DENVER, CO—Park Hill resident Debra Jones and her husband, Gary, have always enjoyed dining out. She says that with so many great restaurants in Denver, their biggest problem is just deciding which one to choose.
But over the last few months, Debra has identified a new concern. “I just think it’s so rude that the servers won’t even smile at us,” says Debra. “If I don’t see teeth, I’m not tipping. Simple as that!”
Apparently, Debra is not alone. Denver restaurants have reported that the average tip per diner has sharply declined since restaurant staff has been required to wear masks at work.
We approached Yolanda Moore, a local marketing professional, while she was eating lunch at Annette in Stanley Marketplace. She didn’t hesitate to explain why she is now only tipping a fraction of her pre-pandemic rates. “Look at this robot,” she says as she eyes her server. “I haven’t seen his mouth this whole lunch. What if he’s frowning under there? No sir, you’re not getting my 15%!”