You can tell a lot about a person from how they treat servers and customer service. And one of the big indicators that someone’s a jerk is that they don’t tip—or at least they don’t tip very well. But what if your server wasn’t very good? Is that still an excuse not to tip?
One Redditor who got doused in hot coffee is curious if he was wrong to not leave the apologetic server a tip.
“Yesterday my girlfriend, myself, a friend and his girlfriend went to get some brunch from a local cafe. We order our drinks and as the waitress is pouring my coffee she ends up spilling the cup into my lap. She looks mortified as all the other tables look over to us, but I assure her its alright and she goes to get some napkins. I am a bit peeved at my scolded crotch and legs but eventually get somewhat cleaned up finish my meal. We pay and leave end up getting into a bit of a debate over how each of us would have handled the situation,” the OP says.
“My friend’s girlfriend kept saying how they should have comped the meal or offered a discount and even tried to get the manager on my behalf. I talked her out of that. I didn’t think it was necessary to get the girl in trouble. My buddy asks me how much I tipped in a bit of a joking manner, I say I tipped nothing. He agrees it seems fair for what occurred, but my girlfriend says I am an a*shole for not doing at least 15% and that I shouldn’t punish her for a mistake. (She gets a bit heated about tipping because she used to be a server). The way I see it is we both had a sh**ty experience, but why would I pay to have someone (not intentionally) throw coffee on me? I didn’t hassle her about it, paid for our meal and left to go home and take a shower.”
Does he have a point? Or should he have left the bare minimum in this case?
“I’m curious what the waitress would have had to do to make your girlfriend think that tipping was inappropriate? Planting a fruit pie right in her face? I get that the waitress didnt mean it – but hot coffee in the lap? Definitely NTA,” said Stoat__King.
“As far as I’m aware 15% is for ok service which wasn’t impressive but nothing went wrong. Getting coffee spilt on you is something going wrong,” said Snemei.
“I know I’m gonna get downvoted but I’m still going with YTA just because you should know how tipping works since you’re dating an ex server. You seemed like you were cool about it to her face so she was probably very relieved. I think you should have left SOMETHING since she still got taxed on your bill and therefore basically paid to serve you (assuming you’re in the US). Mistakes happen and if all other aspects were great, you didn’t receive bad service. Sure, we all go out to enjoy a meal and have a good time but you can’t control everything that happens unless you stay your ass at home and make your own damn coffee,” explained KPeezey.
“You specifically assured the server it was alright and then you didn’t tip her over an accident you said was alright! You lied to her. You getting part of your meal comped wouldn’t have gotten the server in trouble, but you not tipping her directly impacted her income. She literally had to pay to wait on you because servers have to tip out bussers and bartenders based on their sales not based on their tips. If it wasn’t alright you shouldn’t have lied to her. Be an adult,” said saltyfeminist.
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