Foreigners Don’t Tip

Let me start out by apologizing to anyone who may be from Europe or some other country where it is not customary to tip your server. But some of you suck. In this country, we tip.

I went to work last night assuming the good mood from the night before would just carry over to the next day. Working in a performance space, the type of show is what affects the audiences and therefore my tips. Last night’s was some French/Brazilian/New York World Music kinda shit. His fans were really into it, but there were a few things they were not into at all: making reservations, showing up on time, manners or tipping. We had reservations for 17 people which is easy for one person to handle. By the time the show was over, they had mushroomed to 40 people which is very difficult for one person to handle. If these bitches had made a reservation, then we would have had two servers on. Over half of them showed up after the show had started making it really impossible to keep a routine. They dragged in ten or fifteen minutes into the performance. I assume they were still on European time or something, but I thought the time difference was a few hours or something, not 15 minutes. Of course they were all rude when they got there because they were already missing some of the show like it’s my goddamn fault they were late. And they could not grasp the two drink minimum concept. I ended up putting a lot of $5.00 minimum charges all over the fucking place. Here is the conversation I had with booth 6 which had two minimum charges on it:

Foreigner: Err, pardon me, but what is this ten dollar charge here?
Bitchy Waiter: We have a two drink minimum as we told you at the beginning of the show so I had to add the minimum charge.
Foreigner: But we had two drinks, a seltzer and a Cabernet
Bitchy Waiter: Sir, it’s two drinks per person, not per table.
Foreigner: (grumble, grumble, grumble)

Does this dude really think that’s gonna fly with me? So if I crammed eight people into the booth, he thinks they could just get two drinks, a straw and call it day? No, asshole, that would be 16 drinks. Of course, he didn’t tip me.

Booth 3: Three girl with last names that had no vowels in them. Their check was $137 and they wanted to split it three ways with three separate cards. Apparently they really like that number because each of them only left me $3.00. Crap bitches.

Table #14: The man was fasting for Ramadan and could not even drink water. We were cool with that and I didn’t charge him even the minimum charge since it’s for religion and all. His friend though had only one glass of wine so she got one minimum charge. He was not pleased but she wasn’t fasting, right? No, she wasn’t. Their bill was about $35. They left me three bucks.

At the end of the night, I hated everyone there. The performer gave me a copy of his CD when he left. Like that would make up for the three twenty dollars bills I was making that night even though I was non-stop in the weeds the whole night. A CD. That’s just great. Who the hell even buys CD’s anymore? I’ll regift it the next time I am forced to be in some lame ass Secret Santa drawing.

Foreigners: please tip at least 15% or you perpetuate the stereotype and we continue to hate waiting on you.

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29 thoughts on “Foreigners Don’t Tip

  1. Tracy

    ok so the performer was French, and they aren't really European they're just rude…and no the USA isn't the only country that tips but it is the only country that makes their wait staff live off tips mkay!! Love from a European fan; yep one from the little island that does tip!!

  2. Kalei's Best Friend

    Now, I am not making excuses but in europe most have price fixe meals there and I realize this was a show thing? I bet they thought the cover charge was the 'tip'? just guessing.. hey, wouldn't doubt if they are cheapos…

  3. A Dorky Girl

    I've always heard HORRIBLE things about foreign tippers from friends that have waited tables. Not all of them are bad but a lot have left bad tastes in peoples mouths. It sucks you got left with such crappy tips.

  4. Anonymous

    Yes! I feel your pain. Our restaurant is down the street from a foreign language school that sponsors exchange trips. So they alllll come to our place to practice their English….but not their tipping skills. Myself and another waitress plan to blitz the school with flyers about how to tip.

  5. TheDisgruntledUsher

    I tip at any restaurant I go to. I make a point of tipping at least 15% when I'm strapped for cash, and generally more when I'm not – unless my server is a douche. There was one point where I handed my cash tip to the -bus boy- who was of more help during the hour I was there – and there was no excuse, the place was empty at the time, yet I saw my server only three times, and spoke to her only once.The bus boy ended up getting me my drink refill (twice) and ketchup for my younger sibling.I also make a point of carrying complaints to the cook – not my server. I go to the same few restaurants often, to avoid having complaints, but once in a while, I go somewhere new – and I'm well aware that almost none of my food related problems are my servers fault. Given that I frequent the same four places on a monthly basis, I find it behooves me to tip well. I see a lot of the same people, and even if the service is lacking when I start going to a restaurant, it improves once I've got the reputation of being worth the extra effort.And if the food was good enough to keep me coming back, it only makes the experience better when the service matches.

