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Tipping in the Bad Economy

Posted by gratrueities on November 2, 2008

Hi there…we’ve been wondering; is the economic downturn changing your tipping habits?

Are you tipping less, or, heaven forbid, in some cases, not tipping at all?

Are you changing the way you look at “the tip”, expecting more or expecting less from your service provider; being extra “critical”?

There has been plenty written lately about how the economy is affecting the restaurant biz. It’s been widely noted that the bottom line check total at restaurants is falling. Customers are being more conservative when ordering; skipping appetizers and/or dessert, ordering a glass of wine instead of a bottle, or one bottle instead of two.

I was in New York City this week and talked to a friend of mine who is in the food industry and often eats out. She said that she is still tipping her standard 20% but that overall she is tipping less because she is going out to restaurants less often. Instead she said she is more likely to “grab and go” stopping in for something quick like a hamburger, and then going to the theater, or to an evening event.

On the way to the airport I checked in with the driver from the car service, he said that business is definitely way off—mainly because of the layoffs on Wall Street which were big users of car services.  And, he also said that tips were way down. His company charges a flat charge including the price of the car service, tolls and a 20% tip. He said that about three months ago he started noticing that the “extra” tips were starting to dwindle and now that is something he rarely receives.

Personally, I’ve found myself reacting to the down economy in a mixed fashion. No matter what, I always keep the 20% tip as a standard. For me, the service would need to be downright AWFUL to stray below that level. However, I also feel like I’m more cautious about what I order when dining out and I’m more observant of the food, the service and the overall experience.  If I’m going out to a relatively expensive dinner, in these times, I expect a lot more for my money and am less forgiving when the overall experience doesn’t meet expectations.

How  do you find yourself reacting?


One Response to “Tipping in the Bad Economy”

  1. […] it be the economy? One of my theories, which I posted on at GraTRUEities last month,  is that with the bad economy, people are more […]

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