Servers And Customers Reveal The Worst Tips Ever Given To Waitstaff

Voting Rules
Vote up the customers who deserve food poisoning.

Millions of waiters and service workers rely on tips to pay their bills, and you best believe they always remember their worst tippers. Diners who tip poorly, if at all, rank among the most terrible customers restaurant staff ever deal with, largely because they're able to get away with it.

Since tips are not legally required, cheap customers often assume they're unimportant. But when they make $2.30-an-hour, a service worker might put up with all your annoying customer habits with a big, fake smile, all in the hopes you remember to get the decimals right when calculating that tip. 

Able to vent on Reddit, service workers shared their worst tipping stories for fellow waitstaff and service workers to commiserate over. Anyone living in the States understands that customers who leave no tips deserve a tip of their own: don't eat out.

  • 1
    86 VOTES

    Pro-Tip: Don't Work At This Restaurant

    From Redditor/u/Who_Knows_:

    I worked for a company where you had to pay 3% of your takings back to the company for the privilege. I.E. if I took £2,000 on a Saturday, I had to give them £60 out of my tips. If I only made £50 in tips, the 10 would come out of my pocket. They justify it by saying that it goes towards training managers and bonuses that managers get. Because... you know... people on minimum wage should have to pay for that.

    This made me resent most people. If a table spent £100 and didn't tip, I'd be pissed off because I'd be paying for them to have a good time.

    Anyway, to the story. I had a table of eight-or-so people. No manners, nobody said 'please' or 'thank you.' I was there to be their servant, because that was my job, and that was how they acted. When they finally paid, they were short a significant amount. They had taken a prawn head from their plate, and wrapped it up in the cash. I had to find this treat, count the money, and go back and confront them so that I didn't have to pay any more for their delicious meal.

    Needless to say, I lost my sh*t, and that was my last shift at this wonderful company. Looking back on it, in the long run I feel like this party did me a big favour. Most nights my 3% would equate to more than my wage for the evening. F*ck paying to work.

    86 votes
  • 2
    77 VOTES

    Mennonite Moments

    From Redditor/u/Dydarian:

    I work as a server at a somewhat higher-end restaurant and frequently there are EW horse shows down the street. During these shows, we will get many customers coming in smelling like horse poo and covered in mud. They're some of the nicest people we wait on and they always buy a lot and tip very well. Mennonites sometimes come in with them, and generally they don't tip. Not like 'Hey they only tipped 10%,' but literally zero.

    One time there was a party of 10 of the horse people that came in (our lovely name for people from horse shows) and I was the only closing server left. They came in 15 minutes to close and told our manager that a few more would be in very soon. 10 minutes after we closed eight more people for the party came in. Now there were some Mennonites with them, but since there were so many people, I figured a few bad tips wouldn't hurt anything. This party had everything they could get their hands on. Desserts, apps, expensive add-ons, so I thought it was going to be great.

    Here was the bad news. My restaurant had recently stopped doing gratuities on parties since the change in the tax code. I came out with a $634 tab after one of the guys whom I had been talking to all night said that just one person was picking up the tab... You can all see where this is going. One of the three Mennonites picked up the tab and literally left a zero with a line through it as their tip. My manager ended up buying me a meal and taking me out for several beers afterwards as some sort of recompense, but it was still awful.

    77 votes
  • 3
    75 VOTES

    Take Your 12 Cents Elsewhere

    From Redditor/u/Speedy_Cheese:

    This was when I was 16 working my first gig. It was during one of the busiest days of the year when our town throws this huge concert festival and people come from all over the province. I showed up to discover I was the only one who came because the two other people who were supposed to be on shift with me bailed to go to the concert.

    In the middle of this busy supper hour, a table of 15 comes in. Throughout the whole ordeal I'm flying around the restaurant like a cat with its ass on fire and the whole while the guys at this table kept making snarky comments and laughing, saying things like 'Jeez, are you the only one here or somethin'? Service is some slow.' Do you see anybody else here? Seriously. So the meals miraculously get out on time, I am run ragged taking care of all the other tables while keeping their drinks flowing, and the whole time I am just getting this barrage of passive-aggressive insults.

