So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

The old “blacks don’t tip” canard

is true when you believe it before you even greet your black table. Unless you just don’t buy into it.

Michael Lynn did a study where he found that they tipped about 3% less than whites.

I find this a lot of bullshit personally. I find that blacks tip pretty close to what other races do. Of course, that’s assuming that you aren’t doing the “internal eye roll” when you find out that they’ve been seated in your section. Even black waiters can fall victim to this sort of thing, if things that you read on the internet have any credence.  sure, I’ve gotten bad tips from blacks, just as I’ve gotten bad tips from rednecks, and rich people, and white professional women, and privileged kids going to $30,000/yr private universities.

Personally, if I were a person who was used to be treated as a second-class citizen because of the way I looked, the way I talked or the name that my parents gave me, I might not be inclined to give a decent tip either. People know when you aren’t greeting them with the same hospitality that you give to others, especially when they’ve been subject to it their entire lives. Their antennas are fine-tuned to that sort of dismissive service.

The best tip I’ve gotten from anyone in the past 2 months was from two black ladies. 38%. On a bill of $260 (I documented this in a previous post).

I have never had a problem with waiting on African Americans. I treat them just like any other table. I guess I profit from their mistreatement at the hands of less sympathetic waiters. Which is a fucking shame, if you ask me.

So, the next time you go to a black table with a sigh and a condescending attitude, just remember, I’ll be there to pick up the pieces next time and I’ll be the one going home with this gold.

I know this post won’t go over very well with certain segments of the waiter population. That’s fine. And yes, you’re free to express your displeasure and rebuttal in the comments section.


3 responses to “The old “blacks don’t tip” canard

  1. waiterextraordinaire September 17, 2009 at 7:02 am

    I agree we should never prejudge. Had a table the other night that left a tip that really I wasn’t expecting. By the way I like this lay out a lot better.

  2. Mark S September 18, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Was hoping you’d address this subject, and I’m glad you seem to have nailed it. I remember this issue being prevalent 25 years ago, and it doesn’t seem to be going away…

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