If you can’t afford to tip appropriately you probably shouldn’t be eating out! Well, these cheap pricks certainly didn’t get the memo. These folks share the stingiest thing they’ve seen a diner do to avoid the check.
The Elephant In The Room
“I have so many stories to tell that I’m starting to see this behavior as an epidemic. Maybe a psychologist should do a study on what causes it. Anyway, I’ll just give you one from my personal hall of fame.
My husband and I and his family all went to a restaurant to celebrate my stepkids’ high school graduation. My husband’s family was seated at one long table. There were maybe 12 of us. My husband’s ex-wife and her family were seated at another long table on the other side of the restaurant. There was some visiting back and forth between our tables, especially with all the kids and cousins.
We all ordered our food and the meals started to come. I noticed that my husband’s ex-wife’s mother and one of her grandchildren from one of her other children remained at our table. The servers kept bringing the meals and I noticed that they brought meals for the ex-wife’s two family members. I’m thinking, That’s odd. I assumed they would go back to their table to eat. Nobody asked for separate checks, so we were all splitting the check. I thought, Well I guess they will just chip in with us. The ex’s mom was not in conversation with anyone at our table, so that struck me as odd. Why eat with us when it seems like it would be more comfortable to eat with your own family?
My FIL is sitting next to me and I glance over at him and he is lasered in on this woman! I thought, Uh oh, he knows her personality, I don’t, and this looks like it’s going to be a problem. I’m still hoping she’s going to get up and leave money for the two meals they ate. As you guessed, they finished eating, got up, and walked away. Everyone at our table was still talking, so it takes a while for the bill to come.
The unspoken issue here is that there was some bad blood between the adults in the two families at the time. We agreed to come together at the restaurant so my stepkids and their cousins could celebrate graduation together. I did not even want to go because it was so uncomfortable. So, it definitely would have been awkward to walk over to their table and ask about the unpaid meals. That made it even stranger that she sat at our table to eat.
The server finally brings the bill. Everyone passes it around the table, adds up their share, and puts in cash. No one seems to have noticed the problem yet, outside of my FIL and me. The bill comes our way and my FIL finally addresses the elephant in the room and says to me, I’m not paying for them. So, yeah, he noticed me looking at the same problem earlier.
We add up our damages and put in our money. The server collects the money. She comes back and announces the shortage. Everybody starts defending that they paid for their share. Nobody mentions the interlopers. Nobody has any solution or is offering to pay. My FIL finally mentions the two people who ate and left. The server huffs and walks off.
My BIL starts reviewing the big long bill and what they ordered and how much money they pitched in. I noticed that he didn’t count the tax and his idea of a tip was low. Then, the check was passed to my oldest stepdaughter and her husband. They did something similar where they didn’t ‘really’ pay their fair share. They pitched in a few extra dollars. It was all dragging on, everybody was doing some form of cheapness over taxes and tips, the server was escalating her frustration, and it was a very embarrassing situation to me. I had never been to this one before. I’m thinking, Does the restaurant call the police or does the server just take a hit? What happens?
When the bill returned to me, I looked at it, picked up the pile of cash, put it in my purse, and handed the server my credit card to pay the whole thing. I gave her a decent tip. Now, I did not do this to be some benevolent hero. The server was still really mad and grabbed my card and came back still mad like we were all idiots. I did it because I was totally embarrassed and angry to be put in such a ridiculous, low-class, predicament. I just wanted to get out of there and nobody else was going to pay.
I have many other hideous stories about splitting checks so, as a rule, I do not split checks anymore. There is apparently some unidentified mental illness attached to splitting checks.”
Cheap Boys Are A Dime A Dozen
“When I was in my early 20s, I drove 11 hours one way to visit my boyfriend. He was in his mid-20s and lived with his mom. Since I was not allowed to eat any of the food in their home, I brought a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter to keep in my car so I could eat sandwiches. At the time, I was a stereotypical poor college student so I couldn’t afford to eat out for three days.
One of those days my boyfriend asked me out to lunch at Subway. I know it’s not the fanciest place to take your girlfriend when she visits, but I’m fairly easygoing and welcomed a break from the PB sandwiches.
We went to Subway and both went through the line and ordered our food. I figured since he invited ME and I had gone through the trouble of making the trip to see him, surely he would pay for my lunch. It was literally less than $5 and he went out to more expensive restaurants with his mom all the time, so it’s not like he couldn’t afford it.
