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The Most Ridiculous Reasons For Stiffing Your Server

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Restaurant customers have the potential to be full of a lot of things, from gas to hot air to bullshit. Some of the worst customers are also full to the brim with excuses to not leave a tip for their deserving server. Tipping is based on service (and the fact that the restaurant industry doesn’t pay a living wage and relies on customers to make up the difference), but there are plenty of non-valid excuses customers use to not leave a tip. If the service is good, it deserves a tip and none of these excuses justify not leaving one.

“I don’t believe in tipping.”

It’s not the tooth fairy we’re talking about here, it’s tipping. You can say you don’t believe in ghosts because there really isn’t any definitive proof that they exist. You can choose to not believe in Santa Claus because you realized the Christmas presents from your parents had the same wrapping paper as the ones from St. Nick. But tipping does exist and to say you don’t believe in it is just an excuse to get out of it.

“I’m too broke to tip.”

There’s a saying in the restaurant world: If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to go out to eat. Tipping is part of the cost of dining out. Besides, you know who else might be broke? Your server, that’s who. And they are at work to make money so they don’t have to be broke any more and not tipping them isn’t helping. If you want to eat someplace that doesn’t require a tip, don’t go to a restaurant with a server.

“I didn’t like the food.”

If you don’t like your food, see if the restaurant is willing to offer you something else, but don’t punish your waitress because you ordered steak tartare when you actually wanted a well-done burger. You don’t get to go to Forever 21 and complain that you don’t like the collar on a shirt and then pay less for it. You not liking the food is your problem, not the server’s.

“I have kids.”

This one happens far too often. It’s like the customer thinks the $7 they didn’t leave their server should go to toward their kid’s college education instead. Yes, of course your kids are important and worthy and needing of your financial support, but let’s think about your waitress for a hot second. She too might have kids who are important and worthy and in need of financial support from their mom, so how does that excuse make it okay? It doesn’t.

“The restaurant was too loud.”

The decibel level of a restaurant has absolutely no factor in determining how much of a tip to leave your server. Neither does, the temperature of the air conditioning, the wobbliness of a table, the amount of sunlight shining into your eyes, what channel the television over the bar is airing, or how difficult it was to find a parking spot. These are all excuses that don’t stand up.

“My server didn’t smile enough.”

Would it be nice to feel like your server is truly enjoying your company and that their face lights up at your very existence? Sure, it would, but are pearly whites a requirement for efficient service? No, it isn’t. No human being can be “on” 100% of the time. If you’ve never worked in customer service, you have no idea how difficult it can be to give the impression that you are happy all the time. Life gets in the way of that and sometimes it’s just not easy to smile through everything. If the service was good, the facial expression doesn’t matter.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.

1 Comment

  1. Doug
    August 5, 2022 at 2:42 pm — Reply

    Oh, the excuses I often got for customers not tipping would fill this space, and then some. My favorite excuse? “If I had more money, I’d tip you”, right after paying for, say, a $250 (or larger) order.

    You won’t tip, yet you give excuses why you won’t. Those excuses rank up there with the likes of, “Servant, fetch me more ice”, when you’re standing right next to the freezer, with your finger on the ice tray, or “Give me a soda”, when your touching the bottle itself. Crak that wallet open, and slip your server an extra $5. You never know what they’re going through, and that extra cash might just be what tips the scales favorably.

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