Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity” as Want to Read:
Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  670 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
Tipping is huge in America. Almost everyone leaves at least one tip every day. More than five million American workers depend on them, and we spend $66 billion on tips each year. And everyone recognizes that queasy feeling - in bars and restaurants, barbershops and beauty parlors, hotels and strip clubs, and everywhere else - when the check arrives or the tip jar looms. Om ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Ecco (first published August 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Keep the Change, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Keep the Change

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Petra Eggs
By the end of this book I was amazed, outraged and bewildered by the fact that everyone in America seems to think they should be tipped automatically. That all business owners think they should pay x-15 and the general public can pay for high-priced services +15 (or 20) directly to the staff. Why am I paying the staff you employ to perform certain services for them performing them? Why does a restaurant employ waiters if not to take orders and serve them? Why should they be paid twice? I was nev ...more
Sep 08, 2010 Linda rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought I was picking up a little how-to title about tipping. Little did I know the book would take me through the 5 stages of grief.

Denial: No. He *cannot* be starting out a book about tipping with a lap dance.

Anger: If he doesn’t stop talking about his first book, and how it was so successful that it landed him this sweet gig flying around the country on an expense account, I’m going to throw the cd out the car window.

Bargaining: Please, please, just tell me how much to tip. I’ll finish read
Mar 01, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jim by: Petra Eggs
This book had all the potential to be a really dull read. Dublanica (in spite of his smug, smarmy, smartass attitude that made me want to kick him in the liver) has managed to make the mundane interesting by actually going out and rubbing shoulders with the people in professions that depend on tips for a living. in the case of the strippers, a little bit more than shoulders got rubbed. Hard to take, I'm sure, but one must suffer for his art. No doubt the suffering was eased by the fact that his ...more
Brian Saul
Jan 09, 2011 Brian Saul rated it liked it
The guy who wrote this, author of "Waiter Rant" , must have used up every dime he made on that NY Times Best Seller in order to do the research for this one. I never considered myself a Cheap Charlie, but according to what he comes up with in "Keep the Change" I must big one of the biggest tightwads on earth! I don't tip at McDonald's, as do those described in this book (but then, I don't even GO to McDonald's much less eat there).

He does cover the gamut of service providers fairly well:
Aug 06, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-edition
This seminary student turned waiter turned blogger turned author set out to become “the Guru of the Gratuity.” I thought that his first book, Waiter Rant, was a fun, light read, better than I was expecting, so I was happy to give this one a try.

I'm a self-serve kinda gal living in a self-serve kinda community so I don't have a lot of tipping angst. Still, there are those occasions when I don't know if I should tip or how much I should tip. I thought that looking through a former waiter's eyes wo
Oct 26, 2010 Julie rated it liked it
I won this book on an Ecco Books giveaway on Facebook .

A solid, three-and-a-half star book. It's a very quick and interesting read. The author has a down-to-earth, conversational writing style. He explores tipping in many different professions--from movers and delivery people (think furniture and food) to barista and bar tenders; from beauty workers and bathroom attendants to sex workers and concierges . And, of course, restaurant wait staff. Much of the information I will never use (if I ever f
Sep 24, 2011 Tracy rated it did not like it
I was ready to smack the author about 10 pages in. The subject is no doubt fascinating, and I did learn some interesting things here and there. However, I had two big problems with this book. The author's writing style was incredibly distracting from the topic. He was trying to be a smart ass, but he wasn't any good at it (clearly, he should have consulted me). He seemed to think he was clever to use examples like going to a strip club and describing the lap dance he received (and presumably tip ...more
Aug 05, 2010 Becky rated it liked it
Reviewed on my blog: Escapism Through Books

Waiter Rant has been on my radar for a long time, but for some reason just never got around to picking it up. I waitressed for a period of about 3 months back when I was 16, and even from such a short amount of time, I had some crazy stories! I've worked directly with customers in a service industry in some way or another since then (until last July anyhow), so the premise of Waiter Rant and all that it entailed was appealing to me. Sharing experience s
Aug 08, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it
Ever feel clueless about tipping? Who gets a tip and who doesn’t? How much should you leave? Lately it seems like tip jars are popping up everywhere, creating tipping anxiety for a large number of Americans. I include myself in that group. I know to give my hair stylist, waiter, tax driver and bartender a tip, but what about the barrista or the fast food worker? How about the guy at the car wash, or my auto mechanic? And how much do I give the delivery person? What do I do about the holidays? Wh ...more
Jill Elizabeth
Aug 04, 2011 Jill Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Don’t you love it when you learn something and are vastly entertained at the same time? I certainly do, and Steve Dublanica’s latest – Keep the Change – is my new favorite exemplar of this. The book, a follow-up to his 2008 hit “Waiter Rant”, is a fascinating exploration of the service industry and tipping. Read it – you’ll love it and I guarantee you will never look at a waiter, taxi driver, valet, or any other service worker the same way again.

