers out of every place that i lived and worked HANDS DOWN

  436. Listening to “Waiter Rant” the book on ‘playaway’ device & loving it…

    Canadians are bad and any Europeans in the Virgin Islands are bad

    But what gets me angry is getting bad service when it’s me and another woman and the server assumes we’ll be bad tippers…don’t they realize that woman who “wait” also eat out and that we’ll be your best customers ever cause we know what you’re going through…don’t ignore me, treat me right and you’ll get what you’ve earned

  437. Hi! I am loving the blog (apart from the bad language!) I have a good tipping story – vastly different to all of the blogs.
    I’m from Australia; we’re a 10% nation (we pay the wait staff better).
    My husband and I ate at River Cafe in Brooklyn, NYC. The tip was built in, however we added a further tip. (I’m the blogger who was so shocked in the US that I handed out dollar bills like there was no tomorrow – don’t want to offend!) The waitress followed us out of the restaurant and told us that the tip was inbuilt and we weren’t required to pay extra. Now that is service that you don’t see everywhere! We had the most amazing night, food and service – we were happy to do it!
    Love great service!

  438. To me, the worst tippers are black people, Sunday lunch people, & rednecks. I don’t wait tables very often (just when I’m visiting people where I used to go to college & pick up a few shifts) but to this day, whenever I get sat with a black table, I feel my stomach drop & almost have an anxiety attack. This is because in the area where this restaurant is, the black people are very demanding, complain about everything, run you to death, & then MAYBE leave about $2 regardless of the ticket. Granted, I have had some amazing black tables who do know how to tip & are so friendly, but unfortunately the stereotype (in my case) is true.

    Rednecks are ridiculous. You know they’re going to order some form of steak (usually the Bourbon steak), ask you to repeat the sides about 3 times, need refills about 5 times, & leave you about $3 or $4. Plus, they don’t know how to pronounce words like “penne” & “fiesta” & laugh at how funny it is that they can’t.

    I worked a few Sunday lunch shifts when I started serving, but luckily I had started as a host beforehand so they already knew & liked me & I was immediately put on the shifts I wanted. Because of that power, I got myself immediately taken off Sunday lunch. I don’t understand why the church crowd are such terrible tippers. And they’re so rude too! Maybe they are judging the fact that we are working on the Sabbath or something. I dunno. All I know is I hated it. After a while I decided to start opening on Sunday so I’d have a good section. I still didn’t make any money so I stopped that after 2 weeks.

    The best tippers seem to be families with teenagers (I’m only 23 so I can banter with everyone pretty well), middle aged women, certain types of business men, & surprisingly Asians & Hispanics. I have always done well with those tables even though most everyone I know crashes & burns with them. I also find that if I can work into a conversation that I (was) in college or I’m working on my Master’s currently, that increases the tip. I used to always give them a pen advertising my college for them to sign their credit card slips, hoping they’d notice & say, “Oh, he’s in college. More tip!” And it worked quite a bit, I think.

    If all goes according to plan, this should actually be my last weekend serving ever. Wish me luck!

  439. Like JP said, I hate going to a restaurant & being treated differently because I’m young. You can tell that the server is kind of dreading the whole experience, especially when I order water (I just prefer it). When it’s pretty obvious they were expecting a bad tip, I always make sure to leave about 25% or more. But I usually tip high anyway just because I know how it feels.

  440. I meant JG in my last post, but I also wanted to clarify something. Regardless of who I get sat with, I don’t try to give poor service & I still bust my ass regardless. It just gets frustrating after a while.

  441. Hey Cavinicus –

    You phallically-challenged weasel. To use your own words:

    “… the tenor of your post (if you were, in fact, serious) indicates that you are an utter ass.”

    (BTW, lawyers are the worst tippers.)

  442. I must say I’m surprised (and pleased) that there is no discussion of women eating alone.

    I regularly eat out at about four-five different restaurants a week as I travel and hate to cook (when I’m home.) I always tip at least 20% and am happy to do it.

    I’d also like to comment on the 15% tip level; food costs have not risen proportionally in terms of inflation. $2 should be minimum tip on any bill and 20% should be customary.

