Star: Mark Zuckerberg is a bad tipper & he contests $5 soda charges

Whenever my mom hears of some wealthy person being a cheapskate, she says “Well, how do you think they got rich?” This Star story made me think of that – according to Star’s source, Mark Zuckerberg is kind of a cheap bastard. Maybe. Probably? Mark was in Maui for New Year’s Eve, and when he was handed the bill, he got out his calculator (abacus?) and he became one of Those Guys who argues about every single charge. Which… I mean, I would understand if it was just some dude on a budget. But a billionaire arguing over a $5 soda charge?

Facbook founder Mark Zuckerberg should update his status to CHEAP! A tipster at the Ritz-Carlton in Maui, where Mark spent New Year’s, says the billionaire went over his bill with a fine-tooth comb, even contesting a $5 charge for soda until it got removed from his tab.

“Mark is a nice guy but far from a big tipper,” the spy continues. “He certainly wasn’t sharing the wealth.”

[From Star Magazine, print edition]

I want to know what he tips. Like, the percentage. My flat-line tip percentage is 20% unless the service is really terrible, and if it’s a place I always go to or if the service was really awesome, I bump it up to 30-33%. Mark strikes me as the kind of Bill Gates-like geek who just loves numbers and he’s probably at his happiest when he’s doing a line-by-line analysis of his bill. That’s probably the best part of his day.

Speaking of tips and all of that, did you hear the story about the St. Louis pastor who left a nasty note on her receipt? The basic story is that the female pastor and four adult friends and five children went out to eat at Applebee’s. Applebee’s is one of those restaurants where if the party is more than six people, the gratuity is automatically added to the bill, regardless of whether or not you get separate checks. So when the pastor saw that an 18% gratuity was added to her bill, she added a note: “I give God 10% why do you get 18” and scratched out the tip, adding “0”.

The server showed the receipt to another waitress (or somebody at the Applebee’s, I’m confused as to the second person’s position) and that second person took a photo and posted it to Reddit. The pastor found out about it and then called the Applebee’s and demanded that everybody involved should be fired, and the waitress (?) who posted the receipt to Reddit was fired. You can read the full story here at The Smoking Gun. Ridiculous. The whole thing is just ridiculous.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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161 Responses to “Star: Mark Zuckerberg is a bad tipper & he contests $5 soda charges”

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  1. Kate says:

    That pastor is the most unChristian person imaginable. Getting a waitress fired, after taking a restaurant policy out on the person who serves you?! Horrible person.

    Standard tip in the UK is 10%, but staff get the minimum wage so it tops that up. An awful lot of people at chains never tip at all, and I think it’s pretty unpleasant. My feeling is if you can’t afford a tip, you can’t afford to eat out, either.

    • hatsumomo says:

      I know! I was surprised at the amount of people who agreed with disputing the grat or refusing to tip because “they’re protesting an unfair system”. These assholes. If you dont like the idea of tipping, THEN STAY THE FUCK HOME! Shop for groceries, make your own meal, clean up after your damnself, but dont take it out on an unsuspecting person whose just doing thier job!

      And by the way, this story of Zuckerberg being a cheapo is a bit saddening because you know his wife knows about this and accepts it. I respect Priscilla Zuckerberg for finishing her MD even though she didnt have to, she could have been a trophy wife and set for the rest of her days but she bucked the trend and did something on her own. One of the biggest things that turned me on to my husband during our first date was he’s a generous tipper even though he was at his last year at UTSA and nearly flat broke.

      • Kate says:

        Yeah, this is what staggers me. You don’t like a restaurant policy? Fine. Write to them, email them, call and demand to speak to a manager/owner. Don’t choose to eat there and then stiff the wait staff. It’s just a horrible thing to do, and it’s pathetic to say it’s “on principle”. Depriving a relatively low-paid person of what most people regard as a part of their salary is too conveniently useful to the wallet to be a principled action, and nor does it affect the person making the rules. If she didn’t like the management’s choices, she should have eaten elsewhere.

      • elceibeno08 says:

        I am sure the pastor of that church would hate it if she was treated the way she treated the waitress: no tip and she got her fired. What a c*unt. That pastor is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    • mystified says:

      I bate to say this but many women are lousy tippers. I dislike going out with a group of other women because so many of them are such shockingly bad tippers that have to overcompensate out of sympathy for the server.

      That said, I don’t like the over proliferation of tip jars. I even saw one at a yarn shop. Seriously?! I’m now supposed to tip people for ringing up my purchase?

      • Susie Q says:

        I was a waitress for many years and have to agree with you about a lot of women being bad tippers. Not related but I HATE when you thank them for something and instead of saying you’re welcome they say ‘no problem’. And now that I think about it I also HATE when a waitress says ‘do you need change’? when you hand them a twenty for a beer. At that point I feel like not giving them anything. Ok, rant over, sorry.

      • claire says:

        Are you in the US/West Coast? I’ve been wondering if this is a majority West Coast thing, or common all across the US. It’s ridiculous some of the places where tip jars are popping up.

      • mystified says:

        I live in the Southeast. Maybe it started on the West coast but it’s spreading.

      • puffy says:

        I’ve noticed my female friends are lousy tippers too, but my male friends are much more generous. Personally (live in the UK), I tip 10-20% unless the service is bad, when I have no problem not tipping. When I was a student working in a supermarket I was on the same wages as my friends who waited but they got tips as extras on top, so I feel like if my waiter/waitress is outwardly rude and lousy, they’re not getting a tip.

        I remember one occasion where I tipped but I don’t think my friends tipped as much and the waiter looked pissed off. No goodbye or anything. In that instance I would have happily asked for the tips back.

        I don’t mind tipping and think it is part of the eating out experience, but I don’t feel like everybody deserves it. Is it more of an American thing? I know when I was in Spain I tipped and my Spanish friend said that they don’t tip over there because they get paid well. Anyway, they made a whole song and dance and rang bells because they got a tip (it was probably only 5 euros).

      • BeesKnees says:

        @Susie Q: I was taught many years ago, as a waitress, that when the customer hands you cash at the end of the meal you say “I’ll be right back with your change” and wait to see if they say keep it rather than saying “do you need change?” I am sooooo irritated when a waiter or waitress asks do you need change in a situation like that. And I agree that women tip less.

      • Lori M. says:

        I live on the West Coast and I totally agree…tip jars are EVERYWHERE! I wonder if people start to tip less at restaurants because they get bombarded with tip jars at little shops, Dairy Queen, even the drive thru at Starbucks!! Seriously – a tip jar is at my local Starbucks drive thru! Enough is enough!

      • Lindy says:

        I agree about the tip jars. I never know when it is appropriate/customary/necessary to tip. Usually I just go by whether or not the person behind the counter has helped me in some way outside of ringing me up.

        However, I totally support a tip jar at Starbucks. You should tip your barista, especially if you get a drink that requires blending or pulling or something other than just pouring.

