Tipping a waiter or waitress is a customary practice when going out to eat. It's a good way for the customer to show them they appreciate their service. Although, what happens if the service is not all that good? In some cases, it can cause a lot of people to not tip.
People on Reddit share what a server did that made them think, "I'm not tipping!" Content has been edited for clarity.
"One evening, I took my wife, my mother, my brother, and his girlfriend, and the mother-in-law to a local Japanese hibachi restaurant. It had recently opened, and it was the first of its kind in town. I wanted to share the experience of Japanese hibachi with them, complete with the good food and showmanship expected in such places.
However, this place was no Benihana. The cook did a respectable job actually cooking the food, but was rather desultory and made little effort to engage us or the other patrons. He just ran through a checklist of perfunctory tricks with no effort to entertain, as if it was just something he had to do to get through this moment. Still, I was prepared to tip the guy because the food was good, and shucks the guy might have just been new or whatever.
We go to leave, and the waitress runs up with our bills and tells us that we 'didn't tip enough. We should tip more. A lot more.'
I took one look at her while my wife looked at me and she said, 'Did she just really say that?'
I said, 'Yeah she did,' and I took the bill back. I snatched out the tip (I hadn't tipped on the card thankfully) while keeping eye contact with the waitress. I then instructed my brother, who witnessed this, to do the same. He reached over and removed his cash from his bill as well. We placed the no-tip-having bills back on the bar and left, never to return."
"Even though weren't well off, my family only went out when we could pay for the food and afford a 15% minimum tip (20% if it was a decent or better server). We were in a Mexican restaurant and as we were eating chips and salsa, we had a personal discussion in which Taco Bell was brought up (as an example of garbage Mexican food in comparison to this awesome restaurant).
The server was horrible all evening. It took 10 minutes for us to be greeted by the server, another 10 minutes to get our drinks and take our order. The food came out lukewarm, and the wrong sides were delivered for two out of three of us. Regardless, the bill came (after a 20-minute wait for our waitress to show up (the restaurant had five or six tables filled)) and my parents tipped 15%. Thing is, they always put it UNDER the receipt bi-fold.
Apparently, the waitress saw what she assumed to be a 'stiff' on the tip, and came jogging up to my mother as we walked out.
She glared at us and said, 'Next time, just freaking go to Taco Bell.'
My mom instantly went back to the table, grabbed the $6, and left her some pennies. As she made it evident that the waitress messed the pooch she walked out and said, 'It's obvious you don't want a tip. I think the best thing for you is to change. Maybe talking to your manager will give you the change you need.'
She was fired on the spot. I kind of felt bad, but in hindsight, that was ultra unprofessional. Her co-worker who saw it all had our backs with the manager. It apparently wasn't her first time being a 'seaward' to a customer."
"I went to this Japanese restaurant and Sushi bar right across the street from my school's campus. I went there for lunch because they had these spiffy meals, Columbia Lunch Boxes. (named after the proximity to the school and students ordering it and whatnot I guess.) I got my usual, Sesame Chicken, salad, California roll, and rice.
The sale was $8.25, $8.97 after sales tax. The waiter brought me the check, the first thing he's brought me quickly the whole time (It's important to note that I was alone, and they sat me at a two-person table in the corner). So the waiter brought the check and dropped it on my table before going back to talking with the dudes at the sushi bar. I figured I would leave $12, which is more than enough for a tip, and started to get up.
He ran over and blocked my way as he picked up the check and counted the money (The table, being in a corner against one of the walls really has only one way out of it).
Angry, he told me I had not left the tip. I told him I've left plenty and I'd be grateful if he got out of the way. He didn't budge and demanded I pay the proper 15% tip or else he would call the police.
So I just smiled, took out my phone as I told him I would gladly leave the 15% tip. After verifying with him it was 15% of the $8.97, I typed it out on my phone in plain view of him ((8.97 * .15) + 8.97 = 10.31).
After which I apologized for my mistake of intended to leave more than 15% tip, and that I'd patiently wait for him to bring back $1.69 in change.
Oh, the look of unbridled fury on his face. It was priceless!"
"We went to a Mexican restaurant recently and had an overall good experience. The food was good, the service was prompt, and the server was friendly. We normally are generous tippers as a former server myself, and we don't go out often so it's usually 20% or higher.
We were getting ready to leave and our waitress says to another waitress in Spanish, 'Glad these white people are leaving, it's making our restaurant look bad.'
