How many of you went out to Sunday brunch this morning? For many, it’s a weekly tradition after church. Sure, the crowds might be larger on Sundays, but how about the tips?
One website called Sundaysaretheworst.com was set up by a Tennessee pastor to let servers vent about the Sunday church crowds. He explains on the website that Christians have a bad reputation when it comes to Sunday lunch and he hopes to change that stigma. The site says it is for those who serve at a local restaurant to share how they get treated when the church crowd comes in. Every server who writes in receives an apology from the church and a chance to win a gift card. We spoke to local servers to see how the church crowd in East Texas stacks up.
It’s well in to the Sunday brunch rush at IHOP in Tyler and server Chelsea Elsten is hoping for a big payoff.
“Right now I’m trying to pay off my car right now and get that all taken care of and then I’m saving up for school as well,” she explained.
She’s worked at IHOP for five years and is largely paid in tips.
“It was $2.00, so I guess, as long as you get one it’s great,” she said with a positive attitude after picking up a low tip.
Though the crowd is often large, she says sometimes the tips are small.
“We’ll get more tables, but if the tips aren’t really that great then it doesn’t kind of average it out,” Elsten explained.
We left Chelsea to try to butter up another table for a bigger tip and checked in with server Jordan Hooker at Wasabi restaurant, in Tyler, to see if Sundays really are the worst.
“Yes, from what I hear, people at other restaurants, it’s a true statement,” Hooker admitted. “It’s only on Sundays. They all come in groups. Individually, they’re fine, but when they come in groups it’s kind of different.”
By different he means small tips, but says they do often come with a little extra something.
“Prayer cards, those are very nice. Try to get us to go to their congregations on Sundays, which is nice, but they got to understand, you know, Jesus doesn’t pay my bills,” he said.
We happened to run into a preacher back at that IHOP, so we asked, how do you tip?
“Completely based upon the service. If they do a good job I tip them. I’ve had a few times I’ve walked away and didn’t tip at all,” Rodney McDuff, said.
But, he says, that’s only for really, really bad service.
“It’s the worst feeling ever. You did all of this work for nothing and our pay checks are really small considering so pretty much your tips are basically everything,” Elsten said.
And this Sunday she’s hoping that very first tip isn’t the trend.
“That was $10.00 this time, so those are the kind we love to see all the time,” she said.
A 2010 study revealed that Christians tip an average of 17.3 percent for good service. The norm is noted as between 15 and 20 percent. Thirteen percent of Christian diners left less than a 15 percent tip, which was nearly double the percentage of non-Christian diners. So, the study concluded that Christians are more likely to stiff their servers than people of other religions or of no religion.
That website, Sundaysaretheworst.com, re-launches in 2015 for another round of server stories.
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