Dining Poll: Have You Ever Left a Restaurant Without Leaving a Tip?

We’ve all been on the receiving end of poor service, but most of us will still leave some gratuity. Has there been an instance, though, in which your dining experience was so disappointing that you didn’t leave any tip at all? Weigh in on today’s poll!


  1. Jim says

    Many years ago, we were dining with my mother-in-law. The restaurant was dark and the receipt was very light and hard to read. We paid cash for the check and left the tip on the table. Well the server returned to the table and announced she put the seventy-six cents in the register to complete the check. It was over $200 tab and we had a $50 on the table. Well after that we left and took the $50 back and left the seventy-six cents instead.

  2. Joe says

    If I didn’t do my job correctly, I would be fired or some form of punishment would be handed down. The only reason I would not leave a tip is because they did a really bad job. I’m not the U.S. Welfare system that seems to reward people for doing nothing. (I’m not saying that everyone on welfare is robbing the system, but I would go as far as saying most of them do.)

  3. Evelyn says

    Instead of not leaving a tip for poor service, a waiter told me to leave a nickel or quarter to drive the message home.

  4. Heather says

    Not leaving a tip is robbing a waiter. Restaurants pay significantly below minimum wage – somewhere between 2 and 5 bucks an hour in the Boston area. My standard is 15% for below average service, 18 for average, and 20 or higher for great service.

  5. terri says

    Yes, we did not leave a tip last year in a restaurant in Rome. Upon receipt of the bill we questioned the charge for water and bread of which they asked if we wanted the items but never told us we had to pay extra and it was not noted on the menu. Neither was a service charge of 20% noted on the menu but appeared on the bill. The bill was over $200.00 with appetizers, entrees, dessert and bottle of wine, all al-a-cart for a party of two. The host seemed very annoyed that we should even question these items and went on to explain in a very loud voice what the service charge covered; insurance, breakage, and etc.He even pointed to two girls dining and explained loudly for everyone to hear, “we provide such good service, see those girls they wanted a different table and we gave them what they wanted” This was the only restaurant during an entire week that added a service charge; others that did verbally advised the grutuity was included. We have encountered service charges added to a bill many times while dining internationally, but never to this extent. The man seemed to be waiting to be questioned. We had inquired about the water and bread quietly, embarrassed we left without leaving a tip. I just can’t get it through my head to pay 40% on top of bill!

  6. Susie says

    I always leave 20% no matter what. Every one has a bad day occasionally. If the food isn’t great, it’s not the server’s fault. If the food and and especially the service are great, I leave 25% or more.

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