Do Iowans Really Not Tip When Closing Out Their Bar Tab?
As you gear up for Easter weekend, I wouldn't want another important national holiday to sneak past you without you noticing. Happy National Beer Day! National beer day began in 1933 when President Franklin Roosevelt took the first steps to end prohibition.
Yesterday we talked about a study suggesting that this beer was the most ordered beer in Iowa bars, which I have a hard time believing. That same study is also suggesting Iowans are some of the worst tippers when visiting bars.
This is something I'm not as sure of as I was about the most popular ordered drink in Iowa bars. I was pretty adamant yesterday that there's no chance the beer Upgraded Points suggests is ordered most in Iowa could be true. When it comes to tipping, we'd have to talk to servers/bartenders. According to this survey, it's not looking great for bartenders in Iowa.
According to Upgraded Points, which surveyed a little over 2,000 Americans, 7.8% of Iowans reportedly said they do not tip at all when closing out their bar tab. This would make Iowa the third worst state when it comes to tips at a bar, with Washington and Utah rounding out the bottom.
To be fair, there were some states who were not part of this survey. Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming were not included due to a low pool of people who responded to the survey. It's possible some of these states could be below Iowa had their data been collected.
I was born in Minneapolis and grew up in the state of Minnesota for 31 years. In those 31 years, I spent some of my time working behind a bar. Yes, you would get the occasional person who didn't leave a tip but I always tried to remember they might've been having a bad day, they could've been low on money, or maybe my service sucked. All are possible and I never tried to take it personally.
When it comes to tipping while you're at a bar and enjoying drinks, there are really only two schools of thought; tip a dollar for every drink you order or leave a percentage tip as you're closing out your tab. In my opinion, both are perfectly acceptable ways to go about it. If I know I'm going to be partying hard with my friends, sometimes I'll leave them $10 after ordering my first drink so I don't have to worry about finding $1 dollar bills all night.
11 years ago when I turned 21, my buddies and I went to a bar where this older guy was bartending that night. He gave us some incredible advice that I've never forgotten. He told us
"The coolest guys at the bar aren't the ones who can drink the most, it's the ones who always have a drink in their hand. Take it slow because you don't need to drink 15 beers to be cool. Also, if you can't afford to leave some kind of tip, buy your booze from a liquor store, and stay home. Bartenders remember that stuff and you'll get crappy service every time you show up again."
Should you get crappy service for not leaving a tip? You can answer that for yourself. I will say, it surely won't help your cause to not let your bartenders know you appreciate their efforts.