Do Jews and people with no religion tip better than self-identified Christians?

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You probably heard the story about the Applebee’s server who was fired for posting a receipt on which pastor Alois Bell had crossed out an added gratuity and wrote, “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?” Brian Palmer discusses the larger ramifications:

Long before Alois Bell stiffed her server on religious grounds, American waiters complained about the Sunday afternoon crowd leaving Bible quotes in lieu of cash tips. A 2012 study by Cornell University tipping expert Michael Lynn showed that Jews and people with no religion tip better than self-identified Christians. (To be fair, the overwhelming majority of Christians tip between 15 and 20 percent, just lower in the range than nonbelievers and Jews.) This phenomenon is difficult to explain, but it’s possible that Christians think their devotion to the next life exempts them from such social niceties as tipping in this one. That confidence in their ultimate salvation may also diminish their sense of financial obligation to God. Perhaps churches need to modify their appeal to something like “faith alone, plus 10 percent.”



Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.