The Truth Behind the Tip™

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Posts Tagged ‘Waiter Rant’

Reader’s ‘Digestion’ and “The Waiter” revisted…

Posted by gratrueities on July 21, 2009

From Reader’s Digest Magazine and from Waiter Rant via Yahoo …a little reminder of some things to avoid when dining out!

Oh, those waiters!


Posted in Dining experience, Paying the bill, Pet Peeves, Pop Culture, Tipping, Travel, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tipping–A Hot Topic?

Posted by gratrueities on December 13, 2008

Why is tipping such a hot topic?

It certainly seems like there are conversations going on all over the Internet about tipping etiquette, restaurant tipping, hotel tipping and basically every kind of tipping.

Could 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 tuned into tipping.  Do those “tip”  dollars  mean more when money is tight?

Maybe so.

And, it could be the popularity of some recent books including Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica which my  dear business partner, Nancy,  posted on here.

Why do you think so many people are talking about tipping? Is it because of the economy?

Or, just because it’s an endlessly fascinating topic of conversation–which it is!

What do you think?

Let us know!

Posted in Economy, GraTRUEities In Use, Pop Culture, Tipping | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

“The Waiter” on Oprah

Posted by gratrueities on October 24, 2008



This post is at least a week overdue but I did not want to entirely skip commenting on this topic. I made a point to watch Steve Dublanica – aka “The Waiter” – in his October 15th appearance on the Oprah show. I have been a long time, if somewhat sporadic, reader of his blog Waiter Rant and recently purchased the book by the same title. If you haven’t had a chance to read either, I recommend you do so. Both offer an entertaining look at the role of the food service provider from the waiter’s perspective. Anyone who dines out can imagine the content of some of these stories…very funny, if somewhat one-sided, IMHO!

Back to Oprah…the show was really focused on general rudeness in society, with how diners treat waiters being one of the examples along with stories from a TSA agent, a store clerk and people talking about their pet peeves regarding public behavior from, cell phone use to stealing parking places. If you are interested, you may want to take the Rudeness Test.

This show was the perfect forum for Mr. Dublanica to share his thoughts on inconsiderate, demanding diners, poor tipping etiquette and the frightening ways in which a waiter might retaliate. It was fun to see him in the flesh, so to speak, as I had no idea what he looked like. (I have to say he was not exactly as I had pictured him, but I really had no basis for the image I had conjured up – other than his writing. I suppose I thought he was somewhat younger and a bit edgier in appearance. I didn’t then know that he is 40ish and a one time divinity student.) He was also more serious on the show than I expected, given his irreverent style of writing. Still, I enjoyed the show and it gave me more food for thought regarding GraTRUEities!  

What really struck me about the show was that it was very one-sided. (Some viewers apparently agree, if you want to check out the message board comments about the show.) This is to be expected of Waiter Rant as it is intended to express a singular point of view, but not of Oprah (I don’t think)!

Nothing was presented from the customer perspective. Has no one encountered a waiter with a negligent or negative attitude, a hostile TSA agent, a surly clerk? Is is not possible that rudeness is initiated from someone other than the customer?? 

Perhaps I’m naive but I can’t imagine many people being rude to service providers just for the fun of it or because they enjoy being bullies! I do concede that some people are uninformed or have unrealistic expectations, which they may convey inappropriately – but I also think often (most) times people REACT to the treatment they receive (or perceive)…or possibly don’t react but silently vow to never return to an establishment. Or, in the case of food service, maybe they just leave a bad tip!

Posted in GraTRUEities In Use, Tipping, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Truth in Tipping!

Posted by gratrueities on October 17, 2008

The recent publication of Waiter Rant directs new attention to the role – or plight – of the service provider,specifically the food service provider. In this book, “the waiter” explores his life (and livelihood) as a food service professional – at the mercy of his customers, 20% of whom are identified as “socially maladjusted psychopaths.” Fortunately, that leaves 80% of us who are pretty nice people “just looking for something to eat.”

In any case, it is true – the server does depend to a large degree on the mindset of those they “serve.” Unreasonable demands and expectations, lack of knowledge regarding tipping etiquette or basic stinginess. can be a big problem for those who depend on tips for a living!

Often overlooked, however, is the fact that quality of service does play a part! There is another whole perspective to explore…that of the customer.

In today’s economy, not only is the service provider be more financially dependent upon the tips they receive, the customer is more aware of how they are spending their dollars. With 20% being the new 15 % and tip jars prominently displayed on every food service counter, people are more inclined to examine the level of service for which they are tipping. This can lead in different directions – it may make a customer much more appreciative of their service provider or it may lead to frustration with the concept of being expected to tip generously for sub-par service…or risk being labeled a cheapskate and worse (like appearing on the pages of Waiter Rant!)

Julie and I have long analyzed the practice of tipping. We have also long considered the idea that a literal tip – a piece of advice, a helpul hint – would be a valuable addition to a monetary gratuity. Over the years, each time we met and dined out, we would brainstorm about the “real tip” we would leave for that particular experience.

After years of engaging in this activity for our own amusement (and we were very amused!), we concluded that there is a need for the customer to have a voice in their gratuity. Thus, we came up with the concept of GraTRUEities – a way to tell the truth behind the tip…and a vehicle for the customer to “put their mouth where their money is.”

GraTRUEities can be instructive, complimentary or explanatory – or all. They provide the opportunity for the customer to offer a suggestion or to express appreciation…how much and why.  Obviously, a service provider’s first reaction to an “instructive” GraTRUEity may not be overwhelmingly positive! It goes without saying that offering advice, while gratifying for the customer, can have its down side for the person on the receiving end.

However, if used and taken in the spirit with which they are intended, GraTRUEities should be considered a communication tool that may actually increase tips! More importantly, in our experience, is the service provider’s reaction to the complimentary GraTRUEity which, without exception, have been received with great enthusiasm! When a service provider has a special quality or skill that makes them exceptional, acknowledgement of that is rewarding to all!

Our instructions say to “use GraTRUEities responsibly and always with a monetary gratuity.” When used as directed, GraTRUEities are not only fun, but mutually beneficial!

We have actually found that the use of GraTRUEities has made us more appreciative of the challenges faced by the service provider. GraTRUEities have heightened our awareness of ourselves as customers and made us more cognizant of our own tipping practices – to the benefit of the service provider.

We find ourselves leaving a more generous gratuity when we are also able to add an applicable message. We urge others to try GraTRUEities and see how they enhance your experience as a customer – or as a service provider.

We also invite you to share your stories, as a user or a recipient, with us here on this blog or, if your prefer, in private at

Posted in Dining experience, Etiquette, Pop Culture, Tipping, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »