Abigail Sailors, an 18-year-old college student and waitress at a Lincoln, Nebraska Cracker Barrel restaurant, has already endured more hardship than most people experience in their entire lives. After her mother was gravely injured in a car accident, her father was deemed an unfit parent, and Sailors and her four siblings were sent to live at a foster home. The siblings were abused by their new foster father, who was eventually sent to prison. For nine years, the siblings were split up and shuttled to different foster homes, before finally being reunited and placed together with loving foster parents.
And in spite of all of this, Sailors has maintained the kind of positive attitude that has earned her the unofficial title of “happiest server” at her restaurant. So when two men came into the restaurant last week asking to be seated with the grumpiest server (so they could cheer him or her up), the host declined, and insisted on seating them in Sailors’ section instead. Keep reading »
Aaron Collins, a computer technician from Lexington, Kentucky, passed away last year at the tragically young age of 30. In his will, he specified a unique last wish he wanted his family to fulfill: “Leave an awesome tip … I mean $500 on a fucking pizza.” His brother Seth took up the challenge, starting a website to raise funds to carry out his brother’s request. And then something crazy happened: instead of $500, he raised $60,000.
Seth decided to use all that money to raise the stakes on his brother’s wish. Instead of leaving just one surprise $500 tip, Seth is embarking on a cross-country road trip with the goal of surprising servers in all 50 states. He has already given out 54 huge tips, and is documenting all the server reactions on a website called Aaron’s Last Wish. Check out the video of the first tip above. I think it’s safe to say that Aaron would be very proud. [YouTube via Daily Mail]
Let’s talk about tipping. I am a terrible tipper. It’s not that I don’t tip — I so tip, and a lot. I probably actually tip way too much, because paying people for performing services for me makes me deeply uncomfortable. This is probably because I’m not really an adult or something, but I just feel so guilty that the shampoo girl is doing something for me that I do in the shower every day (okay, every other day) myself. Same goes for maid service at a hotel; I can make my own damn bed, so it seems incredibly ridiculous for somebody else to have to do it for me.
And then there’s beauty services. Some stuff — like, say, manicures and pedicures — don’t typically cost that much, so tipping a percentage doesn’t really seem right after somebody’s spent an intimate hour scraping the calluses off your feet. I will even tip at least 20 percent on so-so restaurant service, because I reason that sometimes people are just having a bad day. But again, I’m a neurotic person who basically feels guilty about everything. (By the way, I’m so sorry you have to read this.)
Which is why I felt like it was high time to figure out what the industry standards for these things are anyway. So, after the jump, what “experts” say you should tip, along with my (admittedly crazy) tipping recommendations. And don’t forget to share your tipping rules and regulations in the comments!
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You hear so many stories about stingy celebs, so it’s always nice when someone famous goes the extra mile for their waitstaff. Case in point, Lou “Incredible Hulk” Ferigno, most recently of “The Avengers” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” took himself and his incredible hulk hands out. Instead of leaving the company-suggested tip, Lou left a tip of 110 percent on the bill, because he “always gives 110%” What a dude! Hulk really does smash! [Cool Guy Hat]
If you’ve ever worked in a coffee shop, you know it can be a stressful, crazy, demanding job. You spend all day dealing with cranky customers, getting chocolate syrup in your hair, pouring mugs of boiling milk, trying to keep your cool when the espresso machine breaks during a rush, and going home smelling like coffee beans–all for minimum wage. I reached out to baristas who work for international coffee chains and artsy little coffeehouses (and everywhere in between), and asked them one question: “What do you wish you could tell everyone who walks into your coffee shop?” Here is what they said, in their own words… Keep reading »
Waiting tables is a tough gig. You have to mentally balance the requests and demands of countless customers at once. You have to physically balance plates of steaming hot food. You have to be on your feet for hours at a time with no breaks. You have to serve people like my great aunt, who have no qualms calling you “the help” to your face. I thought it would be interesting to see what servers had to say about the crazy world of working at a restaurant, so I asked a bunch of them one question: “What would you like to say to every customer who sits down at one of your tables?” I got responses from the people who serve your food at national chain restaurants, quiet cafes, and everything in between. Here are their answers, in their own words….
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I have a friend who’s really cheap. She’s so cheap that she often deprives herself of something she wants because it’s “too expensive.” I’ve told her plenty of times, “You get what you pay for.” Lately, her cheapness has really been getting on my nerves because she often complains to service people, like waiters, about how expensive the food is. I find this to be really embarrassing because I don’t want them to think I’m like her — you know, guilty by association — and I also don’t want any “secret sauce” in my food. I’m one of those people who also believes you tip well since you didn’t have to do the work. On more than one occasion, I’ve ponied up more than my share in order to make up for her sparse tip. Today, I’m taking her to get a beauty treatment at a spot that I frequent. Should I mention before we get there that she has to tip — and tip well? Or maybe I should give the tip instead?
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The outside world is more like a Hooters restaurant than you previously thought: a new study says that men are more likely to tip a waitress if she looks pretty wearing makeup.
Researchers studied the tips received by two waitresses from 186 male and 98 female customers. Only one third of the dudes left a tip if the waitress wore a bare, makeup-less face. (Cheap bastards!) But after a beautician applied makeup to the servers, the number of men who tipped flew up to 51 percent. Not to mention that the size of the tips rose 25 percent. Hmm, it brings new meaning to the term “makeup tips,” doesn’t it? Keep reading »