This article is based on the AskReddit thread "Today, a waiter chased me out the door for leaving a 20% tip. What's the most ridiculous thing a waiter/waitress has ever done to you?"
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
1/14. I went to Denny's with a few friends after a concert one night and we all ordered food. The service was fair (not good,not bad) and the food was good. At the end of our meal we all paid and was getting ready to leave and we all put the tip on the table (around 30%40%).
So we all were getting up from the table and the waitress came over and said in a pretty smug way "I know a tip is not mandatory but you guys could leave something." we all kinda took a look at each other and then i said "yeah your right a tip isn't mandatory." And then went back to the table and picked up the money.
The look on her face was priceless as we walked out the door.
2/14. When I was on a break with my girlfriend (initiated by her) I went to a bar/lounge not too far from my house with a couple friends. There was a really cute bartender so we immediately struck up a conversation... no stupid pickup lines, nonsense.
Throughout the night she always came back and talked - just joking around and flirtatiously making bets for drinks and had an all round very nice time while feeling some chemistry. She gave me her number but when it came time to pay the tab I decided to test and see if she was full of crap, or genuinely nice. So I gave a good tip (20%) and when she saw it she asked me what my problem was, that she had spent so much of the night with me and had given me a bunch of free drinks (come on, I won the bets fair and square). So I told her I'm no longer interested and gave her her number back.
3/14. At a Swiss Chalet, six of us at a table. Five plates come out. We wait a couple minutes for the sixth plate. We inform our waitress that we didn't receive our sixth plate. She responds with "Yes, you did." After a bit of a back-and-forth, she accuses us of hiding the last plate somewhere.
4/14. I went to TGI fridays and ordered a drink. The waiter gave me a hard time about my ID, so much in fact by the time I got the drink, I just drank it and paid for the one drink and decided to leave.
As I was leaving he ran up and said "Thanks buddy so much for the tip, I just want to thank you so much for your kindness."
I became fairly enraged, loudly I said "When you are total arsehole to the customer don't expect a tip and I hope your manager and co workers can hear what a terrible person you are to the customer, Im going to go home and make sure this is well documented and reported, my friends with me will do the same.
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5/14. One time my fiancee and I went to eat a pizza place in NYC. The hostess set the two of us at a four-top table, and proceeded to get us drinks and some bread to snack on. After a few minutes, the waitress came over accusing us of moving to the four top and started moving all of our stuff to a two top next to the door. I never had the chance to explain to her that the hostess sat us there. It was a cold day and I told her I didn't want to go there. She didn't care, she picked up all of our stuff, including my fiancee's purse. Ended up spilling my drink on my fiancee's coat.
She never refilled our drinks, even though I asked her multiple times. I ended up getting another waitress to refill my drink. When I asked for extra napkins, she told me I should "try to be less messy when I eat".
When we got the check, she put an automatic gratuity of 25%! I told her I would not pay that much gratuity, because I didn't think she deserved it. The manager came over and told me that I had to pay it or he was going to call the cops. I handed him my cellphone and told him to go for it. I told him that if he didn't take off the automatic gratuity that I would pay with my credit card, then immediately call my credit card company and say it was stolen.
After him raising his voice, two other tables said that this same waitress was horribly rude to them also, and that they wouldn't give her 25% either. The manager ended up taking it off and I tipped her $1 (in dimes) on a $40 tab.
6/14. One time a bartender didn't fill up my pitcher all the way, so I politely requested for him to do so. He started this thing about me complaining and why I'm making a big deal about it (when he was). He ended up giving me a dirty look after there was no tip; like he was surprised he got no tip for being a jerk.
Another time I left no tip because the bartender was badgering me about why I got kicked out of another local spot. She was trying to be cute making me call her ma'am and saying please ma'am just to get a beer. I wrote down on the bill "$0 Tip MA'AM". That was fun.
7/14. That happened to me at a Denny's.
I left like 2 bucks on a 6 dollar tab and the waitress made some bad remark on my way out, when her manager was right there. I turned around and asked her if she was being crass with me. I don't think she knew what the word meant. Then she said "sorry for the service" with a smug attitude. So I told her to give me the tip back. That's when the manager got involved as I started toward her (I'm a Marine vet, she's lucky I didn't bother her for a discount). So the manager comped the meal for both me and my friend and she gave us our cash back... All of it.
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8/14. We took my wife's father out for birthday dinner one night. He chose the Olive Garden, so my parents and the in-laws met us there and we were seated at a big round table in the back of the restaurant. Our waitress came bouncing up and introduced herself, asked a few questions, and figured out that it was Bill's birthday. His 60th birthday. I noticed that she seemed to pause when she heard this, but she took drink orders and off she went.
