Tipping Karma: Your Tipping Habits Made Public


Do you tip a straight 15%? Do you bump it up to 20% or more for really good service? Not to worry; you should be in the clear.

Bad tippers take note. They’re naming names.

If you are rude, if you are demanding, if you totally stiff your server, you just might find your name making the rounds in cyberspace on a list of bad tippers. Waiters, bartenders, even pizza delivery guys all have their go-to websites for rants and revenge, pulling transaction details from credit card receipts and posting them anonymously. The tweets could be flying before you get your car back from the valet parker (and yes, they have their own site).

Find out what your servers really think of you.

Waiter Rant has made an industry of tipping tales with a popular blog and a best-selling book, Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip – Confessions of a Cynical Waiter. Here you’ll learn how the car you drive tells the world what kind of tipper you are, and why the check for your table of 6 included a gratuity charge.

Bitter Waitress pulls no punches with posts like Man and Fat Wife’s Anniversary, and Stop Coddling the Whiny, Bitchy People.

Is your name among the thousands of entries in the Lousy Tippers Database? With the ominous subtitle ‘There is a Consequence,’ let’s hope not.

Another place that servers go to share is the Facebook page Bad Tippers Suck! where they like to remind you that there is no such things as over-tipping.

Celebrity Tipping: the stuff of legend.

All eyes are on them as they stride in with entourage and attitude. They are fully aware of the scrutiny, the flash of cell phone cameras, the gossip that moves at the speed of light. But still, they engage in heinous acts of tip stiffing. Such hubris! Of course their servers are only too happy to share sordid tales of rude behavior and lousy tips.

Sullen, petulant Russell Crowe appears on the list of the 10 best celebrity tippers while perpetually cheery Rachael Ray is one of the 10 worst. Go figure.

Stained Apron identifies celebrities as ‘Saints’ and ‘Scum,’ claiming that tipping habits are the true test of inner peace and civility. We could have guessed about Uma Thurman, but it’s nice to know that the former members of the Village People wear the halo. It seems that most members of Congress are going to hell, but we already knew that.

Here’s a tip: don’t wait until you see your name on a bad tippers’ database to give a jolt to your conscience. From sommeliers to tattoo artists, find out the appropriate gratuity for all the service workers in your life with these tipping guidelines.


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11 Responses to Tipping Karma: Your Tipping Habits Made Public

  1. Janice says:

    I think your expectations are more than reasonable.
    I think that service experience should be a prerequisite for dining out. I wonder if much of your attitude was shaped by the fact that you’ve walked in those shoes.
    But ultimately no restaurant can expect to hang on to customers- especially in this economy- without enforcing standards of service appropriate to the setting. They’re foolish not to.

  2. Dave in Wyoming says:

    My first job was waiting tables at Pizza Hut in 1978, so i’m familiar with both sides. I use a few criteria. First off, your personal life is yours, but if I go somewhere nice, I don’t want my server to have massive ear holes you can throw a marble through, a lip piercing that is crusty because they don’t care for it or weird hair, bare arms with tattoos, a 2 day growth of facial hair or if female, armpit hair. Hair should be tied back no matter the sex, so that when you lean over to serve me, it doesn’t drag across my glass. If I’m at Taco Bell, most of that’s fine, but ANYTHING not fast food, is not acceptable when I dine, including Village Inn. I want a professional who cares about my dining experience. Yes, sometimes the cook is bad or there’s delays, and this is considered, but so is whether you came to my table more than once. Did you bring my salad or appetizer first so I could enjoy it? Did you bring a forgotten item I asked for that went with my meal, or did I have to ask you again? Was my table clean when you seated me? I realize sometimes you DON’T have a choice, but I don’t want to be next to the bathroom to enjoy the smells emanating from there or next to the door where my food gets cold. I would rather be told that I will be seated there, and then I can tell you to let someone go ahead of me. If you ask if I want a refill, don’t take my glass, bring me a fresh one. This seems trivial, but more than once, I have been forgotten, and in the meantime my beverage is gone, and i’m stuck with nothing. I sound like a real pain of a customer, but my wife and I tip WELL above 20% when we are treated well, and I go to the extra step of telling managment how good the service was. I also do the same for bad service. On average, we have good experiences most times. There are times you’re having a bad day, but you should leave those problems at home. I didn’t cause them. I don’t deserve the baggage from the last customer that constantly whined and complained, just as you don’t deserve my baggage from a crappy day at work. One thing that really will get you a better tip is a smile EVERY time you come to my table. I want to feel welcome, not feel as if i’m a burden. And one more thing: No more tip jars in places I serve myself! SHAME ON YOU! You did NOT do anything but take my money, you did not “serve” me. Not venting…..preventing…..

  3. Janice says:

    The difference with servers is that there’s something called the subminimum wage for tipped restaurant workers–it’s a staggeringly stingy $2.13 per hour and has not been raised since 1991. There’s nothing gratuitous about tips. They constitute the vast majority of a server’s earnings; rather than rewarding servers for good service, tips are essentially subsidizing the pittance paid by their employers.

  4. banchara says:

    This idea that tipping is an entitlement is disgusting. It is that way in EVERY industry. If I do good bodywork, my client may give me a tip. If my stylist does a great job with my hair, I give her a tip. If my waitress is a rude bitch I don’t feel the least bit guilty with not leaving a tip. Sorry, wait-staff, I work hard for my money and so should you. If you aren’t getting tips, maybe you ought to ask for some feedback on why. I don’t penalize wait-staff if there is a kitchen problem or if the food is bad, unless the waiter doesn’t bother to keep me in the loop about unusual delays, etc. I also give great tips for great service. Maybe a better question is why we allow restaurants and bars to pay people below minimum wage. Doesn’t THAT make just a little more sense?

  5. Lisa says:

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy the “crappy service = no tip” argument.

    Tips are an understood cost of your meal and an understood part of the server’s income. If you walked into a restaurant and no service personnel materialized, then feel free to not tip.

    But crappy service is STILL service; if you ate food and drank things that someone brought to your table, you were served – maybe not to your standards, but still served. If the service was subpar, in your opinion, then tip the minimum and no more. Excellent service should be rewarded with bigger tips.

    Server dissatisfaction is an issue to take up with management, not an excuse to skimp. [full disclosure – I’ve never been a server, but I am a chef.]

  6. Pingback: The Chef Really Does Hate You | Gigabiting

  7. Mama says:

    I tip by service. If I get excellent service, it will be at least a 25-30% tip or ABOVE. If I get crappy service, no tip. Simple as that.

  8. Janice says:

    Sounds like you have some waiting in your job history. Or just a healthy respect for the job.

  9. Love your blog! 20% is standard for us, down to 10% when service is really bad. Not leaving a tip has never been an option.

  10. Great post! I am always a good tipper:)

  11. glad I always make an effort to leave a good tip!

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