Well, nope! Not only did he not buy my lunch, but at the cash register, he informed me that he had NO money and that I needed to pay for HIS lunch in addition to mine! What a little prick! He’s lucky I even had my wallet. I think he waited until the cash register to tell me on purpose so it’d be too late to back out. In hindsight, I should have just paid for my food and left him to deal with his own consequences.
Fast forward 15 years and he still lives with his mother.”
A Battle of Wits And Patience
“This woman comes through the drive-thru and orders a meal and two sandwiches. Her total is $8.10. The time is 3 in the morning.
She pulls to the window and hands me $4 in dollar bills. Then she starts rooting through her purse for the rest. She apologizes and says she’s sorry, her wallet got stolen. I don’t say anything, but internally I sympathize. In college, I put my wallet down somewhere and walked off without it. It had my cash and ID (which had meal plan money on it). I had nothing to pay with and realized it right at that second, and the cash worker saw that and let me have it. Why didn’t I let her have it? She said it was stolen at work. meaning she knew what she had before she pulled into my drive-thru. Then she says she hopes she isn’t holding up my line because she wasn’t going anywhere until she paid it all. She manages to scrape up another dollar bill.
Oh its going to be like that, eh? Challenge accepted.
Three minutes have gone by at that point. A car comes up behind and orders a drink. no problem. But she’s waiting behind this one woman who can’t find her money. By this time she has enough to pay for the meal. I tell her this. No, she insists, she has to have the entire thing. .50 cents and another minute go by. She asks if there’s anything I can do. I tell her no, I offered her a solution and she didn’t take it. A quarter, two dimes, and a nickel appear and another minute elapses. Since she won’t move and insists on paying for what she ordered, I can see where this is going. I tell my guy in front who hands out the food to go out the back door and give the second car her drink. He does that and gets her money. I ring that order out, the second car drives off. The lady at my window starts complaining that she spent her day wiping butts and how bad it was she couldn’t pay for her food. I say nothing. Seven minutes have elapsed.
Now, this lady is digging through her console for change and comes out with a dollar in coins. Then she starts asking me how much more she needs. So I tell her. Digging continues. Now she’s coming up with pennies. She’s coming to her endgame now: now she’s asking if I could comp the rest, ‘For all the times I ask for extra sauce and it isn’t there or when I ask for cheese on my chicken sandwich and it isn’t there?’
I tell her no. For you nonretailers out there, here’s why: even if we had that capability of comping for condiments, my drawer would still be short. Most places have a strict limit on how much more or little your drawer can be. Some limits are as tight as +/- $.50. others are as wide as $2.
This would have put me down a dollar. Also, employees are NOT supposed to put their own money to pay for customers’ orders. Some do it anyway. I don’t have that kind of walking around money, plus I could tell this woman was going to do everything she could to not pay. I hate people insulting my intelligence and I was not going to help her monetarily in any way. she asks for the manager. I tell her I’m the manager. She wants my name. I give it to her. There’s nothing I can do? I tell her no. Resignedly she sighs and reaches to grab an unwrinkled dollar in plain sight. I take the bill and hand her the extra unneeded change 9.5 minutes after she pulled to my window.
This loser wishes she had my patience.”
The Old Man Wasn’t Fooling Anybody!
“My grandfather thought that he was the most brilliant person in the world.
He had a lot of money, but most people wouldn’t know that because he was extremely cheap and proud of it. He called it ‘sticking it to the man.’
One of his favorite pastimes was to steal condiments and saltine crackers from restaurants. He had a drawer full of them at his house, and would often make meals out of them.
When he felt like he needed new silverware, he would steal forks, spoons, and knives. I once even spotted him stealing a small plate and a salt and pepper shaker.
However, the pettiest thing he ever did occurred at restaurant buffets.
My grandfather was a veteran of the Navy and enjoyed going to a restaurant called The Old Country Buffet because they served American food and he got a military discount.
He knew everyone there by name and had a favorite booth that was often reserved for him.
Not content to pay only for the food he ate at the buffet, he would also often steal small amounts of food in between plates. It was usually a meat product like roast beef or London broil, although he would also sometimes steal food that my brother and I liked, as a ‘gift.’
He had a whole routine for this.
It usually started as a furtive glance at the wait staff.
Then, he would become quiet.
When the coast was clear, he would place a cloth napkin over his plate, gather his food, fold it up neatly, and place it in his pocket.