    It also really frosts me when people don’t tip on to-go orders. Just because they don’t need to sit in the restaurant; doesn’t mean the wait staff doesn’t need their tip.

  443. i’ve always said servers aren’t racist, we’re monetarist: the only color we care about is green. that said, i would say i am most disappointed by canadians and british. not because they don’t tip, but because they know better and don’t care — and are also among the first to bash americans for disregarding the customs of other countries.

    i would also say the brits and quebecois are the worst, but at least you know what you’re getting into. people from other parts of canada [as well as people from other mentioned groups] are hit or miss, but the chance that your table from anywhere in the UK or quebec might actually tip is like trying to fill an inside straight.

  444. I have found that, although polite and kind, people from India are really bad tippers. When I was a server, there were a few exceptions. Gay men and women tipped fantastic, as did business men in their 50s.

  445. Worst tippers? Strangely enough, Americans on vacation. You think they’d know better but it seems like the whole tipping culture goes out the window once they’re off their home turf.

  446. This is all so interesting. In ’01, when I was traveling in Australia, we asked what the tipping standard was, as we weren’t really sure, and the waitress said you NEVER tip, and she said that some people would find it rude if you did. Also, being Canadian, our servers get decent wages, so a 15% tip is the standard. I live in New York now, and when I first moved here, I didn’t realize how badly waiters here were paid. A lot of foreigners, even Canadians, don’t realize that, which would explain smaller tips. I guess we should all research tipping in the country we are traveling to!

  447. sort of got offended about the aussies – but if you come from a country that pays $20 ph even more after hours – you can understand. Having been a waitress for the last 9 months – I take it as it comes. And in my opinion – americans have ripped me off the most.

    that aside – my recommendations on treating foreigners. Ask them what they would like to drink (that’s the greet)
    Get drinks – take order if ready.
    Drop food. Ask if they need anything else.
    Come back when everyone is done.
    Remove plates – ask if they need anything else – drop check. Almost guaranteed good tip.

    Because when I go out – I do not want to be interrupted every effing 2mins when I am eating.

    And don’t give me shit because I am a foreigner – as I live here and tip at least 20%. But next time I get shit service, because you think I am going to stiff you – well I will.

    DO NOT take my effing plate while people are still eating at the table.

    Ignore the corp b/shite – that’s my tip. The crap that we are meant to say is time consuming, irrelevant and just pisses people off. Treat everyone equal – whatever country they come from.
    Happy New Year!

  448. hey steve!! you haven’t written in a month! we miss you! hopefully you are just busy with the holidays. can’t wait to hear from you!

  449. I had a 4 top of mid to late 20 yr old male Brits today and they tipped me 30% for lunch. I was absolutely amazed. I gave them great service along with info of the area, they were very engaging and not demanding at all.

  450. ASIANS!!!!
    Europeans, religous people, a lot of the elderly.

    Having been a server since 1978 I find the practice of tipping odd, but have made a living off of it for many years. A good living…I work 30 hours a week and make far more then a teacher or fire/police person..go figure.
    Of course it is hard work and how many people can/want to do it. Which is why their are people who work the front, or the kitchen instead.
    I find that it all balancesout at the end of the shift, thanks primarily to regulars and people who are foodies, but the alternative would be pooling tips or having a wage paid by the owner which means you get mediocre service and servers who just don’t excel because THEY don’t have to. Just like any other job or say ….a union position!!

  451. waiter, where have you gone. I check your site almost every day, hoping at least for another question where we, your readers, are actually the bloggers and you are the facilitator, but nothing. It has been over a month. I know that writing a book takes time, but at least post something that says, hey, i’m too busy to spend 3 minutes posting, but i’ll be back around this time. don’t leave us hanging. the barmaid did it last year and it was sad. now she’s back and your gone. come back, waiter

  452. I’m starting to think that our absent host is sitting somewhere quaffing champagne and chortling to his buddies about the incredible number of idiots who continue to respond to this long dead thread. Yeah, I do get the irony of being yet another one.

