23 Servers Shared Stories Of Suddenly Heartwarming Moments At Their Jobs, And They're Beautiful

Voting Rules
Vote up the most heartwarming stories

Being a server is hard. You frequently have to deal with so many demands and so little respect. While some customers can be an embarrassment to the human race, there are a lot of people out there treating servers right. These stories from the subreddit r/TalesFromYourServer warmed our hearts and made us believe in the mankind again.

  • 1
    488 VOTES

    Lending A Helping Hand

    From Redditor u/tamiraisredditing

    My old manager was a real “working for the weekend” type and never went out of their way for us or the customers, no matter what.

    One of the most difficult things about her was we had a homeless guy who’d camp out in our back alley because a lot of heat comes off a vent back there and she’d always make us toss him out because he was visible to customers from the main entrance.

    She’s gone and we have a new manager now. Her first week, one of the employees said “hey that guy’s back” and the new manager said “this guy here often?” and we told her the whole story. She asked what our interactions with him had been like and we told her perfectly pleasant, considering the circumstances.

    She walks out, shakes the guy’s hand, and offers him a dishwashing job on a trial basis.

    She had one of the busboys help him get cleaned up and put him right to work. He knocked it out of the park, made good honest money, and got staff dinner. She told him he was welcome to come back to work any night of the week and if he was consistent she’d see about getting him hired.

    That was two weeks ago, and he started on a permanent basis today!

    He’s been able to move back in with his brother now that he has a job and is saving up all the money he makes here. He’s a month clean and says things are going better now than they have in a long time! 

    488 votes
  • 2
    407 VOTES

    $2000 Tip

    From Redditor u/BlaisePascal1123

    Setting: Miami Beach, FL. late 2009. Seafood Bar and Grill (like a Key West version of a sports bar).

    I had this 40 something, sweet as pie, creative and smart regular who would come in with his elderly mother every Sunday and ask to be seated with me. We'll call him Jimmy. He was certainly on the spectrum, but a genius in his own right. He was a very talented painter (I'm sure he still is).

    Every Sunday, Jimmy would be sitting at my table greeting me with a honest to goodness smile. Between managing tasks for them and other tables, I'd have incredible conversations with Jimmy about the universe and physics. About mathematics and art. I was very happy to have met such a great customer. I could tell he thoroughly enjoyed the company of a server who, one, didn't find him strange and off putting, and two, who could keep up with his favorite topics of conversation. I had just started studying mathematics in college at about this time, and I'm also on the spectrum (but was undiagnosed at the time). I very much looked forward to seeing them each week.

    After about a year of this he one day excitedly announced that his sister from NY was coming into town and that he's told her all about me and he can't wait to introduce us. He's convinced I'll love her (and I didn't doubt him).

    So, next week comes around and now there are three sitting at my table! I can see this thin, elegant yet earthy woman with GORGEOUS wild curly hair. Jimmy introduces her as Patty.

    She's oozing with charisma, and she definitely had a NY attitude--short, to the point, no bs-- but she was, you could instantly tell, very caring. Also intimidatingly smart... not like the dreamy, colorful, wooey science stuff Jimmy and I liked (getting wide eyed and excited to be able to speculate the implications of the double slit experiment)(though I'm sure she knew all about that stuff too), but like... Savvy.

    Jimmy had been keeping up with my progress in school since around the time I had started. This was between semesters, and he knew that I picked 4 exciting classes for the following semester. More than I had ever put on my plate before. He had asked me about how I felt now that the semester was coming up.

    I was fresh 19, no financial aide, no student loans, living on my own, working two serving jobs to pay rent and tuition. I was poor af. Sure, I picked those classes... But, really I was just hoping against hope that I could come up with the $1200 I needed to pay for them. The deadline was fast approaching and I had, just days before this conversation with Jimmy, Patty and their mom, made the decision to drop one, if not two, of the classes so that I could afford the semester.

    Smiling and embarrassed, I told him that I'd be dropping a couple of the classes. He gave a frown and an 'aww' and I had to scamper off to go do server stuff.

    Between the refills and the food drop offs and the cleanups, we all just continue chit chatting. Patty casually asked how much my 4 class semester was going to run me. I told her, not thinking anything if it. The conversation naturally moved on.

