Stop Taking Credit Card Vouchers

I know I must have written about this before, but it bears repeating. Why the fuckity fuck can’t people remember to leave their credit card voucher after they sign it? I realize that in this day and age of identity theft, one must be ever so careful with personal info and documents. I’ve had my identity stolen before and it’s a really shitty thing. (And I curse those assholes who worked at Home Depot and helped me fill out a credit card application and then stole all my digits and opened up a three new credit card accounts at Wal-Mart and the like.) We have to be aware. But we also have to leave the credit card slip for the restaurant. We need it. I need it. For my tip.

Last week a lady was paying for her whole table. They rang up a bill of $314.00 and she gave me her credit card to pay for it. Now this lady was pseudo-famous and had a crowd of people around her after the show so it was hard to get her bill to her and then collect payment. I pretty much had to get it to her via carrier pigeon, but I did. I watched her sign the voucher and place it on the table and then she continued talking to all of her fans. Finally, after about 30 minutes of her being surrounded by a pack of hounds, she left. With the credit slip. Goddammit, lady! There goes my tip on a $314.00 check. No! The humanity. The horror. I ran to the sidewalk and saw nothing but the usual bags of trash and cars about to be towed, but no credit slip. What do I have to do? Do I have to somehow attach our copy to the table so they know that it stays? I guess the words “restaurant copy” are simply not enough.

But I wanted that tip. It’s not cool (not to mention illegal) to add the tip. Not that I haven’t done that before but when I did it felt uncool. And illegal. I approached the performer of the evening, for it was her mother who jetted with my gratuity. “Err, is your mother still around because I think she accidentally took our copy of the credit voucher.” My subtext was, “I need you to find your old lady mom and get that fucking credit voucher or else I am getting stiffed on 300 bucks.” The performer was totally cool about it and said to just void her mom’s transaction and she would pay for it. So I did it and handed her the new voucher. Which she quickly signed. Without adding a tip. Seriously? Am I going to be stiffed twice on the same table? She thanked me and headed for the exit as I threw imaginary knives at her back. With one foot out the door, I heard her say, “Oh my God! I didn’t tip you!” I exhaled with relief and said something moronic like ‘it’s not my place to ask for a tip” or some other bullshit line. She scratched out $45 and handed back to me. I was happy.

But from now on I am stapling our copy to the table and hot gluing their copy to their face.

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24 thoughts on “Stop Taking Credit Card Vouchers

  1. Bayou Jane

    Would it be rude (or not accepted by your management), to stand at the table with pen in hand and wait for them to sign it. You can say something like, I would hate to have to bother you later. If you would like, we can take care of this now. I think that is awful to walk out without paying. It's really stealing twice—once for the food and once for your time and work.I love your site. I'm not here often, but when I have time, I like to read your earlier tales!!!

    Reply
  2. Kiki :) in Canada xoxo

    It's awful that people would actually take your copy. There are two one says customerand the other says merchant copy they must sign that add the 20% tip and leave it there as well as the pen. I feel bad that happened to you BW. Those forgetful thieves probably pocket your pen too if they could. I hope itnever happens to you again. I usually hand the ca$h over to my server and tell them thatI do not need any of the change back. The mintip is 20% 15 is too little and 10 is ABSURD!The other day I got a roasted chicken breaston a salad and it was only 8-9 bucks with a fresca added & tax brought it up to just over $11total. I handed the young lady a $20 bill and just say my usual " I don't need any of the changeback. " sometimes I add the rest is for you. So whatis is a crime to over tip. It's only fair after I leave. the table still needs to be cleared off and I'm sure that the young summer student could use my $9towards her expenses. If I went by the standard 15%the tip would have been only about $2 bucks !That's toooooooooooo little ! Are you joking me !Taxes go up every year prices increase and evenreal estate commisions are on the rise what the hell is going on with the tip % it's never gonna changeor what. How can it remain at low percentages it'scurrently in. I think 20-25% should be minimal !Maybe it's me but I hafta say it BW. I read yourposts of your adventures and I don't know how you do it. You are a saint not to have killed someof those pains in the butts yentas I've read about. A beatified saint ! I loved your AARP story ;-)) Kiki

