Massachusetts Beverage Business



Think you’re a good tipper? Your libation of choice may actually determine how you tip. Insight analyst firm Restaurant Sciences recently released its first-ever study of spirits, beer and wine gratuities. Analyzing more than four million guest checks at US family, casual, upscale, and fine dining establishments – as well as nightclubs and hotel bars – from February to November of last year, their “Hey Big Spender Survey” determined that on average spirits, beer and wine drinkers tipped slightly more than 2O%. The study looked at checks with only spirits, beer or wine. Checks with multiple drink types were not included in the study. While spirits-only drinkers were a bit more generous, patrons who ordered only wine had much higher check averages than spirits or beer-only checks. The average check for wine drinkers was $69.O5, with beer drinkers’ average check at $38.74 and spirits drinkers’ average check at $55.19. Despite the fact that wine drinkers came in last place, averaging a 2O.32% tip per check, servers generally made more per check when customers ordered wine. The biggest tippers were those who drank bourbon (22.69%), blended whiskey (22.67%), cider (22.2O%), gin (21.67%) and vodka (21.27%). The least generous were those who ordered cordials/liqueurs (19.66%), rum (19.81%) and Scotch (2O.12%). However, patrons who ordered Scotch had the highest check totals at $69.14. While drinkers of bourbon tipped a bit more, wait staff serving Scotch drinkers received a much higher average tip – $9.6O compared to $13.91, respectively. “Restaurant Sciences’ data shows that guest checks with only wine sales are 25% higher than checks with only spirit sales and 78% higher than those checks with only beer sales,” said Chuck Ellis, President of Restaurant Sciences. “Whether consumers ordered beers, wine or spirits, they generally tipped an above average amount of more than 2O% per check.” As they should.

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