  453. I’ve got to agree with everyone who said foreigners. I used to work in a fairly nice place in Washington, DC, and, as you can imagine, we got a ton of foreigners. They almost all tipped like like shit. In my experience Europeans were the worst. British, French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, and Scandinavians – all bad tippers. I’ll never forget one Saturday night I had a German couple who, after telling me multiple times how great the service was, left me 2 bucks on a $200 check. In fact, they liked it so much they came back the next morning for brunch. Of course they were seated in my section again.

    In my experience, blacks on the whole are no better or worse than the rest of the population, but there’s a subset of blacks to avoid like the plague: the wannabe gangstas, ballas, whatever… These fuckers come in in their throwback jerseys and gold chains, always run up a huge tab, bitch about the drinks not being stiff enough, and make a big show of picking up the check, only to leave a 5% tip. If you really want to prove what a “balla” you are, leave 25% like everyone else trying to show off.

    The worst of the worst though is a large group of teenagers. They’re usually a pain in the ass to deal with, and inevitably you get fucked on the tip because they don’t know / can’t add.

  454. Tonight at work I had a table tell me how good I was & I was like, “Damn. Verbal tip.” I’ve had that happen before & then reading this the past few days it scared the shit out of me. Especially when the grandma paid & I walked by & heard the grandson say, “That’s 10%.” But apparently I deserved more than a verbal tip because they left me about 16%, which is good for this God-forsaken town.

    Thank you for proving the verbal tip wrong, people.

  455. My husband and I are both Australians living here in the US. We love going on road-trips and stopping at small town diners. I suspect sometimes we get really shitty service due to the waitstaff thinking we’ll give them really shitty tips. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, waitstaff. Usually if we go to a cheaper chain restaurant or diner we’ll tip in excess of 25% – I tend to leave a minimum of $5 even if my sandwich and coffee only came to $10.70 or whatever.

    Don’t stiff me, and I won’t stiff you.

  456. retiaw: you must not live in the US. Food costs have gone up right along with inflation so no reason to change the current 15% for decent service at leasat in a big city like Chicago. Also, there is NO REASON to tip for takeout. There is minimalo if any service generally but you never were a waiter like I am so you wouldn’t know.

  457. Worked for many years at a 24 hour diner off of a college campus. Saw the gambit of good and bad tippers. Had kids who would “camp out” at a table for hours while studying and most of them would tip a bit extra for taking up the space. Occasionally had the true starving college student, they would pay their bill in change and leave what they could. It never really upset me, because they were always very polite and never made my life as a waiter difficult. But there were those few that would make you mental. “Friends” of the owner who came in never tipped. We had one guy we nicknamed the “Hundred Dollar Asshole”. Back when we still had the register system he would come in first thing in the morning (immediately after we’d changed the drawer and made a cash drop) and purchase the cheapest thing on the menu and then pay with a crisp $100 bill. We would of course have to go into the office and get the manager to open the safe and pray to the restaurant gods that we could make change. Then the guy would never tip. Every morning… One of our other most hated groups was the charity hospital group. They would always call in a HUGE togo order right at the busiest time of night (around 2am when the local bars closed), then they would send 1 person to pick up the order, but with 10 or so different payments (because of course everyone want to pay seperately). We had to give perfectly exact change (down to the last penny) and then there would never be a tip left. And on top of that, they would always call and complain that something was messed up. We politely tried requesting that they place their large order at a slightly less busy time of night, but they never seemed to grasp that idea. So management tacked on a 10% gratuity to togo orders. That seemed to get the message across and they stopped calling in orders. Over all, most people that patronized the diner were great and pretty good tippers, but I guess every place has those elite few that make you mental. Great blog! Thanks a bunch!

  458. Additional thoughts:

    I give good service to every table I get. If I get a good tip, great, if I get a crap tip, I get over it. I try not to have my level of service affected by a presumed stereotype. I have quite often been proven wrong, and those are always happy days.

  459. you have to walk off a bad tip and not let it ruin your entire shift or the rapport w/your other customers. Although I don’t like to stereotype, I’ve consistently found that Indian people are often the worst tippers and most difficult to deal with.

    One little, two little, three little Indians, four little, five little, six little FOUR PERCENT….

