13-Year-Olds Rectify Tipping Mistake With Thoughtful Letter To Waiter They Stiffed

"I've been serving a long time and nothing like this has ever happened to me or anyone."

Anyone in the U.S. who has worked in the service industry knows how frustrating it can be to be undertipped or receive no tip at all.  Since most servers only make a few dollars an hour before tips, the extra cash makes up a substantial part of their income. 

However, the custom of tipping can be confusing for customers who've never done it before. And, even amongst those who have, there are varying opinions on who and how much to tip.

When a group of 13-year-old girls visited a restaurant to celebrate Homecoming, they found themselves in this predicament. When they got the bill, they weren't sure exactly what tipping was or how much to leave for their server. So, they ended up leaving three dollars and some change. This may have been frustrating for the waiter at the time, but what they did a week later restored his faith in the goodness of people

The waiter, Imgur user Seminole, shared a letter one of the teenagers had written to him about a week and a half after their dining experience. 

In the letter, the teenager explained that she and her friends were excited to be celebrating Homecoming together. It seems the dinner, meant to mark the occasion, was the first time the girls had been to a restaurant without adults before. 

'It was an exciting experience for us to be here alone and it was all new to us," the 13-year-old wrote in the letter. "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." 

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But she also knew an apology was in order. 

"I would also like to say sorry on behalf of my group. Since we were new to all this, our 13-year-old minds didn't exactly know how to deal with the bill," she wrote. "You were super helpful in dividing the check up and taking our 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." 

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The girls later learned about tipping and understood that they had not left enough money to their waiter that night.

"Later, we realized our mistake and felt HORRIBLE. We knew we had to make it right. So in this envelop you will find the correct 18 percent tip + extra for simply being amazing. We appreciate your help and patience and thank you for making our night fun. Thank you!" she wrote. She ended the letter by signing it from "the 4 teenagers from that night." 

The waiter certainly appreciated the gesture. 

"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," he wrote on Imgur. "I've been serving a long time, and nothing like this has ever happened to me, or anyone." 

He then addressed the girls directly saying, "I don't know how you learned or educated yourself on tipping, but I really appreciate the effort and kindness. I hope your Homecoming was fantastic!" 

Leave it to today's teenagers to remind us that rectifying our mistakes can go a long way. 

Cover image via Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock.com

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