Bad Tipper Sites Leave Everyone Bitter

Julie Ryan Evans

restaurant receiptFor years, the biggest fear of restaurant server retaliation was having one of them do something unseemly to your food if you were rude, too picky when ordering, or they otherwise found you annoying. Now servers are getting even more aggressive and taking out their disdain for bad tippers by outing them on the web. Bad tippers beware, you may be publicly busted.

First, we heard of a blog in New York that outs bad tippers on delivery service. Then I read about a waitress in Memphis who is taking to Facebook to turn the tables on bad tippers in the restaurant in which she works. Megan Humphrey posts the receipts with the customers' names and the abysmal or all together missing gratuity. More similar sites are sure to follow as the age-old server vs. patron war rages on with the help of social media. But will it help anyone?

On one hand, it's really only fair that servers finally have the means to fight back against bad tippers. For years customers and food critics have wielded the power to blast restaurants and their servers for sub-par food and service. Even without formal reviews, word of mouth is pretty powerful, as is a word to someone's boss about their lack of performance.

The only recourse a server had after being stiffed on a bill was to ... curse, unless the customer came back to the restaurant, then, watch out. So it only makes sense that the hostility is spilling out and making them call out bad customers publicly given the means. But such fear tactics are likely to just make things worse.

Tips are also called gratuity for a reason -- we're supposed to give them based on how grateful we feel for the service provided. While I understand most servers make barely more than minimum wage and survive off of tips, that doesn't change the intention of a tip. Not even the most generous tipper wants to feel like a tip is a requirement.

Perhaps restaurant wages need to be re-looked at, but that's another argument for another day. As tips stand today, customers can and should be able to tip based on the level service they received.

Of course, determining what an appropriate level of service is can be subjective, and therefore problematic. Sure there are jerks who just don't want to cough up the cash no matter what service is offered, but as cheap and wrong as it may be, they aren't required to tip. And honestly, those kinds of people could probably care less if they end up on some website.

Outing bad tippers online is just going to throw more fuel on the fire between customer and server and isn't going to do much other than to leave a bitter taste in everyone's mouth.

What do think of servers outing bad tippers online?

Image via loculsolus/Flickr

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