Too bad for her, Spanish was my husband's first language."
"A few incidents have happened in which I have left no tip. A group of friends and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings, and the waiter was great. This was until he sat down on the bench with us.
He stared at us and just said, 'Hey, not to be rude but you guys are kinda interrupting my night..see I get off at two a.m., and I'm trying to get out early to go have a drink with some chick. So can you hurry up?'
Naturally, we decided to be nice and 'hurry up' as he said because we're all in college, and we understand having a social life is important (it was also about one in the morning).
Fast-forward two weeks and the same guy becomes my waiter again. The idiot brought up to me the fact I gave him no tip and tried to justify himself, when in reality, we did leave a tip, it was just not very good. Just a terrible guy.
The second trip to Buffalo Wild Wings was actually a more annoying experience. After being seated at possibly the WORST table, my friend and I saw the idiot (the waiter) approaching us. We immediately laughed, because well, it was funny. This idiot then proceeded toward our table with a doofy grin, without forgetting to mention how he remembered us from the last visit.
My friend and I immediately made that 'oh no' eye contact. As soon as the idiot walked away, we asked the hostess to be moved to another table. Out of the catacombs of Buffalo Wild Wings, the idiot waiter immediately appeared behind her, concerned about our decision to move tables (god forbid) without his knowledge. He said there were no empty tables throughout the almost entirely empty establishment, and when asked to speak to a manager, he magically saw one being cleaned. We had already ordered the classy bucket of drinks, so he told us we can move to the new still dirty table, and he would carry the bucket. What a gentleman.
ANYWAY, we finally sat at the new table and heard the guy was STILL our waiter. I called over the kid who was actually assigned to the section and asked why he wasn't our waiter. His response: 'That guy said you requested him'.
After making sure every darn person knew we didn't want his service we decided to let it be, and that's when the guy sat down at our to school us on tipping etiquette."
"This was at an Irish bar/restaurant near my folks' house. This place is famous for having horrific service.
When I went there, the waitress convinced us to get Irish Car-Bombs, because they were cheap - just four dollars - and I said what the heck, why not. So, I bought a round of car-bombs for my three friends and me. Otherwise, didn't drink much - I'm not really a drinker, and I was kind of a poor college student.
Get the check, and it turns out on top of the ONE drink I ordered for myself, the car-bombs were seven bucks apiece - which means I just spent twelve bucks more than I intended.
I asked the waitress to take it off my check. She said she didn't know how and was really sorry, but couldn't. She suggested that she could bring us a couple more drinks to make up for that price difference.
'No,' I said. 'We're done drinking. We're heading home.'
I asked if I could send a couple of drinks to random strangers at the bar. I pointed to a cute guy and said, 'Bring him a drink and tell him it's from me.'
She looked over at the guy and said, 'Actually, I have a regular here who always tips me like 50%. He's a good guy and a good customer. Do you mind if I just send the extra drinks to him?'
At this point, I'm a little astonished at her gall and I said, 'Yeah, sure, whatever.' And I walked out without leaving a tip because apparently her regular will do it for me.
To make it worse: I left, but my friends were still there, and she went and asked my friends whether I had 'forgot' to tip her and whether they could text me and see."
"Flirting for tips in front of husbands of wives is my biggest peeve about servers. While at university my husband (then fiancé) and I were out at Cheddars. We had a waitress who was obviously under the impression that only men pick up the check. The entire meal, she was flirting nonstop with my husband; just a little too much talking to him and not to me, touching his arm while talking about the menu, the classic moves.
At one point, she had to pick up some extra glasses, and instead of asking us to hand them to her (they were on the inside of the booth), she reached over my husband - her chest to his face - to grab them. Literally brushed his face with her cleavage in the process. Then when the check, came she proudly dropped it in front of him like a dog who expects a treat for doing an awesome trick.
I immediately, over-dramatically to prove the point, snatched it up and pulled out my credit card. Needless to say, she shot herself in the foot and realized it pretty quickly. Even if my husband was paying, why the heck would flirting with him in front of me be a good idea? She must have mistaken the restaurant for Hooters because no other server there ever pulled that kind of nonsense."
"I worked at Red Lobster several years ago. One day, I had several tables already and was being 'sat' with two or three more. So, I had a good seven or eight tables going in various stages: some already had their food, some still needed to be greeted, and some were ready to pay their bill. I was 'in the weeds' as they say, I was very busy.
