There was a fascinating article about the “booming market” of modern-day butler schools in — where else? — the Wall Street Journal last week.
The longstanding debate: Do you tip on the pre-tax total or the post-tax total? Our data revealed that most people tip post-tax (57%) as opposed to pre-tax (43%). Also the post-tax tip was more common in the South and Midwest (both at 64%) than in the Northeast (55%) or West (54%). Also men are slightly more likely to tip pre-tax (44%), while only 41% of women do this.
We haven’t had a post about tipping in a while! Zagat put together a holiday tipping survey, and some of the responses are very interesting. At our fancy bar this weekend, a friend asked us how much to tip the coat check person, and we felt $2 would do it. Responders answered similarly:
41% said only $1 per coat, 26% said $2 and 25% said they don’t check their coat. Glad we’re not the only cheapskates…
Also this chart is interesting to me because I didn’t realize people tipped their mail carriers and teachers during the holidays:
In the Times, Pete Wells (who you may recall for his viral review on Guy Fieri’s restaurant) adds to the tipping debate in a column about why he believes tipping is no longer effective. Wells talks to several chefs and restaurant owners in his column, but it would have been much better to get a wider range of perspectives from actual servers as well as the workers who bus tables and wash dishes.
In Guernica, Brian Blanchfield waxes poetic about housesitting for other people, describing the joys of doing it, and the times when it can all go wrong (like when the person you’re housesitting for comes home early and you’re asleep in her bed and everything is a mess).
Brendan’s post about getting fired from the food truck he worked at for tip-shaming a customer who placed a $170 order generated lots of discussion, one of them being (of course!), should you even tip when ordering from a food truck in the first place?
I couldn’t sleep last night, so around two in the morning I took half a Sominex tablet and put on the most recent podcast episode of Freakonomics (public radio voices are soothing). I ended up listening to the entire 40-minute episode because there was so much to think about and unpack.
This episode was filmed in 1995 and continues to haunt dinner tables everywhere.
How to tip the person who gives you a microphone to sing into.
I had chosen tap water over sweet tea so that my bill would be lower. Now I was going to tip the same amount of my friend who ordered more? This didn’t seem fair to me.