Man talking(l+r), Cracker Barrel sign(c)

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‘Sometimes a low tip hurts more than no tip’: Cracker Barrel customer questions how much to tip server who brought their food out with no silverware

'I’d have to ask for another warm plate of food and a different waitress.'

 

Natasha Dubash

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Posted on Jan 30, 2024   Updated on Jan 30, 2024, 9:58 am CST

One Cracker Barrel customer asked his TikTok followers how much they would tip a server after receiving bad service at a restaurant.

BerrryD Treasure (@berrydtreasure_reply) said he recently dined out and received appalling service. He recounted the experience that took place at a Cracker Barrel and asked viewers via the on-screen caption of his video, “How much would you tip for this service?”

“So I just went to Cracker Barrel,” he says, staring right into the camera. “[The server] brought us out our food, no silverware, and goes, ‘Hey, is there anything else I can get you guys?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, silverware.'”

He continues, “About five, maybe eight minutes goes by, and then she comes back with some silverware.” The TikToker adds that the server again asked if she could get him anything else, to which he responded that he wanted another glass of water.

“About 15 minutes goes by. My meal is now gone, and here she comes with the water,” he says. That’s when he decided to ask for his bill. 

“[She] comes back with the bill, but at Cracker Barrel, when you order a meal, you can get a to-go meal for five bucks. So I’d ordered this to-go meal for $5,” he says, holding up a take-away box and adding that the server had said she would bring the to-go box out with his bill. 

“Did she bring it out?” he asks rhetorically. “Absolutely not.” 

At the cash register, BerrryD says he asked another worker to take the to-go meal off his bill as he hadn’t received it. The worker reportedly said that the meals were already pre-made, and she was able to hand one over quickly.

“How much would you have tipped this server in this situation?” the Cracker Barrel customer asks, adding, “While I was waiting, you could see her standing there by, like, the kitchen area just talking to other co-workers. And this place wasn’t busy. She had two tables. So, comment how much you guys would have left for a tip.”

BerrryD’s video received over 980,000 views and more than 27,000 comments. Plenty of viewers thought that the Cracker Barrel server deserved no tip for her lack of service.

“Nothing,” wrote one viewer in response to the TikToker’s question. 

“‘0’! I used to be a server, you don’t just deserve a tip for showing up to work, you must earn it!” wrote another.

“I think at some point you gotta realize that waitress is being negligent and not doing her job, why would you pay someone for doing half the work?” someone else wondered.

@berrydtreasure_reply #resturant ♬ original sound – BerrryD Treasure

However, some people felt it would have been appropriate for the Cracker Barrel patron to tip his server despite receiving bad service. 

“I tip 15% for bad service bc at the end of the day I have the privilege of being able to afford to eat out & remember what it was like being a server,” argued one person. 

“10%,” said another, adding, “I feel sometimes a low tip hurts more than no tip.”

According to a veteran server writing for Food and Wine, there are a few scenarios in which leaving a low tip is acceptable. The first is if the server is abusive or rude to you in any way; the second is if the server is apathetic and does not seem to hear you or care when you ask for something; the third is if the server exhibits any kind of bias. So, if BerrryD’s account is accurate, according to this expert, the diner would have been justified in leaving a low tip for this particular Cracker Barrel server.

The Daily Dot reached out to BerrryD via TikTok direct message for further comment.

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*First Published: Jan 30, 2024, 2:00 pm CST