      • KC says:

        @puffy: In the US tips are factored in as part of the waitress/waiter’s wages. Some states let restaurants pay half of the minimum wage (which varies by state) because they argue that the staff get tips so they don’t need to be paid the minimum wage to earn the minimum wage. There is a Federal minimum of $2.13 an hour to “protect” servers from not being paid enough. In Missouri where this happened the minimum wage for wait staff is $3.67 an hour.

        And in all states wait staff have pay taxes on 10% (or is it more?) of their sales total. So if you tip less than 10%, you are actually taking money away from your server.

      • KC says:

        The quotes around protect were to mock the idea that getting paid $2.13 an hour is a living wage even with tips, not mocking the idea of a minimum wage. Just wanted to clarify.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Well maybe if women got paid on the same level men do, they would have more disposable income to tip!
        Also, it used to be that tipping was a way to give feedback for the quality of service. Lousy service, low tip, great service, big tip. Now it’s expected whether your waiter treats you like shit or not. Maybe they should just add it to the cost of the meal or whatever since it’s expected.

      • mystified says:

        I imagine that there is a fair number of wait staff that anticipate lousy tips from women beforehand and give subpar service defensively.

        Don’t agree with the argument that if you earn less you can tip less. Really? Don’t go to a place where you can’t afford the food plus tip. It’s not like you can argue that you should only pay $20 for a pair of Jimmy Chop shoes because you earn so much less than SJP.

      • Laura says:

        Susie Q, I am totally the bartender that says ‘No problem!’ 🙁 Or ‘You bet!’ ‘You’re welcome’ just feels so formal to me, and I want my guests to feel like they’re being served by a friend. However…’Do you need change’ is my pet peeve…I’ll still tip the same if it is said but I would never say it and I tell my waitresses not to. So presumptuous!

    • Micki says:

      We tip 10% as a rule too (Germany).However my husband tips more if the waiter is really good (not only serving but also with tips about wine and so on).
      The downside is he won’t tip a penny if the waiter is playing tricks. He goes into venomous Scorpio mode and can unpleasantly firm with the staff.

    • Hoya_chick says:

      Omg. I agree with everything you said Kate. The most pious people are usually the most hypocritical. What a douche. I am a 20% tipper unless the service was extremely poor. Also, it’s so tacky of Mark if that story is true. Maybe the $5 was a mistake? That’s not the way to handle it. I think treating the wait staff poorly says a lot about a person’s character especially if it’s not an egregious mistake or a restaurant policy they have no control over! Oh and I hate Facebook so there’s that lol.

    • holly hobby says:

      That “pastor” isn’t really a pastor. According to other press reports, she used to be a homeless single mom. One day she was staying in the shelter when she claimed “God” came to her. She started up that phony church. She is not ordained through the usual channels.

      Sorry I always saw church staff as taking the vow of poverty. So what the h— are you eating at Applebee’s and being a jerk about it as well.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      I live in Canada, so all waitstaff get minimum wage plus tip. I worked as a hostess for a while and tipouts are a wretched idea because how many times do you think they would opt to share? Zero. I did a lot of the same stuff they did plus some food prep and stock–just backwards and in heels. Do you really think they pay someone to just stand around all day and say ‘your table’s over there. You have some people coming or something? Tell the doctor, I’m Audi 5000’? No. No one has that job if not related to the person in charge. What a fetid and high-handed little congress those ladies were.

      I don’t know if they got good tips (selfish cows, do you know what it does to your back to haul carts of Clearly Canadian up flights of stairs and then stock them in heels? UGH!), but I’m a good tipper because:

      A) If you’ve ever experienced sympathy poverty you just do

      B) You’re supposed to. I’ve never met a person who says ‘I make more than I’m worth’, so why does some stranger get to decide that someone isn’t ‘worth enough’ for him? Lousy attitude.

      And tip jars (at least in southern Ontario) are showing up pretty much anywhere there’s a cash register. A few years ago I was at a shopping mall and decided to buy a can of Coke before leaving. It was at a concession booth that sold your basic coffeehouse crap. So what do you think this, *person* did with my fiver? She dumped all of the change into the tip jar and in the ONE time I’ve ever been impolite to a person serving me, I said, ‘What are you doing? That cost a dollar and 40 cents, I’m NOT paying five dollars for a can of Coke!’ I remember the words exactly, as it was one of the very few truly assertive moments in my life. I was Spartacus that day because everyone in the line behind me left in disgust. As if we should be so honoured that some random set of digit punched a few numbers into a register and needs to be rewarded so heartily for her valient service. Though I’ve been a cashier before, so know whereof I speak, I don’t think any tax bracket or skill set should grant itself the temerity to steal from its customers, brazen balls or not, and a girl who would do that right in someone’s face is a guttersnipe. And it was so automatic, like it was almost store policy to stun the customers so thoroughly with their misbehaviour that they wouldn’t exactly be able to interpret what had just actually happened. I’m sure I wasn’t the first person who met that treatment. What A Slag.

      • Anne says:

        I’ve worked in Ontario as a server, and we don’t make the minimum wage of $10.25, we make $8.90. The tips we get are split between ourselves, bartenders, support staff (which include hostesses), managers, and the owners (which is technically illegal, but not really something you can report if you want to keep your job). One of the most important things about being a server is to never stiff your support staff, because they can make your life an absolute hell. If your servers didn’t share the tips with you, it’s probably more of a statement about you than about their feelings regarding hostesses.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I don’t believe it was me, we all got along and customers complimented my service. They waitresses were always more than willing to pay my bus fare if I was closing or picking up extra shifts. Thanks, ladies. I lived in a student-saturated area–a full third of the population of the city went to one of the universities there (there were two universities and a college in that area), so employers were all too happy to do as they pleased because they know that the kids will take anything they can get. Pair that with older co-workers and I was feeling good that my other job as a part-time piano and theory teacher was less she-masculating. I figure it was just Occam’s razor: If you have the option to share the wealth or not share it why choose ‘share’? Because it would be nicer? It would be nicer, but what of it?

        If I were the horrible person/employee that you insinuate I was at this job, I suppose I would have to ask you why they didn’t fire me? It seems pretty counter-intuitive to me to think that an establishment would go to the trouble of keeping on an actively bad employee just for the pleasure of sending her a message. They’re not raising Ontario’s youth, they’re just being gredy. I would have been bad for business, which, by transitive property would have been bad for their future tips. Its’ problematic to me to think that people would willingly contribute to their own hostile work environment and general unhappiness by working with me just for the sake of exacting pettiness. I think it’s time to call a spade a space and attribute this specific situation to greediness.

      • Joanna says:

        @ Annne

        wow, your minimum wage is over $10 an hour! Wow! that blows my mind. my brother has been working at a grocery store for 5-6 years and is just now making $10 a hour. I know lots of people that consider $10 an hour job a good one. I can’t believe thats the minimum wage in Canada

      • Rose says:

        @Joanna: There are places in the United States wehre the minimum wage is over $10, they have a high cost of living so the minimum wage has to be that high though. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of living before you’re impressed by somewhere’s minimum wage.

