Help, a Direct Mailing For a Cleaning Service Actually Worked On Me And I’m Worried It Will Ruin My Relationship

I am using the Billfold to tell you that I paid $29 to have someone come clean our apartment in a few weeks, the day before my mom is coming to visit.

Tipping by State

Quartz looked at tens of millions of food transactions using data by Square, a mobile payments company, to see the tipping habits of diners of each state in the U.S. Of course, not every dining establishment accepts Square, but the coffee shop and food truck data is particularly interesting:

When the Weather Gets Bad, We Tip Better for Deliveries

Have you heard? The Polar Vortex may be coming back. I spent most of the previous Polar Vortex holed up with tea and wrapped up in a fleece blanket. Gauging the number of times the buzzer rang in my building, it seems as if my neighbors coped by ordering tons of takeout. Did they give the delivery people who ventured out into the freezing weather nice tips? The data says yes, according to The New Yorker.

One Day in the Life of a Restaurant

Our pal Willy Staley has a really lovely story in the New York Times Magazine giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at Balthazar, a popular French brasserie in New York. Three hundred reservations in one night is considered "mellow!" One of the butchers preps 150 steaks in 30 minutes! The thing that's unclear to me in the above is whether the tip money is what each of the workers earn, and not what will be divided among them (with 300 dinner reservations, it must be what they each earn).

How We Tip Cabbies

NYC cab fare data for 2013 is now publicly available. That means 100 million cab rides, 55% of which were paid for with a credit card. COMMENCE TIP CREEPIN'.

Tipping and Smiley Faces

This week, The New Republic's Alice Robb reports that research into tipping culture has shown that customers have a tendency to give bigger tips not because of good service but because of things like: the waitress is a woman who drew a smiley face on your check, or the even more biased: the waitress had blond hair.

Zagat on Tipping During the Holidays

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.

The One With the Big Tip

Why don't we start this morning with a WWYD, but have you readers help me this time?

Living on $2.13 an Hour, and Hoping Someone Leaves a Good Tip

There is another minimum wage battle being fought, and it's among service workers who are earning a tipped-minimum wage of $2.13 an hour hoping that customers will make up the difference with the gratuity they leave on the table. They'd like the sub-wage to be eliminated.

Zadie Smith On Tipping Your Delivery Person

Zadie Smith has a charming little essay in the New Yorker -- is that the most insufferable phrase I've ever typed? -- about ordering delivery in London vs. New York. Of course, the focus is on tipping, a topic that just may never get old. As far as I am concerned Zadie Smith can write charming little essays about whatever she wants and I will read them.