Veterans Day Means Free Food But it Does Not Mean To Not Tip

9668347b83c6b5f56c43dab207a6615eEvery November 11th, our country comes together to say thank you to all those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. These men and women deserve our appreciation because they are willing to put their lives on the line for our country so we can live in the land of free. Honestly, I am so thankful that people are willing to do this job because I can’t imagine doing it myself. I feel the same way about cops and firefighters too. If these jobs were left up to me, we would be living in a lawless society where fires run rampant and we’d probably be Communists right now.

Veterans Day is also the day that many restaurants open up their menus and offer a free meal to those who have served or are serving. (When I speak of serving, I’m not talking about those of us who serve hamburgers and chicken cacciatore.) Applebee’s, Bonefish Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, Hooters, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster are just a few of the places that will honor our vets with something free. Here is a list of all the places.

It’s a wonderful thing that the veterans have done and it’s equally great that so many restaurants show their thanks this way, but, at the risk of sounding like I’m a total asshole (“Ummm, you ARE a total asshole,” said 9 out of 10 people reading this…), I want to remind those who are getting free food of one thing: please tip your servers.

Okay, okay it sounds petty and rude of me, but I feel it is my obligation to say this out loud. And I shall:

There will be some waiters and waitresses who will be willing to forgo the tip in honor of Veterans Day, but there will be way more who are going to depend on that tip even if the bill is for $0.00. I am willing to risk all the hate mail and all of the comments that call me a dick if it means that some servers will get a tip that maybe they would not have gotten had I not written this. Maybe some people genuinely do not think to leave a tip if their bill is comped and this blog post is for them. I’m not against veterans eating a free plate of three-cheese chicken penne at Applebee’s but what I am against is a server doing his job and not getting paid for it. Places like Applebee’s are crazy busy on Veterans Day because who doesn’t want to go out to eat for free? But that doesn’t mean that the waiter wants to work his ass off all day and not make what he deserves.

Please, if you’re going out to take advantage of the free meal, and you totally should do that, all I am asking is that you remember that your server is depending on the tips. Please don’t make Veterans Day a day that servers dread going to work. It should be a mutual admiration society kind of day. You both are appreciative of one another’s service, you just show it in different ways: the waiter does it by serving you free food and the veteran does it by tipping on what the cost of the meal would be.

4 thoughts on “Veterans Day Means Free Food But it Does Not Mean To Not Tip

  1. Julie McDonough

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. My father is a veteran and he ALWAYS tips the waitstaff when he has a free meal on Veterans Day. For that matter anytime he or I for instance, receive a freebie at a restaurant we always tip based on what the full bill would have been. The waitstaff did their job whether the meal was free or not and should be properly tipped.

  2. Jose Noway

    I agree, and hope that the veterans will tip. I am looking at my veteran friends’ facebook posts as they are restaurant hopping all day, and I am posting “TIP YOUR WAIT STAFF” at each of their gluttonous stops.

    So for this Veterans Day, I am instead saying very snarkily: “Thank you for your service, but you’re welcome for making a living off my taxes.”

  3. Aaron

    I never felt right getting free stuff on veteran’s Day, so I usually just stay home. I also purposely never wear any insignia ect, from when I was in. My friends know, that is pretty much it. I prefer it that way. The only time it comes up in conversation is if someone else is and mentions it.

    I always just felt awkward, ect for thanks and discounts and such.

  4. Jimmy C

    Naaahhh…servers always insist we give a certain percentage of our cost as a tip and that is what you will get! Kinda like the difference between demanding a $3 tip on an overpriced alcoholic beverage versus $1 on a cup of coffee. Takes the same amount of effort to bring either but a different standard of tip. Waiters are never happy. They get 2 bucks from me for any meal, any time. Take it or leave it.


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