The politics of tipping


Just when you thought everything was political, it really is. Even tipping.

According to research by, a great tipper is a male Republican who lives in the Northeast and uses a debit or credit card.

Meanwhile, the worst tippers are female Democrats who live in the South and use cash.

According to the study, the best tippers leave a median 20 percent at a restaurant. The worst tippers leave 15- to 16-percent.

Tips are expected in North America and there are even rules of etiquette about it.

According to the etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute, diners should tip from 15 percent to 20 percent at a sit-down restaurant.

But, according to the research, one in five diners left no tip at all.

It’s well known that waitstaff depend on tips for a living. They get a base pay of just over $2 per hour and the rest of their income comes from tips, amounting to at least 58 percent of their income. Some staff even have to split tips with other restaurant staff.

Joe’s Crab Shack, among other companies, tried banning tipping with bad results. Customers complained that the food was too expensive and the service was poor. The company brought back the tips.


  1. In my opinion, the culture of over tipping and tipping for everything began with the Starbucks Revolution. Tipping a barista soon blossomed into tipping the Subway Sandwich “Artisan”. In the past, it was expected to tip for sit down restaurant service only. Now we are brow beat for tips for non-wait staff service sector jobs that make far above the nominal wait staff hourly wage of $2+- per hour.

    What next? People standing out on street corners and medians asking for “tips” just for existing. Wait a minute, I think that already occurs.


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