    Reply
    1. invisible23

      Kiki, there really need to be more people like you out there. You are awesome. On behalf of all servers, thank you. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    It's awful that people would actually take your copy. There are two one says customerand the other says merchant copy they must sign that add the 20% tip and leave it there as well as the pen. I feel bad that happened to you BW. Those forgetful thieves probably pocket your pen too if they could. I hope itnever happens to you again. I usually hand the ca$h over to my server and tell them thatI do not need any of the change back. The mintip is 20% 15 is too little and 10 is ABSURD!The other day I got a roasted chicken breaston a salad and it was only 8-9 bucks with a fresca added & tax brought it up to just over $11total. I handed the young lady a $20 bill and just say my usual " I don't need any of the changeback. " sometimes I add the rest is for you. So whatis is a crime to over tip. It's only fair after I leave. the table still needs to be cleared off and I'm sure that the young summer student could use my $9towards her expenses. If I went by the standard 15%the tip would have been only about $2 bucks !That's toooooooooooo little ! Are you joking me !Taxes go up every year prices increase and evenreal estate commisions are on the rise what the hell is going on with the tip % it's never gonna changeor what. How can it remain at low percentages it'scurrently in. I think 20-25% should be minimal !Maybe it's me but I hafta say it BW. I read yourposts of your adventures and I don't know how you do it. You are a saint not to have killed someof those pains in the butts yentas I've read about. A beatified saint ! I loved your AARP story ;-)) Kiki

    Reply
  4. dirtydisher

    People only care about what pertains to them. They don't give a fuck about anyone else. They need some good cyanide in their soup, hemlock on their pizza and nightshade in their eternal fucking hot tea. Bastards!!!!

    Reply
  5. the career waitress

    at my current restaurant we have big hand written tickets, and when someone pays with a credit card we STAPLE our copy of the credit slip to the ticket and set their copy off to the side of the table with their credit card. Wouldja believe a couple folks a day rip the slip off the ticket and take it with them? Really, it's hopeless.

    Reply
  6. David

    About 10 years ago this became a huge issue. Word began swirling around the corners of the internet frequented by cheap asses and con artists that if the restaurant didn't have a signed copy of the receipt you could call and contest the charges. I served and later managed in a company that was getting nailed by this. Sometimes as many as 5 calls a day from credit card companies. This was bad because the restaurant would lose the money for the meal and have to get the tip back from the server.What we started doing was wrapping a copy of the check and the guest's copy around their credit card. We would hand that to the guest and tell them that those are their copies. Then tell them that we just need the copy in the book signed. It is a pretty extreme method, but if you are having alot of trouble with it, you might consider some variation

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  7. Anonymous

    Today, one of my tables not only took both copies with them, but somehow managed to put a credit card receipt from ANOTHER restaurant in the book. You know, just to point out that he tips 20%. I mean, taking the signed one is borderline understandable, considering that most people are dumb. But how on earth does this one happen?

    Reply
  8. Emily Ann

    You are my hero. I am a waitress and it's like reading my personal bible. I want to ask the people that say, "Uhm girl to I have to sign?" asks the ignorant customer. "Are you serious? Dumb ass I just gave you a pen and two copys that say at the bottom customer copy-restaurant copy, NO YOU DONT HAVE TO SIGN SINCE OBVIOUSLY IM NOT GETTING A TIP ANYWAY." Instead I smile and say, "yes right at the buttom, hun."

