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If You Don’t Want to Tip a Lousy Server, Here’s How to Tip the Kitchen Instead

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Don’t stiff the kitchen staff just because your server ignored you
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Give the cash directly to the manager.

We’ve all been there: You sit down at a restaurant and are promptly ignored by your server. Sometimes service can be harried when a restaurant is busy, but this is different: It’s clear that the server would rather be anywhere else than at work, doing anything else other than waiting on you, and makes your meal a terrible experience. You’ve decided that you’re not going to leave a tip, but then you remember that in many restaurants (in states where it’s legal), tips are pooled among all employees. If the food was good, then you don’t need to stiff the kitchen staff for no reason. It also makes a good statement to tip the kitchen directly, instead of the do-nothing server. So what do you do?

On your way out of the restaurant, ask to speak to the manager. Explain to them what your server did to make the meal so unpleasant, then hand them your tip. Instruct them that it’s to go to the kitchen staff, and not the server.

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It’s no guarantee that the tip won’t be added right to the pool, but you can rest assured that the manager will take notice of your complaint.