A+ in Handwriting for Adolfo

I remember reading a study a while ago (reminiscent of this) about the difference in tip size when a server handwrites something on the check.

Drawing a smiley face on the check increases a waitress’s tips by 18 percent but decreases a waiter’s tips by 9 percent.

But that doesn’t happen very often in DC. Not to put on city snobbery, but this sort of cutesy crap occurs at a TGI Fridays in the suburbs. And honestly, I can’t remember the last time I saw this–anywhere–in the last few years. Until last night.

80 and I went for a quick dinner at Radius, a blissfully au courant pizza place that celebrates seasonal toppings: parsnip in the winter, pea pesto in the spring, corn in the summer. The place buzzed with diners at every table and while the service reflected the crowded room, the waiter became attentive when I tossed him gently raised eyebrows.


Before he placed the check on the table he said, “Thank you so much. Have a good night.”  I took the check and noticed the same sentiment written *beautifully* across the top. As someone who consistently received satisfactory and below satisfactory grades (remember when the grading scale contained “outstanding,” “very good,” “good,” “satisfactory”…) in handwriting, I always keep an eye out for superb lettering.

I gave our waiter a 20% tip, not any extra for the—gorgeously scripted—note, but I did leave him a few thoughts of my own. Because anyone who takes the time to draw a cursive “H” like that, especially with a vertical line crossing the “H”‘s (in his case slightly slanted) horizontal line, deserves to be recognized.

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One comment

  • BS August 20, 2010  

    wow. double crossing the H deserves an extra dollar tip in my book. That is some serious high style.

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