I work at a casual restaurant/bar in Texas. We do karaoke several nights a week and live music on Saturday nights. We are what I call the unofficial service industry spot in our area because of the fact that we stay open until 2 am every night, whereas most places nearby close between 9 pm and midnight on the slow nights, resulting in good late night traffic from servers from other restaurants.
Most of these people are tired but friendly and understanding, and good tippers – the fact that we offer discounted drink prices to people in the industry helps. However, yesterday at the bar we had two servers from a fine dining restaurant sit at the bar for several hours, ordering discounted beer and shots. When the time came for the tab ($34), one of them pushed the checkbook right back at me and said “this is supposed to have industry pricing.”
I couldn’t believe it. We’re talking about a tab that could have easily been $75 or $80, but not only is thirty dollars too pricey, you practically DEMAND industry pricing from me? It’s called server appreciation dude; it’s not at all a requirement that I give you a discount.
I tell him that it is already priced at the industry rate and he says okay. Pays with two twenties. I don’t know about anyone else, but six dollars doesn’t seem a satisfactory tip when you’ve been given multiple heavy pours at essentially half price. So I put six dollars in the checkbook, return it, and say “you guys have a good one.” Then I stand back with my coworker as this guy takes the six dollars, puts it in his pocket, and leaves.
No tip at all? Seriously? Not five dollars, which I would have expected for a bare minimum, not three dollars, not even a “hey man, it was slow tonight and money’s tight. Is it cool if I tip you next time?”
I would’ve completely understood that; we all have bills to pay and my regular industry customers are always good for it. But for a stranger to tell me his drinks aren’t already cheap enough AND not tip seems downright disrespectful.
Is it common for people in the industry not to tip other people in the industry, especially when they’ve declared themselves as servers and knowingly received cheaper drinks?