    I run off again to serve other tables and I come back to their table towards the end of the meal. Gabbing continues when Patty extends her hand out to me... with a piece of paper. Instinctually, I grab it and... It's a check...

    for $2000.

    I try and give it back, tears in my eyes, she's not smiling-- but I can tell she's perfectly happy-- and adamantly refuses to take it back. NY no BS in full swing. I can tell she's serious. And I just sloppily thank her and run into the kitchen because all of a sudden my knees are Jell-O. I plop on the floor on my butt and sobb. Other staff are running towards me concerned and I can barely tell them that it's not anything bad, that in fact it's incredible, through the crying. Eventually, I gather myself and I gave her a bit better of a thank you, and said goodbye.

    I paid for and took all four classes. Passed all of them with a perfect A. I bought a graphing calculator and a laptop too. I'm not a mathematician yet, but I'm working on it. And I'm not rich yet, but the moment I can afford to make this kind of impact on someone else, I will.

    Thanks, Patty... <3

    407 votes
  • 3
    253 VOTES

    Pay It Forward

    From Redditor u/FASBsGAAP

    So to start off with my restaurant, a high end steakhouse, has a rewards program. You get points to spend that accrue at a 10% rate off the dollars you spend.

    One of our regulars has found an amazing way to spend these points. He's really rich and doesn't need them so he's authorized me and another server to spend his money on... worthy tables.

    I'm not looking for them but now twice I've been privileged enough to buy a meal for a deserving party.

    Last night I had a five top: a young couple(bride and groom), his parents, and the grooms sister. As part of my standard greeting I ask if their celebrating anything. The mother says they're celebrating good medical results. The sister says, "Yeah no more chemo!" And points to the bride. They were young, early twenties, they couldn't have been married long. And she was already a cancer survivor? I can't even fathom. They collectively shush the sister, they seem private. I say congratulations and solicit drinks. They don't want anything. I leave them with the menus. When I come back they order mostly the cheapest things on the menu. I get the impression they can't afford to be here.

    I slowly start to add little things to their order. We do tableside Caesars. I put on a big show and crack a bunch of jokes, warming them up. I upgrade their steaks secretly. With entrees I bring the bride our most expensive wine by the glass. Say it's on the house and do a big somm routine and extol its story and virtues. She's loving it. I bring out sides they talked about ordering but didn't. For dessert we put on a big flame show with bananas foster. They order the minimum order of two, we get the whole table. A little candle for the bride. I bring out a thirty-year tawny port. It blows her mind.

    My wealthy friend only had $380 dollars left on his account. Too much charity I guess. I pull off a hundred from the check and pay for it myself. I left a little on the check to give the father some dignity. I present the check and whisper the story about the entrepreneur and his points. We both choke up. (I'm crying a little now.) He pays. When I come back he says, "Now I don't have a lot, but I have enough and I've always given to charity. But I've never known what it felt like to receive it until now. It's amazing. I'll pass it on." They asked if their benefactor was there. I said no. They asked for his name, I said he liked to be anonymous. They tipped me 50% of the original total. I didn't take a cent of it.

    Best experience of my 15 year serving career.

    253 votes
  • 4
    327 VOTES

    Career Goals

    From Redditor u/tamiraisredditing

    I am about to break in half from exhaustion but I had to share this adorable thing from work.

    Got a twelve top, all middle aged/elderly people and one seven year old girl who was clearly bored out of her mind. She was rearranging everyone’s silverware when it fell out of place and asking everyone what they were planning on drinking.

    She kept asking to see what I was writing on my pad and I thought maybe she wanted some paper to draw with or something, but no, her mom is like “Tell her Sophia. Tell her what you want to be when you grow up.”

    She’s shyly like “A waitress.”

    Her mother explained the family rarely goes out to eat so at home she practices asking everyone what they want to eat, writing it down, and telling her mom (the chef), and carrying multiple plates out.

    Since just about none of us wanted to be waitress when we were younger or want to be waitresses now (we don’t hate it, we like our jobs, it’s just not what we laid in bed dreaming of or anything) we were so psyched about her enthusiasm for waitressing and immediately whisked her away to do our tables with us.

    We took her on a tour of the kitchen and showed her how to write a ticket and gave her a trainee badge. Then we took turns having her ask our tables drink and food orders and running food with us to tables (we’d give her like a cup to carry over with both hands or a cold side salad.)

