Waiter Served A Group Of Teens And Only Got A $3.28 Tip. Days Later, This Note Shows Up

Waiter Served A Group Of Teens And Only Got A $3.28 Tip. Days Later, This Note Shows Up

In a heartwarming turn of events, a server recounts a memorable interaction that began with disappointment but ended in a gesture of thoughtful kindness, after catering to a group of teenagers on their way to a homecoming dance.

Tipping Apology 1

Recalling his own high school days and the excitement of such dances, the server went out of his way to ensure the teens had a delightful dining experience. However, he was initially disheartened to find a meager $3.28 tip left by the group. Given the reliance of many American servers on tips to supplement their incomes, due to typically low base wages, this small amount seemed to reflect a lack of appreciation for his efforts.

The server, feeling let down, attributed this to the teens' ingratitude, a notion that weighed on him until a surprising development occurred a few days later.

In an unexpected twist, the server received a heartfelt letter from the teenagers:

“About a week and a half ago, on October 7, my three friends and I came to eat at this restaurant as our own homecoming celebration. It was an exciting experience for us to be here alone, and it was all new to us. And you were the best waiter we could ask for. You were kind, helpful, accommodating, didn’t treat us like babies, and were even able to fit the food to all my allergies! So I wanted to say thank you for making our ‘grown-up’ experience so amazing and fun.

“I would also like to say sorry on behalf of my group. Since we were new to all of this, our 13-year-old minds didn’t exactly know how to deal with the bill. You were super helpful in dividing the check up and taking out not-so-preferable cash. The bill was reasonable, but we had completely forgotten (and frankly didn’t know) what a tip even was, let alone how much to give. So we emptied our pockets, and all our money added up to $3.28.

“Not aware of how small this really was, we left, clueless of what we had left you for all your hard work. Later, we realized our mistake and felt horrible. We knew we had to make it right.

“So in this envelope, you will find the correct 18% tip + extra for simply being amazing. We appreciate your help and patience and thank you for making our night fun. Thank you!”

Tipping Apology 2
Tipping Apology 3

This sincere act of contrition and generosity not only rectified an innocent mistake but also underscored the depth of the teens' gratitude, leaving a lasting impression on the server.

What are your thoughts on this heartfelt apology?

Matthew Russell

Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, spending time with his daughters, and coffee.

Back to blog