Running Heads

From the editors of Cascade Books and Pickwick Publications at Wipf and Stock Publishers

Are Christians Lousy Tippers?

Awhile back a waitress made an Internet post that went viral. She had served a large group at the Applebees where she worked. The minister leading the group wrote on the tab, “I give God 10 percent, why should I give you 18?” and scratched out the automatic large-group tip to substitute a zero. She signed with “Pastor” in front of her name.

A flood of restaurant workers posted to attest to similar experiences.

“I worked at the Outback Steakhouse for 3 years and we ALL dreaded Sundays.”

“The Sunday after church crowd were always the worst tippers. I found another line of work.”

“As a former waitress who frequently served parties of CHURCH members and pastors, I can attest to the fact that the majority of them were very demanding, condescending, dismissive and cheap. When 1 or 2 from the party of 12-15 did tip they would leave pennies and loose change.”

“I have waited tables in the past and I am sorry to say this behavior is not unusual. Often Ministers come into restaurants with their parishioners and treat the staff there to wait on them beyond poorly. They usually come in rather large parties and often leave very little tip for the poor server, who goes out of their way to care for the group.”

Are Christians lousy tippers? Apparently many are. Best to remember that tipping is a matter of justice (servers receive inadequate wages to survive without tips) and generosity (do unto others as would have them do unto you). And definitely best not to justify poor tipping with a (half-baked) theological rationale.


1 Comment

  1. A couple years ago, I put a lot of thought into tipping – I too saw that Christians are often lousy tippers, and thought, “WWJT” – What Would Jesus Tip?

    In the end, my personal rule is to tip 20% – all the time, regardless of service level. It’s my job as a Christ-follower to show generosity, not to judge. If I feel service was inadequate, then I should let the server know what they did wrong and how they could improve, and then I should still tip 20% – in fact, in that situation, giving a good tip is even more important than ever.

    Anyway, I’m not saying that “All Christians should tip 20%”, just that we should tip generously and graciously, and that we are not to use the tipping system as a way of being judges over and above other image-bearers of God.

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