Running back and forth between customers, junior Amy Zhang turns around just to see more customers with demands. Bowls of food spilled on the table and dripped down to the floor, a small tip, if any, soaked in the meal’s remains for her to clean up.
The way many students tip and how they treat student employees is worse than the general public does, Hartzell’s Ice Cream employee Camryn Schneidau said.
Schneidau, an IU junior, has worked at Hartzell’s Ice Cream since January 2020. She said some students are bad tippers when they come in large groups.
“If it is a group of students, I can pretty much count on no tip to very little,” Schneidau said.
Schneidau said she has had students come very late from the bars on Kirkwood Avenue into the ice cream shop. Some students would bang on the windows or beg to be let in past closing time wanting ice cream, she said.
Schneidau said that she believes being on a college campus has something to do with many customers being rude to servers.
“Something about being on a college campus makes people less aware of other people, less aware of what they are doing and how it affects the people around them,'' she said.
With more students coming back on campus this year Schneidau said more students has led to more rudeness.
Eric Gordon’s Greek’s Pizzeria employee Mikaela Ramirez said she remembers a night when two students got angry and kicked and tore down one of the store’s signs outside.
The two men became frustrated at her and other employees inside the store. When they went outside they kicked and knocked over one of the store’s signs. When they came back into the building, they were confronted about the encounter but were very defensive of their actions, Ramirez said.
“I am a very non-confrontational person so I did not want anything to do with it,” she said.
Schneidau said she thinks when students decide how much to tip, the decision is not always based on the service they receive. She said they usually tip less if the store’s line is long or if employees asked them to put on a mask.
“I think a lot of students just don’t think about what our tip money does and how it helps,” Schneidau said.
Since the start of COVID-19, Schneidau said many customers have been rude to employees because of mask mandates.
“People come in knowing that there is a mandate expecting to cause a scene,” Schneidau said. “I feel like if there is an argument over masks it is normally an explosive argument over masks.”
IU junior Amy Zhang has been helping out at Lan Ramen since the restaurant’s opening in April.
A bulk of Lan Ramen’s clientele are international students, she said. Zhang said many of these students either do not know about the American tipping system or act like they do not know.
“For example they spend $19.34 tonight and they would normally give $0.66 of tip just to make it even,” Zhang said.
Zhang said many of the customers at Lan Ramen act like they are more important than everyone else while they are being served and want to be served first, no matter how many people there are. She said she believes some of these customers look down on her and treat her like she is a servant.
“We are all humans,” Zhang said. “Just because I am working does not make me lower or cheaper than you.”