Dinner progressed, but at some point she came back and dropped the bomb: her own father had just died two weeks prior at age 60. We were all a little flabbergasted, but we offered our condolences and she turned it around a bit by reminding us all how precious we should be to each other, blah blah.
Not 5 minutes later she came back, and proceeded to fill us in on HOW he died: battling aggressive cancer for a year, he died a long, slow, painful death. Very sad. Again, birthday dinner and all, we managed to console her a little and ordered desserts.
Desserts come out, and she brings an extra-happy surprise: a printout of an email that her father sent her. You see, during his time in hospice, he sent her multiple emails daily telling her that he loved her, writing poetry and inspirationals.
She saved them, leaving them all unread to go through after he passed. She proceeded to read this poem to us, which was very sweet I'm sure, but I could barely hear it over the blood pounding in my ears out of sheer embarrassment. I was staring at my plate by this point; I can honestly say it was the most embarrassed I have been since middle school.
As she had brought out the desserts, a bus/run guy had come through to clear a booth from the now empty section of the restaurant. About two lines into the poem, he stood up, looks over at her and said, "You're kidding." I glanced over at him and he gave me the most sincere "Oh man I am SO sorry" look.
She finished the poem, we paid up, left a decent enough tip (probably around 20% because the service grief asidewas good), and went home.
The next day, my wife gets a call from a manager. He asks if we had had any issues with our waitress the night before, and my wife very kindly explained that the woman was obviously still grieving and just happened to get a table that rang her like a gong. He explained that it was her first shift back since taking time off to grieve, and that we were her first table of the night.
The manager refunded the meal to us and sent us a $50 gift card.
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9/14. My father and mother went to a popular Chinese restaurant in DC one Friday night in the 80s. This was a fancier-style place; my dad was in his Naval Officer's uniform, and my mom was in a nice dress. When they went in, the host showed a bit of disdain for my parents and sat other people for almost 20 minutes before finally getting them a table. When they got the table, it was a cramped table in the corner next to the kitchen. The waiter that took care of them also was pretty rude and dismissive throughout the night.
At the end of the night, they got their leftovers to go, and my dad paid the bill. My dad gave him a decent tip, even with the crappy service - 15%. My parents, however, were staying at the table and finishing their drinks. Meanwhile, he sees the waiter talking with the host, and gesturing angrily at the bill. The host comes over, and asks if there was something wrong with the service. My dad tells him that the service was not good, but felt that he tipped decently regardless. The host explained "sweetly" that it was customary to tip 20% at the minimum in their restaurant. My dad offered to change the tip on the bill, and reached for the credit card slip. The host jerked the slip back, and said that would not be necessary, and left.
My dad saw the host go back and argue with the waiter. He then gestured towards them, and my dad guessed that they were going to try and take the leftovers back. My dad palmed the fork from the table, and waited to see what happened. The waiter walked by and leaned towards the table, and my dad growled, "Try it, and you'll walk away with a limp and a four holes in your hand." The waiter made a quick about-turn from the table, and my parents left a few minutes later.
10/14. I was at a restaurant in Reno with some friends of mine, we had just hitch-hiked into town. We are all moderately "weird" looking, have huge packs on, piercings and tattoos, brown/black clothing, and probably don't look like the cleanest people in the world. We order a huge, huge meal to celebrate getting into to town and meeting up with a certain friend of ours. The waitress is an older lady who is fairly friendly, tops off our coffee consistently and gets our food to us promptly. We finish off our meal, leave the money on the table + a pretty healthy tip and head outside for a smoke. As we're sitting there right outside the restaurant the waitress comes outside and says, "come on guys, you gotta pay the bill now..." completely condescending. She assumed we didn't even pay. My boyfriend promptly walks inside, points to the table, and picks up the money we left and brings it to her. He asks again how much the bill was and counts it out so she sees him put the tip back in his pocket.
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11/14. Went to a famous chain restaurant with 4 friends, the service was horrible, it took about 1 hour 1/2 and they brought out the wrong food twice before getting us our meal; my burger was bloody rare even though I asked for medium rare, etc. We decided to leave a 5% tip, so I gave the waitress our money and ask for x amount of money back, clearly signalling that the difference was her tip. She plays stupid, and brings all of our money back, clearly upset with the small value of the tip, and says she "wasn't sure what we wanted to do." I handed her three dollars and said "that will be all." Her eyes went a little wide, and she marched off in a fuss. When we went to leave the restaurant, the manager approached us and said that we should acquaint ourselves with usual tipping practices to avoid future misunderstandings. I told him to serve better food in a more timely matter. He just stared at us as we left. I'm pretty sure if I ever go back I'm getting "special ingredients" with all of my food.
