Trashy People Tip Poorly

September 5, 2015

in Tipping & Etiquette Stories

I work for a corporate chain so customers are not always of the best quality, but I try not to prejudge my tables because they seem to surprise me now and then.

So I had a four top and yes, they did look like white trash. But I gave them great service, always refilling drinks, clearing plates, checking on them. It was a pleasant experience for both of us, so I thought I would get at least a ten percent tip.

Well I noticed their food was almost gone the last time I checked on them. I was taking care of other tables and running food and bar drinks. I then see my manager at the table. They told her the food was horrible, the ribs had no meat, and everything was just terrible. They never once complained to me.

So my manager gave them a $15 discount on their $85 bill. The lady was still mad her bill was high. She gave me a $50 bill and said she had to go out and get more money from her husband. She came back and gave me a $20 bill. I gave her change and was fiddling in my pockets for her coin change which was 40 cents; she said just keep it. I said crudely, “Geezes, thanks.”

During all the complaining she was saying how great I am and it wasn’t my fault. Well where was my tip? I honestly think they just didn’t realize how much they spent and were mad about it. Once again if you can’t afford to tip don’t go out to eat.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris September 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm

I do not understand why people won't tip it makes no sense


Alan September 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm

A tip is GRATUITY and that means it's an offering of generosity, which is an extra. If you EXPECT a tip, then it's not extra. If you complain about it, require it, or pressure it, then it's not generosity, it's obligation.

While I understand that many people in tipped positions don't make standard minimum wage, I do understand that you need to calculate if the job is worth it based on the base pay, and not the expected tip wage.

As one of my friends likes to complain, "If you don't have enough to leave a tip, then you don't have enough to go out."

As I respond, "The price paid causes a flow of business. If people without enough to tip stop coming in, your employer stops needing you. And that makes even non-tipping customers good for your pocket. Quit complaining or get a different job."

Automatic tips also cause inferior service. If the service was average, or basically the bare minimum to even have a job and I tip 15% but above and beyond gets a tip of 15%, then I've paid a loser the same wage. Just as with Socialism, the good stop trying when they perceive no reward beyond the slackers.

If you work a tipped position, let yourself be surprised for any tip and happy to even have a job. It remains your choice to accept that job. Complaints about the cheap-o who tipped 5% or even nothing is insulting. Do you cry thanks to God for the person who left you the full $20 on the $8 order even though you barely did anything for them? I thought not.

Tipping has it's place. Being grateful also has it's place for both sides of the equation. In the end, a Tip is a Tip, not the wage.


Axel September 27, 2015 at 2:50 am

I get the feeling you've never worked in food service before. You do understand the reason why servers don't get the full minimum wage is because of how tips work?
A tip is not gratuity. A lot of servers get taxed based on their sales, and the standard 15% tip is what they would need to break even with a general minimum wage amount of pay. If somebody comes in and doesn't tip, they are PAYING MONEY TO SERVE THEM.
These people probably work harder than you ever have in your life, and deal with a lot of shit that's beyond their control, only to get stiffed by a-holes like yourself who like to feed themselves self-righteous bullshit to justify their lack of common human decency.


Amber May 6, 2016 at 12:36 pm

You understand the only reason you have a job at all is customers? They are already paying their server by conducting business in the establishment, they should not be obligated to pay your wages further then that. Tips are Gratiuty, they even say so on the receipt. Also, you 100% control your job choices, you accept a low paying job that is on you, not the consumer. You're horrible at your job, that is also on you and not the consumer. Poor service does not get rewarded, bad servers need to find a line of work better suited to their skills, or lack there of.


Cory September 28, 2015 at 8:56 pm

You sir are the worst of the worst.


Summer Scrapper September 29, 2015 at 9:52 am

you are some breed of idiot I have not encountered lately. please don't go out to eat at sit down restaurants, I fear for the safety of your food. servers do not forget the faces that stiff them…..


