Group of Teens Leave Waiter with $3.28 Tip. Week Later, Waiter Finds Letter with Cash


The tips for restaurant staff that generally draw attention from social media are unexpectedly generous and even life-changing for the receiver. We may also hear about the unfortunate times when a waiter or waitress rudely receives no tip at all.

Imgur user Seminole posted on Jan. 11 about a recent tip experience he had as a waiter. He ended up receiving a fairly reasonable tip by the end of the story, which may not sound noteworthy.

Yet, it was the lesson both the waiter and the table of teens learned that has gained online attention. It all started when four teens sat at one of the waiter’s tables in October.

The restaurant was the chosen destination for their homecoming dinner. It was also their first experience dining alone without adult supervision.

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At the end of the meal, the teens all wanted to pay separately for their individual meals with cash. The waiter handled the division of the check and cash payments without complaint.

The tip the four teens left was a measly $3.28. This likely wasn’t the waiter’s first bad tip, and he moved on.

The teens, however, did not simply move on from their mistake. They owned up to it through a letter and a better tip to make it up to the waiter.

The waiter found the teens’ letter along with a little over $18 at the front desk intended for him to read. They dropped it off about a week after their dinner at the restaurant.

It read, “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.”

The letter was not intended to just be a thank-you note. They also wanted to apologize for the original small tip.

The author of the note admitted they didn’t know how much to give so they dug in their pockets for extra cash and coins, finding a grand total of $3.28. Somebody must have informed them of proper tipping etiquette after homecoming.

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“Not aware of how small this (tip) really was, we left, clueless of what we had left you for all your hard work. Later we realized our mistake and felt HORRIBLE,” the letter explained.

“We knew we had to make it right. So in this envelope you will find the correct 18% tip + extra for simply being amazing.”

They may have felt horrible but made it up to the waiter with the letter and proper tip. The recipient of this honest letter and tip wrote, “Nothing more frustrating than when I get little to nothing for a tip and the customer is smiling and thanking me profusely as they exit.”

“These kids came back another day and left this for me at the front desk, with $18 and some change,” the writer continued. “I’ve been serving a long time, and nothing like this has ever happened to me, or anyone.”

The waiter shared on Imgur that he really appreciated “the effort and kindness” and titled the photos of the letter “Faith in people restored.”

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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