A review copy of the book was provided free of cha
Jan 09, 2011 Wellington rated it really liked it

Tipping. It's so confusing and this book aims to shed some light into the mystery.

The book skips restaurants because that was served in an earlier book of his. Instead we jump into shoe-shiners, bathroom attendants, people who man (or should I the gender neutral word "human" as a verb?) the door, and taxi cab drivers. Steve even dives into the world of "escort services", gentleman clubs and even an S&M dungeon. So, if you ever wondered how much to tip at your local S&M club, you can ask
Aug 27, 2013 Betsy rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, humor, nonfiction, 2013
If you ever wanted to know who to tip and how much to tip them, this book is for you. The author goes through practically every industry where tips are commonplace and breaks it down on what exactly the worker does, how their hourly wage is less so that tips are considered into their total earnings, and how much to tip them.

He interviews workers and finds out what amount of a tip they expect for a service rendered, such as what is a good tip vs. a bad tip. He gets the inside scoop about the typ
Nov 10, 2010 Joy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
I read Steve's first book Waiter Rant last year and really enjoyed it but I like Keep the Change even more. It's well-written, informative, witty and entertaining with some good life lessons as well. For instance -

"Beauty workers can't fix who you are as a person. Beauty comes only when you accept who you are. When you accept the truth of yourself. It's a journey we all have to make. I'm still working on it."

"Any job doing is worth doing well."

"And as I've learned from bitter experience, you ca
Apr 04, 2011 John rated it it was ok
Shelves: library_books
I liked his previous book Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter well enough, but not so much this one. Actually, by the end, I developed a mild dislike for him. As a disclaimer, I should say that I'm one of those who feel there's too much tipping expected in America, so his exhortations to tip generously at every turn were grating.

Not particularly recommended.
Probably 3 and 1/2 stars. The concept was interesting and I learned a lot about who I haven't tipped and probably should. But it felt too focused on sex workers, as though the author wrote this whole book as an excuse to write off going to strip clubs, etc. but that might just be because those are industries I have no interest in. The writing was okay. Overall, not a bad book.
Mar 21, 2011 Angela rated it liked it
I don't know if I learned everything I need to know about tipping from this book. I do know that a lot of people expect tips and a little more about the culture behind tipping, but I still don't know why we are expected to give tips in certain situations and not in others. The bottom line of this book seems to be--when in doubt--tip. Not very helpful.
Ashley FL
Jul 01, 2011 Ashley FL rated it it was ok
Parts were amusing, but the basic thesis is: Tip More. And Tip Almost Everyone. Given that it is written by an ex-waiter, that's probably not surprising.
Oct 27, 2016 Joeydag rated it liked it
I used to read the blog this author wrote about his life as a waiter. His first book was titled something like "Waiter's Rant" and was based on his blog. This book, as he admits was much more difficult for him to write. Some parts are cute, others not so. Interesting information about the whats and wherefores of a quite a few services. He has a very short section at the end about his enlightenment as the guru of tipping. Tipping is all about connections and relationships and if you want to respe ...more
Pug Cake
I don't think I could have lasted 8 more CDs (out of 9) listening to the history of tipping-- zzzzz!
I simple wanted to know whether to tip 15 or 20%!!! I didn't need to hear every detail. This would have been better as an article.
Mar 22, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it
My husband and I are always arguing over how to tip our waiter. I have always felt my husband to be entirely too generous, while I am much more stingy. No, he was never in the service industry. I was. Still, I see the amount of tip as being conditional upon our quality of service. My husband lays out an even 20% to everyone.

I certainly came out of this book with a much different attitude about tipping. I am now likely to be MUCH more generous than I ever have been before (and less argumentative
Apr 20, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
I snapped up this book after being constantly confused about what to tip people on my business trips. I enjoyed most of his tipping tips and especially thought he did a good job portraying the many service workers he came across. However, I didn't entirely agree with all of his tipping advice. I felt a little like the fact that he was tipping on the publisher's dime made him more inclined to drop a lot more money and be a lot harsher at those who don't match his big spending. And I've been there ...more
May 26, 2013 Bookworm rated it liked it
Shelves: business, wealth, society
A pretty good read on various areas where people tip and where you might not think to tip. The author talks to a variety of people, some of whom you might expect: waiters, taxi drivers, doormen, etc. as well as some you might not, pet groomers, prostitutes and card dealers. Overall it was pretty fascinating to see who are good tippers, who are bad, and what people do to get tipped, since so many people working in these industries survive on tips.