  2. Lolly says:

    Lol @ Mark Zuckerberg. I kinda am like that..I don’t like being taken advantage of..
    The pastor is a major C U Next Tuesday. You just got someone who probably really needed that job fired. Jesus must be so proud

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      Don’t even start with him, his customers are the living end! Did you hear how those jerks were trying to score free meals off of the man? Never-ending bread bowl, indeed.

    • Canda says:


      Just because someone has a bazillion dollars doesn’t mean he should have to ‘just pay’ for something he doesn’t owe. I don’t even like the guy but if he wants to triple-check his bills, that’s totally reasonable.

      I’m a “bad tipper” by the standards on here. I have NEVER in my life tipped 30%. ONE THIRD of your bill in tips? What the hell?! It’s bad enough that you pay usually about 4-5 times the basic production cost of your meal, then tax, and then you are supposed to pay an extra 15-30% for the people who are just doing their jobs?

      If you tip waiters, you should tip EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the service sector. I don’t think that introducing yourself, carrying plates and glasses and then clearing a table is cause for such a ridiculous markup on a service. Holy crap. I tip according to how well someone did their job and how long I occupied the table. I refuse to be guilted into paying an exorbitant sum of money because Ashley P. showed up to work and completed her job duties. Forget it. If I was physically able to wait tables, I totally would, because this tipping thing has gotten way out of control.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        If you tip according to the quality of the service, that’s fine. But the argument about the production cost of the meal? You choose to not cook this yourself, that is your choice. And restaurants have high costs, just saying. Rent, incidentals, staff, the owner needs to make a living etc.
        I worked as a waitress and bartender during college. If you’ve never done it, please do not underestimate that job. It’s exhausting and can be extremely unpleasant. People treat you like dirt at times.

      • Anna says:

        I agree totally with the poster here who says that all of this tipping has gotten out of control.

        @missnaughty….There are many exhausting, dirty jobs where people are not tipped at all. Does a brain surgeon get a tip? Does a forensic officer? A firefighter? Just because one is working minimum wage or thereabouts does not mean one has the right to an entitlement.

      • Rose says:

        @Anna: No but people do deserve to make a living wage if they are working full time. As a culture we decided that people will tip so that servers can earn a living wage. I don’t agree with the system, but it is the system we have.

      • Dani says:

        Completely agree with Canada. No one told you to be a waitress, don’t expect 15-30%. It’s your JOB, you chose to take it. I never tip under 10% but to tip someone 20%+ just for doing their job is ridiculous to me. No one is tipping me for calling them back when they have questions about invoices.

      • Laura says:

        Brain surgeons get paid more than $2.13 an hour.

  3. i'm french don't kill me says:

    1/ it’s STAR magazine
    2/it’s probably true because when you see the celebrity tipper blogs,Zuckerberg is in the cheap tipper category
    3/ even if the pastor has right on the gratuity,his note is rude and he’s an ass**le to ask to fire the waiters

  4. Amy says:

    Re: the pastor:
    I’m sure Jesus would have done the same thing.

  5. marie says:

    as a former waitress I can’t stand cheap tippers, if you don’t want to tip your waitress then get fast food. the wait staff brings you everything and then cleans up after your cheap-ass (cause you know the folks who skimp are always the messiest, rudest folks)

    having said all that, if you didn’t drink a soda you shouldn’t be charged for it, no matter the cost.

    • Kate says:

      I can’t stand parents who allow their kids to run riot either, or leave a godawful mess. When my son was too small to eat tidily I cleaned up his mess with baby wipes, including the floor. It’s not that hard! Wait staff are paid to clear up normal levels of adult mess – not toddler detrius. What kind of example does it set your kids, anyway, if you don’t?

      My son behaves when we eat out because he knows we just go home if he doesn’t. That simple. And it galls me when other parents expect a whole restaurant to smile benignly as their brat ruins everyone else’s meal.

    • mln76 says:

      Former waitress here too! It’s flat out wrong to tip poorly and big parties with separate check you guys can bite me. It’s a lot more work.
      I actually tip above the automatic gratuity just to be nice when I can.

    • MST says:

      What a schmuck! If there’s one thing I CAN’T STAND is a cheap-azz. I used to be an ex-waitress too, and its hard work as you probably know, Marie.

      When my ex-husband and I were dating we went to NYC and I wanted to go on a carriage ride in Central Park. Back then it was $25.00 for half an hour. He was so cheap he asked the guy if he could pay $12.50 for fifteen minutes! I was mortified! I should have known then what a B@stard he was but I married him anyway.

      I always try to be courteous to service workers. They work hard for their money, and I’ve been there. And people remember you. Once I went into this pizza place near closing and they had two slices left. The manager told me I was “always nice” and gave me one of them for free. Being kind brings good karma!

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      They ARE the messiest and rudest. I would think that sometimes they would make a biggest mess on purpose just to be spiteful. Though the one who they were spiting wasn’t the one who was cleaning because where I worked, the waitresses never dressed or cleaned their tables. I was the lucky lady who got to do that part. Lucky, lucky, luck, cluck, cluck-cluck, buck-buck, bu-GAWK!

  6. Suze says:

    I hope the Pastor is happy she got someone fired – a great example of turning the other cheek, there.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      Yeah. Though posting it to Reddit wasn’t a good idea (professionally, though it’s what that wasp’s nest of a woman deserves) any anonymity that the case had was lost in her vengeance and now people exactly with whom they so vehemently disagree and know that she is in the wrong profession. Christians know about karma too, lady.

  7. sombrero says:

    Facebook is just not cool anymore, it turns from social network to market-like place. Ads everywhere.

    And this is the guy who called all of his users dumb because user gave fb personal info.

    • Hmmm says:

      I think Zuckerberg is a psychopath (or has psychopathic traits), albeit a successful one. Facebook’s diabolical machinations reflect that.

  8. emmie_a says:

    Nice Christian attitude pastor. I read she asked for separate checks for her party just so she could (try to) avoid the added gratuity. And to demand everyone involved be fired? Just bc she was called out for being a jerk.

    • marie says:

      ha, she didn’t realize it’s based on the people at the table and not the check total? dumbass.. and 10% of your total income is substantially more that 18% of $34.

  9. Maria says:

    no surprise its always the people who claim to be the good guys and morally superior who are the scum.

    • some bitch says:


    • Jenni says:

      I agree–the pastor must be an awful person. What kind of sense does it make to compare tithing a percentage of your income to church to paying a percentage of a restaurant meal as a tip? And if she really thinks she’s giving 10% “to God” that 10% sounds very stingy, too. But billionaire or not, Mark Zuckerberg should not be charged for imaginary sodas he didn’t drink! He’s right to dispute a bill if they are trying to pad it! Wish he were a generous tipper, though.

      • Rhea says:

        ITA. I can’t believe a person in that position wrote a note like that.

      • Lindy says:

        Also, she’s tithing that 10% to the church of 15 people she runs. So it’s going back to her in some way (whether it’s to pay rent on their space or whatever else).

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      I read a saying somewhere that goes along the lines of if someone doesn’t have any vices then they’re pretty sure to have some annoying virtues.