  460. So out of all my years of serving, I came across the worst tippers of my life in Tallahasee, FL. I was working at T.G.I. Friday’s (post striped shirt/suspender days, THANK GOD). Our guests consisted of FSU, TCC, FAMU students and Baptist church-goers. FAMU is a predominantly African American college, they were the worst, god awful tippers, next to the Baptist church-goers. The FAMU students, which we nicknamed “Canadians”, would leave 5% if we were lucky. Even the African American servers cringed when they had these students sit in their section. At Fridays, were were all given 4-table sections, if we had a full section of FAMU students, we were able to call BINGO. BINGO was a game the servers invented to help out their fellow servers make money on a section that we were most likely not going to make a dime on. If you were able to call BINGO, every front of the house employee had to give you a dollar, which usually equaled to about $15. I was able to call BINGO once in a year, but I came close quite a few more times. FAMU students definitely get my vote for the worst tippers ever. (Sorry if I offended anyone, just stating the facts.)

  461. Dave: Why would you not tip on take-out? Even if it’s just a couple bucks or 10% or something? Because the waiter is taking time from handling their tables to order and box up your food. Maybe you work somewhere where all of that is done for you, but in my experience the waiter is always stuck doing that kind of work. Sometimes I’m juggling 4 tables and 3 take-outs and my table service literally slows down because the take-outs are so much work.

    As for whether 15% is a decent tip or not… I haven’t been serving for 20 years so I don’t know if wages change that much, but in my shorter experience, server wages don’t go up, even as minimum wage increases. So I’m paid the same measly $6/hr and if I’m not getting between 18% and 20% tips I can barely make a living wage. Restaurants should pay servers more, but that’s also one of the few places they can cut costs. After all, most restaurants don’t make that much money, from what I can tell.

    I always tip 20% unless there was something terribly wrong with the service, because I know that when I get less than 20% it makes me feel like my table wasn’t pleased with the service. 15% is a crappy tip in my eyes, I usually only pardon the families with kids who probably are struggling in this economy anyway.

    As for the worst tippers, I find a lot of Asians undertip (though I’ve had some great Japanese business men who tip %20 even when their food gets delayed, etc.), as do the people who go out of their way to compliment me and thank me for my service, and even tell my manager how great I was. These people seem to feel it is then adequate to leave 15% or less, and half of me is frustrated by this while the other half forgives them. Speaking of Asians though, I am Asian myself, so I always try to tip well when I go out to fight this stereotype.

  462. BLACKS and the Church crowd. Absolutely terrible 99% of the time (at least in Maryland). Always extremely demanding as well.

  463. When I worked ina restuarant, the best tippers came from single people or middle class people and families. The worst tips came from parties of 10 to 20 people. We had a group of people come in once of about 60. There was not a penny for the bus boy.

  464. I would like to say that here in Canada there is a minimum wage standard, in Alberta where I live I am payed $8.00 an hour to serve, I get at the most 5hour shifts, after that shift I have to pay 3% of my total food sales to kitchen and host, I have had days where I would have to pay out of my pocket for that 3% because there wasn’t enough tips to cover it…I have also had days where I have sold over $1000.00 in food but still only walked home with $10 after my 3% pay out on sales….

    After 5 hours of busting my ass for customers I would hope that I pleased them enough to make at least 15%, chances are half of my customers will leave the customary $2.00 and the rest will average $4 -$10 tip….I am usually pretty happy when I leave work with $30. to go and get some groceries to take home and have money left to tip the guy who carried the said groceries out to my car…

  465. I am truly annoyed at the comments about old people.

    I worked for fun at Nordstroms after I retired. And guess what? The rudest people I waited on were young people.

    One customer’s 2 year old (sorry for being gross) pooped on the floor. She said sorry, smiled, and left me to clean it up.

    As for demographics. The young Asians were beyond rude, followed by young mothers, followed by high tech workers – having worked in high tech and having graduated from an Ivy League University – it was rather amusing to be treated like a dummy, their slave, and there to meet very unresonable demands.

