Are there different tipping practices for different races?

I went to a hip hop night with a friend of mine a few weeks back. After the bartender gave us our drinks, we paid and gave him a couple of bucks. He said, “Wow, do you realize that hardly anyone tips on hip hop night?” I couldn’t understand it because I always tip. He then pointed to some ladies who had just finished drinks and walked away without tipping. My friend and I were stumped. The same thing happened when we went to the upstairs and ordered drinks and tipped, the bartender was really surprised.

I can’t figure out the reasoning behind this. My friend is black and she always tips, so I wasn’t sure if it was a racial thing or what. This place probably had 300 people in it, with about 95% being black. What do you guys think?

I wonder if there was a significant age difference between their usual crowd and those present on hip hop night. I know that I didn’t realize for a while that tipping the bartender was done at bars - I had probably been going to them for two years before I understood.

Just a possibility.

Same age group as their normal nights. I know because I’ve been.

I’ve heard that Blacks and Asians tend to tip less than white people.

From my own experience, Asians don’t tip as much as whites. In some Asian cultures (I know Korean and Japanese for a fact), tipping is considered an insult. So if you go to Little Tokyo, you should eat all the food on your plate (to not do so is an insult to the cook) and don’t tip.

Then again, my fiancée’s hardcore Asian parents tip more often and better than my own hardcore white parents, so you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

hmmm, “normal” nights…:dubious:

Anyone who thinks hip-hop is normal is… um… abnormal :smiley:

In my experience (15 years working in restaurants) blacks IN GENERAL tip less than whites. I can’t seem to think of any instances where I waited upon Asians, so I have no idea.

I’ve noticed more difference in tipping practices between profession, gender, age and other things than along racial lines. For example, businessmen tip more than businesswomen, smokers tip more than non-smokers, middle aged people tip more than the elderly OR the young, and teachers? HA! You can almost always count on a group of teachers to be demanding, obnoxious, rude and cheap.

I understand that we British tip a lot less than Americans; equally, I understand that service staff in America depend upon tips for a higher proportion of their income. I’m probably a poor tipper for a Brit - but then I believe in tipping for good service, not service that is adequate.

Tipping customs definitely differ by country. In most of Europe, a “tip” is added as a service charge to the bill (Look for the words “service included” or “service compris” at the bottom on of the menu, or ask.) One might then round up, but not tip in addition – for instance, if the bill (including service) was E 19.75, you might just leave E 20.

The question of tipping for taxis, bell-hops, bartenders, and other service persons also varies by country. Thus, I am not surprised to find that any Asians who came from (or whose parents came from) a country where there was little or no tipping, would also tip low or not at all.

The problem in the U.S. is that the tip is a significant part of the service person’s expected income. It’s not just a “recognition of good service”, it’s what the poor shmo needs to compensate for inadequate wages.

I am surprised at the idea that black Americans would tip lower than white Americans. There is certainly a generational aspect to it – my mother (Depression-Era mentality) thinks that 10% is a very nice tip. I can also see that it could be related to economics – a person who is very well off can afford to tip well, a person who is struggling to pay the restaurant bill can’t afford the additional cost, and economics (alas) is related to race.

My hispanic father is a big tipper for good service and if he has a regular waitperson.

I once sat at a blackjack table in Atlantic City and watched an African-American gentleman give a dealer a $5,000 tip.

Of course, he was Patrick Ewing. Don’t know if that skews things at all.

What’s the difference between a Scotsman and a canoe?
A canoe tips!
Ha Ha!

Anyway, the funny thing about this joke was not the punchline, but where I first saw it: In my 9th grade English class book (1974). I don’t remember the reason it mentioned, though–probably about different meanings for the same word.

my wife waited tables while in school and also agreed that IN HER EXPERIENCE blacks were lousy tippers…she also used to get doctors and dentists that were picky pricks and didn’t tip well either…

My experience (only 3 yrs. waiting tables) is EXACTLY as you describe, right down to the teachers. In fact, I hadn’t even finished reading your post when I started thinking “ya know teachers are lousy tippers too” and then I got to the end and you had observed the same thing.

