World’s Strangest

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One Third of Waiters Consciously Provide Poor Service to Black Customers

a lot of anecdotal evidence of waiters at restaurants delivering less
than stellar service to black patrons, but a recent research study put
hard numbers behind the phenomenon of "tableside racism":

"Many people believe that race is no longer a significant
issue in the United States," says Sarah Rusche, a Ph.D. candidate
in sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study.
"But the fact that a third of servers admit to varying their quality
of service based on customers’ race, often giving African-Americans
inferior service, shows that race continues to be an issue in our society."

Researchers wanted to determine the extent to which customers’
race affects the way they are treated at restaurants, so the researchers
surveyed 200 servers at 18 full-service chain restaurants in central
North Carolina. The majority of the servers surveyed – approximately
86 percent – were white.

Survey results showed that 38.5 percent of servers reported that
customers’ race informed their level of service at least some of the
time, often resulting in providing inferior service to African-American
customers. Findings show that many servers perceive African-American
customers to be impolite and/or poor tippers, suggesting that black
patrons, in particular, are likely targets of servers’ self-professed
discriminatory actions.


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