In a recent viral incident, an anonymous Reddit user who claims to be a waitress has shared a photo of a receipt online, sparking a heated debate about tipping culture and restaurant etiquette. The receipt, dated Sunday, Aug. 20, and timestamped at 7:37 p.m., displays a subtotal of $65.80, with a striking “strikethrough” in the space reserved for the tip amount. To add insult to injury, a handwritten note on the right side of the receipt reads, "No tip because it was very rude to ask my wife and I if we wanted separate checks." The Reddit user, who uploaded the image to the “Mildly Infuriating” subreddit, expressed disbelief at the audacity of the customer, stating, "He had the audacity to write this with my pen."
According to the Reddit user, the restaurant where she works has a policy that requires servers to inquire about how customers plan to settle their bill before printing out a ticket. The user also noted that she never suspected the couple to be married due to a significant age difference, with the man appearing to be in his late 50s to early 60s and the woman much younger. When Fox News Digital reached out to the Reddit user for further comment, she did not respond.
The incident has sparked a discussion among Redditors and industry experts about whether it is standard practice for servers to ask couples if they would like to split the bill. Chris Schneider, a service industry expert and host of "The Bar Business Podcast," explains that it can be challenging for servers to determine the nature of the relationship between diners. He states that most restaurants and bars ask if guests want a single check or split checks, as it takes time to split checks in point-of-sale systems. Schneider stresses that taking offense to a standard question is not a valid reason to withhold a tip, especially considering that service employees often rely on tips as part of their income.
Matthew Schubert, a certified counselor and CEO of Gem State Wellness, believes that customers should not be overly offended if asked about splitting the bill. While acknowledging that the customer has the right to feel offended, he argues that leaving a note about skipping the tip is an exaggerated response. Schubert emphasizes that it is the customer's responsibility to tip appropriately, and completely withholding a tip should be reserved for cases of poor service.
Etiquette experts weigh in on the matter, offering insights on how customers should handle situations like these. Nicole Rose, an etiquette consultant, suggests considering the overall experience and leaving a smaller tip as a way to provide feedback without completely withholding payment. She advises customers to address their concerns with a manager or supervisor rather than skipping the tip entirely, as this could lead to misunderstandings or escalations. Lisa Mirza Grotts, another etiquette consultant, points out that it is not the server's job to assume whether a bill should be split or not. She encourages restaurant customers to consider the value of the service they receive and tip accordingly. Grotts emphasizes that servers are often paid a low base wage, making tips essential for their income. She suggests that even in cases of extremely poor service, customers should still tip and bring their concerns to the attention of management.
Overall, this incident has sparked a larger conversation about tipping culture and proper etiquette in restaurants. While opinions differ on whether it is appropriate for servers to ask about splitting the bill, experts agree that leaving no tip is not a justified response to a standard question. This incident serves as a reminder for customers to consider the value of the service they receive and tip accordingly, while also addressing any concerns with management in a respectful manner.