New Yorkers Cut Costs by Tipping Less

The economic downturn is trickling down to servers’ tips. “I think people are being a little more exacting in terms of their money,” says Erica Harrison, co-owner of 88 Orchard, a Lower East Side café. It’s hitting restaurants, coffee shops, even bars. “If someone orders a thirteen-dollar cocktail at the bar, normally they’d leave a two-dollar tip, but now they’re taking that extra dollar back,” says Peter Kane, owner of Stanton Social. Last month Tim and Nina Zagat wrote that customers are skipping appetizers, and New York restaurant workers agree. “They’re just going straight to the main course,” says Mehdi Jamil, general manager of Pound & Pence, a restaurant in the financial district. "If you buy less, you tip less." Some restaurateurs complain that the foreign customers propping up New York's economy are taking advantage of the weak dollar without compensating the waitstaff. “Our regulars are tipping about the same,” says Harold Wedick, manager of the Corner Bistro. “But it’s skewed by the influx of Europeans, who think that 50 cents is a big tip and pretend not to know the customs of the country.”

Earlier: Tipping Debate Continues, From Customer-Service Perspective

Read more posts by Lionel Beehner

Filed Under: foodienomics, tips

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