    She had a blast. We couldn’t believe it. We kept waiting for her to be like “Never mind I definitely do not want to be a waitress.” But it never happened. If anything she got more excited the more we showed her.

    And this girl made mad tips in the ~45 minutes she spent waitressing. Almost every table she touched left our tip on the card and then left cash specifically indicating “For the trainee.”

    She took her tips home and we said to come back and start full time when she’s 16.

    She was sooo excited, it really made our night and made us view our job through an entirely different lens. I’d started off the night already really moody and out of it, so this was exactly the gratitude check I needed. Had to share.

    327 votes
  • 5
    199 VOTES

    Comforting Each Other

    From Redditor u/Rounder057

    This happened a few years ago but was reminded of it. I was bartending on the bar side of a restaurant. A man came in with his son, about 3 years old. He ordered a small beer and seemed sad about ordering it. He wasn’t really drinking, sips here and there. He would look at his beer and then his son and then off into the distance. At this time I had about 2 years sober so I thought I knew what I was looking at. I have seen people on the relapse edge and I have been there myself, it is a dark and lonely place. He ordered some food for his son only and I rang it in. I went back over and asked him if everything was alright. He nodded at me, like you would expect when a stranger asks that type of thing but it was obvious he wasn’t. I gently asked again and this man broke. He looked up at me and I could tell he was holding back an ocean of tears. He told me that his wife had died 2 days ago. He said that he had no idea what to do or how to do it. He said he ordered the beer because he thought that would help but realized that there is no cure for his pain. He said he didn’t know how to tell his son let alone get by alone with him. It was f*cking heartbreaking. The food runner brought out the boys food and it was awkward but it broke the tension in a way. He said over and over “I don’t know what to do” I told him the story about how my little brother had passed away 3 years ago and how it crippled my family. I told him that hole will always be there but it does get easier. He started crying more and I was weeping at this point too. Then this man got out of the booth and stood in front of me and we gave each other the biggest hug while we both wept. Afterwards he asked me how much I owed him for his kids meal and the beer. I paid for it out of my tips and never saw him or his son again. Every time I think about this it chokes me up.

    199 votes
  • 6
    245 VOTES

    Receipt Retaliation

    From reddit user u/aaanon5402

    It was my first day at a pizza restaurant. This place was always SLAMMED... it’s really where I learned how to be a good server, before that I worked at over staffed burger joints or Italian restaurants. Things were moving pretty fast but I was doing surprisingly well. I had about 10 tables and I was used to 3-4 table sections. I will never forget this couple that came in and sat down at table 24. They were an old couple. I’m talking both gray haired and over dressed to be at a pizza restaurant. I will say I did give them excellent service despite my frazzledness of starting a new job. I was feelin it, and felt great about handling all of my tables...until I did mess up. The man at table 24 handed me his card to close out. I’m BUSY.. like didn’t even have time to pick a wedgie if I had one, busy. I go to the computer and swipe his card. Admittedly I forgot to print out the itemized receipt, which I get can be very frustrating. Man at table 24 had every right to be upset. But instead of asking me to grab the itemized receipt, he began to LOUDLY, in a small room, with a deep and firm tone tell me how horrible I am at my job. That no wonder I only got as far in life as working at a pizza shop. He kept going on with these TERRIBLE comments and wouldn’t let me walk away when I tried. So now all of my other tables just saw me get ripped a new asshole, and I’m in the weeds after wasting time getting yelled at by this guy. The owner of the restaurant must have come in at some point. He saw this man yelling at me, came up to the table and did the most bad ass thing I’ve ever seen.

    Owner: “Excuse me sir,” he says to the man at table 24, “I am the owner of this establishment. I’m not sure what the problem is here and frankly, I don’t care. What I do care about is you belittling my waitress. So I’m going to ask you and your wife to leave and not come back to my restaurant.”

    Man at table 24: “Fine but you’ll be losing our business.”

    Owner: “I really don’t care, and don’t want people like you in my restaurant anyway.”

    It was the coolest sh*t I had ever seen. The owner STOOD THERE AND WAITED for these people to leave. It was f*cking bad *ss.

    After they left the owner came up to me and said: “F*ck those people. You’re doing a great job and I wouldn’t have hired you if you didn’t show potential. If anyone else talks to you like that I want you to tell them to f*ck off and get out. I don’t want their money.”

    Coolest. Boss. Ever.

    245 votes