      It seems this pastor lady is getting her jollies off of stiffing the waitress for a tip and pretending she is doing something in the name of the lord. That she put the words Pastor and God on the bill reeks of this.

  10. Tiffany27 says:

    God doesn’t have a mortgage, a cell phone, a car, an electric bill, hospital bills, and he doesn’t need groceries to eat for him and/or for his family. The pastor is a jerk. The end.

  11. Cazzee says:

    Yup, the pastor is a sorry excuse for a human being. If they couldn’t afford a tip, they should have just done fast food. A-hole.

    • Victory says:

      Think about it for a second… If all the people in the world who are bad tippers stopped eating at restaurants alot of waitresses would be out of a job. Because alot of restaurants would be shut down when there were no costumers.

      I live in Sweden and i tip about 10%, I would say thats the norm here. And i make less than a person working a full time job at a restaurant. So I’m not saying its okay to be cheap. Still – think before you say F U to such a large group of people that pays your salary.

      • KC says:

        In Sweden I think that servers get paid the minimum wage though. Where this happened the servers get half the minimum wage and tips are supposed to cover the rest. I know you can only compare it to what you’re used to, but skimping on a tip is very different for a server that doesn’t have get health care and whose employer does not pay them a living wage.

      • Joanna says:

        @ Victory
        yes, it’s different in the U.S. My ex was from England, and he told me servers get paid more per hour there so people tip less in general. When I was waiting tables, here in US, we made $2 something per hour. Now I think it’s $3 per hour. We used our hourly wage to fill our gas tank, that was about all it would cover. because your taxes on your tips would come out of your hourly as well.

  12. mish says:

    if she’s a pastor, shouldn’t she be giving God a bit more than 10%?

  13. Lem says:

    ‘re: pastor – how very rude
    ”re: Zuckerburg – honestly, I protest $5 soda’s too! I mean, not out loud, on my bill, or to a server, but $5 for a soda is ridiculous! 3¢ worth of beverage and the restaurant is looking to charge $20 for my family of 4.
    Ludicrous. We more or less only drink water (coffee is water, right) but when we do go out the kids want a lemonade. $20 bucks for 4 ‘sodas’; it would be cheaper if the children had a beer!
    Everyone should tip well!! Unless the service blows

  14. kibbles says:

    Zuckerberg has Asperger’s, right? I know someone like this who is a nice and really smart guy, but he thinks very rigidly and is very stingy. Shopping doesn’t appeal to him and he doesn’t see its purpose. He just likes to read and he buys everything on sale even though he has a lot of money saved and invested. I think it would be very difficult to be married to someone this cheap. Luckily, Zuckerberg is a millionaire so at least his wife can feel at ease that even if she’s married to a cheapskate, they have the billions to still travel and do the things that most people don’t have the luxury to do.

    • hoopjumper says:

      You’re the second commenter to bring his wife into this…the woman is a pediatrician who works hard. She was never with him for the money; they’ve been dating since before he left Harvard. What does the fact her husband may be stingy have to do with her? Would you say the same about him if she left a crap tip?

      • hatsumomo says:

        well, yeah. I mean, I hold people’s spouses as an extension of themselves, much like my man is my extension. I can count on him to tip the way I would, I once waited tables long ago. She knows he’s like this and must condone it if she aint nagging him to leave a better tip. And I’m not trying to trivialize her accomplishments or motives-didn’t I mention she has her doctorate’s even though she didn’t need it?-but it makes me think she isn’t as terrific as I’d like to think she is..

      • hoopjumper says:

        Hatsumomo, if you’re saying that every time you nag someone to do something, they listen to you and do it, then PLEASE start teaching a class the rest of us can take. Seriously, please. 🙂

  15. minime says:

    I find this one of the strangest things in the USA. Shouldn’t the real question be: why don’t the restaurants pay proper wages to their staff? Why should anyone be dependent on tips? That fells just like a beggar depending on the good will of the passers-by. IMO, staff expenses should be included in the price of the meal because that is exactly what we are paying when we go to a restaurant: not only the food, but the cooking, the cooker, the server, the cleaning…That makes it a lot easier and direct. A tip should then be what they are suppose to be: “a voluntary additional payment made for services rendered”.

    Don’t take me wrong, I agree that in the American context the kind of behavior described is more than obnoxious and incorrect, but I still think that one of the main issues is to call this a “gratuity” when it is in reality the payment for a provided service.

    • Viv says:

      This may be the most sensible thing I have read here in years. Not that we come here to talk sense;-) but you nailed it. America, let’s pay your waiters, doormen, etc a proper wage. It works in other countries and doesn’t make getting paid a guessing game or being dependent on assholes. I hate travelling to China, but not having to calculate tips and having to keep change ready at all times can make you feel quite free. Japan is heaven and in Europe a tip mostly is really a gratuity, a special thank you, not something the person serving you actually has to live on.

    • Miss Thang says:

      The idea is that if you are dependent upon the tips for your wages, you will provide better service. In a jerk-free world, the better the service, the better the tip, the higher your pay. It offers the prospect of unlimited wages that way.

      • Jenny says:

        At a busy restaurant, waiters with good shifts make significantly more in tips than they would as a salaried employee. Downside being you deal with some a-holes who tip poorly. As a waiter at what was basically a fancy diner, I could leave the morning shift with $500 in my pocket and was making over $60k a year and paying taxes on only the portion reported by management. I took a significant pay cut (although I did get health insurance) to take a 9-5 at an office once I graduated from college.

    • alc says:

      I completely agree with you! I remember a time when tipping was based on the service a customer received. And I think it is really unfair when some restaurants put all of their tips into the pot and they are divided by the staff at the end of the night – kind of screws over the hard working, good server.
      I laughed at your first line. My mother used to say stuff like that, especially about my uncle who never paid for anyone else. It drove her crazy.He used to even charged my aunts (one being his wife!) for their own coffee and muffin after driving them to get their hair done. Mom used to say “he’s got the first nickel even earned” and “that’s probably why we’ll never be rich” because she would just pick up the tab. People are funny.

    • booger says:


      Everyone calls me a cheapskate when I gripe about tipping and gratuity charges, but the thing is I would be MORE than happy to pay more at a restaurant. People don’t get it’s not the patron’s job to compensate for workers’ shitty wages.

      • Beatrix says:

        If you’re not going to be the one to fix the matter or be the sole person responsible for ameliorating the way our whole job system works, then understand that if one can’t afford to tip, one can’t afford to go out. Standing by a false or incomplete principle and sticking it to one person for a system they didn’t break is petty and reprehensible. Waiters make about $2/hr on average+tips. If you’re not going to correct that abysmal pay rate for the whole network of people in the industry, not tipping or under-tipping just makes you cheap and selfish.

      • MJ says:

        Well, you are a cheapskate.

      • Miss Thang says:

        So what’s the difference? If you’re willing to pay the restaurant more why aren’t you willing to give that directly to your server??

      • Mini-Me says:

        Uh, it actually is your job to pay the waiters. That’s why waiters get paid $2-3 an hour: their income is dependent on the PATRONS.

        And, +1 MJ.

