Life as a restaurant server can be tough. In most states, you make well below minimum wage as hourly pay, and are almost completely reliant on tips for your income.
While conventional wisdom says you can guarantee good tips with good service, that can be so, so wrong. Sometimes, no matter how good your service is, you can still get stiffed at the end of the day. And that’s exactly what happened to a server at a South Carolina restaurant this past weekend. Big time.
Geoff Monahan is a server at Coastal Catch, an upscale seafood restaurant in the vacation city of Myrtle Beach. On Saturday night, the 27-year-old served a private birthday party of 19 people. Everyone enjoyed their food and drinks, they were served in a timely matter, and all had a great experience. So that would be reflected in the tip, right? Well, that’s what Geoff thought.
When he was bussing the table and picked up the check, Geoff saw the tip left on the $682.73 bill. $17.27. That’s right. For those doing the math at home, that’s a 2.5% tip. The party host wrote below the tip line, “Sorry, great service, but the bill was higher than we expected and we only had $700 to spend.” As if that was valid excuse!
Geoff couldn’t believe it. The party was the only table he served all night, and he got completely and utterly stiffed, through no fault of his own.
But it was his response to the situation that was perfect.
He looked at the name on the check, which we won’t publish here for privacy reasons. But Geoff’s quick Google search revealed the man’s home address, a mere seven minutes away from the restaurant. He immediately hatched his plan, and a few days later went to work.
Geoff went on a hunting trip in the woods, killed a deer, drained the blood, and bottled it up. He then went straight to the culprit’s home, and painted on the garage with the fresh blood, “Tip me better next time.”
And as it turned out, the cheap tipper was inside the whole time, but Geoff was so stealthy that he got away totally unnoticed.
Take notes, other members of the service industry, because that’s how you respond to a situation like this. We doubt Geoff will get stiffed by that guy again!