Reesee September 29, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Funny how people who don't tip will try and justify it by saying it's not required or that it's not their job to pay the servers wage. Ever got your car fixed? Or cable installed? There are "maintenance fees" or "labor fees" that go towards paying the person servicing you. The only difference in the service industry is that guests are given an opportunity to tip what they feel is deserved. That's how tips work. Its common courtesy but it's something far too many people fail at. They either care more about the money in their pocket than having respect for a fellow human being. Or their lives are so pathetic that dining out is the only time they ever feel in control, so with the all powerful complaint or threat to call corporate and then stiffing the server they somehow feel better about their mindless existence. Oh and your theory works the other way around too, if people stopped tipping, noone would serve for free. The only options would be to close all full service restaurants or charge $18 for a burger. End rant.


Zombie September 30, 2015 at 8:45 am

For all these comments criticizing the poster — he's not the problem. A tip should be a gratuity, but in the United States (and a few other countries) the custom of tipping has replaced paying people.

I was in Austria last week, and had this discussion with an Austrian friend, who asked why we "tip so much" in the US, and when I informed my friend that in many places, a food server will make less than $3/hour with no benefits, she was appalled.

Personally, I wish we did pay all people a decent wage — and that tips really were optional gratuities for good service.


Tiff May 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm

First and foremost, the labour costs a auto repair place charges you do not go to the mechanic that worked on your car. They get paid their hourly rate based on hours worked, but the majority of that labour charge is going to the business' bottom line and not their mechanics. So your example makes zero sense. Think delivery charge and how it doesn't go to the driver.


Ace November 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Doesn't really matter how/where it goes to, the example is still a legit one. I am currently working at a restaurant as well as a banquet hall. In the banquet hall job, I barely ever get any direct tips from customers (and when I do, they're truly something extra and never more than $ 5- $ 10). Instead, all of the parties are supposed to pay an auto gratuity (aka a "service charge"), which then gets divided equally among all the servers who worked that day and the amount of gratuity added to each server's paycheck ALSO depends on how many hours they've worked. A mechanic's labor charge, while not going directly to the mechanic, still ends up being on his paycheck in a form of a hourly wage JUST LIKE at my workplace. The only difference is that usually the mechanic's hourly rate is set while mine is not, but there are some auto repair places that offer bonuses/incentives for a good job.


Alan September 30, 2015 at 11:00 am

It's funny who tries to write off my comments like I'm someone who "never worked in food service." I've worked in and around food service most of my life and still do to this day. I can also tell the number of people who read 10 words in and then comment.

– Tip the good ones and tip well. Don't stop at 15% if they've done a really good job.
– If the service was bad and the server was horrid, you want them to fix their attitude or you want them gone if they can't or won't do better.
– Employees don't exist without the customer.
– Sometimes your customers have LESS income than you.
– If you're against tipped positions, don't work them or petition / rally / etc. to make it a wage position. Change only happens if it's reasonable and only when enough people agree.
– If you want to be happy, learn to be grateful. I've never met a grateful person who wasn't a happy person. Better attitudes really do earn better tips.
– Count your tips in average, not per person. Not everyone tips. Not everyone can. Not everyone tips based on YOU, sometimes it's they good or bad day.
– The US is one of the FEW countries where tips are even acceptable. To the MAJORITY, getting a tip is actually an insult.


Ali K June 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Employees would exist much more comfortably without customers like YOU.
If you can't afford a 20% tip (this is not saying every server deserves it, just saying you must be able to calculate before hand), then you cannot afford the restaurant.
Does every server deserve 20%? No. In fact, a few days ago I was rushed and didn't give my top service. I was embarrassed and apologized profusely. The people generously tipped over 20%, but I knew I didn't deserve that.
That said, 15% is not the norm anymore. It's a shit tip. It really is. We work our asses off to make sure you're enjoying your time. Tip 15% to prove a point- that service was poor.
Nobody is insulted by a tip. Really. I've been to several countries where it isn't expected, but it's not insulting anymore. This isn't the 80's. People understand tipping.
No servers I know are against tipped positions. We fucking love it. It's people like you who hate them because you can't figure it out.
I know I didn't address your points in chronological order, but I said what needed to be said.