Well, on one table that had just gotten their food, a guy glared at me and then called me over while I was in the middle of greeting a new table. Obviously, I couldn't just abandon the table I'm greeting to see what this guy needed, so I gave him a 'hold-on' gesture and motioned to him that I would be over there as soon as I could.
When I finally got over to his table, he again gave me the mad dog stare, pointed at his glass of iced tea that was half-full, and said, 'Look at my drink. This is unacceptable. You need to keep this full at all times. If it goes below half-full again while I'm here, you're not getting a tip.'
I acknowledged what he said to me, grabbed a pitcher of iced tea, and proceeded to give that rude guy ONE refill. His glass was empty in less than five minutes... and I let him sit there with an empty glass for the remainder of his meal. Every time he tried to get my attention after that, I ignored his stupid face and let him chew on ice or drink drawn butter to quench his thirst. I hated that guy. Needless to say, I didn't get a tip, and I had a nice chit-chat with the manager after he left (because of course Lord Fatty ratted me out). I told the manager what happened and he just laughed, said good job, I'd have done exactly what you did, and that was that."
"I was at a Red Lobster with my girlfriend once. This place closed at 11 during the week, but they (wisely) lock the door at 10. A cop (actual city cop) chills by the door to make sure no one enters, but everyone can leave.
I was unaware of the 10:00 lockup time.
So I got an important phone call at about 10:15 - JUST as our food came to the table. I, without a coat in the cold New York winter, got up from the table and took it outside. There were a lot of people leaving as I was doing this.
I was unable to see the sign that said 'no re-entry past 10' because people were talking to the cop, blocking the sign as I walked out, coatless, on my phone.
After I was done with the call, I went back in. Oh, wait - no I didn't. The door was locked and the cop explained to me there was no re-entry. I told him I had a full plate of food, and his friends were blocking the sign. He was totally rude to me and told me he did not care about what I had to say. No matter what, I wasn't getting back inside.
So I called my girlfriend, slipped her my card through the crack in the door to pay for the food (I'm pretty sure that if I skipped out on the check, the cop would have done something about it), and I told her I'd break up with her if she left any tip. The server was unwilling to try to get me back inside after she knew what happened. She told my girlfriend that I shouldn't have gone outside to take the call.
I called Red Lobster that night and demanded a refund, and of course, due to the service and the night being ruined, I demanded about $20 over my bill (they didn't know that).
Three weeks later I got a bunch of gift certificates in the mail. I will never return to that Red Lobster. I spent them at a MUCH better Red Lobster, where our service was exquisite. I tipped 20%."
"A friend and I went to a Denny's to grab some breakfast after a late night at work. We just sat in the booth, just talking about our daily lives.
We ordered, the food came, and it was just before two in the morning. We knew the party animals were going to be in soon, so we asked for refills, and the check. We intended to stick around for a little, but we understood the waitress was about to get busy; she'd not need to stop by our table again to see how we were doing.
As we were eating, the party animals started filing in. We were just finishing up our meals. I had a small pile of hash browns, gooey with egg in the corner of my plate, maybe two fork fills, plus the one in my hand.
I had the fork up to my mouth, and the waitress swooped in, snatched my plate with 'Oh are you done? I'll get that out of your way,' and was gone in less than two seconds. I still had the fork in my hand. It still had food on it.
I stared at it in disbelief. My friend was unable to speak, he was laughing too hard. I continued to stare at my fork. Now I couldn't speak, nor wipe the stupid look of confusion off my face because either act would cause me to pee myself laughing.
This tableau was held for about three minutes before he finally choked out, 'Were... were you through with that?'
'No,' I responded, still in complete shock
The waitress got a $0.02 tip, and the manager was informed that she needed to actually wait for a response, rather than just snatching food from a customer.
I sort of felt bad; I'm one of those weirdos who will tip ~20-30% most of the time. But if you steal my egg-covered hash browns, you may expect nothing."
"I was at a theater that serves food while you watch the movie. At the start or so of the second half of the movie, a waiter started handing out bills to the various tables, including ours. He comes back now and then to collect the bill, but we hadn't paid yet because we were still watching the movie. He came back at least three times, and I'm getting a little annoyed. I paid to watch this movie, and I didn't want to have to interrupt it to hash out the bill with my friend while it's still playing, let alone bothering those next to us while doing so. Finally, at the end, he came over and literally stood over us, looking at us. We were about to obviously address it, but the way he was forcing it was really absurd. I looked up at him to ask if anything was wrong, and he said no. So we're hashing it out of who owes what and my friend just decides to pay it all himself, so this guy could go away.