I found it somewhat frustrating that the author te
Feb 28, 2016 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
nonfiction; the practice of leaving gratuities/tips. Basically: don't think of it as extra money you're paying; it's more than just rewarding good service. Leaving a decent tip is something we should think of part of doing business = helping people earn a living wage at the places that we'd like to continue using. Worth reading since this is something I admit I am bad at, though Steve does get typically rant-y sometimes (which can be hilarious but also somewhat jarring if you use audiobooks to h ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Bala rated it really liked it
Tipping is part of American culture. This book provides an insightful view of people whose livelihood depends on the tips their customers provide. The author tackles this often contested and uncomfortable topic of who to tip, how much to tip, and how often to tip. The author took an interesting way to research for this book. He had interviewed tip-ees who work in Manhattan, New York, Florida, Oregon, and California. He adds his personal view through out.

The book starts out in a strip club, whic
Tim Jin
Dec 06, 2013 Tim Jin rated it it was amazing
The author of this book used to be a waiter and wrote Waiter Rant, which is an excellent book also. As a former waiter, he is expecting to be tip every single time.

Keep the Change can be a little outrages. I personally don't feel that I should tip for every single services, like the mailman, but I also think that tipping should be given when service is needed.

For instant, I was at a high end restaurant with my caregiver and the waiter offered to give my staff a break and offered to help me with
Michael Giuliano
Mar 06, 2015 Michael Giuliano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm really glad that I finally picked this up and read it, because it was the very worthy and capable sequel that Waiter Rant deserved.

It starts out as a sort of dry and straightforward paper on the history and practice of tipping, but Dublanica slowly begins to insert his personal opinions, anecdotes, and theories surrounding the practice as the book goes on, making it feel a lot more personal and relatable. The adventures he goes on to learn more about tipping in various industries (in a wide
Jan 19, 2012 Raven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read "Keep the Change," a follow up to Dublanca's first book "Waiter Rant" because I was very entertained the first time around. This work takes on a more investigative journalistic approach, which I found enjoyable and surprisingly informative. Discussing the economy of gratuity, Dublanca's quest to become a Tipping Guru took him to some of the seedier sides of our culture, exposing the both the necessity and etiquette of greasing the palms for those who provide services many often take for g ...more
Douglas Larson
Feb 22, 2012 Douglas Larson rated it really liked it
This is the second book by this author who is a former restaurant waiter. This book is better written than his first and reads more fluidly. For this book Dublanica traveled around the country researching each and every profession where tipping is considered the norm and presents stories about the people he intereviewed. I found it enjoyable and informative.

I did however, find myself challenging Dublanica's explanation of the etymology of the word "tip". I have believed for many years that the
May 01, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this book as part of a reading challenge for the category "a book written by a blogger".

I followed Waiter Rant years ago, just around the time the first book was coming out. When I needed to find another book written by a blogger, I was excited to jump on this one.

Dublanica's usual humor is found throughout these pages, though he also lapses into occasional brooding (which also seems normal for his writing). The latter drags the book down a bit, but I feel he makes up for it with the form
Jul 05, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
*Spoiler alert* It's about the relationship. A provider of a service earns a better tip if they establish a relationship. A consumer gives a better one if he or she values the relationship. It's as simple as that.

The joy of this book is Dublanica's writing. He blends humor, philosophy, sociology, history, and storytelling in such an enjoyable and informative way. His quest was inspired by an encounter with a bathroom attendant, which made him wonder whether or not to tip the guy and if so how mu
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • How to Pick a Peach
  • Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It
  • The Foie Gras Wars: How a 5,000-Year-Old Delicacy Inspired the World's Fiercest Food Fight
  • Food Heroes: Sixteen Culinary Artisans Preserving Tradition
  • Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything
  • The Improvisational Cook
  • A Band of Misfits: Tales of the 2010 San Francisco Giants
  • The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire
  • One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter
  • When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests
  • Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d'Or Competition
  • Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness
  • C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark
  • The Hustle: One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White
  • Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet
  • All the Presidents' Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House, A Memoir
  • We've Always Had Paris...and Provence: A Scrapbook of Our Life in France
  • Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America
The Waiter waited his first table at age thirty-one. In 2004 the author started his wildly popular blog,, winning the 2006 "Best Writing in a Weblog" Bloggie Award. He is interviewed regularly by major media as the voice for many of the two million waiters in the United States. The Waiter lives in the New York metropolitan area.
More about Steve Dublanica...

Share This Book