Sean T February 9, 2017 at 10:13 pm

You cannot have worked in food service. Your original comment claimed that tips are a gratuity, not a wage..

You are WRONG. They are a wage, and servers are taxed on them based on the check totals, not the actual amount of the tip. So, every time your cheapskate self stiffs a server, you're costing them money. Money paid in taxes they didn't actually earn, and money they lost having to tip out other staff.

The reason that servers are legally allowed to be paid lower wages is because tipping is LEGALLY PART OF THEIR WAGE.

You don't go to get your car serviced and refuse to pay the full price or what have you just because you feel the price of the parts should be borne by the business.

You don't refuse to pay the tire disposal and environmental fees at the tire shop even though those aren't included in the price of the tires, do you?

You make no sense. You're just a jerk who is trying to justify his selfishness.


Kristie November 18, 2017 at 2:11 am

Hey Alan …..shut up…..just shut up


mary July 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm

I ALWAYS eat at HOME so I don't have to worry abt anyone "getting" me anything!!! I never want to have to "wait" on anyone to "do" anything for me!!! PLUS, I always get to "take my time" without worrying abt anyone or anything!!! I'M not "subject" to anyone or anything!!!!


Jack September 17, 2015 at 4:57 pm

I never base my tip on the quality or quantity of the food served, I base it on the service I receive. I give allowance for an overworked server. However if the server provides shoddy service, si not pleasant to deal with or is indifferent I will leave a tip commensurate with their service. I don't always dine out for the food alone (my wife and I are both good cooks) so when we patronize a restaurant good service is big reason I'm there. If I have a complaint about the food I expect the server to handle it properly with the kitchen. I expect my water and beverages to be provided properly. I expect plates removed from the table properly, and I expect my bill to be presented promptly at the end of the meal. I also expect a "thank you" from the server. If these conditions are met I'll gladly tip 20%. Depending how badly I've been treated I'll leave as little as nothing. I know you'll say the poor server will not earn any money, I say if they are that poor of a server they should make themselves available to a Micky D's or a Burger King and get the hell out of the full service restaurant business.


Jozseph September 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

I don't know how you make your living, but I'll bet you'd be pretty pissed off if you didn't get paid because your report was late for reasons beyond your control, or you lost your legal case because your client was clearly in the wrong(so he didn't pay you) or whatever the fuck you do that you think you deserves pay no matter what.
Can you spell "overprivileged" or do you need a secretary to spell it for you? If you have employees, do you dock their pay whenever they don't meet your standards?
Get a clue, guy.


Alan September 30, 2015 at 11:09 am

Would you rather restaurants becomes minimum wage jobs and tips are forbidden? Ultimately, YOU are responsible for the jobs YOU accept employment in. I know sometimes we're stuck with needing the first call-back and that's fine to start with. But you keep working / looking for better employment. If you stop climbing because you want to stand, you'll always be at the bottom of the ladder. Hating the world doesn't make you a more desirable job candidate, though it suggests you're complacent and unmotivated.


Amber May 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Employees that continually do not meet standards don't remain employees for long. That's how life works. You want a job, you do your job to the damn best of your ability, if you're in service and you do a good job you will get tips. If you do a horrible job you won't get tips and/or eventually you will lose your job, because poor service affects the customer's view of the business.

All jobs if you perform poorly you will lose the job, server jobs are no different and you do not deserve to be tipped for doing your job poorly.


Tim Anderson September 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm

The manager should reinforce the good service provided by the wait staff when offering the discount. Make it very clear why the meal is being discounted and why it is not. The guest may still not tip but the odds are better that they will and it shows that you do care about the guest because the great service was pointed out and acknowledged. Framing the experience on the guests own standards It makes it harder for a guest to be rude.