    I worked in the active department and what people did to the swimsuits was not to be believed. The filth left on the swimsuit bottoms makes me wonder why I didn’t die of a dreadful disease. As these were bikini bottoms you can be sure that the customers were young.

    Less you think that I did not give good service – I got many many atta girls.

    So all you young ones – you are not perfect either.

    BTW I leave 20% tips unless the service sucks.

  466. This is my best (yet worst) tipping story. Years ago on our honeymoon, my husband and I were dropped at a prominent site in Paris. We got a taxi that took us around the city for some time with a great big bill at the end. The taxi driver gave me a huge ‘what sort of tip is that? (his language was worse than that)’ so I threw some money at him and said ‘well is that enough?’ We found out the next day that our accommodation was exactly one block from our drop off point……

  467. I haven’t waited tables for years, but when I was waiting, the worst tippers were those who paid with Platinum American Express cards. CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP – which is why they have so much money.

  468. Someone who lives in Atlanta wrote on here that they think black people are the worst tippers and since Atlanta is 65% black, they get screwed a lot.

    Well let me say that there’s got to be something wrong with your service! I live in Atlanta, wait of plenty of black people and bad tips are not associated with race. I fear that servers look at a table, see that they are black and unknowingly give bad service because they think they are going to tip bad.

    I don’t get too many bad tips, but when I do it’s usually from Europeans. But they don’t tip there. I think they know we tip here but don’t know how much to tip. Hey, at least they try…

    And for Church people… I don’t work Sundays. Almost never have so I don’t know how the Sunday crowd tips even after 8 years.

  469. Bad Tippers (most of the time)

    Blacks (nice little cracker, can you hand me my change purse?)
    Browns (no speaky english)
    Yellows (no speaky english)
    Canadians (15%, a little much, eh?)
    Brits (Ignorant fucks have no cuisine of their own)
    Krauts (richest country in the world, still cheap as fuck)
    Frogs (one word, hypocrites, go to hell)
    Old People (ahh..fixed income…make a fucking sandwich at home)
    Teachers (let me teach you something about tipping(it’s 15% you cunt, you get an F)
    Working class whites (go to fucking McDonald’s, you’re not fooling anybody with those dress shoes)

  470. Churchgoers (take your Christ pamphlet and go shove it up your hypocritical ass, I hope you burn in hell while getting sodomized by an herpetic ram)

    Punjabs (first you come and steal our jobs, now you want to run me around like I am your rickshaw driver, go fucking wipe your ass with your right hand)

    Take a tip from your favorite waiter:

    1)Don’t ask stupid fucking questions that can be answered by reading the menu.

    2)Don’t complain about how slow your food is taking. Don’t worry I put your food in the computer first cause I do not want to look at your diseased face and deal with your deviant personality.

    3)Do, sit down and shut up, eat your processed meal that I spat in, and move out of my restaurant like the cattle that you are. If you do this, I will not jizz on your macadamian nut brownie dessert.

  471. okay… Anonymous, I think it’s time for you to leave the service industry. Or for the very least, leave the place you’re at because you’re obviously very unhappy there.

    Granted we are all ranting about our work, but who doesn’t bitch about their job. With the language you’re using… you really need to find a new industry because you are very unhappy.

  472. @Boon: I’m sorry you’ve had some bad experiences with us Canucks. Not all of us are scant tippers… Canadian receive, at minimum a dollar below minimum wage, which is, in Ontario, 9.75; So servers get 8.75. The minimum wage changes for each province, but the amount below minimum wage is fairly standard. I know Americans get a lot less than that.

    I tip based on service, but at the same time, good service will get a 20-25% tip out of me. Great service, possibly more.

    I am a university student and server, and I work in a facility that is open 24/7 (casino). My worst tippers are Sunday brunchers, and people who would rather put the money into a slot machine than a server’s pocket. It sounds harsh, but it is true. Addicts are an ugly truth of casino life. I also have trouble with people who feign ignorance to Canadian tipping policies, but if I were to sit here and list, I could be here all night.

    Hope I answered something for you, Boon, and good luck with the writing, Waiter!