  6. Amy

    Hello from Australia! Until reading your blog I had no idea that:1. It's compulsory to tip in the USA2. Waiters make practically nothingHere even the minimum hourly wage is at least $12/hour for anyone over 18.So if I were to come to the USA before reading your blog I would not have tipped my server…but now I know better!

  7. Caryl

    Your swear words are so simple, yet effective. You make me laugh every time! By the way, when I worked as a housekeeper in Yellowstone, the Europeans tipped me regularly (and Americans don't typically tip the maid). I would find money under the pillow, ashtray, etc. Interesting!

  8. Annoyed

    No, they do not. This is universal, unavoidable, and hopefully you won't have to deal with too many totally-out-of-touch-non-US performers that bring in these people. 15 minutes late is customary, although tipping is not. The performer(s) should have known their audience would not get going until at least 30 minutes in. And, although I respect other religions, the Ramadan or whatever guy saw the show, so he pays. That was gracious, and avoided another "discussion" on a night when you needed nothing but a glass of wine or two!

  9. badbadwebbis

    Just read your whole blog like it was some sort of foul-mouthed novel of awesomeness.I have never waited tables, but my sister has and so no one in my family would dare tip less than 20% for reasonable service. Also, I think that we might be separated by fewer than 6 degrees, since my sister's roommate was from Victoria and I think I am also in my mid-twenties. So that makes me awesome too, I bet.

  10. Hed

    My hubs is from Australia, and when he first came over the first thing I told him is YOU HAVE TO TIP! He makes a point to this day to ask me if what he's tipping is enough, and I'm happy that it's usually more than 15%. I taught him well lol. As for his mates who come visit the States, that's the first rule he tells them when they ask for advice. Maybe we can spread the word all over the world that servers get $2.13/hour in some states?

  11. MK

    This is sad. I live in Pakistan, and me and my friends ALWAYS tip waiters. I mean I've never even thought about not tipping them, whether it be a fancy restaurant or a fast-food place. We complain about the high prices, but have never failked to tip.

  12. Mallory

    We had a group of 50 or so come into Friendly's one day. Two of us split the party thinking we would make bank and took no other tables for awhile. They were from Canada…and left us about $6 to split!!

    1. Beebs

      I’m part of a Canadian Scouting group. When the guys and two leaders went down to the US on a camping trip about seven years ago, the first time they sat down in a restaurant Leader #1 told them that waiters live off their tips in the US. As in, they make around $2 an hour and so need their tips to literally buy food. So, he said, you are going to tip a minimum of 20%. I don’t care if the food sucks. I don’t care if the service sucks. I don’t care if all you get is an iced tea. You will tip 20% (more, if you feel like it). The Leader #2 just nodded along.

      So, the time comes to pay and everyone leaves at least 20%. Every single one of the 14-17 year old boys tips, and continues to tip for the rest of the trip. Leader #1 always tips extra in case one of the boys is light.

      Leader #2 doesn’t leave one God damn tip the entire time they are in the US. The scumbag was such a cheapskate that he wouldn’t leave a few dollars to cover tips on diner meals. Luckily he ended up being booted out of the organization several years later, but Leader #1 was SO FRUSTRATED. Everyone I know otherwise tips well, especially in the US. And for those that think that waiters in the US make $10/hr, I’ve been disabusing them of that notion.

      So just to let you know, it’s not being Canadian makes you cheap, it’s either a) ignorance (because minimum wage is $10.50/hr in Canada right now, and people don’t realize that waiters in the US make so much less), or b) assholery.

      Someone who tips at least 20% in the US, even when service is shitty, even if the food comes out wrong, etc., because no one deserves to work for $2.13/hr (especially in a country where the cost of living is as high as it is in the US).

  13. Manda

    I feel your pain. Where I work, its on the same street as a tourist hotspot in Orange county ny. Foreigners seriously fly over just to come here Nd they take buses in hundreds from the city. We get a lot of foreigners and it is give or take. Some tip generously well while others leave 10%. They are just like many of the other stereotype tables we get.

  14. Simone E.

    I'm from Europe and no we do not tip. The way we think: "The waiters get their salary, and hey, the drinks were expensive enough".When I'm in US, I'm aware of the tipping system. But I too would leave just 3 bucks (considering that I only bought some drinks). 15% is waaay too much! For instance, if I spend fairly much on a couple of meals in a restaurant, with the 15% tip, I could already by myself another dessert at least.Sorry.BR from a reader in Finland.

  15. zeebee

    Sorry, tipping's difficult when it's not customary.I usually stick to $5 when I come over. Fuck working out 15% – if we're not from America, we're on holiday. Who does maths on holiday?Sorry bitchy waiter … my family do tip … just gotta hope we don't spend more than $50 at once, right?

