Woman talking(l+r), Venmo(c)

Tada Images/Shutterstock @lauraelizabethgraham/Tiktok

‘She’ll understand’: Restaurant customer has to Venmo tip after manager said not to worry about it

'That’s her income??'


Melody Heald


Posted on Jan 23, 2024   Updated on Jan 23, 2024, 4:28 pm CST

A customer recounted a recent experience she had at a restaurant that included the manager encouraging her to not tip her server.

TikTok user Laura Elizabeth Graham (@lauraelizabethgraham) said her evening with her family started out nice enough. “The food was good. The waitress was really nice. We asked for extra limes, extra dipping sauces,” she said. She added that she and her husband were also with their 3-year-old and their 1-year-old.

But Graham said things took a turn when they asked for the check. “‘Our POS system is down. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. It’ll be a little bit before it’s restored,'” Graham recalled the server telling her.

Graham and her family didn’t have a problem with waiting a little bit since they were still in the process of finishing their drinks and their children were “content” at the time.

She said the server returned some time after that to tell them the system was still down. By this point, the customers had finished their drinks, and it was getting close to their children’s bedtime. Graham said they asked the server if there were other options so that they could head home. They scrambled to get their cash together but didn’t know if it would be enough to cover the amount—including sales tax and the server’s tip. She said they had $70 in cash, so they asked to talk with the manager to make sure the server got adequately compensated. “We want to make sure the server gets her full tip. … We don’t want her to be stiffed,” she recalled telling the manager.

“Things like this happen,” Graham recalled the manager responding. “If that were to happen, she would understand.”

Graham was shocked by the manager’s response. “I think that is so crappy,” she said. So Graham said they got the server’s Venmo so that they could Venmo her a tip.

Graham called it the most “ridiculous” restaurant experience she’s ever had. “If you have ever been in the restaurant industry, please chime in. I would love to know your thoughts on this,” Graham said.

@lauraelizabethgraham I was honestly flabbergasted the MANAGER said that. 😱 If you have ever been in the restaurant industry.. I’d love your opinion on this (bc I have not). When we asked to “speak to the manager” my husband and I BOTH thought she’d say, “If your cash won’t cover the full sales tax & tip, we’ll take it off your meal.” #server #tipculture #tip #tips #restaurant #restaurantindustry #restaurantreview ♬ original sound – Laura Elizabeth Graham

In the U.S., servers rely on tips to make ends meet. Most servers get paid $2 to $3 per hour as a base wage. So when a server gets stiffed, it has the potential to affect their livelihood.

Graham’s video was viewed 184,000 times. Current and former service industry workers did chime in in the comments section.

“I would be furious. that’s her income ??” one server questioned. “Thank you for caring. We write hard copies when our system crashes. Also can take cards. Manager was wrong,” another said.

“Agree with you 100%!! … I never worked anywhere where management would okay this,” a former server shared.

“I’m a server and a manager, I would’ve taken the $70 towards the food, and if that was short I would’ve fixed the ticket to make $70 enough. And like you said, free pizza/app SOMETHING,” another said.

The Daily Dot reached out to Graham via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jan 23, 2024, 11:00 pm CST