  473. I despise dealing with the nouveau riche types, they come in dressed in their designer clothes, acting all uppity and what not, while emitting the strongest odor of bullshit I have ever smelled. They usually drive a Nissan Armada or Cadillac, live in a cookie-cutter McMansion, drink Budweiser cause it’s American, pray at the table for THEMSELVES ONLY, use some of the most broken English I have ever heard, and stick me with $5 on a $120 tab. You’re not fooling anybody with your lifestyle. Now I know why these douchebags got rich. I hope when you are on your deathbed and you are listening to Sinatra’s “My Way” that you, your money, your McMansion, your clothes, your jewelry weigh you down and suffocate you, you cheap no good ignorant lout.

  474. In response to Grace and others about having owners pay a decent living wage here are my thoughts…
    I worked for a german guy who wanted to pool the servers tips and delegate an amount to us of course we would not stand for it so it never did happen. His attitude,(he was an immigrant) was that we the servers should not be earning as much as we did, this was in the 80′-90’s when I was there. My response was he should be happy I earned what I did because it was a testament to the food and the restaurant and how successful it was.
    I stand by that. We are in a profession, it is hard work and Grace or whomever stated the work being “mindless” I have waited on quite a few executives who can’t speak well, make a decision, control their children, or add numbers!! And they make 6 figures and above. Yet I remember what their children need, what they had last time they were in, what they drink, what grape comes from what region and what the soil grade is in that region, and correct their addition mistakes. While also waiting on at least 6 other tables at the same time!
    I like this work, I have done it for more then 30 yrs and like I said before it all balances out.
    However if servers were paid a set wage or pooled their tips, then you would lose servers like me who enjoy and take pride in their work because once it is a set wage the slackers don’t have to try anymore, their is no bar to reach, whatever they do they get thier wage, and like it is with unions, you get bitter employees who actually want to do their job well but it really doesn’t matter because the bar has been lowered. the slackers win.
    I am fortunate to be in a small family neighborhood restaurant with regulars that come in weekly, I have developed relationships through this restaurant. The owners are great, the money is good and here is the clincher,…the owners want the servers to make as much $$ as they can because they know that this makes a successful business!! No one leaves this restaurant not even the cooks, which is unheard of! That alone is enough of an explanation!

  475. History has turned the tables 180 degrees.

    In the 1800s whites would order blacks around for absolutely no money or else whip them.

    Today, black people order whites around for absolutely no money so they can eat food.

    You should have told you ancestors not to fuck with mine! HAHA!

  476. THE WORST TIPPERS ARE MEXICANS!!!! HANDS DOWN!!! ESPECIALLY THE ONES WHO DONT SPEAK ANY ENGLISH AND POINT AT WHAT THEY WANT ON THE MENU!!! The bring in their family (which is a small herd) expect everything and give you NOTHING!!!!!

  477. My worst tippers are definitely mexicans and teenagers. (And I’m in New Mexico).

    The teenagers I don’t mind too much, especially if they are on the younger side. I don’t work at a big fancy restaurant and if someone orders 10 bucks worth of appetizers I don’t expect much of a tip. Although I wish they would just order it take-out.

    The other group is typically a family of mexicans with 2-3 kids. They always make a huge mess and their kids are always running up and down the halls being obnoxious. Then they tip 2 dollars. 2 dollars seems to be the standard tip from mexicans no matter how big or small the table is.

  478. I have been a server for over 12 years and HANDS DOWN the worst tippers are BLACK PEOPLE!! Not only are they the worst tippers but they are needy, rude, ask how much everything is, complain, want something for free, and run my ASS off!!!

  479. You want more money? Get a better job!

    I only tip when I get good service.

    Waiter/waitress has an attitude? Food cold? Inattentive? F-you I won’t be back anyway.

    Amazing how people think they are entiteled to get more for doing their job. Where is MY tip for doing MY job?

    Trash guy picks up trash….rain, sleet snow, cold, high heat…where is HIS tip?

    Doorman stands all day in shitty weather, where’s HIS tip?

    Policemen deals with sociopathic scumbags all day? Sorry, no tip for you!

    F-you. Be happy with what you make or do something else/get a second job.

    No one is making you work at a f-ing restaurant.