      • KC says:

        “People don’t get it’s not the patron’s job to compensate for workers’ shitty wages. ”

        I would prefer to just pay more an not have to figure out a tip too, but that sentence doesn’t make sense. If you pay more then you’re compensating the worker’s wages too. The real issue is that it shouldn’t be the patron’s job to calculate how much the workers should be paid.

      • Lou says:

        If you’re in America and want to gripe about tipping, email the restaurant manager. Don’t take it out on the server.

        I think the American system is terrible, and just a way for managers to get out of paying full wages. Here in New Zealand, we get at least minimum wage, more if you’re a good employee (a lot more in a good restaurant). Tipping is such a foreign concept to me, but if I’m in America, I’ll tip 20%, unless it’s amazing service or really really terrible service.

    • claire says:

      It depends on the state too. Some states do pay their waitstaff minimum wage, plus tips. Other states pay wages around $2-3 an hour, plus tips. If you’re getting screwed on your tables, or if it’s a slow night, the paycheck you get is laughable.

      • KC says:

        Seven states require servers to be paid the full minimum wage (Alaska, California, Guam, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.) I live in one of those states and I still have to tip about 20% every time I eat out.

    • Riana says:

      I always wonder this myself:

      From a country where tipping is viewed as an insult to one where tipping is code for bribe and another where not tipping is considered an insult the best service I ever got was the first.

      I believe it’s a shame that tipping came to be considered a source of income for many workers, the truth is most companies do this so they can skate on the amount they pay to their workers. I’d gladly pay more overall rather than be expected to tip every sh!tty server. If you’ve done a good job I’m happy to tip, if you’ve done a poor job then I hate the expectation you deserve a tip anyway.

      • Mira says:

        Yes, tipping is cultural, varies across regions and countries. I come from a place where tipping is included in the check as a percentage of the total amount and it’s called service tax. The breakdown on the check is total amount, service tax, and state tax. In Montreal, where I’m based now, it’s 15 percent of the total amount. The only difference is that it’s not included in the check which I was used to earlier. That bugged me in for a few months when I first got here. Not because I had to tip but because I had to do the math, which I suck at.

      • Danskins says:

        Life would be so much easier if we all just paid extra for our meals so that we didnt have to tip. It’s annoying to always carry extra cash or change for tips instead of just having tips already built in to the food prices on the menu. That’s one thing I don’t get about restaurant services; why should we tip? Customer service workers or retail workers don’t depend on tips and some still provide crappy service yet they don’t make below minimum wage. I just don’t get that.

    • Kloops says:

      I was shocked when I recently learned how little US servers are paid! I, ignorantly, assumed min wage was comparable to the approx $10/hr it is here in my province (in Canada).

      Let me be clear, hubby and I tip a flat rate of 20% regardless. 25% for excellent service. In the US we now tip more bc of the low min wage. And tipping is cultural. Some European countries don’t tip bc they pay a fair wage.

      I know the US economic system isn’t going to be changed overnight but $2-3/hr is criminal! But it was a great reminder to educate myself about local laws ams customs when traveling.

  16. Merritt says:

    Zuckerberg probably is cheap.

    And no surprise about a pastor acting that way. I was once threatened by a pastor (he didn’t like that fact that my former company was following the law).

    If people don’t want to tip they shouldn’t eat out, go to the salon, etc.

    The people who work for tips need them. Servers don’t make the same minimum wage as other workers, and are expected to make it up in tips.

  17. Fairness baby says:

    It doesn’t matter if someone is rich – a restaurant shouldn’t charge u more or charge for an item u didn’t order. It’s the principal of the situation.

  18. jj says:

    Zuckerberg is known for being cheap. When he was in Rome, there were at least two documented occasions when he did not leave a tip. While waiters in Europe generally earn more than their American counterparts per hour, it is still courteous to leave a tip for good service (especially if you can so obviously afford it). Unless there is a service charge on the bill, in that case you are already leaving a tip (though it might be that the employer takes the waiter’s wages out of it, so leaving a few euros is the nice thing to do).

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      I agree. I think that’s wrong to not tip at all…That being said, I don’t blame him for causing a little disturbance about being charged for something he (supposedly) did not consume. Maybe he feels he has to watch his back bc everyone knows he is made of money and may try to take advantage of that. That must suck to always be so skeptical about people’s intentions. Guess that comes with the territory of being a public billionaire.

    • Kay says:

      In Europe there is nearly always gratuity built in- in Italy they tend to charge you extra for bread they put on the table, even when you don’t ask. They call it a service charge, so I find people generally don’t tip in Europe because of that

  19. lori says:

    I usually tip 20-25%. I don’t go out to restaraunts that much, as we just can’t afford too. I factor the tipping into most of my planned spending. Hairdresser, meals out, etc. But the tipping system does still piss me off. If service people were paid a decent living wage it wouldn’t be necessary, but prices would be higher. I hate the idea that someone is behold to suck up to another to get a decent pay cheque.

  20. Miss Thang says:

    Love the consensus here that if you can’t afford the tip you shouldn’t eat out. That note was rude and getting that poor girl fired or exposing your rudeness is way worse.

    I guess she could have recieved bad service and thought the 18% was more than the server deserved, but I don’t think that’s the way to go about that, and with five kids at the table, I doubt that they didn’t make her earn every bit of that tip.

    Oh yeah, I agree with the above who said it shouldn’t matter what your income is, you shouldn’t have to pay more than you rightfully owe. Though I feel that if I have extra money I want to help others by spreading that money around, I HATE when people expect those with wealth to give more than others just because they can.

  21. ramona says:

    That pastor is a jerk. Frankly, if you want to tithe 10% to the church, that’s fantastic. That’s your decision. Good for you.

    That does not free you from the cultural obligation of tipping your wait staff. And the two things – tithing and tipping – have nothing to do with each other! This is just an example of a cheapskate thinking they’re clever, and when they get called out for being a nasty cheapskate, proving themself to be a jerk as well.

    Just because you’re a pastor, and you tithe, doesn’t mean you’re a good person! Jack*ss.

  22. Feebee says:

    If Zuckerberg didn’t order the soda then he should question why it’s on the bill.

    Now the pastor is a different story. What a rude and then spiteful woman. The 10% to god thing doesn’t wash because she’s really helping pay herself. She pays the church, the church pays her. But the restaurant bears some responsibility. They were callous enough to simply fire the waitress instead of standing up for her.

  23. bea says:

    He should contest that titty-hugging hoodie he has on.

  24. Zigggy says:

    Billionaire or not- if the $5 was for just 1 soda, I’d be ticked off too. Just because someone’s rich doesn’t mean they should have to pay more than us.

  25. WendyNerd says:

    I usually try to tip ten or fifteen— twenty if the service is really good or if I’m with a lot of people. But I always tip.

  26. UmmBonjour says:

    Okay, this pastor was extremely rude and her comment was uncalled for but what was failed to be put on this site is that the waitress did not cover the signature. Some people on reddit easily deciphered her name and posted the pastor’s personal information (email, location of her church etc). I think that’s the real reason for the waitress being fired.

