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Diner racism: Waiters diss blacks

12:23 am - 04/13/2012
Diner racism: Waiters diss blacks

The heated and ever-expanding national rage over racism is now spilling into the America’s large chain restaurants where African-Americans say everything from their tipping to tableside etiquette is dissed by white waitstaff, according to an in-depth survey for the Journal of Black Studies provided to Secrets.

“Black consumers who dine out frequently are almost guaranteed to experience discrimination at some point over the course of a month,” said the unique study. Worse: servers interviewed looked down their nose at blacks as “uncivilized and hedonistic” and as a result feel that “inferior service is warranted.”

The new survey, completed by two sociologists, one from Wayne State University, the other from North Carolina State University, adds to the explosive atmosphere sparked by the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida that’s been followed by racial clashes around the nation. Notable in the survey: of the 200 servers who participated, 87 percent were white.

Key findings: When asked who tipped best, whites topped blacks, according to the servers. Also, Whites were described as better customers than blacks, who typically were called “picky,” “demanding,” and “rude.” In addition, the servers--all from unidentified large chain restaurants--said that they “sometimes” heard coworkers make racist remarks 46 percent of the time. And 54 percent said they “sometimes” saw their coworkers providing inferior service to racial minorities.

Considering their treatment, said the authors, poor tips are deserved. “If servers provide inferior service to blacks, it should not be surprising that blacks tip them less.”

The good news: considering the size of the food industry, the percentage of racism determined in the survey is low, happening in about 4.1 percent of all meals served. But it’s still distressing considering the nation has elected its first black president who has made a point of socializing and dining outside of the White House compound.


apis_cerana 12th-Apr-2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
America’s large chain restaurants
They tend to attract all sorts of ridic people, though...I've witnessed a lot of fuckery from being at an Applebee's or w/e, and it's mostly big groups of douchey white frat boys. Lol.

Also in anecdata, I used to work as a hostess at a family owned mid-range Chinese joint with a moderately diverse clientele. Most people tipped 15%; there was not much of a trend at all wrt who tipped and who didn't...the only detectable one was that the richer guests were worse tippers :P
girly123 12th-Apr-2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
It's kind of amazing to me how stingy rich people are with tipping. It's like, dude, you have the cash, pony the fuck up.
akashasheiress 12th-Apr-2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
Poor people tend to be more generous with their money than rich people, i.e. giving relatively more to charity etc.
crossfire 12th-Apr-2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
I just don't get that. If I was rich I'd totally be tipping big. What's an extra $20 when you're rolling in it?
romantic_india 12th-Apr-2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking that you might find the silent film Greed interesting.
bushy_brow 12th-Apr-2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
How do you think rich people STAY rich? They're effing stingy, that's how. :-P
effervescent 12th-Apr-2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
I've come to think that it's because the rich have no idea what it's like to be where that server is standing. So they don't tip that well. People who aren't as well off know what it's like to be in the server's shoes, so they tip better.

It's sad that that's how things work.

Edited at 2012-04-12 06:32 pm (UTC)
armina_skitty 12th-Apr-2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
This is why I always say that ~when I rule the world~ people will be forced to work one full year in customer service somewhere. I always get the best service when I go to stores now, because I make it clear that I know what their going through. It's amazing what a little bit of empathy can get you.
roseofjuly 13th-Apr-2012 02:48 am (UTC)
I never worked customer service, but I just worked based upon the assumption that service workers are humans and would like to be treated as such. That gets me pretty far, lol.
silmaril 13th-Apr-2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
That, pretty much. Plus the fact that they don't make minimum wage in the majority of the US states and the tips are expected to make up the difference, and you basically have to be horrible to me to get tipped below 15%. And I don't mean "horrible at your job," everyone can have an off day, I mean "horrible, personally, to me or my table."

And that has happened only once in 14 years, so...
roseofjuly 13th-Apr-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
That's me, too. I give a base tip of 15%, 20% for good service and 30% or more on excellent service. My fiance and I are good tippers together. I also agree that they have to be completely horrible to get less than 15%, and like you, that has only happened to a group I was in once (and the server flipped us the bird as we were leaving, so it was the right decision IMO).
armina_skitty 13th-Apr-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
It's truly amazing how that works, isn't it?
celtic_thistle 12th-Apr-2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
Even when we were poor as shit my fiance and I tipped at least 25%. And now that we're doing a little better we sometimes do 30-40% depending. I HATE HATE HATE bad tippers. HATE.
windsong_moon 12th-Apr-2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
I can second that. I think it might be because the more average guest has a better chance to have once worked as a server before, thus knowing how important tips are?
thatdamnninja 12th-Apr-2012 04:28 pm (UTC)

Definitely. I was indifferent to the idea of tipping until I worked as a host and server. Now I am religious about the mofo, unless the person is outrageously rude.
oceandezignz 12th-Apr-2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
I can agree with this. While I am no longer allowed to accept tips (policy change ._.), I still go above and beyond with my tipping to the best of my ability. 20%+!
lickbrains 12th-Apr-2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
While I am no longer allowed to accept tips (policy change ._.)
Whaaaa—whyyyy???? o_o
girly123 12th-Apr-2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
Wait, wat. They're at least paying you minimum wage or more, right?
oceandezignz 13th-Apr-2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
I work at an amusement park in S.Cali as a face painter. We used to be allowed to, but when there was a change over in retail management from a great lady who was chill to this [very impolite extremely offensive non-PC term] who doesn't know heads from tails + vengeful for all the wrong reasons. She took tipping from us since it was apparently already in the park's policies, although we were previously declared exempt due to the fact our positions are the kind of thing people tip on - but oh well. I'm in management, so I'm covered for now. ~_~;;
celtic_thistle 12th-Apr-2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
That is my fiance's philosophy. He worked extensively in restaurants in his 20s and people were dicks; now he is the most ridiculously generous tipper I've ever known.
perthro 12th-Apr-2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
I found the same thing, working in an Asian restaurant. The only people I can count on to not tip, or to tip very little, is usually white college guys about my age (ESPECIALLY if they have a tonne of special requests), and people with large groups. Richer guests are usually worse (in tipping and manners) than ones who aren't. Broke people and minorities (with the exception of a few foreigners who genuinely didn't know to tip in America) are usually the nicest people around, and tend to tip the best, too.

Do you get poor service where you are? Come to where I work. We'll be happy for customers. Any customers. We're in the off season right now, and day-um it's slow. I had eight tables one entire night last week... and I mean, eight tables between three of us. It was bad.
apis_cerana 12th-Apr-2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
I worked there in HS and college, haha. I'm pretty sure they are doing OK though; they have out-lasted all the other restaurants in the area.
bmh4d0k3n 12th-Apr-2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
My friend, who's black, always tips 20%. I tend to tip the amount over %15 that will get me an even number, lol.
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