    BTW most Black people & Latinos don’t tip because they get shittier service and bad attitudes from racist white waitstaff.

    European restaurants have sense enough not to be dumb enough to count on a patron’s generosity as a supplement to their income, so they just charge higher prices and pay a better living wage overall. Ever think of that?

  480. You a food server. Your job is to bring people what they are paying for – when they want it.

    You are f-ing complaining because people expect you to fill their requests as they dine? And that they are paying for?

    No customer should be rude or obnoxious-that goes for any service industry.

    But if your f-ing JOB is to GET PEOPLE THINGS WHEN THEY ASK FOR THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE PAYING FOR IT, either quit complaining and be prepared for the worst – or quit and do something else.

    I could give a rats ass if you make enough money. Not my problem.

    A soon as you start you tipping ME as you exit my bus, after I finish mowing your lawn, bagging your groceries or ringing up your clothes purchase at the mall… I’ll f-ing think about tipping you just because you have a low salary in a job YOU chose to take.

    F-you. do your JOB and STFU.

  481. Anonymous wrote on 01/6/10 at 3:15 pm :

    History has turned the tables 180 degrees.

    In the 1800s whites would order blacks around for absolutely no money or else whip them.

    Today, black people order whites around for absolutely no money so they can eat food.

    You should have told you ancestors not to fuck with mine! HAHA!

    One of the BEST comments.

  482. I work with a miserable piece of shit woman who is as uncharitable a person as I’ve ever met. She says that if the paper boy would deliver her paper on time, she’d tip him. She never thinks to try it the other way around: tip the carrier, and maybe he’ll care about his job more. And she talks about everything this way. She can’t help herself; she’s a lonely, miserable, judgmental bitch who hates everyone just because the rest of the world is happier. And she’s a shitty tipper. So who are the shittiest tippers? Miserable people are.

  483. I have worked in restaurants during college and as a result, find that I always tip WAY too much in order to overcompensate for the people I’m with who have either never worked in customer service, are trust fund babies, or are old (ie. parents). But at times, because I’m Asian, I feel I am already pre-judged as a bad tipper and as a result will get crappy service…if I leave a poor tip for the crappy service, then the server will attribute that to the stereotype.

  484. Based on my current job:
    1. Indians usually leave 10% or less
    2. Elderly is a straight hit or miss
    3. Canadians are terrible
    4. Ghettos/ghetto fabs 10% or less
    4b. ghettos/ghetto fab teens are 5% or negative

  485. I agree with Sarah! Teachers!! I used to get 6 teachers in for lunch about 3 times a week. Every one ordered the same thing but all had to modify it in a different way, It was a Greek salad but one wants no dress. another dress on side, one no onion, one no green pep. and on and on !!! Then leave 10%! After telling you what a good job you did, like you were a student!

  486. Shut up R D… I agree if you don’t like your work find something new. However I do tip my garbage and recycling people, my mailman, my paper girl/boy, and my servers….As I have stated before if servers got a set wage then service goes down and people like you complain and try to get something free!

  487. The worst tippers are the Jehovah Witness Sunday brunchers. Uber demanding, slightly degrading tone disguised in a sickly sweet voice, and they always choose the cheapest item on the menu.
    A close second: ninety-year old, partially-deaf men on New Year’s Eve. A seven-hundred dollar bill in a fine dining establishment requires a minimum of 25% on NY’s eve. I received 3%. And a wake-up slap upside the head of the younger folks who not only allowed this ancient relic to pay, but did not peak at the credit card receipt to ensure an adequate tip was left. HOLY SWEET MOTHER OF BLEEP!!!

  488. Anonymous needs to pop a strong pill, chase it with the cheap-ass vodka I’m sure he/she drinks and can the bigotry already.
    Get a life!

  489. In my experience, other service folk can be terrible tippers. When me and my former waitrons used to go out there was a 50-50 split between us over-tippers and the others who used every service slip (“She didn’t bring me my third glass of water in a timely fashion”) to deduct from the tip. One, who was a terrible waitress herself, said that she didn’t tip one girl who had busted her ass for us because she didn’t want to “encourage her” to continue “a restaurant career.”