    Reply
  9. CG

    Um…a little note from a restaurant manager…When a customer takes the stupid signed copy of the stupid credit card purchase receipt, the damn restaurant has NO PROOF that the stupid customer was ever there, or ever intended to pay it. That little signature sheet (and this is REALLY IMPORTANT) is the ONLY proof we have that you actually intended to pay for your food At All. If the customer takes the signed copy, it's as good as not signing it. It means that the customer can go back to their bank, claim fraud, and WIN…after the little fucktard piggies are finished eating and eating and drinking and drinking and eating some more. The really shitty part is that some waiters & waitresses are responsible for making sure the customers pay their bills (and yes, sadly, this IS legal, and something that some servers agree to as part of their work contract…the only bad part in my particular business, which pretty well guarantees my servers amazing tips 98% of the time, as well as a great environment). If the customer walks without paying, the waiter (or waitress) pays it. The really shitty part is that some of us managers are stuck upholding this stupid rule, even when it means their intelligent, thoughtful, conscientious meticulous & generally beloved waitresses are stuck holding a $450 unpaid fucking bill.Occasionally, this leaves an asshole like me responsible for charging an unsuspecting and unresponsible (but well respected and well loved) waitress for food she never ate and drinks she never drank–lest said asshole manager loses her job, waitress loses hers, and all is lost…all because someone conveniently 'forgets' to leave that little slip on the table.It's a cute trick. If I had no soul, maybe I'd try it. But then, I'd also try one of the MANY others that get thrown my way. So what do you do…cry with the waitress, call the cops and file a theft report, rummage through your brain to find some half-assed way to rearrange time and circumstance and attempt to reason with an unreasonable owner…or at least to divert his attention away from the lost money. It's all far worse than a lost tip, darlings…it's damn near a criminal offense (until it happens to you, and then it becomes a Definite Criminal Offense…plus the inevitible…lost wages, lost employees, lost sleep).A helpful hint from one who cares (even though her employees might not believe so, at this moment): Stand over the bastards until they sign the stupid slips…promise to flash some skin in return for a signature…bat your eyelashes, bat their kneecaps, Do Something…Don't Ever Let Them Take Those Slips!!! Ever!! No Matter What!!Remember, credit card fraud can go either way. Not all of us forge tips or pad bills. Some of us don't even 'season' customers' food. Some of us are upstanding and try like hell to treat people right and all we hope for is Karma. Unfortunately, we get taken advantage of, too. I hope Karma is a bigger bitch than I am.All my love, Dear Waiters and Waitresses. All my love, ad all my best. I did your job for years, and now I'm blessed to run a great team of 'em.

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  10. Kick the Moon Farm

    It is disheartening, to say the least, to know that so many servers hate the customers. I have been a server, I am now a customer. It isn't hard to read the slip, figure out which one is the RIGHT one and sign it, leave it IN the folder or on the table, it isn't hard. I have wondered at times why so many servers just drop off the slip to be signed, or not and don't return for it until after the customer leaves, seems like it would be so easy for the customer to cut out without signing. I have two children who are servers, I hear about lousy tippers, rude customers and just stupidity ALL the time, but I also hear about the favorite customers who tip $5 for a cup of coffee, so I know it goes both ways. There must be a foolproof way to deal with the snatched slip problem, maybe one of those touch screens with the server hovering around waiting to snatch it back…hmmm, good luck.

    Reply
    1. invisible23

      We don’t hate all customers. Just the ones who treat us like slaves and literally steal our rent money.

      Reply
  11. Kevin Williams

    Ha ha! I'm sorry that so many have done this. I have to admit that I've done this at least once. After reading how annoying this can be I won't let that happen in the future.

    Reply
  12. NonoNannette

    This is how I was shown what to do in efforts to avoid the customer from taking the wrong copy.1st Seperate their credit card and customers copy from the voulcher they are to sign, then2nd X___________________________with your pen highlight the "X" with your pen & circle it.Even this isn't fool proof, but it helps. 😉

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  13. RP

    We have a cashier that you are supposed to pay, as servers we don’t take the money. However, customers regularly just hand us the credit card and we will take it up to the register and get er done…but you better believe I stand at that table until it is signed, and the receipt is in hand.

    Reply
  14. Merlynne

    Anyone who stiffs their server is the lowest of the low–and I say that as a customer. Just unbelievable what jerks some people are. You can be sure if I pay by card, the slip with my signature WILL be in the book and a 20% tip added.

    Thanks for the great job you do in spite of the idiots you have to serve!

    Reply
  15. David Cowling

    People who take the voucher do it so they don’t have to tip. Hell they might even try to get out of the whole bill, or the CC is stolen. If you take the voucher, you are a POS.

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  16. Jules

    $45 still isn’t great. It’s better than nothing, especially if you have to tip out. But for that total, you should have gotten at least $60-$65.

    Reply
  17. Brandon b

    Just a thought: I used to have similar problems having worked on the Last Vegas strip where my clientele were drunk, had gambled away a sizeable portion of their yearly salary, and genuinely tempted by the “girls to your door!” Trucks that drove by our open window dining room. On several occasions, people took their credit card slips which, when your avg ticket is $100+ per person, can be a severe blow to your expected income. I took to advising guests as I delivered the receipt that the copy on the right was mine, and the left was theirs. It made one hell of an impact, while seemingly innocent in intention. I also placed their credit card over their copy so that all they had to do was sign the right and take everything on the left. Most drunks were capable of that in between cursing the fact that they chose a higher caliber hooker who expected to be wined and dined before turning a trick and heading back into the night in their dirty gotten Mercedes. Though I guess that’s not much different from a girlfriend, which half of those gents would never get…

    Reply

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