Aho September 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Sadly, tipping is over anyways. Fast casual dining is taking over as a business model, restaurants are selling tickets for pre-fixe menus & major companies are mulling over the eventuality of a $15/hr minimum wage.


Hans Seitz September 22, 2015 at 10:24 am

I do not think that tipping is over. Waiters generally can make over fifteen an hour if the customer does his share. There will be a lot of resistance from the industry if the waiter is only getting minimum wage. It's sad that people think of service as a job. If done properly it's a long lost art form. It's not just showing up at a table and taking an order bringing the food and then the check. It's way more than that.
The bigger question is whether or not the restaurant industry will survive, period. The IRS is treating the automatic gratuity/service charge as taxable income to the restaurant, not the server. It will be another expense in the long list of overhead expenses that an operator has to pay. Also with rising real estate prices, food costs and value driven customers pretty soon restaurants will all be large corporate chains or superfine dining because the small restaurant operator will not be able to survive. Sadly it's just math.


Ace November 27, 2016 at 2:10 pm

I am a server myself and here's how I view tipping. Standard (pretty good) service should earn 18-20%, slightly subpar service gets 15%, definitely subpar service (where the waitress made several mistakes and didn't correct them right away, or was rude, etc) would get 10% or less. Zero service (i.e. had to wait forever or go look for a waitress yourself) would get 0% tip. Great service would get 25% or even more. HOWEVER I have zero respect for people who tip very little or nothing for good service while in the States and base their stiffing on "principles" and "customs in their country". First of all, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Second of all, if you're so against the whole tipping system and 2.13/hr wage, PLEASE address your concerns with the restaurant owners/ corporate/ restaurant associations, and do not stiff your server as some kind of "rebellious move". Realize that people like you are few and far in between, which is why the tipping system is still there. Now, if you could convince EVERYONE to stop tipping, that would be a different story (prepare for a drastic increase in meal prices though), but until that happens, you just come off as a smug, pretentious asshole and should only stick to buffets and fast food joints.

Look at it this way too: there are certain other things that you're certainly not OBLIGED to do, but EXPECTED to do if you're not a dick: for example, holding the door for someone walking right behind you, not using the courtesy scooters at grocery stores unless you're actually handicapped or in pain, giving up your place on the bus so the pregnant or elderly may sit, etc, etc. Those things are called ETIQUETTE and SOCIAL NORMS, and of course you won't be legally punished for not following them, but you would get people pissed off and everyone would see you as an asshole. Same with tipping. Gawd, people, why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?


Dave April 20, 2023 at 3:46 pm

When the restaurant is required by IRS to allocate tips according to sales, not tipping at least 15% IS costing the server money, by way of income tax on money they never received.
I leave notes on the check as to what I think of the service. If it is prompt, the server is polite and even upbeat, I tell the person how much I appreciated the service. And I tip up to 30%.
Conversely, if the service is terrible, I give the proper criticism and the tip is %ed accordingly. I figure these people either enjoy the work or are, maybe paying their way through college and I know what that's like. Never will I put the quality of the food on the server. He or she did not cook it. Having the food and drinks brought to my table beats the hell out of a buffet, especially when I know the server didn't take a spoon and taste my food and put the spoon back into the food.


Jacob July 19, 2018 at 11:54 pm

If you get good service and don't tip, you are trash. It's very plain and simple.


Opiumbrella August 25, 2019 at 8:18 am

I am a lifelong service worker.
In Oregon many servers make above min wage, but all get paid min wage, not the hanky system that was made to allow people to not have to pay recently freed black citizens. (The laws that allow that and the history if tipping is racist as hell and should be done away with completely)
So, making at or above minimum wage, and nearly every restaraunt adding a "service charge" I get so angry at the "if you can't afford to tip stay home". Even in areas where they have laws allowing less pay. It is a shitty attitude, and they are taking out on the patrons, what needs to be addressed with the lawmakers and employers.


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