Pot Luck

Does Dallas-Fort Worth Have the Worst Tippers in the State?

Last week, Eater alerted the great foodie masses to a Web site called Lousy Tippers that contains a pretty scary database of the nation's worst tippers.

"There is a consequence," the site preaches ominously from its header. Call it the ultimate form of societal pressure to make sure you leave a gratuity for your server, because if you don't...you may just see yourself listed among the "asshole who owns a bar" and "regulars who tip lousy" in the great database of stiffers. Or, worse, called out as an entire corporation: The list even accuses the Sherman office of Texas Instruments of ordering "over a grand in pizza" with "no tip for either driver."

Eater noted, rightfully, that the database itself is incredibly shitty for a number of reasons: It lists customers' names, phone numbers and home addresses in many cases, and the comments left by servers on the non-tippers range from racist to xenophobic. The servers even include details on how they screwed with customers' food:

"Your tea is 1/4 my piss." "Another customer that deserves the shit we do to his food." "You must love my spit because you eat it all the time."

Waiting was right, as always, about the cardinal rule of eating in a restaurant: Don't fuck with people that handle your food.

And while it's true that the database is pretty scummy for listing full names and addresses, it's also an interesting tool with which to gauge diners' propensity for failing to leave propinas. So which city in Texas ranks the worst according to Lousy Tippers' database?

Red Oak, a suburb of about 4,300 people just south of Dallas, racked up the highest number of non-tippers in the database at a staggering 32. That may not seem like a lot, but the second-highest ranking city in the database was Dallas itself -- a city of more than a million people -- which had only 27 offenders in the database.

Dallas was also the highest ranking major city in Texas with the worst tippers: Houston was the lowest with only five offenders listed, San Antonio had eight and Austin had 15.

Taken as a whole, the entire DFW metroplex seems to be a wretched hive of of non-tipping scum and villainy. Out of the entire database, most towns and cities with offenders were suburbs of the greater metroplex, for a total of 69 non-tippers in Dallas suburbs:

  • Addison: 8
  • Allen: 2
  • Euless: 9
  • Frisco: 2
  • Glenn Heights: 3
  • Keller: 3
  • Ovilla: 1
  • Pecan Hill: 1
  • Plano: 7
  • Red Oak: 32
  • Wylie: 1

If you take into account towns and cities close to the metroplex, the number of non-tippers is even higher at 83:

  • Denton: 2
  • Ferris: 1
  • Sherman: 8
  • Waxahachie: 3

But Houston's suburbs didn't get off scot-free, either. We racked up 15 non-tippers of our own outside the city limits:

  • Baytown: 1
  • Katy: 2
  • Spring: 11
  • The Woodlands: 1

In the rest of the state, Wichita Falls led the pack of non-tippers with ten offenders in the database. Marshall, in deep East Texas, had four on the list as did El Paso. Amarillo only racked up two. Lubbock, Laredo, College Station, San Marcos, Athens and Portland all did well with only one entry apiece.

Of course, the data in the database is only as good as the people who entered it. It's highly plausible that the Lousy Tipper database is more popular for servers to use in places like the DFW metroplex than it is in other places throughout the state, which would serve to heavily skew the data. However, it's just as difficult to tell if this is true or if customers in Dallas simply tip far less than the rest of us.

Or it could just be that Houston diners know how to treat their servers right. That's a pleasant thought, isn't it?

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Katharine Shilcutt