    Finally, the place starts clearing out a little aside from them. Once they finish their meal I start gathering up their plates and empty glasses as the majority of them are putting on their coats. I'll never forget this one d**chebag with a salt-and-pepper mustache calling me over and grinning at me over his glasses as he pats his hand down on the table and says:

    'Here. This is for you.'

    It was twelve cents. Not one word of a lie. I saw red and tried not to cry. I mean, a volcano let loose inside me. My lips must have went as tight as an assh*le. I looked him dead in the eye, shook my cleaning rag out, and swept the dime and pennies so hard that they went flying across the restaurant. I spat: 'You can take that sh*t with you.'

    His face just crumpled, and a woman who had come back to the table for something said 'What did you do?' He laughingly explained to her as if what he had done was actually funny and she was extremely appalled. She went over to me, opened her purse, and pushed a twenty into my hand. She said, 'Take it. Oh my God, I'm so sorry.' I had to go out back to the dish pit to hide my tears of embarrassment, but apparently she spread the word on what he'd done, because there was a nice tip left at the table when I mustered the gumption to go back out when they'd all left.

    75 votes
  • 4
    72 VOTES

    Party Monsters

    From a deleted user:

    My worst story comes from the Rotary club of my county. It was during our slowest time of the day, so I was the only waiter on duty. It was me, the bartender, and the head chef; that was it.

    So 26 people came in at one time and were upset that we didn't have a large table ready for them. They hadn't called and asked for a reservation, let us know that they'd need a large setting, nothing. They ordered a bunch of drinks and appetizers, and the treasurer told me to make sure I put everything on one ticket to make things easier.

    After the three of us struggled to get all the drinks and appetizers out in a timely fashion, it came time to collect the main course orders. Of course every damn one of those b*stards wanted things customized.

    Got it taken care of, got everyone their food. Got refills for drinks.

    Dessert comes around, and we get that out.

    By this point everyone is mingling around and talking. I bring the check to the treasurer, and he tells me that they decided everyone was paying for their own meal.

    I ended up having to split that ticket 26 different ways; even though ticket software makes things simple, that's still a pain in the ass to do. I start collecting money, running cards, etc. For the 26 people, it ended up being almost $500.

    As I'm cashing everything out I realize two of them (one of which was the treasurer) ditched on their bills. The total for my tips after they all left came out to about $10. The bartender didn't get a single tip.

    After that, we implemented a policy that a group larger than eight had to call ahead at least 30 minutes, implemented an automatic 18% gratuity for any party larger than eight, and implemented a policy where a single group couldn't split their ticket more than six ways.

    72 votes
  • 5
    84 VOTES

    Christian Charity At Work

    From Redditor/u/LemonFake:

    I was a waitress in a city that had a church (or two or three) on every street for awhile. Church people were regular customers, and Sunday was always a really busy day. There was one particular church group that came in regularly every Sunday with about 10 or 11 people. They'd come in in their fancy church clothes and we'd have to move several of our tables to put them together so they could all sit beside each other (we didn't have a big table, only two-to-four-person ones). They'd usually order something about mid-price from our menu and stay for about an hour or so and for that time I'd keep their drinks refilled and make sure they had everything they needed. Usually they'd wish me a good day/week and I never had any complaint.

    And every single week without fail, instead of money, they would leave me bible verses printed out on little slips of paper like the ones you get out of fortune cookies, only they were always in all these different bright colors instead of white. I worked there for probably three years and I never saw a damn dime from those people.

    84 votes
  • 6
    96 VOTES

    Nausea-Inducing Behavior On Display Here

    From a deleted user:

    Not leaving me a tip when their kid puked all over the table; they sat there and continued talking while I comforted the kid and cleaned up the puke from the table. In the middle of cleaning puke, the mom asked for a refill on her drink by lifting it and shaking it in my direction, making vomit fling all over, and then informing they needed a new pizza for free because the last slice on the tray got puke on it. They did not leave or take the kid home and did not tip. She flung puke in my face and their eight-to-10-year-old was shirtless because he puked on his shirt and was devastated. I tried to cheer him up by letting him help me blow up balloons in the party room so he could hide from the kids he knew that came in.

    The absolute worst customers were the tour buses full of the cranky old people. Forty extremely ornery, demanding, racist f*cks, and you would be lucky to make $4 in quarters from them in the two hours they clog up the place."

    96 votes