Server Stiffed by Difficult Diner

November 4, 2012

in Diner Stories

When I was 19 I worked at a small chain restaurant/ice cream place. A woman came in with her three small, unruly children 15 minutes before the kitchen was set to close and I was the only server there. I come to the table with a smile, and she glares at me. OOOH this is going to be fun. Before I am able to get anything out of my mouth she says: “I have 30 dollars. That’s all. You need to make sure that the bill isn’t over 30 dollars and we all need to eat and have ice cream.”

Ummm are you kidding me? How in the sam hell is that MY responsibility?! Great, so obviously NO tip, and now I have to do math on top of it. I went to my manager hoping he would say something to the woman but he said, “The customer is always right!” so I was on my own.

After the most difficult dinner/dessert service of my life (complete with MANY substitutions, send backs, and my manager having to comp due to her dissatisfaction) the bill came to $29.63.

A 37 cent tip. Wonderful. I was busy doing my closing procedures in the back, so when I arrived at the table to cash out the bill… it was empty.


The manager blamed me for not watching them more closely (though he was the one that was working the FRONT register and watched them leave), so I had to PAY FOR THEIR MEAL.

So there it is, the Cherry on top of the Sh*t Sundae

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Herk November 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

That’s terrible.


katy November 5, 2012 at 12:58 am

That is terrible, and your manager sucks.


Shmutt November 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

What a trash bag. Imagine how her three shitstain kids are gonna turn out too. three times the garbage.


Allie Ceglio January 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm

yup, thats the saddest thing. and my kids will be serving her kids one day, while working through college or something. horrible.


Hackz November 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm

That sucks. Sorry it happened to you 🙁


umesh November 16, 2012 at 4:34 am

Its terrible.


momo November 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Did you actually pay for their meal? See, I'm a spoiled waitress (I work in chain restaurants ONLY where you do not have to cover meals) so I would flat out refuse to pay for a customer's meal. I worked for a mom and pop restaurant once. Worst mistake of my life. My boss wanted me to pay for a $3 beer I ordered by accident. I said no.


Allie Ceglio January 9, 2013 at 7:08 pm

ya…i was young and stupid. Plus my manager was a HUGE dick.


D_Me August 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Stupid Manager. >.<


January August 25, 2016 at 5:21 pm

Everyone needs to read this article, and it should be posted on every door of every restaurant, an hour and half before closing time!!!!! Especially the part where you should tip, in accordance to how long you linger! 2.13$ hourly doesn't go very far!


Sean T February 10, 2017 at 2:26 am

Maybe it's just the state I reside in, but forcing you to pay a walked/stiffed ticket is illegal… as is requiring servers to pay for broken dishes, incorrect orders, bar tabs that aren't paid, etc.
As a manager I can actually go to jail for forcing a server to pay for these things. They're considered part of the cost of doing business and cannot be blamed on an employee, no matter what.
As far as what happened to you… that wasn't your fault. I have always stood behind my servers and will not hesitate to intervene in a situation where the customer has mistaken their Visa card to be credentials proclaiming themselves the Grand High Poo Bah of All Creation, which, as I will gladly assure them, is not the case now nor will it ever be.
She's lucky she got you– had she told me that mess I'd have directed her right back out the door to the McDonald's, or Burger King, or some other Fast Food Dollar Menu Diabetes Funfest and told her to have a great night.


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: