Remember that jerk reporter we mentioned last week who claimed some made-up "media sources" had tipped him off that S.F. restaurants were starting to push for a 25% tip standard? (They actually changed the headline, and that phrase, "media sources" has since been removed from the original online story, along with the whole opening paragraph, in favor of "Some San Francisco restaurant workers believe [they should be tipped better.]" Great reporting, dude.) Well, after that story has now been picked up as fact by Gawker, Time, Drudge, and elsewhere, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association is scrambling to try to quash it and figure out where this potentially damning rumor started. As we first surmised when we read it, and as GGRA director Rob Black tells the Scoop today, "It's a complete fabrication."
But try telling that to all the potential tourists who have now read this story! "It's really dangerous," says Black, who notes polls that say 50% of tourists come here primarily to eat.
Meanwhile, Zagat just surveyed diners all over the nation and found that San Franciscans rank in the low end of tippers, averaging 18.6%!
Take this as a lesson: All it takes is one seemingly authoritative reporter sensationalizing a tiny bit of hearsay to send echoes across the web. We imagine the publishers of the Contra Costa Times are pleased as punch with all the web traffic, however.
Golden Gate Restaurant Association: That 25 percent tipping report appears to be a “complete fabrication” [Scoop]
Earlier: Are S.F. Waitstaff Demanding a 25 Percent Tip Standard? Hardly.
Ed Arnow: San Francisco restaurant workers support 25 percent tip standard [CC Times]