Restaurant Sciences survey: Brown whiskey drinkers may be the best tippers

If you’re a saloon-keeper, you want your lounging bar to be wall-to-wall with customers drinking Johnnie Red, Jack Daniels, and Wild Turkey.

Why? Because the brown-whiskey drinking demographic tends to leave the biggest tips for bartenders, waiters, and waitresses.

So concludes a new survey from Restaurant Sciences, a Newton firm that analyzes guest checks to compile useful data for the restaurant industry. In putting together its “Hey Big Spender Survey,” the firm said it analyzed more than 4 million checks that came from a wide range of establishments, including family restaurants, nightclubs, and hotel bars.

Photo taken from the Johnnie Walker website.

Customers who ordered scotch had the highest check totals at $69.14, the firm said, and while bourbon drinkers tipped a bit more, wait staff serving Scotch drinkers received a much higher average tip --- $13.91 from Scotch drinkers versus $9.60 from bourbon drinkers.

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“Restaurant Sciences’ data shows that guest checks with only wine sales are 25 percent higher than checks with only spirit sales and 78 percent higher than those checks with only beer sales,” company president Chuck Ellis said in a statement. “Whether consumers ordered beers, wine, or spirits, they generally tipped an above average amount of more than 20 percent per check.”

Wow --- 20 percent tips suggest that US consumers are indeed a generous lot. One might surmise that in putting together its sample of restaurants, the firm gave an understandable leaving-alone to the cash-on-the-bar, low-rent gin mills so esteemed by the crack professionals on the Business Updates staff.

Chris Reidy can be reached at