It should be a rule of thumb — if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out. Many servers, bussers, hosts and kitchen staff depend on tips at the end of the night to help round out what they’re paid hourly, which is typically far below minimum wage. Tipping is not a fun game to get your waiter to work harder, it’s an expected part of dining in the United States. Unfortunately, tipping is frequently linked to server abuse and harassment.
That’s why the internet was so shocked by one Facebook user who decided that tormenting his waitress for her tip was a fun game to play on a night out with his wife. He shared the experience to Facebook, claiming that with his methods you will receive “the best service of your life.”
He explained that at the beginning of the meal, he placed five single dollar bills on the table for the server to see. “Don’t say anything to them,” he wrote. “If they mess up, you take a dollar away and so on. At the end of the dinner, however much is left, is their tip.”
He explained that his waitress kept looking at the money with a puzzled look on her face. He even said he ended up taking a dollar away because she forgot to bring the table bread, but that she brought extra bread later so he put the dollar back. “Haha all in all a great evening with my love and a good dinner experiment we both wanted to see play out. Try it, you will be surprised!” he wrote.
A screenshot of the man’s little blurb was posted to Twitter by Atlanta-based news, weather, and traffic host Mark Arum, who wrote, “As a former waiter, please don’t ever do this. Ever.”
The tweet has almost 500 irate responses, 377 retweets and almost 1,600 likes from people who can’t believe that, one: this customer would only tip his waitress $5 on a dinner for two; and two: someone would be so flagrantly rude.
“I served for years putting myself through college,” tweeted Randall W. Bond. “I would have ignored you most of the night for the satisfaction of letting you know your condescending $5 means absolutely nothing to me while i racked up $10-$20 tips from people that can actually afford to go out to eat.”
“What a weird new way to be cheap and rude simultaneously,” responded @1MichaelWayne
“I agree. Why do some people treat servers like they are training an animal? If they do good then you give them a treat, if they mess up you rub their nose in it. Smh,” wrote Twitter user Brent.
"Millenials are so disrespectful! Anyway, honey, let's make our less-than-minimum-wage server dance on eggshells for a $5 tip on our $80 dinner," joked Jesse Pierson, capturing the situation beautifully.
This "game" is nothing new; this tipping technique has been around for a while (and even warranted a scene on 90s sitcom Third Rock From the Sun), but even though it may often be discussed, it's rare to actually see it put into practice.
Tipping poorly ($5? Come on!) and leaving without tipping, are both among the worst etiquette mistakes you can make when dining out.