The Only Tipping Guide You'll Ever Need: Your Bigoted Judgment Isn't a Gratuity

You've already implicitly agreed to tipping, so just do it, OK?

(Photo: Lisa Romerein/Getty Images; design: Lauren Wade)

Nov 15, 2013· 1 MIN READ
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

Bill Maher may have been wrong, empirically, about Christians giving servers short shrift when it comes to tipping, but it does seem that more and more bigoted notes are being left on the gratuity lines of checks in recent months.

There was the incident in Kansas in which a 20-year-old gay server was told, in part, “We hope you will see the tip your [homosexual slur] choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly,” in a note left in lieu of a tip. Now, in New Jersey, a woman named Danya Morales, a former Marine who is gay, found the following scrawled on a $93.55 bill for a table she served at Gallop Asian Bistro: "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I don't agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life."

In a note she sent along with a photo of the receipt to the pro-LGBT nonprofit Have a Gay Day, Morales shot back at the customer, writing, “I am THOROUGHLY offended mad pissed off and hurt that THIS is what her kids will grow up learning and that I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free.”

We could rehash what should really be commonly held knowledge—that if you consider the greater social context of wages, menu prices, and labor laws, you’ve already implicitly agreed to leave a tip regardless of service or other considerations—but let’s consider the bottom section of the receipt instead.

In Morales' photo of the bill you can clearly see that Gallop Asian Bistro solicits feedback on its employees, including a brief survey as well as white space for “any comments/suggestions.” If there’s a bully pulpit on a restaurant check, this is it.

The gratuity line? That’s strictly for a numerical value—20 percent of the total bill after tax.