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Not Always Grateful For Automatic Gratuity

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Legxci | October 22, 2022

I work at a seafood restaurant, and we’re known for big seafood boils, but we’re a small kind of hidden gem restaurant.

This happened a while back, and I still remember the incident six months later.

I have about four tables at the moment, and I am managing pretty easily until I am given a table of eight grown adults. They are all super nice and very chatty. Everyone orders their own seafood boils and has some alcoholic drinks from the bar.

About an hour and a half in, one of the guys at the table stops me.

Guy: “Let’s do a round of shots for everyone, but I’m going going to pay for four of my family members.”

I proceed to send the ticket in. The mom of the table says she is only going to pay for her son’s shot (he is sitting next to her) and her own shot, so now I’ve placed an order for six out of eight, and the other two meekly stated that they’ll pay for their own.

This is where everything goes downhill. The mother’s bill is well over $100, with about $15 of gratuity for me. The guy who pays for his own food but has a good amount of drinks on his tab has about $7 of gratuity, and everyone else has less than that.

I walk over with tickets. They’re all very confusing because everyone is paying for at least one thing that someone else ordered. Then, the mom sees her total.

I thought nothing of it since she was paying for her grown son, and they both had roughly five drinks alone on the ticket. She looks at me and yells:

Mom: “I can’t pay for this! I only brought enough money for the food we came to eat, and I can’t pay for the gratuity.”

After going back and forth for a few minutes, I have to keep explaining to her that the tip will go toward me for the service and that we do indeed have a sign saying that gratuity is added for bigger tables and for my time. She practically begs me to take it off.

At this point, everyone else’s eyes are glued to the bottom of their tickets, and they all start agreeing with her. I’m just standing there in shock because how does that even make sense? I am not that new to the restaurant, so I know I can take the gratuity off as the server of that table. I tell her this calmly while lowkey blooming with rage and embarrassment.

I grab her ticket, and of course, everyone else hands theirs back wanting their five dollars taken off. I sulk back to my managers.

Me: “My party of eight can’t pay the gratuity. Just take it off.”

This made one of my managers super angry; he was working as a host, and that same party of eight had tried showing up the previous night after we had closed and my manager had sent them away. The real kick in the balls was that he’d told them he would bring them the best server (me) if they showed up the next day, and that’s exactly what they did.

I wiped my hands of them and took care of my other tables while avoiding them as my manager confronted them, cashed them out, and sent them on their way.

Afterward, my manager approached me.

Manager: “The mom at your eight-top stated that you were a great server and they’d still leave you a tip. Here you go.”

It was $22 in cash, and honestly, since I didn’t care about the tip or them, I was grateful because I was so angry I was going to burst into tears.

I never saw them again and I hope I never do.

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