How Not to Tip at a Restaurant

Things Your Server Wants You to Know
by Josh Hrala

Going to a restaurant is one of the most fun things one can do in life, right up there with watching people getting hit in the junk (the America’s Funniest Home Videos way, not the sexual way. Weirdos.) Going to a restaurant maybe something you do on a first date with a potential mate or out with your boss (also a potential mate, you REALLY need that promotion). No matter what the situation, I can guarantee you will have to pay for the meal, unless you dine and dash but lets face it, if that is a legit strategy in your “proper etiquette” tool kit you should probably not be at a fancy restaurant anyway.

4. Leaving Notes

Okay, put on your imagination helmets real fast and get those fictional gears turning because I’m about to paint a seductive little scene. You’re out and about on the town with your coworkers (or friends, but that may be too much of an imaginative leap), who slave their days away doing something that is essentially meaningless to them and all you want to do is get a drink. Say you’re with your boss. Say he finds himself to be some sort of comedian (it’s hard not to get laughs when you sign everyone’s pay check) and wants to leave the waitress a critical note on the bill because what scholars call “an @$$#()!%.”

You are now at the crossroads (cue Bone Thugs!) of a Choose Your Own Adventure where one road leads to happily leaving a tip and going home, lighting some candles and really making an evening for yourself, or a road that leads to you becoming hated by the Internet (no not for recording your solo romantic evening, that actually might nab you some fame). The choice here should be simple, tell the boss to tip and not be a clown, but you won’t because he is your boss. Take this (ficional?) guy for example. He was all pissed off about the whole 99 percent thing–so pissed that he left a note on the tab that said get a real job and then left a 1 percent tip.

Quickly, the Internet showed up to set suckers straight when a picture of the receipt was posted online. Some say it was a joke picture and that the boss really didn’t say those things and other people claimed it to be true. The real point is that if you’re an ass to a waitress on a receipt and it turns up online you’re going to get $#!+ for it. So, how do you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Simple. Quit taking pictures of your bad jokes. Of course you can’t quit giving the waitress a hard time–that’d be way to gentlemanly of you, so just don’t post the evidence. Done. Bam. Boom. Good game.

3. Know Your Territory

The key to a proper tip is math and stuff, which like the language of Mordor we dare not utter here. The other key is knowing the restaurant you are currently being served in. Read the menu. Usually, and when I say usually I mean read the damn menu to find out whether the restaurant adds an automatic gratuity to a check. This happens when there are more than a certain amount of idiots eating with you. The establishment knows that when X amount of idiots get together the waitress is usually worked more (again, I know this is confusing because math) and therefore should be guaranteed a certain percentage tip that will be added to the final check. This is more or less common knowledge, but like all common knowledge there are those among us who are neither common nor full of any type of knowledge.

Like this family. There was a 17 percent gratuity automatically added to the check. The family  decided to go all Gordon Ramsay on the restaurant and tell them that their service was bad and they didn’t deserve the extra tip. But, like mentioned above, the restaurant had the tip on the bottom of the menu. This situation escalated so quickly that the police had to be called in. After a tense stand off with the family basically locked in the restaurant refusing to pay the tip they eventually succumbed to the will of the restaurant and paid.

How do you avoid this situation? Read. It’s not hard to look at the menu and decide that you don’t want to pay the gratuity added to the bill but don’t eat first and then complain about it. Oh, and know your exits (remember that dine and dash, like all movie theaters check the front and back and left and right because you need to know all the ways the hell out of there). Or, you could just carry around so much money that a surprise tip wouldn’t even phase you ( I prefer Monopoly money for the festive colors), just throw some up and the air and cause a ruckus.

2. If You Tip Low You’re Almost Famous

America is full of celebrities and people that think they are celebrities. That is the whole reason Facebook even exists, it gives everyone their 15 minutes of fame and annoys the piss out of loved ones in the process. Do you want to be famous? Of course you do. So what is an easy step to get you to act more like most celebs (Plastic surgery? Sex tape!? A drunken rant about ethnicities you find upsetting?!?)? Simple, tip like a homeless person.

A shocking number of celebrities seem to leave horrible tips according to that website above that looks totally credible. Why? Who the hell knows. But one thing is very clear with a list containing that much star power you’d be a fool to tip someone ever again. There are a lot of influential people on that list that are well respected as actors and starlets. The only one that is technically allowed to tip badly is Amanda Bynes because let’s face it , she isn’t in touch with what’s going on to begin with. Somebody get that woman some help!

Just like drugs and smoking the celebrities are making it cool to not tip. I guess it is because when you’re super famous and wealthy you do drugs because it’s…hard? And you smoke because you’re stressed? And you don’t tip at restaurants because drugs and smoking and crazy expensive.

1. End Up On This List

Sure you want to end up on the celebrity bad tipper list, but this list right here is more important. Why? Because it is the goddamn high scores list of bad tippers. Pretty much a few angry members of a waitstaff got together and made It’s a place where people can post and report bad tippers from all over the place. This is where you want to get to. Sure, you may start off small in a local diner screwing over some young waiter for kicks. You’ll be chasing that high the rest of your life.

Then you can move on to other establishments getting bigger and better each time. Then eventually you’ll make the list as the worst tipper ever and even beat out a few celebrities for the title. Just remember to never pay the gratuity if is automatically added even if it means a police escort out of the restaurant and leave notes on the checks so that everyone knows you’re a d-bag with a sense of humor. Following these steps will lead to success in a valuable self image of dickery.

"Sir? You are being abusive and I am going to have to BSoD you."

“Sir? You are being abusive and I am going to have to BSoD you.”

Josh Hrala can be found on Facebook and Twitter

"Hi, I'll be your sub-minimum wage booze servant today."

“Hi, I’ll be your sub-minimum wage booze servant today.”

More from Josh Hrala

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