Eating out with Scrooge
March 13, 2009 1:31 AM Subscribe
How do you deal with friends who are terrible tippers when dining out?
posted by keep it under cover to human relations (58 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have always been a generous tipper, something I inherited from my father. I'm not saying this to brag about what a terrific person I am, I just inherently feel that good service deserves a reward and what's a couple dollars to me when it could be a nice pat on the back for the server? And while tipping started out as merely a pat on the back, nowadays it's how servers make their living - they survive on tips and it's no longer fair game to think of tips as optional. Since I started waitressing at a bar part-time while going to school, tipping fairly has become even more important to me.
The other night, I went out with a small group of friends and friends-of-friends. Some of the people in the group were very irritating and demanding. For example, they took forever to order, hemming and hawing while the waitress stood there politely waiting. The pub was packed and she was getting run off her feet, and these people paid no regard to the fact that they were wasting her time. Despite how incredibly busy she was, she managed to give us great service with a smile. When it came time to pay our bill of $90, we ended up with only a $9 tip - $6 of which was from *me,* while the other five people had so generously contributed the other $3. I pointed out the fact that we were "a bit short." One of my friends threw in some extra while the others pretended not to hear. I went home fuming.
This is certainly not the first time this has happened, either with that group or other groups of friends. Some people seem entirely unconcerned with making sure we have enough... are people really that terrible at math, or are they just playing dumb? I once went on a double date where my boyfriend and I tipped 20% and the other couple ATE our tip! They actually used our tip to help pay for their half of the bill... and the worst part - the girl in the couple is a waitress. And it was the other couple that chose the restaurant, so it wasn't a matter of us inviting them to a place they couldn't afford.
I get that many of my friends aren't sitting on piles of money, but I feel very strongly that if you're not prepared to leave a decent tip, you have no business walking into the restaurant in the first place. Lord knows I'm pretty darn broke these days, but I have never in my life shorted a server on a tip just because I didn't have enough, or was trying to save my pennies. If I couldn't afford to leave a decent tip, I went to McDonald's or served myself at home.
It has gotten to the point where I'm wary of going out in big groups, or of going out to dinner with certain people, because I know that my night will be ruined when the bill comes. It has caused me to think less of my friends. I view their behavior as tacky, selfish, stingy, and inconsiderate... and not just to our server, but also to the other people in our party who then have to make up the tip or swallow the embarrassment.
Is there any way to make people more aware of their poor tipping habits? Is there any way to call attention to it without antagonizing my dining companions? I know it's tacky to bring up matters of money, but then again so is leaving a dismal tip. Am I making way too much of this?