Members of a popular internet forum were quick to call out one man who explained why he left a $0 tip at a restaurant he and his wife visit frequently.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, 33-year-old Redditor u/goseahawks4ever2020 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said his 34-year-old wife was recently unable to purchase alcohol at the restaurant and detailed the petty aftermath of the couple’s decision to share a drink instead.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for leaving a $0 tip at a restaurant,” the viral post has received nearly 5,500 votes and 4,500 comments in the last day.
Beginning with the explanation that his wife forgot to bring her ID to the restaurant, the original poster said she was refused alcohol as a result. Assuring that he had no problem with this, the original poster also said that his wife took a few “discreet” sips of his alcoholic beverage, but never in sight of any restaurant staff—or so he thought.
When the original poster attempted to order his second drink of the night, he was outright denied.
“The server refuses to give me another drink because he says we are sharing drinks and [they are] watching our table like we are little kids,” OP wrote. “Mind you, the whole time he sets people up in the restaurant to police us and watch our table when he can’t.”
“I have no problem with them not serving my wife because yes, the law says no drinks if you don’t have ID, but you deny me, a grown, 33-year-old man with a wedding ring on a second drink?” he continued. “Even if the liquor board is there…they’re not going to make a fuss if someone has a sip who is obviously over 21.”
“[It’s] none of your business what happens at our table. You’re not top-flight security,” he added. “[I] left a $0 tip.”
Tipping etiquette, especially when it comes to restaurants, is one of the most widely-debated topics on the internet.
While some traditionalists refuse to tip at all, others insist on tipping at least 20 percent of a meal’s cost, no matter the quality of service.
On multiple occasions, Newsweek has reported on restaurant customers playing “cruel” tip games with waitstaff in which dollar bills are laid on the table and either left as gratuity or taken away based on the patron’s satisfaction, or lack thereof.
Table Agent, a cloud-based restaurant reservation system, recommends tipping servers and other waitstaff between 15 and 20 percent, based on the level of service received. It does not recommend, however, skipping out on leaving a tip altogether, even in response to poor service.
“If you received poor service, it is better to talk to the manager than skip on the tip,” the Table Agent website reads. “Leaving no tip does not correct the problem of poor service.”
In addition, in many states, the minimum wage is reduced for jobs where tipping is common. While some states like California, Oregon and Washington have the same minimum wage for tipped and non-tipped employees, in states like North Carolina, Georgia and Indiana, the minimum wage for tipped employees can be as low as $2.13 per hour.
In the case of the original poster, Redditors commenting on the viral post were adamant the restaurant was justified to deny him another alcoholic beverage and warned of future consequences resulting from his refusal to tip.
“[You’re the a**hole],” Redditor u/depressed_panda81 wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received more than 17,000 votes.
“Alcohol laws are strict and businesses can lose their license over people like you,” they added. “Then you leave no tip for someone making 3 dollars an hour because your wife forgot her ID.”
Redditor u/rainyreminder, whose response has received nearly 5,000 votes, echoed that sentiment.
“[You’re the a**hole]. If you forget your ID, you cannot drink,” they commented. “Your wife forgot her ID. You should have either gone back for it or not ordered drinks. The restaurant could lose its liquor license for serving you without an ID.”
“I wouldn’t go back to that restaurant, [by the way],” they added. “You made a fuss over your mistake and then didn’t tip.”
In a separate comment, which has received more than 2,500 votes, Redditor u/jpmg2k responded to the original poster’s statement that it was “none of [the restaurant’s] business” what happened at his table and offered a piece of stern advice.
“It actually is their business what happens at your table with the alcohol they served you,” they wrote. “The only person to blame for your wife forgetting her ID is her.”
“You decided not to tip because they were following the law,” they added. “Grow up. Learn to face the consequences of your own actions.”