  27. MsAubra says:

    And THIS is why the likes of those at Apple, IBM, Google and every other tech conglomerate that rules the world laughs at this idiot behind closed doors. He tries WAY too hard…

  28. k says:

    People who don’t understand why tips are necessary and do not necessarily reflect the service of the waitperson have never worked in a restaurant. Servers make BELOW minimum wage, and the govt assumes you will make at least 10% in tips for each sale. Most if not all restaurants require a minimum percentage of tip for larger parties. Think about it – your table is hogging all of the waitstaff attention. Throw in a few insane chefs, cooks, bus people behind the scenes, and you now know that not everything is under the waiter’s control.

  29. ZigZagZoey says:

    ICK. I hate facebook and I hate cheap rich people much more.
    I think the guy is slime, and this doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  30. HotPockets says:

    I worked in restaurants and as a cocktail waitress for 5+ years and I always found that the people who had money were always lousy tippers, not all the time, but I found myself constantly surprised by a 10-15% tip by someone who probably made at least 6 figures a year. Sometimes the best tippers were the ones who didn’t look like they had any money. You never knew who was going to make your night. With that being said, I quit working in the restaurant business when I finished school and still have nightmares about it. I had some amazing customers, but I also had people who treated you like you were a servant and a peasant to them.

    I am not surprised by Mark Zuckerberg, but I am sure he has never worked in the service industry and for those who haven’t, they are generally out of touch with the fact that a lot of servers only make $2.45 an hour, so without tips, you can’t survive. It’s a shame about that pastor, but to quote Mark Twain, “if Jesus were alive today, he wouldn’t be a christian.”

    • ZigZagZoey says:

      Hi HP!
      I agree, it’s usually the rich ones who are so cheap.
      I don’t have a lot of money, and I don’t go out to eat often (my husband hates it!), but when I do go I ALWAYS tip at least 15% for decent service. For good service I do at least 20% or more.

      I don’t usually go anywhere too expensive…So what’s the problem with leaving a few more dollars in the tip for the person who served you? I’d so much rather make the server’s night better!!

      • HotPockets says:

        Hello ZZZ!
        I try to always be a fair tipper and sometimes I over tip, my husband is the most generous tipper and people remember him for it all the time. on NYE he was giving all the taxi cab drivers $25 tips, but yes, if we don’t have the $$, we stay home and eat.

    • Screw Stewrat 99 says:

      Appearances aren’t everything! Love your point. Sometimes I hate going out to eat because I’m young and don’t dress up and most times I think my servers think I won’t tip well and I’ve had servers who didn’t pay attention to my table or serve me well. I still tipped, just not great. But when I have a server who is kind and actually pays attention to my table and does their job, I like to tip really well. My boyfriend always tips extremely well, sometimes I think he’s crazy. He tips when we order our food for pickup! I love tipping well because I know it makes that server happy and they probably weren’t expecting much from me to begin with.

  31. taxi says:

    In San Francisco, the minimum restaurant wage is 25-30% higher than in the rest of the state. It was intended mainly to help kitchen and other staff who don’t get tips. Most restaurants also add an “employee medical plan” surcharge to every tab – usually 1.5% or $4.

    Now a question for you:
    A party of 2 (or 3or 4) orders a pre-dinner cocktail + a bottle of wine with the meal, all of which is subject to sales tax (8.75 – 9%). Do you tip 15 – 20% on the entire bill? Just on the food portion? Regular tip on food & 10% on alcohol?

    Yes, the pastor is nasty & I hope her parishioners find out & shame her.

    • KC says:

      I’m from the Bay Area too and my friends and I always tip on the food and the drinks. BUT, I was just googling this and there’s a big debate on Yelp over what is appropriate.

      For that particular situation I would tip the bartender when I got the drink, I don’t drink wine so I have no idea what you should do (sorry), and then tip the waitress for the cost of food (not including the taxes).

    • ebrca says:

      usually the entire bill. i find it easier to split a bill and tip that way. in general, my friends and i tip 20%, usually 15% if it’s “eh service”.

      EDIT: if i’m doing drinks at a bar pre-seating, i like to settle up my bar bill and tip beforehand; usually because i don’t know how tips will be dispersed and want to make sure everyone gets properly compensated.

  32. RobN says:

    I don’t care how rich I am, if I didn’t order the soda, I’m not paying for it.

    These two stories don’t even belong in the same article. Getting overcharged and pointing it out is not the same as being an a-hole.

  33. keats says:

    I really REALLY hate that servers have to rely on tips in order to make a livable income.

  34. Zimmer says:

    No reason to charge 5 dollars for a soda, but no reason to be a jerk in the tip department especially if you have such a large amount of money. However, I don’t think the restaurant should be allowed to assume the person wants to tip 18 percent. They should write tip and leave it blank. Good service deserves a good tip, but bad service deserves a low tip or may I say none at all. That’s why it’s a tip. I do think the pastor is a jerk though. If you’re not happy, say it, don’t write stupid messages on the receipt and don’t be cheap using religion as an excuse!

    • bluhare says:

      Re $5 for a soda; he was in Hawaii and a tourist at that. Hawaii is famous for overcharging tourists. Was out shopping with someone who lives there one day, and she whipped out her drivers license and, voila!! 20% off the bill.

      • Zimmer says:

        I know it is common practice in pricey destinations, however it is still ridiculous. Still, folks know what too expect in those destinations and it is no excuse to punish the waitstaff for it.

      • KC says:

        All tourist traps overcharge. Once I went to a local one to take pictures and the battery of my camera died so I had to go into a shop to buy some. They were exorbitantly priced so I complained and when they found out I was a local the price was magically cut in half.

  35. bluhare says:

    This is embarrassing. Apparently I channel Kaiser’s mom, because the first thing I thought was “how do you think he stays rich?”.

  36. irishserra says:

    Ugh, touchy topic for me.

    @Kaiser: Your mom is right, though. If I were filthy rich, I’m sure I’d run right through it, but I wouldn’t regret it. I run into so many people from time to time who work so hard but just can’t make ends meet and I wish I could help them; not to mention my own friends and family who struggle to get by. I’m right with you. 20% minimum, but more if I’m happy with the service; a scoge less if I’m really unhappy.

    And I expect the same generosity from the people in my life. When I was dating, I absolutely used the dinner tipping experience as a means to measure my date’s capacity for kindness and compassion.

    If Zuckerberg really does behave that way, that’s disgusting. And the pastor’s tip… Now that’s deplorable.

  37. Ms Kay says:

    “I Give God 10% Why Do You Get 18.”

    Could someone call God and confirm that self righteous a-hole of a pastor really gives God the money???

