AITAH I Didn’t Leave A Tip For $100 Meal
Went out to restaurant with my gf. I got a coffee. We both got an app, and a meal. The waitress was fairly nice and refilled water when it got low.
I hadn’t paid much attention to how much we spent until the bill arrived and realized we had spent $108.77. I’ve been taught to always leave a minimum tip of 20% or more when you can afford to as a courtesy to the waiter/waitress. My comfort level is under $70, so I usually only get meals around $50 so I can leave a $10 tip.
My GF is broke trying to deal with her issues and I’ve been helping her out and trying to take her out and show her a good time to get her mind off things. I planned to pay and wasn’t gonna ask her to cover tip, but I didn’t want to spend an extra $21 on top of an already expensive meal out so I just paid the bill.
As we left, the Waitress came outside the restaurant to chase us down. (We assumed we dropped or forgot something). She asked if she did anything wrong. We were confused and said “no why?” She told us that we didn’t leave a tip, that she “was a waitress who made money off tips” and that it was how she made a living.
I apologized saying that I hadn’t intended to offend and that she did a fine job.
I explained that I was lacking attentiveness to the amount I would comfortably pay so I made a judgment call to not leave the tip. She was clearly furious underneath her smile trying to keep calm.
I live in America so I’m generally used to the concept that it’s how waitresses get decent pay. I understand not everyone has the privelage of a job that pays well. I don’t know her financial situation or personal issues. It might be the only thing giving her stability in her life.
I did feel offended/hurt that she came out to berate us for being cheap, but it was my mistake for not paying attention to how much I spent and my choice to not tip based on that mistake. I could’ve afforded the extra $21, but I was uncomfortable with spending over my normal limit. My gf was a waitress at one point and understands her position and still feels she was rude for it, but I feel like TA and want people’s opinions.
— Edit: I am unequivocally TA here. I am planning to go back and apologize and give the proper tip. I know it doesn’t change my choice or behavior. I had plenty of things I could’ve done better. If anyone else who does serve, I apologize to you as well. feel free to tell me any of your stories for some insight into the serving industry, I don’t need it to know I’m the AH but clearly I lack understanding.