Service Sector Sees First-Hand the Economy's Tipping Point

Tough times making for less generous patrons
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2008 3:50 PM CDT
A waitress takes an order while a customer sits at the counter of the Blue Bell Diner in McConnelsville, Ohio, on Saturday, March 1, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Restaurants across the country have been dealing with shrinking dinner rushes as the economy slows, a trend that's hit their waitstaffs flush in the wallet. Though exact figures are tough to come by, anecdotal evidence suggests tips are falling, the Los Angeles Times reports—a big problem for the third-largest US employer, and for other service-sector employees reliant on gratuities.

“People who used to give us $10 give us $5," says one LA dog-groomer. "People who used to give us $5 give us just $2 or $3 or maybe nothing. We don't ask why. There's not much we can do.”