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Redditor Secretly Gives Cash To Server After ‘Boomer’ Father-In-Law Doesn’t Tip

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At most dining establishments, servers earn most of their income through tips.

Something to consider when paying a bill.

However, there are different standards when it comes to tipping throughout the world, not to mention by generation.

Often leading to some shocked dining companions and disappointed servers when the time comes to settle the bill.

Redditor InformationPrimary31 found themself in such a situation when they noticed their father-in-law left a fairly low tip when he took the original poster (OP) and their family out to dinner.

And while the OP thought they came up with a solution to the problem, it instead only caused friction within the family.

Wondering if they really had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The. A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for tipping and embarrassing my boomer father-in-law?”

The OP explained how their plan to secretly make up for their low-tipping father-in-law (FIL) ended up backfiring.

“I worked as a server in university and my daughter worked at Starbucks and a local restaurant when she was in school.”

“I know how servers earn their money.”

“My FIL invited us out for supper for my MIL’s birthday.”

“We went to a nice Greek restaurant in his neighborhood.”

“The meal was fantastic and my FIL said it was on him.”

“Cool my kids are well behaved and know not to go crazy on their grandparents’ money.”

“I have known my in-laws for almost twenty years now.”

“I know he doesn’t tip.”

“So I always bring cash and tip whenever we dine out with them.”

‘So after the meal as we were leaving I checked the bill and dropped 20% on top of his cash.”

“More or less.”

“I guess he accidentally left too much money once and made a big deal about getting his change because the server came running out with the tip I left.”

“My FIL knew how he paid and it didn’t include a fifty dollar bill.”

“He blew his top.”

“Saying I disrespected him by doing this I was implying that he was cheap after he took out my family to a nice restaurant.”

“I was just trying to do right by the server.”

“I wasn’t trying to be a hero or a jerk.”

“I just know that we took up a table for almost two hours and she deserved a tip.”

“My wife is mad at me for upsetting her father.”

“My daughter gave me a hug and said I was right.”


“I’m in Canada.”

“Apparently this is a normal thing in the States.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for leaving an additional tip after their FIL stiffed their server.

Everyone agreed that the OP was only thinking of their server’s well-being and did the right thing, even if many agreed that they probably shouldn’t have kept it a secret from their FIL, or should have given the money directly to the server.


“Your FIL is an AH.”- Fuzzy-Constant


“In the future, it may be better to say something like ‘since you covered dinner, I thought I would cover the tip’.”

“Even if he’s resistant to tipping (AH), at least the point of the gesture was in the ether.”- jessikill

“OP is from Canada.”

“Canadian servers aren’t paid the starvation wages of most American servers, but tipping is still a thing.”

“It sounds like your FIL is religious about not tipping, to the point that the staff of this restaurant know him, and are afraid of taking a tip on accident.”

“That definitely means he has been an a**hole to them in the past about it.”

“Could you have secretly handed the money directly to the server?”


“Is that what you should do from now on?”

“For sure.”

“Because you are NTA, but short of death or divorce, neither of which I’ll wish upon your family, I don’t think you’ve had your last dinner with that cheapskate.”- partnerof30plus


“But maybe you could have followed with, ‘because it was such a nice meal, I didn’t want you to ALSO have to pay the tip’.”

“‘Thank you’.”

“Or, just tip the server on the side, w/o FIL seeing you when you go ‘use the restroom’ or something.”- ObjectiveAttitude522


“But in BC servers make a decent wage before tip and most of us don’t tip at Starbucks so I don’t quite understand the statement about you know how they make their wage.”- sreno77

“Can you just turn it into, ‘you paid for the meal, I got the tip, isn’t that what families do?'”

“You did the right thing but its probably not worth upsetting your wife.”

“NTA.”- ResponseMountain6580


“I refuse to go out to eat with cheap non tipping people.”

“Or anyone that mistreats servers.”

“You were not implying that he is cheap.It is just a fact.”

“Him being upset is his own fault.”

“You also tried to do it without anyone knowing.”- Fattdog64


“You were right.”

“You weren’t disrespectful to him, he is disrespectful to servers.”- gracenweaver


“You didn’t disrespect him, he did it to himself.”

“You were being a decent human.”- My_Panache


“He’s a cheapskate at best.”- Jumpstart_55


“If the server did their job well and you felt they deserved a tip.”

“Then they deserved the tip.”

“It is what it is.”

“Now if you had said the server was awful and you guys were getting your own drinks, clearing your own table, having to chase down a server to get help, etc.”

“Then I could see him being mad you left a nice tip.”

“But if all was well and the server deserved it, a tip should have been left.”- Beautiful-Act6485


“For trying to tip.”

“But next time maybe stop off at the host(ess)station or bar to tip on a ‘trip to use the restroom’.”

“That way it won’t blow up.”- nerdabcs


“I served and bartended all through undergrad, and not getting tipped was such a horrible feeling both personally, and also, financially.”

“Your father in law is a cheap jerk who frankly shouldn’t go out to eat if he refuses to pay the full cost of the meal, the full cost, of course, being the bill plus the tip.”

“For people who are anti-tipping.”

“Please keep in mind that if the servers were paid enough to render tipping obsolete, your meal would be WAY more expensive.”

“Restaurants/bars use this business model to keep food costs down.”

“If they paid their servers enough to justify a no-tip policy, they’d have to get that money from somewhere.”

“And they’d still be getting it from the customers by way of raising their prices dramatically.”-Lux_Brumalis


“You want to tip so leave a tip.”

“It should not be a big deal.”

“Your FIL just feels bad now because he is mean.”- ashes2022


“He is cheap and I wouldn’t accept anymore dinner invitations from him.”

“I ended a friendship over her sh*tty tips and worse attitude towards staff.”

“Including the staff at the restaurant I managed!”

“So embarrassing to be out with people like that.”- Wonderful_Horror7315

“First off, I don’t think you were and AH.”

“Honestly, you’re in Canada, tipping shouldn’t be a thing here.”

“I realize it is so I do it, but it shouldn’t be.”

“Servers don’t get paid less than minimum wage, which is what happens in the US.”

“If they deserve tips then so do retail workers, customer service reps, etc.”

“The false divide between who we should and should not tip here is ridiculous.”

“Most of the world just pays a living wage and doesn’t do this bullshit tipping thing and meals are still affordable so there’s really no excuse.”- Ephy_Chan


“Servers, as you obviously know, get most of their income from tips.”

“It’s a really bad system that needs to be changed, but at the moment it is the way it is.”

“Your FIL should have a little more compassion for the situation.”- RippleEffect20


“If your FIL doesn’t leave a tip then he is cheap.”

“You are correct.”

“The servers work hard and deserve a tip, especially since the system we have make it so that they are dependent on those tips to make a living.”- bamf1701


“I think it’s a boomer thing.”

“My dad rarely tips, and if he does, it’s like $5.”

‘I guess when he was born in 1948, $5 would have been generous, lol.”

“He’s been told how embarrassing it is that he tips so little, but doesn’t change.”

“We always pay the tip when he takes us out.”

“He gets miffed, but whatever.”

“If your FIL is embarrassed, that means he knows he’s wrong and is doing it anyway.”- fbombmom_

It’s rather sad to think that the OP’s FIL thought they were insulting him by looking out for their server.

Leaving one to wonder if the OP’s FIL ever struggled financially in his life, and thus relied upon the generosity of others.

One almost wishes he could work just one day as a server, and see if he was still angry with the OP after that.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.