At other times, he would place them in my backpack, in order to avoid arousing suspicion and get more food.
When we got home, he would take the contents of the napkins, put them in a Ziploc bag, and place them in the refrigerator or freezer.
I always thought that my grandfather was extremely crafty and had gotten away with the stealing.
However, after he died, his girlfriend visited the restaurant and spoke to the management. She confessed his penchant for stealing food from there.
The manager laughed long and hard at this, then told her that everyone at the buffet had always known that he’d been stealing.
They’d just let him because he was there so often and was so nice to everyone that they didn’t mind letting him do it.”
Welcome To Chili’s!
“I used to work at a Chili’s. If you sat in the bar area you got ‘Free’ Chips and Salsa.
Technically, they weren’t Free, you got 1 bowl with each entree purchased. But typically the bar had parties of two or four and most people don’t outeat their entrees so it was never really an issue (Plus it was only like 99 cents extra if you purchased an entree and wanted an extra bowl, $4.99 for chips and salsa w/o an entree).
This lady comes in 1 day with her 4 children. She had to have been about 250 pounds. She orders water for everyone and chips. They devour the first plate, I bring a second, they devour that, I bring a third.
I ask if I can take an order, and she tells me they’re waiting for some more people. At this point, I know something’s up and while I’m in the back, I see her kids stuffing chips into Ziplock bags.
I had to have brought out something like 10 refills on the chips before they tried to leave.
My manager intercepted them before they got up and dropped a ~$50 bill on their table. (Each bowl was $4.99)
She started complaining that chips and salsa were free. He called her out on the ziplock bags.
Long story short, she had no money on her, cops got called, she got arrested (Or at the very least led out of the restaurant).
Didn’t honor her nonsense, never saw her again.”
Drive Safe Ya’ll
“I wasn’t offended but my parents were very hurt by what we overheard.
sorry if there is some spelling or grammatical errors. It’s five in the morning when I’m typing this.
Here’s some backstory: Back when I was in high school my older sister was killed by an inebriated driver in a car crash. My sister and two other people were killed because a man that was two times the legal limit ran a red light going 90 mph in a 45 mph zone and T-boned the car my sister was in.
Of course, I grieved for a long time, but my parents were absolutely inconsolable for months. Our family dynamic and way of life completely shifted. My father didn’t go back to work for months and I didn’t go back to school until the next semester started about a month and a half later. My parents and I were home all of the time but we spent less time together as a family than ever. But even after the worst tragedies, things do go back to normal after a while. Or a new normal, at least. It had been a few months since my sister died and my parents and I decided to go to our favorite Italian restaurant close to our house. We had been semi-regulars at that restaurant before my sister died. Because of that, some waitstaff still recognized us and I guess some had seen my sister on the news after the crash so we were treated especially well. At least it seemed like that in my head.
Anyway, my parents and I were actually having a pretty good time. We were joking around and just felt normal. There was a small group of four particularly loud people seated at the table next to us but we tried to ignore them as best as we could. Towards the middle of our meal, we can’t help but overhear these people loudly joking about driving under the influence and sharing their stories about recent experiences where they drove while highly buzzed. After a while of listening to this, my parents both got very emotional and my dad had to go and sit in the car without finishing his meal so he wouldn’t cry in public. My mother was very upset so I sent her to go wait in the car also, telling her I’d cover the bill. Once my parents were out of the restaurant, I flagged down our waiter and asked for a bill. He could tell something was wrong so he kindly and quickly brought the bill.
Once I had paid, I got up from my seat and walked A few feet over to the table filled with the pricks who had made my parents cry. I loudly told them that they were joking around very loudly about something that had just killed my older sister and that my sweet old parents had to leave because they were overcome with grief. I also mentioned that while they had no way of knowing what had happened to my family, nobody in their right mind should be joking around that loudly about something they should be embarrassed and ashamed of in public.
I wasn’t yelling but I was definitely talking loud enough to catch some of the staff and surrounding tables’ attention. Some people were giving me dirty looks for interrupting their meal, but many more were giving dirty looks to the people at that table. And before any of you comment that I was immature with how I handled things, I probably was. I was 16 at the time and I would probably handle it differently now. But I’m proud of myself still for standing up for my parents.
Drive safe y’all”
The Jig Is Up!
“I knew this guy I worked with that would take cheap to new heights that I couldn’t have imagined. We had several couples that would use snowmobiles in the winter and boats in the summer to do some bar hopping, catch lunch, or dinner.