I actually confronted the guy as we left, and told him that it was really awkward and I've never had that happen in the many times I've been to the theater. He says they sometimes get walkouts but that is still no excuse to stand over your customer, practically falsely accusing them of stealing when nothing's happened and making their movie-watching experience worse by expecting them to deal with a bill while it's still playing. Just rude to be treated that way. There must be a better way to handle walkouts than make legitimate customers feel shame."
"I went to a local Applebees with my boyfriend, and he was wearing his old high school mascot T-shirt. He had graduated from high school about two or three years prior. He decided to order himself a drink, and the waitress carded him, which was understandable. The waitress then proceeded to ask him over and over if he was being 'serious' right now. She then launched into a long sob story about how she had a kid and didn't want to get in trouble for serving adult drinks to a minor.
Obviously, this waitress had no idea how to do the math, and my boyfriend was freaking out with this huge What the heck is happening? look on his face. I'm hysterically giggling in my seat because of the awkwardness, and the waitress was telling him how she doesn't believe him because he was wearing his high school T-shirt.
She finally got him his drink and our food but proceeded to ignore us for the rest of the night. He tipped her .41 cents, what a night."
"I had traveled a few hours from home to go to a concert with friends. We arrived a few hours early so we could enjoy a nice leisurely dinner. We forgot to make reservations for our first choice, but we arrived at a nearly empty restaurant, but they said they were booked up. Whatever... we walked around and found a nice Italian place. One of us ordered the house Chardonnay listed on the menu for 9.50 a glass. When the bill came, we were charged for the high-end Chardonnay at $16 a glass.
We asked and were told they didn't have the special on the menu any longer, but our server never told us when we ordered. So we assumed we were getting the house variety. We left a 15% tip as usual.
Coming back from the concert, we all had to use the restroom, and this restaurant was still open and close to our car. So we went in to use the facilities. On our way out our server recognized us and confronted us about the tip. To our complete shock, the server told us not to come back. I figured he was having a bad day and left it at that. But I wish I had talked to the manager."
"I'm from Ireland and was on holiday once visiting my sister who works in Scotland. We decided to go to a tapas bar and grab a quick snack before heading out to a pub. We were sat down, ordered, and served very promptly which was great and everything was fine. Then we asked for the bill, and it took forever to get it. They must have thought we were going to have a full meal or something. So the bill came at last to like $8.69. Around that.
So my sister and I left a five-dollar bill each on top of the bill and proceeded to grab our coats. The waitress saw us and rushed over to check the bill. Then she cornered us, saying her tip wasn't enough. I was shocked that someone could be so upfront like that.
So like a rabbit caught in the headlights, I asked, 'Well what percentage do you think is appropriate for such a small bill?'
She replied, 'Well I think I need about tree fiddy.'
It was about that time I realized the waitress was about eight stories tall and was a crustacean from the paleolithic era.
So I said, 'My goodness you Loch Ness monster, I ain't given you no tree fiddy.'
Needless to say, my sister couldn't work out what was going on, so she just bolted and left me to deal with the craziness. I did not end up tipping her, because that was just rude."
"My husband and I were out at a semi-low end restaurant, nothing fancy. After waiting for a while, we got seated by the hostess, no biggie. Then our waitress came and took our drink order...and we waited...and waited. About a half hour later, we flagged her down (she had disappeared until now, it was quiet in there), and reminded her about our drinks. She apologized and brought them right away.
Then (since we were ready), we gave her our dinner order...and waited...and waited...and waited some more. Once more, she had again mysteriously vanished. After an hour, we flagged her down as we had not gotten our food yet. She has somehow misplaced our order ticket and it never got to the kitchen.
So, we waited, and waited, and waited again. After about another half hour, we finally got our food, and she has messed up my husband's order, but we were so hungry by this point, we honestly did not care what we got. So, we ate it anyway.
All told, we spent two and a half hours in there waiting for this completely incompetent waitress to do her job. And it wasn't the kitchen's fault! Since when she finally did get the order into the kitchen, it was prepared promptly.
So we were so ticked off by the time we left that we only tipped her a penny and we haven't been back to that restaurant since."