The guidelines for tipping in an American restaurant can be confusing for any first-time diner.
Waiters and managers in any restaurant are used to the confusion and have made it convenient by including tip suggestions on their checks. But, of course, there are still some diners who don’t care and will tip as if they don’t care.
And then there are times when diners will surprise you.
One waiter shared such a story.
This waiter served a group of teens who stopped for a meal before they went straight to their homecoming dance. Now, this waiter remembered when it was his age and he was going to his own homecoming dance. He made sure the teenagers had a good time even before they went on their way to the dance.
The teenagers finished their meal and paid their check. They asked for separate checks, which the waiter willingly did. They paid with cash and left with happy faces.
The waiter had a happy face, too.
He remembered good memories while he checked how much tip they left. The smile left his face as he realized the group of teenagers only left a $3.28 tip.
In almost any restaurant in the US, waiters rely on tips to add to their meager salary. Most waiters give great service so that they can earn the tips they receive.
And that’s what this waiter did.
He had thought they would have left a more appropriate tip since he made sure they had a good time. But there was nothing he could do about it and just dismissed it. He was used to teenagers being ungrateful or clueless.
So he was super surprised when he received a letter from the same group a week and a half later.
The group of teenagers left an envelope with an apology letter and money.
On the letter, they wrote:
“Dear Mr. Waiter, About a week and half ago, on October 7, my three friends and I came to eat at this restaurant as our own homecoming celebration. It was an exciting experience for us to be here alone, and it was all new to us. And you were the best waiter we could ask for. You were kind, helpful, accommodating, didn’t treat us like babies, and were even able to fit the food to all my allergies! So I wanted to thank you for making our “grown-up” experience so amazing and fun.”
“I would also like to say sorry on behalf of my group. Since we were new to all this, our 13-year-old minds didn’t exactly know how to deal with the bill. You were super helpful in dividing the check up and taking our not-so-preferable cash. The bill was reasonable, but we had completely forgotten (and frankly didn’t know) what a tip even was, let alone how much to give. So we emptied our pockets and all money added up to $3.28. “
“Not aware of how small this really was, we left, clueless of what we had left you for all your hard work. Later, we realized our mistake and felt HORRIBLE. We knew we had to make it right.”
“So in this envelope, you will find the correct 18% tip + extra for simply being amazing. We appreciate your help and patience and thank you for making our night fun. Thank you. – the four teenagers from that night”
It’s always great when people who have wronged you apologize and do what they can to make it right. And these kids definitely did that.
Want to learn more guidelines on how to tip appropriately in restaurants? Watch the video below.
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