On several occasions he would disappear when it was his turn to buy around, going to the restroom, and claiming he had bought an earlier round.
He would say that it was time to go when it was his turn to buy or try to bring out the dice cup and suggest we all shake for the next round.
He never had his boat or snowmobile ready, and often needed someone else’s parts to get back home.
Needless to say, he was quick to complain about the meals, just trying to get a discounted price.
Jiggs was so cheap he made his girlfriend pay for half the meals and gas.
When quizzed about not ever leaving a tip, he would act like you were insulting him, get mad and storm out of the establishment, you guessed it, you were left with the bill.
His girlfriend finally saw the light after getting a friendship ring that looked like it came from a carnival boardwalk game, several times she covered for him out of embarrassment.
Finally, after two years of putting up with this guy, we all had enough, so when he got up to evade paying for dinner and dropped his wallet on the way to the restroom.
We being five guys on this trip, designated him to pay for all the dinners and drinks, along with a sizeable tip. Knowing that he was camped out again in the restroom to avoid payment, we informed the staff that he was an escapee from the local mental health clinic and left.
He never called to come along again, imagine that!”
The Leech Lady
“My ex-wife had a ‘friend’ that was a real piece of work. She had a decent job and made good money. The problem was she was cheap, and an opportunist. When she would go out with the girls, she would pull any trick she could to weasel out of paying for her share.
This was in my trucking days, many years ago. I was home for a few days. I wanted to go to dinner with my wife at the time. The leech, as I call her, just drops in unexpectedly. She was good at this. I announced that we were planning to go grab some dinner and a few drinks. The leech says sounds great and invites herself along. Against my better judgment, I let her.
We all piled into my pickup and I drove us to a nice little bar and grill in town. They had a great all-you-can-eat fish fry on Fridays that I enjoyed. My wife at the time was not a big fish eater, but she would have a burger or some appetizer. Well, the leech sits her butt down.
Before the menus come she decides what we’re gonna order. She says, ‘Charlie, you always order the all-you-can-eat fish, so you get that and I can share with you. Michelle, why don’t you order the sampler platter, and I can nibble on that. How would that be?’ I lost my cool. I said, ‘It don’t work that way. You don’t share an all-you-can-eat item. It’s all I can eat, not all you and I can eat. Here’s how it’s going to go down. I’m having the fish. Michelle is getting what she wants. You’re welcome to order your own food and drinks, and put them on a separate check.’ That’s exactly how it went down. She did skimp on the tip though. Needless to say, she never invited herself out with us again. She did go and tell everyone what a prick I was.”
This Would Make Me So Mad
“In college, I was a server at a chain restaurant. The store’s policy was parties of eight or more have a 15% gratuity added. After you factor out the 3% tip out at the end of the shift, unless a party tips more, the server would only get 12%.
One day, a party of 18 people was put in my section. Since they used every table in my section, they were all I had for almost the entire shift. Almost all ordered lemonade from the bar which was $1.99 without refills, then paid for each refill. The menu wasn’t very expensive; I believe everything was under $20. After they ate, they continued to camp, making it so I couldn’t flip the tables.
When I brought the checks out, out of the 18 people 16 complained about the gratuity. Mind you, it was on a sign in the lobby as well as on the menu. They were causing a scene about this added percentage. My manager came over and tried reasoning with them. ‘Did your waiter not provide good service?’ They all assured her that I had been amazing. Why not tip? They didn’t want to be forced to pay a gratuity.
My manager couldn’t/wouldn’t enforce the gratuity being charged. The customers who paid cash did so by paying the total before gratuity. The ones who paid by card wrote the final amount as before gratuity so that we couldn’t add it on. I received less than $5 for this party.
Due to the tip out, I was negative for that day. It cost me money that day to serve them. I lost it. I was getting taxed for money I didn’t earn. I walked out of the side of the store and just lit up a cig (BIG cooperate no-no). My manager came out and tried to make me feel better, but I was not having it. She realized that she could have comped a meal or two from people that paid cash so I wouldn’t have lost money, but at that point, it was too late since the ticket had been closed.
I don’t know if customers in restaurants in America don’t realize that most of the servers have to pay tip-outs to the bartenders/busboys/barbacks, etc or they are cheap. Servers only get paid around $2.50 an hour and are dependent upon tips. If you cannot afford to tip, go to the grocery store, buy a steak, and cook it at home.”