Hearing about a recent awful tipping trick going viral on social media made us think: Waiters and waitresses have a tough job, and as a diner, it can be easy to forget to that when we’re waiting for a forgotten condiment or glasses sit empty for too long. Yeah, it may be tempting to dock a server in a moment of irrational thinking, but some people take it way too far. Here are the 7 worst ways to tip a server.
1. Paying in compliments
Usually, we all love some kind words — but not in lieu of getting paid for honest work. A Texas bartender was dismayed to find a dash through the tip line, with this “compliment” under the total: “Bless you, your drink making skills and also your hair.” (Customarily, it’s recommended to tip $1 to $2 per glass of beer or wine, and $3 to $4 per cocktail.) “Verbal tips always pay the bills!” the bartender quipped.
2. Paying in pennies (2 of them!)
Groan. Here’s a tip: If you’re only going to leave two sad pennies, as this bartender received, according to the Instagram account Bad Tips, you might as well keep your own change.
3. Leaving a sob story
For a bill of $8.51, a diner wrote “Sorry bro, I’m broke,” on the tip line for one Florida bartender. Even $1 would have been a nice gesture here. Lesson here: If you’re light on cash, maybe stay in that night.
4. Crying over spilled water
Yikes — on the tip line of this bill, a diner wrote: “Don’t spill water.” Assuming that the waiter didn’t pour an entire glass of water into someone’s lap (even then, this would be uncalled for and rude), it’s pretty wrong to penalize someone for honest accidents. As the poster writes, “People forget servers are humans, jugging the needs of 10-20 people at a time.”
5. Not doing the math
On top of leaving a roughly 3 percent tip ($4 on a $122 bill), this Outback Steakhouse diner also didn’t complete the addition for the “total” line, leaving the bottom line blank. As one commenter pointed out, that puts the server in a tough ethical spot of totaling a customer’s credit card bill for them.
6. Splitting checks, skipping the tip
It’s young customers like these who give big groups of high-school diners a bad name: This table at a Macaroni Grill in California asked for a check to be split at least four ways, then each diner skipped the tip on what looked to be a grand total of more than $100.
7. Matchmaking instead of tipping
This party left a $2 tip on a check of $28—as well as the phone number of one of the diners, with an arrow explaining, “Virginia in skirt! She’s super fun!” We’re guessing this South Carolina bartender never gave her a call: “If you’re going to leave your number, you should probably leave a better tip.”
But let’s end on a good note…
Luckily, there are lots of crazy-generous tipping stories out there, such as this one, where a diner left a crisp Benjamin on top of a $48.90 bill.
As the Instagram account ServerTips commented, “When you have seven tables, including a 15 top, and one of your tables notices how hard your trying, sometimes you physically cannot give people the best service due to the excess amount of tables you have. Feels good to know some people understand.”