  38. Ginger says:

    I’ve never worked in the restaurant business and I don’t care to. I couldn’t stand working with food. I have, however worked a lot of jobs dealing with people of all walks of life. The most challenging one was as a clerk at a 7-11 when I was barely 18. I currently work in government and have also had my fair share of people cursing me out, etc. From this alone, I have so much empathy for the folks who take on a job in the service industry. I ALWAYS tip a minimum of 15% and higher if the service is great. I have no issue with paying 18% added for a big party. I expect it in fact. It’s a common practice for goodness sake! I will even get out my phone that has a tip calculator on it just to make sure I’m tipping correctly. I have had plenty of friends and family who have worked in the restaurant field and I’ve heard the horror stories. Here in Vegas, I hear lots of tipping stories from those who work in the casinos (I used to work in one myself) …from the cocktail waitresses to the dealers to the front desk. It’s true it always seems like the rich folks are cheap but there are exceptions to the rule. There are some pretty big VIP’s here who treat the staff great. Then there are those who throw around the arguments and the “Don’t you know who I am?” angle. Ben Affleck is one who is famous for tipping well and treating staff in a pretty fantastic way. I won’t mention the a-holes but you can probably guess who they are (a certain ex of Affleck’s??? hmmmm) I think it’s awesome that the waitress exposed this so called person of the Lord for being a mean cheapskate. Too bad she got fired, hopefully she found another job right away at a better restaurant.

    • Izzy says:

      Ginger, if the Affl-ex you’re referring to is Jennifer Lopez, then you are spot on. I had to deal with her and her entourage once in a customer service situation. They were all a**holes.

  39. Riana says:

    Not sure if I said it above but the pastor is a jerk, that being said the waitress deserves to be fired. If you want to complain about the pastor that’s fine. The second you or your buddy take a photo of a receipt with someone’s personal info and post it online you don’t deserve your job anymore.

    If you chose waitressing as a career then that’s the breaks, it sucks sometimes, just like every other career has it’s degree of suck. Grow up and don’t use the internet as your way of dealing with frustration.

    • Bijlee says:

      Agreed. Don’t post personal info. It’s not that hard to do.mshe deserved to get fired for that no matter how much of an a hole the pastor is.

    • hoopjumper says:

      Totally honest question: where do you see personal info on the photo of the receipt? The photo here has the merchant ID and the word “Pastor” but I’m not sure that counts. Or maybe I’m missing something? Is the version on reddit less discreet?

      Basically, I think what this waitress did was awesome and want to keep thinking it’s awesome. But maybe I can’t.

      • holly hobby says:

        Exactly. I didn’t even know this was an Applebees until after they fired the waitress and that “Pastor” did her boo hoo hoo interviews.

      • KC says:

        There are pictures out there with the pastor’s full name pictured. On Reddit you could see the signature in the thumbnail, but not the full sized version. If the waitress was going to post it she should have just cropped the name out like everyone else did.

        That being said: I still can’t read the pastor’s first name and when the waitress posted it to Reditt she captioned it: “My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries” so she did disguise the fact that the pastor was female, thus helping obscure her identity.

        The Smoking Gun has a picture of the full receipt and a good breakdown of the whole thing.

  40. Ryan says:

    I round up to the next dollar after figuring the 20%, even if the service is less than stellar, if 20% is more than $5. If 20% is less than $5, I just leave $5. My mother was single with 4 kids and did some serving, so I know firsthand how important just a few dollars can be to someone.

  41. Rachel says:

    As a server at a place that does an 18% gratuity on parties of 6 or more, this is very common. Maybe not the snarky note but the resistance to the tip. Most people wont tip over the grat even though large parties are a lot more work. ESPECIALLY with children at the table. If the pastor went there regularly after church service as the article said then she was aware of the auto grat. It was probably also written on the menu somewhere. And splitting the check? That’s more work for the server too. Our place has a policy of no split check in parties over 12, although I’ll usually do it anyway to be nice. Unfortunately there are a lot of shitty tippers out there. If you aren’t going to tip your server that’s making $2.50/hr for the privilege of waiting on and cleaning up after you. Just stay home.

    • Kloops says:

      Just curious, but is resistance to the restaurant splitting the bill common? Admittedly, if our bill is fairly small (~$100-150) one of us will pick it up this time and someone else the next. However, 8 of us recently went out for dinner a nice steakhouse and the bill was $1800 – we asked for it to be divided into thirds and the server was fine about it. He didn’t even bat an eye. Just wondering if we committed an unknowing faux pas. Admittedly, I’d probably do it again bc I don’t make it a habit of picking up $1800 tabs but just curious bc in this electronic age it’s far easier when restaurants clearly divide up the bill.

  42. loma says:

    I think the pastor story is ridiculous. Wow, I hope she gets her coming.

    But that said I have to say in defense of Zuckerberg that just because he’s loaded doesn’t mean he should be over-charged and not be able to point it out. While I’m better off today than I was in my salad days that doesn’t mean someone who knows that I am doing well has the right to criticize me because I have the means to overlook a $5.00 misprint on a bill.

    A mistake is a mistake. I will point out if I’ve been overcharged just like I’ll point out if I’ve been undercharged.

    On the same note I hate when people criticize or judge celebs and wealthy figures for not showering their family members or friends with cash. I have family members that I would FEAR if they had access to large amounts of cash. My desire to be generous to certain family members is nonexistent because I know what they’re like as people.

  43. erika says:

    women bad tippers??? we’re the ones usually in service jobs, or had been…

    i hate HATE math and calculating so I just take 10% of the bill, let’s say that’s $2 for a $20 bill and then double it, that’s $4…20%.

    but i do add on if the service is super, especially carefull with my hairdresser…

    bad tipping can come back and bite you in the ass …remember folks can ten do nasty things to ya food…

    proof a gain that zuck is socially inept

  44. The Original Mia says:

    I don’t fault him for contesting something he didn’t order. I do fault him for being a cheapskate. I’m broke as hell, but when I go out I tip.

    The pastor is an awful woman and hypocrite, who isn’t living the bible she preaches. Her flock of 15 should find another church and soon.

    • EllenOlenska says:

      I suspect her flock of fifteen are comprised of the nine people she was eating with…spending their tithed 10% for her meal.

  45. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Well, he gave his finacee a cheap-ass CrackerJack box engagement ring, so this isn’t new. Everything I ever hear about him confirms he’s a real jerk. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to marry him except for his money. And he probably thinks the same thing, which is why he treated his wife to a cheap ring. What miserable people.

    • holly hobby says:

      I doubt she will get anything in the event of a divorce because he married her after the FB IPO. She also bought an off the rack dress and they got married at their home.

      Nope he sure didn’t let her spend the millions.

  46. Kay says:

    Ok, just saying, not wanting to pay for something that’s you didn’t order/use isn’t cheap. If you have items on your bill you didn’t use and you don’t ask them to remove it you’re an idiot, not generous. I don’t care
    If you’re a millionaire or have $5, it’s stupid. Jesus, I could not live in the u.s. 20% tip all te time sounds like a nightmare. Every time I go to the u.s I freak out I’m going to under/over tip. Even cab drivers! In Australia people my age (students) don’t tip waitresses, let alone can drivers.

