Customers tell server up front, before service they won’t be tipping him

@deanredmonds/TikTok SASITHORN/Adobe Stock

‘There’s a Panera down the street’: Customers tell server upfront before service they won’t be tipping him

‘Go away if you’re not gonna tip.’

 

Rachel Kiley

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A server was left stunned after a party of six sat down in the restaurant where he works and flat-out announced up front that they had no intention of tipping him. He recently shared the story on TikTok.

“I walk up to my table for a drink order and the first thing this woman says is ‘We’re not going to be tipping, so you can keep that in mind when you give us service,’ and they all start hysterically laughing,” Dean Redmond (@deanredmonds) recalls in a video he posted this week.

Thinking it was a joke, the TikToker laughed along—only to have the statement reaffirmed. The woman claimed it was their attempt to send a message to his boss that wait staff needs to be paid a livable hourly wage, “’cause it’s not on us to pay your bills.”

Rather than just roll over and accept it, Redmond says he politely told the party that if they had no intentions of tipping, it was probably best that they left. The woman speaking on their behalf allegedly then claimed he had to “wait ’til the end to see how we liked your service” to find out if he was getting a tip, even though she was the one who had brazenly offered the answer up front.

“I’m like, ‘Ma’am, there is a Panera down the street where you can order at the counter and take it to sit anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about a tip,’” he continued. “I literally walked away and watched them sit there 20 minutes until they finally got up and left, catching the hint that I’m not gonna help them. Go away if you’re not gonna tip.”

Tipping culture in the United States has grown more and more contentious in recent years, with the “opportunity” to tip popping up in an increasing number of situations beyond just sit-down restaurants. Factors like apps asking customers to decide on a tip amount ahead of time, 20% gratuity is considered more of a bare minimum than the top end, and, yes, the feeling that some companies are underpaying employees while expecting customers to make up the difference have all played into this.

But even people who disagree with how the current system functions generally know the answer isn’t to take it out on employees who have no choice but to operate within it. As a result, regardless of whether this particular group of would-be customers were honest about their reasons for not tipping, viewers on Redmond’s video felt he handled the situation appropriately by matching their bizarre energy.

“‘We’re not going to tip so keep that in mind when you give us service,’” one commenter repeated. “I’d say you did exactly what they asked.”

“Every person should work in service for just one week and you will know why you should always tip your servers,” another suggested, while a further user admitted, “I wish my tables would tell me this up front.”

@deanredmonds Working at the restaurant with karens is hard #customerservice #serverlife #storytime #karen #karens #restaurant ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

Of course, there were also people—some clearly from outside of the U.S.—who felt that the customers were clearly in the right.

“Tipping is only for excellent service, not something that should be expected,” wrote one.

“Why should you be tipped just for doing your job???” another asked.

Meanwhile, one user pointed out the flaw in the customers’ reasoning. “My boss doesn’t care if I don’t get tipped,” they wrote. “He still makes his money and I still have to tip out the kitchen, host, and bar anyway. You’re only punishing me, the server, by not tipping.”

“I’m just confused at how they think my boss will even know they didn’t tip me?” Redmond added. “Since my manager is the one who puts in the tips and she doesn’t own the place or make my hourly.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Redmond via TikTok comment.

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