    The worst was when I got stiffed for a tip by the family of a busgirl. I should’ve & could’ve put ‘em down for an automatic gratuity too. I asked her why and she told me they complained when I didn’t didn’t bring a third round of complimentary breadsticks fast enough so she told them not to tip me. Then I told her that I didn’t make any tips that night so she would not be getting a tip out from me and she freaked out.

    Thanks for letting me rant

  490. I serve in Canada, at a restaurant near a hotel and the airport. My customers are 50% American, the rest are Canadian or other nationalities. I survive off of the American tips. It surprises me to read canadians claim to receive crappy tips from Americans, as for the past 4 years I have consistently received 20% from texans, Californians, north eastern Americans, and all others.

    In my experience the worst tippers have been mexicans (not Latino immigrants but people actually visiting from Mexico), elderly east Indians, verbal tippers, and the last person at a big top who says they’ll pay what’s left on their debit card, and only tip on that difference that they’re settling.

    As for the average caucasian Canadian, I find that they tend to tip about 12%, but in between all of the Americans I have the pleasure of serving and the $9 minimum wage i make, it’s not too bad.

  491. I found this site after a recent horrible service experience as a diner, and have a few replies to the service people:

    Canadians – meaning the ones from Canada, and not the code for veiled racism like some have talked about… As much as Canadians don’t like to admit it, they are pretty much USA North, and the same customs apply. 10-15% is normal in Canada, since min wage for servers is $8-10 an hour. Off of four tables, you should be able to take in $18/hr at least with tips, which I would say is a reasonable wage. I know in the US it’s different, but have any of you perhaps considered a petition/letter writing campaign to your elected officials to invoke a change?

    Professionals – After tips, a server can make just as much as an entry-level college grad. The server didn’t have to spend 4-5 years of their life and put tens of thousands of dollars at risk to become a server. Young professionals have much less disposable income than you after the fact. And no sympathy for them either, as they chose to incur that debt, but no sympathy either for servers who want more money but seem to do nothing to attempt to better their position to earn it.

    I’ve read the “if you can’t tip, you can’t afford to go out” line a bunch on here, so I’ll address that in different groups.

    Foreigners/Tourists – yes, maybe they should make an effort to learn customs before they visit, but telling them to “stay home” is ridiculous. First, a good portion of a restaurant’s business comes from tourists, so if they stay home, then either you or several of your friends/co-workers jobs are eliminated due to not being necessary. Also, the tourism dollars they bring in increases the amount of corporate and consumption taxes brought in. Without it, you either see a substantial increase to your personal tax rates or a drastic reduction in your social services provided by your municpality/state. Consider it a trade off.

    Elderly people – a large number of elderly people didn’t have a nest egg to retire on, and live off roughly the same amount each month as you do. Many of them no longer have the ability to drive to the grocery store or the capability to cook for themselves, hence they rely on the restaurant business. So nice going, you’re trying to get ahead by stepping on someone who’s in just as bad as shape financially as you. And if it’s an older guy, chances are that at one point, he was in the middle of a field under fire from Nazis/Koreans/Vietnamese risking his life so that people like you could come to a place like this in the future and freely complain about your wages and do petty little things like “Vote” and “Make Your Own Choices.” So I’d consider that and perhaps cut him a little slack.

    Also, wine should NOT come into play when a percentage tip is involved. Unless the restaurant is conveniently located within a couple miles of a vineyard owned by the same company, I’m 99% sure that nobody in the restaurant had anything to do with it’s preparation. Expecting an extra $25 on a bottle of wine that nobody had anything to do with making is ridiculous.

    In fact, the whole notion of percentage tipping is ridiculous. How much extra work is created for you, the server, if I order a $30 steak as opposed to a $10 burger? None at all. Yet the tip is supposed to be 3x as much? The only way I wouldn’t argue about this is if I was assured that every last penny of the difference between the “burger tip” and the “steak tip” went to the kitchen staff who had to do extra work, and not the server who didn’t.

    Also, I’m a little confused. Some of you have complained that people didn’t order alcohol/appys/desert. Others complained ab