    • cynicalsmirk says:

      Well, I’m about to make a lot of enemies amongst the wait-staff readers here, but I’ll say it anyway…It’s not my obligation to augument your wages. A tip is that – an appreciation for good service. If you don’t like your pay scale, you could investigate changing your job, as we all have to do. If Igo to a restaurant and I get attentive service, I leave a tip. If I don’t, and I’m not a demanding customer, I don’t. My job is low -paying and tips are not part of the picture. If they were I’d get lots, because I’m very good at customer service. As to the soda charges – well, I wouldn’t pay for something I didn’t order. Who would? Just because this guy has lots of money doesn’t mean he should get stiffed. Should he have to pay for a shirt he didn’t buy at a retail establishment just because he can afford it? Concerning the “pastor” – I don’t think I’ve ever met a bigger hypocrite than a holier than thou “Christian”…few who subscribe to the do-unto-others axiom they purport to embrace. No surprise there.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Alright, I suppose. But by that extension, shouldn’t that mean that waitstaff aren’t obligated to care if your job is low-paying because the restaurant industry operates differently from other ones and another person’s low income isn’t an argument for having to amend their ‘culture’, as it were? I’m not King Midas or anything, but you seem reasonable enough to at least accept that invites a similarly steely-eyed response from that with which you take issue, that’s all I mean. I’m not a fighter, I’m a bystander in conflicts when they don’t exist.

  47. lucy2 says:

    Places that do an automatic gratuity print that right on the menus – if you don’t agree with the policy, don’t eat there. That “pastor” is terrible.

    As for MZ – I don’t see an issue with checking the bill and getting an error corrected, no matter who you are, but beyond that there’s no excuse for being a cheap tipper – unless service was bad.

  48. Kayla says:

    I always tip 20% at restaurants. I think if you can’t afford to tip you should cook your own food or eat fast food. That being said I don’t tip 20% for getting my haircut or a massage. It’s too expensive and I don’t think they rely on tips like waiters/waitresses do. If I get an hour massage for let’s say $100, I’m not giving the masseuse $20 extra bc she already gets paid $100 an hour.

    • Accountant says:

      Actually, if the masseuse works for a big salon, she doesn’t get the $100/hour, she’s lucky if she gets $15. The big chains (Juut in the Twin Cities where I live) really stiff their workers.

    • Kloops says:

      It’s hard to imagine anyone gets as screwed as servers, but absolutely other members of the service industry rely on tips as well. I factor in another 20% there as well. Personally, I wish all taxes and tips were incorporated into the sticker price but I know that I’m in the minority. (and probably for good reason – an economist I am not)

  49. Chelsea's handler says:

    This pretty much covers everything you need to know about tipping:

    Also, if you take care of the small money the big money takes care of itself. At the end of the day the world is a market place and it’s all about buying things and selling them with an extra zero or two on the end of them.

  50. KC says:

    “Mark strikes me as the kind of Bill Gates-like geek who just loves numbers and he’s probably at his happiest when he’s doing a line-by-line analysis of his bill. That’s probably the best part of his day.”

    Just because he loves numbers doesn’t mean he needs to be a jerk. He could be extra nerdy and give each item a different percentage tip. The steak was excellent, I’m going to tip 40% of that cost; the drink was weak so that only gets 8%; etc.

    That statement is assuming that he was complain that the soda was $5, not that the soda was incorrectly added. He can complain about things that he didn’t actually order.

  51. Mario says:

    Someone should start a petition on to get that waitress rehired and for AppleBee’s to publicly apologize.

  52. Lucrezia says:

    I thought the mandatory 18% for groups was to counteract people skimping on tips because they felt more anonymous in the group. But a lot of you are saying large parties are more work.

    I’ve never been a waitress, so I’m probably missing something … but I don’t make any more mess when I’m eating with 5 others than I do when I’m eating with 1. If anything, it’d be LESS work, since my friends and I would all order new drinks at the same time (which’d mean fewer trips than if we were each sitting alone).

    So, apart from bill-splitting dramas, what makes it more work than the same number of people sitting separately?

  53. dd says:

    In the US tips are part of your food costs, period. You are given the option to reduce the tip to protest bad service. It is not optional to not tip just because you’re cheap. That’s called being a low life jerk. It’s stealing. The tip is part of the cost. Period. And it’s 20% now. Geez.

  54. cynicalsmirk says:

    Not trying to be argumentative, just trying to clarify – I’m not sure I understand what you mean by having to amend my culture. I’ve no doubt that any service staff I encounter gives a diddly squat what my income is, and I don’t think they should. If I choose to enter their establishment, the price on the menu is obviously the same for me as it would be for someone more well-heeled. If you work in a service industry and the amount of tips you receive are reliant on providing good service, then provide it and they will be recieved. However, I should not have to be obligated to tip a server who has spent the whole I’ve been in their workplace flirting at the bar and ignoring myself and their other customers. That’s not fair.

  55. Anna says:

    I find waitstaff at restaurants today (and I mean the upscale ones) so bad, so rude, so phoney, so unprofessional that quite frankly, most servers are lucky they get any tip. I prefer the old-school waiters who didn’t have to make a personality-contest out of the whole thing nor who acted resentful because they were doing the job they ACCEPTED. All the whiney waitresses on here should take note.

    • Cait says:

      Wow, you sound like a joy to be around…

    • Kate says:

      Honestly, most people I encounter are lovely. Most people in general are, I find, warm, friendly and kind. The odd grouch doesn’t alter that, and if anything people in the service industry are more so than most, because they deal with so many rude and ungracious customers that they appreciate those who are polite and appreciative of their efforts.

      If most people you encounter are rude or standoffish or seem to you to be whiny, then perhaps you might want to look at how you are being to them yourself? I think you tend to get what you put out in most situations.

  56. Anonimo says:

    Zuckerberg went to an event at an upscale place where my friends work last year and tipped the valet guy $1. True story.

  57. Cooie says:

    I’m so baffled about this whole tipping thing. I don’t get it. Why are customers forced to pay tips? We don’t do that in Australia. The employee is taken care of by their employer…not the customer. It’s ludicrous. We pay for our food and GST. Full stop. That’s how it should be. Customers didn’t hire the people that work in the restaurant. Why is it their responsibility make sure they are paid accordingly?

    • Anon says:

      Thank you @kate. i agree with you.
      At least in the States, the min. wage is maybe $7.25 an hour, if that. It is not really a livable wage esp. certain areas. So, I do not begrudge tipping a server at coffee houses or at a restaurant. I tend to tip between 15 to 20% even if the service wasn’t great or i leave a dollar in the tip jar at a coffeehouse.
      Years ago I worked in a fast food establishment and people can be quite awful to those behind counter. It’s like the servers are not there and suddenly can’t hear the rude things the customer says right in front of the server. I can understand if a waiter or server is having a bad/ off day. It isn’t easy to be happy and courteous no matter how you were just treated. Not an easy way to make a living….

      So just tip even if you don’t agree w/ the custom.

    • Caroline says:

      Servers at some restaurants don’t even take home the tips, management takes them.
      It’s apparently the norm in North America so I do pay a 20% tip here generally
      However, recently when I ordered a pizza delivery ~$19 and gave 25 to the delivery guy, he didn’t even bother to offer me any change ! Just took it for granted that I should pay a 30%+ tip!!