TWO YEARS OF COVID: Flashing cash and the ’big tips’ trend here to stay?

The ’big tips’ trend can also be seen at local bars and nightclubs. Picture: Rich Durban

The ’big tips’ trend can also be seen at local bars and nightclubs. Picture: Rich Durban

Published Mar 29, 2022


As restaurants across South Africa gradually re-opened or returned to full service, there has been a great deal of discussion about tipping etiquette moving forward, particularly considering the challenging economic realities in the industry, brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the food and beverage industry being one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, restaurant workers noticed something unusual when restaurants reopened – bigger tips.

Customers going above and beyond when tipping, sometimes giving tips that rocket past 20%, and into 200% territory and beyond, has become a new trend.

In the past two years, IOL Lifestyle has reported on a number of restaurants where anonymous diners have left huge tips ranging from R4000 to R85 000.

And last year, social media users were left stunned after realising that big spenders leave ’big tips’ at South Africa’s upmarket bars and lounges.

This comes after images and videos of Konka, a nightclub based in Pimville in Soweto, circulated on social media; people calling it out for its “expensive drinks menu”. Users even went as far as accusing the establishment of being involved in criminal activities as well as money laundering.

Take a look at some of the ’big tips’ bills that people have shared.

Rich Dbn

On October 9, a R39 000 tip was left at Durban’s first champagne lounge Rich Dbn. Situated in Umgeni, Rich falls under ‘The Taboo Group’ which is synonymous with a five-star lifestyle and clubbing culture across South Africa.

Jojo Rooftop Lounge

On October 10, a tip of R5000 was left at the lounge. Situated in Maboneng in Joburg, Jojo Rooftop Lounge is a place for good music, good vibes, good food, and the best cocktails.

Moja Cafe

Although it is not clear when the bill was made, Moja Cafe, also found itself on the big spender’s list this week with a bill showing a R7000 tip made by an anonymous customer. Based in Orlando East in Soweto, the café is a lifestyle restaurant that serves delicious food. You can have your car washed while being refreshed with a cold glass of your favourite beverage.

For these rich and or famous, people splashing out big probably doesn’t hurt as much as it would for many of us, and they have enjoyed spending large amounts of money.