In America, tipping is (usually) avoidable, but not thinking about voluntary gratuities is completely impossible. Every day, we are confronted with awkward decisions about who to tip, how much to pay for different services, and even how to share our loot. There is no doubt that we succumb: Each year, we Americans spend $66 billion on tips, but as Waiter Rant author and blog keeper Steve Dublanica knows from hard experience, tipping behavior ranges widely from patron to patron and from profession to profession. To test the waters, or more specifically the outstretched palms, Dublanica traveled the continent, inquiring about handout habits everywhere he went. The venues fit almost every description; from working class bars and family restaurants to barbershops, beauty salons, public bathrooms and strip clubs. A fascinating book about a much-discussed topic that touches us all.
The concept of gratuity is the subject of this second book from the unmasked author of Waiter Rant and, like his first, has its own lad-lit charms and contrivances. Opening with a broad and light cultural history of tipping, the book then delves briefly into the tip's primary restaurant industry role before moving on to its impact in lesser known and often neglected businesses by examining their gratuity-related transactions. There's enough raw, self-deprecating autobiography to keep the anthropological enterprise comic; in addition, the author steps in the shoes of those in various industries and discloses the hidden codes of parking valets, Starbucks "tip jars," and the beauty industry. Dublanica breaks down a dizzying variety of service-related exchanges along with the inner worlds of casino dealers and sex-trade workers (in fact, there's an awful lot about Vegas) and even provides a couple of tip-helpful appendixes. (Nov.)
“…funny and touching.”
Los Angeles Times
“Waiter Rant has all the fixings for fun....What Anthony Bourdain’s tell-all about life in the kitchen did for Hollandaise sauce, Waiter Rant will do for side salads.”
Wall Street Journal
“The main attraction here is [Dublanica’s] acerbic, biting and often hilarious accounts of life behind the scenes at the front of the house.”
“…here is my unabashed recommendation: If you eat out with any regularity, read this book!”
“[Waiter Rant] offers an irreverent, insightful look inside the industry (complete with blurb from Anthony Bourdain).”
“Lucky for the reader, The Waiter has kept his eyes open and is willing to gossip about what he has seen from the other side of the menu.”
“The Waiter dishes candidly on the outrageous behavior of staffers and customers at the undisclosed upscale restaurant where he works...[Waiter Rant] leaves no doubt that servers deserve not only 15 percent but an occasional pound of flesh, too. In his debut memoir, the Waiter extracts it with panache.”
Washington Post Book World
Praise for Waiter Rant“…amusing and informative…along with the stories, some of which are hilarious, Dublanica provides useful advice for the customer...Waiter Rant is as delightful as it is irreverent.”
“For enlightenment on how to handle such situations, I reached out to The Waiter. You know, the New York City-based guy who created the wildly entertaining Waiter Rant blog, which is now a cannot-put-it-down book.”
“Fortunately, The Waiter (who has since outed himself as a chap called Steve Dublanica) does more in this book than get even; he provides thoughtful insights into how the restaurant business works.”
The author of the popular WaiterRant.net blog (and companion book) offers a freewheeling exploration of the hows and whys of tipping in America. Starting with waitstaff and working outward, Dublanica interviews individuals in various tip-dependent occupations, from doormen to deliverymen to phone sex operators. Frequently he works alongside or patronizes (and tips!) them. Jetting gleefully to Portland, OR, (baristas), Los Angeles (bartenders), and Las Vegas (strippers and cab drivers), and enjoying plentiful cigars and dirty vodka martinis along the way, Dublanica builds up to an overblown but insightful epiphany about exactly why people tip. An otherwise helpful appendix about tipping at the holidays contains an unfortunate piece of bad advice: Dublanica recommends giving liquor to service providers who can't accept cash tips (a risky practice unless the individual is known not to be an active or recovering alcoholic). VERDICT This idiosyncratic, somewhat self-indulgent book is by turns crude and thoughtful, encompassing both an overlong, sophomoric fantasia about a waiter's nightmare shift and meditations on Bible verses (Dublanica was once a seminary student). Funny and illuminating, it's recommended to anyone seeking enlightenment about gratuities and willing to indulge the author's feisty style.—Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Lib. of Ohio, Columbus
The author of Waiter Rant (2007) follows up with this similarly energetic insider's look at tipping.
During his nine years as a waiter, Dublanica started an anonymous blog, waiterrant.net, which led to the publication of his eponymous bestseller. After revealing his identity—and crusading, in the style of an angry stand-up comic, against bad customers—he now turns his attention (and heckling) to bad tippers. By traveling around the country talking to workers in various service industries, from strippers to chauffeurs, he simultaneously educates himself and readers. Tipping, he qualifies upfront, is "an informal economy within a formal one," a charge that often feels superfluous. But the numbers speak for themselves. It's estimated, writes Dublanica, "that all the tipped workers in the United States pull down somewhere between $53.1 and 66.6 billion a year in gratuities." More than half of this goes to waiters, which is fitting considering that the word "tip" translates into "drink money" or something similar in at least ten languages. After discussing what you should leave for servers, Dublanica moves on to, among others, hotel doormen ("just about everything calls for a simple single or two"), coffee baristas ("a dollar a drink," an interview notes, "just like a bartender") and hair dressers and aestheticians ("everyone at a salon should get tipped 15-20 percent for the service they provide"). That same percentage, he's told by a Papa John's employee, should be tipped to delivery people: "Fifteen to twenty percent of the bill or the cost of a gallon of gas—whatever's higher." Workers in all sectors concur that the worst kind of people are "exact-changers"—i.e., those who proffer barely enough to cover the cost of what they're buying and say, "Keep the change." As inWaiter Rant, Dublanica makes a point of detailing the ways in which poorly tipped employees may seek revenge.
A hilariously uncensored etiquette diatribe.
“Half travelogue, half manifesto, the book recounts his misadventures in tipping as he travels across America talking with a cross-section of the 3 percent of the workforce that relies on tips.”
“A hilarious, irreverent etiquette guide.”
“Giving a little extra just got easier with a master’s guide to gratuities. New York is the capital of tipping and no one understands that better than Steve Dublanica. The 42-year-old waiter-turned-author shares his expertise in Keep the Change.”
“Full of amusing tales of big tippers and tightwads told by waiters, shoeshine men, bathroom attendants, strippers and more.”
“Even seasoned service veterans might be surprised by the discoveries revealed in the book.”
“Writing a best-seller is a big deal, and the Waiter deserves a 20% tip for serving up such a fun summer read.”
“I’m not sure what the proper etiquette is for tipping authors, but we should all give a nice bonus to Steve Dublanica for writing such a funny and surprising book on this oft-overlooked part of everyday life.”
The other shoe finally drops. The front-of-the-house version of Kitchen Confidential; a painfully funny, excruciatingly true-life account of the waiter’s life. As useful as it is entertaining. You will never look at your waiter the same way again–and will never tip less than 20%.
“Anyone that has ever eaten in a restaurant is going to want to grab [this book].”
I really enjoyed WAITER RANT. The book is engaging and funny, a story told from my polar opposite perspective. I will now do my best to act better as a Chef and I dare say, I’ll never be rude to a waiter again, as long as I live.