Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alicyn Ames

HANOVER,Md. – With desperate times in the new economy, restaurants send out more coupons leaving waiters and waitresses with fewer tips in their pocket to pay the bills.
“Check averages are down because of the different promotions, but we hope it will get people to come back,” General Manager of T.G.I. Fridays, Kevin Phillips, said. “Tips should be based on service.”
The new economy makes going out to eat more difficult. Business is down 10 percent from two years ago, Phillips said.
Check averages dropped from an average of $50 to $40 a person because of coupons. People tend to tip the discounted price, a waitress at Stony River Legendary Steakhouse, Trang Nguyen, said.
“I don’t use coupons, but my boyfriend does,” Patricia Bernhard, a T.G.I. Friday’s customer, laughed.
Other restaurant goers such as Susan Howard still tip the same even in hard economic times.
“I still tip 20 percent, I just don’t go out as much,” Howard said.
Full service restaurants’ sales have decreased by $713 from January to February, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Service Sector Statistics website.
More people are sharing food, a waitress at T.G.I Fridays, Nicole Rounsevelle, said.
“If you can’t afford to tip then don’t go out to eat,” she said. “Go to McDonalds.”