Racism in Restaurants Survey: ‘Inferior Service is Warranted’ Toward Blacks

A new survey written from the perspective of waitstaff throughout the U.S. is complete.  Now don’t get nervous if you were out last night at the local Applebee’s behaving badly and leaving a disgraceful tip…own it!  You and the 10 other black people that have been out there misrepresenting African Americans have built a stereotype, according to the waitstaff in the survey, that gives a little more than 4 percent chance that the rest of us have had someone spit in our food.  But, I’m not so sure that all of these waiters and waitresses can attribute their poor service to that excuse.  Some simply do not like us.  Surprise! Surprise!  If they are truly racist, the thought of them having to wait on black people probably makes their skin crawl.

The “in-depth” survey on racism in America’s large chain restaurants was reported by two sociologists from Detroit’s Wayne State University and North Carolina University for the Journal of Black Studies and was provided to Secrets, according to the Washington Examiner.

The waitstaff interviewed consisted of 200 participants of which 87 percent were white.  These white waiters and waitresses experiences have not been good, to say the least.  They were asked who were the worst people to wait on and their response was overwhelmingly:  African Americans.

The key findings in the survey were:

“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.”

The scary wording in there is “inferior service.”  Inferior service can range from a delay in service to, let’s just say, you might wanna have your food analyzed by a 24-hour lab.  The survey also said that the waitstaff interviewed “looked down their noses at blacks as ‘uncivilized and hedonistic’ and as a result feel that ‘inferior service is warranted.’ ” To which the authors of the study responded:

“If servers provide inferior service to blacks, it should not be surprising that blacks tip them less.”

And the people of the Lord said….Amen.

Read more here and make sure you read the comments afterwards!  You will be horrified.  I HAD to weigh in myself.

-J.C. Brooks

12 thoughts on “Racism in Restaurants Survey: ‘Inferior Service is Warranted’ Toward Blacks”

  1. As a black server in a neighborhood restaurant, let me say that I agree with the servers surveyed. There are a few black customers who tip well, but by and large, brothers, we have to do better!

  2. blacks are by far the worst people int he world to wait on or cook for, They inevitably provoke waiters , screaming at them and wining, or bitching to try and get their meals for free, and tipping? they almost never tip and leave pennies there which is a total insult, No wonder coloreds are not welcome in restaurants, If I had my way, there would be a sign in my window saying, “Blacks not welcome”

  3. I like to keep an open mind,and my parents raised me to respect others no matter race or background. I see racism very prevalent on both sides and this is heart breaking. With a perfect world we would look at the service industry or any situation, as there are good and bad customers as well as good and bad servers and that’s it. I’ve been in a restaurant where I am the only white person there and was completely ignored til another customer at the next table told me “You’re in the wrong place, and should leave.” the people with me that where black where more upset than I was at this incident. They felt the need to apologize for this behavior.
    I’ve asked very openly racist white people, “How many black people do you actually know or have friendships with?” “None!” is always the reply, so it makes sense, because you wouldn’t hate black people if you had some black friends, mine are awesome, there you go. Understanding that racism toward anybody stems from fear and lack of knowledge, from not knowing enough about a group of people to make sound decisions. You can’t come across a couple of bad eggs and just give up on the entire chicken coupe. It starts with one person thinking differently, and grows into a beautiful liberating thing.

  4. Nothing makes my blood boil more than listening to the black vs. white and racism diatribe that occurs in the U.S. Simply put there is no such thing as black or white. There are as many cultural and ethinic differences among people that are grouped under the black racial category as there are among people from two tribes (ethinic groups) within same country in Africa. (Yes, Africa is a continent not a country.) You would not assume that someone from France would like to have clodded cream as much as someone from the U.K., so why would you make assumptions about two black people when one could be from Haiti and the other from Detroit?

    This goes for tipping as well. I live in Boston and would not dream of leaving less than a 20% tip to wait staff, but my friends from the midwest feel that 15% is sufficient. Frankly, I feel its harder to calculate a 15% tip, when for 20% you can just move the decimal to the left one digit and double it. (i.e., 23.00 bill gets a 4.60 tip — 2.30 x 2 = 4.60) Easy enough for anyone who has had high school math to do in their head.

    If you can’t do math, a good rule of thumb is to look at the average price of the entrees at the restaurant:
    1. Entrees under $20, tip should be $4 per person.
    2. Entrees between $20 and $30, tip should be $6 per person.
    3. Entrees between $30 and $40, tip should be $8 per person.
    4. Entrees or pre-fix menus above $40, tip should be $10 per person.
    The above should get you between 10-25% no matter the amount of food ordered, unless of course you order a really expensive alcoholic beverage such as champagne or wine. Then, you must tip on that separately in addition to the above.

    All of us, black or white, need to remember that wait staff make $2-3.00 per hour which less than minimum wage. Wait staff have families to feed just like everyone else, but don’t get paid much by the restaurant because they are expected to make their money in tips. So be careful where you lay blame. Don’t stiff the waitstaff on tips if your problem is with the cooks or management. Save reduced tips for when the wait staff for purposeful action like she is obviously rude to you and nobody else, she spills food/drink on you more than once, or you catch her spitting in your food. Even if a manager gives you your meal for free, you should tip the wait staff on the what the price of the meal would have been not on what it was for the freebie unless the wait staff is directly at fault.

    Also remember that you get what you pay for. If you’re dining at Applebees where the average entree is under $20.00, then don’t expect your silver to be polished because it isn’t real silver anyway. Just be glad that its clean, and if it is not, then politely ask for a clean set. Be happy that your lifestyle allows for you to have a night out. Many people around the world don’t have this as an option. It’s a priviledge to be served and you should be required to pay for it.

    BTW – I am black and pretty proud of it.

  5. I am not surprised! If the service is good I tip according to the service. If they are complaining about the tips perhaps it is because the people had to wait 10 20 minutes for service, while watching white people coming in and being seated immediately. Hell, I wouldn’t say a word. But my actions would speak volumes. So go ahead be ignorant. Saves me money (lol) I am not offended in fact I hope to god they give me poor service.

  6. Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thank you so much!

  7. I wait on every person possible. so fucking sick of people ordering cheese on eggs, Turkey bacon,turkey sausage, pancakes on a separate plate… but cannot be served until they are done with the rest of their meal. hot water in a glass so they can soak the cutlery extra napkins, more hot water, then juice. their for the juice, then the pancakes. then the syrup has to to be hot. couldn’t tell me that earlier. extra napkins too full to eat the pancakes. need a box for takeout need you to walk back three other times for

  8. I worked for years on tips while I worked my way through college. During that time I learned black folks don’t tip, at all, ever. I didn’t change the way I served them but the other servers who worked with me did and most of them were black themselves. They would spit in the food and a lot of the time do more than just spit, especially when the customer would be a pain in the ass! So, say what you want or deny this ever happens but I lived it for four years. When you act a fool, you get reated as a fool, all with a smile.
    Only two kinds of people you remember when you work for tips… those that tip well and those that don’t tip at all. The worst thing you could ever do is go back to a place where you didn’t tip last time to be served by the same staff you had last time… this time they won’t wait for you to act a fool… and it won’t be just spit either!

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