Big Tipper Which gender do you think leaves the better tip? You may be surprised. BY JAMES PARK
Men say they tip more. Is it true?
When it comes time to leave a tip after sharing a meal with your spouse, who is usually more generous? If lip service counts, men say they are. According to a recent Gallup poll, men are nearly three times more likely to say they tip more than their wives.
Elsa Rojas, 22, a waitress since she was 16 is a believer. "Men, 90 percent of the time, tip better," she says. "As far as groups go, women are normally terrible tippers and they are usually high maintenance, especially compared to the majority of men who are easy going and don't throw a hissy fit if their cosmo is too strong."
"My husband definitely tips more," says Sally Herigstad, a CPA and author of Help! I Can’t Pay My Bills. "I figured out that even though he watches every dollar elsewhere, he believes in paying the person to bring our food. He’s not passing a judgment on anyone’s service or sparkling personality when he tips well. He just thinks it’s the fair thing to do. Waiters have to do very badly—practically not feed us—before he cuts back on their tip."
But does this mean men are generally just more, well, generous? Dan Isaacson, who waits tables for a second job, says no. From his experience, he thinks that it’s easier for female servers to draw bigger tips than their male co-workers. "Although we’re similar in age and attractability, their ability to leave a button undone or laugh at the right joke has them usually making about 10-15 percent more."
Herigstad says that her husband, Gary, tends to leave anywhere from 20 to 25 percent in gratuities, while she tries to be more exact at 15 percent. "It doesn’t matter if the waitperson is male or female or how cute they may be," she says. "Cloying sweetness doesn’t help. Apparently being new and slightly nervous does, because then he wants to encourage them."
Rojas says that unless she knows that a female customer has had experience working in the service industry, she would prefer not to wait on them. Lizz Stendera, 24, agrees. "I am definitely the bigger tipper between my husband and I," she says. "I think part of this has to do with the fact that I’ve worked as a server before."
While the Gallup poll doesn’t tell us definitively if men or women are better tippers, it does state that those who don’t tip the average amount, meaning less than 15 to 20 percent, are more likely to leave a restaurant without tipping at all. And how many of us have done that before? According to the poll, almost half (46 percent). That’s something that both spouses can agree to improve on.