12/14. My friends and I went to a restaurant with 6 people. This restaurant is kind of an "art scene" restaurant, but defiantly portrays itself, and prices itself, as a gourmet restaurant. The place was not extremely busy, probably 60-70% to max capacity on a Friday night. Our waitress comes by to take our drink orders and we order 2 pitchers of beer. 20 minutes later we get our drinks. That's not a huge deal, but somewhat confusing considering they were that busy, but we let it slide. She takes our orders once she delivers the beer and its all typical stuff; an appetizer and entrees for everyone. The appetizer, which was the price of a full mean, was supposed to be gourmet crackers and cheese, but literally was club crackers and frozen, yes frozen, cheese. On top of that, she didn't even bring out the entire appetizer and we had to ask for it. Then, after 30 minutes, we get ONE plate out of SIX and she just sits it in front of one of our guests. After 10 minutes of the food just getting cold in front of him, we insist he goes ahead and eats.
It takes 45 minutes until we get the rest of the food and one of the orders was extremely incorrect. One of the orders didn't even have all the listed ingredients in it. It was a cheese steak without cheese. She asked to have her order fixed the right way and the waitress gives her this snarky look and says, "Maybe you should go to drive-thru next time." Everyone was shocked and offended by her remark. We had waited on our food for a little under 2 hours and she is getting mad at US. So I did what I thought was the most appropriate; I wrote, "DRIVE-THRU" on her tip.
13/14. I went to a wing joint that was a bar/restaurant with plenty of TVs for sports to watch a Stanley Cup playoff game. I'm there with 5-10 people all eating appetizers or entrees and drinking beer. My wife was drinking her beer when she felt something funny go down, and she still had a piece in her mouth. She took it out, and it was a piece of glass. We talk to the manager and tell him that there was glass in her beer (impossible to see by the way), and he offers to replace her beer. I then try and explain that she swallowed glass and after some talking and comments from him like "you'll be fine" (to which my wife replied "have you ever swallowed glass?") we managed to get him to comp our meals and drinks (just what we ordered, not my friends mind you). He acted like we should be [cut] grateful for him for getting a free meal after my wife swallowed glass. My wife was furious at the manager who was completely unresponsive to any complaints, and this totally ruined what turned out to be great hockey game.
Within a couple of days of all of this happening my wife started having some slight stomach pains that weren't going away. I wasn't sure if it was related to the glass so we went to doctors to be sure. After they weren't sure what it was she told the doc about the glass incident and they did a few more tests. (Continued)
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They concluded that she passed the glass and on its way out it probably made a minor cut in her intestines. Awesome. The good news was that it would just take some time to heal, and nothing extra was needed. I can't stand the fact that my wife had to go through some very uncomfortable tests because this restaurant had pieces of glass in their cup and the manager was extremely unapologetic.
After all of this I went back to the restaurant and tried to explain to the manager how much crap he put us through and he still tried to pass it off as inconsequential. I proceeded to tell him to screw off and that I nor anyone I knew would ever come to his restaurant again.
14/14. About 8-9 years ago in Phoenix/Scottsdale, I was out to dinner with my wife at a nice restaurant (can't remember it's name). it was after the lunch-time business crowd, around 2:30, so the place was pretty empty.
We had a nice relaxing lunch and the service was bordering on below average, with a real smart-mouth waiter who had an attitude. He was very slow in getting our order, delivering our food, and trying to find him to pay the bill was very difficult. we spent 15-20 minutes more in there than we should have, because of how slow he was. Still it was a nice day in the spring and we were just enjoying being there.
When we finally do track him down to get the bill, his attitude stops, he becomes all friendly, almost too friendly. It comes across as completely insincere. He takes pleasure in announcing, "Your bill comes to $65." That behavior irked me, because I don't want other people to hear what we were paying. The pace wasn't that full, but still...
So i look at the check, and it was, as he said $65. So I pulled out $100 to lay in the leather wallet containing the bill.
"And you are paying with a $100 dollar bill, sir...would you like your change?" as he announced again.
At that point, I leaned over to him and said something along the lines of, "Of course i would like my change. Do you really think that your service was anywhere near the range of a 50%+ tip? We had to ask someone else to track you down at least once to get some service. And you want to know if I want my change?"
then he became very indignant and huffed off to grab our change. When he came back, I felt like leaving no tip, but that's not how I roll. but I didn't leave a good tip either, only about $4.
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