Being a Black American, I’ve always found it very gratifying to tip well FOR THE DECENT SERVICE THAT I RECIEVE!
I believe that regardless of our background or race, we have to also remember that most of these wait folks count on those extra bucks as part of their livlihood. To think I’d walk into a club, bar or resturant and not tip tip for decent service is unspeakable! Actually here in Oregon it is illegal to pump your own gas ( I am a California native). I even tip the poor guy/girl that has to stand out in t he rain to fill my car, so I would even tell you how fast they run up to my vehicle when they see me pull in. I think it simply comes down to being treated how you’d want to be treated. If I worked hard and busted my ass to make sure your drink was never empty and cigarette was lit (and the other 30 or 40 people sitting at the bar), shouldn’t anyone of any race or background or profession appreciate that with a small show of gratitude???

uhhhh, do you have a cite for this “fact?”

Certainly tipping is not the norm in Japan in restaurants, but I’ve never seen a tip turned down nor anyone insulted by it in Japan. Bellhops in Japan certainly do expect a tip (but do not express displeasure if you don’t tip).

REHarris - Welcome to the SDMB.

Can I get you a drink? :slight_smile:

I have a friend who is a waitress, she echos what Carlotta and lifeonwry have said.
I too agree with REHarris
I used to tip about 10-15%. Then times got tough and I had a job where sometime a tip put food on the table (I was in a job where tips wern’t the norm) Thankfully things have gotten much better since then.
I can tell you now I don’t tip less than 20% unless the service was god-awful

how much ARE you supposed to tip at a bar? (I’m going to college next year, I think I should know these things)

For someone in college, a buck a round for the most part, unless you’re doing something like nickel beer night. Use your best judgment then (and a factor in your judgment should be that with 100 cheapskates drinking nickel beers the group that tips $2 WILL get faster service).

Well this is right up my alley folks. I am a server. Most of what I have read in the thread so far is what many servers think. I have seen servers get a table of blacks that will say “I’m not getting a tip off that table”. Why? Well I am not sure what their thinking is on it. But I think it is because they have had bad tips off of other black folks and have based their entire thinking on that.

But it isn’t just black folks that are getting a bad rap. You will also get those servers that hate to work on Sundays, because they think that churchgoers don’t tip. “They believe in giving to God, but to hell with the server” (heard this one just last Sunday). You will also find servers that think that Indians don’t tip either. Why? “Well since the white men took all their land they don’t feel they owe society anything and certainly not a tip to a server”. As for Asians and other foreigners, you will get a server that will think they don’t know how to tell me their order, how are they going to know how to tip? The list could go on and on, teenagers, rednecks, elderly, smokers, etc. I can’t give cites. This is just the things that I have heard out of the mouths of servers.

This is NOT how I feel though!!! I don’t look at you when you come into eat and make judgements against you based on anything. Not the way you are dressed, not the way you talk, not the color of skin, not anything. IMHO, you can’t ever tell what someone is going to tip. I have seen rich folks with diamond rings big enough to choke a horse rack up a $100 bill and leave without tipping. I have also seen folks come in that looked like you might need to buy their meal, leave a substantial tip. You just can’t tell.

I feel attitude has alot to do with it. I work every table like I’m going to get a big tip. If I’m mad about the last table that left me zero. Then I could carry that on to your dining experience and ruin it for you and thus ruin my chances of another tip. Yes, your tips is how I pay my bills. Does it make you mad when you bust your ass on a table, only to get no tip? You bet it does. I wouldn’t be human if it didn’t :D. Am I going to hold it against you the next time you come in? No. For crying out loud I’m serving groceries, not saving lives people. There’s no need to take note. I am here to do a job. That is to serve you and make your dining experience a good one and hopefully you’ll come back and ask for me.