    1. Jenny

      Every phone nowadays has a calculator… and come on. If you can afford to get all the way to the US for a holiday then you can afford to put in that extra few dollars so your server can get their food for the week.

  16. weare138

    This has no doubt been mentioned in every other damn waiter blog that has all the same things to say about tipping, but the foreigners that end up in our restaurants aren't 'normal' people. I mean, they aren't blue collar or even server-type workers; they're people who are wealthy enough to travel. Therefore they're the foreign country equivalent of the clueless hummer-driving, plastic surgery-ridden, affluent types you see stateside. So don't apologize for generalizing about 'foreigners'; you're still just generalizing about 'bad diners' in general, ya know?Also while 8 an hour isn't much, you could be making serving wage (2 or 3 an hour) elsewhere, and the tips (even when shitty) do bring you up to 10 or 11 an hour on a normal day, I'd wager.

  17. Anonymous

    I don't tip and I'm American. I usually get the feeling from most waiters/waitress that they look at their customers as paychecks rather then people. If you don't make enough money being a server you can quit. I too once worked a minimum wage job and unfortunately for me, society didn't deem me worthy of tips. I worked at McDonalds by the way.

  18. Anonymous

    I do tip 15% when on vacation bet hate the attitude of tipping in america. Why cant people pay their staff, its your establishment thats gereedy and guess what or where they are from. To be fair, the responsibility should be on the establisnment to pay their staff or put in a fixed price.Got a problem, take it up with your employeer. The problem is you have so many south americans who are willing to work cheap that you are replacable if you want a higher wage. Guess what thets the employer's greed and he's most likely american. 🙂

  19. Elizabeth

    Oh wow, if only someone had mentioned sooner that if waitstaff just spoke to their employer and asked to be paid a living wage that they wouldn't have to depend on tips so much.. oh yeah nothing would change. It is how it is, and no one would like to change it more than the actual workers in the service industry. In the meantime, tip or stay home. If you can't abide by the simple rules of civilized society that the rest of us have established as things we do because we don't like feeling like assholes, you're going to get spit in your food the next time you're seen. Just accept that as fact.

    1. Wait? What?

      Well, that is just stupid. ‘Conform or stay home. If you don’t conform you are an “asshole”‘? No! What a stupid attitude.

  20. Wait? What?

    You have no idea how awful U.S. tourists are when ‘tipping’ overseas? THEY DON’T! It is like:

    “Oh this is amazing, I can recieve the BEST service I have ever had in my entire life! The waiter actually cleaned my arse with his tongue and then told me how wonderful I am and thanked me for his pleasure. Guess what? I don’t even have to say thank you because that is not required in this country. I am so glad I don’t have to leave a tip. What a relief! I have just had the best service than I have EVER had anywhere else, but there is no “civilised” understanding here that I have to leave a tip, even for exceptional service! Woohoo! People in this country can suck it!”

    It seems that everybody in the U.S. resents tipping… it can be clearly seen when your citizens travel elsewhere.

    Just so you know (this is direted to travellors from the U.S) although tipping is not required, if a server is really great it WILL NOT OFFEND US if you leave a little something…

    Even one or two dollars can make our day! It let’s us know that you appreciated our service and that we did a good job.

  21. Louis

    You are right on the money here, and Canadians are the worst at tipping.

    All of these foreigners KNOW in advance that people get tipped here, yet they choose to not tip and use that “Oh I didn’t know” as their excuse, and they still don’t tip after they are confronted. Cheap assholes!

    I worked as a valet/concierge in a high-end Disney hotel (on property) and it was so pathetic how people tip.

    While working as a valet, you should get $1 per time a car is picked up or parked.

    We had a big group of Canadian tourists who drove to FL (now that’s a drive) and they almost never tipped. This one guy who came and went like 10x a day, finally attempted to give me a tip at the end of a long week. He drove a very nice mercedes and dressed well, and the FINAL time I brought his car up on the ramp, he went scrounging for some change to give me a tip.

    “here you go, I appreciate all your hard work..” as he gave me a handful of change, not even a dollar. So I flipped my wrist and threw all of that change into his door pocket and said “that’s ok, I think you need this more than I do”


  22. Marko

    I happen to be a waiter in Croatia (you know, Europe), I’ve been doing this job for 14 years, and can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, Americans are the worst tippers. Somehow they think leaving 5 kuna (roughly a dollar) is an ok tip for waiting on their asses for three hours and a 150 euro bill. Stereotypes are a bad thing, make sure you don’t end up as one.


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