It’s one thing to be too cheap to leave a tip at a restaurant. It’s another to justify your cheapness by telling your waitress—via a cowardly message scrawled on the receipt—that you disagree with her “lifestyle.”
Last week, Dayna Morales, a 22-year-old Marine veteran who now works as a waitress at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., waited on a table with a family of four—mom, dad, and two kids about middle-school age. Morales has short black hair and tattoos on her fingers. When she introduced herself to the customers, the woman responded, “Oh, I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You surprised us!”
Morales shrugged off the comment, but then grew outraged when the customers paid their bill, which came to $93.55 before tip. That wound up being the total paid by the family, who instead of a tip instead left a message written on the receipt: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.”
After Morales posted a photo of the receipt and vented about the incident on Facebook (“Sorry lady but I don’t agree with YOUR lifestyle and the way you’re raising your kids”), the story has gone viral. It was picked up by the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, and many other outlets.
This isn’t the only incident in which restaurant customers have tried to send some sort of message while conveniently saving themselves a few bucks. A few weeks ago, a 20-year-old waiter at a Carrabba’s in Kansas read a message on a customer receipt stating that his service was “excellent,” but that there would be no tip. “We cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD,” the note read. “F*gs do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your f*g choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly.”
After the incident was publicized, the waiter (who has kept his name out of the news) became something of a mini-celebrity, with dozens of customers arriving at Carrabba’s asking to sit in his section as a sign of support, according to the Kansas City Star.
Another waitress found herself the victim of a much less happy ending after an Applebee’s patron left no tip in order to make a stand of sorts. “I give GOD 10% why do you get 18,” a note on the stated on the receipt, which had the automatic 18% gratuity crossed out with a zero left in its place. The receipt was signed by Alois Bell, a pastor in the St. Louis area who asked that everyone involved in the incident be fired after the receipt was uploaded to Reddit. Chelsea Welch, the Applebee’s worker who posted the receipt (but who didn’t actually wait on the pastor), did, in fact, wind up being fired.
“While this story has garnered immense media attention, my story is not uncommon,” Welch wrote in a first-person piece for The Guardian. “Bad tips and harsh notes are all part of the job. People get fired to keep customers happy every day.”
The other examples of restaurant receipts with $0 tips and harsh notes include a Red Lobster customer who left the N word behind in lieu of a tip, and yet another Applebee’s waitress who was stiffed—only this time the justification was apparently that she was overweight. “STOP EATING B*TCH!” the note on the receipt stated.