Tipping And Tithing

You probably heard the story about the Applebee’s server who was fired for posting a receipt on which pastor Alois Bell had crossed out an added gratuity and wrote, “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” Brian Palmer zooms out:

Long before Alois Bell stiffed her server on religious grounds, American waiters complained about the Sunday afternoon crowd leaving Bible quotes in lieu of cash tips. A 2012 study by Cornell University tipping expert Michael Lynn showed that Jews and people with no religion tip better than self-identified Christians. (To be fair, the overwhelming majority of Christians tip between 15 and 20 percent, just lower in the range than nonbelievers and Jews.) This phenomenon is difficult to explain, but it’s possible that Christians think their devotion to the next life exempts them from such social niceties as tipping in this one. That confidence in their ultimate salvation may also diminish their sense of financial obligation to God. Perhaps churches need to modify their appeal to something like “faith alone, plus 10 percent.”