Reader Travis Walker says Oprah, ever aware of the slowing economy, has told her viewers to tip 10 percent in restaurants now instead of the usual 15 percent. Oprah’s Guide to Tipping, from the December 2002 issue of her magazine, goes with the standard 15-20 percent rule. At least the beef producers of America now have new friends in the restaurant industry.
On the timing of Oprah’s advice: Wasn’t the U.S. economy struggling in December 2002? Given the lag time in the magazine industry from final edits to newsstands, wasn’t the U.S. economy struggling in, say, October 2002? NBER said the economy was out of a recession by November 2001. Wikipedia says the early 2000s recession was felt mostly in 2002 and 2003. The stock market crashed hard in the last two quarters of 2002.