Piss-Poor Tippers

July 4, 2013

in Tipping & Etiquette Stories

Fortunately, this didn’t happen to me, but I did witness it. It was late night, maybe 1:30-2:00 am in Anaheim, California, and I’m with a bunch of friends from Northern California. We decide, hey, we’re hungry. What’s a good place to go that’s open that late at night? Well, we chose a chain restaurant that specializes in down-home American food.

When we got there, it was pretty dead – only one section was open, with one waitress who was looking extremely tired and burdened. But she was an absolute joy, still friendly and very service-oriented. We loved her. We weren’t the only people in her section though – there was another group. We were about 6 people – they were about 6 people. They were much louder than we were – nothing terrible, but kind of raucous. Clearly we could tell that the waitress had been dealing with them for a while – it was in her eyes.

Finally, midway through our meal, they left – all but one of them – after leaving the money on the table. When the waitress came back to pick up the check, she noticed immediately that they had left no tip. The one remaining man noticed too. His words were: “Oh, hell, they didn’t leave a tip? Hold on.” And he pulled a thick wad of cash out of his pocket, carefully peeled off a bill, and handed it to the waitress. “There ya go,” he said, and left. They’d clearly had a large meal – plenty of used plates on the table. After he left, the waitress just looked crushed, so we asked what was wrong.

“He tipped me… a dollar,” she said, and that got one of my friends so mad he was ready to go out there and beat the living daylights out of that party. But we intervened and, as we left, we doubled our tip to compensate for the piss-poor tipping and stingy nature of that party.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack July 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Being a server is a tough job. All the more reason restaurants should be required to provide at least the minimum wage to all servers.

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mrsjamiecbaker July 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm

The downside to providing minimum wage to servers is that it would result in less pay for the same amount of work. Customers were reluctant to tip to-go workers in restaurants I worked at because they knew they were paid a higher wage, many people don't properly tip delivery drivers because they know the driver gets paid $7-$9 per hour, so I believe 100% that people in general would tip servers less (or not at all) if they know they are getting paid at minimum wage. Tips are where it's at. Thankfully, for every bad story like this, there is a great story about someone who tipped fantastically. They just obviously don't qualify as a dinner from hell 🙂

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Gregg July 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Talk about fantastic tip stories, check out this article about someone who's been handing out $500 tips to servers: http://tinyurl.com/lu49853

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Jack July 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Yeah, all restaurant owners sing that song, and it all bullish*t. When you enter a restaurant do you inquire what salary the cook makes, the manager, the busboys or girls? Of course not, and you would have no idea what the servers make. Whatever they make has nothing to do with the level of service they provide to you. Every person who is employed should earn a living wage, be provided with health insurance, and enjoy a safe work environment. Most restaurant employees enjoy none of the above, while management and the owners ride the gravy train.

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That Guy September 15, 2013 at 10:07 am

Speaking as a former waiter, I’m with you, Jack. I can’t tell you how many times we hear this song and dance about how “Prices will go up!” What’s funny is that the same owners who cry about that don’t seem to have a problem going out every night to restaurants and/or bars that are not exactly cheap. I would know because I worked for one such owner. He cried up and down that he was going broke, and made these asinine comments how we as servers were making over $30 hr because of tips(we weren’t, I added it up). But then he had no problems giving his kids however much money they needed or carousing with fellow restaurant owners at a local restaurant/bar that was NOT cheap. And what’s worse, there are some servers that have been brainwashed by this nonsense that they don’t need a living wage.

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Amber May 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Prices do go up with costs of services and employee rates going up, it's economics. Not only that, but job opportunities will greatly decline with over inflated minimum wage hikes. People don't realize their cost of living will actually surpass the wage hike causing them to be worse off then they were originally, and adding more people to the poverty line because only minimum wage employees will go up. Employers also will no longer tolerate piss poor employees to the extent they already do, at such high wages for unskilled workers , and yes minimum wage jobs are unskilled jobs, employers will be forced to have harsher penalties for poor performance. Also factor in minimum wage was never designed to be a liveable wage, it was designed to be a starting point for someone with no experience and no marketable skills or education. The idea is you start from the bottom and grow, moving up in pay and job responsibilities as you gain experience and skills.

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Glenn October 25, 2016 at 11:34 am

Um, why so down on the working class? Are you a friend of the owner?

Estelle July 31, 2016 at 7:28 pm

They should be paying way more than they do. We have some places here in Edmonton where one does not tip. The owners pay a good wage and health care.

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sexygal March 6, 2014 at 1:11 am

Wow!!!! I'm really enjoying reading all these GREAT comments and thoughts from everyone out there!!! Keep it up!!!! I'm sooooo thankful for "freedom of speech!!!"

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love August 3, 2015 at 11:48 pm

That was incredibly sweet of you, sometimes people don't realize how hard servers have to work and they get so under appreciated for it.

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luckfawyers June 30, 2016 at 2:27 pm

http://bit.ly/296iQ3A Producer of #PlantingSeedsofMindfulness (Gregory Kennedy-Salemi) threatens me when I call bullshit on his TWO instances of bad tipping.

I attempted to communicate with him privately, and he chooses to threaten me.

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